Following our previous engineering project in which girls constructed a Microlight, at the beginning of September 2018 a group of Sixth Form girls began building a Caterham Car, with a little help from some members of staff of course! They are building the Caterham Seven 270, a classic lightweight sports car with an open roof and a royal blue body. Every Thursday evening, two groups split off to do their part in constructing the car. The car will be built over the course of the academic school year.
Below are blog updates from the girls themselves on how they are progressing:
April 2019: The Last Session!
In the last session of the Caterham Car project every member of the team gathered together to celebrate the finishing of the car and listen to the engine noise for the first time. We loaded litres of petrol and waited for it to go around the engine.
After a long wait the engine made a strong noise and we were very relieved and excited that the car was working after all the hard work!
11 March 2019: Nearly Finished!
The week before Half Term we added the wings on the tyre and attached the battery wires. Some of us used a heat gun to melt the tube onto the battery wires to protect them. We are all very excited as the car is very close to being finished.
7 February 2019: Car on the Ground
It was a very cold day with snow outside, nonetheless, we still managed to do a lot. For some of us, it was the first time seeing the car on the ground without the car lifter!
We started off by attaching an exhaust to a catalytic converter, which is attached to the engine. We had six people trying to do this but it was extremely tricky and complicated. While doing this some of us attached the handbrake, side mirror, steering wheel, headlight and the small windshield wiper. It was so much smaller than modern cars. All of us were so excited and thrilled to see the car come into its shape.
Once we managed to fit the exhaust, we attached the silencer as we don’t want anyone to get in trouble when they were driving!
At the end of the session, we went into the car seat and everyone was surprised at how comfortable the seats were!
We cannot wait to continue making the car.
24 January 2019: Handbrakes and Bolts
Our last session in January 2019, and we fitted all three tyres on the car, as well as tightening bolts into the brake areas. We used a large spanner to tighten bolts on the wheels and a torque wrench to ensure all tyres maintained 222 Nm in each tyre attaching it to the body of the car. We fitted the handbrake into the car as well.
We used a smaller torque wrench to adjust minor gaps in the skeleton of the wheel area. Minor adjustments were made to the top of the wheel, connecting to the body of the car to protect the tyres.
17 January 2019: Fitting Tyres
Back from Christmas and we are ready to go. We attached the tyres to the front of the car and assembled the expansion bottle and fitted the hood of the car. Some of us drilled a hole into the side of the engine to be able to put a pot rivet for the expansion tube and cable band to attach neatly, with a rivet gun.
The expansion tube allows the engine to cool and all the hoses that were fitted happened to have a lot of plumbing and we attached all of them in the hood of the car. We also managed to fit the driveshaft and a little bit of rear hub.
10 January 2019: 2019!
Before we broke up for Christmas we attached some parts to the rear part of the car. We attached the rear dampers, which is a spring, and the radius arm. This connects the chassis to the De Dion tube, which allows the circular travel. We also connected the 'A-Frame', this connects the chassis to the centre of the De Dion tube.
Some parts were hard to attach as we had to crawl under the car, which was a bit of a challenge.
We are very excited to continue making the car after a long holiday!
30 November 2018: Start of the New Project
At the beginning of September we started work on the Caterham Car project the car will be built over the course of the academic school year.
We started off attaching the suspension, headlights and placing the engine into the hood of the car. However, this appeared to be a big challenge for us as it just did not want to fit, but with determination and help we managed (within three sessions), to successfully install it. As the engine is the heart of the car, all of us were relieved that it fitted 'perfectly'. We cannot wait until we complete the car and show it to all of you!