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Dragstrip and Launch Techniques Discussion 1/4 mile, 1/8 mile, launch discussions.

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Old 10-26-2011, 01:18 PM   #1
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BMR Weight Watchers Quest...

Everybody knows these cars are heavy but where is the weight? Better crash safety standards bring more air bags, sensors, and electronics, along with double and triple layered uni-body sheet metal panels and more rigid sub-frames. Higher luxury requirements requires more insulation and again more electronics and gizmos. The progressive trend towards larger diameter wheels makes a 65 lb. wheel/tire common place and now it takes a 26 lb. 14" rotor on all 4 wheels just to stop the thing. 14" rotors used to be the ultimate upgrade while now they have almost become the minimum standard necessary to stop these modern 2 ton cars.

It used to be physically possible to get a 4th Generation Camaro to 3100 lbs. while retaining a full interior, A/C and street wheels/tires. The 5th Gen is a different story and while all technological aspects of the 5th Gen are superior, it comes with a price. So how do they offer all of these new technological advances in the Z06 Corvette yet it only weighs 3100 lbs loaded? Aluminum, Magnesium, Titanium, and composites. It's hard to even find a steel component on a new Corvette, in fact I would be willing to bet that the majority of steel used in a Z06 is in the hardware holding it together! These exotic materials cost money of course and are the reason why a Z06 costs $80k and your Fifth Gen is under $40k.

Throughout the process of our suspension development, testing, and various forms of racing using our Project TriloG Camaro, we have had practically the entire car apart multiple times testing different combinations. We have a TH400 that we use for drag strip testing and a built T56 for road course and drivability testing. Over the last month the car was being built for a specific track and we wanted to get the car as light as possible. Along the way, if a part was off the car it was weighed. This is not a complete list of items, some of them were just weighed and re-installed or replaced but I figured you guys would like to know some of this information so I made a weight chart below:

ITEM
WEIGHT (LBS.)
LOWER REAR SEAT
10.2
UPPER REAR SEAT
28
DRIVERS SEAT
54.6
PASSENGER SEAT
44
A/C EVAPORATOR CORE ASSY.
13.4
A/C COMPRESSOR
13.2
A/C CONDENSER
6.4
A/C-HEAT BLOWER MOTOR ASSY
4.2
A/C LINES AND DUCTING
7.6
A/C FIREWALL COVER
3.6
DRIVERS AIR BAG
1.6
PASSENGER AIR BAG
5.4
SIDE AIR BAG (EACH)
3.2
FIREWALL INSULATION
2.8
FLOOR INSULATION
12
TRUNK CARPET AND WELL COVER
15.2
TRUNK COMPRESSOR
6
TRUNK-LID STRUTS (PAIR)
1
FRONT BUMPER
14.6
REAR BUMPER
26.4
RADIO
4
DOOR SPEAKERS (PAIR)
3.6
FLOOR MATS (FRONT PAIR)
4.8
CENTER CONSOLE
8.2
EMERGENCY BRAKE LEVER W/CABLES
6.2
FRONT SEAT BELTS (PAIR)
6
REAR SEAT BELTS (PAIR)
3.6
FRONT BRAKE ROTORS (EACH)
25.4
REAR BRAKE ROTORS (EACH)
24
FRONT CALIPERS (EACH)
11.4
REAR CALIPERS (EACH)
7.4
HOOD
25.3
HOOD INSULATION
1.2
HORNS (PAIR)
1.4
WIPER ASSEMBLY W/MOTOR
8.6
WINDSHIELD COWL PLASTIC
3.6
DRIVESHAFT – 6 SPEED MANUAL
24
FUEL TANK SHIELD
2.8
DRIVE SHAFT HEAT SHIELD
.8
STOCK AIR BOX
7
ENGINE COVER
4.4
CLUTCH ASSEMBLY (INCLUDING FLYWHEEL)
57


Of particular interest is just how light some of these components are. In the past you could save over 100 pounds by removing the air conditioning but with today’s highly efficient systems the weight is down to just 48.4 pounds for the entire system! The wiper motor, linkages, and wipers was only 8.6 lbs. combined and if you remove all 6 air bags out of the car you only save 13.4 lbs.

For this particular event the car did not need any creature comforts so the common weight loss tactics were employed (rear seats, one light weight drivers seat, A/C delete, etc) along with some other questionable weight removal such as insulation, sound deadener, etc. Keep in mind that a lot of these items will be going back in the car but we were able to shave 269 lbs. off the car! Basically everything that wasn’t necessary was removed. We also removed the bumpers which dropped 41 pounds by themselves. The rear bumper can be removed without any issues (off highway only) since the bumper cover does not use it for support. The front however, requires some sort of support to hold the nose stable at high speeds. We fabricated two “bumperettes” to accomplish this (shown below) and they only weigh 1 lb. each.


Our car has a custom 10 point chrome moly roll cage, Magnuson TVS supercharger, and Snow Performance alcohol injection kit adding a combined weight of 180+ lbs to an already heavy car. We at least wanted to offset that weight and get it back to the OE weight if possible. We were pleasantly surprised when we scaled the car and it weighed 3650 when all was said and done. While the current configuration is set up for the road course, this gives me a little hope that you could easily get these cars down below 3400 lbs. in drag race mode.


We achieved 3650 lbs. with all of the above components and the car outfitted with 20” CCW wheels and Wilwood 14.5” diameter brakes. A set of 17” Weld Drag wheels and tires can easily drop another 100 lbs. Lightweight brakes and a naturally aspirated motor could pull another 150-180 lbs. off the car bringing it down below 3400 lbs. I am also convinced that a 3-link or torque arm-equipped solid axle conversion using a 9” rear with aluminum center could knock another 100-200 lbs. off the car if someone was building a hardcore street/drag car. This is finally getting the car down into 4th Gen territory.

Most people will never go to these extremes but regardless this information is interesting and since we are gathering this data anyways I figured I would throw it out there for you guys to use however you wish. Ultimately, the lighter the car is the more responsive it will be while
handling, accelerating, and braking.



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Old 10-27-2011, 07:40 AM   #2
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Awesome! Thanks for the info!
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:59 AM   #3
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Cool.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:13 AM   #4
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It seems like GM did everything they could to keep the weight down. I hate to say it but I think we're fighting a losing battle with the bulge.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:57 AM   #5
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Good resource for future Biggest Losers.

I decided just to stick with the basics: exhaust, wheels, passenger seat, etc.

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Old 10-27-2011, 02:32 PM   #6
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Good resource for future Biggest Losers.

I decided just to stick with the basics: exhaust, wheels, passenger seat, etc.

Padre
We definitely figured it was some good information for people to have. We know most people won't go as far as we did but atleast the data is out there.
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:38 PM   #7
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Can you guys make and sell bumperettes that go all the way across for front a rear? So we can have a light weight bumper support option that we can buy.
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Old 10-27-2011, 05:18 PM   #8
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Can you guys make and sell bumperettes that go all the way across for front a rear? So we can have a light weight bumper support option that we can buy.
If we can get enough interest we could definitely build something like that for the guys looking to lose a little extra weight.
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Old 10-27-2011, 05:35 PM   #9
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I'd be in for a set of front and rear as long as the net gain was close to the total weight of the two bumpers. No point in replacing something heavy with something else heavy.
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:54 PM   #10
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Great info! Thanks for taking the time to post.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:36 PM   #11
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There is definitely no easy way to lose a significant chunk of weight while retaining 100% streetability. Those that are willing to sacrifice a few things can probably drop 100 lbs. or so permanently without compromising too much. 100 lbs. is a tenth at the drag strip and you can pull that off pretty easily. It's the next 100 that forces you to evaluate your dedication to weight loss. Below are a few simple things (in order of compromise) that will net the easiest reduction:

Round 1 - Road course / AutoX / Drag strip:
This would be the entry level to weight loss, kind of like trimming a few pounds for the class reunion.

1) Rear seat delete - 38.2 lbs. - this is a simple mod that can easily be re-installed after a day at the track.
2) Aftermarket front seats - up to 50 lbs. - There are plenty of really nice aftermarket seats from Sparco, Recaro, Corbeau, etc. that can drop a lot of weight if you are willing to give up your power features.
3) Coil-overs - up to 15 lbs. - smaller springs, aluminum components, etc. help make aftermarkecart coil-overs lighter than the OE parts and you get improved valving and spring rates at the same time.
4) Remove the dead weight - 30 lbs. - For a day at the track you can easily ditch the floor mats, plastic engine cover, trunk compressor and well cover. These items re-install in no time and don't compromise anything at the track.

133 pounds total and 65 of it is permanent.

Round 2 - Drag strip:
1) This one is easy. Install a set of drag wheel and tires. This will net you 100+ lbs. instantly and is just a wheel swap away. Not really a permanent weight reduction, kind of like using a girdle to hide the bulges.

Combo 3 - Drag strip:
This is the round where mods start changing the versatility and usability of the car. Most people would never consider the majority of these mods but the hardcore dragstrip racers have been doing them for years. Some weights shown below are estimated since products are not available yet except through custom fabrication.
1) Bumper deletes – Knocks 40+ pounds off the car but not recommended for street use for obvious reasons.
2) Lightweight Braille battery – Save 38 lbs.
3) V6 or aftermarket light-weight brake kits – Aluminum centered 12” rotors with a lightweight Wilwood or Strange caliper could easily save up to 60 lbs. over the 136 pounds of OE calipers and rotors. Will not perform as well as the OE brakes but still completely streetable.
4) Tubular front and rear cradles – Save 20+ lbs. each.
5) A/C delete – 48 lbs.
6) Power steering delete – 12 lbs.
7) Horns, wipers, radio and insulation removal – save 35+ pounds
8) Solid rear axle conversion – up to 150+ pounds
9) Composite panels – Sebon makes carbon fiber trunk lids, hoods, fenders, and doors already. I would imagine you could save at least 40 lbs. with these parts if you replaced all of them.

There are probably a few things I forgot about and a bunch of little things I didn't even mention that can knock another 30-50 lbs. off the car. As you can see if you want to get crazy, you can drop over 700 lbs! or depending on how you look at it...
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:31 PM   #12
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4) Tubular front and rear cradles – Save 20+ lbs. each.
Well go ahead and get to making them already.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:55 PM   #13
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Im an 3620 lbs right now with a full cage and still have both stock seats and front and back crash bars in. Gonna see how much I can get that down this winter!! I thought about fiberglass doors, but roll down windows are too awesome.

I noticed your weight distribution at 53.5% on the front, im at 51% on the front.

Couple things for drag only cars:
Trunk mounted fuel cell
Front sway bar removed

BTW your trailing and toe arms work awesome!
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:05 AM   #14
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Soon as someone makes an affordable front/rear tubular kmember, I"m all over it. The xtreme piece is way too pricy for me. v6 brake and 2pc rotors def save weight, but again, pricy as all get out...
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:14 AM   #15
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Im an 3620 lbs right now with a full cage and still have both stock seats and front and back crash bars in. Gonna see how much I can get that down this winter!! I thought about fiberglass doors, but roll down windows are too awesome.

I noticed your weight distribution at 53.5% on the front, im at 51% on the front.

Couple things for drag only cars:
Trunk mounted fuel cell
Front sway bar removed

BTW your trailing and toe arms work awesome!
Damn, 3620 with a cage and the heavy-ass seats still in the car! I guess I forget just how much the supercharger, heat exchanger, meth kit, etc. weighs. That is why our front end weights are so different.

Good call on the front sway bar, completely forgot about that...
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:26 PM   #16
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I think u should make a thread somewhere else for the light weight crash bar interest. I think you would get a lot of feedback.
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:33 PM   #17
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And we also have a 5 gallon intercooler tank in the trunk and the intercooler under the passenger side of the dash. So figure 65 lbs of just water.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:35 PM   #18
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Great info!
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:11 PM   #19
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And we also have a 5 gallon intercooler tank in the trunk and the intercooler under the passenger side of the dash. So figure 65 lbs of just water.
info on weight reduction
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:06 AM   #20
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Hey what about the radiator? Would it be possible to go with a light weight aftermarket setup
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:46 PM   #21
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I saw some were were some one pulled the dash out and cut some metal out some were..... dont remember, but I think it was like 30lb... and the windows could be replace with poly carb.. for 100 lb or more.. they have several aftermarket aluminum suspension parts that could save weight..
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:42 PM   #22
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I saw some were were some one pulled the dash out and cut some metal out some were..... dont remember, but I think it was like 30lb... and the windows could be replace with poly carb.. for 100 lb or more.. they have several aftermarket aluminum suspension parts that could save weight..


There's a huge metal monstrosity behind the dash. I swiss cheesed mine, and cutout the glovebox loop when I removed the evap. Huge weight savings.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:36 PM   #23
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Hey what about the radiator? Would it be possible to go with a light weight aftermarket setup
The radiator really isn't too heavy. With an aluminum core and plastic tank, you can't really get much lighter without reducing the size and compromising the cooling efficiency. Any smaller and the fans wouldn't fit either. On a dedicated drag car this may be an option but on a dual purpose roadrace car or street car it just wouldn't be practical.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:41 PM   #24
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I saw some were were some one pulled the dash out and cut some metal out some were..... dont remember, but I think it was like 30lb... and the windows could be replace with poly carb.. for 100 lb or more.. they have several aftermarket aluminum suspension parts that could save weight..
We cut off the glove box loop and some of the rear bracketry but the majority of the inner dash structure is necesarry for mounting the countless electronic modules under the dash and all the wire loom going to them. There has to be like 8-10 modules under there! Eliminating all those modules and the miles of wiring going to them might be the biggest weight savings of all!
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:58 AM   #25
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I weighed mine at the track last weekend: 3720.

Includes:
- Borla Touring exhaust.
- JBA Shorties and HF Cat midpipes.
- BMR 1" springs and rear sway (no front sway).
- TSW 18" Nurburgrings and 305 Mickey Thompson ET Street II Drag Radials.
- Fastlane Pipeline CAI.
- Underdrive pulley, VVT delete.
- Braille 21lb battery.
- Removed passenger seat.
- Misc: fuel rail cover, trunk foam, etc.
- 1/4 tank of gas.

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