Before I can attempt to bring my Caterham to life, there are a few outstanding tasks that I need to complete; most importantly the oil hose that I couldn’t fit because of the wheeled axle stands. So it’s time to remove my Caterham from the wheeled axle stands.

For some time I have known that the chassis was at (or should a say was just beyond) the lift capacity of my trolly jack. I normally lift the front of my Caterham using the towing eye with a jack pad. This method was recommended to me by a Caterham specialist. But the extension block takes me beyond my comfort zone. So decided to breakout the engine hoist and 250Kg ratchet straps as an insurance policy.

At no stage did the ratchet straps take any weight; I lowered the jack mm by mm and the axle stands hole by hole, lowering the hoist as we went. The rear was a straight lift down using the jack under the De Dion tube.

On “normal” axle stands I had at last the space I needed to fit the last oil hose. I was carful with the clearance of this hose with the chassis tube, because it’s very close and I want to allow for some vibration space.

My research indicated that Aeroquip fittings seem to be based on imperial measurements and Caterham use 12AN for the dry sump hoses. The equivalent is 1 and 1/4″. I actually own a 1 and 1/4″ combination spanner, so thats what I used to tighten the hoses without marring them.

While I was doing this I remembered to tighten the dry sump tanks drain plug, as I really didn’t fancy flooding my garage floor with oil.

My final preparation task was to bleed the clutch. This is a relatively simple task, made difficult by the location of the bleed nipple. However, it was nowhere near as difficult as the clutch bleed nipple for the 6-speed on my 360R.

Clutch bleeding nipple and 8mm cut down spanner

To try and minimise the mess I purchased some washer fluid hose (4.7mm). I heated the hose in some hot water and then fitted it over the clutch bleed nipple. The other end on the hose was tucked into a vacuum bleeder reservoir. I have a cut down 8mm ring spanner for working in this confined space. Sorry I don’t have any photos of the bleed, but once I started I didn’t want to tough anything, including my phone.

The process is same as bleeding the brakes: release the nipple when the clutch pedal is pressed, and close the nipple before the pedal is raised. Keep doing this until no air bubbles exit the system. Keep a close eye on the master cylinder during the whole process, so you don’t run out of fluid and inadvertently suck air into the system.
Once the bleed process was completed, I emptied the hose with the vacuum bleeder.

Tools Used

  • 1 and 1/4″ combination spanner
  • 13mm 3/8″ drive socket
  • 3/8″ drive ratchet
  • 8mm cut down ring spanner