G3 diet plan for the street

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G3 diet plan for the street

Post by The Dude on Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:38 pm

Well, it's no secret that we have land yachts. On the low side, I've heard of 3500lb factory cars all the way up to Bryan's 4200 lb 74 Malibu topping the heavier end. I'm gonna point out some of the ways that I have found to cut weight & some tips that have been posted here as well. These dieting tips aren't meant to strip your car down to a racer, but rather knock off the unwanted/unnecessary junk in your ride while still maintaining streetability.

Later models use steel inner fenders, whereas I have noticed that the 73's had plastic. Ugly as they were, this can cut a couple of pounds.

Suck those bumpers in! You want to lose some major lbs for free? There's close to 100 lbs of dead weight in there to be lost.

Some 77 models used aluminum drums. The aluminum drums can also be found on a wide variety of late 70 - early 80's vehicles for about 10 lbs of savings.

Bench seats & swivel buckets are heavy when compared to late model vehicles. Go junkyard hunting for some newer butt rests.

Ever notice how heavy your door is? Our cars have crash bars reportedly weighing between 80-90 lbs. Controversial as it may be to cut these out, they can save weight. *Still waiting for someone to do a write up on this one.

Factory steel wheels are heavy, especially you Cutlass guys & your rallies. They weigh a ton! A set of aluminum wheels, stock or aftermarket, will make a big difference.

Relocate the battery & switch to a drycell. This does 2 things for you. 1 - it relocates weight for better distribution & 2 - drycell's often weigh less than typical car batteries while also outperforming them. Nothing wrong with cleaning up the engine bay, right?

Fiberglass bumpers do exist for some of us as does trunks, doors, fenders, & of course hoods. Depending on how far you are willing to go, this could really add up in weight loss. Just remember that fiberglass doors aren't really a streetable thing since they require lexan glass most times (illegal in some parts of the country) & are inoperable so no more rolling them down to cruise.


Last edited by Rago on Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by The Dude on Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:49 pm

Here's some good tips from Corey (I made it easier to read & cut out some stuff that didn't really fit):

coreys73chevelle wrote:I removed all heater components, had no ac from factory, so my switch panel i made goes in the hole in the dash for the climate control was.

If you just start taking things apart the factory over does it with the bolts on a few things i have about 5 pounds of bolts i took off, quite a bit for small bolts. The dash is one that is over bolted in mine was at least.

also the big metal bar in the doors is 85 pounds (or so i was told by another g3 owner) that also will eliminate sagging doors

If you have no radio like me take out the speakers and ALL wiring for it, also the door buzzer and seat belt alarm wiring and that will also clean up the wiring.

Get lighter suspension parts of course like control arms, springs and a lighter transmission crossmember.

Trim is heavy when combined mainly the emblems and on the door sides and bottom chrome.

Get hood pins with locks so you can remove the pull system inside and the whole latch system under the hood.

Smooth out everything you paint by using a grinder like the frame. I took about 1/8" off my frame in the engine compartment after I cleaned it. It takes a long time but its smooth and shiny and the big chunks of steel are gone.

Jegs.com sells aluminum transmission tunnels for around $80 big weight difference.

The factory brake system is heavy too get lighter calipers and rotors,

Remove the factory insulation its cardboard and tons of crap insulation and get some Dynamat.

I'll keep looking for other posts to compile here, but feel free to add your ideas. I'd really like to keep this a streetable approach, so no lexan, gut the interior type of ideas.
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by JB2wheeler on Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:06 pm

Great subject! How could fiberglass hoods not be mentioned? I plan on putting a 2 inch cowl hood on my 74 as soon as I hit the lottery. If you REALLY want to lose weight, go to smaller and narrower wheels and tires. I have 17 inch aluminim wheels & tires with wide ones on the front as well as the back, they weight a ton. The 20 inch wheels I had on my Furd weighed a ton and I gave them away, tires and all. US Body makes the complete body, from bumper to bumper out of fiberglass but of course that does not qualify for this post. JB
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by The Dude on Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:53 pm

Rago wrote:Fiberglass bumpers do exist for some of us as does trunks, doors, fenders, & of course hoods. Depending on how far you are willing to go, this could really add up in weight loss. Just remember that fiberglass doors aren't really a streetable thing since they require lexan glass most times (illegal in some parts of the country) & are inoperable so no more rolling them down to cruise.

I mentioned the hoods in the first post, but it probably got lost in such a big article. Maybe I should break it down better?
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by 74Malibu383 on Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:09 pm

To each their own on removing AC/Heater stuff. I’ll keep mine. I’m also all for getting rid of the inner bumper stuff, bench seat, steel wheels, lighter cross-member, stuff like that. However, I’m not sold on altering the body panels.

Food for thought - Let's say you go the fiberglass route, hood, fenders, trunk and bumpers. I'm not sure how much weight you'll cut out, but I'm sure it would be a ton. You would still retain all the factory glass, and it would still be streetable for all intents and purposes. However, what is all that fiberglass going to cost you? Going off of US Body Source, you're looking at $1,800 plus shipping. Not to mention we all know that stuff doesn't "bolt-on". So, add in the headaches, the fillers, the sandpaper etc. You have to be close to let's say $2,300 before you even get to paint. You put it all together, it looks amazing, and you shaved a ton of weight. Maybe even gained a half a second at the strip. Awesome……… However, it's still fiberglass. One fender bender and you're f'd. One actual accident, and you're totally f'd! There are some real idiots out there, and it’s just not realistic for a street car.

Now, let's take that $2,300 you just spent to make your car lighter and put it into the motor. You can order a deluxe (pan to carb) 350 crate motor w/290hp from GM for $2,500.00. That's a 100-150 more horsepower than the stock small-block had, and 60 more HP than the stock big block came with. Not to mention we all know you could build a much more powerful engine for a heck of a lot cheaper yourselves. This was purely an example.

You say you already have a pretty decent motor? Ok… still put that $2,300 into it and now you have a motor throwing down BIG power numbers while still maintaining a “streetable” car. Not to mention you’re probably gain more at the track with the added power than you ever would have with losing the weight.

- Just saying...
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by The Dude on Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:31 pm

Good debating material! Smile Let's look at this from a different POV

74Malibu383 wrote:To each their own on removing AC/Heater stuff. I’ll keep mine. Nothing wrong with that. I just got rid of my AC stuff since I never used it anyways. I’m also all for getting rid of the inner bumper stuff, bench seat, steel wheels, lighter cross-member, stuff like that. However, I’m not sold on altering the body panels.

Food for thought - Let's say you go the fiberglass route, hood, fenders, trunk and bumpers. I'm not sure how much weight you'll cut out, but I'm sure it would be a ton. *Which means less drivetrain stress. You would still retain all the factory glass, and it would still be streetable for all intents and purposes. However, what is all that fiberglass going to cost you? Going off of US Body Source, you're looking at $1,800 plus shipping. Not to mention we all know that stuff doesn't "bolt-on". So, add in the headaches, the fillers, the sandpaper etc. You have to be close to let's say $2,300 before you even get to paint. That's chump change for you isn't it? LMAO You put it all together, it looks amazing, and you shaved a ton of weight. Maybe even gained a half a second at the strip. Awesome……… However, it's still fiberglass. One fender bender and you're f'd. Metal crinkles, fiberglass busts, either way it's getting replaced. One actual accident, and you're totally f'd! There are some real idiots out there, and it’s just not realistic for a street car. Again, the frame would save you, not the sheetmetal/fiberglass.

Now, let's take that $2,300 you just spent to make your car lighter and put it into the motor. You can order a deluxe (pan to carb) 350 crate motor w/290hp from GM for $2,500.00. That's a 100-150 more horsepower than the stock small-block had, and 60 more HP than the stock big block came with. Not to mention we all know you could build a much more powerful engine for a heck of a lot cheaper yourselves. This was purely an example.

You say you already have a pretty decent motor? Ok… still put that $2,300 into it and now you have a motor throwing down BIG power numbers while still maintaining a “streetable” car. Not to mention you’re probably gain more at the track with the added power than you ever would have with losing the weight. Why not take it one step at a time & have both?

- Just saying...

Losing weight has more advantages than adding power such as quicker stopping, less drivetrain stress, & better gas mileage to name a few. I'm not a supporter of glass doors or really even bumpers on the street, but hood & fenders....... why not?
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by 74Malibu383 on Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:06 pm

I personally can't stand hood pins (unless the car came with them), so I'm out on the hood. I know you can get a "bolt-on" one, but what's the weight savings on that? Is the weight savings worth the money? Regardless of whether you have it or not? Smile



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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by The Dude on Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:26 pm

Bolt on hoods require lighter springs, but retain the factory hinges. They still weigh a lot less than a steel hood.

According to VFN:

73-77 Flat Pin On Hood. Price=299.00 Weight=13

73-77 Stock flat Bolt On Hood. Price=399.00 Weight=18

73-77 2-inch Cowl Induction Pin On Hood. Price=305.00 Weight=13

73-77 2-inch Cowl Induction Bolt On Hood. Price=405.00 Weight=24

73-77 4-inch Cowl Induction Pin On Hood. Price=325.00 Weight=13

The heaviest hood is only 24lbs. How much does a G3 hood weigh? Something like 70 lbs right on your nose. Look how much weight you just dropped.
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by 74Malibu383 on Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:40 pm

Are they finished on the bottom? Or are they rough like they were just pulled from a mold? I know I'm being a little picky, but I'd want it to look good too.
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by The Dude on Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:46 pm

I know some of them look factory from the underneath. Not sure if they are all that way or not? Hopefully someone can chime in here, since I plan on buying one myself.
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by 74Malibu383 on Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:58 pm

Well, if it does look factory underneath, then I would definitely consider it. 50lbs there, 100 in the bumper, hell, I might get under two tons yet!
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by The Dude on Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:04 pm

If you decide to go ahead with the bumper tuck, take some pictures. I'm curious to see if it has the same mounts as 73 models or later models. Wondering when the changeover took place.
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by 74Malibu383 on Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:09 pm

It's on my list. I'll probably end up cutting a couple inches off the width as well. I'll most likely end up welding up all new brackets and eliminating the shocks completely. If I ever get around to it, I'll take tons of pictures
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by coreys73chevelle on Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:49 pm

or just order a fiberglass body shell if you have a chevelle! usbody.com has them for $3900 its the entire body.. hood, fenders, trunk lid, doors and yes the actual structure too! its under 1,000 pounds. just dont hit anything over likr 30 mph or your dead Shocked
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by TWBouska AKA Wooderson on Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:22 pm

anyone know how much a 74 chevelle/elco front end weighs? im trying to figure out how much weight ill save when i put on my 73 laguna nose here in a couple weeks...also, i second rago, if anyone tucks the bumpers, share some pics...id like to tuck the rear bumper on my el camino to smooth out the body along with the laguna nose.
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by BlackChevelleSS on Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:02 am

If you want weight reduction install a 4 cylinder GoFast

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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by The Dude on Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:42 am

HaHa so that's why you're building the Screaming GEO motor!
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by TWBouska AKA Wooderson on Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:38 pm

another way to save weight and make a SH*tload of power....get a cadillac 500 motor...stock they came with 400 horses and 550 ft lbs of torque...do cam, intake, add headers, and port the heads...your talking at least 500 horsepower and 650 ft lbs of torque....and due to high nickel content in the block they only weigh about 50 lbs more than a small block chevy.
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by The Dude on Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:38 pm

TWBouska wrote:another way to save weight and make a SH*tload of power....get a cadillac 500 motor...stock they came with 400 horses and 550 ft lbs of torque (Assuming you get lucky enough to find a 70 motor with 10:1 compression, all other years dipped to 8.5:1 & power output reflected that)...do cam, intake, add headers, and port the heads...your talking at least 500 horsepower and 650 ft lbs of torque....and due to high nickel content in the block they only weigh about 50 lbs more than a small block chevy. Is this fact or hearsay? Olds had the highest amount of nickel content in all of the GM powerplants to my knowledge & I've seen Caddy 500 weight ratings everywhere between 600-750 lbs.....

Here's one of the charts showing different engine weights that I found. Notice this one says 625 lbs for Caddy.

http://www.team.net/sol/tech/engine.html

BB Cadillac weights are all over the place for some reason, but most sources I've seen list common weights for everything else. Assuming 600, it's the same as a BBB. You're 50 lbs heavier than a SBC assumption makes it lighter than only the Pontiac & BBC motors. Worst case scenario of 750 lbs, it's the heaviest engine out there......

Lightest to Heaviest

SB Buick - 450
SB Olds - 560
SB Chevy - 575
BB Buick - 600
BB Olds - 620
Pontiac - 650
BB Chevy - 685

These are obviously generalizations since a SBC with aluminum heads, intake, water pump, etc is gonna weigh much less, but if you planned on looking for a stock motor just for the sake of saving weight & no other purpose, it looks like Buick is the way to go.

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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by TWBouska AKA Wooderson on Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:16 pm

Rago wrote:

http://www.team.net/sol/tech/engine.html

Lightest to Heaviest

SB Buick - 450
SB Olds - 560
SB Chevy - 575
BB Buick - 600
BB Olds - 620
Pontiac - 650
BB Chevy - 685

These are obviously generalizations since a SBC with aluminum heads, intake, water pump, etc is gonna weigh much less, but if you planned on looking for a stock motor just for the sake of saving weight & no other purpose, it looks like Buick is the way to go.


thats true...also, i guess depending on where you live, a cad 500 may be hard to come by, but i know a company thats Cad only and are pretty reasonable on prices, and junkyards out here in socal are LOADED with cadillacs, so its not too spendy...we'll have to ask our new member Pila...it appears he has a cadillac 500 in his chevelle.
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by The Dude on Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:35 am

Cadtorque also has a Cadillac motor in his Buick. He hasn't been around in a while though.
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by The Dude on Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:57 am

74Malibu383 wrote:Are they finished on the bottom? Or are they rough like they were just pulled from a mold? I know I'm being a little picky, but I'd want it to look good too.

I just asked someone about the VFN hood & got this response:

the bottom has bracing like a stock hood... but it is all made of fiberglass. The quality is pretty good, but it needs allot of smoothing to make it look perfect.

Supposed to get some pics of the underside too. Hope this helps.
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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by dragons_lair59 on Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:59 pm

when i joined posted link for company that had glass hoods fenders trunk lids and bumpers for montes

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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by JB2wheeler on Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:21 pm

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Re: G3 diet plan for the street

Post by Limey SE on Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:54 pm

TWBouska wrote:anyone know how much a 74 chevelle/elco front end weighs? im trying to figure out how much weight ill save when i put on my 73 laguna nose here in a couple weeks...also, i second rago, if anyone tucks the bumpers, share some pics...id like to tuck the rear bumper on my el camino to smooth out the body along with the laguna nose.

I can chime in on this one

bumper is 102 pounds with all hardware, headlight buckets 14 pounds a side, grille is right about 23 pounds, header panel is right around 14 pounds, bumper fillers are 4 pounds for a grand total of 181 pounds

enter the Laguna header panel at 145 pounds with the grille in it so yes its a big weight savings

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