Making a D-90 lighter - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 21st, 2007, 09:13 AM
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Stephan Laputka
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Making a D-90 lighter

I just came back from NASA nationals where I was racing for four days. I'm a pretty big gear head but man can those guys talk about their race cars on end. Saw some pretty rare rides. One guy had a brand new Morgan Aero 8 fitted with side pipes and a full cage. Naturally I don't have a photo. Anyhow the one thing that surprised me across all makes was how much weight people could get out of these cars. My car is underweight as is so I don't have much experience with car diets. I thought I would ask if people on this board have taken steps to lighten up their trucks.. I feel it would be difficult with a defender as their is no sound deadening, plush interior, undercoating etc. to really strip out but I thought I would ask anyway.
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  #2  
Old September 21st, 2007, 09:38 AM
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I would think most of our weight is that 14 guage frame and the engine. Tough to pull those out What kind of car are you running Stephan? A guy that lives near me has an Aero 8, weird looking machine
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  #3  
Old September 21st, 2007, 10:41 AM
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Stephan Laputka
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I am running a Porsche 951 in the Super Cup class. Due to the horsepower (vs. non turbo porsches) I am not allowed to strip weight out of the car. However there is a teamate of mine running a 944 s2 at only 2500 pounds. Another guy has a 993 at 1750 pounds. Some of their mods include lightweight batteries, lexan windows, light wheels, lightened exhausts etc. Lexan in my 90 might be overkill however. That s2 has 50 less hp than me and I have to drive the shit out of my car to catch it. Weight matters so much.. Anyone make a d-90 frame out of carbon fiber? ECR project?
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  #4  
Old September 21st, 2007, 11:03 AM
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Jim Cheney
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Protection and Performance makes a tubular D90 motorsport frame. I dont know how much it weighs.
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  #5  
Old September 21st, 2007, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sflash868
I am running a Porsche 951 in the Super Cup class. Due to the horsepower (vs. non turbo porsches) I am not allowed to strip weight out of the car. However there is a teamate of mine running a 944 s2 at only 2500 pounds. Another guy has a 993 at 1750 pounds. Some of their mods include lightweight batteries, lexan windows, light wheels, lightened exhausts etc. Lexan in my 90 might be overkill however. That s2 has 50 less hp than me and I have to drive the shit out of my car to catch it. Weight matters so much.. Anyone make a d-90 frame out of carbon fiber? ECR project?

Nice! I am a huge Porsche guy. I've owned a few and done some little SCCA events, but nothing like you do. I currently have a little '64 356 coupe. My "other" baby
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  #6  
Old September 21st, 2007, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burke
Nice! I am a huge Porsche guy. I've owned a few and done some little SCCA events, but nothing like you do. I currently have a little '64 356 coupe. My "other" baby
WOW a '64 356...VERY NICE! Those aren't cheap.
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  #7  
Old September 21st, 2007, 11:34 AM
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Tell me about it, it is in the shop having the heads rebuilt as we speak..... Great little car though, very worth it!
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  #8  
Old September 21st, 2007, 11:41 AM
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This is an interesting topic because it is something that I think about quite a bit. A lighter truck is valuable as it is a much more capable wheeler, breaks parts less, and has more response to the throttle.

The trouble is a defender is a hard to make lighter. The frame and engine, like stated earlier, is the majority of the weight. A 300Tdi is heavier than a V8 so that sets me back as well. Plus, you have to have a good cage, have to have comfy seats, big tires, big axles ect.

Just as an example, I removed: Windhield, doors, rear gate, heater core, dash, front bumper, rear frame (tube), steel fuel cell, roof, a good bit of the body, all coils, spare tire, coil buckets and cut off a lot of metal from the front frame and wells.

I added: Heavier links, heavier axles, 40" tires, a big cage (too tall and will get redone), a lot of tools, heavy center console, air tank, and cooler.

The weight comes in at 3,980 LB. Not great by any means. I would love to get it down to the 3k mark but there is just no way that I can ever do that. I plan on maybe being able to get to 3,800 or so with a redesign but thats as good as I think it will get.
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  #9  
Old September 21st, 2007, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burke
Tell me about it, it is in the shop having the heads rebuilt as we speak..... Great little car though, very worth it!
'My Porsche is in the shop'...classic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckon37s
This is an interesting topic because it is something that I think about quite a bit. A lighter truck is valuable as it is a much more capable wheeler, breaks parts less, and has more response to the throttle.

The trouble is a defender is a hard to make lighter. The frame and engine, like stated earlier, is the majority of the weight. A 300Tdi is heavier than a V8 so that sets me back as well. Plus, you have to have a good cage, have to have comfy seats, big tires, big axles ect.

Just as an example, I removed: Windhield, doors, rear gate, heater core, dash, front bumper, rear frame (tube), steel fuel cell, roof, a good bit of the body, all coils, spare tire, coil buckets and cut off a lot of metal from the front frame and wells.

I added: Heavier links, heavier axles, 40" tires, a big cage (too tall and will get redone), a lot of tools, heavy center console, air tank, and cooler.

The weight comes in at 3,980 LB. Not great by any means. I would love to get it down to the 3k mark but there is just no way that I can ever do that. I plan on maybe being able to get to 3,800 or so with a redesign but thats as good as I think it will get.
Outside of strapping some helium filled balloons to it, I don't think you could get much lighter!
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  #10  
Old September 21st, 2007, 11:59 AM
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Hey Buck, maybe a diet is in order???
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  #11  
Old September 21st, 2007, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burke
Hey Buck, maybe a diet is in order???
For me or the truck?
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  #12  
Old September 21st, 2007, 12:51 PM
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Maybe both. Limit the Rover to 2-3 Wranglers a week
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  #13  
Old September 21st, 2007, 02:09 PM
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Fill up the back with an inflated helium bag...
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  #14  
Old September 21st, 2007, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander
Fill up the back with an inflated helium bag...
I think it would be hilarius to fill the tires with helium and see if it makes a difference.
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  #15  
Old September 21st, 2007, 10:40 PM
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Well in the biketrial world we do all kinds of wacky stuff. one of the most notable is we drill out our rims.

http://www.hbtrials.com/photos/echop...6rear_rim1.jpg

Get out your drill press!!!!!!!!
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  #16  
Old September 22nd, 2007, 05:40 PM
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How about titanium alloy wheels, axles, frame, and cage? That might help a little.
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  #17  
Old September 22nd, 2007, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaucer
How about titanium alloy wheels, axles, frame, and cage? That might help a little.
Another biking trick, change out all the bolts to Titanium.... lots of bolts on a D90, could save a few pounds easy.
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  #18  
Old September 22nd, 2007, 07:53 PM
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The biking trick is funny. I know guys I ride with and they will spend hundreds of dollars on titanium to save a few pounds but wont clean the ten pounds of mud off of their bikes.
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  #19  
Old September 22nd, 2007, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaucer
How about titanium alloy wheels, axles, frame, and cage? That might help a little.
6AL4V? 62222? 5553?

I can't even imagine how expensive it would be a make a full Titanium cage. AL is probably actually a better option. But I think I'll stick to chromo.
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  #20  
Old September 22nd, 2007, 08:43 PM
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Stephan Laputka
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I don't think going titanium is going to be the answer for the D as cool as that would be. When my roll cage was installed in the Porsche it added 130 pounds to the car. I wonder what the Defender's cage is?? The lexan windows might not be a bad idea come to think about it. I don't think I would do it for a front windshield but the rear windows...maybe (I have an SW) Gutting the doors in the porsche dropped 30-40 pounds per door but the defender doesn't have nearly that much meat. Ac delete, radiator options, heater delete, removing the wheels arches are all methods I've seen in racing to reduce weight. The extreme being fiberglass body panels, which i'm surprised isn't made for Defender's. But I agree with Buckon37s that saving weight has so many benefits that it's worth pursuing
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