Weight Loss Mods
The one type of modification that improves every single aspect of vehicle performance is weight reduction. Unfortunately, it's also the most expensive and difficult thing to do, especially without compromising driving enjoyment.
DISCLAIMER: As always, follow all safety protocols. Don't undertake this task if you aren't comfortable with it and fully understand it. You are ultimately responsible for anything you do. Neither Redpants, LLC or myself is responsible or liable for anything that may occur.
There are a few things to keep in mind when considering weight loss. First is where the weight is located in the vehicle, second is what time of weight it is, and third is the cost-to-weight ratio.
As a general rule, the best places to reduce weight are from the highest points on a car, from in front of the front wheels, and from behind the rear wheels. The goal is to have most weight low to the ground and in the center of the car.
There are two general kinds of weight: static weight and moving weight. Moving weight can be further categorized as sprung and unsprung rotating mass. Static weight is weight that doesn't move - say, a body panel, battery, or the exhaust system. Sprung vs unsprung is based on where the weight is in relation to the chassis and suspension. The flywheel is sprung rotating mass, while the wheels and tires are unsprung rotating mass. I'll get into each of these in more detail for each component covered in this Modification Guide.
Almost all modifications come with a price. For weight loss, the cost can be substantial. It's a good idea to keep in mind how much a given modification costs when weight loss is the primary goal for that modification.
We'll start off with exhaust components because weight loss from these is an added bonus from modifications most people want to do in the pursuit of more power.
Swapping out the OEM exhaust manifolds (AKA "headers") for aftermarket units gives you better exhaust flow. This is especially true on the V12 and MY10.5+ 4.7L V8 engines, which have catalytic converters ("cats" for short) built into them. Aftermarket headers will not have cats in them, which drops weight from the units.
Even if you have a MY10.25 or earlier V8 Vantage, you can still get weight loss benefits from the headers. OEM headers have dual-wall construction, as well as a heat shield on the right-hand manifold to protect the starter motor. Aftermarket headers don't have either of these, thus reducing weight even for the early Vantage manifolds that didn't have cats incorporated from the factory.
By reducing the amount of catalyst material in the cats, the amount of metal used in the cats' construction is also reduced, and the overall weight of the units is reduced as well. For example, when I changed the cats on my red 2007 V8 Vantage project car from the OEM 600-cell cats to VelocityAP 200-cell cats, I dropped nearly 8 pounds.
The heaviest piece of the exhaust system, the muffler (AKA "rear exhaust") is where weight reduction will be the greatest. The OEM muffler performs really well from the factory, so power gains are minimal. The real benefits of changing out the muffler are to give you the sound you want from your exhaust, and to lose weight.
There aren't many places to save weight here. The only real place to do this is by removing the air boxes. This can be done with our Air Box Delete Brackets. You can also remove the intake inlet ducts from the nose of the car, but the weight loss for them is minimal compared to the amount of work it takes to remove them.
There are two kinds of air boxes: Standard and Power Pack. The Power Pack air boxes are the same as the standard ones except that they have an added flap that opens up to allow more airflow at higher RPMs. The flap is controlled by a solenoid, which adds weight to each Power Pack air box compared to the standard air boxes.
I dropped about 11 pounds when I removed the Power Pack Air Boxes and intake inlet ducts from my grey 2007 V8 Vantage.
The OEM battery weighs a whopping 53 pounds! By using a lightweight battery, you can drop nearly 30 lbs while also having the benefit of an easy-to-change battery. Due to the way the battery mount in Aston Martin, fitting a lightweight battery requires a specific battery mount.
The battery is static weight in the center of the car, which is the least effective place to lose weight. However, it's one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce weight in your car so it's worthwhile as part of a comprehensive weight loss program.
Wheels and Tires
As far as weight loss is concerned, wheels and tires are some of the best (if not THE best) ways to lose weight.