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#2439932 - 01/24/18 08:20 AM Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order?
MRGTX Offline
member

Registered: 11/17/13
Posts: 91
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Everybody knows that less mass and better balance means a more capable (and usually more fun) car.

Going from a stock car, which weight reduction mods would you start with? Which ones would you not bother with?

How far would you be willing to go with a street driven car?
What are your plans?

Lighter wheels?
Fiberglass hood?
Fiberglass front bumper?
Fiberglass rear bumper?
Aluminum bumper brackets?
Battery relocation?
Other fiberglass body part?
Lexan(?)windows?





Edited by MRGTX (01/24/18 08:21 AM)

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#2439947 - 01/24/18 09:04 AM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
Bob J Offline
member

Registered: 11/16/16
Posts: 187
Loc: Colorado
I was thinking of moving the battery but you have the added weight of the cable. With modern light weight batteries is it worth it over the weight of the cable? On the rear fiberglass bumper my thought is after driving a 911 I don't want that large weight of bumper and brackets that far back. The large weight behind the wheels will move you around, granted it's less than in a 911 but it's way back there.
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#2439975 - 01/24/18 10:04 AM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
moparx Offline
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Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 8980
Loc: north of coder
check out the "real world weight loss" thread in the race section. absolute TONS of ideas ! every little bit counts ! member FMJ is over the top when it comes to weight reduction. he makes jenny craig look like a 10,000lb. hippo ! biggrin
beer

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#2439985 - 01/24/18 10:21 AM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
Supercuda Offline
I Live Here

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 13457
Loc: up yours
Another consideration and Bob touched on it, weight location.

There are certain things you cannot do without, even getting a lightweight battery, you still need a battery and it can be located in a more advantageous location. Putting the battery and the end of the vehicle is a bad choice. You want the weight of the vehicle centered and down low.

If you are going to relocate things, or can relocate them give thought to putting it and low down as you can and as close tot eh center as you can.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moment_of_inertia
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#2440136 - 01/24/18 02:26 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
RylisPro Offline


Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 2328
Loc: NorCal
Aluminum block would be my most difficult but most effective weight reduction mod. It took off around 80 lbs from the front end. Here is my car's weight on autoxcuda's scale last year at Big Willow.

If you do the math it ends as a 55%/45% front/rear split.

This was with 295's still so my car will be a little heavier this year with 315's. Fiberglass bumpers, hood, trunk lower valance, steel bumpers brackets, gutted interior with no wiper motor. Lighter wheels are a toss up as you really want stiffer and wider wheels as possible. Wider tires also weigh more as well. I'm going to work on gutted doors as I have a mild steel cage
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#2440235 - 01/24/18 06:22 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: Bob J]
myduster360 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 325
Loc: central IL
Originally Posted By Bob J
I was thinking of moving the battery but you have the added weight of the cable. With modern light weight batteries is it worth it over the weight of the cable? On the rear fiberglass bumper my thought is after driving a 911 I don't want that large weight of bumper and brackets that far back. The large weight behind the wheels will move you around, granted it's less than in a 911 but it's way back there.


Apples and Oranges,,A 911 is in the 40/60 range for weight distribution(for very good reasons) but most mopars are nearly the opposite,,they nearly have 60% of their weight on the front axle
Any Mopar has a LONG road just to get anywhere close to 50/50.

Any weight you can get off the FRONT end will not only improve handling but also braking. So YES get the battery in the trunk. Front Bumper & Brackets, hood

I'm going so far as to swap in a 300hp Pentastar V6 into my 72 Swinger. It's not only 200lb lighter but 10" shorter than an iron small block. So its light weight is also centered further to the rear.

www.forabodiesonly.com/mopar/attachments/upload_2017-12-23_19-5-46-png.1715123788


www.forabodiesonly.com/mopar/attachments/upload_2017-11-25_19-28-43-png.1715114595


Edited by myduster360 (01/24/18 06:31 PM)
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#2440258 - 01/24/18 07:18 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
Bob J Offline
member

Registered: 11/16/16
Posts: 187
Loc: Colorado
I know that a 911 is a different animal but that bumper out back on a GTX is way out there. Drag racers also put the battery way out back for weight transfer. That and a steel bumper and brackets will only help getting the pendulum effect going. Moving the battery over the rear axle might be worth the added weight of the cable as it gets the weight of the nose. Or go with a battery that weighs 2 or 3 lbs but not cheap. Run 1 Hi Low horn not 2 as it's out front and cheap to do.

I'm trying to get my GTX under 3400 and most of the weight is from the nose of the car. You can also do some drilling. It's a power window assy. that I took a pound out of ans 1.5 lbs out of the backs.


Attachments
IMG_1600 (1).JPG




Edited by Bob J (01/24/18 07:20 PM)
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#2440271 - 01/24/18 07:40 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
MRGTX Offline
member

Registered: 11/17/13
Posts: 91
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Awesome stuff, guys!
I’ve been sold on the concept of a battery relocation job for a while...I’m thinking that mounting it right behind the rear passenger seat would be optimal for handling. Has anyone done that?
Did you make your own kit or did you buy one? Most tracks (drag, road, Autox) require a metal box, correct?

While the Pentastar swap is an insanely cool project, some of us are V8 loyalists. smile too bad the Modern Hemi engines still run iron blocks! Aluminum heads seem like a golden opportunity at least...how much weight to be shaved there on a small block?

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#2440293 - 01/24/18 08:27 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
RylisPro Offline


Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 2328
Loc: NorCal
Moving the battery behind the passenger seat is not a bad idea. You would lose pounds of cable doing so. The battery box can be plastic but the battery itself has to be bolted down with metal to the body. I have also used a Deka 16 lightweight AGM battery on my old 340 before and it started up fine but had issues on hot days.

Aluminum blocks are available for the Gen 3 Hemi but it is another $4 grand extra
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#2440300 - 01/24/18 08:43 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
myduster360 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 325
Loc: central IL
You'll gain even more from relocating the battery if its as far back as you can get. So not the high up near the rear seat back but even further back by the bumper. If a 20lb battery is placed say 2ft behind the rear axle, it will create a moment about the axle and is like removing an additional 5lb right off the Front axle of a 3600lb B-body.


Removing rear weight hurts weight distribution but can still have its benefits. Hyperco rear fiberglass Leafs will shave a good 70lbs of static weight off the car but most of it is UnSprung weight, which is a great thing for a portly live axle.


Edited by myduster360 (01/25/18 10:08 AM)
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#2440312 - 01/24/18 09:09 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
autoxcuda Offline
Too Many Posts

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 25909
Loc: So Cal
Next battery I buy will go under the passenger seat. Small gel cel like an Odyssey or something

My steering box is worn I'm thinking of a borgenson.

Going to upgrade front brakes with aluminum calipers, hubs, adapter

Going to install aluminum power steering pump with remote resivior.

Want to remove heater and heater box.


I currently have: one plastic horn, aluminum: heads, radiator, water pump, master clylinder,

My 68 Barracuda coupe:


Edited by autoxcuda (01/24/18 09:39 PM)
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#2440328 - 01/24/18 09:26 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: myduster360]
Supercuda Offline
I Live Here

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 13457
Loc: up yours
Originally Posted By myduster360
You'll gain even more from relocating the battery if its as far back as you can get. So not the high up near the rear seat back but even further back by the bumper. If a 20lb battery is placed say 2ft behind the rear axle, it will create a moment about the axle and is like removing an additional 5lb right off the Front axle of a 3600lb B-body.




That thinking is adequate for straight line racing. Putting the battery far back is not ideal in racing involving turns. The farther you have a weight from the center the more it wants to resist turning. That is why a mid engined car out handles a rear engined one, all else being equal. Under the rear seat pass side for the battery, ala VW Bug, is ideal, but likely no room.
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#2440480 - 01/25/18 08:57 AM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: autoxcuda]
MRGTX Offline
member

Registered: 11/17/13
Posts: 91
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Originally Posted By autoxcuda
Next battery I buy will go under the passenger seat. Small gel cel like an Odyssey or something

My steering box is worn I'm thinking of a borgenson.

Going to upgrade front brakes with aluminum calipers, hubs, adapter

Going to install aluminum power steering pump with remote resivior.

Want to remove heater and heater box.


I currently have: one plastic horn, aluminum: heads, radiator, water pump, master clylinder,

...


Awesome...I've come to realize that you have blazed a lot of trails with your Barracuda so I'm always interested in your findings, your advice and your plans!

Which brakes are you looking at? How much weight will those save over stock style disk brake calipers?

Plastic horn? This never occurred to me. Which one did you go with?

The aluminum steering pump sounds like a good opportunity to save a few lbs off of the nose but did you ever consider just going to a manual box?






Edited by MRGTX (01/25/18 08:58 AM)

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#2440506 - 01/25/18 10:02 AM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: Supercuda]
myduster360 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 325
Loc: central IL
Originally Posted By Θάνατος
Originally Posted By myduster360
You'll gain even more from relocating the battery if its as far back as you can get. So not the high up near the rear seat back but even further back by the bumper. If a 20lb battery is placed say 2ft behind the rear axle, it will create a moment about the axle and is like removing an additional 5lb right off the Front axle of a 3600lb B-body.




That thinking is adequate for straight line racing. Putting the battery far back is not ideal in racing involving turns. The farther you have a weight from the center the more it wants to resist turning. That is why a mid engines car out handles a rear engine one, all else being equal. Under the rear seat pass side for the battery, ala VW Bug, is ideal, but likely no room.


No, in fact its pointedly true for any car trying to turn.

The OP B-body has nearly 60% of its weight on the front wheels. That's a huge amount of weight. Same with autoxcuda's A-body. So the Center of Gravity of those vehicles is quite forward the car's geometric center. Its about the CG is where the vehicle will turn.

Its a fact that cars with a REAR weight bias both handle and brake better compared to a cars with a FRONT weight bias(All mopars).

Its also a fact that moving the heavy weight of the Battery furthest to the Rear of the car will contribute the MOST to moving the CG rearward. But move the same Battery half as far and that contribution will be diminished accordingly. Given the fuss of moving a battery, why bother moving it half way?

Seems the Spare Tire well of an A-body(like all LX cars) would be a great place for a battery. But using a set of scales to pick the perfect spot would be ideal.


Edited by myduster360 (01/25/18 10:04 AM)
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#2440632 - 01/25/18 02:04 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
autoxcuda Offline
Too Many Posts

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 25909
Loc: So Cal
Originally Posted By MRGTX
Originally Posted By autoxcuda
Next battery I buy will go under the passenger seat. Small gel cel like an Odyssey or something

My steering box is worn I'm thinking of a borgenson.

Going to upgrade front brakes with aluminum calipers, hubs, adapter

Going to install aluminum power steering pump with remote resivior.

Want to remove heater and heater box.


I currently have: one plastic horn, aluminum: heads, radiator, water pump, master clylinder,

...


Awesome...I've come to realize that you have blazed a lot of trails with your Barracuda so I'm always interested in your findings, your advice and your plans!

Which brakes are you looking at? How much weight will those save over stock style disk brake calipers?

Plastic horn? This never occurred to me. Which one did you go with?

The aluminum steering pump sounds like a good opportunity to save a few lbs off of the nose but did you ever consider just going to a manual box?



Looking at Willwood or Dr Diff 13".

Universal JC Whitney/Summit type horn. Newer little cars have real small plastic horns.

I drive it a lot on the street and go down to more urban So Cal areas. Even on a road course I for a heavy street car I like it. I don't autocross it anymore, but I would not want it for that.
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#2440635 - 01/25/18 02:11 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
Mopar Mitch Offline
super stock

Registered: 01/17/10
Posts: 1051
Loc: NW Chicago suburban area
Weight reduction is one the most important factors, along with balancing... side-to-side (l-r) for each half (f/r).... with the driver and as you plan to drive/race it the majority of time.

Front seats can drop weight 20-30-40 pounds.

Master brake cylinder.. go with aluminum. and consider keeping or removing the power booster.

Radio stereo? eliminating all can reduce about 20-30-40-50 punds, pending what you have.

Do you need the passenger door mirror?
Do you need a front and/or rear spoiler?
Carpeting and insulation?

The list from everyone can be further expanded.

But, are you considering running in any sanctioned organized club events that have RULES/restrictions per your chosen class? consider your choices. IF you're an outlaw... running without RULES for mods of your car, then there's no limits, but, if you choose to run competitively in a sanctioned club event with RULES/restrictions, then decide ahead and make your mods very selectively. In other words, you don't want to over-or-under-mod your car then find yourself not competitive... and not happy having the fun you're hoping for.

With my own Challenger T/A (cloned long time ago, back in the 70's.. 80's), I followed the SCCA E/Street Prepared Solo II class rules for any mods done to the car... was ultimately able to get the weight of the car down, legally, to ~3150 (1/8-1/4 tank gas) w/o driver, with ~52f/48r% balance, and also had the side-to-sides equaled nearly same to each other... with driver as raced. Its also street/hwy driven.. raced seriously and highly competitively at AX/HSAX/HPDE events.

My battery (lt-wt Optima) is located far r/r of the trunk...as that's where the scales showed it to be best located. I tried it centered above the differential... scales showed it better far r/r. Overall, car handles great!


Edited by Mopar Mitch (01/25/18 02:15 PM)
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#2440684 - 01/25/18 03:57 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: Mopar Mitch]
myduster360 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 325
Loc: central IL
Originally Posted By Mopar Mitch
My battery (lt-wt Optima) is located far r/r of the trunk...as that's where the scales showed it to be best located. I tried it centered above the differential... scales showed it better far r/r. Overall, car handles great!


Thats right where i'm figuring it should be, especially with the weight of the driver included.

52f/48r% is pretty decent.


Edited by myduster360 (01/25/18 03:59 PM)
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#2440883 - 01/26/18 02:44 AM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
EagleDuster Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/17
Posts: 24
Loc: Northern Colorado
Here's a great reference for weight reduction in A-bodies for common parts, no mention of F/R distribution change but it's pretty easy to get an idea which parts go on the front or back of the car...

A-body Mopar Weight Reduction

I haven't done much to reduce weight on my '70 Duster aside from an aluminum intake and gutting the factory A/C system from under the hood but I do plan to relocate the battery to the trunk; thinking of going with stock or slightly larger battery to maximize the offset effect. I also plan to replace the steel 15" Rallye wheels with something aluminum, probably no bigger than 17" for weight reasons (am I thinking right here? lol... tires will be 26" tall in front, 27" in back). I'm also thinking of ditching the factory power steering system and going with a manual box and electric P/S system out of a newer car; I've heard it's pretty straightforward and very cheap. I'll need the space anyway when I do my Gen 3 Hemi swap.
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#2440887 - 01/26/18 03:25 AM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: EagleDuster]
RylisPro Offline


Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 2328
Loc: NorCal
Lighter wheels are a toss up. 17 inch wheels have a limited amount of Extreme Performance Summer sizes unless your are happy with 255/40-17's. 18 inch wheels will have a much wider range of performance tire sizes. That in turn will make the tire heavier. You really want wider and stiffer wheels because it will transfer more hp/tq to the road. This should translate to faster track times.

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#2441261 - 01/26/18 08:34 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: RylisPro]
ahy Offline
master

Registered: 01/22/07
Posts: 7614
Loc: IN
A couple of easy and relatively low cost items would be AL manifold and water pump. Add aluminum heads and radiator. These help both overall weight and F/R balance.

I do believe rear battery is a good idea for balance.

Aluminum block would be really nice but spendy.

Lighter body panels (fenders, hood) would really help but expensive and may look funny.

On wheels, high end forged AL wheels in size of your choice can lighten things up but spendy.

Personally, I would not lighten up bumpers or brackets or door beams w/o cage for safety.

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#2441469 - 01/27/18 10:51 AM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
NV69B7RR Offline
master

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 5871
Loc: Reno, Nevada
The Red Brick has:
- battery in the RR corner of the trunk.
-Aluminum heads, intake, wage pump, radiator, trans case
-Cage with really low door bars
-Sparco seats that were as low to floor as you could go
-No stereo
-No heater box
-Lightweight air cleaner housing and lid
-removed torsion rods from trunk
-No rear seat

Basically a lot of thought was given as to lightening as much up as you could, and keeping what weight you did have as low as possible. It has all steel panels and bumpers. Its scaled weight is with almost a full tank of gas (stock tank).


Attachments
RBscale.jpg




Edited by NV69B7RR (01/27/18 10:51 AM)
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#2441567 - 01/27/18 01:27 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
autoxcuda Offline
Too Many Posts

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 25909
Loc: So Cal
Just a caution:

The 50.1% and 50.4% numbers in Rylispro and NV69B7RR posts are Left and Right percentage.

Not Front to Rear percentage.


....Sorry my mistake, I should have had the scale readout set FF/RR %. Later in the day I fixed that.
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#2441627 - 01/27/18 02:47 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
Bob J Offline
member

Registered: 11/16/16
Posts: 187
Loc: Colorado
You guys talked me into moving the battery to the trunk. I'm also rethinking the rear bumper and will start with steel and see what I think plus I could use the cash other places. Autoxcuda what car did your horn come from? I was thinking one of the German imports but it will be what pull and pay has.
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#2441658 - 01/27/18 03:40 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: NV69B7RR]
MuuMuu101 Offline
I got lucky at Woodward!

Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 12255
Loc: Covina, Ca
Originally Posted By NV69B7RR
The Red Brick has:
- battery in the RR corner of the trunk.
-Aluminum heads, intake, wage pump, radiator, trans case
-Cage with really low door bars
-Sparco seats that were as low to floor as you could go
-No stereo
-No heater box
-Lightweight air cleaner housing and lid
-removed torsion rods from trunk
-No rear seat

Basically a lot of thought was given as to lightening as much up as you could, and keeping what weight you did have as low as possible. It has all steel panels and bumpers. Its scaled weight is with almost a full tank of gas (stock tank).


Mine is a little bit similar, but mine has the following:
- battery in the RR corner of the trunk.
-Cast Iron heads, aluminum intake, aluminum water pump, aluminum radiator, T56 transmission
-Cage with swing out door bars.
-Corbeau LG1's with stock brackets.
-Has stereo (non-functional)
-No heater box
-Standard air cleaner
-torsion rods from trunk still in place
-No rear seat

Similar setup, aside for the weight difference between a Valiant and Dart, cast-iron heads, beefier cage, T56 vs 4-speed weight, and the fact that his has a full-tank and mine has only 2-3 gallons.

Overall, mine probably weighs about 200 lbs more than the Red Brick with a full tank of gas. But there's still a lot that can be done to reduce weight. I just calculated it, the Red Brick is 54/46 weight distribution while the Dart is 56/44 weight distribution. So, aluminum heads and lighter hoods, bumpers, and quarter panels will do wonders.

When I finish my master's program (in June) I hope to make some composite pieces/body panels for the Dart. I'd like to do CF, but it's hard to justify when CF is at least $40/yard vs. Fiberglass which is $6/yard.


Attachments
20170406_134710.jpg

20170303_154135.jpg


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#2441670 - 01/27/18 04:38 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
67autocross Offline
super stock

Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 1032
Loc: Manitoba Canada
Anyone have a car under 3000 pounds without the driver? I would guess you could get a well thought out A body down to 2800 ready to race...


Attachments
EA0BAD91-84A2-4D1D-B5E1-7CC7DDD84C1D.jpeg


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#2442024 - 01/28/18 12:41 AM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: 67autocross]
autoxcuda Offline
Too Many Posts

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 25909
Loc: So Cal
Originally Posted By 67autocross
Anyone have a car under 3000 pounds without the driver? I would guess you could get a well thought out A body down to 2800 ready to race...


A 65 or older Valiant would be the best to start.

2800 will have fiberglass and not stock interior. Problem is when you put a cage to make a car rigid with sticky tires the weight goes back on.

The circle track late model race cars I worked on had full fabricated chassis with a thin floppy fiberglass skin body weighed 2650 lbs (with the trickest parts) before we put lead back in it. Most others were 2750 lbs.

Drag cars are a different animal.


Edited by autoxcuda (01/28/18 01:22 AM)
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#2442318 - 01/28/18 02:00 PM Re: Balance and weght mods- worth it? Bang:buck? What order? [Re: MRGTX]
TC@HP2 Offline
master

Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 4856
Loc: Pikes Peak Country
The biggest bang for the buck in dollars spent per pounds lost is in fiberglass body panels. Nothing else comes close. After that is the swiss cheesing and aluminum vs steel approach of various minor components throughout the car. Then come the big ticket items likes engine and suspension components, interior changes, etc.

In concert with that, as the battery discussion has pointed out, relocating existing weight within the car can net improvements without necessarily reducing weight.

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