Getting Started (A Complete Mechanical Novice!)

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robsandbach
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Getting Started (A Complete Mechanical Novice!)

I wanted to introduce myself as I have recently become the very proud owner of an ex-academy car. Having had the privilege of owning some high powered cars over the years I recently decided to stop trying to find a commuter-trackday "all rounder" by trading in my Alfa Romeo Giulia Q for a Model 3 and the C7 - both very different propositions but both fulfilling their remit perfectly!

I have zero experience with hands on mechanics and learning these skills is part of the journey for me, along with upgrading the car through the championship pathway as I become more competent and capable. I am hoping to learn to feel the benefits of better suspension, anti roll bars, LSD etc as my car control skills improve one step at a time. An exciting journey ahead :)

A 5 hour trip back from Gatwick to Manchester made me realise I am going to struggle to get on with the Tillet seats so my first self assigned challenge is to swap them for some standard leather ones and perhaps the roll cage for a roll bar at the same time - just to make the car just a little more comfortable.

Having zero experience or tools to assist me I was going to start with the Draper tool set from Caterham - would that be a wise move?

Any advice much appreciated - along with everything/anything else you would recommend purchasing, reading, considering or doing!

TomB
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If I were you, Id look at Halfords Professional range of tools with the club 10% discount.  They frequently come up in the stores with discounts, so if you can hold off and keep your eye open, you'll probably get them for around half price.  I started off with one of these sets when I first got the car, and they are in regular use 15 years later.

https://www.halfords.com/workshop-tools/tools/tool-kits/halfords-advanced-100-pc-socket-set

or 

https://www.halfords.com/workshop-tools/tools/socket-sets/halfords-advanced-150-pc-socket-spanner-set

 

Tony Leigh
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Rob,

I have just completed my car build and went with the socket and spanner set from Halfords (professional range) that TomB suggested and added other tools as required, to my existing small collection of tools I had collected over the years when doing DIY, tinkering with bikes, etc.

You will need a torque wrench (maybe a couple to cover whole range), a low profile trolley jack, and axle stands. I had quite a few tools bought for Xmas / Birthday, so you could suggest Halfords voucher or tools for Xmas. For specialist tools there is a ‘loan’ list on the forum, where members loan out tools for free.

I would suggest meeting up with your area group and chatting to them (if you haven’t already). I think most areas meet monthly.

I believe the Draper set is pretty good value but if you don’t need all the tools at once you could well get them cheaper and buy them as required rather than in one go.

Good luck with your journey.

Tony

Tony Leigh

Jonathan Kay
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Welcome.

Advice

Would you like a copy of the appropriate Assembly Guide and Handbook? If so please send me a Private Message with your email address and details of the Seven.

There's some great advice in the archives but some Members have problems finding it. The best method I know is to use the site-restricted Google search as in the second link in my Signature below.

After some great work a lot of Low Flying is now available online. First link in my Signature.

Get To Know Your Seven meetings are sometimes organised.

But if in doubt just ask.

Jonathan

Jonathan Kay
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Tools

As above. Plus a multimeter.

Getting the right jack can make things a bit easier, low entry is useful, but do you want something lightweight?

Recent discussion of torque wrenches for Sevens, with, IMHO, some clear favourites.

Halfords voucher, and NB this can often be used in addition to their sales and offers.

Equipment for Loan Register.

Jonathan

robsandbach
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Looks like my previous post went missing!

A big thank you to everyone for their advice. I'll be picking up the 150 piece set and the Advanced Torque Wrench from Halford's tomorrow. Next job to figure out the best way to remove the roll cage and seats in anticipation of a new set being installed - pretty excited.

Thank you again for the warm welcome - I'll report back!

jonathantennant...
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Hi

I've had a few  ex-academy cars over the years, and like you have swopped Tillets for leather, cage for bar. 

What age is the car ? As it's an ex race car does it still have a transponder fitted ? 

My last 7,  I had removed the cage fitted, fitted a roll bar  some leather seats and some carpets...... Sold it to a guy who wanted to track the car and wanted a cage and Tillets !!!

 

 

robsandbach
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Hi Jonathan,

I'm not the only one then! I wouldn't consider myself hugely overweight but my God do those seats pinch the rib cage after half an hour or so! It was built in 2017, raced in 2018. I am trying to find the results to learn where it finished but I can only find the 2019 results. It does still have the transponder fitted and I had a VBox fitted

Picked up the Halford's Kit and Torque wrench this morning and I've managed to source a bar and seats so it's just a case of collecting them and then getting stuck in with the assembly manual Jonathan kindly sent yesterday!

TomB
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Beware, seats can be really tricky, especially if you are swopping runners, or going from adjustable to non adjustable runners or vice versa.  Holes in runners rarely seem to line up with the old holes in the floor and/ or the supporting bracket, non captive bolts through the floor can turn, runners can foul seat belt mounts if your swopping runner types.  They are large and can be unwieldy if your taking them in and out of the car to line things up.  Expect it to take some time, lots of fiddling and swearing, possibly needing a drill or dremel. 

If non of the above happens, consider it a bonus, but prepared for a ballache of a  task just incase! 

 

Alan Bowler
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Tillets are a little tight for me on the road, but I'm happier with them on track. On the road, the pads available from various sources (or a strategically placed bit of cheap rubber camping mat in my case) push you forward a little, giving you a bit more space for ribs/shoulders. Might be worth a try before ditching the Tillets...  unless they are just WAY too small for you.

 

Stridey
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I'd also suggest getting electrical bits and bobs too. (I find fiddling with electrics satisfying)... Good wire,  a selection of connectors, crimping tool, shrinking tubes, soldering iron, multimeter...

various simple jobs, fan override, 12v socket, turn signal beeper, etc. Worth having just in case..,skills often help you work out any electrical issues over time.