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Clean Looking Weight Reduction

I've been taking stuff off of my car for a few years a little bit at a time. Just now have I started to get a little more serious about taking out some more weight. My car is not my daily driver anymore, just a weekend toy/autocrosser/HPDE(soon), so I wanted to get rid of some useless stuff. But being that it is still a street car for now and that I'm not sure I want the inside of my car to look like a complete stripper I took a slightly different approach. I'm trying to keep the inside looking fairly civilized, keeping most of the plastics. Altogether, this should add up to a better accelerating, handling, braking, and more simplistic car.

I've removed things in a few steps. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of some parts that have been removed or replaced. I'm going to name a few things that have been gone for a while just to help give a list of things to remove if you need any ideas.

-Balance shafts
-Cruise control
-Entire A/C system
-A/C / driver side fan
-EVAP system - charcoal canister
-ACT flywheel
-Foglights and brackets
-Brake dust shields
-License plate bracket
-Shifter weight cut off
-Cat replaced with test pipe
-Rear wiper assembly and motor
-Battery tray (offset by wiring)
-Somewhat lighter Optima battery

First, some necessary weight reduction as a side effect.

I needed new wheels. I ended up getting the OZ Ultraleggeras in 17x8. I decided on these because they look good to me, are fairly light, and have the +40 backspacing I was after. These wheels weight 17lbs compared to the stock 25lb wheels. That's a 32lb saving overall; and it's rotating, unsprung weight.
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Also by necessity I have trimmed my front crash beam to make room for my FMIC. This is something you can lighten up whether you have a front mount or not. I wouldn't suggest removing it completely though as it could help save the intercooler in a light front end bump and it also acts as a support for the bumper cover.
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Let's get started...

I stripped the inside of the door panels slightly. This is what the inside looked like.
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I trimmed out what I could of the panel and removed a big chunk of styrofoam from each panel as well as the side window vent piece and another chunk of useless plastic.
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This is what the inside of the panel looks like afterwards.
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I'm also removing my stereo so I took out the speakers and their enclosures while the panels were off.
Before
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After
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Here are all the parts removed from the doors.
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After doing the doors I moved onto the side panels in the back seat and hatch area. I removed the rear speakers and scraped off the sound deadener on the wheel wells. Supposedly the best way to get the sound deadener off is to use dry ice. I didn't try that technique but I did have a ton of office air dusters that I used to freeze the stuff. Most of it just chipped right off. You can also use a heat gun and scrape it up.
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housegsx

Proven Member
2,455
31
May 28, 2004
Greensburg, Pennsylvania
While I had the side panel off I took the opportunity to remove the rear seat belts. These are pretty hefty so they are definitely a welcome thing to get rid of. The won't be needed as my back seat will also be removed.
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To remove the rest of the stereo equipment I started with the CD changer. It is simply mounted with two 12mm bolts. Unbolt those and unplug the connections. Remember to get your CDs out before doing this. I also took out the antenna and plugged the hole.

Removing the amplifier is easy. Simply reach under the seat and unplug the connections. Then slide the seat all the way forward and pull back the flap of carpet to expose the two screws. Unscrew those and slide the amplifier towards the rear of the car.

The head unit comes out pretty easily also once you have removed the top trim piece and the side kick covers. It simply unscrews from both sides and slides out so you can remove the connections.
Here is the aftermath from removing this.
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Well... that sure is ugly.
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Since I had the trim piece out I looked around to find something suitable for a blank panel. Ah, the side of a Dell case from work looks to be good. :D
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I trimmed the Dell case and epoxied it in with plastic repair. It matches quite well and I suppose it could be a place to mount gauges or something if I really wanted to.
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The glove box door on a 2g is very heavy as I'm sure you've noticed. If you pop out the stoppers the door will swing all the way down and you can remove it with the two screws. Once you've got it removed unscrew and remove the latch and separate the door skin from the inside by carefully prying around the edges.
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Once you get it apart, you will see the huge steel panels that need to be taken out.
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You need to either carefully drill out the plastic holding the steel plates in place or use something to melt them. Just be carefully you don't use something that will go through the door skin. Once it's removed you can simply glue the inside back to the skin, reinstall the latch, and mount it back in place.
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I've already removed the rear seats and all accompanying latches and brackets. There is also a large piece of black sheet metal spanning the area underneath the seat backs that can be unscrewed and discarded.
At this point it was time to remove the front seats and carpet, although just temporarily. If you take out the carpet there is a bunch of padding on the bottom of it that you can rip off. Once the carpet is out the sound deadener can be removed from the floorpan and underneath the rear seats around the fuel pump access panels. Again, use dry ice or a heat gun along with a scraper. After I was done I went over any parts that I may have scratched with some primer.

The grey areas are the places where the sound deadener was.
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Last edited by a moderator:

housegsx

Proven Member
2,455
31
May 28, 2004
Greensburg, Pennsylvania
My abs has not worked for quite some time for whatever reason so I removed the abs module located under the passenger footrest. I removed the module and the entire panel that it was mounted to.
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This is all the stuff I've removed from the floor.
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I have replaced my huge and heavy steering wheel with a Momo mod 78 steering wheel. Doing this obviously means I have no driver side airbag. However, when one is disabled they all are so I will be removing the passenger side airbag as well as the SRS computer. I'm ok with removing my SRS because this car will be primarily a track car and only sees weekend street use. I also plan on getting FIA approved racing seats as well as harnesses so I don't see the use for airbags anymore. Do this at your own risk and always have the battery disconnected when working with SRS.

To remove the passenger side airbag open the glove box all the way by taking out the stoppers. Follow the wiring and unplug the connection. Look under the dash and you will see two 10mm bolts and two screws at each end of the airbag. Remove these and pull the airbag out from the front.

Once the airbag is out the dash cover needs cut off of the airbag unit. On the bottom there are two plastic tabs are designed to easily break in the event that the airbag would deploy. Cut these with a razor. At the top of the airbag the cover is mounted to it by aluminum. This is designed to fold the cover up and out of the way when the airbag deploys. I used a dremel to cut the aluminum.
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This is what you are left with. I simply window welded it back into the dash to look like it is still there.
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I already had the console out so I removed the SRS computer. Unplug it and unscrew the four nuts mounting it.
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This is the plate underneath. I was going to remove it but it has the mounts for the side of the console to screw in to.
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I decided to cut it, keeping only what I needed to mount the console.
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The driver side airbag has already been removed with the wheel replacement. This is much lighter... and better. Also, the trim piece for the steering column had a big chunk of useless metal screwed into it for no reason. If you unscrew that bottom shroud you will see a big piece of metal. Simply unscrew and discard the piece and reinstall the trim.
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Last edited by a moderator:

housegsx

Proven Member
2,455
31
May 28, 2004
Greensburg, Pennsylvania
That is most everything that has been removed from the car. Future mods to reduce weight will include CF bits such as a hood and a sunroof plug. I will also be switching to two piece rotors as soon as they need replaced(very soon). The seats and bracket that I plan on getting(Sparco Evo) will also shed some weight.



Unfortunately I did not have a scale available at the time to weigh everything. Going off of some other information and a few conservative guesstimates I think I have removed somewhere in the range of 260-280lbs. Completely worth it and I've achieved my goal of keeping the interior looking civilized.

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