New Cornish Atom 3 300

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Fastlane
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New Cornish Atom 3 300

Post by Fastlane » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:33 pm

As per my post on the wanted section, I am now the proud owner of AlanP's old 2008 Atom 3, which I picked up 16th September from the factory and drove the 130 miles South down to Truro. What a cracking car! It replaces a lovely Zanzibar Red 996 C4 which, although it looked beautiful, wasn't very exciting to drive. I have previously owned a couple of VX220s and a Westfield, and whilst the Atom is on a different level in terms of performance, it can still potter around quite happily too.

The previous owner bought it from AlanP last Summer and he only managed 600 miles in it - he has sold it to make way for a new Lamborghini Huracan Performante. He had just sent it down to the factory to have a service, MOT, new Kumhos all round and a handbrake fitted - a total of £2400. Steve Rooke at the factory spent well over 2 hours with me in total when I went up to the factory to look at it and then again to collect it, having done a very good deal with the last owner after he settled the bill with Ariel. Steve collected me from the station and even fitted a new crankshaft pulley for free as the old one was rusty. Steve is great guy whose passion shines through.

The car's spec is as follows (around £57k in total):

• 15,750 miles with full Ariel service history
• Big Alcon brakes front and rear (with newly fitted handbrake)
• Brake bias adjuster
• Quaife LSD
• Dymag wheels
• New Kuhmos all round
• Carbon factory Tillet seats
• 5 point Willlans harness for driver and passenger
• Factory Carbon front and rear wings
• Cat by pass and original cat
• Adjustable Bilsteins
• Two piece spring kit
• Stainless fixings
• Aero deflectors
• Battery charger
• Passenger foot rest
• Lockable fuel cap
• TomTom Rider sat nav
• 12v lighter socket
• SPA steering wheel with shift lights (which unfortunately obscures my view of the top half of the instruments)
• Immobiliser
• Intercom
• Protection kits to nose, roll hoop, chassis and wishbones
• 3.5 steering upgrade
• 3.5 carbon dash panel upgrade
• 2 bonnets & 2 air boxes - one set black, one set purple/green reflex paint

Since I bought it, I have added:

• Raffenday self-cancelling indicator kit, which was supplied by the previous owner. This was very easy to fit and looks factory.
• Clear fog light - I bought a full reversing light unit for £15 from Amazon (HELLA 2ZR 003 315-041 Reverse Light) as I couldn't find just the lens, and bought the red 382 bulb from Euro Car Parts for £3.
• Wipac smoked LED light set - Steve mentioned these and a few owners have fitted them (both the smoked and clear versions). I bought these via eBay https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/263427235755 for £108. To fit these I drilled the light mounts (I used the old lamp holders as templates) with a 3.5 mm drill. I cut off the connectors on the LEDs so I could solder them to the wires on the car. As per the factory, I used heat shrink to cover the joins.

Since I bought it the weather has been lovely and so I have been driving it as much as I can and have added 750 miles to it! I have to say it is so nice to be back in a car where you can smell, hear and feel what it going on around you. I am also delighted to be back in a British car which is built down here in the South West.

Are there any other Atom/Nomad owners down here in Cornwall?
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Karl V
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Re: New Cornish Atom 3 300

Post by Karl V » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:49 pm

Welcome aboard fella!

Glad to hear you've fallen for Rookie's charm as much as the car's.

A man can own multiple Ariel products, but there's only one Rookie ;-)

I'm not based in the South West myself, but do like to visit! If you could do something about those tractors, I'll pop down more regularly.

Keep the posts coming...

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Re: New Cornish Atom 3 300

Post by Fastlane » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:23 pm

Thanks Karl.

Re. tractors (and tourists) down here, that's why I bought an Atom - so I can overtake them as quickly as possible...

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Re: New Cornish Atom 3 300

Post by Alex Brandon-Smith » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:35 am

Nice work Fastlane. Looks like we'll have to organise a trip to Cornwall in the not too distant future! :vroom:
310=325! That'll be the Presidential Remap kicking in... :vroom:

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Re: New Cornish Atom 3 300

Post by Fastlane » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:50 am

Thanks Alex. I'd be up for the "Cornish Congregation"! There are some cracking roads (and pubs) down here, as I'm sure many people know. Probably need to wait until the Spring now though... :tu:

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Re: New Cornish Atom 3 300

Post by cheeky_chops » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:36 pm

welcome! I also owned a VX220 previously, a 2.2 for a year and a VXR220 for nearly 10 years! Couple of years without and had my 3.5 310 since June, awesome car!

Can i ask about the "Raffenday self-cancelling indicator kit"? One thing that annoys and worries me is that a sometimes forget to cancel the indicators....

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Re: New Cornish Atom 3 300

Post by Fastlane » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:29 pm

cheeky_chops wrote:welcome! I also owned a VX220 previously, a 2.2 for a year and a VXR220 for nearly 10 years! Couple of years without and had my 3.5 310 since June, awesome car!

Can i ask about the "Raffenday self-cancelling indicator kit"? One thing that annoys and worries me is that a sometimes forget to cancel the indicators....
The VXR220 is a cracking car. I remember seeing the prototype at the FOS in 2003.

A member on here persuaded Raffenday (who make the looms for Ariel I believe) to produce a self cancelling kit for the Atom a few years ago. If you search on here you'll find out more. I don't think they still make them but they do come up for sale on here from time to time.

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6 months in...

Post by Fastlane » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:14 pm

Well it's now 6 months since I bought my Atom and I have just been out in it for the first time today since last year - God I've missed it! I managed 1700 miles in it before putting it away in November, although I managed a couple of short trips out in it, the last one being 9th December.

When I bought the car, I knew that I'd like to do a few jobs to it. So, in January I put it on axle stands and gradually worked through my list. I have added in the costs below for reference.

Remove wheels, calipers and discs so I can eradicate 17k miles of rusty stone chips from the:
- Front and rear wishbones and push rods
- Driveshafts
- Front and rear indicator brackets
- Front towing eye and towing eye bracket
The factory recommends painting with smooth Hammerite satin black (in a tin)
I also cleaned off and painted the front and rear disc bells - from my research, Hammerite can cope with the heat.
£50 including paint, brushes and attachments for my Dremel

My initial finish wasn't fantastic (too many brush marks - probably because it was too cold in my garage) but I had a brainwave and discovered that body polish/swirl remover applied with a microfibre towel removes the brush marks and shines up the Hammerite really well. Who knew?!

After painting the driveshafts I replaced the CV joint boot clips with genuine Jubilee/Oetiker clips
£20

Repair small cracks in middle section of both the tea tray and the engine cover (local GRP specialist did this and repainted them too)
£100

Get wheel arches wrapped to hide cracks in gel coat (local company). Probably get them done properly at some point now I have found a GRP specialist.
£120

Polish rear silencer (again)

Clean up wheel nuts with the Dremel - they clean up really well and look good against my newly refurbished wheels

Clean up Dzus fasteners with the Dremel and replace rubber washers (sourced from the factory)
£3 for a bag of rubber washers

Replace off side front wheel bearing (only discovered this after I removed the disc). I removed the hub it and took it up to the factory to be replaced as I didn't want the hub damaged. (Steve showed me two that had been "done" by a garage for another owner and both hubs were crushed when they had been held in a vice - it needed two new hubs at £1200!)
£108

Whilst visiting the factory I saw the factory 3.5R and AlanPs new 3.5R - both looked lovely with black wheels, black (albeit carbon fibre) panels and yellow decals. I really like the black and yellow Roof Boxxer helmet that I bought back in September and as my car already has the wings, I decided to go with a 3.5R black and yellow theme for mine...

Refurbish Dymags in satin black (by Steve Turner, based in Wiltshire, formerly production manager for Dymag who alos crack tested them).
£370

3.5R bonnet and air intake cover decals in yellow - from the factory, but fitted locally.
2 x Decals £95(!), fitting £20

Alan had never had the 310 remap done, so as I had now spent far more than I originally planned, I rang Steve to ask him how much. He confirmed the cost of £300 but said the throttle body would need cleaning too. So I removed the ECU and throttle body and headed back up to the factory.
£311 (including the remap, cleaning the TB and a new gasket, which I thought was damn good value)

Still to do:
Rocker cover refurb. in original red crackle paint by Spooner Restorations (including replacing the gasket with genuine Honda gasket)
Refurb £130 (exchange inc postage), £55 for gasket set

Schroth 3" harness pads x 4 (the car has Willans 5 point harnesses but no harness pads. Willans do a set but they are black & white - I want black & yellow, and they 1/2 the price of the Willans ones)
£21 (arriving tomorrow)

You'll notice that it also has a new reg number - I have had that plate for many years.

So all in all, it has cost me c.£1400 and I am really happy with it now. I have also really enjoyed getting to know the car.

I enclose a few pictures of it today at Sennen Cove, 1.5 miles from Land's End but far nicer, in sunny Cornwall.
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simonrhart
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Re: New Cornish Atom 3 300

Post by simonrhart » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:32 pm

Looks really nice in the black with the yellow decals. Nice job!

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Re: New Cornish Atom 3 300

Post by CAG3D » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:00 pm

Where can we buy decals from? I’d like to change the colour of mine....


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Re: New Cornish Atom 3 300

Post by AlanP » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:09 pm

It's quite moving looking at the pictures and reading that! I had some fantastic experiences in that car that will live with me forever, it has really has got a place in my heart. I'm so glad it's being looked after and enjoyed. It was always the most reliable, beautiful and dependable car and SO much fun. I loved it.

Alan

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Re: New Cornish Atom 3 300

Post by Fastlane » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:25 am

Simon - thank you, I am very happy with it.

CAG3D - The factory sells them in various colours. Whilst they are expensive at £95, they are factory original. However, the local company who fitted mine said they could make and fit the same decals made out of the same material (Oracal) for £50! I dare say a local company to you could do the same...

Hi Alan. It is such a lovely car that I feel duty bound to continue to give it the same love and attention that you did. I'll drive it up to the factory in September for its annual service. Steve commented that it is always good to see RAM500!

How's your lovely new Atom - all fixed?

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Re: New Cornish Atom 3 300

Post by AlanP » Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:31 am

Tim,

The car looks really great. RAM500, 500th chassis or 500th Atom who knows, pretty cool either way.

A

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Re: New Cornish Atom 3 300

Post by Fastlane » Thu May 02, 2019 6:53 am

Spooner Restoration have been very busy and so I have only just received my refurbished rocker cover, which I fitted last night. It's pretty straightforward, the hardest part is removing the old, and fitting the new, spark plug seals. I also I bought some Hondabond HT gasket sealant to replicate the factory's use of it in a couple of areas around the gasket to (hopefully) ensure it doesn't leak.

I enclose some before and after shots.
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Re: New Cornish Atom 3 300

Post by AlanP » Thu May 02, 2019 7:59 am

Wow.

That is a bloody lovely car...

A

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