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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
is there anyone here that has experience with modern roadsters and what people do to cut off some weight for racing? its not exactly like a sedan where you can just take out the back seat. are there any reasonable ways to drop 75-100 pounds. im already much lighter than the average person (130) so i figure i have 50-70 pounds off most people driving the car, but the less weight the better.
 

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As a semi-former Porsche owner (the burned wreckage is still sitting in my driveway), I can tell you what a lot of people do to race-prep their cars.

1) Go to fiberglass or carbon fiber body panels. This can cut hundreds of pounds, but I expect none will be available immediately.

2) Get rid of the extras. A/C, power steering, power brakes, power windows. Anything with a motor adds weight and excess wiring. You can go the next step and get rid of the stereo. A fully race-prepped car with have nothing but bare metal in the interior. Heating/cooling ducts, trim, carpeting are all gone.

3) Replace those heavy seats. Race seats are designed to hold you during fast cornering. They are also designed to be much lighter than stock factory seats.

4) Glass is heavy. Most fully race-prepped cars have plexi-glass all around. This does two things: cut weight and it gets rid of something that could kill you in a crash.

5) Wheels are heavy. Those low-profile big-rimmed tires aren't just for show. Magnesium rims are very lightweight. How do you tell the showy rims from the performance rims? Race rims will start at about $4,000 for a set.
 

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Take out anything having to do with sound deadening or acoustics - another 100# or so.

15lbs - 20 lbs if you saw off every part of a bolt sticking past a nut, and trim any flange possible.

You didn't say "race legal" or anything like that, so get a hole saw and have at it with the bumper beams.

CF like ex-porsche owner legion says. Fenders, decklid, hood.

Remove the inner splash shields. Maybe 8 lbs.

Get a CF hard top made and remove anything having to do with the convertible top - including the top itself. Prolly 75 lbs right there.

If you put a cage in the car, you can cut out the windows and door inners IF you put in a door protection bar. Usually nets another few pounds at the expense of convenience.

Rear glass = lexan. 4 - 8 lbs.

Side glass = lexan. Prolly 6-12 lbs.
 

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Know it goes over with a "Duh", but it's often overlooked, only fill that 13.5 gallon tank a quarter full. Even at 19 MPG, you really don't need to haul around a race track enough gas to go 250 miles. But a 5-7 gallon fuel cell would add a level of safety at the expense of just a little extra weight. (and think of the trunk space!)
 

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Here's a run down for comparison if you replace the parts of a Porsche 944 with fiberglass/CF/Lexan parts. This is just an example since this is a coupe with a rear window.

Wide Body Quarter Panels: 4 lbs each (saves ~5 lbs each)
Front Bumper: 4 lbs (saves 27 lbs)
Rear Bumper: 4 lbs (saves 27 lbs)
Sun Roof Panel: 1.5 lbs (saves 22 lbs)
Hood: 14 lbs (saves 65 lbs)
Door Skin: 8lbs (saves ~10 lbs each)
Rear Window: 17 lbs (saves 64 lbs)
Windshield: 9 lbs (saves 18 lbs)

So you just saved 253 lbs. But you also just spent near $10,000 too.
 

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Someone's been on the GT Racing website...
 

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legion said:
Someone's been on the GT Racing website...
Yeah, I've wanted to rebuild my 924 as a 924 GT car for a long time. However the $10,000 alone in fiberglass body parts pales to the $1000 I paid for the car. Especially a car that only had 115HP brand new in 1978.

solsticeman said:
-# = -($^2)

The signs are correct, negative pounds, and negative impact to your bank account.
Yeah, it's just ridiculuos compared to the much smaller ammount of money it usually takes to give a car more power. That's why I always laugh whenever I see a Civic with just a CF hood or quarter panel. They believe they've greatly improved their car, but they don't understand how many more $1000's they need to spend to make a real difference to your non-profesional driver who can't tell the difference, unless it's a giganitc difference. I guess it's just one of those niche markets that doesn't create too much competition to drive part costs down closer to the actual manufactuering costs.
 

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i have a cf hood on my car it was 150 more than the fiberglass and i dident have to paint it. so it came even in the end. when you get aftermarket parts like hoods and fenders they are usaly fiberglass sence they cant stamp steel parts.
 

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legion said:
5) Wheels are heavy. Those low-profile big-rimmed tires aren't just for show. Magnesium rims are very lightweight. How do you tell the showy rims from the performance rims? Race rims will start at about $4,000 for a set.
Umm I wouldn't suggest Magnesium wheels to anyone. If your brakes ever overheated and caught fire those mag wheels will light up like the fourth of July. Magnesium burns VERY easily and is extremely volatile. The flame from the magnesium burning can literally burn your retinas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
isnt there a coating/polishing/treatment that can be done to the wheels to prevent this inferno? i dont see how they can be legal if they are such a fire hazard. ive seen small amounts of magnesium catch fire and the amount of it in those wheels would definitely cause some fireworks. i really doubt the wheels would react the same way.
 

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Some early 911s had magnesium engine blocks. (They used nikasil to coat the cylinders?) Most wheels are chromed or clear coated.
 

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Word is that Pontiac will be offering GTOs as developed chassis for Grand Am racing in GT class. Probably not until next year as they will spend this season sorting things.

Word also is that Pontiac is going to go after the Miata (MX-5) in autocross and spec and GT class road racing. Could be they will offer something like a 'body in white' for serious racers. Similar to how you can buy a BMW 3 series. Then too, they may offer a minimalist version for autocrossers, similar to the Dodge ACR package.

If you really want to be competitive on track or autocross with your Solstice, its a cinch you'll want to order a base model with LSD and ABS only. No power, no AC, no nothin'. Then start taking off everything else you don't need. As rules allow, of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
how much lighter do you think a solstice with only LSD and ABS will be from a loaded one? and also, is the stated 2860 lbs a measure of the loaded or base car?
 

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godspeed06 said:
isnt there a coating/polishing/treatment that can be done to the wheels to prevent this inferno? i dont see how they can be legal if they are such a fire hazard. ive seen small amounts of magnesium catch fire and the amount of it in those wheels would definitely cause some fireworks. i really doubt the wheels would react the same way.
My grandfather told me stories from WWII where they would get rid of old magnesium airplane wheels by setting them on fire. Quickest way to dispose of them! :yesnod:
 

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godspeed06 said:
how much lighter do you think a solstice with only LSD and ABS will be from a loaded one? and also, is the stated 2860 lbs a measure of the loaded or base car?
Racing rule of thumb is about 30# weight savings for taking off the AC. The 2860 is almost sure to be a model level with AC, so we know the $19,995 car weighs at least 2830, probably less.
 

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I believe the 2860 was a speculated weight for fully loaded models that include AC. Getting it without the AC and other options might save you 20-60 lbs depending on how heavy the particular equipment is. Since the Solstice is a small car the AC unit probably isn't overly heavy since it has to cool only a small area. I'm betting it would be similar to the weight of the Corvette AC if you can find its weight.
 
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