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Old 10-18-2007, 11:02 PM
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Building a REALLY lightweight street rod (roadster)

The sparks are about to fly on my street rod project again, and the goal is a REALLY lighweight little roadster that I can drive the socks off. I want it to be as light as possible for easier (flat) towing, better performance, and great gas mileage (banger).

I have some ideas on how I plan to shed the pounds, but I wanted to start a discussion to see what a group of creative minds comes up with. I would also like to get some reference numbers from those who have been there/done it.

How would you go about it; what would you use?

How much does your roadster or bucket weigh; with what combination of parts?

How much does the average high/low boy chassis weigh (frame and complete suspension/steering)?

I'll add my thoughts and numbers soon. I just wanted to get the ball rolling...

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Last edited by toddshotrods; 10-19-2007 at 01:05 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:52 PM
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Take a look at this

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Old 10-19-2007, 06:51 AM
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As usual, OMT beat me to the punch. But if you REALLY are serious about saving weight, then the Locost type "space frame" he linked to is the way to go. Presents some design challenges to make it look like a typical hot rod, but it can be done. Perfect setup for a banger engine. Here's anothe link with some nice pics and text. http://www.agencybusinesssystems.com...ctpictures.htm I'm giving it serious thought for my next project.
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:01 AM
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Thanks guys. I am probably going with a full tubular space frame on my other street rod, but I already have the 2x3-inch ladder frame built for this one. I'll have to eat it on the frame, but will try to cut back everywhere I can. I am struggling with the wheel choice, because the wheels that work best on the project are heavy steel wheels. I have a lightweight aluminum set but it doesn't do as much for the project. I am also trying to use as much of what I have as possible to keep the budget under control, and actually get this thing on the road next summer.

So, the (relatively) heavy frame is a must, and possibly the wheels. From that point on, it's about shedding the pounds.

Thanks for the links too
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:49 PM
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T bucket fiberglass body, no bed or turtle deck. Small spun aluminum gas tank. Aluminum I beam or steel tube axle with mono leaf. Aluminum Corvair steering box. Coil overs in the rear. An all-aluminum 2.2-liter dual overhead-cam engine Olds engine. Fiberglass or aluminum aircraft seats with minimal padding. No interior upholstery.

Should be way under 2000 lbs and go like stink!!
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Old 10-19-2007, 04:36 PM
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I weighed the wheels. The steel wheel and tire combo would add 100lbs - ouch! But, it just looks so much better

I am hoping for under 1500lbs.
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by home brew
T bucket fiberglass body, no bed or turtle deck. Small spun aluminum gas tank. Aluminum I beam or steel tube axle with mono leaf. Aluminum Corvair steering box. Coil overs in the rear. An all-aluminum 2.2-liter dual overhead-cam engine Olds engine. Fiberglass or aluminum aircraft seats with minimal padding. No interior upholstery.

Should be way under 2000 lbs and go like stink!!
Built one very close to that. With a 350-350 weighed 1550 lbs and yes go like stink.
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM
Built one very close to that. With a 350-350 weighed 1550 lbs and yes go like stink.
That's encouraging. I'll lose 200-300 pounds with the banger. I am seriously considering a manual transmission, to save more weight and make flat towing a simple hook-n-go operation.
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Old 10-21-2007, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by home brew
T bucket fiberglass body, no bed or turtle deck. Small spun aluminum gas tank. Aluminum I beam or steel tube axle with mono leaf. Aluminum Corvair steering box. Coil overs in the rear. An all-aluminum 2.2-liter dual overhead-cam engine Olds engine. Fiberglass or aluminum aircraft seats with minimal padding. No interior upholstery.

Should be way under 2000 lbs and go like stink!!
Yup, and also give it up on those heavy wheels, even if you don't want a lighter frame. Aluminum everything, radiator, fuel tank, pulleys ect. Drill lots of holes, like brake rotors, frame raile, axle.
And if you want to get radical, trash the electric start and the battery, go with a magneto and a crank start.
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Old 10-21-2007, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willowbilly3
Yup, and also give it up on those heavy wheels, even if you don't want a lighter frame. Aluminum everything, radiator, fuel tank, pulleys ect. Drill lots of holes, like brake rotors, frame raile, axle.
And if you want to get radical, trash the electric start and the battery, go with a magneto and a crank start.
I don't think I could deal with the crank...

I might also start with the steel wheels because they add something to the project, and replace them with similar, lighter, aluminum versions later. I don't want to compromise the "soul" of the project for the sake of keeping it light. I prefer an athletic-build with a couple extra pounds and some sexy curves, over a stick-figure with skin hanging on a skeleton.
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