A fun weekend despite setbacks

We had been invited to display our 7 at 2 events over the weekend: first at Roseville shopping mall; and second, the Sacramento Capitol Air Show at Mather field. Many thanks to the Hamlins for putting us up in Plymouth.

We drove to Roseville late on friday afternoon sporting the “shortie hood” (soft-top) that Dot made. We did OK for a short while, but the corner front press studs kept coming loose. Running repair was made using zip ties. Then about 3 miles short of Colfax, “Whack!”.  All the press studs broke free and the soft-top blew over our heads heading rapidly towards the rear of the car. Dot hung on to it until we got to Colfax, where we removed it and put it away in the boot (trunk) – that makes it sound too big – rear glove box is rather more like it.

We continued without a top, but on the driver side the turbulence around my head was rather more (I was using a front deflector).

Dot on the other hand had a regular 7 door/window on, which was OK until we hit slower traffic off the freeway. At that point she started cooking (it was ~90F).

So, lessons learned:

1. front deflectors work a little, but need the rear deflector or shortie soft-top to be more effective.

2. The front press studs on the front of the shortie soft-top need to be spaced closer so that the fabric has to stretch to get them to fit (thus removing the bulges that attract the wind).

3. Need to incorporate a stiff strengthener in the front ‘rail’ of the shortie soft-top, thus all the fasteners will act in unison with a combined higher force to get them free. This stiffener will follow the windscreen top contour, and not be too big as to become dangerous if it comes off in flight.

4. Sitting in the hot sun all day at Mather field really requires: an ice box; fine mist water spray; even more cold water to drink.

 

You can find a full set of air show photos at this url:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/33630282@N02/sets/72157647339950141/

Pics include: Raptor; DC3; P38; P51; B25; T33; Harrier; Spitfire; Wing Walker and a few cars.

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7’s Picnic

The annual California Caterham Club picnic was held at Vasona Park in Los Gatos. This year 17 cars attended, several Caterhams, a Lotus, a Westfied, a Birkin and 2 WCMs. Following are the pictures……and some video links, with the drive map at the end.

Leaving home with the 7 on a trailer.

Leaving home with the 7 on a trailer.

That 7 is mighty close in the rear view mirror

That 7 is mighty close in the rear view mirror

Pit stop at Gold Run

Pit stop at Gold Run

The 7 line up before the drive

The 7 line up before the drive

Panoramic view of all the cars with Sarah & Dave in foreground

Panoramic view of all the cars with Sarah & Dave in foreground

Adam,Dave & Julie

Adam,Dave & Julie

Adam, Dave & Dot

Adam, Dave & Dot

Larry, Goya & Doug's wife

Larry, Goya & Doug’s wife

Grid line up, ready for the drive

Grid line up, ready for the drive

Dot, sitting on the grid

Dot, sitting on the grid

Rear view

Rear view

We found this Frog Eye at the cafe on Skyline Boulevard

We found this Frog Eye at Alice’s Restaurant on Skyline Boulevard

Also this Morgan +4

Also this Morgan +4

On returning, we discovered Dave Lowe's car on a AAA trick, he had only managed about 1 mile before the engine died. Suspected head gasket.

On returning, we discovered Dave Lowe’s car on a AAA trick, he had only managed about 1 mile before the engine died. Suspected head gasket.

This was half the gang

This was half the gang

Left to right: (omitting the non 7’s)Doug Lowe’s, Larry & Goya’s Birkin, Raul’s WCM, Jeff & Julie Hamlin’s Lucy Cate; GWise’s red Lotus 7.

and the other half making 17 total

and the other half making 17 total

Left to right (back): Jeff &Julie Hamlin’s Lucy Cate; GWise’s red Lotus 7; Jim’s blue WCM; Russ, Andreas, Mark & Sarah Pierpoint’s CSR 175, my 7.

Left to right (front):  Sean’s; the Westfield; green 7; Adam’s CSR260; John’s green 7 with yellow nose & gull  wings; CASweede Don’s green 7 with yellow stripe & gull wings; Mopho’s yellow 7

Car inspections going on

Car inspections going on

Mark's limited soft top from "Softbits for sevens"

Mark’s limited soft top from “Softbits for sevens”

Close up of the top

Close up of the top

Julie's short top has a zipper

Julie’s short top has a zipper

Wind deflector & mirror on Lucy Cate(Jeff & Julie's 7)

Wind deflector & mirror on Lucy Cate(Jeff & Julie’s 7)

This is Sean's engine, Duratec, Cosworth and ~260bhp

This is Sean’s engine, Duratec, Cosworth and ~260bhp

Mark's engine in his CSR with Euro style exhaust

Mark’s engine in his CSR with Euro style exhaust

Sean's inboard suspension

Sean’s inboard suspension

Mark, Sarah, Sean & Lorraine

Mark, Sarah, Sean & Lorraine

Lorraine, Steve, Andreas & Dave (with eye's closed)

Lorraine, Steve, Andreas & Dave (with eye’s closed)

 

 

Heading home the following morning

Heading home the following morning

Here’s a link to Mopho’s video: http://vimeo.com/103043966
Here’s a link to Julie’s video: http://vimeo.com/103079152

Here is the drive route……

Sunday morning drive

I did the Downieville loop, what a great driving road on Hwy 49!

The Downieville loop

The Downieville loop

Post script 1: Before I took off the oil cooler blanking plate, the oil would lag behind the water temp by about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes both water and oil show temp as 90C. Now, without the blanking plate, the oil never gets to the water temp and continually lags behind by 5C at 85C. It also seemed longer than 10 minutes for the oil to come up to 85C, but I didn’t measure.

Post script 2: The speedo behaved for about the first 30 miles, then started going erratic with 20-30 mph indicated (I was going faster). Later on it started going really haywire, registering 100-120mph (I was doing 50).
Actually, I now use a Garmin GPS as my speedometer – it works very well!

On the road again

I waited until noon time when the temperature hit 3 deg C (~37 deg F) and took the 7 out for a drive to Cisco Grove & back over Donner Summit on old highway 40.
No apparent problems, although the steering wheel is marginally pointing left when I’m going straight. Will re-align when I go for wheel alignment check. I noted that the coolant temp came up to operating temp (92 deg C) in about 10 minutes and that the oil temp lagged behind by about 5 minutes. But after 15 minutes, both maintained the exact same temp for the remainder of the drive.

Diagnosis

Sunday
Took the car for a 90 mile drive on Sunday, ambient temp was ~10C (=50F). (Cardboard blocking still in place).
Engine came up to temp within 5 minutes. After 15 minutes I started playing with the heater control, this is what I found:
Heater knob pulled fully out: Indicated temp drops to ~60C within ~5 minutes.
Heater knob pushed fully in: Indicated temp rises to ~90C within ~15 seconds.
Heater knob halfway: Indicated temp maintains at ~90C. Some heat coming out, not enough to keep warm without jacket & gloves.

Conclusion: I think at the full out position, the heater valve is actually closing & letting nothing through.

I re-confirmed my plumbing and it is definitely connected like figure 87 in the build manual.

Also, while out, I noted that the Speedo behaved fine. This means that either the extra ground connection fixed the problem or, the speedo did not get hot enough to start failing.

The Journey home

Being optimistic we left topless, which was fine until we hit slow traffic getting off 880 onto Mission Blvd and got thoroughly soaked. So we stopped & put the top on. Sunny in Walnut creek, so we took the top back off & drove to Auburn for dinner. Top back on then home via 49N & 20E & onto I80 for a few miles then onto Old Hwy 40. By this time it had started snowing and we wanted to keep off I80 & the chain control. By the time we got to Soda Springs we were driving in the 2 cleared ruts with ~6″ of snow in the middle, which found its way via the sump into the front of the engine & horns etc. The engine started cutting out – I think that may have been water in the electrics, but managed to keep going in 1st gear through the thick of it. Finally got home cold & wet by 9:30pm.

Snow still in the engine the next morning.

Snow still in the engine the next morning.

Snow still dripping out

Snow still dripping out

Looking a bit dirty

Looking a bit dirty

Snow came in around the door

Snow came in around the door

Arrived home and cleared the snow out of the door panels

Arrived home and cleared the snow out of the door panels