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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:49 am 
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Anyone have any info/experience with fiberglass/carbon/kevlar panels for these cars?

EG: How much stock parts weigh (thinking hood & front quarters) vs. composite replacements?

e.g. fiberglass front clip cover (Kind of counterproductive that it claims weight reduction, but gives no stats.)

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:20 am 
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Don't know about that, but I see where you are going. Ever thought about replacing all the glass with lexan? Think about how much glass is in these cars and what all that weighs. I'll bet it would surprise you.
Something else I've been thinking about is on the Honda insights they have a trailer they can pull behind them that is supposed to increase their mileage even more, I think 10-15mpg, not for sure though. Have you ever thought about constructing an aro trailer to serve the same purpose?I guess its is supposed to help with that air coming off the roof lineand all the associated drag.
Josh

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:38 am 
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Glass - yeah, there's lots of weight there. If I had the previous style of car, I would probably have replaced the side rear windows by now, since they're flip-outs, and much easier to do than the windows on my '98 (bonded in and don't flip out).

Hatch glass is an option too, but then you lose the defroster.

Replacing glass with plastic/lexan might make the car noisier inside.

Body panels would be good to do (depending on weight savings) because they wouldn't make the car noisier - just lighter. :)

No aero trailer for me. I'll eventually construct a fiberglass version of my kardboard kammback and use it as a base for further tapering.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:13 am 
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Coincidentally, this info just came up on GasSavers.org - except it's about a 92-05 Civic VX:

Quote:
I forgot the Brand of C/F hood I have but it weighs in at a whopping 13lbs. Just under half of what the OEM metal hood weighs. This hood is a sheet of C/F with a very minimal F/G frame under it. There are no supports except along the edges. It's extremely durable and it has been jumped on and been in an accident where it took the full force of a Street light post just behind the drivers' front wheel. It is not in perfect shape as you can tell, but it serves its purpose of being light.


So not a heck of a lot of savings. And the Suzukiclone hoods would be even lighter (smaller), so there would be less to save. Let's say 10 lbs saved for the hood, and guesstimate 8 for each quarter panel.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:24 pm 
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How is your kammback project coming along? Have you tried any different taper angles? Gotten any more testing results?
Josh

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:30 pm 
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No news to report. Been too busy with other stuff. Kammback may be a winter project. One reason I'm putting it off is because I'm not totally sure how I'm going to make it.

Next on my list is to re-install my belly pan and do a proper write-up about that. I took it off to do the before/after runs, and was waiting to get the car rust treated before I put it back on. Did that last week, so it's ready to go back on now.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:56 pm 
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Have you got any pics of your belly pan? I'd like to see how much of the underneath it covers.
Josh

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:38 pm 
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Not yet, but I'll post them when I do. It's a full cover front to back, except for an opening around the cat. Coroplast on the sides, aluminum near the exhaust.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 2:23 am 
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The side and back windows will save a lot more weight than changing body panels to carbon fiber. I picked up a sheet of lexan a few weeks ago but have not done anything with it to fit it to the car. I would have to say an easy 50-75lbs can be saved by changing the side and back windows. Carbon fiber will save some weight but it costs much more than the car will use extra in gas in probably 10 years of driving. But you could save a lot more weight and make the windows smaller by chopping the top :)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 4:01 am 
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whoa... very nice looking geo... very sporty... like crx but much better than crx.

i want kind of that car

edit: how do you that it?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:49 am 
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:shock: Amazing! Where the heck did you find that car?? Are there more pics?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:00 am 
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http://www.teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?t=27880

that is the thread where someone found that car. I don't know any more about it other than what is there. It just gives me some ideas on what to do to my car if I don't go to a kit car body I will probably do something similar.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:14 am 
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You won't save any weight on the side glass, nor on the quarter panels. The hood, back glass, and windshield are where there is weight to be saved. If you can cut 10lbs with a CF hood, thats huge.
If I recall, though, you still haven't done any motor work, have you?
Thats where your going to find some real improvement.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:47 am 
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I am waiting on an answer to the pm I sent you about stainless steel valves :)

I actually plan on doing the motor work over thanksgiving week since I will have time to do it right. Maybe then I will have a car running strong on all 3 cylinders. I changed out all the glass for acrylic on a camaro before and it took a lot of weight off the car. putting an acrylic windshield on a street car isn't that smart though :) I would figure the side windows are around 10-15lbs each so changing out all 4 side windows and the back window should be pretty significant.

Of course doing that and changing out to a fiberglass body would be the best of everything. Tube chassis the car and remove all the unibody and body structure so the body is a fiberglass skin over the frame and the car would probably be under 1000lbs easy.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:27 am 
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Fiberglass is heavy. My guess (from being in the business for 15yrs), is that by the time you swapped your panels to fiberglass, you'd probably be heavier.
Go ahead, pull the side glass out. I had free lexan at the time I did mine, and decided that it wasn't worth the work.
Its not easy getting weight out of these cars, and I doubt that 1000lbs is even possible for a daily driver.
My Mk1 is 1450, and that was alot of work.
Sorry about the pm. I get so many somedays that the odd one slips through

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:36 am 
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suprf1y wrote:
You won't save any weight on the side glass...

Each rear side window is 7lbs a piece.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:56 am 
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i've got a 4 door.. i'm thinking that some thin guage sheet metal welded in place would be about the lightest and easiest thing to do. I was even going to do the hatch glass.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:52 pm 
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Only real mileage to gain from less weight is in stop and go traffic (city driving) once you bring the mass up to speed the savings are minimal - like .1 mpg/100lbs. I would think your safety is worth more than that.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:49 pm 
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Couple things

- lexan yellows prematurely. It sucks for cars. It also doesn't break apart in an accident (absorbing energy) and can become a very painful frisby. safety glass shatters and absorbs energy without tossing pieces of glass everywhere. It's also not _that_ heavy.

- Carbon fiber or fiberglass is expensive material, and expensive to work with unless you have very high end equipment. I could see replacing the hood with ABS plastic or something, but CF and Fiberglass are really hard to form correctly (lightly) without machinery. CF is also a bear to get ahold of at a reasonable cost since the US gvmt has been buying it up in big bulk

How long will it take to pay this stuff back on your car in saved mileage?


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