72 posts / 0 new
Last post
Harrisonbingham
Harrisonbingham's picture
Offline
Last seen: 15 hours 19 min ago
Joined: 25/06/2020
Newby Advice

Hello everyone,

Newbie here looking for some advice as I’m about to take the plunge and buy myself a Caterham. I've been trying to access the guides for the last few days but it doesn't seem to want to let me in.

Plans are to use it for leisurely driving on weekends, but really I plan to track it as many times as I can afford to do so!

I guess what I’m hoping to understand is what the “must haves” are, or the things you wished you knew before you bought your Caterham. Especially from a track day perspective.

In terms of spec I’m looking for a 310S or R300 I think as these look to provide a good balance of performance for the cost. (Max I want to spend is £28,000.) I presume a LSD is on this list of “must haves.” I’m also interested in the braking feel; I’ve seen an uprated brake master cylinder as an option. I’m looking for something with short pedal travel and quite a firm feel. If anyone could tell me what force (kg/lbs) is required for threshold breaking that would be really helpful. I’m used to up to 65kg of force required on the pedal so ideally looking around this mark for it to feel “normal.”

Those are the main things that spring to my mind that I think I probably can’t do without. But beyond that other options that seem like they might be preferable:

Sport suspension;
Lowered floors;
Aero screen;
Rear ARB; (very interested in how much difference this makes - how easy are things like this to retrofit. Then is it fixed or can it be adjusted track side?)

Beyond that I guess the other things I’m thinking about are:

Insurance;
Helmet/safety; interested in thoughts on HANS devices and/or alternatives. The idea of wearing a helmet in a racing harness without neck support worries me a little. I've seen mention of a Simpson harness but seems much more more expensive than HANS.

...I think that might be all of my questions for now.

Anyhow, I look forward to (hopefully) becoming part of this community, and hopefully I be able to get moved into my new house (garage required before purchase possible) and a car in it before the Croft meet to come and join some of the Northeners!

Derek Batty
Derek Batty's picture
Online
Last seen: 5 min 45 sec ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

Go out test drive as many as poss ,,,when you can go to local seven meeting ,talk to owners ,, poss a few give you a run out in diff cars ,,,,poss hire one for a weekend , 

I bought a SV  as only use for touring ,so the extra space seating ,,footwell  and boot is great ,, but think if it is mainly for track days ,,,,not sure but think standard cockpit ,suits better ,,SV poss bit dearer ,in diff models ,,but we do trip round Scotland every year poss 1500 miles in ten days ,,no problem 

mind you lot of that could be down to the odd whiskey when we pull in for the night 

Derek

enjoy looking for a seven 

K7 VCT
K7 VCT's picture
Offline
Last seen: 50 min 22 sec ago
Joined: 17/04/2014
Welcome , I can vouch for a 310s, with a lsd, 13 inch 6 & 8 rims, lowered floors, removable momo wheel. Its all good, the sigma 310 reminds me of my breathed on 1.4 k super sport in the way it loves to rev. Be sure to try before you buy a few cars. Happy looking. Best of luck

Orange is my new black

Ballistic orange 310s
Harrisonbingham
Harrisonbingham's picture
Offline
Last seen: 15 hours 19 min ago
Joined: 25/06/2020

Thanks Derek. I'm 6ft 2 but had mainly been looking for a non-SV under the idea I'd put up with any un-comfort for the weight saving/cost saving. Maybe I need to test drive one of each!

Harrisonbingham
Harrisonbingham's picture
Offline
Last seen: 15 hours 19 min ago
Joined: 25/06/2020

Thanks for the feedback!

To add on it looks like I need to be conscious of what roll bar the car has if I want to go on Club track days. Is there a guide anywhere with pictures of conforming/non conforming roll bars so I know what I'm looking for?

Derek Batty
Derek Batty's picture
Online
Last seen: 5 min 45 sec ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

One of the old mags did a great  right up on all the roll bars ,,,but not sure how to find it ,,,try drive in a standard seven and an SV back to back if poss ,,,give you good idea ,I'm only a short arse so no problem for me ,,,,if you go out with the other half ,to me intercom set is a must ,

derek 

Harrisonbingham
Harrisonbingham's picture
Offline
Last seen: 15 hours 19 min ago
Joined: 25/06/2020


Thank you. Will look into intercoms although I don't think I'll be doing any long trips with the other half other than on occasion.

Golf Juliet Tango
Offline
Last seen: 23 min 7 sec ago
Joined: 17/04/2014
Welcome.

Certainly drive both an S3 & an SV.

Stephen

Democratic dissent is not disloyalty, it is a positive civic duty

timb2117
timb2117's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 26/04/2020

Hiya i'd try a couple, sv and non sv. Probably go the screen (i've had both) the practicality is so much better and you also get a degree of protection from road / track debris too as soft tyres running hot flick up a ton of stuff. Im 6 ft and the SV was definitely the way to go, not really about comfort just plain driveability, heel toeing, pedal fit etc. try to not buy any accessories or have too many pre conceived ideas pre purchase, they are so unique that owning/ driving then adjusting is the way to go. Rear arb can make a big differnece on my de dion it allows adjustability to balance front/ rear, understeer/ oversteer, the sweet spot for track is personal and therefore the more adjustment the better. You could adjust trackside just a couple of spanners. Factor in some sticky tyres too.... Oh and welcome - you'll love it!

SM25T
SM25T's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 30 min ago
Joined: 17/04/2014

Scotland North AR
Scotland North AR's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 26 min ago
Joined: 01/05/2015

Hi, good luck on getting the right thing. I'm 6ft 2 and 15st. and can't fit in an S3 at all. Can't get in the driver's side and only one buttock on the seat in the passenger side. As mentioned by others, best to have a test drive in an S3 and an SV of different power outputs and see what suits. Not sure whether you will lose much speed wise with the weight of an SV overall, building up skill in either will be the biggest differentiator.

I've done plenty of 2-3,000 mile trips in a week/ten days and can say that the SV has been very comfortable for that.....not sure I would have got past the end of the street in an S3 with all the touring gubbins in an S3.

Whatever you get you can be assured to thoroughly enjoy it. 

 

Nigel Simpson,

07484 173733

Scotland North AR