View Full Version : Fetching my engine

Steve Stephens
August 2nd, 2004, 09:53 PM
With my Superlight still not having been shipped from England I now, at least, have my engine and transmission.

Headed off to St. Louis a few weeks ago to our Antique Fan Collectors convention along with about 400 lbs. of fans in my Rav4 (all the seats were out). On the way home I was planning to go through Denver and pick up my engine/transmission at Caterham USA. Cody told me he didn't see how I was going to fit the engine with transmissing attached into my car but I thought it was very possible and it would save me a considerable amount in shipping costs by picking it up.

Arriving there around midnight I met Cody (who I had talked to many times on the phone) when he opened at 9am and I began to take out many of the old fans I had in the car so I could get the engine in. The car was already very crowded. The engine was on a pallet of sorts but I thought I could just bolt it onto the 3/4" plywood I had in the car to bolt the fans to for safe transport. Cody, Nathan Downs from next door at Rocky Mountain Motorsports, and I lifted the engine/tranny into the Rav and slid it into place where I bolted it down and then reloaded my fans alongside the engine. I would not be able to sleep in the car any longer but, with one night out, that didn't seem to be a problem and it wasn't.

The drive home to the SF bay area went smoothly and the engine rode well inside the car. A couple of neighbors were enlisted to help get the engine out of the back of the Rav. Putting it on two bathroom scales I found that the engine and trans. weighed 370 lbs together. The engine is a Focus SVT and the transmissing is a BGH 5 speed with long first gear. That's very close to what Cody had thought the unit weighed. With side exit exhaust I should see about 190 HP from the stock SVT 2 L. motor.

On another note, I am glad I purchased the engine when I did several months ago as there may not be any more available. All that Caterham USA had gotten from Ford (these are brand new engines) have been sold and there is a waiting list of those wishing to buy one. Caterham is working with Ford to try to get some more but the remaining supply is very limited and may be spoken for. The engine is out of production so there will be no more made.

I'm hoping my car will arrive sometime this month and I can get started on the build. Just received my new jackstands and am all ready to go.


August 5th, 2004, 08:09 AM
Just think how much easier it would have been to get in and out of the car if you'd opted for the Duratec... :wink:

Just kidding. Let me know if you're interested in going down the 'Bighead' fastener route when you get to attaching the cycle wings. I have (lots of) extra fasteners and aircraft quality epoxy that I'll happily send along. I reccommend this method btw. It's robust, easy to do and much cleaner looking than the whole aligning / drilling method. Plus the wings are easily removed should it become necessary to do so.

Steve Stephens
August 5th, 2004, 09:33 AM
Just think how much easier it would have been to get in and out of the car if you'd opted for the Duratec... :wink:

I'll have to wink right back at that comment after hearing Cody tell me of an engine builder who builds engines for racing and has had several Duratecs break while none of the Zetecs. Zetec is proven while the Duratec may not yet be. Time will tell and I would not be surprised if the Duratec was the standard offering in Caterhams in the near future. That only makes sense.

I'm just happy to have an engine and a car on the way to build up. After some use I can always do the upgrade thing but I'm pretty sure I'll be happy with what I will end up with. I'm hoping the car will arrive within a few weeks but haven't been able to find out any definite delivery time. I know that it's packed and Rich Kamp has sent customs instructions. Can't wait-soon to have a car to fill up my garage. This is going to be fun!

I may be interested in some big head fasteners. Had been thinking of using the standard bolts from Caterham which, for some reason, I kind of like the look of. The CF wings should not get the cracking around the bolts that one would get with the fiberglass wings.


August 5th, 2004, 11:13 AM
I have heard (second or third hand) of duratec failures but would be interested in getting info on failures directly.

According to the UK folks there have only been one or two duratec failures.


August 8th, 2004, 03:52 PM
At the Shelby Club day at Willow Springs Will was telling me of a fella (whose name I've forgotten) who has smoked a couple of Duratecs. According to Will, according to the computer, he was recording way over 11,000 RPM on downshifts.

That oughta do it I reckon, as it would on just about every (production) 4 banger out there. You'd need big strong steel stuff down low and really light stuff above to even have a chance of not blowing, burning or bending something at those kinds of engine speeds.

The notion - imparted as anecdotal information by someone who sells another product - that the Duratec is inherently weak, seems somehow suspect in my eyes. Particularly when the manufacturer of both engines in question is the same.

I'll let y'all know if I blow mine. But for now, it's so far, so good. Woohoo!

Steve Stephens
August 8th, 2004, 08:36 PM
Just keep your revs below 8500 Chris and you might be ok. I assume the redline is somewhere around 7500?

Wasn't saying the Duratec is weak but it doesn't have the proven time that the Zetec does. A lot of people are wanting the Duratec so it must have a lot going for it. I wonder what the real difference in weight is between Dura and Zee?

I've got enough of a project just building my car without having to figure out some of the engine install so I went with the old iron Zeetec. May not smoke a Duratec but it should give me a bunch of thrills with little trouble.


August 10th, 2004, 08:20 AM
I wonder what the real difference in weight is between Dura and Zee?

Check out this thread on britchit:


Also, there's a page here w/ some Zetec weights shown:


There's also some link somewhere in 7 land for an excel spreadsheet that confirms the 120+/- Zetec weight.

Based on this evidence, the difference is 20 - 25 kilos or so, depending on what kind of flywheel is used etc.

SBD in the uk has posted a pretty informative article on the Duratec's strengths & weaknesses on their web site. Follow the link


then scroll down to find the Duratec blurb. There's a link there for an article written (poorly) by Fast Ford.

Steve Stephens
August 10th, 2004, 05:54 PM
Thanks Chris for the info. Some good reading in there. Makes me realize there are so many variables in engine weights that it is very hard to compare. The weight given for my engine with 5 speed is with a light flywheel. How much does that save? I sure don't know. But I'm going to insert my engine/trans. in my Superlight and push the pedal and see where it takes me. I'm sure I'll be more than pleased and won't have to always be working and upgrading the engine.

I almost never see any referral to the SVT Zetec, being how uncommon it is, and wonder how much better it is than the standard Zetec-maybe a LOT, maybe a little?- and how it compares to the Duratec.

Roll a 7
August 10th, 2004, 08:29 PM
Chris: Thanks for the excellent Duratec links, especially Fast Ford!! Most informative! I found a Ford website some months back which gave weights for the zetec & Duratec. It stated that the Duratec was lighter by 19 Kg, in some sort of stock form.

Will you be joining us to provide some Duratec power at the Streets of Willow next month. Hope so, we have a great time out there.

Steve: A stock Ford zetec flywheel weighs about 23 pounds. My Fidanza ally flywheel weighs nine pounds. This enables the motor to rev much more quickly, which some sporty car guys kinda like. I think it also helps with engine braking and Fidanza claims it adds horsepower by not causing the motor to have to spin so much dead weight around. And you, too, are invited to join us @ the Streets, without your car, for all the fun. Bring a helmet!! 8)

August 11th, 2004, 06:39 AM
This enables the motor to rev much more quickly, which some sporty car guys kinda like

A really really good thing to do imo. I've got a lightweight flywheel in the car and the benefits are great. It helps you get to that max point on the HP curve that much sooner. A high performance clutch should be on the things to have list as well

Here's some stuff r.e. the SVT motor. There'll be some differences between what you read and what you'll get. I'm guessing (I don't really know what RMSI is selling) you'll have more power & torque than the cat choked / tortuous exhaust /single throttle body engine listed in the specs:

(click the Vehicle Specs button)

And from a SVT enthusiasts website:

(use the Powertrain button)

I'm going to try to get out to Willow. I went to the last Shelby day sans 7 and got really itchy. I want to go but I have some, uh, issues w/ the home project money vs. car n safety bits money.


michael bedard
August 11th, 2004, 07:50 AM
Dear Mr. Moose

I'm very interested in the "bighead " method of fnstallingwings. Please cointact me at 310-317-1191

Steve Stephens
August 11th, 2004, 05:43 PM
I'd love to meet you guys at the Streets but will be here trying to figure out what goes where on my car. It's COMING! Possibly tomorrow. See my post on "fetching my car".
My brother, I and my 81 year old Stepdad took a driving course last year on the Streets in Celecas and had a ball. I couldn't get by my Dad who was the fastest in the class. Nice course and I'll have to get back there sometime in my Cat.

I've have to take a look at the SVT info when I get a moment. Now have to make room for my car in the garage.


August 12th, 2004, 08:26 PM
Michae: Wil do, likely this weekend.

Steve: Congrats. Let the games begin (you are building it yourself, aren't you?)!

Steve Stephens
August 12th, 2004, 09:22 PM
The games have begun even before my car arrives. Two kits; two buyers. The other buyer got MY kit today and I would have gotten his (an SV) tomorrow but the mixup was discovered and should be set straight. Seems that the crates were not clearly marked as to exactly who got which one. So, hopefully, MY car will arrive tomorrow and, if not, by Monday.

Yes, I am building the car myself. First time for me but I just think of it as a model--a big one. Get everything glued together right the first time and it should come out just fine.


August 13th, 2004, 06:40 AM
but I just think of it as a model--a big one

That was my thinking as well and it was pretty much true, except for the part about actually driving the model when it was done! Woohoo!

I found it helped to do a lot of test fitting before actual assembly. Beware the instructions - they are not always the clearest. There's lot n lots of things not covered in the manual btw. I found I could figure it out pretty much though. I found the worst parts to be bending the rear brake pipe (bleech) and mounting the diff, although in the latter instance it was made tougher by the fact that I did it unassisted.

Some parts I did differently too. In many cases where the manual says rivet I tapped n bolted instead. Like the ali cover over the tunnel, or the cover over the heater hole in the bulkhead. Easier to remove that way, when the inevitable upgradeitis hits.

Good luck w/ the buiild!

August 14th, 2004, 03:30 PM
Be sure to check out the resource section of this site: www.californiacaterhamclub.com/resources

That may save you from (among other things) the experience of watching your windshield wipers being forced downward into your scuttle when they are turned on the first time.

/Magnus F.

Steve Stephens
August 14th, 2004, 08:04 PM
Be sure to check out the resource section of this site: www.californiacaterhamclub.com/resources

Magnus and Chris,
Thanks for the tips. I won't be able to easily view the resource section with my Mac as it doesn't "do" Word docs.

My Superlight kit came yesterday after having been delivered to another guy in the Bay Area who had an SV in the same shipment. All worked out well, however, and now and the frame/body is up on jackstands in my garage. Sure looks beautiful in Caterham Yellow and with the Stack dash. I'm not too happy at the moment, though, that the spare tire carrier was put on my car as I had not intended to use, nor ordered a spare. In the long run it may work out better and I will look at cutting it off or making it removable or shorten it to use as a license plate holder. I have seen some posts about this on either Blatchat or here. Any ideas of how to deal with this? I like the look of the rear of the car with no spare nor spare carrier sticking out. This is going to be a fun project.

August 15th, 2004, 07:54 AM

I can probably convert the word documents you need to PDF files (with distiller) and send them to you.

There are probably more issues with your kit. I had to drill a missing hole, get a the correct drive axle and correct a few other minor things that Caterham missed. Please note that the guys at Caterham USA/UK are extremely supportive when you call them about these things.

/Magnus F.

August 16th, 2004, 11:11 AM
There are probably more issues with your kit.

Please note that the guys at Caterham USA/UK are extremely supportive when you call them about these things.

Seconded. Caterham UK was great. The most amazing part of that was the fact that when they sent parts via ordinary mail they would often arrive w/in days. Astounding.

The things seem to come over differently each time. For sure make sure that you have received your Tillets and CF wing mirrors. Btw, when mine showed up I had 2 very different looking CF wings. Apparently they'd changed specs and put one 'old' type and 1 'new' type in the crate. UK was great about sending out a 2nd new type and told me to keep the old.

Make the spare holder removable. Why not?[/quote]

Steve Stephens
August 16th, 2004, 12:23 PM
I will let you know if I need the files transfered for my Mac. My brother may be able to do it on his PC. Thanks for the offer and I may still take you up on it. Believe it or not I have more important priorities at the moment than to start building my car. But I can't wait too long or I will not be ready in Jan. to register it. Plus I do want to get it on the road and start having fun and collecting tickets...??

Chris, I have yet to unpack the various boxes but did peek in a few. I think the SLR gets fiberglass SPA mirrors instead of CF which or optional. I do have at least some of the three mirrors.

My FIA bar is the new one made by CAGED and has the double diagonals instead of the single diagonal so that should be the way any new FIA bars come in.

Any of you going to Sears Pt. this Sunday for the Sevens race? I will probably be up there.


August 23rd, 2004, 07:46 PM
But I can't wait too long or I will not be ready in Jan. to register it

Don't worry about that. As I experienced it the sequence number doesn't seem to have a time limit on it. Registration does (90 days), but you most likely can extend that. I know that Scott down here by me and I discussed this and while he was going through 'engine pregnancy' (will it EVER come?) and he went ahead and got the number assigned. They were just about out by late Feb. so he really had to move. Please note that at no time during my SB100 process did anyone at DMV actually see the car. CHP yes, DMV no.

As long as you're pretty close come Jan. you'll be ok. Just make sure that you go and get that number.

Magnus: Have you noticed how quiet Steve's gotten in the last week or so? Hmmm, I wonder what it could be?

Steve Stephens
August 23rd, 2004, 09:31 PM
You see, I have this big pile of parts for a car of some sort in my garage and a chassis that they are all supposed to fit into in some way.
Believe it or not my new woodshed has been taking some of my time as well as breaking down the Caterham's crate to salvage the nice plywood and pine boards. I'll get to the Cat in time...a little at a time.
Yesterday went up to Sears Pt. to see the NASA event and got a great ride in one session in Rich Kamps superlight which is pretty much as mine will be. There were about 7 or 8 7's there and all were out on the track. One unfortunate chap hit the wall in his 7 and did some considerable damage. I think we can all learn from that incident to keep your eye on the cars in front of you and not in the rear view mirror watching a car trying to pass. It looks like the Caterham is pretty lightly built and even a moderate hit the right way can do much damage. No crumple zones to speak of. That car may need a new front frame, wheel, wishbones and more. Wish the owner luck and glad he or his passneger suffered personal injury. There was quite a crowd on the track yesterday being as how it was a one day event.
After thinking I had the wrong color on my car I did find out that it is, indeed, Caterham yellow. Took my nosecone to compare with Rich's car and we couldn't tell the difference. Called DMV today and found out you can make an appointment 30 days before you want to go in so Dec. 4th I'll check in with them to start the registration process. They are mailing me some information or forms in the meantime.