Weight reduction: Running out of ideas.

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The Artist formerly known as Turbo84
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
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Clinging to my guns and religion in KCMO.
Running out of ideas to get some more weight out of the '69. I'm down to about a half dozen, all of them a slight PITA.

1) I have the stamped steel bracket (sitting on the shelf) to hang the steering column and pedals, but I am so dreading pulling the dash apart to pull out the original heavy cast iron piece. I can't explain it, but messing with the dash is the one part of a car I absolutely hate messing with.

2) Heater core. It started leaking on me about 20 years ago so I rerouted the hoses. I have a new core in the box (under about 20 years of dust) sitting in the garage. I never installed it (because I hate messing with the dash assembly). I've gotten along just fine in the last two decades without the heater, so I would like to lose a couple vehicle pounds by just getting rid of the heater core.

3) Swapping out the trans crossmember for an aluminum version. Definitely a winter project.

4) Replacing the frame behind the batwing mounts with a bolt-in aluminum substitute (similar to the C4 design). Would have been smarter to have done this when I had the body off years ago, but I couldn't weld aluminum back then, and I was more focused on just getting the new suspension to work out on the replacement frame. The part that causes me some pause is that I don't know how much that rear section of the frame weighs, and I hate cutting that section off the frame just to put it on the scale to determine if it would be a productive use of my time and the material expense. I might have to look around to see if I can locate (buy) that section to get the weight and use it for a pattern.

5) Swap the Muncie back into the car. The present Nash box is 99# (filled), and my bathroom scale puts my Muncie at 70# (with probably some of the lube leaked out). A roughly 25# reduction would be nice, even if it's down low and in the center of the car. The upper four gear ratios in each box are darn near the same, so there shouldn't be any difference in "drivability" at speed. I would have to replace the clutch disc too as the Muncie input shaft is 10 spline, and the Nash is 28(?) spline. I have seen Speedway Motors selling some lightweight pressure plates so that might be an additional couple pounds off the car. The present clutch disc and pressure plate is 30 years old, so I'm not throwing out reasonably new parts.

That's all I got. If anybody can think of any less painful ways to take some more weight out of the car I would appreciate the input.

Thanks,
Mike
 
heater core: that thing is heavy, well worth the effort getting it out.... I posted a few photos of that monster here: http://vettemod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8835&highlight=heater+ac

other than that.... you've already done so much to reduce weight, you saw my "gut the doors" thread - the frames and skins are not heavy at all, stock (fully loaded) doors seem to be around 70-80 lbs.... the gutted door is probably half that..... I'll weigh the old and new door when I'm doing the swap.....
 
I had AC but I tore out the whole heater/AC assembly including duct work and controls. Vents are now open all the time.

How about carbon fiber T-tops and hood? Aluminum block?
 
Mike, I understand your reluctance to deal with the dash, but I tricked mine into being really easy to deal with.....

I rerouted my speedo cable to fit my trans on the left side, and so under the rug and through a 1/2" hole in the floorboard....but now I recall the Muncie is on the right side for speedo hookup...only been 15 years, why should I recall that now??? at any rate, the other mod was going to 75+ electric tach, then I got tired of all them stupid bulbs....I bought a 4 pin molex plug at Rat Shack, and wired all the bulbs to it, with just ONE gray wire feeding about 60 bulbs in the back light, same for center console, but my center gauges are not stock either....I tied both pods together with a jumper wire so only one ground spade is used, I can drop the cover/column, 6 phillips screws and have that whole assy in my hand in less than ten minits....nice and clean and not have 60 light bulbs hanging in the wiring harness, I just BET the UAW loved dealing with that dash 40 years ago, hear the cussing NOW@!!~

and yes, the heater core does weigh more than we'd expect....BTDT also, of course.....

I dunno, when it comes to some shit I seen on most gear/houses/shit I have worked on, I automatically cut out so much shit that in the way, modify hell outta stuff I don't even think about it anymore....

:clobbered::nuts:
 
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I had AC but I tore out the whole heater/AC assembly including duct work and controls. Vents are now open all the time.

How about carbon fiber T-tops and hood? Aluminum block?

I would love CF T-tops and hood, but I've never seen any on the market, and I don't presently possess the expertise (or perhaps talent) to make my own CF parts.

Got the al block.
 
I had AC but I tore out the whole heater/AC assembly including duct work and controls. Vents are now open all the time.

How about carbon fiber T-tops and hood? Aluminum block?

I would love CF T-tops and hood, but I've never seen any on the market, and I don't presently possess the expertise (or perhaps talent) to make my own CF parts.

Got the al block.

DAMN man, maybe you need leave that iron column support in there, it's the only thing holding that car down......:lol::friends:
 
I had AC but I tore out the whole heater/AC assembly including duct work and controls. Vents are now open all the time.

How about carbon fiber T-tops and hood? Aluminum block?

I would love CF T-tops and hood, but I've never seen any on the market, and I don't presently possess the expertise (or perhaps talent) to make my own CF parts.

Got the al block.

Dang! Wasn't aware of the al block! Details, pics please.
 
I had AC but I tore out the whole heater/AC assembly including duct work and controls. Vents are now open all the time.

How about carbon fiber T-tops and hood? Aluminum block?

I would love CF T-tops and hood, but I've never seen any on the market, and I don't presently possess the expertise (or perhaps talent) to make my own CF parts.

Got the al block.

Dang! Wasn't aware of the al block! Details, pics please.

Nothing terribly special. It's basically just an L36 with a little more cam, carb, valve size, and less cast iron. The orange paint on the timing cover jumps out enough to make the engine look completely stock in the car. So far I haven't had anyone look at the engine compartment and notice anything out of the ordinary.

IM001484.jpg
 
Pull the factory steering column and wheel - replace with a shaft and bearing set up :
126951f9aa65ad394.jpg

If you aren't yet using a rear dual mount mono-leaf spring - that drops pounds - and eliminates the rear sway bar. If you are drag racing the car - you can always pull the front sway - or use a dual mount up there too in lieu of coil-overs.

Pull the T-Top liners and spray with Rhino Liner - or DIY Ceramic spray?
Pull all the carpet AND insulation and spray ceramic.

Dump the key lock and go with push-button start?

Go to a single wiper?


Pretty soon you'll be down to removing ounces not pounds!
Skip that extra beer at lunch? :wink:

Cheers - Jim
 
Pull the factory steering column and wheel - replace with a shaft and bearing set up :
126951f9aa65ad394.jpg
The car has to look stock. That's my main restriction on the changes to the car.
If you aren't yet using a rear dual mount mono-leaf spring - that drops pounds - and eliminates the rear sway bar. If you are drag racing the car - you can always pull the front sway - or use a dual mount up there too in lieu of coil-overs. I'm running a pretty stiff rear spring so I'm not using a rear bar.

Pull the T-Top liners and spray with Rhino Liner - or DIY Ceramic spray? I pulled the top liner to give me some head/helmet room.
Pull all the carpet AND insulation and spray ceramic. Need the carpet for the stock look and to add a little bit of sound insulation.

Dump the key lock and go with push-button start? I've heard the later steering columns are lighter. I'm still working out the electrical details.

Go to a single wiper? Hmmm.... :idea:


Pretty soon you'll be down to removing ounces not pounds!
Skip that extra beer at lunch? :wink:

Cheers - Jim
Fan shroud bracket.

IM001877.jpg
 
Mike, I understand your reluctance to deal with the dash, but I tricked mine into being really easy to deal with.....

then I got tired of all them stupid bulbs....I bought a 4 pin molex plug at Rat Shack, and wired all the bulbs to it, with just ONE gray wire feeding about 60 bulbs in the back light, same for center console, but my center gauges are not stock either....I tied both pods together with a jumper wire so only one ground spade is used, I can drop the cover/column, 6 phillips screws and have that whole assy in my hand in less than ten minits....nice and clean and not have 60 light bulbs hanging in the wiring harness, I just BET the UAW loved dealing with that dash 40 years ago, hear the cussing NOW@!!~
...

:clobbered::nuts:

Ditto: All my tach and speedo bulbs feed off of a common harness. Makes it SOOO much easier to replace the panels.
 
You haven't identified all the weight reducing things you've done .. I've always been interested in you weight reduction postings.

Deleting the Doug Nash tranny for 20 pounds may not be a good idea if you have a lot of HP. BTW, Doug Nash sold out to Richmond and the Richmond version of Doug's 5 speed is only rated at 450 ft-lbs. Upon discovering this I switched to a Tremac T-600 and a new Tom's Diff 3.73:1 rear end. The Tremac is rated at 600 ft-lbs. I think the Doug Nash was rated at about 600 ft-lbs.

I've gotten rid of the gross cast iron piece that mates the steering wheel column to the window frame. I did this in conjunction with installing a Hydroboost (aka Hydrobeast). This is the highwater mark of the most difficult replacement thing I've done on a C3. I used the opportunity to rebuild and renew the entire clutch and brake foot pedal assembly.

Tom' Diff was going to offer the diff casting in aluminum. As far as I know, this has never happened after all these years and also after Tom has spend 100,000's of dollars on this
What about the bumper support brackets and bolts? Have you recreated these in aluminum and used aluminum/titanium bolts?

Getting rid of the pop up headlights, a al Le Mans style saves some weight.

I've removed my spare tire tubs, which creates a big air drag...the under area after the rear suspension becomes an like a big cookie cutter. I'm planning on covering this area with an aluminum sheet. I need to have an aluminum bulkhead created just after the rear axles to do this. So far, for the last two weeks, I've been too busy to head off to a machine shop to have this bracket created in aluminum. It's a pisser when you're spending so much time working that you don't have time to spend money!!

Have you thought about replacing the lead acid battery with a Lithium ion battery? You'll need to modify the voltage regulator on the alternator slightly. You'll really have to do this.

If you were a Microsoft/Apple billionaire you wouldn't be asking us for weight savings ideas!!!!! There gets to a point where after all the low hanging fruit, weight savings gets exponentially expensive. Hmmm.. a balloon of helium in the rear storage compartment might save a pound.
 
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I had AC but I tore out the whole heater/AC assembly including duct work and controls. Vents are now open all the time.

How about carbon fiber T-tops and hood? Aluminum block?

I would love CF T-tops and hood, but I've never seen any on the market, and I don't presently possess the expertise (or perhaps talent) to make my own CF parts.

Got the al block.

Dang! Wasn't aware of the al block! Details, pics please.

Nothing terribly special. It's basically just an L36 with a little more cam, carb, valve size, and less cast iron. The orange paint on the timing cover jumps out enough to make the engine look completely stock in the car. So far I haven't had anyone look at the engine compartment and notice anything out of the ordinary.

IM001484.jpg

Is that a GM ZL-1 block?
 
Yep, that's a ZL-1 block.

The problem is I can't get him far enough away from it for long enough.:crap:
 
If you were a Microsoft/Apple billionaire you wouldn't be asking us for weight savings ideas!!!!! There gets to a point where after all the low hanging fruit, weight savings gets exponentially expensive. Hmmm.. a balloon of helium in the rear storage compartment might save a pound.


I had suggested that some time ago, but methinks he thinks it stinks....

:hissyfit::clobbered:
 
Fixed headlights.

Heater box fan assembly. It is heavier than you think.

Door panels.

Carpet.

Radio.

Factory gage cluster.
 
Some one makes a cf hood. It was posted here or one of the other forums.
 
The factory dash and Gage's are heavy. I'm looking for a fiberglass replacement
A gen 2 Camaro fg dash is 4 lbs.
 
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