Factory Five Racing Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I had a lull in my Coupe build waiting on components that seemed to be on the critical path. However I wasn't sure that was true.

Then it occurred to me that i had broken the cardinal rule of any project. I had begun without a real project plan. I had a manual in my hand, a scope with a rough budget and an open ended timeline.

The Manual is what it is and is well supplemented by the two Forums. However it takes a great amount of time to compile the required information in reference to a new Build.
The Scope was completed in the procurement phase which drove a rough Budget.
The Timeline is open ended to reduce stress and foster enjoyment, but shouldn't encompass repeating steps because of non planning and idle time from uncertainty.

To alleviate this I am going to put together a Project Build Plan.

It will have detailed tasks to the point of being realistic and pragmatic. The tasks will be time categorized as Short, Medium and Long as to not make Time the focus. Resources will be assigned to determine what is being outsourced or if assistance is required and if batching is practical and doable. The tool is to highlight critical paths and dependencies of tasks to save effort and repetition and potentially cost.
It has to be easy to use and not a burden on the build.

I personally plan on attaching all my notes, references, web-links, forum snips, pictures, components manuals, etc to it.

With that being said, does anyone have any rough outlines that they have worked out for their builds in terms of tasks. Its always better and easier to leverage past collateral. Please let me know before I start pulling them out of Coupe Forum Builds, Blogs ,etc. It will make it much easier to develop
Any format will do.


Larry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,182 Posts
If you're willing to follow through and update the plan in detail throughout the build, you have the potential to create an important tool for future first-time builders.

For me, planning and executing projects is my daily job. Except for setting a budget and making decisions regarding the various options, I stayed away from project management so that the Coupe would be an escape and not a job.

Dan
 

·
Senior Charter Member
Joined
·
2,970 Posts
Hi Larry

Sounds like an organized approach. You must be in management ;)

I think the ideal degree of organization between individuals is variable.

Unlike most of my other projects, I didn't have a detailed build plan or vision until very late in the build. I did what I thought was right as I went along but after researching each step. I felt better once I knew what I was aiming for. That made me nervous but it all worked out in the end.

In terms of a build plan, the best I could do is make a chronological (or sequential) list of things to do and pick at each item in sequence. I would look at my list and pick the item that I was either in the mood for or that fit in my time allotment provided it fell in the sequence I set out. When I thought of (or read about) key items that may be impacted later in the build (eg. putting the A-pillar slats on before the mirrors) I would insert them in my list in the appropriate spot.

Where I messed up was deleting the items as they were done rather than just marking them done. I wish I had kept that list from the start but I didn't.

I did keep a chronological library of build pictures (3,499 to date) but even those are not as complete as would have liked.

I also did not have a timeline (until now, 6 years later) and I agree that it made it more enjoyable.

Good luck with the project and I look forward to reading about your progress.

Marc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,616 Posts
Well my build plan was not to have a deadline. I had a kit before and got frustrated with the lack of progress and sold.
So now I'm 5 years in to my build and still enjoying it when I can.
My plan has changed quite dramatically from a low dollar donor build to a more upscale modern version. By selling a lot of donor parts and being patient (another advantage of taking your time) allows to keep the cost down. We'll see when it's done. Thought I was going to get a lot more done this winter but it has been extremely cold so very little garage time! :(

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
Are you sure your not over thinking this A bit. Just A thought.
Chaz...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback Guys.

The use of a plan was definitely not to drive a deadline. Or to be overly cumbersome.

I am retired and not in any hurry. I also don't need to add that stress.

Just to be somewhat organized and realize what things are on critical paths, what will be affected by changes, or delayed by vendors; things like that. Flying by the seat of your pants isn't always fun either, lol

Everyone has their own idea of being organized. That is evident in the build pictures of the different workshops, lol

The plan can be as simple as a check off List on a white board. But it has been thought through.
 

·
Peckin' away at it
Joined
·
1,046 Posts
When I was surfing the forum and thinking of building, it made my head spin. Too many mods/options, etc. This was before the "complete kit" concept.

Big decision making breakthrough for me was to decide to do no welding on the chassis. That sort of narrowed it down and I got the frame powder coated to reinforce my decision.
Then tons of lists, with sequences and scratch offs.

I found it helpful to have several areas going simultaneously, so if I got stuck/frustrated or had to wait on parts for one portion, I could do something else for a bit.

Step back from the spreadsheet was my approach.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
954 Posts
My plan and spreadsheet is labeled "Flying by the seat of your pants" and 5 years and approximately 1600 man hours later I am about 98% to 99% done and never looked back on anything other than a simple list here and there. I don't believe I've even looked at the instruction manual in the past 2 to 3 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks John. Bill, Ron.

I'm not tying to tie myself down to a finalized plan. I have segmented the format into separate sections to give me flexibility if I get stuck because of things beyond my control.

If I decide to go with changes I will just add them and go from there. I need to document ideas and thoughts somewhere.

It will be a loose guide.
I totally get where you guys are coming from.

I am taking inspiration from all your builds, maybe thats part of my problem. To many customizations. Gotta Love it though.

So having said that. Thanks for all the great ideas and support.

Larry
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
516 Posts
EEP,
PM me your email and I will send you a XL that i put together and am following.

Im on a long term (no timescale) build. I found it beneficial to think through the build and list out all the steps and actions so i could group like activities, skip to a new area if the one i was on needed something from a supplier. It also allows me to think through what i can acomplish with the limited time i have when it comes to project time.

I found when i had a spare few hours I was going into the shop, spending the first hour figuring out what i needed to do the task i had planned, finiding tools / supplies prior to actually doing work. Then usually found I was missing something and having to come back, make trips to parts / hardware / tool store, or that i didnt like the way it was from standard and redesigning / engineering the approach.

The project step plan allows me to plan my rare building oportunities and make sure i have all i need ready to go when the time arrives.

Cheers
Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,025 Posts
Wbs

Larry,

It sounds like what you’re really looking for is a type of WBS that goes with your project plan.

When I start this type of car project, the first decision I make is, what do I intend this car to do/be. Examples: Going to track it? Is it going to be used as a show or trailer queen? Use it going to the store for milk? Weekend drives? Going to see a fair amount of highway driving?

For me this is what drives the direction of what I need to get, and do, to items like parts etc.

I consider these FFR builds as: Overall Project with two major component projects: Chassis and Body (which includes interior)

When working on the chassis component, I like to break it down into three sections.

Front Section:

Middle Section:

Back End Section:

Then I build the task lists for each section.

Pick a section to start, choose whatever section makes sense to you to start with first, decide what section you what to tackle second, decide the last section.

Something to consider is the flow of work. For me what that means is, the section I start with, when I’m finish with that section, my work progress should flow right into the next section, hopefully seamlessly) I then stay in that section till all tasks are completed, and documented.

The same outline I apply to the body component as well.

I know that this is the “cliff notes” version , but I hope this helps and if you want to know more, just let me know, or the other forum members can fill in more information

Ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Dave, your experience is exactly what is driving my planning. Its not the Time Management but the items you describe in your third paragraph

I found when i had a spare few hours I was going into the shop, spending the first hour figuring out what i needed to do the task i had planned, finiding tools / supplies prior to actually doing work. Then usually found I was missing something and having to come back, make trips to parts / hardware / tool store, or that i didnt like the way it was from standard and redesigning / engineering the approach.

I want to be efficient instead of hap hazard.

Thanks in advance for the XL.

Larry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
384 Posts
Please include me when you send out any build xls.

That's been a weak point for me, getting overwhelmed when I walk into the garage. I need to focus on one small project at a time and move on if I get stuck, need a part or to do research.
Go for the low hanging fruit first!

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
I think you will find that you have all kinds of great ideas of what you are going to do before the kit arrives. Everything seems so simple, cut, and dry. Even if it's "stick to the kit". You have spent a lot of time doing research, looking at pictures, getting rides, and you know exactly what you want.

IF you look back at my early posts (2010) you find that was more or less my plan. I had taken a ride in another forum member's coupe which was mostly stock (except for AC and carpet) and said "That's what I want to do"

And then the kit arrived.

as you begin to put things together, you find stuff that doesn't even come close to fitting, can't really be bent until it does, and it's a poor solution anyway so why not just make another??

and so it begins.

I just passed year 3. My coupe now has a completely different look to the back, AC, new dash, new dash top (removable), redesigned doors, custom frameless glass windows and (badass) interior (though not oxide's 7-years and counting badass)

My highly modified wiring includes a stereo, amplifier, reverse switch, anti-theft stuff and a proper temperature driven fan control (instead of that stupid manual switch). It uses 7 additional relays and a second fuse box.

My modified racing seats, custom door panel, custom armrest and custom dash are getting custom upholstery in the next week or two, as soon as my custom defroster ducts are done.

I could go on, but you get the point.

Good luck on your build
-Clam
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Clam.

I definitely relate to your point.

I have lead projects in the Millions and for $10K. Regardless of size, they all have plans. I guess I relate this build to building one of my personal houses.

Your explanation of the process is definitely how things progress. However if you don't step back and review what you are doing, its a recipe for disaster.
Again, I am not using it to drive a schedule, but be cost effective and somewhat efficient.

Where you save money, you tend to throw it back into extras for the project and the scope grows. This is OK, but you have to manage it.

I am sure 95% of the builds of these Kits are done "by the set of your pants". And I think most of them turn out awesome. But take a look at a project done on Overhaulin or LateModelRestoration; they all have project plans. And they all are altered before they are complete.

I think of it as an insurance policy for the investment in my kit. As such its pretty cheap.

So far the Build Sites are proving the most beneficial for a plan. I can't thank the guys that have taken the time to put them together enough.

Larry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,114 Posts
Larry,

I spent 18 months designing this myCoupe on paper. I had every part listed in speadsheets broken down by area and a list of all the things that I wanted to do and change. I had my own build manual. I bought the parts on eBay and when on special to get the best price. I bought all the tools I needed for the plan.

Most of it went out the window the moment that I picked up and stated working on the car. That was over 7 years ago and I work on the car about three plus nights a week. I am always finding little things that I don't like when it is actually in place so it back tracks. If you want to build the kit and make no modifications, you can do what you want. The second you deviate from the plan, nothing will help you as the changes cascade though out the project.

I am a planner, but these kits are not conducive to a planner. :)

An example is the interior. I wanted to build like everyone else, but then it came time to put the seats in and look around, I was disappointed. Steering column not centered so frame cutting, redesign of steering column. Change in brake booster mounting place. Then dash didn't look like I wanted so more frame cutting, welding, design, plugs, molds, fiberglass work. Then needed better door interiors/exteriors. This work was about 2 years of unplanned work that I could not have imagined when I started the build.

If you want to build it with a plan. The first step is to NEVER visit any forum and NEVER look at anyone's plans and work. Lock yourself in your garage and don't come out until you have finished.

I took my inspiration from many others in the forums and it cost me years of building because builders always come up with the coolest ideas that you never thought of. Spaceclam cost me a couple of months or more in building a rear diffuser ( and I thank him for it )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
Just a touch-up:

With restorations, You have the benefit of an inspection, you know what parts you wish to replace anyway (like shocks, belts, hoses, pulleys, wiring, upholstery etc) and the parts themselves can be purchased. Certain things deteriorate as a function of time and can be predicted, and you can piece together your powertrain entirely on paper before spending a cent. You are in well charted territory.

With a coupe, there is no inspection, and the only characteristic trait is the total lack of consistency. More specifically, you have no idea what you are going to need to do until you put parts together. And since you cant do certain steps until prerequisite steps are completed, there is absolutely no way to plan for what may or may not need to be fixed or replaced. We aren't dealing with ISO9001 suppliers and licensed, professional large-project contractors here, far from it. We have a small company putting together "inexpensive" kits which are a fantastic value, but have serious quality control problems, where the only alternative is to do it yourself.

For example, my body did not start settling down until after it had been installed 7-8 times, and was well over a year old. At which point, I realized the back was crooked, so to compensate, I had to make a new rear spoiler which is about 3/16 higher on one side, otherwise it looked really wrong. There was no way to plan for this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
840 Posts
IMO I think the FFR assembly manual is a very good outline of the order inwhich the work can be done that will eliminate many "do overs". I have built two coupes and both have had different do overs. Mostly because I would see someone else's build and think I like that and I would modify my build to incorporate others "improvements" if you will.

I think at best most projects need a contingency fund and timeline that will allow you to change your mind or put on your personal touches. You may not know what those are until you get to a certain point in your build. IMO the experience should be fun and remember there is more than one way to do anything, some will be more right than others :) .

I am anxious to watch your build take shape on this forum.


Clois Harlan
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top