Lightweight fasteners?

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  1. Cranky

    Cranky Henchman #1 Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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    I've gun drilled several of the large fasteners on mine too. Saved a lot of time doing it at work when things were slow. Working the off-shift and looking busy was something that helped allow me to do stuff like that at work lol. Also trimmed excess threads off of bolts that couldn't be modified.

    Takes a bit of work but it's worth it imo. Got my 66 Belvedere I down to 2950 with only the hood being glass and no front bumper. Yeah, it was a /6 car but it still had the factory AC on it. Now it has a well trimmed K-frame, lightened door hinges (lightened by 40%) and several other mods. Now all I have to do is put the thing back together.

    Tack welding non critical items on instead of bolting is another cheap trick.....just make sure you can easily get to them with a small grinder when and if need be. That's something that I never liked to mention since so many laugh at what I do but my junk ends up being lighter and people wonder how. There's a few other things I don't mention because others say "you're a dumbass" but so far, no failures. I do look at things and talk to a few key people to make sure things are still within the limits of being safe after showing them what I'm doing. And right, most of this stuff isn't being street driven even though some of it has.....just keep it off of crappy streets that are full of pot holes etc.
     
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    • fullmetaljacket

      fullmetaljacket Well-Known Member

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      While we're talking fasteners, another piece of the puzzle to get lighter is what's in between those fasteners. Washers, lock washers and lock nuts all available in aluminum. I fabricated my own aluminum fender shims. On some cars, you'd be surprised how many of these shims the factory stacked up to line up body lines and such. Every ounce counts.
       
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      • Cranky

        Cranky Henchman #1 Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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        Oh man.....you ain't wrong!! But I've been lucky over the years that my junk didn't require a bunch of shims to make things align but have seen other cars that has a stack of them!
         
      • fullmetaljacket

        fullmetaljacket Well-Known Member

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        My car has never been in an accident and yet there were a number of thick shims that were shimming the bottom of the fenders at the kick panels. They were seared on there with age, but I got 'em off and fabricated the light alloy ones. I don't wanna sound like I'm boasting, but talking about bolts that are never seen, I saved my pennies (lots of them) and purchased Titanium bolts for my door hinges both to the A pillar and doors. Aluminum washers in between of course. By the way, loved your trick of spot welding non stressed pieces together. Never though of that one at all.
         
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        • Cranky

          Cranky Henchman #1 Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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          I'm always looking for ways to lighten up my cars.....street and drag cars! Light weight and mild engines seem to work well together. :)
           
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          • Photon440

            Photon440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            I went all out and got nylon license plate bolts.
             
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            • fullmetaljacket

              fullmetaljacket Well-Known Member

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              Same here. Nylon fasteners for plates. They are weightless. Wouldn't even register on the post office ounce scale whereas the originals did. LOL. New lightweight dashboard is mounted with lightweight fasteners.
               
            • Hemirunner

              Hemirunner Well-Known Member

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              431DC322-44CA-4931-92F6-EB1090A23A7C.jpeg I need to start down this road. This is race weight with me in the car.
               
            • bearman

              bearman FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              You guys have helped in so many ways to get the fat out of these cars just wanted to thank you all. Now if i could just get myself on a diet.
               
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              • Dave P

                Dave P Well-Known Member

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                Yup, that made me laugh. I've got a porky friend who has spent a lot of time and money taking weight off a Camaro. This guy is 6ft tall and weighs about 215. Given a good diet and about a year of exercise he really should weigh about 170 pounds. I point this out every time he talks about taking a 1/2 pound off the car.
                Oink Oink!
                Dave
                 
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                • fullmetaljacket

                  fullmetaljacket Well-Known Member

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                  At 3953 Lbs, it's a little over the average for a late 60's/early 70's B-body with driver on board. Is it a Superbird?
                  Believe it or not sometimes it's not just taking weight off, but distributing what weight you already have to all the right places in the car. For instance, a battery is always going to be in a car and you would guess that simply getting a lighter battery would do some good, yes indeed it would, but taking the same heavy battery and simply installing it in the right rear corner would help the car bite and accelerate better than installing a lighter battery up front. That's even with the extra weight of longer battery cables and such. Replacing certain items up front with lighter ones (water pump and housing, master cylinder etc etc, automatically starts to distribute the percentage of weight towards the rear.

                  Some cars are just flat out fast no matter how heavy they may be, but that power plant would be much less stressed carrying less fat and requiring less maintenance to live longer.
                  Now mind you, there are plusses and minuses to weightlessness. Depending on the order or by regional sense, some cars were a' la carte from the factory. My car was a north eastern order, so a radio and heater were in order and both have obviously been removed being that I don't take it out in the Winter anyway and the engine is my built in orchestra.
                  Take into account those infamous Hemi Colts. Though not factory, those ultra lightweight beans were quite a steer while pulling gears. Too much weight in the wrong places even with their engine setbacks, jeopardized their stability in the traps or as I like to call it, the amen corner. The cars themselves were simply too light with too short of a wheel base no matter what engine plant they had. This all being said and romanticized I believe there's a limit to where certain cars with certain power plants should relax the Jack LaLane thing and stay put. My own objective is for a fighting trim of 2950 Lbs for an early B-body. Any less then that and the car will be getting drunk in the traps. I'd rather be sober than sorry.
                   
                  Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
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                  • fullmetaljacket

                    fullmetaljacket Well-Known Member

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                    Like I said, less weight will require less maintenance in order to live longer, and that is not just for the cars, but for us humans as well.
                     
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                    • Hemirunner

                      Hemirunner Well-Known Member

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                      My Superbird isn’t done yet. The 3950 car is an all steel 70RR twin turbo car with an 8.50 cage. That’s also with my 250lbs in the driver seat. It was 4200 at one point as a nitrous combo with iron block and twin batteries. I really need to start with the obvious things like a fiberglass hood, lighter seats, etc.
                       
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                      • Cranky

                        Cranky Henchman #1 Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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                        And light cars do like a cross wind all too much....especially once you pass the end of the stands and wham. A 20 mph breeze can make it change it's path pretty good.
                         
                      • fullmetaljacket

                        fullmetaljacket Well-Known Member

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                        I now know your car. There's a Gent on here by the name of 'Mopar John' or something the like that also has a lime Twist green all steel '70 GTX except for the front bumper or so and is at 3000 Lbs. His techniques even baffled my feathers. Hopefully he comes to loiter on here for a few of his manic ideas. There are ways out there, it just depends how maddening you want to be while keeping safety in mind.
                         
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                        • fullmetaljacket

                          fullmetaljacket Well-Known Member

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                          Where there is lightning, there is someone cheating that is lying and denying it. LOL. This car here, though it will be more for street with an occasional strip trip thrown in has a very healthy elephant in the nest capable of carrying almost any weight, but nevertheless has employed just a few MILD, and I must stress, MILD tricks to lighten the load to a real world 3661 Lbs.
                          For real all steel and nothing out of the ordinary. It has a respectable front to rear weight percentage of 53% to 47% more or less, but I know that we could bring it to 45-47% to 53% front to rear. He has stressed that he doesn't want to go in the rabbit hole that some of us are looking out of. I'll later reveal a few flicks before he puts out a contract on me. LOL unnamed-3.jpg
                           
                          Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
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                          • fullmetaljacket

                            fullmetaljacket Well-Known Member

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                            Here's a few of the modest tricks applied to this '68 that are just under the surface, literally. We also holed out the headlight buckets.
                            Underneath we installed an aluminum driveshaft. Based on my expertise with spray bombs, I then recommended that we hide the aluminum shaft not by just simply painting it black, but by making it look like raw steel. We started with a combo of stainless steel, aluminum, cast iron and grey hues for the top coats on the main shaft body. We then sprinkled a dash of rusty primer to give it that old weathered look of raw steel experiencing the rough elements of an undercarriage. Good enough? not even close. Here is where the real trickery comes into affect. We painted and patina'd the shaft weld beads with a combo of transparent hues of yellow, orange, blue and purple thin stripes to mimic the rainbow heat weld markings that are only evident on raw steel. What spray bombs can achieve is remarkable. unnamed-5.jpg unnamed-6.jpg
                             
                            Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
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                            • fullmetaljacket

                              fullmetaljacket Well-Known Member

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                              Here's the inner fenders skeleton. unnamed-7.jpg
                               
                            • fullmetaljacket

                              fullmetaljacket Well-Known Member

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                              After all is said and done, this car will pass inspection at a 100 point concourse show and run pretty decent with the right pilot.
                              I don't want to jump off track of the original posters question, but after all the obvious big things have been deleted all together or replaced with lighter versions, it is the small/tiny things like fasteners that add up to meeting the goal of "100 pounds can be removed if you can find 1600 places to remove an ounce".
                               
                              Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
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                              • Hemirunner

                                Hemirunner Well-Known Member

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                                Things like this wouldn’t be noticeable to the casual viewer. The doors and window regulators are hidden. Excellent ideas.
                                 
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