Weight reduction. Putting your car on a diet..
Lighter cars are quicker and the handling is much better.
Obviously taking out the radio, carpets and seats seat belts, headlining and air conditioning will turn your family car into a rather impractical daily hack.
But throwing in a few bean bags for your kids to sit on will not add much to the weight (Please be aware that it would not be legal or safe to sit your kids on a beanbag in a car! ).
Spare wheels may add weight so ideally removing this will be a reasonably easy weight reduction modification with many modern run flat tyres you may limp home without air in your tyres so the spare is going to become obsolete. Adding a light weight racing seat will further reduce weight.
Making the car lighter will improve handling and gratification.
For serious weight reduction removal of the glass replacement and windows with perspex will save a good chunk of weight. Replacing the windows with lexan or plexi makes significant weight savings nevertheless the main front screen must be left as safety glass for obvious reasons.
A lot of companies are offering replacement body panels in aluminium, GRP fibreglass or for the maximum weight reduction and best strength go for carbon fibre body panels. You realise how heavy the panels are in a car when lifting in the bonnet so serious weight can be lost in stripping out the maximum amount of metal as possible.
Carbon fibre bonnets/hoods still look very cool but make sure you buy a good quality fit as many panels are not adequately built – always try the panel/bonnet/hood on the car for size before drilling and adding fasteners etc.
Fitting a roll cage will add a bit to the weight you have saved but can be a lifesaver and also will improve the handling as it maintains the rigidity of the car. With a roll cage fitted you can strip out considerably more metal from the car – side impact beams and cut away inner panels and arches but do not remove any portion of the structure from the car.
Many other metal parts can be lightened by drilling holes in them and they should, if you know what you really are doing, retain much of the rigidity of your structure. Alloy wheels help further reduce the weight. Lighter wheels mean better handling when changing direction, because of rotational forces. Usually most alloy magnesium wheels improve airflow to the brakes and improve stopping.
Door hinges and locks also add weight so these can be removed if the doors are welded shut, the welding will also help add some more strength to the body shell of your car. When fitting new parts to the car it is worth weighing them and going for the lighter option even things such as brake pads, disks.
Many engine components are unnecessarily heavy – alternators, water pumps, fly wheels even pistons and blocks etc so always look for ways to reduce weight – we are starting to seem picky but saving 200g in 5 separate areas cumulatively reduces weight by 1 KG.
Specialist companies offer light weight radiators which are better than the standard factory radiator. More and more traditionally cast iron parts are offered in lighter weight materials.
Don’t just stop with the car – go on a diet yourself (have you ever seen a fat guy win a race? I’m expecting floods of correspondence with this one! )