Now that the 911 has its kill switch installed and is all sorted out and running, it is time to start adding lightness to the vehicle. I’m first going for the free to cheap lightness adding methods. I’ve already done some of it such as: going to a lightweight battery, stripping out the interior of the vehicle, backdating the heat, and removing the windshield washer reservoir. However, it has come to lose some more weight off the car; but, I’m not going to remove the most obvious: the air conditioner. I love my A/C — especially in the summer and especially while I still drive the car on the streets.
Of course, you ask, why would one want to reduce the weight of their vehicle? There are lots of reasons for reducing weight on the 911 (and any other car). First, the less weight you have to push around the track the faster you can accelerate and take corners. It also makes other components in the car last longer like brakes, brake pads, and tires. It can also help increase fuel economy, and finally, the best reason of all: a 10% reduction in weight is roughly equivalent to a 10% increase in horsepower. The most common places to begin removing weight are from the unsprung items like brakes, wheels, trailing arms, etc. Next comes weight from high up on the car (sunroof, etc). After that, weight at the rear of the car, then weight from the front of the vehicle.
The cheap ones I am working on are: stereo system removal, remove of the rest of the windshield washer system, removal of the oil cooler fan in the front passenger side fender, and installation of headers (removal of the stock exhaust system). With the exception of the headers, I don’t believe the other items will amount to a lot of weight saved initially; perhaps 10lbs to 15lbs total, but every bit helps. The headers will knock a fair amount of weight off the vehicle since the stock exhaust parts are quite heavy and not exactly optimal for getting the most power out of the engine.
Once these easy ones are complete, then comes the harder and/or more expensive parts: replacing body panels with fiberglass or carbon fiber body panels. At this point, it becomes a how much do you want to spend proposition. The carbon fiber parts add about $300 over the price of the fiberglass part while weighing a pound or two lighter in most cases. Replace the glass windows with Lexan is another place where weight can be lost but I’m not at that point yet. Once the car is a full track vehicle, Lexan windows are in. Removal of the sunroof and the associated electronics can drop a good 40lbs off of the top of the car, lowering the center of gravity. Taking it a step further and replacing the steel roof with a carbon fiber or fiberglass roof can reduce the overhead weight even more. Like I said, it becomes “how much do you want to spend to be lighter?” question.
For me, when this is all said and done, my end goal is to have the car weigh in at a maximum of 2400lbs with A/C and an empty gas tank. As of right now my car weighs 2588lbs, so can I find an additional 188lbs to drop off the car while still maintaining an ability to drive the car on the street on the weekends?