Building up the de Dion tube

First job today was to fit the horns. In order to rotate them on their brackets to get the electrical connectors closer together you have to undo the central nut. Some other people had struggled with this but a quick blast with one of these:


…and they came off really easily! Hey presto, horns fitted. I’ll connect the wiring later on when I build up the headlight connectors.


So, the de Dion tube. The Caterham manual said to drill out the holes that the brake pipes mount to for clearance, so I got cracking.


I then did some swearing because the drill bit snapped off in the first hole I attempted. I scratched my head for a bit – I couldn’t get hold of the broken bit because it sheared off flush with the surface, and I didn’t want to risk drilling the hole out any bigger. Thankfully the tube is hollow with access from either end, so by using a drift and a hammer I managed to knock it through and start again.


The rest of the holes didn’t cause any issues, and the brake pipes, three-way adapter and p-clips were riveted on. The shorter brake pipe didn’t look like it would fit – the end is 90 degrees away from pointing in the right direction. A quick email to Derek confirmed this was standard Caterham and needed to be bent into shape by hand. I’m not 100% sure why this couldn’t be done when the rest of the bends are done during manufacture, but never mind. I’m getting used to having to hand finish things and that will be a big part of this being my car.


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