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Old 06-14-2010, 04:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Undecided - '96 Honda Civic HX
Last 3: 38.01 mpg (US)
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Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
As for the question of whether to remove the AC components, ask yourself why did you get a carbon fiber hardtop?

OK, maybe it was given to you free, so you didn't have to buy the fiberglass version .

But the short answer of course is of course less weight is better. Will you notice any effect of taking out 20-30 lbs? Likely not. So is it wasted effort? I'd say no. Colin Chapman had it right.

I also think a 5% gain from lowering is overstating things a bit. But lowering is a tactic automakers commonly use on "eco" versions of cars (Chevy Cruze the latest example). Results will vary from vehicle to vehicle.
Hi Metro,
Since I have been lurking, I have read many of your threads and contributions. I have to say, thank you for many high quality posts. It's contributors such as yourself that make forums a worthwhile source of info.

I actually didn't spend the extra $1,000 for the carbon fiber hardtop for the at most 20lb net savings. I had my oem hardtop stolen off my car and had already removed the soft top. At the time I was living at an apartment so no garage. Honda was about to come out with the CR version S2000 which came with a hardtop. This meant that there was backlog and long wait for another oem aluminum. I wanted to get a top as quickly as possible, as I enjoy my s2k to have such amenities as a stereo and seats So I had to go used, or aftermarket. Used picking were slim. Just when I was about to pick up a aftermarket fiberglass top, a carbon fiber one came up used for about $200 more but unlike the new one, already had the rear window installed.

Another benefit of the aftermarket top, is that at least my limited aero knowledge, it appears to be a better shape. (with the downside that I have to be careful when opening my trunk, as now when it's fully open it rests on the top) And also it likely wont do anything in a rollover, is quite a bit more noisy and does not fit as well as the aluminum oem top.

Wow, lengthy explanation

Weight savings in the civic:
The benefit here is obviously, that it's dead weight I don't use and costs me nothing but time. It's just that I read AC components are a pain to remove. With the S2000, despite it's lack of torque, I could probably add 1,000lb and still never struggle to make it up steep hills (outside of this combined with high altitude) or strain to get to speed around town. The civic will be used as my around town, daily commute with very short highway trips. Lots of stop and go and short trips. I guess part of my question is, how much weight is needed to be removed to make a noticeable impact? As a side note, I would like to keep functionality such as seats, since this is my first car with a backseat in the last 7-8 cars I've owned and even the only 2 other cars have had a backseat.

I do already have the Koni Yellows and GroundControls with less than 1,000 miles. As long as this likely won't harm MPG, and improve handling or road feel, it is a net-benefit to me. I spent near $1k for this set, and despite having little use, I wont even get close to recovering a large portion of my investment.
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