The process started with a little bit of disassembly. The bellhousing was removed from the engine. Nearly all the bolts holding the bellhousing where finger tight, but the two shoulder bolts into the black nylon sump protection wedge needed a little more effort to remove.

Using my magnetic tray, I kept all the bolts in order; without that, you could use a piece of cardboard with some holes to keep them in order if you can’t remember the correct location.

Bellhousing bolts in order

I also loosened the starter motor to prevent the seal on the starter motor being damaged as the bellhousing is removed and refitted.

I have seen mentioned before that the gearbox and the bellhousing both come with bolts fitted. A quick check of the new manual showed the bolts needed are from pack “E” and should be M12x50 cap head grade 12.9. However, they are not supplied in a pack, and instead are supplied fitted to the bell housing. The bolts that were removed from the gearbox were M12, but they were shorter hex head not cap head, and only grade 10.9. Therefore, there should be no confusion: the bolts supplied in the bellhousing are the bolts to use.

I decided to check the supply hose and fixings of the clutch release bearing. My thoughts on this are simple: it takes a few moments to check, but a leaking or loose hose will require engine removal. The correct tool to do this should be a 11mm flare spanner, but the bellhousing prevented this from fitting, so I used an open-ended 11mm spanner to check, and everything turned out to be ok.

The gearbox was bolted to the bellhouse, and torqued. The old manual calls for 47Nm and the new manual 68Nm. My 360R gearbox didn’t fall off, so I decided to stick with the 47Nm figure. I will always err on the side of caution when the thread is into aluminium.

Bellhousing to gearbox bolt

These were first bolts I have torqued on this build, and although they can’t be seen I still marked them as tight. Therefore, it’s time to introduce my choice of bolt-marking tool. The paint pen I chose is bright and semi-permanent but can be cleaned off if a bolt is removed later. This was a mistake I made with my 360R: the marker was far too permanent and difficult to remove. Obviously, I chose orange, other colours are available.

Paint Pen for marking bolts

I like to put a little bit of multi-purpose grease on the spigot bearing, and a specialist purpose designed spline grease (from BMW) on the input shaft of the gearbox. It’s not necessary, but is designed to make disassembly easy in the future. I have always done this, and I have never had a problem disassembling any car I have worked on.

The next step was to attach the gearbox bellhousing assembly back onto the engine. This should be a simple case of aligning and sliding them together. It all assumes Caterham have done their part and assembled the clutch with an alignment tool. Sometimes you need to rotate the gearbox assembly a few degrees to allow the splines to align. The only real awkward thing is the weight of the gearbox you’re trying to align accurately.

Engine and gearbox complete

The bolts should be replaced in a star pattern sequence and torqued according to the old manual to

47Nm bellhousing to engine, and

20Nm bellhousing to sump,

because the new manual does not (yet) cover the Duratec engine. When torquing the bellhousing to the sump protection nylon plastic, there is no torque setting for that, just tighten it up and don’t go mad.

Remember to torque the starter motor back down – I found the starter motor torque settings of 35Nm in the Ford Duratec manual.

All torqued up

Now I am really running out of tasks I can complete before the chassis is returned.

Tools used: 5mm, 8mm and 10mm hex drive and alien keys, 1/4 drive and 3/8 drive ratchets and a 3/8 drive torque wrench, 11mm open ended spanner.