How to make your car lighter and faster
- On 20/04/2021 at 21:01
- In Car Guides
Learn 5 easy and fast ways to save weight on your modified car, how to strip it out to make it lighter an even faster!
How to make your car lighter and faster
There is more to gaining speed on the track than focusing all your energy on enhancing the power of your car.
By taking a “less is more” approach and cutting weight from your car completely, you can extract more performance and torque from your modified car, leaving even more room to work on the power aspect of your ride, If you want to add even more power to your ride with big turbo's etc.
Performance tuning is about balance, not power! And weight reduction can help you with that.
Stripping weight can be done in various ways, and depending on how serious you want to be with it.
You can do anything from merely stripping the insides, to replacing body panels and components.
In case you still want to use your car for leisure purposes and passengers, there are also options that reduce weight, but keep your car comfortable to drive at the same time.
You can still retain the integrity of the car, as well as the safety of the driver if you do it right!
Start with the Inside
An easy way to lose weight is by swapping out interior parts of the car for lighter versions better suited to racing. Removing the back seats and passenger seat, as well as replacing your own with a lightweight racing seat, removes a good 200 pounds from the weight.
Electrically adjustable seats can weigh 70 pounds each, and are worth removing for the ultimate power gain from the lost weight.
If you are removing items from inside your car, you need to keep in mind that it still needs to be legal for street use.
Removing the spare wheel is an option if your car has modern run flat tires, but removing airbags and wiper motors renders your car illegal and is a risk to your safety.
But you can buy some steering wheel boss kits with resisters to keep the air bar light from lighting up.
Put Your Pedal to the Fibre
If you are serious about reducing as much weight as possible, consider using Carbon Fibre and GRP (glass fibre reinforced plastic) as replacements for steel and aluminium door panels, boot lids, bonnets and wings. Carbon Fibre is the strongest and lightest alternative, although it costs a pretty penny, fibreglass being the cheaper alternative.
If the cost makes you think twice about replacing it, consider how much a new paint job will cost from all the dents and bumps track racing may have already earned you.
Carbon Fibre becomes an attractive investment due to its durability and good resale value should the need arise.
If you are considering carbon fibre wheels, know that they shatter and crack on impact and are not repairable, incurring high costs should they break.
On the other hand, alloy wheels are lighter, making it easier for the engine to spin them, and have increased airflow which improve stopping power.
Dad Was a Rollin’ Stone, But Your Car Shouldn’t Be
If you opt for swapping the steel panels in your car out for carbon fibre, we recommend adding a roll cage.
Steel and aluminium are better at handling impact, and in order to maintain the structural integrity of the car and ensure your safety – especially with the increased speed from all the weight loss – a roll cage will do you a favour and may even save your life.
Adding a roll cage protects you should an accident occur, but it also means that we can remove more metal from the interior, while still keeping it strong.
Go Plastic, It’s Fantastic
Glass windows protect the inside of your car, and may also aid the aerodynamic factor of the car.
If you want to shed weight but keep the aerodynamics, try out Plexiglas or Perspex instead.
It’s 50% lighter than glass, which adds more pounds to the weight loss counter if you have already shed weight in other areas of your car. The front window, however, needs to stay in place for safety reasons.
Keep in mind that Plexiglas and Perspex do have a tendency to haze under UV light, and are susceptible to scratching easier, but at a weight reduction of up to 50 pounds.
Going without side windows is also an option if you aren’t using your car as a daily driver.
Replace Heavier Components for Lighter Alternatives
All the pounds add up, and finding ways to make even a small difference will help in extracting as much performance as possible in the end.
Some engine components can have heavy factory defaults for alternators, water pumps, fly wheels, pistons and blocks – where lighter options can be found.
Your battery and radiator can also be swapped out for lighter ones, make sure that the new one is compatible with your car’s engine.
Speaking of heavy components, if the driver of the car can stand to lose a few pounds, it may be worth considering. LOL
And if you are doing a smaller race, only put in as much fuel as you need, the rest becomes unnecessary weight.
Well I hope you have learned something from this car guide by Modified Rides! Let us know in the comments section what you think.