The latest with my SC

Mercutio

SCCoA Member
I've been fairly quiet here lately, but I've been working on some more weight reduction and some other minor projects on the SC lately. Didn't want to post until I was done, and now I'm done. With this round of work, at least.

If you don't know me: my big thing with my SC is weight reduction. I've already done most of the big stuff, so now I have to look for little stuff. Last I weighed my car, it was 3370. This round of weight reduction won't be dramatic. Don't want to disappoint anyone, but I've made a little progress.

First: I managed to crack one of the lines on my methanol system, so I removed the front bumper to make repairs. While I was in there, I went through the under-hood wiring harness and removed the wires for the foglight, pusher fan, DRLs and everything else the car didn't need anymore.

Next, I carried that project into the cabin. I removed the dash and took out the corresponding wiring on that side of the harness. I also did little stuff like remove the auto lamps feature and replaced the stock switch/wheels with one that doesn't have the auto lamps adjuster wheel, etc. In all, I found another 3+ pounds of wiring in addition to all the stuff I had already removed from under the carpet, in the trunk, stereo, etc. Honestly, I should have been more thorough. After I got it all back together, I saw the plug for the foot parking brake on LX cars was still there. I also missed the wiring for the hood light and a portion of the ARC on the driver's side. Annoying, but I'm not doing it again. This was a huge pain for small gains.

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Next up: replacing steel with aluminum. The alternator pulley was easy. I also got a Spinning Wheels PS pulley, but with the retaining bolt it actually weighed a tiny bit more than the stock pulley. So I sold it and put the steel pulley back on.
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I've always thought the shifter was unnecessarily heavy. So I bought the cheapest aluminum T45 shifter I could find on eBay and modified it to fit. Even replaced the steel threaded insert with an aluminum bolt that I cut the head off.
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Then I started looking for steel brackets and replicating them in aluminum. I lost track of all of them, but I know I replaced the sway bar spacers, throttle cable/cruise control bracket, coil pack bracket, center console to dash bracket, armrest cubby bracket and a bunch of other stuff. And I also used aluminum or even nylon bolts in a few areas where fastener strength wasn't a factor.

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Any one piece may seem like a lot of work for not a lot of result, but it adds up.
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I weigh everything when I work on my cars. Sometimes I'm surprised at the little differences you find here and there.

For example, the cloth/leather stock rear seat weighs just a tad over 37 pounds.
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This 97 LX rear seat weighs 33 lb, 13 oz.
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And if you replace the steel armrest fold-down bracket with aluminum, you can save almost another pound.
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I also removed the rear center seatbelt because I can't remember ever having three people in the back of my car, and I doubt I ever will.
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All done:
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One last thing. Maybe some of you who know me have thought it was silly that I do all this work for weight reduction on my car when I should have been reducing weight from myself instead. Well...I did that too. I lost 100 pounds even during the first year of the pandemic and I've kept it off. Wish I had done it a long time ago.

Doesn't make the car itself any lighter for bragging rights, but it should count just the same at the drag strip.
 
Very cool that all adds up! And congrats on weight loss! I had a 12 day hospital stay in 2021 that kicked my ass pretty good and I lost 42lb which I’ve kept most of off and feel much better!
 
Thanks, all. Sorry I don't have an actual weight on the car yet. I need to run some more gas out of it to get it comparable to the last time I weighed it.
 
One last thing. Maybe some of you who know me have thought it was silly that I do all this work for weight reduction on my car when I should have been reducing weight from myself instead. Well...I did that too. I lost 100 pounds even during the first year of the pandemic and I've kept it off. Wish I had done it a long time ago.

Doesn't make the car itself any lighter for bragging rights, but it should count just the same at the drag strip.

Congrats on the weight loss !
 
Thanks, David.

New problem: the alternator isn't charging the battery. Replaced the old one with a "new" one that's been on my shelf since probably 2008. It's not working, either. On my first test drive the car died the second I pulled back into my driveway. On the second I at least made it back into the garage. But the tiny battery I use has basically no reserve and can't run the car long on its own.

I'm guessing:
-I accidentally cut/pinched a wire while going through the harness. I didn't intentionally touch the alternator wiring but it's possible.
-Two bad alternators are a possibility.
-The battery was no good and it's killing alternators. But it's holding a charge from the battery tender.
-The aluminum alternator pulley is slipping. This seems unlikely, but it's easy to test.

Open to other suggestions as well, but I'm going on vacation tomorrow and diagnosis/repair will have to wait.
 
Thanks, David.

New problem: the alternator isn't charging the battery. Replaced the old one with a "new" one that's been on my shelf since probably 2008. It's not working, either. On my first test drive the car died the second I pulled back into my driveway. On the second I at least made it back into the garage. But the tiny battery I use has basically no reserve and can't run the car long on its own.

I'm guessing:
-I accidentally cut/pinched a wire while going through the harness. I didn't intentionally touch the alternator wiring but it's possible.
-Two bad alternators are a possibility.
-The battery was no good and it's killing alternators. But it's holding a charge from the battery tender.
-The aluminum alternator pulley is slipping. This seems unlikely, but it's easy to test.

Open to other suggestions as well, but I'm going on vacation tomorrow and diagnosis/repair will have to wait.

It's probably the battery. I've had a couple that looked good on the tender but failed under a load. It is also pretty common for the alternator to be defective, especially if its a remanufactured one from Autozone or similar places.
 
Will do--I definitely read & bookmarked your threads. Still need to figure out this charging situation first, though. Car with a 5-mille range isn't super useful...
 
Speaking of which, I just checked the 175 amp fuse between the alternator and battery and it's blown. I remember at some point during the rewiring project breaking or losing or something the car's original fuse, so I stole the one from my 95 LX. And once I got to thinking about it, the reason I parked that car years back is it would kill an alternator, then a battery, then an alternator, and so on. So this fuse was almost certainly bad when I installed it.

Anyway, I'm hoping it's that and not something else I did during all the wiring work. Should be able to get a new one and test it tomorrow.
 
I feel dumb about this, but the reason I didn't check this earlier is I made a bad assumption the car wouldn't even get power without that fuse.
 
The car seems to be fixed. The instrument cluster voltmeter reads dead in the middle and a hand-held voltmeter showed 14.4 volts across the battery terminals when running. Took it for the same short test drive loop as before and all seems well. Got into the boost enough to verify the methanol system is activating as it should.
 
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