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Caterham 7 sports car race track recommission

This Caterham 7 was Imported direct from the UK but hadn't been run for a few years. We recommissioned it ready for track use in Australia, see how we did it
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A caterham sports car recommissioned

  • Caterham 7 imported from the UK.
  • Full recommission for track use.
  • All mechanical and electrical checks.

One of the unique aspects about our classic car workshop in Sydney is our ability to service, repair and maintain track cars as well as road cars. Darren approached us about his Caterham 7 he imported from the UK and how we could make it track ready.

This track car hadn’t been used for a number of years so we needed to get it track ready, but of course safe as well. Darren wanted us to go over the car front to back to make sure all was good to go.

Our team of mechanics set about creating a detailed scope of work to cover the car in detail. This is very different to preparing a car for road use because there is less tolerance for making mistakes and more effort has to go into ensuring everything is;

  • Completely secured so that nothing can move around
 
  • Critical areas are strengthened e.g the oil cooler was previously mounted with cable ties instead of rubber mounts
 
  • Protect critical components like wiring to ensure they are less prone to melting or getting split.
 
  • Lock wiring components which prevents fasteners from loosening due to vibrations as well as cornering forces. The presence of safety wiring also serves as a visual  indicator that the fasteners have been properly tightened.
 
  • Loctited as many components as possible.
 
  • Nyloc nuts are used which have a nylon collar that increases friction on the screw thread to keep it secure, ideal for race track use.
 
  • All the correct nuts, bolts and washers were installed and all bolts correctly torqued.
We know first hand what it takes to prep a race car, because we race our own vehicles regularly, therefore bringing your car to our workshop is not the same as going to another location that may not have experienced mechanics who know how to handle track use vehicles.

Mechanical checks for a Caterham 7

  • Relocated the starter motor
  • Full wheel alignment
  • Re-mount the oil cooler
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As we went over the car our team of mechanics also identified areas that needed to be improved and this included;

  • Modifying the oil cooler intake to channel air more efficiently. This is important for reliability, especially for warm days on the track.
 
  • We secured the nose cone properly with Dzus fasteners for easy removal in the pits. This makes it easier to get to critical areas of the engine bay without wasting too much time.
 
  • We moved the starter motor and other wiring away from the hot exhaust to reduce any chances of the wiring melting and creating electrical problems.
 
  • We checked all the solder and sealed all the wiring connections throughout the entire car.
 
  • We also checked and replaced all the brake hose and brake line fittings, bleed nipples etc just in case any of the rubber was aged.
 
  • We also re-mounted the the oil cooler correctly on rubber mounts (previously held in with only cable ties)
 
  • We ran the engine up to temp and checked the cooling system to ensure it was working correctly.
 
  • We spanner checked everything on the whole sports car.
 
  • A full wheel alignment was completed

Caterham 7 workshop in Sydney

  • Caterham 7 servicing & upgrades
  • Road or track preparation for Caterham sports cars
  • Engine and gearbox upgrades for a Caterham
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Our classic car workshop in Brookvale can work on Caterham sports cars for road or track use. As you can see in this example recommissioning a sports car for use on a race track involves several steps to ensure the vehicle’s safety, performance, and adherence to track requirements. 

Our workshop can work on a Caterham to complete things such as;

  • Safety Inspections and Maintenance – a thorough inspection of the entire vehicle, including the chassis, suspension, brakes, tires, engine, transmission, and safety equipment. We will then address any issues identified during the inspection, such as worn-out components, leaks, or damage then replace or upgrade parts as needed to ensure optimal performance and safety on the race track.
 
  • Safety Equipment – install or verify the presence of mandatory safety equipment, which may include a roll cage, racing harnesses, fire extinguisher or racing seats. We can help you make sure the safety equipment meets the track’s regulations and safety standards.
 
  • Tire and Brake Upgrades – choosing tires suitable for the specific race track and driving conditions is critical, this might even include slicks or R-Spec rubber for better grip and performance. While upgrading brake components to handle the increased demands of track driving is also an important consideration especially if discs and pads are either old or are road specification. 
 
  • Suspension and Handling – adjusting or upgrading the suspension to enhance handling and cornering capabilities could be necessary depending on the age of the vehicle. Coilovers or adjustable shocks can be beneficial for fine-tuning a setup if you are getting serious about your track days. A complete suspension and wheel alignment can ensure the vehicle is ideally balanced as well.
 
  • Engine performance – depending on your goals, you may want to modify the engine for improved performance. This could include intake, exhaust, or tuning upgrades. We will also ensure the engine is properly maintained and tuned for track use, with adequate cooling and lubrication systems.
 
  • Fluids and Cooling – replacing fluids, including engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid, with high-performance alternatives that are suitable for track conditions is also an important consideration. They are better suited to high performance driving. The other area to consider is upgrading the standard cooling components if necessary to prevent overheating during extended track sessions, especially for our warm Sydney weather during summer.
 
We could go on and on because we are passionate about helping sports car owners in Sydney get the most use out of their vehicle whether it is a Sunday cruiser, track warrior or daily driver.

Photo gallery of the Caterham 7

How can you Buy and maintain a classic car in Sydney?
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If you are thinking of buying a classic car, or you already own one and have been thinking about doing any sort of restoration, whether it is British, Italian, German or from another country, irrespective of the marque or model, the process that we go through is always the same. 

We make sure you are making all the decisions needed to suit your intended application for the vehicle (road or track use) as well as your budget.

Best of all, our classic car workshop in Sydney only deals with vehicles that typically don’t have an OBD port – that’s right, all the old stuff that didn’t need fancy computers to run.

What we typically do when someone asks us about restoring a classic sports car is;

  • An initial free phone consultation to understand the history of the vehicle, your requirements and if we are a good fit to be working together. It’s important to build chemistry and rapport at this early stage because some projects might take 6 months or a few years depending how extensive they are, so we have to work closely together.
 
  • If the vehicle is able to be driven we’ll invite you to our workshop so we can put the car on a hoist and have a good look at it, you can also meet our team and see our facilities as well.
 
  • If the car isn’t able to be driven or is located overseas then we’ll work with you to secure photos and videos to help assess what needs to be done and how to work out the logistics.
 
  • Clearly define a scope of work that covers either the mechanical components, interior or both.
 
  • Once the scope of work is agreed to and the vehicle is with us we create a detailed job sheet & begin capturing photos of each element that is being worked on. You get to literally follow the journey of what is being done and why.
 
  • If we discover anything that is a surprise or not in the brief then we’ll contact you to talk through the available options before we commence any further work.

 

So, to those who yearn for the days when cars had soul, who appreciate the allure of a bygone era, and who seek to keep that spirit alive on the modern roads of Sydney, Peninsula Sports Cars in Brookvale stands ready. 

Ready to maintain, restore, upgrade, and prepare these timeless classics for whatever adventure lies ahead. Because, in the end, driving a classic is not just about looking back; it’s about keeping the legacy alive, mile after memorable mile.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO GET A RACING CAR RECOMMISSIONED?
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Recommissioning a racing car in Australia is a meticulous process that involves restoring a race car to operational condition after it has been inactive or stored for an extended period. This procedure is crucial to ensure the vehicle’s safety, performance, and compliance with relevant regulations before it can be used for competitive racing events in the country.

Peninsula Sports Cars can help you through a recommissioning process which typically follows a structured sequence of steps, adhering to rigorous standards and guidelines. Some of this will be dictated by the state of the vehicle, available parts and your desired outcome or intended use. 

Some of the steps involved would include;

Assessment and Documentation:
The initial step in recommissioning a racing car involves a thorough assessment of the vehicle’s current condition. This can include reviewing the car’s history, specifications, and any modifications that may have been made since its last use. We can review records that come with the vehicle and/or help piece together its history. All of this is optional as our focus will be on the mechanical aspects.

Safety Inspection:
Safety is of paramount importance in any form of motorsport if you intend to drive the vehicle in any way. Sometimes owners will restore or recommission a race car as a static vehicle for display. If you intend driving it then the car must undergo a comprehensive safety inspection to identify and rectify any potential hazards or deficiencies. This includes scrutinising the chassis, roll cage if it has one, safety harnesses, fire extinguishing systems, and any other safety equipment like brakes, lines, hoses etc.

Mechanical Restoration:
The mechanical components of the racing car, such as the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, and steering may require thorough inspection, restoration and/or replacement if necessary. Any worn-out or damaged parts we will recommend what approach to take depending on what it is and what condition it is in. For old race cars outright performance will take a second priority vs reliability and safety. Unless of course you will be competing heavily with the vehicle and want to be a the pointy end of any field.

Electrical Systems:
The car’s electrical systems, including wiring, sensors, and electronic components, must be inspected for functionality and compliance with safety standards. Wiring looms should be checked for wear and tear, and any damaged components should be repaired or replaced. Sometimes these will be in areas that are hard to see or from the outside look ok but further inspection will reveal otherwise.

Fuel and Fluid Systems:
The fuel and fluid systems, including the fuel tank, brake lines, and cooling system, should be inspected for leaks or corrosion. These systems must meet the safety and performance requirements mandated by motorsport regulations but common sense will always prevail from a pure safety perspective. Many of these items can be replaced.

Tires and Wheels:
Racing car tires and wheels play a crucial role in performance and safety. These components should be inspected for wear, damage, or even small cracks. Replacing tyres will depend on how the vehicle will be used and whether you need racing slicks or something less performance orientated.

Compliance with Regulations:
Recommissioning a racing car in Australia may necessitate adherence to strict motorsport regulations and safety standards. The car should comply with specific category rules and technical regulations established by the governing body of the respective racing series. For historic racing categories this can sometimes come down to decals, major mechanical components etc in terms of preserving the original state of the vehicle when it was raced. For some categories this is less important but modern safety equipment will still be needed.

Testing and Tuning:
After the restoration and maintenance work is completed, the racing car should undergo extensive testing and tuning. This involves ensuring that all components work harmoniously to optimise performance, handling, and reliability. Typically this will be done at our workshop but there is the option for us to help you at the race track which can be added to our service provisions.

Logbook and Documentation:
A comprehensive logbook detailing all recommissioning activities, modifications, and inspections should be maintained in an ideal world. This logbook is essential for demonstrating compliance with regulations and facilitating future scrutineering checks but may not be necessary depending on the type of race car and how you intend using it.

That is a brief explanation about recommissioning a racing car in Australia and the actual process will vary based on where your vehicle is located, what it is, its age & your intended purpose. The last factor to consider will be budget and we can help you structure a scope of work that addresses the most important items first and work through anything else you need after that.

Either way it is possible to get a racing car recommissioned and ready for use or demonstration.

Enquire about getting work done to your vehicle

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Peninsula Sports Car Services
Peninsula Sports Car Services

A team of passionate car enthusiasts providing a range of services and support for the local classic car community in Australia

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