weight differences between iron and aluminum? 'glass vs steel hoods/fenders?

Discussion in 'High Performance Modifications' started by Chuck78, May 15, 2006.

  1. Chuck78

    Chuck78 Veteran Member

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    I'm wondering if anyone has any numbers on weights of small block chevy parts, such as aluminum vs iron heads, intakes, and water pumps, aluminum vs brass radiator, etc.

    Looking to lighten up some, and trying to figure out roughly how much my 406 weighs with E-Tec Al. heads and al. intake... Trying to justify not drooling too much over my newfound discovery of the aluminum LS1 350 complete weighing in at 390 lbs.... versus my freshly built 406.... Talk some sense into me!
    The only net search result I found said that a pair of Alum. heads will save 30 lbs. To me, I would have guessed a good bit more than that. Moving battery to trunk, might get some lightweight racing seats as well. Already have aluminum wheels, probably gonna try out a Ford Motorsports 5.0 mustang cobra aluminum driveshaft since it is about the right length for my Tremec TKO 5 speed swap.

    I need new fenders, but was probably going to go with Goodmark steel units unless I can save a lot of weight with fiberglass fenders and still have the functionality of the factory fenders and a good quality surface to have a straight as an arrow paintjob. Advice / weight savings on fenders, anyone? Hood weight?
     
  2. Ztoy

    Ztoy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I had some Dart Iron Eagle sbc heads and they weighed about 58# each. I bought a pair of aluminum Brodix heads and both, shipped in their box, weighed 64 #. The box stuff probably weighed 4# at least, so guessing the al heads weighed about 30# each, 60#'s together. Looks like about a weight savings of around 56# for the pair (even if my scales were off a few pounds, I'm sure of at least a 50# weight savings). I'm not so sure stock chevy sb heads weigh as much as the Darts.

    I believe a sbc weighs about 575# and a big block around 685#.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2006
  3. Brian Callahan

    Brian Callahan Veteran Member

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  4. Joekool

    Joekool Veteran Member

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    Adding an Al intake and heads to my camaro shaved about 76 lbs off the frontend of my camaro. It was enough to change the ride height slightly. Factor in that headers way less then then manifolds (how much I dont know I never wieghed either but there is some weight savings) and going to an electric fan lost of few pounds over the stock clutch fan and the wieght savings can start to add up quickly. I think MikeM79 once weighed all the undercoating/dirt/grease and other crap he scraped off his car at something like 300lbs if I remember correctly.
     
  5. Ztoy

    Ztoy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    The weights for the Dart heads were taken by myself weighing them, the Brodix heads shipped weight came from the shipping label. The stated weights on the bb and the sb were obtained from this -team.net/sol/tech/ with a reference list of-

    1. Handbook of Engine Swapping, John Thawley, 1960
    2. Complete Handbook of Automotive Power Trains, Jan Norbye, 1981
    3. Passenger Car Engines, papers, IMechE, 1975
    4. New Light Duty Engines, SAE 510, 1982
    5. Hot Rod Engines, Hot Rod, 1967
    6. Aspects of Internal Combusion Engine Design, SAE 582, 1982

    just so you don't think I was just coming up with those numbers off the top of my head.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2006
  6. Brian Callahan

    Brian Callahan Veteran Member

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    Ztoy, your link is broken.

    The trouble with those lists, generally, is that they fail to mention what exactly is included with the engine. They like to include the alternator, carb, air cleaner, power steering pump, air conditioning pump, smog pump, pulleys, coolant, radiator, brackets, bellhousing, torque converter, etc. This leads to overestimating the engine weight and double-counting weights of the "dark matter" components.

    That 685 lb figure for a big block is highly doubtful. The number I have in my database for a BB with aluminum heads (517 lb) I weighed myself using a method accurate to +/- 6 lb. The figure for cast iron heads is plausible, so my quoted figure of 580 lb +/- 6 lb for an all-iron BB is much more realistic.

    I weighed my aluminum heads to +/- .02 lb (44.46 lb each), and member ddennis weighed his iron heads on a bathroom scale (72.5 lb each). I guessed that his figure was within +/- 2 lb.
     
  7. Ztoy

    Ztoy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    weird it worked when I posted.......I have the item printed out in front of me which also includes weights of lots of foreign as well as 4 and 6 cyl engines. Try this: http://www.team.net/sol/tech/engine.html

    Oh well, I do agree with you Brian on the discrepencies. Thats why I posted their references. The only thing I can say with surety are the weights I posted on the sb heads, the Dart IE's and the Brodix al heads.
     
  8. Brian Callahan

    Brian Callahan Veteran Member

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    That link works.

    From the page:
    He covers about 105 lb with that caveat.

    Also notice that 685 lb figure for the big block Chevy does not have a reference.
     

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