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Old 10-30-2005, 10:56 PM
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shedding weight

hi there, i am looking for ways to remove some unwanted weight from my 76 camaro. with me in the car it weighed in at 3900 lbs. way too much!! the car not me.
i've considered removing the inner fenders, replacing the hood with a fiberglass one, but i am wondering if anyone has ever replaced the bumpers with something lighter? i understand the bumpers on these cars are quite heavy. maybe fiberglass or aluminum. any tips on the bumper thoughts or any or calorie reducing tricks for the big girl?
thanks keith

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Old 10-30-2005, 11:09 PM
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Sure there are fiberglass bumpers that are considerably lighter than stock bumpers. In regards to lightening the car, remove the front sway bar and replace your stock heavy seats with a racing seat and take out the rear bench seat. Remember to empty your trunk of the rear tire and things. in your 76 Camaro is the engine the stock 305 engine? You can gain more with a different powerplant.
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Old 10-30-2005, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juiced66malibu
Sure there are fiberglass bumpers that are considerably lighter than stock bumpers. In regards to lightening the car, remove the front sway bar and replace your stock heavy seats with a racing seat and take out the rear bench seat. Remember to empty your trunk of the rear tire and things. in your 76 Camaro is the engine the stock 305 engine? You can gain more with a different powerplant.
no the engine is a 355 with full roller valve train(228@.050 525 lift on a 108), lightly ported vortecs, air gap intake and a rejetted 750 holley. there is also a 2500 stall and 4:10 rear end. i have seen the back seats taken out and finished very nicely. nothing in the trunk.
but what effect will removing the sway bar have?? any idea where the fiberglass bumpers can be found, i have been looking but no luck as of yet.
thanks for your reply.
keith
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Old 10-31-2005, 01:07 AM
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Glass parts

Try These guys They might have what you need..

OMT
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I have tried most all of it and now do what is known to work..
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Old 10-31-2005, 10:52 AM
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thanks for the link, they do have some parts like the hood but the bumpers they have are for earlier years. i did find someone on ebay that has the hood and bumpers. for about $500-$600 i can get hood and bumpers. not sure how much weight that would save but i can imagine it will be alot. i'm guessing 150 lbs between all 3. ???
thanks again,
keith
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Old 10-31-2005, 12:23 PM
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Relocate the battery to the trunk.
It's weight you gotta have but it's better to have in the rear than in the front.
Also, mount it on the right side of the trunk to compensate for the torque force.
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Old 10-31-2005, 07:43 PM
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Stock front sway bars are typically heavy also assuming your taking your car to the track the removal of the front sway bar assists your rear traction. During your launch the front will lift putting more tire to the rear.

After track day you can put the front sway bar back on.
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:46 PM
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Those stock hoods are heavy, you'll save a lot of weight there I'm sure. Pulling the front sway bar off removes about 30lbs and also lets the front suspension move a lot easier. How are your 60ft times? Slapper bars or any other type added? You can also remove the spring to housing rubber bushings and add a solid spacer and angle shims to adjust your pinion angle. I wouldn't think the alluminum bumpers wouldn't be that heavy-maybe there's a steel structure behind it that needs some lightening? I haven't worked on this generation camaro in quite a few years.
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Old 11-01-2005, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baddbob
Those stock hoods are heavy, you'll save a lot of weight there I'm sure. Pulling the front sway bar off removes about 30lbs and also lets the front suspension move a lot easier. How are your 60ft times? Slapper bars or any other type added? You can also remove the spring to housing rubber bushings and add a solid spacer and angle shims to adjust your pinion angle. I wouldn't think the alluminum bumpers wouldn't be that heavy-maybe there's a steel structure behind it that needs some lightening? I haven't worked on this generation camaro in quite a few years.

you lost me on the spring to housing rubber bushings and a solid spacer and angle shims to adjust your pinion angle. ???
i agree the bumper itself may not be the worst of the weight issue, the steel structure i think is a major part of the weight problem with the bumpers.
thanks, keith
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Old 11-01-2005, 03:01 PM
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Is this a street car or full blown race car? There are thousands of ways to reduce weight...aluminum racing wheels, lexan or plexiglass for all windows, plastic fuel cell, zero interior except for racing bucket, carbon fiber driveshaft....there's more if you want 'em....
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Old 11-01-2005, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinthought
Is this a street car or full blown race car? There are thousands of ways to reduce weight...aluminum racing wheels, lexan or plexiglass for all windows, plastic fuel cell, zero interior except for racing bucket, carbon fiber driveshaft....there's more if you want 'em....
this is mainly a street car, but i plan on making a few trips to the track each year starting next year. we have a local f body club that has dyno days and track days a few times each season. just looking for ways to shed some weight off the 3700 + lbs in the car. i'll consider each and every idea that i am given.
thanks,
keith
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Old 11-01-2005, 09:04 PM
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Over the years I have owned a bunch of 2nd gen cars,and they all have issues.You are right,the bumpers weigh a bunch.You can save a few bucks by removing the bumpers and all the bumper support brackets,and gutting everything down until you just have the 2 bumper shells,and then hanging the bare bumper shells back on with some fabbed aluminum brackets.Of course fiberglass bumpers would be even lighter and allow for even lighter bracketery.The hood weighs a bunch,and a glass hood will save an easy 40#.If your doors need work,you can save yourself the work of fixing them and shave some weight by cutting off the old doorskins,cutting out the crash bars,and reskinning the doors with jap steel skins.I did this on my 73 firebird and saved exactly 17 pound per door. also have a roll bar in that car with side bars,so the door beams were not really needed.The rear seat weight next to nothing,but the front seats are kinda heavy.Base Camaro seats have to weigh close to 50# each,and racing seats with non adjustable brackets weight about 12 pounds each,so you can save an easy 70 pounds there.Everything else in the Camaro interior is fairly light,and unles you really want a gutted car,it isnt worth removing.I removed everthing on the firewall and cut out the firewall from the wrinkled area over the trans tunnel all the way over to the seam that is near the passenger side fender bolt,and I welded in on smooth chunk of 18 guage steel.Removing all the heat and AC apparatus save about 28#.Removing the fenderwells save a few pounds,but it might not make the car any faster,and while I have been wighout them for over 12 years on my car,the current redo is including a set of stock steel ones.If you had the money,you can save a bunch of weight by replacing the fenders and the fenderwells with bolt on fiberglass parts.I just took the glass fenders off my bird because they were getting a bit beat up and wavy looking from ther old age,and I put steel fenders on it,and the OEM steel fenders weight a good 30#more each compared to the glass ones.In total the job could save you 80# and you would still have inner fenders.If you are really broke,you can lowbuck it by using plastic inner fenders from a later G body car.They are lighter and cheap,but they dont look exactly like original,and they will require some create drilling and fabbing,but they are inner fenders.I would look for ones from a Malibu or Cutlass since both had the flat top wheel openings so the fit would be closer,but a firebird owner could use the full round shape of Monte Carlo or Regal wheelwells.

A manual steering box can save about 10#,and if you were really ambitous,you could swap out your full size brake booster and iron master cylinder for a later metric car setup with the mini booster and aluminum/plastic master cylinder,this would save at least another 10#.

If you really wanted to save even more weight and spend a few bucks,I know that at least for a while there were companies that were making full fiberglass front facias for the 78 thru 81 cmaros.It would be a lot of work to graft it to your car,but you can do it with the stock parts,or you can look for the 78/81 fenders which will make the job easier.with the 78 fiberglass facia mounted on the car you can keep the headlights mounted into the stock 76 radiator support,but everything else can come out,every last bit of the factory bracing in the front clip can be chucked,you can put a little more structure in it by fabbing up a few tabs and brackets out of aluminum to support the glass clip so that it isnt so flimsy.I used a one piece fiberglass bumper/valance panel assembley on my firebird,and I am not joking when I say that it save a solid 100# over the stock stuff.

Other then that,the rest is prety much typical race car stuff.It is just a matter of being able to live without the stuff you tear out.
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Old 11-02-2005, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classic keith
you lost me on the spring to housing rubber bushings and a solid spacer and angle shims to adjust your pinion angle. ???
i agree the bumper itself may not be the worst of the weight issue, the steel structure i think is a major part of the weight problem with the bumpers.
thanks, keith
The spring isolators are what I believe they are called, (two flat rectangular shaped rubber pieces that get sandwiched over and under the leaf springs where the housing goes on). If you pull these and mount the rearend solid on the springs, then use a two or four degree angle shim to point the pinion down some and install traction bars or the slide-a-link style the rearend should plant the tires a lot harder. The isolators let the housing rotate without doing much in the way of applying downforce. You'll need to make some steel plates to add on your spring pack to make up for the thickness of the isolators you'll be removing. A really cheap way to go is look for an overload 1" thick spring off of a later model truck, cut the back half off and install onle the front, drill a hole in the front end and install a rubber snubber like on a slapper bar so it contacts the original spring under the front spring eye--just a homebrew way of making a zero dollar slapper bar with easy to find parts.

When you point the pinion down some and the power gets applied it wants to rotate the housing which puts up pressure on the slapper bars and downward pressure on the rear tires and rear suspension.

Another way to change the pinion angle is to lower the front spring mount with spacers, watch the front spring mount areas on these cars though as they are known for corrosion problems in this area and are very weak, subframe connectors are a good idea. Bob
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:10 PM
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well i have found a couple of sites online that sell fiberglass body panels, and show actual weights. looks like much can be saved that way and i was surprised at how affordable the parts were. had also thought about a mini starter, another part that is not all that expensive, is much easier to work with and much lighter!!
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Old 11-03-2005, 09:58 PM
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You need to be real carefull when buying fiberglass panels.The bumpers arent a big deal,everything else is critical.Cheap fiberglass parts are almost always horrible in fit.Finish is one thing since a race car guy might not care if he has a wave to two in the bodywork,but fit is a biggie.If you cant bolt the panels on without substantial trimming for fabricating,or if the parts bolt on and then wobble all out of place,you will be sorry you bought them.Also keep shipping in mind.I just payed $360 for a bolt on hood for my car and $120 shipping for it.These things add up.Good luck.
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