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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone guess how much weight a manual transmission might save over an automatic? Also, if Lexus switched to an aluminum block, how much weight would that save? Guesses?
 

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I would guess approximately 100 pounds for each. So an Aluminum Block manual trans IS300 might be 3070lbs...

I think the manual trans IS_200_ is around 3000lbs..
 

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an Automatic is 100 lb heavy????? seems too heavy! I would guess 50lb for menual and 100-200 lb for aluminum block
 

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A weight reduction of 200 lbs, all of it on the front end, would bring the weight distribution to about 50/50 from 54/46 and together with manual transmission, would bring 0-60 down to 6.0-6.5 sec. Handling would improve as well with the 50/50 and lower weight. Sounds like a dream car.
 

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Yeah, yamaot - you are probably right 50lbs for the trans and ~150lbs for the aluminum block...

And yes, ckolsen - I think it ~would~ bring the weight close to 50/50 and bring the 0-60 to around 6.5
 

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Haha, dream car is right!
So keep on dreaming.
It is very, very rare for any car manufacturer to upgrade a model's engine (i.e. GS300, CLK, A/S4 etc.) until the 3rd or 4th year of production.
Would've been an awesome car though.
Are they teasing us?
 

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You may be able to get your engine rebuilt with an aluminum block. I've heard stories of people going crazy to save weight so they go to racing shops and get everything rebuilt. How true is this? I don't know, never done it.
 

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Well, we will (at least) get the manual next year. Who knows how long (if ever) that they change to Aluminum block.
 

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hrana,
I don't know how many people will go to a shop just to get an aluminum block into their car. First of all, I think the shop will have to fabricate the block themselves, off the spec of the current block. Just the machine and tooling (minimum $75/hr)labor charge itself will cause you to abandon this idea. You could, however, get lighter engine components such as Titanium pistons/valves/crank, graphite/carbon fiber rings, and composite springs. These will cost you alot of money (>$10,000), but still cheaper than having a custom build block. And if you really want to save more weight, go with carbon fiber hood, carbon fiber tranny, and magnesium rims (watch out for oxidation). I am just kidding on the last few items.

Daniel
 

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Very expensive to construct one unless you have a mold already. Even building one at my school, which I'll only need to pay for parts, will cost me well over $1,000. And one thing you got to be kind of careful with is that some of the resins used to bond carbon fiber have very long melting point, and you may start to see your hood flexes if the ambient temperature is too high. You will have to make sure the manufacture use high-temp resin, and that the part had been cured using AutoClave.
One good thing about having carbon fiber body parts is that in case of a collision, the composite will break apart and be the one that is carrying the energy which means you will get less beating. They will also make your chassis extremely stiff (if they are done right) and hence improve your handling characteristics.

Daniel
 
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