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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering spending some money on getting the unsprung and rotational weight down on my Abarth. There are some great options, with most of these from Goodwin Racing:

Item - weight savings (cost)
17x8 4x100 6UL - 28.8 lb ($876)
949 Racing Forged alloy lugs - .8 lb ($60)
Dunlop Sport Maxx RT 91(Y) 225/45/17 - 4 lb ($490)
Ultralight Brakes Front - 9.4 lb ($649)
Superlight Rotors Slotted Front - 8.8 ($519)
Ultralight Brakes Back - 8 lb ($599)
Superlight Rotors Wave Back - 5 lb ($649)

So a total of $3,842 (and some labor) to save 64.8 lbs unsprung with 47.4 of that in rotational weight.

Thoughts?
 

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That's a lot of cash going out the door. Do you use this car for performance purposes, or just for daily and pleasure use? In day to day driving (30-60mph on public roads) where is the benefit, and the financial payback in fuel savings?

My body is sprung, non-rotational weight, to the tune of 220 pounds. I could shed 40 of those, allowing the car to use its power to move itself and less of me more efficiently. That could be done for free, and the fuel savings would be immediate, and I would be healthier. Now, if I just had the discipline to do so.

Steve.
 

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I would almost be on board, but I personally feel like there are some fallacies in the above, especially spending that much money.

Weight alone isn't everything. My first thought is why would you use Dunlops instead of Michelin PSS? The point of wider wheels and tires are more grip, so why get a tire with less grip? You also need to invest in suspension just to get use out of the wider tire. It impacts braking too. Tires stop the car.

If you wanted to just drop weight, get 14lb 17x7 wheels and use the stock tires. If you wanted more grip without extra suspension, get Michelin PSS in 205/45R17.
 

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The important thing though is that all of weight reduction is unsprung weight. Still a lot of money though.

Dunlop Sport Maxx RT is an impressive tire BTW. I had them on my BRZ and they were fantastic. And I've had PSS, P-Zero, CSC5P before too.
 

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I've done everything but replaced the rear rotors and would love to say the weight made a huge difference (on the street) but it didn't. In fact, the better tires actually hurt my fuel economy slightly. I can tell you that the brakes are fantastic and worth it to me (regardless of weight), even on the street.
 

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That's a lot of cash going out the door. Do you use this car for performance purposes, or just for daily and pleasure use? In day to day driving (30-60mph on public roads) where is the benefit, and the financial payback in fuel savings?

My body is sprung, non-rotational weight, to the tune of 220 pounds. I could shed 40 of those, allowing the car to use its power to move itself and less of me more efficiently. That could be done for free, and the fuel savings would be immediate, and I would be healthier. Now, if I just had the discipline to do so.

Steve.
This is exactly the same argument I made to my crew chief when I was racing formula cars. It's cheaper for me to go to Gym and shed 30 lbs then to shed that same weight on the car. He, agreed, but we always tried to keep unsprung weight to a miniumn as it helped with tuning. The cars were sensitive enough where one flat of a turn on a pushrod made a differance handeling.

I am not racing open wheel cars anymore, but trying to shed weight for karting where weight and endurance is a bigger factor.

For a "Street" car, I'd not make the above investment. If racing it, thats a differant story. The question alwasy is, "How fast yo want to go, is partially driven by how much you want to spend".
 

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The important thing though is that all of weight reduction is unsprung weight. Still a lot of money though.

Dunlop Sport Maxx RT is an impressive tire BTW. I had them on my BRZ and they were fantastic. And I've had PSS, P-Zero, CSC5P before too.
That's good to know.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've done everything but replaced the rear rotors and would love to say the weight made a huge difference (on the street) but it didn't. In fact, the better tires actually hurt my fuel economy slightly. I can tell you that the brakes are fantastic and worth it to me (regardless of weight), even on the street.
You got the red calipers (because the car is faster with red bits) for the extra $100, right? >:)
 

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Is that a lot of money? Maybe, when you add it up. But...

A lot of people change out the wheels and tires; a lot of people will upgrade their brakes, if only the front. Choosing everything 'superlite' will add a bit to the cost, but if people add up what they put into a relatively new car, this isn't an outrageous amount.

Personally, I know I'd rather not total what has been spent, so far...and what I will be spending in the near future (exhaust, brakes, etc.)
 

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Do you plan on autocrossing the car? We do with ours! As I make mods to our project car, I always keep weight in mind. Every ounce counts, as they say. If you were doing those things SOLELY to shed weight, then you'd be wasting money. A lot of those things, though, enhance performance, too, so if that's your overall goal, then it'll be worth it.
 

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I think you hit the nail on the head Travis. Weight loss is a side benefit. Performance for a purpose is the goal.
 

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I think you hit the nail on the head Travis. Weight loss is a side benefit. Performance for a purpose is the goal.
My wife and I raced our 1996 Neon in SCCA DM class (hence the name of my race business now, DM Racing). Anyway, we were at a SERIOUS weight disadvantage with the kit cars they allowed into that class - notably the Caterham and Westfield "Super 7" cars, based... loosely.... on the Lotus Seven. It took a lot of time and work, but with a mindest that every replacement and every mod should be stronger, better, and lighter if possible, we got down to about 2200 lb - with a Dodge Neon coupe! The car was brutally fast, thanks in part to its weight reduction. As we do mods to our 124, we'll be looking at everything with the same goal. I've already replaced the stock trunk springs with lighter ones, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Right now, we're just biding our time until we can get some stats in the rear-view first (MPG, a Solo2 race or two) and we'll start digging deeper for more weight loss. I've started a build thread elsewhere so we can keep track of what we've done.
 

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The only thing I plan to do is maybe a lighter battery when the OEM goes but thats it. I am more concerned with the weight distribution of the car over the weight. I think the Fiat is more nose heavy than the miata and would like to get it closer to the 50/50 mark.
 

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I've got my eye on some of the steel heat shields in the engine bay. I'm thinking of replacing some with textured aluminum. My shop has benders and bead rollers, so the only problem is getting those buggers out!
 
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