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Caterham 420R Build

Back with Some Stats – How Much Time!

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 πŸ™‚

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

Build Hours162
Visits to the dealer, Williams7
Visits to Caterham1
Pictures Taken1,546
Pictures added to Blog601
Emails to Caterham58
Emails from Caterham35
GigaBytes of storage used (mostly video)877
Blog Posts65
Words in Blog83,869
Hours Blogging111.83
Website Views9,530

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!

Awesome!

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 CategoryDuration (hh:mm)
Bodywork and Protection22:20
Brakes11:53
Drivetratin26:58
Electrics18:57
Exhaust05:40
IVA07:50
Other06:50
Plumbing – Oil09:35
Plumbing – Water16:30
Safety02:05
Steering03:15
Suspension – Front17:20
Suspension – Rear12:56
Grand Total162:09

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! πŸ™‚

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… ! πŸ˜‰

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!  πŸ™‚ … 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  =

112 hours!

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

All Time Views – 2018-03-26

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…

DateItemCommentDurationTask Category
12/08/17Steering Rack 00:50Steering
12/08/17Front IVA Trim 01:00IVA
13/08/17Engine, Bell Housing and Gearbox01:00Drivetratin
17/08/17Tapping Harness Bolt00:20Safety
18/08/17Front Suspension 01:40Suspension – Front
19/08/17Front Suspension 02:36Suspension – Front
20/08/17Headlamp Assemblies04:16Electrics
20/08/17Front Suspension 01:18Suspension – Front
22/08/17UprightTest Fit00:20Suspension – Front
22/08/17Upright N/SCycle wing stay, upright, wooden stay01:00Suspension – Front
22/08/17Upright O/S 01:22Suspension – Front
23/08/17BloggingPlaying with 80D mount00:25Other
23/08/17Track rod endTRE requires 13 turns not lock nut00:18Suspension – Front
23/08/17Front Anti Roll Bar 00:47Suspension – Front
23/08/17Front brake pipesTest Fit00:20Brakes
23/08/17Front brake pipesFitting, not torqued00:15Brakes
23/08/17WaxoilFront bodywork00:10Bodywork and Protection
25/08/17Front Anti Roll BarFit bushes to bar and brackets00:07Suspension – Front
25/08/17Front Anti Roll BarDremel out holes and attach01:15Suspension – Front
25/08/17Horns 00:32Electrics
27/08/17EngineL-Hose, Engine Mounts, Hoist02:35Drivetratin
27/08/17EngineHoist Leveler Extensions01:04Drivetratin
28/08/17EngineMoving Car and prep alternator03:05Drivetratin
28/08/17EngineInstall engine and reattach alternator03:45Drivetratin
28/08/17Tidy upPut car away and tidy00:30Other
29/08/17Gearstick 00:20Drivetratin
02/09/17GearboxTry and get some more clearance – failed01:30Drivetratin
02/09/17Reverse Switch 00:15Electrics
02/09/17EngineWiring00:50Electrics
02/09/17Starter MotorPositive Cable00:05Electrics
02/09/17Fuel Pipe 00:05Drivetratin
02/09/17Clutch hoseRemove plugs00:15Plumbing – Oil
02/09/17PrimariesStart00:20Exhaust
03/09/17Primaries 00:30Exhaust
03/09/17Catalytic ConverterSprings mainly00:50Exhaust
03/09/17ExhaustTighten exhaust and cut down 8mm hex00:30Exhaust
03/09/17Lambda Sensor 02:05Exhaust
03/09/17Lambda SensorRivnuts00:45Exhaust
03/09/17Tidy up 00:15Other
04/09/17EngineRetorque engine mounts and paint mounts00:30Drivetratin
04/09/17Oil tank 02:00Plumbing – Oil
04/09/17Steering ColumnGring universal joint01:40Steering
04/09/17Tip and B&QSealant black and clear01:20Other
04/09/17Steering wheelFix boss (double sided tape for velcro)00:10Steering
04/09/17Oil TankBottom fixing P-clips01:00Plumbing – Oil
04/09/17Throttle CableFettle Hole for nipple in footwell00:40Drivetratin
04/09/17Oil TankP-Clips00:45Plumbing – Oil
04/09/17Oil TankTop setscrew – 4 spacers00:10Plumbing – Oil
04/09/17Top oil breatherCut and flip P-clips00:15Plumbing – Oil
04/09/17Steering ColumnUni joint insert + torque after painting before00:35Steering
06/09/17RadiatorDry fit – fan brackets?01:45Plumbing – Water
07/09/17Oil coolerDry fit and drill extra holes00:15Plumbing – Oil
07/09/17HeaterTest fit heater00:15Plumbing – Water
09/09/17Radiator/Oil CoolerFit and drill oil cooler mounts01:45Plumbing – Oil
09/09/17Oil hoseTest fit00:40Plumbing – Oil
12/09/17Roll Over BarTorqued00:45Safety
16/09/17Engine WaterPlumbing + Water Expansion Bottle Mount01:55Plumbing – Water
22/09/17Water ExpansionDrill Chassis + Heater + Water Hoses03:00Plumbing – Water
23/09/17WaterHeater + Water Hoses00:30Plumbing – Water
23/09/17Heater / WaterPipework to temp sensor00:20Plumbing – Water
23/09/17WaterPipework to temp sensor00:25Plumbing – Water
23/09/17WaterTemp Sensor + Heater Control00:50Plumbing – Water
23/09/17Accelerator PedalBend00:00Drivetratin
23/09/17Prop ShaftRefill Gearbox + Propshaft00:40Drivetratin
23/09/17DiffInstall Diff – Joe helped01:25Drivetratin
24/09/17Engine Bell HousingBell housing protector00:30Drivetratin
24/09/17Raise RearJack up rear again00:05Other
24/09/17DiffBolting in and measuring00:40Drivetratin
24/09/17DiffBolting in and measuring00:14Drivetratin
24/09/17DiffBolting in and measuring01:15Drivetratin
25/09/17Tidy up 00:30Other
25/09/17EngineRethink expansion bottle and earth leads00:45Drivetratin
29/09/17HandbrakeDremel (duh!)01:15Brakes
29/09/17DiffFluid00:15Plumbing – Oil
29/09/17DiffMake 14mm Hex Plug-Socket01:00Drivetratin
29/09/17DiffFluid – slow but took all 1L01:00Plumbing – Oil
29/09/17Prop ShaftFailed torquing bolts01:25Drivetratin
29/09/17Drive ShaftsInstalled00:05Drivetratin
29/09/17Rear SuspensionDe Dion Dry Fit00:40Suspension – Rear
29/09/17Rear SuspensionDe Dion Dry Fit00:35Suspension – Rear
30/09/17HandbrakeAgain – this time in the right place00:30Brakes
30/09/17Prop ShaftTorque bolts without destroying screwdriver00:10Drivetratin
30/09/17De DionBend brake pipes00:50Suspension – Rear
30/09/17De DionBend brake pipes00:23Suspension – Rear
30/09/17Rear SuspensionInsert DeD, Dampers, Radius Arms02:15Suspension – Rear
30/09/17Rear ARBRear ARB + A-Frame01:15Suspension – Rear
01/10/17Rear SuspensionA-Frame00:45Suspension – Rear
01/10/17Rear SuspensionA-Frame + RHEars + Hubs + Callipers02:10Suspension – Rear
01/10/17Rear SuspensionLHEars + hubs + callipers + Wheels01:35Suspension – Rear
06/10/17IVAForm Filling 1c and 401:00IVA
07/10/17Scuttle Trim215cm, 70cm reamaining00:25Bodywork and Protection
07/10/17Knee TrimRHS01:55Bodywork and Protection
07/10/17Knee TrimLHS02:50Bodywork and Protection
07/10/17CarpetsTransmission Tunnel01:30Bodywork and Protection
07/10/17MatsRHS00:45Bodywork and Protection
08/10/17MatsLHS00:10Bodywork and Protection
08/10/17Centre Arm RestArm rest and gear knob (again)00:10Bodywork and Protection
08/10/17HarnessesRHS00:35Safety
08/10/17HarnessesLHS00:25Safety
08/10/17SeatsLHS + RHS00:50Bodywork and Protection
08/10/17ExhaustSilencer  + Cat Guard00:40Exhaust
10/10/17BrakesSwap couplings to grey ones01:00Brakes
11/10/17HeadlampsRemove, add gromets, replace01:30Electrics
14/10/17Water 02:00Plumbing – Water
14/10/17PetrolFuel fillup with Dad00:20Other
14/10/17PetrolFuel fillup with Dad00:10Other
14/10/17EngineStart – not00:30Drivetratin
14/10/17EngineStart – not01:00Drivetratin
14/10/17EngineStart – no flow in Rad though!01:30Drivetratin
15/10/17WaterAttempt to clear airlocks – failed01:00Plumbing – Water
21/10/17WaterDrop front then rear, no sign of airlock01:45Plumbing – Water
21/10/17WaterBlow water from rad, run for 30mins00:45Plumbing – Water
22/10/17BootVarnish Wood00:20Bodywork and Protection
22/10/17BootCarpet00:45Bodywork and Protection
22/10/17BootCarpet + fuel shroud02:05Bodywork and Protection
22/10/17BootCarpet sides01:40Bodywork and Protection
23/10/17BootFuel shroud + boot floor carpet00:50Bodywork and Protection
23/10/17Rear WingsAbort00:05Bodywork and Protection
23/10/17Torque RearWatts Link – must do hubs later00:20Suspension – Rear
23/10/17Rear WingsRHS03:40Bodywork and Protection
23/10/17Rear WingsLHS01:40Bodywork and Protection
23/10/17Rear WingsLHS – Finish bolting on00:30Bodywork and Protection
28/10/17FuelAdd More Fuel from Garage00:30Other
28/10/17Washer BottleMake bracket02:00Plumbing – Water
29/10/17BrakesRear brake braided hose protection00:10Brakes
18/11/17LightsRear Lights01:05Electrics
18/11/17LightsLHS front indicator not working01:00Electrics
19/11/17LightsLHS front indicator seems to work after wiggle00:30Electrics
19/11/17Front WingsSwap wing stays – grrr!00:45Suspension – Front
19/11/17LightsRepeaters00:30Electrics
22/11/17Front WingsTried bending wingstays02:11Suspension – Front
22/11/17Gearbox MountsFlip bolts so threads show00:50Drivetratin
22/11/17LightsRepeaters – cut and solder new earth leads00:24Electrics
22/11/17LightsRear Number Plate00:35Electrics
22/11/17LightsRepeater wiring – spade fettling00:25Electrics
22/11/17HandbrakeAdjustment – hmm00:10Brakes
22/11/17LightsHeadlamp Wiring00:40Electrics
22/11/17LightsHeadlamp Wiring01:45Electrics
23/11/17ClutchFill with fluid and bleed01:15Plumbing – Oil
23/11/17Brakes1st fill and bleed02:25Brakes
23/11/17WilliamsTrip to Williams to pick up bonnet01:55Other
23/11/17BrakesBrakes weeping – keep tightening more01:00Brakes
23/11/17Front WingsSeem to need spacers, bending isnt working01:00Suspension – Front
24/11/17BrakesTighten front joints again00:20Brakes
24/11/17Front WingsSpacers? No… bead of 521 to space with00:05Suspension – Front
24/11/17Front WingsIVA trim00:40Suspension – Front
24/11/17HandbrakeFinal Tweak00:05Brakes
24/11/17HandbrakeCable routing, dremel diff02:00Brakes
24/11/17IVABook IVA for 7/12 @ 8AM !00:05IVA
24/11/17Cable TidyClutch braid + ECU Plug00:50IVA
25/11/17LightsRepeaters wiring up (loose connections)01:20Electrics
25/11/17EngineTidy for IVA01:25IVA
25/11/17EngineTidy for IVA00:40IVA
25/11/17MirrorsRH Wing Mirror00:45Suspension – Front
25/11/17MirrorsLH Wing Mirror00:10Suspension – Front
25/11/17MirrorsRear Mirror00:05Other
25/11/17IVACable Tie Front ARB (again)00:20IVA
25/11/17EngineAir Filter including rubber IVA trim00:25Drivetratin
25/11/17IVABattery Cables00:45Electrics
25/11/17IVACatalytic Converter IVA trim00:05IVA
25/11/17WipersFit wipers and bend00:15Bodywork and Protection
25/11/17LightsRewire Repeaters – forgot to include wing!00:15Electrics
25/11/17Rear SuspensionTighten Rear Hubs + Oak brace00:23Suspension – Rear
25/11/17Front WingsGlue them down!01:00Suspension – Front
26/11/17Font WingsRepeater Wiring to Sockets – RHS01:40Electrics
26/11/17Font WingsRepeater Wiring to Sockets – LHS00:35Electrics
26/11/17Tidy up 00:45Other
26/11/17IVARun through Caterham IVA handout02:25IVA
26/11/17HandbrakeMove P-Clips to A-Frame!00:10Brakes
26/11/17BodyworkRemove carboard and masking, add foam strips01:45Bodywork and Protection
02/12/17BrakesFinal Bleed before IVA – bent A-Frame – GRR!02:00Brakes
03/12/17A-FrameTake car out of garage and onto stands00:20Suspension – Rear
03/12/17A-FrameContemplation under car00:25Suspension – Rear
03/12/17A-FrameTook A-frame off and stand on it to straighten00:23Suspension – Rear
05/12/17A-FrameInstall new A-Frame00:37Suspension – Rear
05/12/17HandbrakeRe-attach Handbrake P-Clips to A-Frame00:13Brakes

Good night insomniacs… go to bed!

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