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Time to get nimble

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Old 05-19-2015, 04:05 PM
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Time to get nimble

This is a two-part post...

First, do any of the quicker steering racks from Aston drop into the earlier V8V? I want a quicker ratio in my steering rack but don't want to go overboard with making it happen. Is the one from the V8VS compatible with an '07?

Second, what are some options for dropping some pounds off my car? I've already got a bunch of stuff done to the car, so to cross those off the list: high-flow cats, rear exhaust (muffler), headers (on order), 2-piece brake rotors, wheels, removed rear divider... So aside from those things, what are my options? I don't want to do anything nuts like scrape out sound deadening - I want to keep the car enjoyable without making it a chore to deal with when driving. Just wondering if anyone has found extra mass to be removed somewhere.

Two things I'm looking into are a lightweight battery (probably a good 30+ lbs to be saved there) and lightweight seats (I'm going to be very picky about these because I want to maintain comfort). I did look into the carbon fiber sport seats offered in Europe but they're extremely expensive to get over here.

I know it's a long-shot, but hoping someone's found some other areas to look at for weight improvements.
 
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:38 PM
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They say diet and exercise does wonders.
 
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:31 PM
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I thought about doing this with my old Volvo S60 R sedan (300 hp, 300 foot-lb, 2.5L inline 5, AWD, 6 speed manual -- what a combo!). It was a bit porky at 3700 and could have been a monster if lighter. Ultimately the small performance benefits weren't worth the significant cost or reduction in quality/usability (e.g. stereo, aircon, noise, etc.).

If money was no option I'd replace every body panel with a carbon fiber version, starting with the roof to lower the CG. But most things within reason like the battery you mentioned are just as easy to do by only filling half a tank, or not taking a passenger. And since the performance gains are barely noticeable I decided to just enjoy my cars as they are. If you come up with any good ideas though please share them. I don't think there are any easy 200-300 pound wins though.
 
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:51 AM
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I think one of the biggest improvements is going to be from the steering rack, so I'm hoping someone knows the answer to that!

Originally Posted by karlfranz View Post
They say diet and exercise does wonders.
Already on it, and I'm already at my ideal weight (166 lbs as of this morning). But yes, you're absolutely right lol

Originally Posted by dsvantage View Post
I thought about doing this with my old Volvo S60 R sedan (300 hp, 300 foot-lb, 2.5L inline 5, AWD, 6 speed manual -- what a combo!). It was a bit porky at 3700 and could have been a monster if lighter. Ultimately the small performance benefits weren't worth the significant cost or reduction in quality/usability (e.g. stereo, aircon, noise, etc.).

If money was no option I'd replace every body panel with a carbon fiber version, starting with the roof to lower the CG. But most things within reason like the battery you mentioned are just as easy to do by only filling half a tank, or not taking a passenger. And since the performance gains are barely noticeable I decided to just enjoy my cars as they are. If you come up with any good ideas though please share them. I don't think there are any easy 200-300 pound wins though.
A buddy of mine had an S60 R - very cool cars and nobody sees them coming.

The cost-benefit of carbon fiber hurts - maybe if I can find some pieces that replace oddly-heavy OEM parts I'll jump on it.
 
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:32 AM
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The biggest gains will come from CF-bucket-seats instead of the standard units but I agree that on the comfort side of things the OEM-units are the better seats. Have you considered having your seats custom-made which would not require 'adjustement' mechanics, shaving signifcant weigth as well.

You could think of 'unsprung-weight' savings also: I'm currently modding the DB9 with 398mm/15.7" Ceramics (work in progress) which weight far less then the standard 360mm/14.2" setup. I'm not so much doing it for the weight saving but the handling improvement, apart from the massive stopping power, is significant.

Apart from the battery, plexiglas windows, although that may be a bit too rudimental ..
 
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:44 AM
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In general unless you are willing to really sacrifice comfort and aesthetics, there isn't much you can do.
 
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by sdekoning View Post
The biggest gains will come from CF-bucket-seats instead of the standard units but I agree that on the comfort side of things the OEM-units are the better seats. Have you considered having your seats custom-made which would not require 'adjustement' mechanics, shaving signifcant weigth as well.

You could think of 'unsprung-weight' savings also: I'm currently modding the DB9 with 398mm/15.7" Ceramics (work in progress) which weight far less then the standard 360mm/14.2" setup. I'm not so much doing it for the weight saving but the handling improvement, apart from the massive stopping power, is significant.

Apart from the battery, plexiglas windows, although that may be a bit too rudimental ..
I'm going to be testing out some seats as I come across them. I built a Subaru STi a while back and hard-mounted a Recaro Pole Position seat in it - completely fixed position exactly how I wanted it. I loved it for that car, but wouldn't do it in my Aston. If I can find one comfortable enough, I wouldn't mind a fixed-back bucket seat, but like I said I'm going to be extremely picky about it.

I've already got 2-pc brake rotors, so that's covered. Don't want to do Plexiglas windows.

So far it looks like the battery is the best bet for my next step. Stuart already looked into it and found the lightweight battery setup from the GT4 car for me. If I can drop a lithium ion battery into that (I think I can, but need to keep researching to make sure), then that'd save me a good 35 lbs
 
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:20 AM
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With my racecar, I found some significant weight savings in careful selection of wheels and tires.

I highly recommend the lithium battery (i have a Shorei). Most will tell you lack of use will cause charging issues. I have not seen this. Further, it provides plenty of energy for startup. My car routinely sits for 4-8 weeks with no issues. I did have issues over winter, cause I forgot to hook up the charger.

Most important thing is that these batteries benefit from periodic "conditioning". So be sure to get the charger/conditioner.
 

Last edited by bluebarchetta; 05-20-2015 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bluebarchetta View Post
With my racecar, I found some significant weight savings in careful selection of wheels and tires.

I highly recommend the lithium battery (i have a Shorei). Most will tell you lack of use will cause charging issues. I have not seen this. Further, it provides plenty of energy for startup. My car routinely sits for 4-8 weeks with no issues. I did have issues over winter, cause I forgot to hook up the charger.

Most important thing is that these batteries benefit from periodic "conditioning". So be sure to get the charger/conditioner.
Thanks for the feedback on the batteries! That was one of my concerns. I was looking at some options from Lithium Pros (I think that's what they're called), and they had some batteries with built-in management systems. I guess it's just extra peace of mind. All-in-all, it'd be a $2k swap between the GT4 kit and lithium battery, but I'd be dropping a good 35 lbs - much, much more cost-effective than carbon fiber!
 
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by telum01 View Post
Thanks for the feedback on the batteries! That was one of my concerns. I was looking at some options from Lithium Pros (I think that's what they're called), and they had some batteries with built-in management systems. I guess it's just extra peace of mind. All-in-all, it'd be a $2k swap between the GT4 kit and lithium battery, but I'd be dropping a good 35 lbs - much, much more cost-effective than carbon fiber!
Not familiar with the "GT4 Kit", but there has to be some aston premium here somewhere. I bought the biggest most expensive lithium, and the charger for barely $300 including shipping. I wouldn't mess with a built in conditioner, really just use the plug in every month or two.

I am in agreement with the weight loss calculation. I'm thinking my total was about 27lbs, but starting with a fairly small stock battery.
 
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:35 PM
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When I said GT4 kit, I was referring to the setup used by the GT4 cars Aston Martin Racing builds. On AM's website, they list a "lightweight battery" so I asked Stuart to look into it for me. There's a "full battery kit" AMR sells that includes a battery box, leads, switch, and fittings. I'd likely use that for safety, especially with how I drive my car, and fit a full-size lithium battery into it. I looked at the ones from Shorei and I didn't see any options for automotive applications on their website. Lithium Pro lists automotive applications - they get pretty pricy but are still worthwhile given the weight savings.
 
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:17 PM
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Hehe battery box!!

..I have one here...it's a fake carbon fiber cover made of plastic that sites over a Optima red top, battery is held in place by 2 long studs to a plate over the middle of the battery, plate has a small stub that a butterfly nut threads on and secures the amazing faux carbon fiber cover. The switches are probably what really cost. There is no CEM module on the GT4, so the switch is redesigned to accommodate the no CEM issue and accept a quick release disconnect switch in case of an accident. The pull cable wires down from the hood to the center console and pulls on a toggle switch to activate the disconnect battery switch...


I'd look into wheels, tires, brakes...If you still have the OEM wheels and tires. Look into aftermarket lightweight wheels and also check tire weights for a lighter set. The brakes too can be upgraded to the newer Vantage units, bigger calipers and discs, and center of discs are made of Aluminum...actually believe it's Rapide brakes pushed onto the Vantage

As for the steering rack, I've never swapped between, but it's the same pump, same lines, same bolts and same subframe, I'm 98% sure it's going to fit "plug and play"...just I thought the shorter ratio was the V12S and not the V8S..either way same configuration of mounting and line connections so it should still fit, although your looking north of $3,500 for a new rack + labour
 
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by irish07 View Post
Hehe battery box!!

..I have one here...it's a fake carbon fiber cover made of plastic that sites over a Optima red top, battery is held in place by 2 long studs to a plate over the middle of the battery, plate has a small stub that a butterfly nut threads on and secures the amazing faux carbon fiber cover. The switches are probably what really cost. There is no CEM module on the GT4, so the switch is redesigned to accommodate the no CEM issue and accept a quick release disconnect switch in case of an accident. The pull cable wires down from the hood to the center console and pulls on a toggle switch to activate the disconnect battery switch...


I'd look into wheels, tires, brakes...If you still have the OEM wheels and tires. Look into aftermarket lightweight wheels and also check tire weights for a lighter set. The brakes too can be upgraded to the newer Vantage units, bigger calipers and discs, and center of discs are made of Aluminum...actually believe it's Rapide brakes pushed onto the Vantage

As for the steering rack, I've never swapped between, but it's the same pump, same lines, same bolts and same subframe, I'm 98% sure it's going to fit "plug and play"...just I thought the shorter ratio was the V12S and not the V8S..either way same configuration of mounting and line connections so it should still fit, although your looking north of $3,500 for a new rack + labour
Thanks for the info, Irish!!

For the price of the battery box kit, I guess I don't really need it if the main cost driver for the kit is to compensate for lack of something my car actually has lol. I guess I'll go directly to a lightweight battery and have a custom battery box made if necessary.

I already have the wheels, tires, and brakes that I want, so that's off the table.

I did a highly unscientific measurement - I took out my cargo divider, floor mats, and trunk mat and held them while standing on a bathroom scale, then stood on it again without them. All together it was exactly 16 pounds. Not bad for free weight removal!

And huge thank you for the info on the steering rack. Aston Martin Bits has a couple new LHD ones listed - one from the standard V8V and one from the V8VS, none for the V12S. They're about $2k, so not toooo terrible. Can't tell the difference between S and non-S visually, though - their website uses the same pic for both item listings

Looks like in 2013 AML changed from a 17:1 ratio to a 15:1 ratio on the V8V, and I think it's the same rack as the V8VS. Apparently the V8VS rack is used on the V12VS as well.
 

Last edited by telum01; 05-20-2015 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:37 PM
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The V8VS, V12, V12VS, GT/N430 and all 2012.5MY and newer Vantage have the quicker steering rack. Honestly, I can't really tell much of a difference driving them versus the older ratio rack. I guess it might make a difference for some on the track, but it is definitely beyond my skill level.
 
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:21 PM
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Thanks for the input, K-F! I'm leaning toward it because I've caught myself wishing I had a quicker rack, but it's only in certain situations - on track and on certain roads. I'd be willing to be I wouldn't notice a difference 90%+ of the time, too. I ended up looking at the WSM and it's a pretty labor-intensive job. Kinda hard to justify at that point.
 

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