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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you know, my background is composites. I was thinking of going the Lotus approach by removing weight from my 87 Graduate for performance sake. I have not weighed any panels, or even removed them, thus far, but I removed the spare and jack to help out.

I am curious where you guys might see some serious weight loss: hood, trunk lid, doors, seats? Any ideas? It would be easy to mold the hood and trunk lid and build some light weight panels with an endgrain balsa core. The hood would probably weight in at about 10 pounds, but, I am curious how noticable this would be.

Have any of you guys lifted the carpet and removed sound deadener (if their is any) for weight reduction?

What about the weight of the factory Graduate wheels? anybody switched to a lighter wheel and noticed any difference?

My thought is, if i can remove 200 pounds of weight, and add a safe 50 shot of nitrous (a buddy of mine owns a shop that only does nitrous installs), this car would be a lot more aggressive. This would put the car at about the same power to weight ratio as a 1980's 911 Carrera, so an honest 14.5 quarter mile time would be possible, though I enjoy the twisty roads much better.

Thanks

Ronny
 

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The sound deadener alfa used weighed an awful lot, and if the spider is anything like a 105 gt it will packed with the stuff all over the floors, it can be chipped off easily.
 

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From '75 on Spiders got heavier as the "It's for your own good" safety nannies forced manufacturers to add additional "Safety" features.

Not sure if you can back-date a 87 to the '74 front and rear bumpers/grill, but you would probably lose 100 Lb. or more.
I am doing this to my '78.

Maybe make some CF bumpers with an aluminum bar inside?
Taking weight off the ends of the car has to be one of the most effective places to get rid of it.

If you do not have to share the car with anyone who insist on quiet and comfort, you can pull out carpets, sound deadening, interior panels, take the top and bows off, like a racer.

I expect that CF doors would save a lot, particularly if you then delete windows, or at least replace them with Poly instead of glass.

If it's got electric windows, change them out for manual, or even better modify to manual lift with no winding mechanism like a vintage Marcos or Abarth.

Some steel panels can have holes cut in them without compromising strength.

Real weight reduction is an art, if you get truly serious you start doing things like drilling bolts lengthwise!
 

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Get rid of the steel wheels, and find a set of chromodoro (camponolo) turbino wheels. The rims weigh about 5 -7 #, and will reduce the unsprung weight. Also get rid of the spare...
 

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Ronny, you should direct your effort and energy to more worthy pursuits.

Getting rid of 200# will not get you a heap of performance. The limitations are the Bosch FI fuel delivery capacity, The restrictive CAT and restrictive one piece exhaust manifold.

Matched blueprinted injectors, replaced CAT and utilizing Alfa's two piece exhaust manifold will do more than 200# less. If you have phone dial alloy wheels there is a weight target to fix, they are super heavy.

Remember your Alfa gots around 120HP stock.

You could implant a 2L twin spark alfa engine....in the meantime drive with your Jack and get a light weight EM spare from a Ford Focus it bolts tight on.
Rnjoy your 87 Grad Spider for what it is/was.
Ciao for now, Elio
 

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Discussion Starter #6
sounds good

what is the cost on the upgrades to the wheels, injectors, headers, cat that you mention? also, how much extra hp or torque are we talking about?

i would like to know if i can reasonably bring the car to a streetable and reliable 14.5 quarter mile car?
 

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Tell you what, my Marcos/Alfa is 700 Lb. lighter.......

Tell you what, my Marcos/Alfa is 700 Lb. lighter than a Spider, and I am sure it WILL make a major difference in performance.

Even with it I am looking at what can be done to make it lighter.

Engine I have is only a little warmed up, on Webers and headers.

The guys who claim there is no replacement for displacement never met a Lamborghini Muira! ;)
Displacement: 3929 cc
Max. Power @ rpm: 350 PS (260 kW; 350 hp) @ 7000
Max. Torque @ rpm: 355 N·m (262 lb·ft) @ 5000
Dry weight: 1,125 kg (2,480 lb)
Top speed (measured): 276 km/h (171 mph)
0-60 mph (measured): 6.7 sec

Big HP gains come at the expensive of a thirstier engine, weight reduction helps all the way around.
 

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From '75 on Spiders got heavier as the "It's for your own good" safety nannies forced manufacturers to add additional "Safety" features
Yea, I had the same thought. If your goal is to build a lightweight Alfa spider, starting with an '87 starts you off with a handicap. Get a car 15 years older, and you will have a headstart.
 

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There was a long thread on this very same subject about a year ago.
 

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You will notice a 200lb reduction in weight (effectively a heavy passanger). My hit list, in priority order for cost effectiveness, would be:

wheels (unsprung spinning weight)
seats (really heavy)
bumpers (heavy and outside wheelbase)
engine lid (heavyish and high)
boot lid (as above)
exhaust system (a few kilos and nicer sound)
sound deadening (there's not really that much and it is low)

Having done this, any engine modifications or handling improvements will be amplified considerably. Less weight and lower centre of gravity really does make a big difference.
 

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The chromodoro (camponolo) turbino wheels that weigh about 5 -7 lbs are the way to go. Consider that GTA Mg wheels are 12 lbs......:eek:

....sorry
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am in a state where the car is exempt from emissions, due to its age. Question; performance wise, could i simply remove the cat and place a pipe it its place for the better performance than a freeflow cat? on an 87, would i need a bung for the o2 sensor or not? in other words, if i didn't want to do better exhaust headers right now, couldn't i simply remove the cat, and put a straight pipe on in place of the rear muffler? any issues in doing this? Thanks an aweful lot.
 

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Jetmore, you will need an O2 bung to satisfy the computer's input data need.

There is a need for a "volume" at the CAT location for proper scavenging of exhaust fron the engine. a freeflow CAT (Magnaflow 94004) can be had for about $60. If you go to a two piece exhaust manifold from a pre 74 Alfa or a 90 on alfa you will get notuceable performance improvement.
Elio

Elio
 

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Not to mention that although a particular State may not require emissions testing, it is against Federal law to remove or disable an emissions control device.
 

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There is a need for a "volume" at the CAT location for proper scavenging of exhaust fron the engine. a freeflow CAT (Magnaflow 94004) can be had for about $60. If you go to a two piece exhaust manifold from a pre 74 Alfa or a 90 on alfa you will get notuceable performance improvement.
Al Mitchell did dyno tests with and without a collector on his GTV6 and the collector just caused it to run lean and lose power. When he adjusted the fuel map to dump in more fuel into the engine, the power returned to the straight pipe figures.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
federal law

is a joke, as long as presidents can inappropriately use a cigar in the oval office of OUR WHITE HOUSE and not go to jail.
 

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easily took 250 pounds off my 1981 Spider

5 MPH bumpers - gone, replaced with stainless, no Dagmars!
cast iron exhaust and all original piping - gone, replaced with ceramic coated headers and stinger pipe (had 3 mufflers if you count the CAT, now has one)
Spica Pump + giant intake plenum - gone, replaced with Webers
Spica intake manifold - gone, replaced with much lighter european intake
Giant steel cylinder air cleaner + over valve cover intake hose - gone, replaced with foam filters attached right to the Webers
giant Spica recirculating fuel filter - gone, replaced with generic NAPA inline filter
giant steel bar to connect air pump, pullies, air-con, etc. - all just plain gone and soon forgotten
10 + pounds of assorted hoses - gone

still have to sort out how I am attaching the center grill piece
otherwise everything was pretty much bolt on

is there a perfomance difference - you bet there is!!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
real weight of bumpers

WHAT DO THEY REALLY WEIGH? i CAN EASILY ENOUGH MAKE A MOLD OF THE PRESENT ONES TO BUILD A THIN FIBERGLASS SET OF BUMPERS, BUT NOT WORTH THE WORK TO SAVE 50 POUNDS TO ME. IF IT SAVES 150, DIFFERENT STORY.

HOW DO YOU REMOVE THE BUMPERS?

WHAT IS THE WEIGHT OF THE HOOD AND THE TRUNK LID?

THANKS
 

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5 MPH bumpers weight about 40 pounds each
- that's just an estimate and I suspect it is low
 

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the real shocker to me was how much the entire Spica system weighs
compared to the less than 5 pounds each Weber and less than 10 pound EURO intake - HUGE
 
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