==Low weight means better performance, right? - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-16-2005, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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==Low weight means better performance, right?

I see more and more Jeeps and buggies with Super heavy front bumpers, massively heavy dana 60's (or even 2.5 tons), tubikng all over the place, etc.

These things have to weigh quite a bit. I have always made a serious effort to keep weight down (without sacrificing safety - ie - rollcage). Some things I will do in the future (when the current parts break) is: Speedglass windshield, aluminum 9" center section, and integrated front crossmember/bumper (eliminate multiple wall steel which makes up the bumper with tabs/bolts). These things keep my ability to take the obstacles, while keeping weight down.

What's your opinion of this, do you:

1) not care
2) Build super heavy, just beef up parts(even more weight) and add horsepower.
3) Keep weight to a minimum.

I mean look at sand buggies, or in any other motorsport for that matter and you'll see massive weight reduction to improve performance. In four wheeling the same things holds true. I had a Samurai a while back which had tiny axles and tiny transfer case, but I never broke a thing because the thing was so damn lightweight, not alot of stress on the components.

Now I know this can only be taken so far because when you add larger tires, gear down, and add lockers, you need more beef. But there is a limit, and I think so many people are overkilling it. What do you think?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-16-2005, 12:50 PM
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Re: ==Low weight means better performance, right?

Lighter = Better
Period.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-16-2005, 01:07 PM
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Re: ==Low weight means better performance, right?

[ QUOTE ]
Lighter = Better
Period.

[/ QUOTE ]

Nope, not unless the lightened vehicle was lightened by enlightened engineering!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-16-2005, 02:00 PM
 
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Re: ==Low weight means better performance, right?

[ QUOTE ]
Lighter = Better

[/ QUOTE ]

Depends what you use it for Mud yes rocks no
loose the weight and you will cut your traction down when in high articulation. light buggies (sandrails) have no need for weight because they are limited in the traction department,(only 1 drive axle). They need speed to float on the sand and mud.

Sammies have an equal amount or balance between weight and power ratio's to do just like they are designed. Give them more power and height you need to increase the weight or unsprung weight. I know I have one sitting on 33" swampers with a tracker motor in it.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-16-2005, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: ==Low weight means better performance, right?

Aaron, if lighter=better always, then why do so many people overkill with heavy stuff? Maybe they don't realize the more you add, the more you need to add?

Look at all the bumper companies out there. Most really don't address strength AND low weight (thick aluminum, engineered gussets instead of solid metal), only MEATY, STRONG AND HEAVY.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-16-2005, 02:05 PM
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Re: ==Low weight means better performance, right?

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Lighter = Better
Period.

[/ QUOTE ]

Nope, not unless the lightened vehicle was lightened by enlightened engineering!

[/ QUOTE ]

Why don't you enlighten us? Remember, he is looking at "off road" performance.


BTW
Let me explain my answer a little more.
A Jeep of the same spec's (engine, tire size, drive train, wheelbase, suspension, ect) that is lighter, will perform better off road than a heavier Jeep of the same spec's.

Big Block engines are a trade off... power for weight.
Rockwell's and 44's are a trade off also.
I'm not comparing a big block, Rockwell rig to a stock TJ and saying that one of them is better.

I think you have to build to suit the terrain you traverse, picking your trade off's wisely.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-16-2005, 03:04 PM
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Re: ==Low weight means better performance, right?

Try it yourself. Put a 200 lb pack on your back. Try walking up a sand dune, or crawling up a rock face.
Obviously you have more traction due to the weight, so it must be easier!

Oh? - it must be balance? Put that weight in your front pocket - better?

Now hang it on your belly and try it on all 4's -- better?

Now - try it with 3500+ lbs like your Jeep has to.

The buggy example - rock crawling buggies aren't 2wd.

IMHO --- Lighter is better - and the LESS unsprung weight the better.

The more the weight, the heavier the parts must be, adding more weight.
That weight needs even heavier parts giving more weight.
That weight needs even heavier parts giving more weight.
That weight needs even heavier parts giving more weight.
-- ad infinitum.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-16-2005, 03:18 PM
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Re: ==Low weight means better performance, right?

[ QUOTE ]
Look at all the bumper companies out there. Most really don't address strength AND low weight (thick aluminum, engineered gussets instead of solid metal), only MEATY, STRONG AND HEAVY.

[/ QUOTE ]


thick aluminum, engineered gussets instead of solid metal?????

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-16-2005, 05:01 PM
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Re: ==Low weight means better performance, right?

As pointed out, it's a trade off. When possible, lighter is better. If you could get the same strength with less weight, then you are better off. There will always be exceptions where the oposite is true...but overall, I think lighter is better.

What it really comes down to is at what cost? You could make a 2000 lb jeep that would crawl as well as anything around.....or buy 20 jeeps with the same money....or let me put it this way...what would you buy? good beer at $6/6pk, or great beer at $100/6 pk? They both do the same job.....

The key to any jeep is a good balance. The lighter is is, the lighter you components can be....up to a point. Like most other things, the 'performance vs weight' is not a straight line.
post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-16-2005, 09:51 PM
 
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Re: ==Low weight means better performance, right?

lighter is better.
it takes less power, less traction, less strength in parts to push less weight uphill.
hence the reason my cj6 is going to weigh under 3k. all alluminm drivetrain, and only the bare stuff to make it near a buggy.
lots of gearing and decent axles. d44 and d60. big tires.
it whould go lots of places much easier than haver rigs.
i have whitneessed how heavier rigs will not climb near as well as lighter ones with near the same parts.
im shure all of you guys have seen lighter near stock zuks wiehging under 2,500lbs go places they should not have been able to go.
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