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Making My Sc Into A Gt Car


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As you all know, the Lexus SC is heavy, like 3600 pounds or something, and very nose heavy at 7:3 weight ratio. This poor weight ratio is the reason why 350Z handles much better. However, Ueno's Soarer is only 2400 pounds and has a almost perfect weight ratio, and says that the car feels so much better and more comfortable after simply getting the weight below 2900. Handling can become world class.

I want a luxury car so I want to reduce my SC300's weight down and improve the weight ratio. Btw, what is more important: absolute lower weight or better weight ratio? For example, removing spare tire reduces weight but makes the weight ratio even worse.

Since I want a luxury car, I'm not going to remove any sound insulation or AC or stereo system. Actually, I'm adding more sound dampening and a pair of subwoofers in the rear, but I'm definately not going to add any extra weight to the front of an already nose-heavy car. I'm planning to swap in a 2JZ-GTE and do some performance modding.

So here's what I came up with in order to reduce weight from the front of the car. Goal is to have an under-2900 pounds car with good weight ratio.

1. Change front seats for something lighter. Don't the pair of front seats together weigh 200 pounds or something like that? Anyone know what are good lightweight seats that can fold? I can't find any bucket seats that can fold, but I know that many of them are only 10 pounds each.

2. Fiberglass hood. I can fabribate it myself for pennies. Fiberglass is lighter than carbon fiber but not as strong, and tends to save around 30 pounds. I'll drive to 200 MPH and see if it's strong enough. Edit: correctly done carbon fiber is actually lighter, but it's rarely correctly done. I actually think fiberglass is better for car applications and much easier to fabricate.

3. Remove cruise control, window wipers, window wiper fluid.

4. Move battery to trunk. What else can I move to the trunk?

5. Lightweight coilover kit, saves weight but also improves handling on its own.

6. Fiberglass doors and bonnet. Saved 125 pounds for Ueno's car which used carbon fiber. With fiberglass I might be able to save even more, minus 10 pounds of sound insulation that I'm planning to add.

7. Custom lightweight radiator fans. They also save space in the hood since they are lower profile. Don't know how much weight this would save, but it's in front of the front wheels so it really counts.

8. Getting rid of moonroof. It's heavy though not sure how much. But it highers the center of gravity which can't be good.

9. Replace full DIN stock headunit with a half-DIN aftermarket one. I actually already did this and saved a few pounds and got better sound quality too (Pioneer P880PRS).

What did I miss? Oh and I want to go for the major ones first, not find out a way to spend thousands only to remove 2 ounces of weight.

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if you want to help distribute the weight you can push back the engine and cut and weld in a hump in your fire wall so that it will fit. and ueno's car is fully stripped and he uses Ti bolts where ever he can so i dont think you want to use $10k on bolts :lol: but his car is light.

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  • 2 months later...

I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but almost all of these "plans" sound near idiotic.

1) fiberglass is not cheap by any means and considering that its only going to reduce your weight by 150 lbs or less, its just not worth it. Are you going to install these panles yourself? If not, then you got to add labor costs into it.

2) Removing the cruise control is up to you. I know I never use it, but then again I never drive on the highway. I'm not sure how much the cruise control weighs, but it can't be much. As for removing wipeshield wipers, I highly doubt that is even legal. I know its not in Massachusetts. Removing the windshield fluid is useful if you never use it (I never do), but its only about 2 gallons, or 10-11 lbs. so there is almost no point to doing so.

3) Removing the sunroof, now this has got to be the worst thing you stated in this entire topic. Unless you are planning on buying sheet metal and going to personally weld it on (which is bad enough as it is), this is idiotic. Are you going to just drive with an open hole in your car??? The drag alone created by the opening is going to counteract any weight reduction you get. Your performace and fuel economy will significantly drop since your engine will have to work harder to overcome the drag effect.

4) Moving the battery to the trunk means you have to be a good electrician too, running wiring all the way back.

I don't think you understand why exactly the Lexus coupe is so heavy. Its because its a big car, equivalent in length and width to the modern Camry or Avalon. Why do you think the Camry has grown from a nibble 2900 lbs in 1988 to over 3300 lbs today? Its because the car has physically grown in size. The SC300/400 was ahead of its time back in the early 90s. It was built with more strength and durability. Its the same with trying to improve weight distribution. The car is physically designed in an inefficient way because it was designed with style in mind, not efficiency. Like jzz said, Unless you plan on somehow hacking up your SC300, these pety schemes are just a waste of time and money.

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I removed about 250lbs off my 1992 SC400...Yes, ground weight is the problem with these cars when it comes to handling or straight out excelleration...

This is how I removed 250lbs which did make a noticeable difference -----

Hydro pump deletion and installation of my dual electric fans.. 40lbs...

Spare tire, tools, CD changer, and some other small things... 90lbs

Alloy rims and low profile tires...40lbs or more from stock

Deep cell optima small battery...8lbs

Lowering Suspension and shocks...10lbs

Intake design and under car plastic...5lbs

S&S headers, deleted cats, pipes, straight thu mufflers...50lbs atleast...

You can unload maybe another 80-100lbs with the carbon fiber hood and trunk body parts

Supra seats and or other after market seats maybe another 80lbs or so...But matching interiors is the kicker with that...

Aluminum driveshaft maybe minus 10lbs or so and that always makes a bigger difference with moving parts..

Anything else you reduce or remove you will start compromising luxury, comfort and or driveability....

Weight reduction is always a good idea, it makes the car run slightly faster, less strain on all moving parts, better handling and fuel effeciency needless to say....So even spending $500 on carbon fiber crap you may end up recovering those costs in a few years time with fuel saving...Not idiotic and not a waste of money in my opinion....

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Thanks Jibby, I read your comments across the forums and they have always been informative.

Yes, I'm planning to do everything myself. I can weld, fiberglass, design, whatever. Everything I own I've pretty much put together myself. I would not have put out these ideas without thinking about their implementation first.

If Ueno can get his Soarer to be 2400 pounds, I'm thinking reducing this 3600+ lb. monster to 3300 pounds is possible, without sacrificing luxury. Changing the seats would have already gotten me halfway to my goals. I will first do what Jibby does and then weigh the car. After that, I'll decide on my next steps.

I've already replaced the stock speaker system with much lighter neodyium woofers. Saved quite a bit of weight and sounds better too. =)

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  • 14 years later...

Has anyone deleted the back seats if so how much do they way, Bought my 1997 SC400 with the backseats already taken out (only thing you can see is the chassis of the car its self?) panels of the doors replaced with LRD panels and a smaller battery, I think that's everything that was done. How much weight reduction would you think that is over all.

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