Gutting The Fiesta ST. Anyone done this?

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Chassis Upgrades' started by Sargine, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. Sargine

    Sargine New Member

    Im looking to lose some weight in my fiesta :D I know spare tire and jack take out is simple. has anyone tested around with this at all? The rear seats are useless imo as passenger comfort is slim to none ( complaints every time) Im looking to remove the rear seats. Maybe door panels? Just wondering if anyone has any ideas to shave some pounds. has anyone taken out the rear recaros yet?
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  3. smatty

    smatty Member

    Search the forum for weight reduction. There are some people keeping a thread going about this.
  4. wash

    wash Active Member

    First look at rotational weight, light wheels and tires have a bigger effect than taking out sprung weight.

    Brakes can reduce unsprung weight which helps your suspension control your wheels.

    When you exhaust those options, you want to get rid of weight that is mounted high and forward. A light weight battery seems like an obvious choice, the R2 kit is an easy option.

    Trunk junk and the rear seat will help but taking out weight in the rear is not the most ideal spot.

    After that it gets more difficult unless you want to really gut the car.
    quiznos likes this.
  5. Sargine

    Sargine New Member

    I have lightweight wheels and lugnuts. A lightweight battery seems like a good idea ill look into that. So you think rear weight will throw off the balance of the car? and thanks smatty ill search I should've done that in the first place lol.
  6. wash

    wash Active Member

    If you're talking about balancing weight against street ability, yes.

    Fully gutting the interior will save weight but take you pretty far away from a normal car feel.

    I think with smart and focused weight loss, an ST could weigh less than 2,500 lbs with an interior, rear seats, lower the center of gravity and drive like normal.
  7. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

    Think Joe from 2J-racing gutted his it was posted someplace I saw the scale it was like 2450ish but that was taking the Recaro's out as well as rear seats and all stuff not bolted down in the back. left console in and door panels on iircthen added in his Racing Seat i forget which brand or model it was .. maybe ask Joe ..
  8. quiznos

    quiznos Member

    You can get a lightweight battery and move it back to where you removed the spare from to help centerline the weight. Remove the back seat. The hatch hang down hide your stuff flap. Floor mats. Carpeting. Glovebox door. MFT screen. Replace the trans with something from trax. Swap all tubing. Change up the intake. All depends on how extreme you want to go. If you look up the R5 you can get a good idea of just how strip-able the car is.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
  9. quiznos

    quiznos Member

    If weight is your only goal kick out that heavy turbo and intercooler :-D

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
  10. wash

    wash Active Member

    I think a rear mount battery would probably be counterproductive because the cable would weigh more than a lithium battery so you could move 5lbs to the rear but you would add 8lbs of wire to get it there.

    The best way to lighten the car would be to disassemble the front end and lighten/eliminate pieces individually. You probably don't want to compromise the structure so don't swiss cheese it but I think 50-100 lbs could be trimmed from bolts and brackets and stuff you don't need.

    One more thing, there is evidently a small mass damper on the struts of every Fiesta with 17" wheels. If you go for lightweight race wheels in 15 or 16", try removing them.
  11. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

    Moving the battery still takes 30 lbs (weighed mine) off the nose of the car and most likely the cables added weight and battery is still at least 15 lbs or more lighter plus the cables would be mounted low in the chassis so they wouldn't effect too much. Not a breakout weight savings but it all adds up..
    quiznos likes this.
  12. joe@2j-racing

    joe@2j-racing Active Member

    2450 and drove it 5hrs to the track. Just removed the seats and such. Brutally fast and FRS/BRZs saw nothing but tailights.
  13. quiznos

    quiznos Member

    How far exactly are you looking to go with this? Also, depending on where you're located I can help with free labor. Good at taking things apart... Back together... W. E l l nto smucho.

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  14. wash

    wash Active Member

    I haven't weighed the battery but I'll take your word that it weighs 30 lbs.

    Lithium replacements weigh 4-5 lbs.

    For starting you would want a really thick battery cable for both positive and negative if you move it to the spare tire well.

    Why take off 25 lbs only to put back on 8-10 lbs of wire?

    It makes sense with rear wheel drive because you want the CG as far back as possible. With FWD and a little 1.6 to turn over instead of a big block V8 (and probably Ti-VCT tricks to reduce cranking pressures), going for a super small, super light battery with the shortest cables possible removes quite a bit of weight from high in the chassis without paying a price in wire resistance or weight.

    I haven't weighed the trunk junk but I estimate the load floor, spare tire and jack weigh at least 40 lbs.

    Real light weight wheels and tires (15") would save around 40 lbs and a good big brake kit with aluminum calipers and rotor hats could save another 20 lbs.

    So wheels, tires, brakes, trunk junk and lithium battery totals 125 lbs weight loss. That should be down near 2,600 lbs with a complete interior (less the load floor).

    Make a new k-member out of thin wall 4130 and trim all the fat you can find in the front end and you'll be approaching 2j's weight with a full interior.
  15. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    I have been taking weight out of cars and off bicycles for 46 years now and have been working on the ST a great deal as do not even drive it yet.

    1)Battery and mounts, 36lbs, you only need one cable to the rear but it will probably be 4 gauge and very heavy. Lithium batteries are incredibly light but also damn expensive. I am making my own mount way back and low, as close to the firewall as possible, dimple die stamped, it will weigh around 1 lb, 2 max, bolted to the frame(I might weld it in instead) I also removed the cable plastic housings in the area and will tape the wires and use a bit of loom over them, good 3M pro grade tape is all I use on a car.

    Battery Mart, 11 lb, looks like the Braille, $74 shipped. (for the ground use a 4 gauge and bolt it well to the chassis in the back of the car)

    Note: I have not done the calculations, weight measurements, etc but I may still put the battery in the rear as I have taken out a great deal of weight back there, 125lbs so far and need to move more weight back)

    2) Windshield washer tank and pump, 8.4 lbs, less than I though but significant as pretty far ahead of the axle line and on drivers side. Unplug the line to the rear and line to the windshield by the hood hinge, plug windshield and rear line together, tuck into a gap(you could cut a bit off but if ever want to put it back you have to get more line and couplers, it would save a few oz to cut it short though)

    I am using a 3 pint low weight and cost overflow tank and a pump I already have, it will be in the tire well then just add some line to the one that goes to the rear wiper to get it to the tank. I removed the rear wiper as well, 3 lbs saved so only need a single outlet pump, I do have to run a wire back to the pump to control it from the proper switch. I could easily use the stock pump that has two outlets and have a rear washer easily.

    3) Negative battery cable mount on strut tower, 4 oz. I used a punch to marke the spot and absolutely must be done then a spot weld bit from HF to drill out the two welds, caution must be used, it will get away and make a mess if not careful and do not go to deep. I will use one of the engine mount bolts, sanded off paint, to tie the cable to.

    4) Fog lights, just 8.4 oz each, removed as using the openings for brake duct hoses when I put on the BBK and work out the best way to direct air into the center of the rotors.

    5) Steel support in front of radiator, the mount for the crash sensors, very poor design that blocks and causes turbulence into the radiator. I will remove it and make one out of round material, wing shape would be better if I could find it, top and bottom both the same shape or actually a wing to add a tiny bit of downforce. Weight, not known yet but it will help keep the engine cooler on track and save a bit of weight.

    6) Stock wheels and tires long gone, street set is 38lbs per corner, race set will be 33 lbs per corners, saving considerable weight which is a highly critical area.

    7) Brakes, 15" wheel fitment BBK kit in progress, not sure weight, might be 10lbs plus per corner

    8) Intake, very seriously considering the cowl intake in development, stock is only around 6lbs so would save around 3 lbs but much further back, just a bit higher, still it will help.

    9) Engine cover, not much weight but useless for performance, to bad the engine is so ugly though, I would live with an ugly engine over added useless weight.

    10) Bigger Intercooler, would love to not add weight but no choice and with a GT25 turbo, 20-30 minute track days, going to need a fairly good sized unit, not sure on weight gain yet.

    11)There are studs to be shortened, brakets to be removed or trimmed, all over the car but not 100lbs worth, not on this car, I have removed around 50 lbs on a car doing this and dead end wiring, this car might add up to only 10-15lbs from what I have seen so far.

    12) Sunroof, I would not have one, period, but had to as we have two big dogs that just need the air, simple as that.

    13) Spare tire, jack, covers, rear seat, belts, 125lbs off! I am making a new floor cover from Alumalite, it will weigh very little, and sound deadening but very low weight, cargo/dog divider will be a strong light weight net.

    AND more as I dig in more:)
    quiznos likes this.
  16. wash

    wash Active Member

    Lets say with a small rear mounted lead acid you can save 20 lbs because of the additional wiring needed (and by the way, using the chassis ground to handle starting current is not the best idea) and the cost is around $100 on the low end. That's $5 a pound, very good value.

    A front mounted lithium saves around 30 lbs for about $360 which is $12 a pound, still not bad. You could look at it as 10 lbs for $260 which is $26 a pound which is pretty expensive but if you give yourself a decent labor rate it still does better than fabricating light weight parts and trimming fat.

    The other way to look at it is $360 but you can keep eating cheeseburgers.
    quiznos likes this.
  17. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    Have you ever worked on a BMW? I have, and Vettes and relocated quite a few batteries and never had an issue, properly done you have a great deal of metal between teh engine block and back of the car, think about it:) I did spend 20 years in high end electronics in the USN and was a union electrician at one time so a fair amount of electrical experience behind me.

    Not to argue but help us all and I do listen buddy, I promise, if your idea is better than mine, I will admit it, in a flash!

    I was considering rear mount but thought it might add to much weight I just worked it out.

    Quick measurement and it will take around 12 ft, maybe 13 ft of wire and most likely need to be 4 gauge. I also just measured then weighed the battery cable out of a 95 M3, 11ft, 10", 5 lbs, lighter than expected.

    11 lb battery, 5 lb cable, 1lb for ground cable, 1lb for a mount, I have materials and tools do make low weight parts, 18 lbs. stock battery, mounts, etc,

    Stock battery and mounts, 36 lbs, included ECU mount but a simple aluminum mount up front will not weigh much.

    Weight saved, +-18lbs, cost, $74.00 but I had the cable on hand, cost to buy is around $5 ft now plus misc, 14 ft, $75-80. total $150 or so.

    Since I took so much weight out of the rear this mod will more than pay for itself in 6-7 lbs added back to put the battery in the back:)

    I am saving 18 lbs and improving the weight balance for very little cost, real world, no labor, $150. Labor, I charge $50 hr for cash, 2 hours max, $100, I am pretty fast but done this stuff a ton of times and the car is mostly apart so easy to do.

    Since moving the battery to the rear brings the power cable back to the tiny digital amp I can move it back there instead of as planned under a seat, 5lbs to the rear.

    RCA cables will be longer, not much weight, speaker cables, not much either, lets say 3lbs.....

    Total 8 more rear mounted lbs, down very low in the well.

    Subwoofer, I have two 6.5's I was going to try in the rear doors as I never use rear speakers for the main sound, if you look into high end car audio, competition sound quality builds you will seldom see them for good reason. I can build a 14lb great sound quality 10" sub system, I used to build them to go under the seat of STI and WRX cars, so, 14 lbs in the rear.

    Rear sound deadening, alumalite, Ensolite, aluminum channels, all the tricks I now to minimize to barely needing mat product, 5lbs max....

    Rear windshield washer bottle, 3 pints, pump, fluid, wiring, hose, just under 5 lbs, front system is removed, full it weighed 8lbs, 11 oz I believed, only saving 3.5 lbs or so but moving to the rear to help balance the car.

    Now I have moved/added 50 lbs to the rear of the car, a bit in the middle as the power cable runs back to the rear, and removed 26lbs, 11 oz off the front of the car.

    I have many more little things to do to help as well.


    If I just count the battery cost, $74 to save 18lbs, $4.11 lb

    Everything else I have already.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  18. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    I was considering a front mounted Lithium but not sure I can run a stereo with it with the engine off at all and I need to do so at times.

    I am retired but I still demo my vehicles, still sound deaden and upgrade the audio but I know how to do it with very little weight and not very high cost.

    I also know how to poor on the weight and money, $20k in gear in a $10k Taco back in the day, beat a world champion, 7 page mag feature....

    Since I do not drive this car, yet, I can spend a great deal more time on it than most, more studying what to do than doing the work as have done this so much and have all the tools, lift, insulated, heated, cooled shop, work goes pretty fast once I get started.
  19. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    If I had known, did not seem they would since not powered, the Recaro seats weigh 50lbs each I would of kept the mint Recaro Sport I just sold and bought one more, I have sliders, easy to make low weight mounts. I could of cut another 35-40 lbs at least out of the car, in the middle but still helps. I have heater elements I could of installed that hardly weigh anything, they have a place for a fan on the top and bottom for cooling and air bladder lumbar supports built in.

    I might put the air bladders I have in the stock seats, they are Recaro brand, the Sports come with them as well.
  20. wash

    wash Active Member

    The seats have airbags.

    While its probably safer than an old car even without airbags, I would only go to Mustang Recaros (with airbags) or cage the car and then pick a seat.
  21. raamaudio

    raamaudio Active Member

    What is the difference between the Mustang Recaro and ST Recaro seat? I do have the Recaro seats in it already but the Sport seats are a very good seat but even lower in weight and more grip would be Speeds.

    Airbags are a mixed bag, sometimes they can save you, sometimes make things far worse......

    I have caged a number of cars, all but one in my own shop, this car cannot be caged for the use intended but honestly it is stronger than it might appear, all new cars are, not cage strong but pretty stout.

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