Three months on from the build and time to do a look back at some statistics…
It’s been three very cold and wet months since I got the car on the road. We’ve had the Beast From The East and it’s lesser sibling, The Mini Beast From The East, along with a bunch of rain and a good dose of a stinker of a cold that kept me inside for too long.
Suffice to say I’ve not been out in the car much. As I write this (end of March 2018) the car only has about 160 miles on the clock and 70 of those were in the last 3 days. There’ll be more on that in a future post though.
In the meantime, how about some build stats? I get asked the usual questions a lot – how fast, how much, how heavy etc etc. But I also get asked a lot about how long it took to build…
… and I’m glad you asked, I say 🙂
So, as well as keeping a Blog on this website while I was building, I also kept a written record of how much time I was spending, both on the website and on the build. I also totted up a few other items in case anyone’s interested. The numbers are “about right”… I think. Don’t quote me to the second, I may have missed recording a time and had to think back as to how long it took, but I don’t think I missed anything big, or I’m too wildy out.
Some High Level Statistics
|Visits to the dealer, Williams||7|
|Visits to Caterham||1|
|Pictures added to Blog||601|
|Emails to Caterham||58|
|Emails from Caterham||35|
|GigaBytes of storage used (mostly video)||877|
|Words in Blog||83,869|
I think most of those stats speak for themselves, but lets run through them for the insomniacs amongst you…
Build Hours – 162
For many of you aspiring builders, this is the only number you’re interested in:
162 hours to build a car
That’s a lot longer than I thought it would take… and also a lot longer than Caterham tell you it will take.
Double what I had hoped.
Where did all the time go…? Well there’s more detail below if you really want to the gorey mess of it… but in the end, it went into the “fun” of it. I really enjoyed the build and I probably took longer because I was enjoying getting it all done the way I thought it should be done, and not just the quickest way.
It also seemed to take forever to get over the final line. Endless jobs to tidy and do the IVA tasks. In the end I did just about everything I could find that was required by IVA. Perhaps all of them weren’t necessary but the way I look at it – it passed first time!
Could you do it faster – certainly… especially with the swanky new Ikea style build manual. Would you have as much fun – depending on your goals… maybe. Would I have had as much fun doing it more quickly – absolutely not. It was a fantastic 162 hours of glorious fun!
What’s not included: I haven’t included any research time. As well at the hours of building and blogging I did many, many hours of reading all the blogs, forums and facebook posts I could find. I’m sure there was at least another 100 hours in research – both before and during the build.
More Detail on Build Hours
If you’re interested (and a real sucker for punishment), then at the bottom of this post I’ve put my whole build log.
I recorded all the major work items, and even lumped in the not-so-major items. I can’t guarantee that I captured absolutely everything, but if you’ve been a follower of the blog you should get a sense of whether I’m the meticulous type or not.
If you’re a “a bit more of the detail” sort of person but not a “dump all the minutia on me” person, then I also grouped the tasks into the following categories and generated a (pivot) table of the approximate headline durations…
|Task Category||Duration (hh:mm)|
|Bodywork and Protection||22:20|
|Plumbing – Oil||09:35|
|Plumbing – Water||16:30|
|Suspension – Front||17:20|
|Suspension – Rear||12:56|
At some point, I might try and put this information back into the gantt chart I first created. I know there were a bunch of you that said it would take me longer than in the gantt… but hey you’re only young once.
Again, there’s more detail at the bottom of this post…
Visits To The Dealer – 7
Of course there were the usual test-drives, spec’ing, paying etc etc. But I also had a few trips out to poke around their stock to see how things were done on an already built car, and I also made trips to pick up my bonnet and a different track day roll-bar.
And while we’re on the subject of roll-over bars… bear in mind that some clubs (i.e. Lotus7.club) insist on the FIA track-day roll-over bar – the one with the diagonal braces running across the car. If you go for the standard roll-over then no-tracky-with-them! They won’t allow you to enter one of their track days unless you have at least the FIA track-day roll-over bar.
Visits To Caterham – 1
A visit to take my bruised, and already late, bonnet back to be reworked. I could have got them to pick it up but decided a trip to the showroom was going to get it there faster… and… it was a worthwhile day out that I hardly needed an excuse for. I learnt a lot from poking around the cars there and also got talking to other builders and mechanics which was also really helpful too.
Pictures Taken – 1,546
I’ve talked about my reasons for blogging (here) and some of the very first comments I got back on my first few posts were – “more pictures please”. We all know a picture paints a thousand words and nothing more so than when you’re trying to explain something technical.
Of course you need to take pictures as part of the submission to IVA, but I only provided them with half a dozen or so. So, taking lots of pictures wasn’t for their benefit. In the end I found it really, really useful to refer back to pictures I’d taken from earlier in the build. I’ve also been able to dig through the collection when people have asked questions later and I’ve been able to find something that didn’t make the blog but showed exactly how I’d done something.
I’ve enjoyed having the photo collection to go back through and I hope you enjoy the montage header picture on this post – which is (most of) the pictures uploaded to the site so far… in a montage (ImageMagick if anyone’s interested). I think there are 504 images in that montage – don’t ask about why there’s a difference between the 504 here and the 601 mentioned below… there just is – right!
Pictures Added to The Blog – 601
I think that’s way more than I was expecting and probably took forever for people to download as they read the posts… but it seems they helped a bunch of people through their own builds so hopefully worth it in the end.
I’m also aware that some people just look at the pictures on the pages… with very little evidence that they’ve read the words. That’s ok too… and of course I can bad mouth them here because they won’t read this either! 🙂
Emails to Caterham – 58
I never would have guessed that – honestly! I thought I was trying to keep the traffic to Derek to a minimum. Hmmm.
Derek was great, and often surprised me with how quickly he got back… but sometimes not so too… so don’t rely on him for a guaranteed response if you’re in a rush, would be my recommendation – but realistically, nobody promised that either.
If you need help quickly, there are some great Facebook Groups and of course Blatchat if you get stuck in a rush:
Both those sources helped me out during the build, but the standard internet and social media warnings apply: only with an adult’s permission and caveat emptor!…….. what! you didn’t pay for your internet content… ! 😉
Emails from Caterham – 35
Derek wasn’t always as chatty in return… some of the disparity in numbers comes from me replying “thanks” or “ok” a few times. But, also Derek, I’m sure, has other jobs to do and so his responses could sometimes just be “yes” or “no” – which left my questions answered but sometimes a little lost as to actually how I had to move forwards.
However, for the overwhelming majority of the time, Derek’s answers were great and left no room for confusion.
(The one exception to that was the pictures he sent of the washer bottle install, in the boot, that didn’t include the non-return valve and caused water to spray the windscreen whenever the brakes were applied as I drove the car for the first few times! 🙂 … more on that in a future post).
GigaBytes of Storage Used – 877GB
Yes, that’s right, not far off a TeraByte of media… mostly video.
For the whole of the build I had at least 2 GoPro’s running. I have many, many hours of video that, one day, I hope to make a time-lapse or even a “These are the Steps to Make a Car” video.
I had started off thinking I would do a VLog as well as a Blog. However, it became clear very soon into the build that building, blogging and vlogging would have been too much. The general rule seems to be that 10 minutes of video takes about 200 minutes to film and about another 100 minutes to edit. And as you can see below… I spent almost as much time blogging as building and to edit and post a VLog was going to take me way over the time I had available. Sorry no VLOG – yet.
Blog Posts – 65
Hopefully you’ve all read them! They were great weren’t they?
Words in Blog – 83,869
Phew! That’s some piece of work!
Hours Blogging – 111.83
I didn’t count all my time blogging – some of it was on planes, trains and automobiles. But… I did “time” some of my blogging and that gave me a metric to use… which worked out at about 750 words an hour while I was writing, drawing, uploading and editing. So… 83-thousand words @ 750 words per hour =
I could have built another car in that time, or at least I could do now I know what I’m doing!
Website Views To Date – 9,530
Whilst not exactly the web’s most visited site, I’m pleased that there has been at least a few people interested to take a look at the fun we’ve had.
From the start of the blog to March 26th 2018 (just over a year), the website has had some 9,500 views. And for those of you interested… a view is counted when a visitor loads or reloads a page.
That’s it for stats… I hope you enjoyed the journey so far…!
And now for something completely the same… The Full Build Log
Now for the real insomniacs amongst you, here’s the full build log…
|12/08/17||Front IVA Trim||01:00||IVA|
|13/08/17||Engine, Bell Housing and Gearbox||01:00||Drivetratin|
|17/08/17||Tapping Harness Bolt||00:20||Safety|
|18/08/17||Front Suspension||01:40||Suspension – Front|
|19/08/17||Front Suspension||02:36||Suspension – Front|
|20/08/17||Front Suspension||01:18||Suspension – Front|
|22/08/17||Upright||Test Fit||00:20||Suspension – Front|
|22/08/17||Upright N/S||Cycle wing stay, upright, wooden stay||01:00||Suspension – Front|
|22/08/17||Upright O/S||01:22||Suspension – Front|
|23/08/17||Blogging||Playing with 80D mount||00:25||Other|
|23/08/17||Track rod end||TRE requires 13 turns not lock nut||00:18||Suspension – Front|
|23/08/17||Front Anti Roll Bar||00:47||Suspension – Front|
|23/08/17||Front brake pipes||Test Fit||00:20||Brakes|
|23/08/17||Front brake pipes||Fitting, not torqued||00:15||Brakes|
|23/08/17||Waxoil||Front bodywork||00:10||Bodywork and Protection|
|25/08/17||Front Anti Roll Bar||Fit bushes to bar and brackets||00:07||Suspension – Front|
|25/08/17||Front Anti Roll Bar||Dremel out holes and attach||01:15||Suspension – Front|
|27/08/17||Engine||L-Hose, Engine Mounts, Hoist||02:35||Drivetratin|
|27/08/17||Engine||Hoist Leveler Extensions||01:04||Drivetratin|
|28/08/17||Engine||Moving Car and prep alternator||03:05||Drivetratin|
|28/08/17||Engine||Install engine and reattach alternator||03:45||Drivetratin|
|28/08/17||Tidy up||Put car away and tidy||00:30||Other|
|02/09/17||Gearbox||Try and get some more clearance – failed||01:30||Drivetratin|
|02/09/17||Starter Motor||Positive Cable||00:05||Electrics|
|02/09/17||Clutch hose||Remove plugs||00:15||Plumbing – Oil|
|03/09/17||Catalytic Converter||Springs mainly||00:50||Exhaust|
|03/09/17||Exhaust||Tighten exhaust and cut down 8mm hex||00:30||Exhaust|
|04/09/17||Engine||Retorque engine mounts and paint mounts||00:30||Drivetratin|
|04/09/17||Oil tank||02:00||Plumbing – Oil|
|04/09/17||Steering Column||Gring universal joint||01:40||Steering|
|04/09/17||Tip and B&Q||Sealant black and clear||01:20||Other|
|04/09/17||Steering wheel||Fix boss (double sided tape for velcro)||00:10||Steering|
|04/09/17||Oil Tank||Bottom fixing P-clips||01:00||Plumbing – Oil|
|04/09/17||Throttle Cable||Fettle Hole for nipple in footwell||00:40||Drivetratin|
|04/09/17||Oil Tank||P-Clips||00:45||Plumbing – Oil|
|04/09/17||Oil Tank||Top setscrew – 4 spacers||00:10||Plumbing – Oil|
|04/09/17||Top oil breather||Cut and flip P-clips||00:15||Plumbing – Oil|
|04/09/17||Steering Column||Uni joint insert + torque after painting before||00:35||Steering|
|06/09/17||Radiator||Dry fit – fan brackets?||01:45||Plumbing – Water|
|07/09/17||Oil cooler||Dry fit and drill extra holes||00:15||Plumbing – Oil|
|07/09/17||Heater||Test fit heater||00:15||Plumbing – Water|
|09/09/17||Radiator/Oil Cooler||Fit and drill oil cooler mounts||01:45||Plumbing – Oil|
|09/09/17||Oil hose||Test fit||00:40||Plumbing – Oil|
|12/09/17||Roll Over Bar||Torqued||00:45||Safety|
|16/09/17||Engine Water||Plumbing + Water Expansion Bottle Mount||01:55||Plumbing – Water|
|22/09/17||Water Expansion||Drill Chassis + Heater + Water Hoses||03:00||Plumbing – Water|
|23/09/17||Water||Heater + Water Hoses||00:30||Plumbing – Water|
|23/09/17||Heater / Water||Pipework to temp sensor||00:20||Plumbing – Water|
|23/09/17||Water||Pipework to temp sensor||00:25||Plumbing – Water|
|23/09/17||Water||Temp Sensor + Heater Control||00:50||Plumbing – Water|
|23/09/17||Prop Shaft||Refill Gearbox + Propshaft||00:40||Drivetratin|
|23/09/17||Diff||Install Diff – Joe helped||01:25||Drivetratin|
|24/09/17||Engine Bell Housing||Bell housing protector||00:30||Drivetratin|
|24/09/17||Raise Rear||Jack up rear again||00:05||Other|
|24/09/17||Diff||Bolting in and measuring||00:40||Drivetratin|
|24/09/17||Diff||Bolting in and measuring||00:14||Drivetratin|
|24/09/17||Diff||Bolting in and measuring||01:15||Drivetratin|
|25/09/17||Engine||Rethink expansion bottle and earth leads||00:45||Drivetratin|
|29/09/17||Diff||Fluid||00:15||Plumbing – Oil|
|29/09/17||Diff||Make 14mm Hex Plug-Socket||01:00||Drivetratin|
|29/09/17||Diff||Fluid – slow but took all 1L||01:00||Plumbing – Oil|
|29/09/17||Prop Shaft||Failed torquing bolts||01:25||Drivetratin|
|29/09/17||Rear Suspension||De Dion Dry Fit||00:40||Suspension – Rear|
|29/09/17||Rear Suspension||De Dion Dry Fit||00:35||Suspension – Rear|
|30/09/17||Handbrake||Again – this time in the right place||00:30||Brakes|
|30/09/17||Prop Shaft||Torque bolts without destroying screwdriver||00:10||Drivetratin|
|30/09/17||De Dion||Bend brake pipes||00:50||Suspension – Rear|
|30/09/17||De Dion||Bend brake pipes||00:23||Suspension – Rear|
|30/09/17||Rear Suspension||Insert DeD, Dampers, Radius Arms||02:15||Suspension – Rear|
|30/09/17||Rear ARB||Rear ARB + A-Frame||01:15||Suspension – Rear|
|01/10/17||Rear Suspension||A-Frame||00:45||Suspension – Rear|
|01/10/17||Rear Suspension||A-Frame + RHEars + Hubs + Callipers||02:10||Suspension – Rear|
|01/10/17||Rear Suspension||LHEars + hubs + callipers + Wheels||01:35||Suspension – Rear|
|06/10/17||IVA||Form Filling 1c and 4||01:00||IVA|
|07/10/17||Scuttle Trim||215cm, 70cm reamaining||00:25||Bodywork and Protection|
|07/10/17||Knee Trim||RHS||01:55||Bodywork and Protection|
|07/10/17||Knee Trim||LHS||02:50||Bodywork and Protection|
|07/10/17||Carpets||Transmission Tunnel||01:30||Bodywork and Protection|
|07/10/17||Mats||RHS||00:45||Bodywork and Protection|
|08/10/17||Mats||LHS||00:10||Bodywork and Protection|
|08/10/17||Centre Arm Rest||Arm rest and gear knob (again)||00:10||Bodywork and Protection|
|08/10/17||Seats||LHS + RHS||00:50||Bodywork and Protection|
|08/10/17||Exhaust||Silencer + Cat Guard||00:40||Exhaust|
|10/10/17||Brakes||Swap couplings to grey ones||01:00||Brakes|
|11/10/17||Headlamps||Remove, add gromets, replace||01:30||Electrics|
|14/10/17||Water||02:00||Plumbing – Water|
|14/10/17||Petrol||Fuel fillup with Dad||00:20||Other|
|14/10/17||Petrol||Fuel fillup with Dad||00:10||Other|
|14/10/17||Engine||Start – not||00:30||Drivetratin|
|14/10/17||Engine||Start – not||01:00||Drivetratin|
|14/10/17||Engine||Start – no flow in Rad though!||01:30||Drivetratin|
|15/10/17||Water||Attempt to clear airlocks – failed||01:00||Plumbing – Water|
|21/10/17||Water||Drop front then rear, no sign of airlock||01:45||Plumbing – Water|
|21/10/17||Water||Blow water from rad, run for 30mins||00:45||Plumbing – Water|
|22/10/17||Boot||Varnish Wood||00:20||Bodywork and Protection|
|22/10/17||Boot||Carpet||00:45||Bodywork and Protection|
|22/10/17||Boot||Carpet + fuel shroud||02:05||Bodywork and Protection|
|22/10/17||Boot||Carpet sides||01:40||Bodywork and Protection|
|23/10/17||Boot||Fuel shroud + boot floor carpet||00:50||Bodywork and Protection|
|23/10/17||Rear Wings||Abort||00:05||Bodywork and Protection|
|23/10/17||Torque Rear||Watts Link – must do hubs later||00:20||Suspension – Rear|
|23/10/17||Rear Wings||RHS||03:40||Bodywork and Protection|
|23/10/17||Rear Wings||LHS||01:40||Bodywork and Protection|
|23/10/17||Rear Wings||LHS – Finish bolting on||00:30||Bodywork and Protection|
|28/10/17||Fuel||Add More Fuel from Garage||00:30||Other|
|28/10/17||Washer Bottle||Make bracket||02:00||Plumbing – Water|
|29/10/17||Brakes||Rear brake braided hose protection||00:10||Brakes|
|18/11/17||Lights||LHS front indicator not working||01:00||Electrics|
|19/11/17||Lights||LHS front indicator seems to work after wiggle||00:30||Electrics|
|19/11/17||Front Wings||Swap wing stays – grrr!||00:45||Suspension – Front|
|22/11/17||Front Wings||Tried bending wingstays||02:11||Suspension – Front|
|22/11/17||Gearbox Mounts||Flip bolts so threads show||00:50||Drivetratin|
|22/11/17||Lights||Repeaters – cut and solder new earth leads||00:24||Electrics|
|22/11/17||Lights||Rear Number Plate||00:35||Electrics|
|22/11/17||Lights||Repeater wiring – spade fettling||00:25||Electrics|
|22/11/17||Handbrake||Adjustment – hmm||00:10||Brakes|
|23/11/17||Clutch||Fill with fluid and bleed||01:15||Plumbing – Oil|
|23/11/17||Brakes||1st fill and bleed||02:25||Brakes|
|23/11/17||Williams||Trip to Williams to pick up bonnet||01:55||Other|
|23/11/17||Brakes||Brakes weeping – keep tightening more||01:00||Brakes|
|23/11/17||Front Wings||Seem to need spacers, bending isnt working||01:00||Suspension – Front|
|24/11/17||Brakes||Tighten front joints again||00:20||Brakes|
|24/11/17||Front Wings||Spacers? No… bead of 521 to space with||00:05||Suspension – Front|
|24/11/17||Front Wings||IVA trim||00:40||Suspension – Front|
|24/11/17||Handbrake||Cable routing, dremel diff||02:00||Brakes|
|24/11/17||IVA||Book IVA for 7/12 @ 8AM !||00:05||IVA|
|24/11/17||Cable Tidy||Clutch braid + ECU Plug||00:50||IVA|
|25/11/17||Lights||Repeaters wiring up (loose connections)||01:20||Electrics|
|25/11/17||Engine||Tidy for IVA||01:25||IVA|
|25/11/17||Engine||Tidy for IVA||00:40||IVA|
|25/11/17||Mirrors||RH Wing Mirror||00:45||Suspension – Front|
|25/11/17||Mirrors||LH Wing Mirror||00:10||Suspension – Front|
|25/11/17||IVA||Cable Tie Front ARB (again)||00:20||IVA|
|25/11/17||Engine||Air Filter including rubber IVA trim||00:25||Drivetratin|
|25/11/17||IVA||Catalytic Converter IVA trim||00:05||IVA|
|25/11/17||Wipers||Fit wipers and bend||00:15||Bodywork and Protection|
|25/11/17||Lights||Rewire Repeaters – forgot to include wing!||00:15||Electrics|
|25/11/17||Rear Suspension||Tighten Rear Hubs + Oak brace||00:23||Suspension – Rear|
|25/11/17||Front Wings||Glue them down!||01:00||Suspension – Front|
|26/11/17||Font Wings||Repeater Wiring to Sockets – RHS||01:40||Electrics|
|26/11/17||Font Wings||Repeater Wiring to Sockets – LHS||00:35||Electrics|
|26/11/17||IVA||Run through Caterham IVA handout||02:25||IVA|
|26/11/17||Handbrake||Move P-Clips to A-Frame!||00:10||Brakes|
|26/11/17||Bodywork||Remove carboard and masking, add foam strips||01:45||Bodywork and Protection|
|02/12/17||Brakes||Final Bleed before IVA – bent A-Frame – GRR!||02:00||Brakes|
|03/12/17||A-Frame||Take car out of garage and onto stands||00:20||Suspension – Rear|
|03/12/17||A-Frame||Contemplation under car||00:25||Suspension – Rear|
|03/12/17||A-Frame||Took A-frame off and stand on it to straighten||00:23||Suspension – Rear|
|05/12/17||A-Frame||Install new A-Frame||00:37||Suspension – Rear|
|05/12/17||Handbrake||Re-attach Handbrake P-Clips to A-Frame||00:13||Brakes|
Good night insomniacs… go to bed!