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Weight Saving Upgrades / Mods by Fiero Vampire
Started on: 12-22-2014 06:09 PM
Replies: 60 (1528 views)
Last post by: Csjag on 01-01-2015 07:44 PM
Fiero Vampire
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Report this Post12-22-2014 06:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero VampireSend a Private Message to Fiero VampireEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ok I recently read a thread about a starter upgrade ( I believe off a Gran Prix but can't remember), that started quicker and weighed less than the Fiero's which got me thinking of what newer GM or other parts are better or at least lighter than the Fieros that could be replaced, to make it a little lighter, not looking for extreme weight loss, (not a tear out carpet, seats and spare tire thread) just improvements, if I'm tearing apart my car and doing a ground up restore why not use a lighter starter, window wipers, power window motors, etc. and keep the same functionality and creature comforts of the car.

Links to other threads are good too.
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Report this Post12-22-2014 06:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tsharkSend a Private Message to tsharkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
There is a lighter antenna. Also shorter.

There was a lighter radiator being built.

Then the discussion about the aluminum frame.

In theory, you could convert the 2.8 to a 3.2.

I don't know how this works. If you save what, 15 pounds or whatever, how much benefit do you really notice?
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Report this Post12-22-2014 07:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero VampireSend a Private Message to Fiero VampireEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm wanting to feed my Fiero a Side Salad or two!

My thoughts is I'm going to be adding weight in other areas so instead of letting my Fiero become a fat pig try to control the weight were applicable.
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Report this Post12-22-2014 07:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tebaileyClick Here to Email tebaileySend a Private Message to tebaileyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
There used to be an old saying in racing, if you want to know if a part is too heavy throw it up in the air. If it comes back down, it's too heavy. Also,a pound saved is a horsepower gained.
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Report this Post12-22-2014 07:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tsharkSend a Private Message to tsharkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So, if the Fiero was 2800 pounds lighter...? I don't think it works that way.
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Report this Post12-22-2014 07:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero VampireSend a Private Message to Fiero VampireEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Where there is nitrogen filled tires, supposedly 3% lighter than air, not sure that comes out to be much of a weight savings though.
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Stubby79
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Report this Post12-22-2014 10:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Stubby79Send a Private Message to Stubby79Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Lightweight fiero 101
Weight loss

Start there. Plenty of weight that can be removed. Bit more difficult to replace.
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Report this Post12-22-2014 10:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CharlieHorseSend a Private Message to CharlieHorseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Truth be told, and I mean the truth, is that the Fiero is 900 pounds too heavy. The frame is built more for safety-through-lotsa-metal than performance. Here are the areas that seem over-built to me:

The sub frame. Its crazy thick steel and I'm sure could be built smarter along with a lot of the rear, using some real triangulation.

The doors. My god they are heavy with the two bash beams. But they're sure good at taking a hit.

The metal trunk could be replaced with a fiberglass one and who'd know the difference. That goes for pretty much all of the sheet metal behind the cab.

The 'roll bar' does not need to be a foot wide. Just one tube could do that job.

The SMC panels (Hood, deck, fastback) are terribly heavy. They do stay crack free and straight, but could be replaced by thin fiberglass to great weight savings.

A plastic gas tank would be nice. I submit that that stupid cross brace under the tank serves no purpose (along with the little one forward of the shift lever on top).

The front suspension, including that big fat cross beam, are too damn heavy for what its doing.

The factory carpet kit weighs a ton. That thick layer of rubber on the underside is responsible.

I'd argue the torque boxes are overbuilt and the floor panels serve little structural use and could be replaced with aluminum.

Of course if you went after all this stuff you wouldn't have much of a Fiero left. I'm not sure anyone has really tried. At some point just buy and Elise and call it a day. My other cars include a Lotus 7 which is 1200lbs. I'm quite the weight weenie because of that car and I can tell you there's not much weight left to be removed on that one. I'm very familiar with the wonders of light weight performance and I love it. I just don't really expect it from the Fiero and I don't worry too much about saving weight on mine. Fieros do pretty darn good for what they are.
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Report this Post12-22-2014 10:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Technology has advanced quite a lot in the last 30 years. If you had the funds to build the Fiero from scratch with modern tech, you might be able to save a few hundred lbs. And it would be easy to have at least double the power of the original, if not triple.
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dobey
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Report this Post12-22-2014 10:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by CharlieHorse:
Truth be told, and I mean the truth, is that the Fiero is 900 pounds too heavy.


Meh. People keep saying this. But it's just not true. It's still 5-600 lbs lighter than a Corvette. An aluminum frame Corvette. If you start comparing to open wheel race cars though, then sure, it's pretty heavy.

The Fiero is a stamped steel frame. Could you build a ligher Fiero from scratch with modern tech? Sure. An aluminum monocoque chassis would be lighter. Even a steel tube chassis could be lighter. As far as performance is concerned in the Fiero though, there are much worse problems than the curb weight. The Fiero is what it is; an 80s baby built as a commuter car out of an experiment for a stamped steel space frame chassis.
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Report this Post12-23-2014 03:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Stubby79Send a Private Message to Stubby79Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hood and deck lid are unnecessarily heavy. So is the engine, for how much power it makes anyway. Interior too. Get cracking on making your own fiberglass replacement parts and find an all aluminum 4 or 6 cylinder engine. Strip it of A/C if it has it, while you're at it.

If you cut the "excess" metal off the frame, you'll have nothing to bolt the body panels to. It's an option, but a lot of work, like any of it. Tubular front cross-member and engine cradle might save a bit. If you're going to go all out, though, you might as well build something from scratch with a tube frame and just not bolt anything on it you don't need.
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Report this Post12-23-2014 08:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CsjagClick Here to Email CsjagSend a Private Message to CsjagEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ditch the spare tire and carry fix a flat. Also has anyone tried the 11 lb dry cell batteries available now, would they have enough output for a driver car?
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Report this Post12-23-2014 10:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero VampireSend a Private Message to Fiero VampireEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hmm I like the battery, removing the A/C isn't keepiing the creature comforts but is there replacement/ newer A/C parts that weigh less that could be swapped out? I've seen replacement side mirrors that weigh less but so far they've been cheap and flimsy. Any good direct replacements? The carpet replacement seems obvious but if you remove the rubber how much road notice are you going to add?

Thanks guys for the Info so far, let's see if we can keep them coming.
I'm thinking side salad not lipo surgery.
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Report this Post12-23-2014 10:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for FIEROPHREKSend a Private Message to FIEROPHREKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So here are a few things i could think of off the top of my head.

-You could remove the flip up headlight setup and go with a fixed front headlight system.
-The engine compartment heatshielding is probably junk so that could be removed and trashed if you havent already.
-Lighter aluminum radiator and upgraded fan that is lighter than the stock fiero unit.
-Lightwieght flywheel versus the heavy iron one.
-You could ditch the stock seats and install some Kirkey aluminum racing seats with covers. the covers have foam pading and are actually not terrible in the comfort department.
-Aluminum shifter components versus steel.
-Convert to manual roll up windows versus power.
-Remove the trunk carpet


Cool thread idea keep the ideas coming!

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Report this Post12-23-2014 10:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CsjagClick Here to Email CsjagSend a Private Message to CsjagEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think if you replace the rubber carpet backing with dynamat you would still realize weight savings
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Report this Post12-23-2014 12:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero VampireSend a Private Message to Fiero VampireEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Does anyone know the weight of the water pump? Thinking an electric replacement might be lighter? Does anyone know if there is a tread of weights for the engine parts? I've searched just haven't found one, tons of threads about total weight of engine(s) but no break down. I assume headers may be lighter than stock manifolds, I'll see if I can find some data to support that.
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Report this Post12-23-2014 02:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Csjag:

I think if you replace the rubber carpet backing with dynamat you would still realize weight savings


Even better would be Lizard Skin, as it's spray on, and much lighter than Dynamat is.
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Report this Post12-23-2014 02:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

dobey

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quote
Originally posted by Fiero Vampire:

Does anyone know the weight of the water pump? Thinking an electric replacement might be lighter? Does anyone know if there is a tread of weights for the engine parts? I've searched just haven't found one, tons of threads about total weight of engine(s) but no break down. I assume headers may be lighter than stock manifolds, I'll see if I can find some data to support that.


Headers are not likely to be lighter. They tend to be larger than the stock manifolds, which are very simple exhaust logs. Headers will have more material simply due to the design, and depending on the material you get for headers, will likely be a denser material. The 2.8 stock manifolds are thin exhaust tubing, and not cast iron like many other cars have as stock equipment.

The water pump, you probably won't find a lighter replacement for either. If you try to use a remote electric pump, the motor and additional lines will very likely add up to the same weight as the stock pump, if not more. Main advantage there would be reduction in power lost due to water pump being on the accessory drive, but the 1 HP peak difference probably isn't worth it either.
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Report this Post12-23-2014 03:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CsjagClick Here to Email CsjagSend a Private Message to CsjagEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I hadn't heard of lizard skin, will check it out. I've wanted to get some ultra lightweight rims from Tire rack to reduce un sprung weight They have some as lite as 13 lbs. I think that would help initial throttle response and handling.
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Report this Post12-23-2014 04:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

For handling purposes, relocating some of the weight can be as good as reducing the weight. Moving the battery from the back to the front is the most obvious example.

As already mentioned, using a newer style lighter starter is a good idea. That also helps to reduce the weight in the back.

When I got my Formula last year, I removed all the A/C components. The compressor was the heaviest single item (and again in the back), but until you remove the entire A/C system, you have no idea just how much stuff there is (and/or how heavy it all is). I now wish that I had weighed all the removed components when I was finished.
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Report this Post12-23-2014 04:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero VampireSend a Private Message to Fiero VampireEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hmm I think your properly right Dobey regarding the electric pump but for a moment I was thinking maybe you could mount the pump in the front compartment but then I realized no that wouldn't work.
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Report this Post12-23-2014 05:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:
When I got my Formula last year, I removed all the A/C components. The compressor was the heaviest single item (and again in the back), but until you remove the entire A/C system, you have no idea just how much stuff there is (and/or how heavy it all is). I now wish that I had weighed all the removed components when I was finished.


50 feet of high pressure hoses is indeed a lot of weight. One option, if you want to keep A/C, and use compressed refrigerant for it, is to ditch all the lines running to the rear, and the stock compressor, and install a compressor for an electric/hybrid car up front that is powered by an internal electric motor. They're still heavy, but some are fairly compact, and the Fiero doesn't need a huge one, given the cabin space is so small.

Likewise, the lines for the heater core, the core itself, and the coolant that fills them, is a fair bit of weight. A ceramic or similar electric unit will save some weight and keep some heat for the cabin.
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Report this Post12-24-2014 12:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NotorioSend a Private Message to NotorioEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Is there a kit for moving the battery to the front?
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Report this Post12-24-2014 01:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero VampireSend a Private Message to Fiero VampireEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yes both Archie and West Coast Fiero sell them, I personally have bought 2 from Archie, good product.
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Report this Post12-24-2014 02:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Fiero Vampire:

Yes both Archie and West Coast Fiero sell them, I personally have bought 2 from Archie, good product.


You're just referring to the fiberglass battery box for the front tub, aren't you? Notorio will still require long battery cables.

I got my cables at the wreckers from out of a couple GM vehicles (Grand Am?) that had their batteries mounted under the back seat. Price was right as well. I believe it's been mentioned that some Saturn models also have suitable battery cables.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 12-24-2014).]

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Stubby79
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Report this Post12-24-2014 05:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Stubby79Send a Private Message to Stubby79Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
smaller, lighter battery. Lighter (racing) seats. Ditch the jack and the spare and carry a can of seal & inflate. Swap on lighter wheels...if you have after market wheels, especially over 16", they probably weigh a lot. (~2000 Cavalier Z24 16" 5-spoke wheels area direct fit and very light). Flush-mount headlights will save you probably 15lbs.

After that, you'll need to start ditching the "unnecessary" bits to lose weight. Who needs a passenger seat? Who needs carpeting? speakers?

One less drastic thing that can be done is cutting the "beams" off the underside of the hood or the decklid. Probably good for 10+lbs.
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Report this Post12-24-2014 08:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RayOttonClick Here to Email RayOttonSend a Private Message to RayOttonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've dropped 70 lbs from my Fiero -

New cat -5lbs
Optima Battery -22 lbs
Spare tire -28 lbs
Grill under the trunk vents -1 lb
Cat heat shield -2 lbs
Me -12 lbs
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Report this Post12-24-2014 09:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sometimes the DRIVER needs to lose 50 lbs. The car will feel faster after that!!


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[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 12-24-2014).]

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Report this Post12-24-2014 09:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for lou_diasClick Here to Email lou_diasSend a Private Message to lou_diasEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've asked many times for someone to develop aluminum door safety beams.
No body will touch it for fear of lawsuits. My solution is simple: mark it "for off-road use only".

Fiero doors are heavy as hell for their size.

I'm sure all those frame stretching folks were worried about crash-test results too... /sigh

[This message has been edited by lou_dias (edited 12-24-2014).]

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Report this Post12-24-2014 11:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by lou_dias:
I've asked many times for someone to develop aluminum door safety beams.
No body will touch it for fear of lawsuits. My solution is simple: mark it "for off-road use only".


Why don't you do it? By default, anything not manufactured to DOT specs for on-road use, is for off-road use only. It may however jeopardize the crash-test safety rating, and thus result in insurance not covering you, in the event you do end up in a crash, if you don't have an agreed value policy (which also means you may not be covered if you're driving it to work or such).

Do it for yourself, and nobody else can be held liable if something does happen. Only you will be liable.

My solution is even simpler though: don't wreck.
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Report this Post12-24-2014 01:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Tony KaniaSend a Private Message to Tony KaniaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:


50 feet of high pressure hoses is indeed a lot of weight. One option, if you want to keep A/C, and use compressed refrigerant for it, is to ditch all the lines running to the rear, and the stock compressor, and install a compressor for an electric/hybrid car up front that is powered by an internal electric motor. They're still heavy, but some are fairly compact, and the Fiero doesn't need a huge one, given the cabin space is so small.

Likewise, the lines for the heater core, the core itself, and the coolant that fills them, is a fair bit of weight. A ceramic or similar electric unit will save some weight and keep some heat for the cabin.


I concur. Outside the box, simple, and easily envisioned.
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Report this Post12-24-2014 01:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero VampireSend a Private Message to Fiero VampireEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
As far as Cables for the Battery Location I got mine out of a Oldsmobile Aurora the Battery is under the Passenger Back seat and the cable runs from there to the Engine Compartment. I did some searching for an Electric car A/C however it looks like most run off the very large Battery Pack so a Fiero Battery and Alternator properly wouldn't work. however I was looking at video about how to convert a alternator to 115 volts maybe that might work, I did see a couple RV A/C units but they were pretty heavy. (still researching)
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Report this Post12-24-2014 03:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Fiero Vampire:

Does anyone know the weight of the water pump? Thinking an electric replacement might be lighter?


No way. I've used two electrics and they were much, much heavier than any stock water pump. Remember, EWPs have to pack a pretty hefty electric motor inside to spin them - the stock one is already attached to a motor.

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Report this Post12-24-2014 03:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
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Originally posted by Csjag:Also has anyone tried the 11 lb dry cell batteries available now, would they have enough output for a driver car?


Yes, and yes. Their issue is capacity, which sucks. Running a radio for a little bit or leaving the lights on without the engine running will kill them pretty quickly - and then you're stranded. I've tried everything both Odysseys to Brailles in a variety of vehicles and they start fine, but don't expect to do anything with the car off.

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Report this Post12-24-2014 05:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Fiero Vampire:
I did some searching for an Electric car A/C however it looks like most run off the very large Battery Pack so a Fiero Battery and Alternator properly wouldn't work. however I was looking at video about how to convert a alternator to 115 volts maybe that might work, I did see a couple RV A/C units but they were pretty heavy. (still researching)


I found these: http://www.rigidauto.com/69-auto-dc-compressor

The site is a bit slow, but it seems they have many 12-24V compressors. It also has pretty bad English, and they're made in China. Not sure what the quality of them is, but they look interesting (some of them are quite small).

I also found this one: http://www.revoltevc.com/cl...a-02-compressor.html

Masterflux might make some other 12-24V models, but that's the only one that ReVolt has, I think. Better quality for sure, but a bit pricey compared to just keeping stock.

I haven't done any research on OEM units in the Prius or other hybrid (or all electric) cars, so not sure if any of them are 12-24V as well.
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Report this Post12-24-2014 10:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ericjon262Send a Private Message to ericjon262Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:


I found these: http://www.rigidauto.com/69-auto-dc-compressor

The site is a bit slow, but it seems they have many 12-24V compressors. It also has pretty bad English, and they're made in China. Not sure what the quality of them is, but they look interesting (some of them are quite small).

I also found this one: http://www.revoltevc.com/cl...a-02-compressor.html

Masterflux might make some other 12-24V models, but that's the only one that ReVolt has, I think. Better quality for sure, but a bit pricey compared to just keeping stock.

I haven't done any research on OEM units in the Prius or other hybrid (or all electric) cars, so not sure if any of them are 12-24V as well.


I feel like you've been spying on one of my threads dobey...

I've been meaning to contact people in the marine a/c business, as many are 12v standalone
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dobey
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Report this Post12-24-2014 11:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ericjon262:
I feel like you've been spying on one of my threads dobey...

I've been meaning to contact people in the marine a/c business, as many are 12v standalone


I didn't know you had a thread about electric a/c compressors. I just did a quick search, and recalled the ReVolt place from seeing it linked from a site that had an electric conversion for a BMW 328, I think. :P

I'm kind of wanting to try to do a full solid state heater/ac core in my car, but I haven't come up with a solution for the part of the unit that will be the outside of the firewall yet. I would prefer to keep it solid state and simple, but not sure how much of that I can do, on a Fiero, and that will work for both heating and cooling.

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Report this Post12-25-2014 12:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ericjon262Send a Private Message to ericjon262Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:


I didn't know you had a thread about electric a/c compressors. I just did a quick search, and recalled the ReVolt place from seeing it linked from a site that had an electric conversion for a BMW 328, I think. :P

I'm kind of wanting to try to do a full solid state heater/ac core in my car, but I haven't come up with a solution for the part of the unit that will be the outside of the firewall yet. I would prefer to keep it solid state and simple, but not sure how much of that I can do, on a Fiero, and that will work for both heating and cooling.


the thread was on RFT, not much in there though. I was just going to get a compressor and hook it up to the otherwise stock a/c system.
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Report this Post12-25-2014 02:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
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Originally posted by thesameguy:


Yes, and yes. Their issue is capacity, which sucks. Running a radio for a little bit or leaving the lights on without the engine running will kill them pretty quickly - and then you're stranded. I've tried everything both Odysseys to Brailles in a variety of vehicles and they start fine, but don't expect to do anything with the car off.


I have ran the Dyna-Batt battery in my LS4/F40 for over a year and half and it works great! I even ran the hazards for an hour while towing the car and the car still started right up.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/dui-5575a
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Report this Post12-26-2014 08:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sure, but that's a fairly low amp draw. Batteries in that size class typically offer about 2/3rds the ah (~16) rating of a full size car battery and about half the reserve capacity (~30m). Leaving your headlights on for an hour would kill the battery. If that's not a problem for you then save some weight - if it's a point of concern then maybe skip that upgrade. Like I said, I run these small batteries in a couple cars and they work fine for me - but this is not an example of a free lunch. You are definitely giving up a margin of error with these batteries.
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