I like cars, but before I liked cars I liked bicycles… and on bicycles, we didn’t count kilograms, we counted grams… and we often got quite carried away. I.E. running steel bolts on bicycle is like running steel wheels on your car. If you got beat to the finish line by someone who had a 115 gram seat post, you went out an bought a 100 gram seat post. You didn’t spend $1 for a 5gram wheel spoke, you spend $5 for a 4.5 gram spoke… BECAUSE there were 64 of them, and they were rotating weight! And if you still weren’t winning races, and no one made any lighter parts, you went to a back road doctor and started amputating toes, or cropping ears… at least as long as the rule book allowed you to do so.
It’s a bit insane to go to such lengths on a 1300kg car, but this mindset still remains with me. My new steering wheel doesn’t just look cool and sit a full 3″ closer to me (that’s a good thing), but it also saved me a whopping 7kg. No, the factory wheel isn’t quite that heavy, but when combined with the cruise control motor and extra throttle cable it is. …And you thought the only way to save weight was with carbon fiber…
I actually had the car on a scale last week, and was pleasantly surprised to read 1330kg. That was with a tank of gas and a little bit of gear in the boot as well. Weight distribution was also not as bad as I had feared, at 58/42. Better than 60/40 is a huge feat for a Subaru that’s not a BRZ, so I’ll say that my hacking away has paid dividends. It’s crazy to think I can find 50/50… but I’m tempted to look for 55/45.
The steering wheel is the real point here though. It’s a 350mm Momo Mod07 with 70mm of dish. I think it’s cool because it’s old. It matches the feel of my Watanabe’s. The OEM Momo wheel is actually pretty nice, and I probably prefer it’s stock look, but with my ultra heavy manual steering, putting the wheel closer to my body will give me a bit more leverage and strength to manage tight parking maneuvers. I’d really really like to keep it manual, and maybe even swap in the much quicker AW11 steering rack I now have sitting on my shelf, but as it stood the feel was too heavy for me to carry on.
If this doesn’t make it more manageable, then that’s just more reason to keep shedding weight.