"project weight loss"

Discussion in 'Race 400/430/455' started by GS Kubisch, May 14, 2005.

  1. GS Kubisch

    GS Kubisch THE "CUT-UP" BUICK

    Since I'm bored to tears waiting for my new block,I've set a goal to remove 100lbs from the driver's seat forward w/o taking away from the "street" appearance of my car.

    The first thing,I weighed my stock 70 frt bumper and brackets which was 39lbs.....New f/glass bumper is 4lbs....Good start right?
    Yes,Only because after two years of searching I found a place that can chrome a f/glass bumper!(Remember,Trying to this in good taste)

    So I figured I'd try out my new dig. camera.
    Here are the aluminum brackets I started on to take full advantage off the lightweight bumper.

    Now I need to find 70lbs more..................

    Attached Files:

  2. RED GS 1

    RED GS 1 Well-Known Member

    Whats the weight difference between the stock brackets and the aluminum ones you made up??
    Are you going to be selling them??? I could use a set :TU:
  3. mltdwn12

    mltdwn12 Platinum Level Contributor

    Chromed fiberglass :confused: You have a picture? That would beat the "Chrome Silver" paint :laugh:


    RACEBUICKS Midwest Buick Mafia

    What is the cost of the chrome job??
  5. GS Kubisch

    GS Kubisch THE "CUT-UP" BUICK

    The guys name is Ken,The prices are very reasonable.
    I was quoted $1000 :eek2: by a place in NY
    This guy says depending on what you want,$150-500.
    The new Summit Racing Catalog has a 65 Impala that he did the bumpers for.
    That was a "Mid-level" job.


    I'm guessing,Since I haven't weighed the stock pcs. alone,The savings is going to be 6-9lbs in the brackets.
    Not alot,But you have to go into it thinking,"8lbs in 5 places is 40lbs which becomes more significant,Especially off the front of the car.
  6. buickdav

    buickdav Kris' other half.

    GOOD call on the bumper Gary. Just FYI, I also know a guy that is set up to do the "chrome" job too. He quoted me $200 for the front bumper on my 67'. That 65' in the Summit spread is what got my attention to. Looked like a real slick deal. I don't have the info here handy now, and am on my way to work, but I can get it for ya if interested. Hes in Okla.
  7. alan

    alan High-tech Dinosaur

  8. ric

    ric Well-Known Member


    If my old brain cells are still working right what I remember, I took my front bumper brackets and weighed them. Each one weighed 6 pounds using a digital bathroom scale. I ended up trimming them down, cutting out 3 pounds a bracket. No way no how they can hold a steel bumper, but a f/glass one is no problem at all. Also stuck in factory aluminum GMC single core radiator (thanks Harold Rolls). That knocked a lot of weight out also. I would only say to do those for race only applications. I also replaced the top steel piece that covers and holds the radiator in place with the radiator support with the plastic version.

    Replaced the factory front drums, booster and control arms with light weight Wildwood disc and tubular light weight control arms. Now that was a ton of weight off the nose!

    Gary I like what you did to your crossmember. Because of a shortage of time I skipped doing that. That maybe a winter project for me. You did a real nice job on that.

    I still have the steel front fenders and remember comparing them to the factory style bolt on f/glass ones. The weight gain was under 12 pounds or so. Had my fenders been in terrible shape and in need of paint I would have done the switch. But right now it's not worth the cost, maybe in a year or so when I decide to repaint the car. Otherwise it would be cheaper for me to shake 20 pounds off my fat ass. The light weight f/glass fenders cannot be bolted on.

    I did remove the inner fenderwells, but I know that's another topic regarding air flow etc. It never effected me on handling so off they stay for now.

    Now for a REAL project Gary. A while back (few years ago) I saw John Massoud had a "custom light weight aluminum radiator support" mounted in his '67. The factory fenders even bolted to it. I would venture it chopped at least half the weight. He told me a friend of his made it up. I immediately told him I would buy one for my '70 in fact I mentioned that most likely a few others would do the same. He never got back with it, so I would still be interested on such a project. Hell man my factory rad support is NOS and never had a battery mount on it. That could be one year's college tuition :laugh:

    Another thought: I have been kicking the idea around on making f/glass headlight bezels that would bolt in place. Again this would be for race only applications. Another possible project over the winter.

    Some of you guys may think, "Well all that work for a few pounds" Well taken from a page of Greg Gessler's book, he always told me that it's 16 ounces equals a pound, it all adds up in the end.

    Gary please keep me posted on your projects, like yourself I am always looking for a way to lighten up my car. Right now my GS weighs in without a driver at 2,860 pounds. I still have the factory front half frame. :3gears:
  9. GS Kubisch

    GS Kubisch THE "CUT-UP" BUICK

  10. GS Kubisch

    GS Kubisch THE "CUT-UP" BUICK

    Yeah Rick
    My car has an NOS core support too.......I am planning on cutting all the excess off a rusty one I have and get a before and after weight,Then I will probably acid dip it.Looking for about 15lbs there.(About 29lbs now)

    Stainless exhaust and mufflers are 36lbs on my car,That is another area that needs attention,I know Scott Brown makes some lightweight mufflers,Would like to lose 10-15lbs there.

    Looking for 15-25lbs in tubular control arms......

    Still have stock motor mounts and steel frame pads to get rid of,Then use a "true" front motor plate.(This is contingent on the new block with a belt drive and no more oem frt. cover)

    And,The one area I'm most excited about,My Moldex crank weighed 82lbs using prehistoric tech........Hoping for the crank in whatever motor I build next to be under 70lbs for a weight savings of about 15lbs in a very beneficial area.ROTATING MASS.

    GOAL:3300lbs with me........Full interior,mufflers,etc,etc.
  11. 70 gsconvt

    70 gsconvt Silver Level contributor

    You could try losing some weight Gary. :laugh:
  12. Shayne Dillinge

    Shayne Dillinge Well-Known Member


    A little while back when I was visiting AM&P, Charlie took my by Phillip Oakley's house. He drives the Texas Roadhouse dragster and was the 2003 champ in the Jegs Quick Series. He was just building up a new 615 inch Ford with an alum. block and a Sonney Bryant crank. I forget the stroke on the crank but do remember that it weighed in at 62 lbs. This crank was a piece of art. It was gun drilled all the way through so you had to run a plug in the back to seal the motor.

    Just thought you might find the crank story interesting. Phillip was really going after some serious weight reduction that winter, lighted ring gear with TI bolts, TI studs & lugs and gun drilled axels with lightened flanges. Spent some big dollars to save a few pounds. He's looking to go 6.80's w/ single carb on gas.

    Good luck on your project.
  13. nitrousfish

    nitrousfish Dave Fisher

    Weight loss...

    Gary,what did you do to the front crossmember? How would one go about doing it? I was worried about boogering something up with the alignment,or would someone have to use a frame jig to keep it straight while chopping it off? Right now my 72 GS is at 3510 with 250lb driver(me). I have FB bumpers,hood,factory disc brakes,no inner fenders,one race bucket seat,full interior,25lbs in nitrous and bottle,5 gal fuel cell,and iron heads. I took off the top rad. support and made an angle bracket from an old fuel cell install kit and made it hold in the alum rad. I was kickin around the idea of making bumper brackets with alum. bar stock. The frame is all original,no notching to the rear either. Maybe I can fab something under the rad to act as a core support,too. My goal is 3400 even and alum heads will help but it wont be soon. I still havent taken out the crash bars in the doors either. Good luck Gary and keep us posted,and let us know what youll charge for those bumper brackets...fish
  14. 10inchbuick

    10inchbuick Midwest Buick Mafia

    Gary look into putting real coilover shocks(not the qa1 stuff) in front by the time you trim the frame for clearance and ditch the stock coil springs I bet there is 10 lbs there.Send me your email address and I'll shoot you some pics of my coil over set up and a arms.I lost 4.0 lbs each side just for the upper a arms(would have been more if I used aluminum cross shafts instead of stainless) I'll finish the lowers tomarrow and have some weight specs then.
    Have you already stripped the factory wiring harness of un needed wires?
  15. John Stevens

    John Stevens Well-Known Member

    Gary, The Impala looked as good in person as it does in the Summit catalog! :TU:
  16. dr

    dr Well-Known Member

    Are the fiberglass fenders from VFN quality?
    Who made/manufactured the bumper?
  17. Buick

    Buick Ramin Ansari

    Some late 70's / early 80's G-bodys came with aluminum core-supports. They are unbelievably light! With some sheet-metal bending and welding perhaps they could be made to fit the A-body?????????
  18. Buicks4Speed

    Buicks4Speed Advanced Member

    Race radiators..

    I know that you can order a double pass 22x19" Griffin radiator which gives you room for a 3 gal fuel cell up front. That will be a lot less fuel line and you could run a Holley Black pump which is a lot lighter than the big high pressure pumps since the fuel is going in the direction of movement at less than half the distance. :Brow:

    If your chroming the bumper, what keeps you from doing the rear?

    Maybe you can figure out a way to lighten up your 100+ factory bucket seats? I know my bench w/armrest was 100lbs and buckets are heavier...

    What about the heavy factory steering column and shaft? I know its heavy and has to have some weight that can be trimmed........

    Thanks for the link and the chroming :TU: Maybe I'll get a glass rear bumper now and chrome my front one.
  19. 10inchbuick

    10inchbuick Midwest Buick Mafia

    I forgot about the column.The shaft is 3/4 od so take you factory shaft and cut off the steering wheel end machine to fit inside the 3/4 tubing.Now you still have the factory look but just lost around 2-3lbs.This is how we did mine.Hint titanium tubing is real light :Brow: :Brow:
  20. GS Kubisch

    GS Kubisch THE "CUT-UP" BUICK

    Guys.....I wouldn't know what to charge.....Not hard to make,Just some time.

    Bryant crank is a possibilty,Just need a BD block!

    My car has race bucket in it but the material matches the rear seat so it's decieving especially w/ stock shifter and console......Looks like 1970 in there.
    Steering column is on the list.....

    Found the place in Ok.
    Of course I go for two years looking,Then find two places in one month.

    Here's the finished brackets......Just need some DZUS's

    Attached Files:

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