Mustang Crash Diet

(or how to make your mustang weigh less than a Sherman tank)

This is the tally so far of the items removed with the associated weight.  A negative means it was an item added back to the car in place of a part that was removed.

The whole goal in reducing the weight is to make the car faster in the quarter mile, especially for the 2005 Pump Gas Drags.  If I can reduce the weight by 250 pounds while getting a bigger slick under the car I should run some easy 9.5's or lower.  I have no idea what the car weighs now so I am carefully weighing each piece that is added or removed from the car.  I have always tried to buy the lightweight parts but with all the factory options (plus a few extra) the weight really creeps up.  If you also consider the weight of the full roll cage you can see that I am probably at around 3,800 pounds.  If I can drop this to 3,500 pounds while keeping all the things that are important to me it will be a huge win.

One of the first things you do is look for the obvious.  I was looking in the engine compartment and thought about the windshield wiper washer reservoir.  I can't tell you when the last time was that I had used it yet it was sitting there full of fluid. Removing this netted an honest 6lbs of weight!  The next thing that was obvious to me was the rear parking brake.  In any car I have owned I don't ever remember actually using one.  I know some people are obsessive but with an automatic transmission you have the park position which stops the car from rolling and I have linelock if I really need to keep it from moving anywhere.  This netted another 6 lbs.!

One thing I refuse to do is give up any creature comforts (air conditioning, etc.).  Well I also really like my factory seats but thought maybe there was something to those aftermarket race seats.  After as much research as I could do I found most aftermarket seats (ones you would actually enjoy sitting in) weighed around 45 pounds without the brackets.  I weighed my front seats and the driver side was 46 pounds and the passenger seat was 47 pounds.  That included the brackets and my seat heater and seat coolers!  An aftermarket seat would actually cost me weight!

I also like my back seat, I use it to carry people.  I weighed the upper and lower rear seats and found each to weigh 10 pounds.  That is a total penalty of 20 pounds to keep the rear seat - not bad in my book.

The next place to find some serious weight savings is the inner rear bumper support.  I found the one in my car weighed (with the bumper shocks) 44 pounds!  I have heard of people who just remove this part and put nothing behind the rear bumper but that would potentially cause a problem if someone even leaned on the rear bumper and could really look funny at 150mph at the end of the quarter mile.  Your rear bumper actually attaches to the inner bumper support.  To fix this I built a lightweight aluminum version that weighed 10 pounds.  That is a savings of 34 pounds!

One easy place to save weight is in the front tires.  The American Racing wheels I have now are not heavy but a set of skinnies only weighs 22.5 pounds each where my tires and wheels were 42 pounds!  That is 39 pounds from the front of the car!  My old rear wheels with the 26x11.50x16 slicks weighed 42 pounds each where the new Weld Draglite 15x10 wheels with 28x12.50x15 slicks (much bigger tire) weigh only 39.5 pounds.  That is another 5 pounds of savings while running a bigger tire!

The rearend needed to be changed due to the taller tires.  With the gears I had the top speed in drive would have been near 170mph, way over my top speed.  3.7 gears were the closest with my 28" tall tires so I got a Strange aluminum case with a full spool and aluminum 1350 yoke.  That alone save 28 lbs!

The biggest surprise in this whole weight reduction exercise has been the weight of the stereo equipment and the weight removed from unnecessary bolts and brackets. 

The biggest dissapointment has to be the fiberglass rear deck lid.  Now I do like the new wing better than the old one but the total savings in weight is only 3 pounds!  That was a lot of money to spend for 3 pounds.  The other surprise is how little the factory insulation actually weighs.  I had heard stories of saving 60 pounds by scraping all the factory insulation from the floor.  The real number is more like 25-30 pounds.  Not bad but still not as much as most would leave you to believe.

---> Weight going backwards???  I decided that I did not like the center console without the storage so I took it completely apart and swiss-cheesed (drilled lots of holes) all the metal brackets.  Doing this I was able to drop 2.5 pounds but I still had to add 5 pounds back into the weight of the car.  I also added a nitrous system that is a dry system and uses a carbon fiber bottle but it still added 25 pounds (with a full bottle) to the weight of the car.  The final weight concession was tail pipes on the car.  I found that without the tail pipe the exhaust ended next to the fuel cell.  I was concerned about heat from the exhaust making the fuel hot and decided that the extra 12 pounds (tail pipes without the mufflers) was worth the weight penalty.  I also found another 5 pounds of misc. stuff to remove so my final weight total (pre Pump Gas Drags) is 208 pounds of reduction.  Not bad but not the 250 pounds I was looking for.  I will dig further after the Pump Gas Drags.






Window Washer Reservoir (3/4 full) 6 1 6
Rear Bumper Support (inner bumper) 35 1 35
Rear Bumper Support (new aluminum) -10 1 -10
Rear Bumper Shock Assembly 4.5 2 9
Hitch 17 1 17
Rear Exhaust Extensions (with mufflers) 8 2 16
Headrests from seats 3 2 6
Misc. bolts from rear of car (bumper, hitch) 4.5 1 4.5
New bump stop brackets -1 2 -2
Rear Amplifier & Bracket 9 1 9
Floor Mats 4.5 1 4.5
Front Tires/Wheels (old) 42 2 84
Front Tires/Wheels (new) - Weld Draglites & MT Front -22.5 2 -45
Rear Slicks/Wheels (old) 42 2 84
Rear Slicks/Wheels (new) - Weld Draglites & ET Street -39.5 2 -79
Rear e-brake calipers & cables 6 1 6
Aluminum Driveshaft 12.5 1 12.5
Carbon Fiber Driveshaft -11.5 1 -11.5
Aluminum 9" rearend with spool 51 1 51
Old 3.40 geared traction lock rearend -79 1 -79
Rear Speakers 2.5 2 5
Bag 1 of removed insulation (the stuff I added last time) 10 1 10
Bag 2 of removed insulation (stuff scraped from the floor) 10 1 10
Bag 3 of removed insulation (stuff from the carpet and other removable insulation) 6 1 6
Bag 4 of removed insulation (from rear intercooler tank) 2 1 2
Wiring Bag 1 (RCA connectors) 2 1 2
Center storage console 7 1 7
Brackets Bag 2 7 1 7
Emergency brake handle 3 1 3
Front Amplifier 9 1 9
Old Steel Decklid 32 1 32
New Fiberglass Decklid (estimate) -29 1 -29
New Dynaplate Insulation -15 1 -15
Misc. Bolts & Brackets (3) 8 1 8
Insulation from Trunk (including stuff I had installed before) 11 1 11
Misc. Wiring (bag 3) 3 1 3
Exhaust Tailpipes (without mufflers) -12 1 -12
Center Storage Console (lightened) -5 1 -5
Nitrous system (with full bottle) -25 1 -25
Misc. bolts & Brackets 5 1 5
Total     208

Return to main page