In the winter of 2004/2005 the car underwent some extensive modification to the dash, switches and AV layout. See the page here.
FUEL VENT VALVE
Fuel Vent valve fitted after the breather that runs off the fuel filler neck. Ive been releasing petrol from the breather ever since i got teh car under hard left handers (Graham Hill being a favourite and very noticeable on some of my rear camera videos) ... this will sort it. If you dont have a charcoal cannister then i'd advise the same before you get black flagged. Details and PDF instructions are here.
Plug two bullet cameras in, plug two phono mics in, plug two different DV cameras in and you have amplified sound and switchable feeds (toggles up on the dash) to the two different recorders and powered bullet cams.
I basically used a maplin project box, some mini din plugs, a couple of multi pin plugs, some lockable phono connectors for the mic, a maplins mic preamplifier (see bottom of page) and then I powered the preamp (and hence bullet cams) with a weird plastic 2-wire locking connector also bought from maplins. The toggle switches to control the feeds are plugged into teh unit using a 6 pin computer cable (like a PS2 mouse) so basically everything can be disconnected from teh box and it can be completely removed from the car if needed. Mounting was simple just using some velcro.
0.25 deDion ears, 0' front camber, 3.92 diff, rear 215lb race springs
The camber stuff is to suit the crossply slicks to get them to work and allow for more even wear (to change the camber at the rear you either use shims or the 2 choices of deDion ear). The race springs at the rear are to match up with the front 250lb race springs that I already have as using soft ones at the back in combination with stiff fronts means horrid understeer everywhere. And the diff means optimal gearing for the BGH and the 230bhp Duratec (see below).
cage and doors and nose
Obligatory slr race cage, race half screen, and spa side mirrors. Managed to get an SLR cage used form caterham cars, they took it off 'R500 A' to make resale easier !
In error, I bought two half doors from caterham but they basically don't fit properly under the race cage. You could possibly get them to fit but i doubt they'd come off again and you'd need to sabotage them quite drastically. Then I made the mistake of ordering the race tonneau + race half-door which has the passnger side of the tonneau firmly affixed to the boot cover so basically you can forget having a passenger ! Took it back to Caterham but I kept the drivers side flat half door that comes with it and ordered a custom passenger side "under-cage" half door to match.
When i bought the car I also swapped over the nosecone to a carbon one. Here's how it originally started life at the Stonleigh Kit car show in 2003. Thats an award on its windscreen btw !
minisport with centre decking, chocks, straps, and detachable A frame (makes it a LOT shorter so room in the garage). 1700 all in ... and its well made too.
MOG Racing Rial split rims
Second set of rims for the track. The new Rial rims from Mog Racing are a very good split rim design with a sealant O ring (no silicon !) and very very strong design specification having been impact tested by the German TUV. They are very light, 4.6kg for an 8", have billet centres and some nice alloy nuts. 792.348 GBP, get yours from Fluke Motorsport. I went for 7" front and 8" rear, arguably a more balanced combination that the usual 6.5" and 8.5" that are fitted to the higher powered Caterham R factory cars.
5 Speed BGH pro road and track
Duratec +cat 6 speed = too many gears, too many changes, too much time watching the shift lights like a hawk ! Originally I had my heart set on an elite sequential but to be honest i got sick of waiting and it was never going to be a quick task given the lack of off the shelf fitting kits at the time. I needed to sort the box out quick and get back to driving with the minium of time loss and the BGH seemed spot on for the task. Brian Hill built mine in just 2 weeks and with the dipstick and oil plug it came to around 940 quid. Who knows... maybe an Elite in 2005 !
The ratios I went for were based on using a 3.98 diff (which i have yet to fit) which suits the box best. 140mph seems a sensible speed to gear to. And despite what others may say, dont worry about pulling away with a longer 1st with a duratec.... this car pulls away in 2nd smooth as you like.
Preamp, mic and camera mount
Some of my camera specs can be seen in the intro page on the car. Here is some detail on how i clamp the main forward facing RF concepts bullet cam. You can buy custom clamps which house the RF cameras quite snugly but i made use of my old Cullman clamp that i used to mount my camcorder on on my slr.
By tieing lots of string very tightly round the bullet camera then covering with tape, it makes a very solid secure mount. I can quickly loosen teh clamp and turn it through 180 degrees giving an above cage or through cage viewpoint (as seen in the movies here). The camera lens here is the widest you can get from RF concepts... the 2.9mm, 130' angle of view lens. This is wide but still not as wide as my external lens on my sony PC9 camcorder ..... just take a peek at my old slr movies, they stretch out distance so much that the car looks stupid fast ! Incidentally my other bullet camera (which is facing rearwards here ) uses the 3.6mm 92' lens.
The big problem with bullet cameras is the little condenser microphones that come with them. In a word ... shit ! Not only is the signal way too loud but its distorted and cuts out. Substituting for a better mic however is not that simple. If you are using extrenal cameras and not the actual camcorder camera (IYSWIM) then you require a proper preamp to boost the signal before it goes into the line-in of the camcorder. I found a neat little solution at Maplins, a stereo Microphone Preamplifier (Catalogue Page No: 716 , code QS41U).
This needs 12v so its easy to hook into the car. You plug two mono mic jacks into it and out comes an appropriate signal from two phono jacks. Thing is i've actually gone a stage further with this little box and taken the 12v feed, split it twice and mounted 2 little plugs inside the box just behind 2 drilled holes. This serves as the power for 2 bullet cameras. Also, i drilled a further 2 holes and glued some phono to BNC connectors there and inside they are wired to a central video out phono via another wire which comes out the side of the unit and runs to a standard caterham toggle switch where you can select between one camera or the other.
So basically, one box, plug in the power, plug in the bullet cameras for their own power and their video output, plug in the mic , and plug in the camcorder from the AV in and presto... everything is wired up and working. I keep this box velcroed to the bulkhead under the dash.
The micrphone i currently use is a battery powered stereo mic again from maplins. It still distorts a little but nowhere near as badly as the little RF concepts mics and I also found it best when mounted under the dash (as opposed to the boot). You can hear on my movies that the sound still isn't amazing but its an improvement. I just need one more trip to Maplins to get 2 high quality mono mics then mount them at 2 different locations which will not only give me far better quality but also a more interesting stereo mix.