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  • 2 weeks later...

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Bit more time this evening, fresh eyes after a break and the disassembly continues at a steady pace....

Got the full near side suspension assembly off the car and the lower collector for manifold also is free now there is better access. I’ll take the assembly to the local garage for them to take the castle nut off, then probably cut the suspension bolt and sort the consequences if remnants are stuck in the hub.

Ideally I’d like to fit a stainless manifold and do away with the middle silencer when the rebuild starts, anyone done this on an S2, similar to the S1 set up?

Is there an ‘off the shelf’ exhaust stainless manifold or is it a visit to a workshop once the car is complete?




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The S2 exhaust system is superior to the one on the S1. Employing a middle muffler and a better rear silencer.

I've found SJ's system is good. They'll do an S2 version I'm sure.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ee-by-gum, yes I had problems removing a bolt with one side of the transaxel, though I can't remember which. It was removed using heat.

Good progress otherwise.

The left-hand side engine mount usually goes due to the exhaust heat. Best cover it with plenty of heat wrap. I also fitted a heat shield. Details in my restoration thread.

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At the other of the scale from me getting covered in cuts and bruises trying to get mine apart, how cool is this?

Roger Moore and son at the beach enjoying each other’s company on a short filming break.....

384FDE53-7925-4536-8B07-86D7EFE2546E.thumb.png.a0a3f9e50a4dc9d3e642b7d001b86dbf.pngDon’t know the owner, pls delete if it breaches any copyright etc.....

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  • 1 month later...

Been a while as the with the nice weather come gardening jobs and various distractions from making up new swear words in the garage while working on the car.

I did think how nice it must be to build a Caterham kit of new parts as opposed to bashing the hell out of old bolts / suspension parts trying to get them to separate after too long dormant.

Another three hours one evening this weekend now starting to strip down the front.

Had to take things apart in assemblies as they are just stuck fast. 

Also know why it felt so heavy, the brakes were fully seized on this side of the car, had to “bray” the calliper off and damaged my favourite piece of 2X4 wood in the process, not a happy bunny.

Everything left now (upper wishbone / damper nut / lower swing arm / hub assembly) that you see here is seized and I will need some external help to sort.

Even the bolt going through the upper box for the upper wishbone is solid and I don’t want to warp the chassis or break this in there!

On the plus side, I reckon another five or so hours and even keeping some of the front suspension in tact as I take it off, the chassis will be fully stripped.

Have to also prepare to cut the rear lower hub bolts as these are seized solid and I understand not to use hammers due to hub fragility.

I’ll be using optimol (or similar) after reassembly as I don’t ever want to face this grief again!

I may lose the option to refurb this suspension if I have to cut the top damper mount off to free up the unit….



Again needed every socket and spanner combination I had to make it happen….

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Sounds like liberal few weeks soaking in a good penetrating fluid (not WD40 which isn't), then perhaps apply heat to those those nuts and bolts.

Those rear hubs then need specific attention with a very carefully applied ad hoc press. I used combination of made up apparatus. Tricky.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Chassis is now almost done after a solid day this weekend on final disassembly…..

I still have a single front wishbone bolt that is stubbornly stuck and resisting taps from the hammer. I’m reticent to apply more force in case I warp the top mount, so will either try some heat or leave it to the chassis shop to sort.

This bolt and a couple that are stuck on the engine mount are pretty much the end of the strip down.

I’ve been working on the car (which was well progressed in terms of disassembly already) for around 6 months now, mostly a day every other weekend at a steady pace.

I under estimated the storage needed for bits as they came off the car so got some second hand eBay racking to store the last bits and bobs!

It was a great pleasure to drop by 2X forum members and catch up these past few weeks to discuss progress with their projects and put names to faces!

I’ve given the chassis a good power wash and degrease, mainly to stop me getting so filthy every time I need to move it somewhere else!

Chassis looked as surprised as me that we’d made it this far….049EAD5C-08DB-4FD0-B22E-2F3801B28723.jpeg.c6a3bbd59c9d9d1e858cd8c6d5518a6f.jpeg

Removing all the various hoses, tubing and gear levers. Several of the coolant hoses just tore off they were so perished….


Do the red circles or black circles look clearer (opticians joke)….D2A8581B-C0A8-44A3-BAAC-31C6C4333A75.jpeg.de4707377a2286266fbbfedd225d4e43.jpeg

Near side engine mount has had a big gouge put in it, maybe for the manifold?


Lots of crud came out of the various box sections….rested it vertically to allow it to drain before storing in the garage and setting the dehumidifier to maximum…..448691F5-C92A-45AC-A800-850E0D63DDEC.thumb.jpeg.81dc8b57682f2c88aa813212709ec176.jpeg

Lower box had jack damage at the front, ideally want this unpicking and repairing….

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Used these long nose pliers to ease out the grommets which were left in my original S2 ages ago after a ‘mechanic’ repaired (butchered) a water pump repair in 2003, a nice historical touch I thought….


Chassis tubes have been wrapped in exhaust tape, some surface corrosion below this…


Front dampers had to be cut off. Not sure if they are salvageable with a rebuild or just go fresh with all new coil overs based on rest of cars condition….


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Front off side anti roll bar mount has a dent, maybe the car has been knocked here.

Ideally I’d like new metal for this front bit, the U channels are a bit crusty…


The captive steering rack mount channels aren’t open at the bottom, a big water trap and filled with crud, I’m going to open these up with a small hole to allow wax in from the underside and water to drain out….


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Good progress Jonathan and this is where the rewarding bits start as thing get refinished and come back together, oh yeah and the wallet gets seriously lightened 😁

My mount area has been cut in the same place, I have a four branch fitted.

your chassis looks good so should blast up well 👍🏻

Dave :) 

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Do or do not, there is no try! 


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My steering rack slots had holes in the bottom. Ideal for manipulating the captive nut plates to align also.

Mine has an SJ four branch stainless steel exhaust system, but didn't need any modifications to the chassis.

That's not Roger Moore's son in the TSWLM Esprit BTW. Don't believe everything on the t'interweb! It is Richard Kiel's son though.



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Just remembered when I got taken on a test drive prior to buying my first S2 back in maybe 2002….

It was around South Yorkshire, some lovely countryside and quite a spirited drive by the owner.

We we’re on an elevated section of country road with big ditches either side of us, so great view but I expect there were quite a few Nissan Micras down there that just slipped in after a momentary lapse of concentration.

The vendor had partially rebuilt the car and was merrily booting it down this lane while I looked out of the passenger window………

All of a sudden, I thought:

“Hello, what’s that in the field just below us?”

“Strange”, I thought, “looks like a wheel overtaking us.”

”Similar to a Speedline, what are the chances of that…”

I watched it idly bouncing up and down as it got deeper into the field and suddenly…..


The car nosed down my side and starts to veer towards the precipice.

I braced myself as we looked like we were going over, the car possibly wanting to chase what turned out to be its own front wheel over the edge into the ditch and out into the field.

Driver applied the brakes and gently wrestled with the steering trying not to antagonise the car as slowly we ground to a halt after a couple of hundred yards going dead straight…..sparks up by my window, happy days…..

Once we had calmed down and got out, we checked the front.

He’s replaced the dust shield on the brakes that morning and then realised he’d neglected to tighten all the bolts on the wheel…… 

The brake disc had locked solid, acting as the only contact point with the road in lieu of the now absent wheel and was now ground flat down to the hub along with the new shield, as if the bottom half had been cut off by a laser.

We retrieved the wheel from deep in the ploughed field and with the help of another driver who kindly stopped to help, we managed to lift the front nose up just enough to put the wheel back.

One of those useless pieces of information we all keep in our head then saved the day and I suggested we take a single nut off each of the other wheels to attach the runaway back onto the car and gently drive home.

We got to his house and the vendor said’ “er, I expect your not interested in buying it now” but I was thinking already that maybe it was fate we’d not crashed more severely and actually this was the car for me!

Turns out my old S2 couldn’t kill me physically so went about trying to wreck me financially for the next decade in return, but I still miss that old car…..

Anyway, there is a point to this.

Do I actually need the front dust shields on the brakes or can these be left off?

Ideally I’d like to see both sides of the disc and expect not having the shields on would also help keep the brakes cooler? 



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I’ve run without shields as well Jon and never had issues. 👍

That was a lucky escape, similar happened to me with a MG metro turbo in the 90’s where the PO had fitted wheel spacers. It happened on the M5 and the wheel went across the carriageway missing all the oncoming traffic. Obviously no attempt was made to recover the wheel which disappeared into a field. I had to get RAC recovery as wrecked the hub and rear brake.

Still lucky escapes and gives us something to reminisce over 😬

Dave :) 

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Do or do not, there is no try! 


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  • 1 month later...

It’s been a while with holidays and the like since my last post.


I’d managed to get the body shell back into the garage along with the engine, chassis and all the other ancillaries while we were away but it was a tight fit.


So first job was to free up the space by getting the body back outside and tidying the garage again. I do seem to spend a lot of time just moving stuff around, I did underestimate the s p a c e you need to do this!!


At least now it’s almost stripped, there aren’t any more space considerations, as stuff goes back together it should free up racking!


First job was to completely remove the wiring loom and draw it out of the car.


I’ve mentioned it before but regardless of the state of the rest of the car (body was very good, chassis has been refurbished and is in great condition), the electrics were in a real state.

There’s evidence in a couple of places of overheating, multiple cut ends and patches and amendments.


All out now and safely on one side, I may need to give it to a supplier for use as a pattern to make a new one.

The new one I’ll add provision for relays for the windows, isolators for the fuel pump and coil and also maybe spot lights.


I’m also still thinking of a new location in the front for all the fuses and relays in one place using modern modules.

The dash bar has some relays attached that are quite hidden and I know from the SE everything had moved to the front compartment to make life easier by that stage.

I don’t have an ignition barrel with the car as it had a racing start system, I may retain this but relocate it, not decided yet….


I’m probably going to go with an electric heater and fan plus a separate new fresh air blower as mine was from an old Vauxhall and the original was long gone.

I may go with the Evans coolant as the car will be completely water free due to the strip down and I don’t really want the water circuit to be in the cabin if a simple electrical heat system can do the job instead such as posted a few pages back.

If so, I’ll seal the inlet pipes into the cabin and adapt the dash plate in the binnacle to house period switches to control the electric heat.


Radiator was mounted bolt upright and really tiny (10 inch or so), more like an S1 than an S2 (which I understood were at an angle?) I do find this really strange, I don’t think mine is a particularly early S2 so would have though it would have been S2 cooling by that stage.


The screen will be coming out but I can feed a tie wrap already through the gap, so may use old guitar string to cut it out completely.

I’ll get a new screen but it seems a pity to waste this one, someone is welcome to it if of any use.


The battery box had some unusual cracks around the mounting area, I think now I’ve managed to remove it that the weight of a modification to reinforce it with a metal box after it had been installed cracked the boot floor where it was mounted. It weighed A LOT just as an empty box, with the battery in it I can see why the grp had started to give way….


I’m going to fill the boot floor in and re-site the battery where the S1 has its unit, not to replicate the S1 but because I want a larger battery and to avoid these issues in future, as it happened on my other S2.

I’m also thinking of adding a removable rear panel on the boot floor that can be bolted in and out, using metal tubing to form the frame, for access, but not decided.


Got the horns off and released the final bolts holding the heater plenum / mount in place, but ran out of time to gently cut the sealant out so will do that next time.


I’ve just the sills to remove now to access the seatbelt mount points and I’ve started to drill these out.

I was originally going to paint the dash board bar in situ, but access was so good that I’ve removed it to have it blasted and painted properly.


There are a couple of large bolts I need my local garage to free off to allow further disassembly of the hub’s, the gearbox to separate from the engine and the above sills to take off, but then that is about it.

Then, its time to start getting parts out for refurbishment and rebuild, 10 months after starting!


Looking forward to getting the chassis done and on trestle tables in the garage then slowly adding the parts back on as they are completed.

Body wise, I’m discussing with a few experts on the best way forward for the tasks I need doing……..














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  • 1 month later...

So it’s logistics and not time that are now slowing me down……

I need to move the chassis to a repairer, there are a few options for this.

I’ve got access to a Volvo XC90 whose static load on roof bars (not those shown, they are just testers) is 75kg.

The chassis is 55kgs, but I’m just not sure about lashing to the roof of my car, has anyone done this or do I concede defeat and just rent a van?


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Made a loose collection of bits to take to a specialist for stripping and rebuilding, effectively the four hubs, three brake callipers (one has decided to stay on the rear transaxle for the moment), the steering rack and possibly the radiator and the steering column…..

It might look like a motley collection of scrap but I’d be snookered trying to assemble this lot if I didn’t already have it!

The idea will be to have the four corners of the chassis hub-wise ready to bolt back on when all this is done and I can move the chassis for refurb….

Anyone know if the metal bushes on the rear gearbox hangers ever need replacing??


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The gearbox suspension bushes can work forwards under engine load and weak or broken engine mounts. However mine were solid and re-used. I left the replacements for the next owner if they ever are needed. Your choice.

You need to refurb that brake caliper! Best done as a pair.

I took my chassis on the back of a pal's flatbed Transit van.

I sent the steering rack to Killey-Clinton in Birmingham. Very reasonable and prompt service. Staffed by ex-Burman employees (the original manufacturer).


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