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Practical Weight Reduction Ideas for Daily Driver

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Montpelier, VT, USA
#1
Ok, I'm trying to get an idea of what things I can do that are fairly simple to reduce weight. I'm not interested in removing seats, HVAC, and/or stereo.

I'd like ideas about the following:

-CF Hood. I see Seibon makes one, but I can't find info on how much lighter it is than stock. Anyone know? Is there a better brand?

-CF Spoiler: Seibon also makes one of these, but again I'm not finding weight reduction numbers. Same questions as above.

-Wheels/tires: I'm moving down to 15" OZ Ultraleggeras, which are 10.5 lbs lighter per wheel than OEM 17s.

-Battery: Anyone recommend any lightweight batteries? Any idea of weight reduction?

-Crash Bar: I've heard the stock crash bar is fairly heavy and lighter ones are out there. Any recommendations? Idea of weight reduction?

That's all that's come to me so far. Any other easy ideas?

Thanks in advance.
 


M-Sport fan

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#2
There is a weight thread on here somewhere.

But, one thing I will mention is IF this car is your year 'round daily driver, in New England, I would NOT go for one of the small, lower CCA, CA, and reserve capacity battery at all, unless you are going to put it on a charger every minute that the engine is not running (and maybe not even then). [wink]

The exception is one of the new generation lithium based batteries, which retain factory CCA, CA, amp hour and reserve capacity ratings, but weigh well under 10 pounds.
But those all start at ~$600.00, before the cost for the requisite bespoke charger for them. [:(]
 


OP
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Thread Starter #3
There is a weight thread on here somewhere.

But, one thing I will mention is IF this car is your year 'round daily driver, in New England, I would NOT go for one of the small, lower CCA, CA, and reserve capacity battery at all, unless you are going to put it on a charger every minute that the engine is not running (and maybe not even then). [wink]

The exception is one of the new generation lithium based batteries, which retain factory CCA, CA, amp hour and reserve capacity ratings, but weigh well under 10 pounds.
But those all start at ~$600.00, before the cost for the requisite bespoke charger for them. [:(]
I'm not averse to the idea of swapping summer/winter batteries whenever I do the wheels/tires, if that allows me to save 20+ lbs with a summer-only battery.

I've seen the Braille B14115S recommended elsewhere. Do you have any recommendations?
 


Jabbit

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#4
I'm in New England as well. My car is not my daily. I've pulled A/C, deleted rear seats, carpet, lots of interior panels. I've replaced the front crash bar with a TB Performance and I have the rear bar as well. Going to ditch my sunroof/motor for a weld-in panel. Also removing all sound deadening. Ditching all airbags shortly as well.
 


M-Sport fan

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#5
I'm not averse to the idea of swapping summer/winter batteries whenever I do the wheels/tires, if that allows me to save 20+ lbs with a summer-only battery.

I've seen the Braille B14115S recommended elsewhere. Do you have any recommendations?
Many on here use the motorsport application 680 size batteries (I would go with the Odyssey version, PC680 IF I went that route), but occasionally have discharge problems with them.

I personally would rather find other places to reduce the weight for a street driven car (even in the summer) with all of the functioning 'accessories' (wipers, AC, heat, infotainment systems, lights, etc.) still intact. [wink]
Except for the jack and spare, my car is basically gutted behind the front seats, but I still have the rear door cards, and some of the hatch plastic installed.

I also do not slap every steel brace known to man on the car (although they are mounted low in the car, so less negative effects there), as many insist on doing, and yeah wheel and tire weights make the GREATEST single difference, as you already know by your choices. [thumb]

Maybe it's only me, but far too much of how the car even performs is dependent on full/steady current delivery at all times (HPFP, injectors, ignition, ECM, etc.) for me to even chance a lower capacity battery for some weight savings, as it could become a real 'diminishing returns' thing (even 20+ pounds saved does you no good if you are sitting on the side of the road, or a track). [:(]
 


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M-Sport fan

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#6
My only fear with swapping the crash bar for a lighter tubular type is that in a front end/front clip type collision, either my, or the other at fault driver's insurance could possibly deny coverage (property damage AND medical) because of that, maybe even for a wreck determined to be a 'total'. [dunno]

(Most of them will go OUT OF THEIR WAY, to extraordinary lengths, in order to not pay a penny, if they possibly can. [mad])
 


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#7
My only fear with swapping the crash bar for a lighter tubular type is that in a front end/front clip type collision, either my, or the other at fault driver's insurance could possibly deny coverage (property damage AND medical) because of that, maybe even for a wreck determined to be a 'total'. [dunno]

(Most of them will go OUT OF THEIR WAY, to extraordinary lengths, in order to not pay a penny, if they possibly can. [mad])
Not to mention that weight is in front of the front tires, my understanding of FWD straight line traction is that weight IN FRONT of the axles is good weight.
 


Capri to ST

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#8
Not to mention that weight is in front of the front tires, my understanding of FWD straight line traction is that weight IN FRONT of the axles is good weight.
That's true, and it reminds me of the point that when you consider taking weight out of the car, you don't just want to make it lighter, you also want to preserve weight distribution. The handling of the car is set up with a certain percentage of weight on the front, and a certain percentage on the back, and if you change that balance dramatically, you could adversely affect the handling.
 


M-Sport fan

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#9
That's true, and it reminds me of the point that when you consider taking weight out of the car, you don't just want to make it lighter, you also want to preserve weight distribution. The handling of the car is set up with a certain percentage of weight on the front, and a certain percentage on the back, and if you change that balance dramatically, you could adversely affect the handling.
True, as this was my main worry about jettisoning the rear seats/belts, but I always keep a full tank of fuel in it, and I retained the jack and spare, so maybe not too bad. [dunno]
 


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Bloomington, MN, USA
#10
Since rotational weight makes such a huge difference, does anyone know if there are any good rotors that weigh less than stock, without having to go with a full big-brake kit?
 


Erick_V

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#11
That's true, and it reminds me of the point that when you consider taking weight out of the car, you don't just want to make it lighter, you also want to preserve weight distribution. The handling of the car is set up with a certain percentage of weight on the front, and a certain percentage on the back, and if you change that balance dramatically, you could adversely affect the handling.
I have the rear seat back, shelf, spare, tools, belts, brackets, wiper and sound deadening removed and the balance came out to 65/35 with half a tank. Not too bad and the car doesn’t feel any more tail happy than it did before IMO

Edit: Picture attached is WITHOUT the wheels on the car. I run a 16x8 Dekagram/RS-Pro setup so around 130lbs?
 


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#12
That's true, and it reminds me of the point that when you consider taking weight out of the car, you don't just want to make it lighter, you also want to preserve weight distribution. The handling of the car is set up with a certain percentage of weight on the front, and a certain percentage on the back, and if you change that balance dramatically, you could adversely affect the handling.
You can fix this with corner balancing I believe though, to some extent. But yeah for sure I agree.
 


PunkST

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#14
IIRC the carbon wing doesnt do anything for weight savings compared to the stock hollow plastic wing.
As for the hood. Im not sure, taking the blanket off the hood seems like it cuts the weight in half 😅.
 


OP
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Thread Starter #15
Ok, I'm moving forward with this.

My plan, with approximate weight savings estimated conservatively (IMO):

Lighter wheels/tires: -30 lbs:
+perfectly balanced all around
+rotating weight so it's even more effective

Donut replace spare: -10 lbs:
-low to the ground, so doesn't help so much with lowering the center of gravity
+will help balance front weight reduction
-car is already front/biased, so will slightly further the imbalance

Lighter battery/Mele box: -20 lbs:
+fairly high in the engine compartment, so will help with lowering center of gravity
-FWD platforms with a lot of power and skinny wheels benefit from more weight up front
+previous concern partially compensated by spare tire & rear crash bar replaced
+weight comes from driver side, which hopefully will help compensate some of my fat ass

Carbon fiber hood: -10 lbs:
+high up on the car, so will help lower center of gravity
same +/- for front weight reductions mentioned above

Lighter front/rear crash bars: -15 lbs
+perfectly balanced right to left, fairly balanced front to rear, though I imagine the front bar reduces weight a bit more than the smaller rear bar

Total: roughly 85 lbs reduction

Now I know my bigger turbo, intercooler, exhaust, downpipe, etc probably added 10-15 pounds, so I'm hoping for an overall reduction of somewhere around 75 pounds.

Not counting wheels/tires which I was going to do anyway, this should cost around $2k including installation. Not too bad.

The tire/wheel weights I'm getting from tirerack.com, and they measure the wheels to the tenth of a pound, though tires to just the nearest pound. I'm going to weight the donut, battery/box, hood, and crash bars myself and then weight the oem parts once they've come off.
 


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Mikey456

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#16
I would do the battery before the hood to offset the weight of the intercooler to save some money. Here are some examples:

Miata battery 25 lbs

Oem battery 29.5lbs

PC680mjt 13.2 lbs

Deka ETX20l 15.5 lbs310 cranking amps

But as said above there is a whole thread dedicated to saving weight. I would not change the bumpers unless it’s a dedicated track car for insurance reasons. But thats just my opinion.


2017 Ford Fiesta ST, Shadow Black, Recaro seats, Mountune RMM, Swift springs, 5mm rear spacers, Falken 615+ tires
 


OP
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Thread Starter #18
Actually I'm reading that my aftermarket downpipe and exhaust are lighter than stock, so it's probably close to a wash with all the mods I've done so far.

So I should be able to hit the 75 pounds reduction goal without swapping the front and rear crash bars. That'll keep the car safer, not mess with possible insurance complications, and save me about $800.
 


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