Slow Car Fast
January 31, 2010 - There's been no actual work on the MG of late because I've been digging into a garage reorganization.
I do this about once a year to try to keep all of the parts under control. With so many current and past projects, the shelves tend to fill up with oddball pieces such as 1966 Cadillac cylinder heads and window regulators from a 323 GTX. The MG, of course, is generating parts from MG, GM and Mazda quite enthusiastically.
As part of this work, I need to move the car. Easy enough, it's on wheels now and I did spend a bit of time finishing the final engine mount so the entire drivetrain is now self-supporting inside the car (woohoo!). But a joker (no, really, his tag is "joker120") on the LS1Tech forum commented that he thought my projected weight of 2500-2600 lbs was too high, and this would be a good time to weigh it. Good point, let's see what happens.
entry 270 - tags: weight,
January 31, 2010 - Here's the big surprise.
1916 lbs. Wow!
My estimate of 2500-2600 lbs for the finished product was based on a published curb weight of the GT of 2401 lbs. If you stuff one of these engines into a Miata, it gains right around 200 lbs with the sort of accessories I'm using. I know the stock MG engine is a hefty one, so I was hoping I might gain a bit less weight than that. But this number is a bit shocking.
So how was I so far off? This is for a car with no cooling system, exhaust, no fluids at all and no interior. It does include the 26 lb box of Camaro wiring that I pulled out of the donor, however, so there may not be a lot to gain with that. Fluids will add around 100 lbs to the car, figuring 10 gallons of gas plus coolant and others - although the engine does have oil. The Optima battery I'm going to use is another 27 lbs. The interior on an MG isn't that heavy and I actually had a Miata seat stuck in the car but it's probably fair to assume there's a hundred pounds to come there. The front bumper is also off the car and there's no spare. All relatively small things, but it adds up.
Still, I may have saved weight somewhere. It could be that my new front end is lighter than stock. Possibly even the rear. The Miata wheels are definitely lighter than the stock MG ones and I remember the front spindles and brakes being painfully heavy.
Should I change my expected final weight? I think I'll drop it down to about 2400 lbs. There could very well be 500 lbs of bits and pieces left to install. But wow. Simply adding the fuel and battery will bring to car to almost 50:50 weight distribution as well.
I'm starting to look at the car with a bit more respect. At 2400 lbs, it'll end up lighter than Elvis, the LS1 Miata I've had the chance to hustle around the track. And that is one fast car.
entry 272 - tags: weight
November 8, 2010 - Before moving the MG back into its home - I use a moving dolly under each wheel so I can easily slide it into place - I decided to drop it on the scales again.
No surprise, it's gained weight since last time. It's up to 2168 lbs, but it's pretty close to fully loaded at this point. A few pieces of front bodywork, the dashboard and other interior parts and, well, that's about it. Last time I estimated the final weight at 2400 lbs. I think that's a pessimistic number, but we'll see what happens. It's no wonder it felt lively on the test drive, it's currently over 400 lbs lighter than most V8 Miatas.
The car is nose-heavy right now, though. It has about 54% of the weight on the nose. Not terrible, but I'll have to see if there's any way I can shuffle a bit more weight back. Throwing the spare in the trunk will help.
entry 435 - tags: weight
January 5, 2011 - While I had the car on the lift, I decided to drop it down on to the scales.
After all, it's just about completely done from a mechanical standpoint. There's the bodywork and paint to do, but that's unlikely to add any weight. So we can call this a pretty accurate final weight.
The car has nearly a full tank of gas and even carries a spare tire. So this is a full-on legitimate street weight, not a setup for the lightest possible option. Still, I'm pretty happy. When I first weighed the car a year ago, I estimated 2400 lbs. Looks like I was right!
Check out the balance. 51.9/48.1 front/rear. Even better, perfect corner balancing and side/side distribution. There's no reason for that, I just got lucky. But it's still worth bragging about!
entry 529 - tags: weight