I wanted to get a Caterham Build Tools list all in one place that was easy to follow. Every build is different, you don´t have to get the exact tools that I did. I used all of the below at some point, but there are lots of options. This post is a bit long but is the full list of tools I actually used for my build. Caterham partnered with Draper to offer a tool kit for 500 quid or so, which is a valid option, but I thought it looked a bit minimal and wanted to build my own and keep. You could regard some of the below as overkill and could certainly do the build on less, but I felt it was important to have everything I needed.
Historically I’ve always been fond of power tools, but doing this gives me the chance to get plenty to fill up the Clarke HD Tool Cabinet and Tool Chest that I already had. I’ve also got a couple of Clarke cabinets that help with other storage.
- Mobile axle stands. Two of these. They look similar to the CJAutos ones which are preferred by other bloggers, but are half the price and have worked well.
- Trolley jack. Definitely overcooked it a bit here, but I prefer to have more than I need. No way this isn’t going to go high enough!
- Load leveller and two of these lifting hooks
- Creeper/seat – already saving my knees.
- I rented the engine hoist from a local tool hire company
Sockets and Spanners
After some deliberation I went with the Halfords Advanced range and I was glad I did. This is exceptionally well priced for the quality and was recommended by several people I spoke to. Having completed my build I would vouch for this range 100%, it is solid. They come with a lifetime guarantee. I also believe Halfords Advanced now partner with Caterham racing as a further endorsement. Here’s the list of what I got – not all may be necessary, but why not :
- Socket sets and ratchets- 1/4 , 3/8 and 1/2 inch drive.
- Imperial socket set
- Socket adapters, 1/2 to 3/8.
- Imperial hex keys, a 10mm hex (for engine) and 14mm hex (for differential)
- Imperial spanners and drill bits
- Torque Wrenches. The 60 (12-60Nm, 3/8in drive) and 100 (20-100Nm, 1/2in drive). These cover everything you need. The only nuts higher are the 270Nm rear hub nuts – for this you can use a Clarke PRO238 Torque Adapter as one of the nuts tightens anticlockwise. This hopefully saves you the hundred quid that I spent on this monster! (The thing is huge, it doesn’t even fit in my tool cabinet.)
- Ratchet spanners are great. I bought normal head and flexi head
- Screwdriver and hex tray
- Plier set
- Battery charger – although I have cut-off switch, this has come in useful already on the Caterham and other cars.
Assorted Other Tools
In addition I bought some other equipment, largely from Amazon. Please note if you follow any link below to Amazon, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This has no impact on the price you pay.
- Face mask and filters. You also need these and the retaining clips. Will also double up for an apocalypse (sentence written November 2019 ….this went out of stock during March – June 2020!) It is an expensive set up but I thought important
- Pin punch set – incredibly useful
- Cable cutters – use ones like this to avoid a sharp burr at the end of your cable ties that will slice you later – one of my best purchases
- Nylon Hammer and rubber mallet.
- Dremel and metal grinding stones
- Pry bars
- Drill – my old one gave up halfway through so I upgraded to the latest
- Ball end hex set
- Heat gun for heat shrink on wiring (headlights in particular)
- Terminal Extraction Tools – these are great for taking apart econoseal connectors
- Quick grips
- Crows foot spanners – I needed these to access an obstructed harness bolt
- Tap and Die set. To clean out threads (typically where paint gets sprayed in). Makes a big difference. Even used it setting up the axle stands!
- Storage boxes to decant packs of fasteners into, stackable on the workbench and easier access than the bags with A4 cardboard inserts.
- Bench vice
- Sealey pressure brake bleeding system and brake bleeding bottle – you can do it with a bit of tube and an assistant. Some may view this as overkill. But as you can see, the brakes can be a bit tricky and as a first timer I wanted to do it properly. Got a nice firm pedal with this and will use it when I replace fluid
- Hole punch pliers
- For the rear hubs – 42mm socket and adapter to 1/2in, 41mm socket
- Econoseal crimping tool – to make new econoseal terminals (buy the terminals on caterhamparts.co.uk)
- Torque adaptor – goes up to 360Nm, both ways, needed for rear hub nuts. This is circa 50 quid to tighten two nuts. Always an option to leave it for Post Build Check, up to you!
- Rivet gun – for fixing rivets. Bought mine from Screwfix for 30 quid, Amazon seems cheaper!
Last part of the Caterham build tools list :
- 3M Dual Lock – for securing number plates to the car chassis. 1m is enough, no need to buy two of these.
- Comma Copper Grease – heatproof grease as described in Nuts and bolts section
- Comma High Performance Bearing Grease – for front ARB balls and cups
- Electrical Terminals – used for rear number plate light, handy to have spare
- Eye wash – in case of any issues with sprays etc getting in eyes
- Gloves – these are quite pricey but extremely long lasting. I use them for various DIY now and they are good
- Gloves (surgical) – great for handling harmful fluids (brake, coolant, superglue), coppaslip, grease etc. I prefer safelincs to amazon – about half the price, nothing like a global pandemic to drive up prices!
- Grommets for headlights – Caterham supplied ones are not right size!
- Hammerite Smooth Black paint – for touching up any scratches or scuffs on the black metalwork
- Heat shrink for headlights : 13mm, 10mm and 8mm
- Heat shrink for front repeaters : 4mm 2:1
- Clear tubing to protect repeater wire entering body : 4mm inner dia, 6mm outer dia
- Holts Silicone Spray – RL2R rubber lubricant as recommended by Caterham
- Loctite 243 – various different types of Loctite are available. 242 is slightly less oil tolerant than 243. 248 (the blue stick) is commonly sold in shops but has slightly lower breakaway torque vs 243. Caterham recommend 243 so I’ve gone with that. You only need 10ml max, so no need to buy 50ml!
- Marker pen for torqued bolts
- P clips – 5mm for holding wires out of way (rear lights)
- Silicone Sealant – 500 options available, went with translucent Unibond 2493986 in the end as I didn’t want rubbish stuff flaking off.
- Spray on glue for carpets
- Any replacement bolts/nuts I used Westfield Fasteners
- Rivets and Washers. Bought these as spares, you may not need, but I had some missing in pack
- Tar remover – noticed some tar on the underside of the car after it had been taken out for a spin during PBC. This stuff worked wonders on getting it out
- Window cleaner – self explanatory
- Yacht Varnish – for varnishing bottom of wooden boot floor.
That is it all the Caterham build tools you need!