Celica Weight Reduction
By Mike Walker (Lucky)Weight Reduction
In addition to vehicle power, the overall weight of the vehicle and how it is distributed are very important to overall acceleration. In general terms, a weight reduction of 100 pounds will lower the ET by .1 second. Furthermore, the more weight that rests over the drive wheels, the better the traction and thus the quicker the time. Adjusting the weight for a street car is easy. For front wheel drive cars, be sure to remove as much stuff out of the trunk such as the spare tire, jack, etc. And don't forget to race with about a 1/4 of a tank of fuel. Extra gasoline adds weight over the rear wheels! For rear wheel drive cars, you can either follow the above advice, or actually leave everything in the trunk and run with a full tank of gas. The extra weight over the rear wheels will increase traction. For more serious race cars, consider permanent weight loss actions such as removing non-essential parts. One place to start is the interior. Serious track cars remove a lot of interior trim such as carpeting, passenger seats and sound deadening material. Serious weight can be removed from under the Hood
. Start by replacing heavy cast iron engine components and accessories, such as the Intake
manifold, exhaust manifold, and even the heads with lighter cast alloy or aluminum after-market units. A lighter Intake
manifold can save up to 40 pounds alone. You can also remove non-essential components such as the air conditioner compressor. You will often see an increase in performance along with a significant weight savings. Next, look at the body. Entire panels can be replaced with either aluminum panels (like the Super Duty Pontiacs of old), plastic inner fenders (used by some Oldsmobiles), drilled body panels (another Super Duty trick) or Carbon Fiber panels (as seen on many imports). The biggest gains are to be made with replacement of panels on the front of the car such as the front fenders and Hood
, and near the top of the car, such as the Hood
, roof, or trunk, which will reduce the center of gravity of the car, improving handling. True race cars even replace the heavy glass in the windows with a clear plexiglass to save a lot of weight up high. Just be aware that this is extremely dangerous for a street car as the plexiglass is harder to see out of and is probably illegal for use on public streets.UNSPRUNG WEIGHT
An important concept is "unsprung weight." This is weight that is not supported by the suspension of the car. This usually includes the the weight of the wheels and tires as well as a percentage of the weight of the suspension itself, including control arms, anti-roll bars, shocks, and struts. Reducing unsprung weight is the key to improving handling. The lower the unsprung weight, the less work the shocks and springs have to do to keep the tires in contact with the road over bumpy surfaces. An easy way to reduce unsprung weight and improve traction is to replace stock wheels and tires with special lightweight wheels. Note that as the wheel diameter or width increases, the weight of the overall wheel and tire package increases, thereby increasing unsprung weight2000+ Toyota Celica
Stock Weight ~ 2450lbs (without you inside)
Stock GTS Wheel Weight - 19lbs each/without tires
Please remember, you don't "get" hp from loosing weight, you increase the possible amount of acceleration. The more you take out the less your engine has to pull.
Gas weighs about 6lbs/gal so 11 gallons in the tank weighs 61lbs.
A passenger can make even a bigger difference, not to mention the drivers weight.
You can easily remove things like the spare tire and jack, the floor mats, the rear seats, interior panels and anything else.Listed below are some easily removable items:
Total Easy Weight Removal = 117lbsIntermediate Skill Weight Reductions
- Passenger Seat (37lbs) - Removing the passenger seat is a very easy and effective way to give your Celica a small boost in power. The nice thing is that the seat is only held in place by 4 bolts.
- Rear Seat (29lbs) - The rear seat is a little more complicated to remove than the passenger seat. When removing just remember where everything goes and it should be easy to put back in place whenever needed.
- Rear Seat Cushion (10lbs) - The rear cushion should be removed at the same time as the rear seat.
- Floor Mats/Front and Rear (6lbs) - This has to be the easiest weight reduction available for the Celica owner.
- Tire Floor Cover (3lbs) - The tire floor cover is right underneath the rear hatch carpeting.
- Spare Tire and Jack (32lbs) - Another easily removable item.
The weight reductions included below can even prove more effective than some of the reductions included above. However, once you start removing these items you are taking away from the cars overall appearance and in some cases its more predominant amenities.
Total Intermediate Weight Removal = up to 168lbsMore Weight Reduction
- Air Conditioning (40lbs) - Removing the air conditioning will net you a reduction of about 40lbs. Be sure to remove everything from the engine as well as behind the dash. Should be completed by the experienced only.
- Front Hood (30lbs) - Replacing the Front Hood with a lightweight fiberglass or carbon fiber hood (about 7lbs) is a great way to remove some weight around the front end of the car. Total weight reduction will be close to 20lbs or greater depending on the aftermarket hood you choose. If you dont intend on replacing the entire front hood you could also remove the sound dampener on the inside of the hood. This should help in cooling your engine a little.
- Stock Wheels (22lbs each/replacement weight from 11lbs each) - Replacing the wheels is a must for anyone seriously interested in increasing there cars performance. The stock wheels are quite heavy and can be replaced with a variety of aftermarket models. We would suggest searching for lightweight wheels. Replacing your wheels with lightweight wheels will dramatically increase your cars acceleration. We suggest not going over 17 inches if maximum performance is what you desire to achieve.
- Front Drivers Seat (40lbs/replacement weight from 14lbs) - The front drivers seat on the Celica can easily be replaced with a much lighter alternative A lightweight racing seat will save you considerable weight and will also be effective once you have added more horsepower to your car.
Some of the things listed below can also be removed or replaced with lighter alternatives than stock.
- Stock Flywheel - Can be replaced with lightweight aluminum flywheels or machined down in excess of just 13lbs.
- Stock Steering Wheel - Can be replaced with lighter performance steering wheel with no airbag.
- Passenger Airbag Removal - Can save some extra weight as well. (Not recommended for normal driving)
- Interior Panels - Both the drivers side and passenger side front door panels as well as the rear panels can be removed to save in excess of over 40lbs.
- Stock Speakers - With a weight of over 2 pounds a piece these can also be easily removed. I wouldn't suggest anyone attempt removing their rear speakers cause they are riveted in Yes they can be removed but putting them back in will take a some effort.
- Rear Hatch Cover - This can simply be removed whenever needed. Weight is close to 6lbs.
- Replace Stock Exhaust - The stock Celica exhaust weighs considerably more than some of the aluminum aftermarket exhausts. We suggest going with the TRD Exhaust.
- Wiper Motors - Although they are generally needed under almost all driving conditions they CAN be removed if need be although we do not personally recommend it.
- Carpet - Removing the carpet as well as the carpet lining underneath will reduce the cars overall weight by close to 40lbs. Removing excess wiring and bolts and brackets will also net you a reduction of close to 10lbs.