I have always planned to have PPF (Paint Protection Film) applied to the rear wings to give them that little bit of extra protection, but before I dropped them off I wanted to complete all the modification needed to make them fit.
If the wings were painted fibreglass, I would have also drilled them for the wing protectors, but not fitted them before getting the PPF applied.
Fitting the rear wings starts with a bit of rubber trimming. The piping needs to be cut around the suspension radius arm, and fixing bolts. The occasional extra cut needs to be made to make the piping sit flat as it curves around the wing. Caterham supply some extra length of piping, but not enough to make a mistake, so be careful.
I make both sides the same, and to make it a little easier to mark out where to cut, I tend to stick the piping to the wing using thin double sided tape. I used a combination of hole punches and scissors to get the desired shape.
Next I turned the radius arm hole in the wing into a slot, so the wing can be fitted without dismantling the suspension. Make sure you select the correct hole to cut. A Dremel is a prefect for this job, but it could easily be done with hand tools.
I had to open the hole up a little until the bolt holes aligned with the rivnuts on the side skin.
Talking of the rivnuts that hold the rear wings: I would advise plenty of copper slip when the rear wings are fitted, because these bolts have a tendency to corrode into the rivnuts, making it very difficult to remove the rear wings in the future. I will actually be replacing the kit fixings with nylon bolts as used by the Caterham racers post IVA, to minimise the skin damage when that “sorry mate, I didn’t see you” moment happens in a car park somewhere.
So for now thats it, and the wing has now been removed.
If I was fitting wing protectors, this is when I would fit them. It’s a fairly simple task, but a few tips I have learned are:
- Make sure the protector lines up with the bottom of the wing; if it doesn’t, the wing will be eroded by the stones.
- Use thin stainless washers behind the rivet to spread the load on the fibreglass.
- Fit a black vinyl stripe along the edge of the wing and the side skin under the protector. The protector will bow in the middle as it’s bent over the wing, creating a small gap. If youR Caterham has a bright colour, this might show between the piping and the protector, and the vinyl strip will hide that colour.
- 12mm hole cutter
- Hole punch
- Cutting disc
- Sanding band
- Strong pick