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View Poll Results: How many man hours did it take to complete your roadster?
250 or less, sent out for bodywork & paint. 5 6.17%
251 - 500, sent out for bodywork & paint. 15 18.52%
501 - 750, sent out for bodywork & paint. 7 8.64%
751 - 1000, sent out for bodywork & paint. 6 7.41%
1001 - 1250, sent out for bodywork & paint. 2 2.47%
1251 or more, sent out for bodywork & paint. 11 13.58%
250 or less, did bodywork & paint myself. 2 2.47%
251 - 500, did bodywork & paint myself. 6 7.41%
501 - 750, did bodywork & paint myself. 8 9.88%
751 - 1000, did bodywork & paint myself. 3 3.70%
1001 - 1250, did bodywork & paint myself. 3 3.70%
1250 - 1500, did bodywork & paint myself. 2 2.47%
1501 or more, did bodywork & paint myself. 11 13.58%
Voters: 81. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-27-2011, 05:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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POLL: How many man hours did it take to build your roadster?

This question recently came up, and while F5 says you can build a roadster and be driving it in gel coat in about 200 hours, I have a strong suspicion that very few are built in that short amount of time. With so many variables, including donor vs non-donor, engine choice and crate motor vs self built, sending it out for bodywork and/or paint vs self done bodywork/paint, options, upgrades, and self fabrications (both major and minor), I'm sure the average build time is much, much longer.

I know most guys don't keep a log of hours, but based on the number of months/years it took you to finish and the average number of hours a day you spent on it, try to give your best estimate. Please include all the hours it took, including harvesting and refurbishing donor parts, and all the variables listed above, up to the day you walked into the MVA office for tags. And don't forget the hours your spouse, friends, and neighbors helped. If you choose a "sent out for bodywork & paint" answer, don't include the time your painter had the car/body. So, how many hours did you spend building your roadster?

And please feel free to qualify your answer with a post, giving some details of what makes your roadster build unique. Thanks.

UPDATE: With 32 responses so far, and 13 in the "or more" categories, any hopes for a decent bell curve are completely dashed. My apologies to those of you with "way more" status, I just didn't know how far to take the possibilities. So, to help us get a better perspective of some of the longer build timetables, if you are in the "or more" categories, please oblige me with a short post on your total. Thanks, again.

(This poll will remain open indefinitely, so future builders can contribute.)
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My build took 2 and a half years. So I'd guess that it took at least 2500 hours total. I did fabricate a bunch of stuff and had many additions above what some do, which added a ton of time.

Chris.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I started mine on February 19th, 2011. I think that it will take me a couple of years to finish it. 200 hours is definitelly doable with a basic build and a running donor. This would be a very low budget build in my opinion. It took me over 20 hours to instally my twin turbo set up and I'm still not done yet. At the end it will be more like 2000 hours...
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry, Chris & Luis, it took me a few minutes to get the actual poll set. I kept partial records & a good estimate for mine is 1800. By your answers, maybe I should have offered even higher choices.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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160 Hrs sent out for body and paint
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The better questions is how many hours did you spend building your cobra.
I spend nearly 2000 hours designing and fabricating and polishing. Loved every minute. I had the time of my life dreaming up stuff and making it happen.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The better questions is how many hours did you spend building your cobra. Bob Mac
Bob, you're right. I was concentrating on the poll more than the perspective of the question. I'd change the title, but don't think I can. Thanks for the insight.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob McLaughlin View Post
The better questions is how many hours did you spend building your cobra.
I spend nearly 2000 hours designing and fabricating and polishing. Loved every minute. I had the time of my life dreaming up stuff and making it happen.
Bob Mac
I too have spent a ton of time building, but then again I am making a lot of modifications, building the engine myself, and generally taking my time because I am just anal when it comes to my own quality comfort level. The car can be assembled much quicker if you take the FFR kit with a Breeze EzePak and do a straight build...but where is the fun in that?
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Did you say man hours or man years or ?

I got my Challenge car #4182 in 2006 and then took a job that entailed a lot of travel and time so the thing sat there and taunted me for a couple of years. When I did start work on it, I determined that this was not going to be a quick and dirty but done the way I wanted it. If I had raced it like I originally intended, I would have done it faster and a lot less anally.

Every panel on the car was on and off at least 3 times or more and trimmed so they fit just right. The pop rivets are at exact spacings and only 1-1/2 inches apart and the driver footwell panels are all removeable to help if I need to do maintenance. All the other panels were pop riveted and sealed with 3M 5200 RTV.

I ground all the crap weld flash off which took hours of grunt work, and rewelded and moved braces. I moved the dash forward and setup the rear frame to drop the butt. I filled the ends of open tubes, I added many mounting tabs for brake lines, remote filter, power steering cooler, electrical ground bolts, etc,

I added an extra 1-1/2 inch bar on the roll cage to mount the belts, made my own adjustable aluminum radiator supports and fan shroud, reinforced the 3rd link mounts, upgraded to Baer brakes all around. Welded supports into the floor for adjustable seat mounts for the Kirkey seats. Built all my own stainless hard lines for brakes, fuel and onboard fire system. Modified the steering shaft for a removeable steering wheel. Made my own mid shift assembly to move the shifter forward and engineered and made my own mecanical gas pedal linkage, I know 75% of this stuff is never going to be seen or appreciated by anyone but me but I know it's there. I have probably got 800 hours in the thing and I'm not done yet.

I have the body pretty much ready to go to primer, but not quite. I am modifying the mounts so I can remove it easily.

I know I could have built one 300 hours or so, but it wouldn't have been up to my standards, it would have just been a Mustang with a new body.

Ron
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Definately into the 'or more' category by a long ways. Hopefully close to getting it done enough to register it.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The problem with most who build these cars is that it's a life long ambition so they sweat the details and invest countless hours in the process. I know when I built mine that I rebuilt the motor, trans and rear which ate up a bunch of hours as well as making numerous subtle changes to the frame, sheet metal doing my own wire diet and other bits and pieces. I really do think that you could assemble a car in less than 200 hours if you didn't stray from the core build and start making things 'pretty'.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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....2000+ for me.... I'm a bit fussy about things.....I bet I spent 120 hours just designing the wire harness ...
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Brought my kit home in April 2004, and I'm still constantly working on it, altering it, adding to it, fixing it, still no paint, I'll NEVER be done with it!
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I spent 3 years and never counted a single hour. After the car was "done" I have probably spent another 400 hours improving it.

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Old 07-27-2011, 10:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Brought my kit home in April 2004, and I'm still constantly working on it, altering it, adding to it, fixing it, still no paint, I'll NEVER be done with it!
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I spent 3 years and never counted a single hour. After the car was "done" I have probably spent another 400 hours improving it. Greg
I hear you both. I'm only 7 months post-tags and I already have a 308 I'm building, including 45 hours of polishing an Explorer upper intake, to replace the mostly stock 5.0. Not because I need to (it runs great, not a single problem with it), but because I want to. And when the 5.0 goes back on the engine stand, who knows? I do know mine will never really be "done."

What I am hoping for is simply a more accurate representation of how many hours all you guys really spend building your F5s.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
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200 hours is a load of crap. If you actually have every single part, nut, bolt, etc there ready to install you might can do it in that amount of time. I had 4 days a week for 4 months then weekends since for the past six months now and i'm just now on the home stretch. FFRs claim of 40 hours of bodywork on an MK4 is ridiculous, we had 40 hours just in fixing the tips of the doors. Probably 300 hr total. Would estimate 100hr getting the doors to match the body in fit and form.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:58 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Did not keep records of cost or hours.
I do know that a significant portion of the hours spent were either trying to figure out what to do/how to do it, on this forum, shopping for parts, dreaming, planning, etc. I also built pretty much everything at least twice, sometimes more (sometimes a lot more).

Actual straight through, on the car build time wasn't all that much. But the overall was two years including the time it spent at Street Rod Painters.

My rule was that I had to touch the car every day and do something. Often that was pulling one rivet or moving a part from one place on the work bench to the other. But pretty much every day I did a little something.

All this to say, can't help you.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:16 AM   #18 (permalink)
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857 hours for the build. I kept accurate records of all hours worked on the car as well as a web diary of each week's work on our web site...

Mark
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:05 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I honestly have no idea....It was on the road in gel-coat in 9 months. Drove it that way for three years.That includes time spent at the pull-a-part and all the other parts chasing. I would work on it a little most evenings or try to round up what would be needed for the coming weekend. My brother would come over and spend all day a lot of Saturdays and some Sundays. Took the body off in the fall of 09. A buddy and I worked at it one day a weekend over the winter, sometimes both days. An occasional evening. Put it back together in the late spring last year.
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:46 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Seriously, are we ever done? Always seems to be one more idea, improvement, tweak, door panels, wheel wells, etc. Mine's a mk 2 and I just spent $80.00 on a friggin gear shift knob.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:10 AM   #21 (permalink)
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never kept track, as an average 2 days a week for 2.5 years

the parts are still suceeding the beer costs but its close

i had to edit here: everyone talks about how long to work on it?
i would think too about how long and how many times i had to clean up the shop too, put the engine hoist away get it back out. re-arrange the garage for more room, and how many hours sitting on the tire talking to friends and neighbors not getting anything done but jawing
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:55 PM   #22 (permalink)
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When we built the late Don Voorhis's Mk3.1 complete kit, we had on average 5 guys working both weekend days, and about one day average during the week. Not counting the days we could not work for situations beyond our control, it took us about 2 months to get the gocart completely done. 24 work days X 7 hrs X 5 men = 840 man hours and that's a conservative estimate. Then the car went to Whitbys for about 6 weeks for fitting, body and paint, assembly.

Then I added power steering = 10 hours. Then we changed the clutch and flywheel, 10 more hours. Then we spent 8 hours changing various gaskets on the Levy motor for oil leaks. This is still a work in progress.

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Old 07-28-2011, 02:04 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I started 27 months ago and did the bodywork myself (paint in a couple of weeks). Worked on the car over 70% of the weekends during this time and averaged 16-20 hours per weekend. Estimating that with long weekends and the occasional vacation day (maybe an additional 13-15 days over that period) spent dedicated to the car I've put in over 1600 hours total. This estimate does not include the 30 minutes I spend almost every morning sitting in my driveway staring at the car (plotting my next steps) while I drink my morning coffee.
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:35 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I started 27 months ago and did the bodywork myself (paint in a couple of weeks). Worked on the car over 70% of the weekends during this time and averaged 16-20 hours per weekend. Estimating that with long weekends and the occasional vacation day (maybe an additional 13-15 days over that period) spent dedicated to the car I've put in over 1600 hours total. This estimate does not include the 30 minutes I spend almost every morning sitting in my driveway staring at the car (plotting my next steps) while I drink my morning coffee.
or looking AT IT SAYING DAMN I GOT TO TAKE THAT APART AGAIN

BY THE TIME ITS APART ITS BEER THIRTY, AND THE WIFE IS LOOKING OUT THE DOOR GIVING YOU THE STARE
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:45 PM   #25 (permalink)
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It would be interesting in comparison to get a "swag" number from professional builders like North Racer Cars, Wayne Presley, Whitby Motors and the likes there of.More than likely they will not chime in not wanting to disclose business info. Again they would probably say it depends on the customers requirements. Way back when I went to the build school in 2001 we did sort of assembled the car to a go cart in two or three days. but the it wasn't installing every rivet, seats doors aligning body etc and not making or fabricating or polishing anything. Great course but provide a false sense of time to complete. I really thought I'd have it done in 6 months buying all new parts and just "bolt it together". it took me a year to get the go-cart driveable wit all the chassis mods etc, etc and that put me only half way completed. 6 months of body work just aligning stuff so I could drive it to the painter for a fit check. Then 6-8 weeks for the painter and for me to install carpeting and reinstall/align the body again. A far cry from the build school!
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:58 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:59 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I’m still counting…. I have too many of those “That looks cool, I’m going to do something like that..” that keep creeping up.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:18 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
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or looking AT IT SAYING DAMN I GOT TO TAKE THAT APART AGAIN

BY THE TIME ITS APART ITS BEER THIRTY, AND THE WIFE IS LOOKING OUT THE DOOR GIVING YOU THE STARE
Yeah, I have started having nightmares about that "stare".

Funny thing is I was at the go-kart stage after 6 months (maybe 250 hours which included building the engine from scratch) so she was pretty happy at first. It wasn't until I started on the mods, do-overs and body work that "the stare" started.
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:28 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I have no idea about the hours but 669 beers between two of us on the first one. That's why I don't do body work.
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:40 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Location: st. louis missouri
Posts: 4,433
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billybobracing View Post
I have no idea about the hours but 669 beers between two of us on the first one. That's why I don't do body work.
Bill
thats it i am going to Canada to help drink
and bring my fishin pole
__________________
"Torque is the grunt
that gets us going, and Horsepower
is the force that keeps us moving"



MK3.1 #6945 her name is Buffy
p/u 04/04/09 roller 08/27/09
start-up Pearl Harbor Day 12/07/10
go-cart Memorial Day 2011
body on 11/11/11 Veterans Day
all legal except paint 02/12/12
372w handbuilt
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