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Put your Blazer on a diet

Discussion in 'Center Of Gravity' started by Sandman, May 13, 2004.

  1. Sandman

    Sandman 3/4 ton status Author

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    I decided to post this here as I do not see much in depth discussion about this subject and some of the techniques would involve some fab work.

    I'll leave it up to you Russ. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Anyway, we all know that weight is a huge deal in Motorsports. I am constantly amazed at the Toyota truck with 33" outdoing a Fullsize with 40" in the mud or wherever simply do to the weight factor. The biggest drawbacks to running a fullsize are the size and the weight. I think the size issue has been looked into pretty well with different solutions. You can pull the body off, put on an S10 (or other) body, bash it in, or my personal favorite, narrow the ends.

    So, lets talk about weight. I didnt think much about it untill my first trip to Moab. Between the first trip and the second trip was 800 pounds in difference. Those 800 pounds made all the difference in the world. It was unbelievable.

    So what can we do to lose the weight and how much is it worth?

    I have lost the tailgate, cut off the roof, skinned the front sheetmetal, and made the doors come off easy. Removed all carpet, AC and went to racing seats. I have not weighed it lately but I think I have dropped below 5,000 pounds and I want to go lower. I am now looking at a lexan windsheild, AL radiator and waterpump, going to an aftermarket dash, and anything else I can get away with.

    Here is what I know on weight of things:

    *** Edit: When somebody posts a weight of something, I will stick it here for a reference. ***

    - Each door weighs 76 pounds (panels, power)
    - The roof weighed right at 75 pounds with everything
    - Tailgate is about 116 pounds.
    - 4.3 Atlas II weighs in at 110 pounds.


    - At one point in the skinning and carpet removing, I took 400 pounds to the dump. I made two different trips.

    Has anybody else gone throught the diet pains? I am looking for more ideas that can be done on the cheap without losing the 1 ton setup and 454.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    I haven't really done anything hardcore but here's what I've removed

    -carpet(bare floors, no liner)
    -rear seat
    -top
    -door panels
    -bedside panels
    -glovebox(didn't remove it by choice the damn thing just fell off)
    -A/C(compressor, evap, condensor, I still need to take the "suitcase" out)
    -misc trim on the ext and int
    -console

    Just taking all this crap off gave me about about a 5 mpg increase. It was as if I unhooked a loaded trailer. I wasn't even going for that, I was just tired of having damp carpet. I still have the half-cab, door, and power tailgate on the truck.
     
  3. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    My power tailgate with glass was 116" just an FYI
    As far as weight goes, I don't think an S-10 cab is going to give much weight reduction, in fact if you put our 1-ton setup in a Jeep CJ they will weigh in real close when all is said and done. I don't know what a windshield weighs but I would imagine quite a bit, I know in Colorado it is legal to drive on the street without one... and I have a pair of real nice sun glasses. /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif
    Also, look at removing bedsides etc. and replace with alum panels. Also, I plan on removing my AC setup and all the heater stuff, I will weigh that when it's all removed and let you know how much it was.
    All alum small block and wheels are another choice, bottom line, even a buggy with our setups will come in at over 4,000 pounds, ask miniwally.
     
  4. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I know in Colorado it is legal to drive on the street without one

    [/ QUOTE ]
    here in Oregon you don't have to have a windshield but you have to have windshield wipers /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif
     
  5. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Yep, same here. /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  6. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

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    at what point do you start to skimp on tube and armor and personal protection?

    and does the running gear matter as it is unsprung?? hmm /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif thats my question
     
  7. Sandman

    Sandman 3/4 ton status Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    My power tailgate with glass was 116" just an FYI

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'll stick that back at the top. Thanks!

    [ QUOTE ]
    As far as weight goes, I don't think an S-10 cab is going to give much weight reduction, in fact if you put our 1-ton setup in a Jeep CJ they will weigh in real close when all is said and done

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I remember James's S10 was actually about 400 pounds heavier then mine last time we ran together.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Also, look at removing bedsides etc. and replace with alum panels

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I thought about this too but I didnt want to lose the overlook of having a Blazer. I think I'm pushing that now. I still miss the ORD Blazer.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Also, I plan on removing my AC setup and all the heater stuff, I will weigh that when it's all removed and let you know how much it was

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I think mine was around 25 punds or so. But I didnt weigh it so I look forward to what you find out.

    [ QUOTE ]
    bottom line, even a buggy with our setups will come in at over 4,000 pounds, ask miniwally.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I just like the look of the Blazer and that is one of the compromises that we have to live with. I can deal. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  8. Sandman

    Sandman 3/4 ton status Author

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    I dont that should ever be done. I didnt hesitate on a good cage and outside armor.
     
  9. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    I don't think I will ever put in a big block. I've never had one so I don't know what I'm missing but I hate adding any weight to my front end(winch namely) but it has to be done sometimes. But with lots of lightening work and most of the weight being off of the back its a little crazy to add more up front and power.
     
  10. dhdescender

    dhdescender 1/2 ton status

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    The only big block you could add without a weight penalty would be the Cadillac blocks, they're only about 30lbs heavier than a chevy SB.
     
  11. Sandman

    Sandman 3/4 ton status Author

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    I've combated the BB weight as best I could. I put on headers and an AL intake. I've also gone to an electric fan. Next would be an AL water pump and radiator. If I ever run accross a good deal on a Vortec SB with the fuel injection setup stuff, I would be tempted.
     
  12. namkrow

    namkrow 1/2 ton status

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    There's always fiberglass.

    I hear that a f-glass tub is at least 500 lbs lighter than the factory sheetmetal(not comfirmed by me).

    -T
     
  13. juanblzer

    juanblzer 1/2 ton status

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    that's my route:
    drop center fiberglass hood
    fiber glass bedsides
    ditch the rearsprings replace em' with coilovers and links
    no doubler... maybe an atlas or run a 241 with SYE
    alum intake
    alum radiator
    electric fan

    been seriously thinking about going to a rear dana 60 with steering (similar to that avalanche that petersens was building)
     
  14. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    I think it's ok here, if a bit marginal unless we want to get into custom light weight fabrications with speed holes and engineered stress analysis.

    But, you guys know my motto. If it does not make it go further or provide safety, REMOVE IT! Simple as that…

    [Edit] This thread has worked out better than I could have imagined based on others that went the wrong way. Not marginal in any way! /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  15. miniwally

    miniwally 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Weighed in last night at 4520 with me in it. Trail tools, recovery gear, and 2 spare 1350 u joints. About as minimal as it gets for trail tools not even a jack.
    Full 1 ton running gear, small block with stock al. intake, th350, doubler.
    PRP seats all aluminum tub and body panels, full hydro steering, and almost full of gas. Link and coil front and rear. Chassis is probably overkill for what I need but it should hold up very well over time. When my chassis is totaly torn down with nothing in it two guys can pick it up and move with it okay. Guessing chassis weight at around 450 pounds.
    Becks buggy weighs about the same.

    My opinion is that a blazer frame with full 1 ton running gear with a cage and only original skins can but is probably just barely going to be breaking the 4750 pound mark. This weight would include any trail spares, tools and stuff.

    How are all of you figuring your' weight? Driver in, gas level, tools, spares etc.
    I weigh a little over 200lbs, and I figure there was another 100lbs worth of tools fluids and misc. junk inside when I weighed it.
     
  16. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    Have you ever thought of using winching rope instead of the wire? That will save some weight /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  17. big pappa b

    big pappa b 3/4 ton status

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    For what it's worth, the power of a big block outweighs the minimal weight difference.
    Chevy 350 weighs in at 5735Lbs
    Chevy 396,427 or 454 weigh 685Lbs....150Lbs difference

    references you ask? Engine weights /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  18. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    It may offset the weight at the drag strip, but for many types of off road use, it only compounds the problem. More weight equals more power to do the same job. And when axles and other parts are already stressed to the point of frequent breakage, the extra power available for careless use combined with the extra power required to deal with the extra weight is a double negative. Also, it's more weight up front when many of us already have trouble being nose heavy. Small gas tanks may also need to be figured into the decision.

    On the other hand, if your doing mud or sand, then it's worth the weight for the power. But IMO it's not worth it for many off road trucks. Certainly not for mine. In fact, if it were not for other issues (one being money) I would love to have an aluminum block small block, North Star, or similar. The SBC is (for me) the sweet spot for power/cost/reliability/weight.
     
  19. jac6695

    jac6695 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I remember James's S10 was actually about 400 pounds heavier then mine last time we ran together.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Well, I do eat alot, though! /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif

    I am down to 5600lbs. with the doors on and me not in it. That is the day after I got back from Moab with tools and spare tire, etc. in it.

    I am going to put it on diet this summer. Finally doind the LT1 swap (as stated, should lose 125-150 lbs.). I think getting rid the big ole' honkin' cast iron big block with the 4 core radiator will drop me down more than 150lbs., though. Plan on using the plastic Caprice radiator to save weight.

    I really am not sure what else to do without giving up on the reason I keep a body at all such as the heater and the rest of the roof/windshield. I could also strip the interior. Jeff stripped his and lost some weight, but a guage panel and aftermarket guages could add up, too. I also have a heavy winch- 8274 are not as light as newer planetary winches. My wich mount and bumpers aren't light either, but they need to be strong.

    I think the key is suspension. Giving up heavy leaf springs for links and coilovers will free up a whole bunch of weight.

    I would love to build a tube frame like Miniwally size and build a lightweight body around it with just skins of sheetmetal from S-10 or fullsize. With a lightweight windsheild and ability to bolt on some doors. For Brandon and Corby, just like the Willys with us on Helldorado in Moab.
     
  20. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    I'm glad this topic was brought up. This has been the ongoing battle with my current build up. what do you sacrifice? I'm about to begin the narrowing process. I'm also lowering the center of gravity and looking for places to dump as much weight as possible but not sacrifice some of the things that are important to me. My rig must be able to wheel in the snow and I don't want to wear a snowmobile suit so weather tight is gona be tricky and still dump weight. It will also have four seats.

    I'm with you on keeping armor and a good roll cage and not worrying so much about the weight of those components, You can only cut so many corners before your going round in circles. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    My goal is to get down around the 5000 mark. Hopefully under it.

    One thing that is also important to me is to try to balance out the weight front to rear. Some weight can't be dumped but if it were further back it would almost gain you as much. My rad and trans cooler will find their home out back. Batteries of course were moved.

    Keep the weight savings ideas coming.

    I'm down to a slim 195 and I don't think my wife will let me lose anymore so I'm done in that respect.
     

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