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 Hours 162
Visits to the dealer, Williams 7
Visits to Caterham 1
Pictures Taken 1,546
Pictures added to Blog 601
Emails to Caterham 58
Emails from Caterham 35
GigaBytes of storage used (mostly video) 877
Blog Posts 65
Words in Blog 83,869
Hours Blogging 111.83
Website Views 9,530

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 Β 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
Brakes 11:53
Drivetratin 26:58
Electrics 18:57
Exhaust 05:40
IVA 07:50
Other 06:50
Plumbing – Oil 09:35
Plumbing – Water 16:30
Safety 02:05
Steering 03:15
Suspension – Front 17:20
Suspension – Rear 12:56
Grand Total 162:09

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. 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! Β 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 –Β 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 Β =

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… aΒ 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…

Date Item Comment Duration Task Category
12/08/17 Steering Rack 00:50 Steering
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 Saefty
18/08/17 Front Suspension 01:40 Suspension – Front
19/08/17 Front Suspension 02:36 Suspension – Front
20/08/17 Headlamp Assemblies 04:16 Electrics
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
25/08/17 Horns 00:32 Electrics
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
29/08/17 Gearstick 00:20 Drivetratin
02/09/17 Gearbox Try and get some more clearance – failed 01:30 Drivetratin
02/09/17 Reverse Switch 00:15 Electrics
02/09/17 Engine Wiring 00:50 Electrics
02/09/17 Starter Motor Positive Cable 00:05 Electrics
02/09/17 Fuel Pipe 00:05 Drivetratin
02/09/17 Clutch hose Remove plugs 00:15 Plumbing – Oil
02/09/17 Primaries Start 00:20 Exhaust
03/09/17 Primaries 00:30 Exhaust
03/09/17 Catalytic Converter Springs mainly 00:50 Exhaust
03/09/17 Exhaust Tighten exhaust and cut down 8mm hex 00:30 Exhaust
03/09/17 Lambda Sensor 02:05 Exhaust
03/09/17 Lambda Sensor Rivnuts 00:45 Exhaust
03/09/17 Tidy up 00:15 Other
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 Accelerator Pedal Bend 00:00 Drivetratin
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 Tidy up 00:30 Other
25/09/17 Engine Rethink expansion bottle and earth leads 00:45 Drivetratin
29/09/17 Handbrake Dremel (duh!) 01:15 Brakes
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 Drive Shafts Installed 00:05 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 Harnesses RHS 00:35 Safety
08/10/17 Harnesses LHS 00:25 Safety
08/10/17 Seats LHS + RHS 00:50 Bodywork and Protection
08/10/17 Exhaust SilencerΒ  + 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 Rear Lights 01:05 Electrics
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
19/11/17 Lights Repeaters 00:30 Electrics
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
22/11/17 Lights Headlamp Wiring 00:40 Electrics
22/11/17 Lights Headlamp Wiring 01:45 Electrics
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 Final Tweak 00:05 Brakes
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 Mirrors Rear Mirror 00:05 Other
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 Battery Cables 00:45 Electrics
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 Tidy up 00:45 Other
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!

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