What you will find here: Intended to display minor modifications to my Westfield SEi, this blog now witnesses the two year rebuild (and more) after a major crash in October 2011. Have fun and feel free to add a comment at the end of any post.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Car bench

Chassis is fixed on the car bench and looks almost ok. Some minor things to finish and it should be ready tomorrow. All the rails could be reused, some weldseams have been renewed. On one pic, the water level is visible. All in all, the chassis might even be straighter than when it came off the line at Westfield...

Monday, November 28, 2011


The chassis is in good hands (hopefully). When loading it into the truck, it appeared how small and light it is. We fixed it with some lashing straps to shelves on wheels to easily manouevre it. At Carrosserie Palanca in Ehlerange (Luxembourg), they will check what exactly has to be done to straighten the frame. They call tomorrow for a quotation and delivery date.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Roll out

Few last things to put out of the chassis. But one very big one. The typical Saturday afternoon job together with Max and Pit.
Lightweight explained with a live example:
Chassis ready for delivery:
It is planned to carry the chassis to a specialized company next Monday. They will submit a quotation and evaluate the overall condition of the chassis and the possible repair. Then it will be straightened and the rebuild can be started. This is not the end of the first half, but maybe only 10% of the whole work. The rebuilt will take a lot more time and effort. Wish me luck and perseverance!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Appointment fixed for next week to straighten the chassis, the engine and gearbox must come out. A motor crane is a good thing to do so and RC-Machines has this little thing amongst theirs products. It can lift a ton with the shortest jib and still 250kg with the longest, far enough for a small engine like mine even with the gearbox attached.
The motor positioner helps balancing the weight and allows to keep the engine straight. Putting it in situ I noticed that the carbs could be damaged. Five bolts lesser and they were out of the way. Everything is ready now but I wait for the weekend to have my sons with me to do the demount. I never did it, they never did it, so it will be great fun to do it together... learning by doing. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Parts order #1

The fun part of this all is when you can pick up the phone, call the manufacturer of your car and order a lot of stuff. Just like Christmas... a little bit earlier. With weight saving on my mind, I ordered the uprights (wheel carrier) and the hubs made of aluminium. Plus all the small parts like nuts, washers, grease caps and a complete ball joint set and steering rack rod ends. And like you can see further down in an earlier thread, the wide track kit (X-mas offer 299.-£ instead of 457.-£).
The disease is called 'upgraditis' and when it hits you, you cannot stop with just replacing what is broken. Every part you take in your hand (and when stripping a car you hold EVERY part in your hand) you think about how you could replace it with a better, lighter or cleverer part. But I will try really hard not to exaggerate... well, we'll see ;-)  Have a look at the pedal box I ordered yesterday:
Looks cool, doesn't it?  I'm curious to see how it will fit the car as I have to convert from hanging pedals to a floor mounted box. This system has two separate brake cylinders for the front and rear brakes with a bias bar to set the ratio between the two axles. The clutch will remain cable-operated, but it could be upgraded to hydraulic as well.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ready for take-out

The KN Jupiter rims are mine! They have to get a polish before I use them, but for 27 year old aluminium rims, they look very much ok. Back to work after that because I'm still very far away from mounting wheels...
Have a look at this bracket:
I don't know if this is of legal requirement, but I know that without an angle grinder you cannot remove it, and then again you cannot remove the two lower bolts fixing the differential to the chassis. So next time I will take some more tools to the workshop to free the diff.
Chassis now free from
- brake lines
- pedal box
- inner panels
- handbrake
- gear lever
and engine detached ready to be taken out together with the gearbox.
Next move: buying the motor crane!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

KN Jupiter

A lot of thinking already goes into the rebuilt, and I mean A LOT OF THINKING. With some options to make it an even better car, I'm tempted to make it lighter, just as Colin Chapman would have done. There is the possibility of adding aluminium front uprights, aluminium hubs and lighter wheels. And with the car completely nude, it makes sense to do so right now. A first step might be above pictured rim. I will have a closer look at a set of four coming Saturday. They look like the original Caterham rims back in the eighties, namely KN Jupiter. The size is 6x13, so they are quite small (and light) compared to the now popular monster wheels. With tires 185 front and 205 rear, weight saving is around 20kg (4 wheels). I will weigh every part and compare with what was bolted to the car before to get a precise picture of what can be saved weight-wise.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Three 's a crowd

A productive Saturday thanks to precious help from my sons.
Radiator and fan - out,
fuel-pump and filter - out,
rear panel - out,
rear suspension and half axles - out,
and finally (for today) loom - out... which is just a small wooden box full off cables, switches, relays and sensors. Not so easy to get it out, but most certainly a major headache to get everything in place again.
The rearside of the chassis almost empty now (except for the diff and brake lines).
The scuttle now bare of cables, panels and everything mounted like the coolant expansion tank.
Damage to the rails clearly visible, upper triangle and side rails.

Not that much left before the engine and gearbox can come out. Some inner panels, the brake and fuel lines, the oil cooler and maybe some smaller things I only will find out.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Short uncertainty

Although I haven't finished stripping the car (and still waiting for the insurance company to pay), I start to investigate for prices and availability of parts. When asking for new wishbones, a call at Westfield Sportscars made me uncertain whether they may still be available. After sending them all the details and a photo with measurements, the sales person double-checked with other staff members and confirmed they still are produced (pheeew...). They even have a special offer until Christmas for the wide track conversion (see below).
This kit adds 50mm of track width per side (for a total of 100mm) and it's price is even lower than what I would have to pay for the standard track wishbones. Decisions, decisions... I'm nervously looking forward to place that big order and wait for the goods to arrive. Well, patience is not really one of my virtues.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dashboard out

Some more stripping done tonight, the dashboard and some other panels are out now. I labeled almost all of the cables which should be of help when I rebuild the car. The new loom will be custom made with all new cabling. Ripping out the pedal box was some work, especially getting the brake master cylinder and the clutch cable off.
More to come (off) next weekend.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


This morning the right side came off as well. First the front suspension, then the side panel. It's almost see-through with only some panels left. Two days off now to recover and plan further steps.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Some more dismantling made today. Quite a progress, although it is obvious that reassembling will not be as easy. One has to get into the logics of the builder when stripping the car. The alloy panels are very thin and can easily be damaged. That's why I started with the left panel already bent beyond repair.
Rear view with the tank removed:
 Left side without panel, scuttle, windshield, exhaust and front suspension:
Without the panel, the damage to the frame is now visible:
View of bent front rail, not very visible in this pic, but in real it got quite some strain.
Next time I work on the car, I will start to strip the right front suspension and the rear axle. If possible, I try to leave us much parts assembled as possible when removing. Then the right alloy panel will be removed very carefully as it is almost not damaged. Just a slight bent where the flasher was mounted. The dashboard will follow and then the engine compartment.