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This question forked from another question about budget performance upgrades from another user. Weight reduction came up, and rather than hijack that discussion, I thought I'd start a new one here.

Since most people need their vehicle to remain functional and compliant, where's the dead weight one can remove?

EDIT: Functional means doors, seats, windows and all external sheetmetal need to stay.

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    Can you further define "functional"? Your function <> my function ... to what end do you need functional? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 1 '16 at 21:42
  • Edited post with definition of functional – tlhIngan Aug 1 '16 at 21:43
  • What are you ultimately trying to accomplish. Is this for a track car? If not, is the ultimate goal quicker acceleration? – DucatiKiller Aug 1 '16 at 22:16
  • This is not for a track car, as those are best stripped down to the frame inside and out and rebuilt using carbonfiber. This is for a daily driver, with a goal of better acceleration and better fuel economy. – tlhIngan Aug 1 '16 at 22:20
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    How far are you willing to go? You don't need the passenger seats or any rear seats. Dashboard can come out mount the gauges and any airbags if you want. Carpeting and any sound deadening can be removed. HVAC etc... – Ben Aug 1 '16 at 22:38
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Depends on your comfort level. AC system (complete, condensor, compressor, evap, piping, etc), stereo, and every bit of interior except the seats and critical controls. Glovebox, airbags, related control modules, wiring, door panels, carpet, insulation, sound deadening materials, even the entire dashboard can be removed and the critical instrumentation and controls remounted with brackets. Lawn tractor or racing batteries are enough to start most 4-cyl engines, and can be relocated to better weight distribution.

Chrome trim, body decorations, bezels, bumper covers (not required by law) hood blanket, engine covers and non-essential trim, cruise control components, the list is almost unending, but return on effort starts to diminsh (eg headliner)

The question is how willing you are to drive such a beast, and if your performance/efficiency goals couldn't be realized with a chip and a change of driving style.

This is not conjecture, I've done the above many times over, racing both Showroom Stock and Improved Touring cars with SCCA for decades, that still could be streeted and inspected in New York, albeit terribly uncomfortably.

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The spare tire and jack are a good place to start. Lots of weight there, and most people would not change a tire on the side of the road and have their vehicle towed instead.

This has the added benefit of freeing up space in the trunk for things people are likely to use, like booster cables, windshield washer fluid container and a jerry can.

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    I think most people that call for help with a flat tire would rather have the tow truck operator put on their temporary spare so they can drive home and then to the tire store tomorrow than to have their car towed to the nearest garage, then having to make arrangements to get home and then again for a ride to go pick up the car. So I wouldn't ditch the spare tire. The jack, maybe, but it doesn't seem like enough weight to make it worth eliminating the possibility of replacing your own tire on a dark deserted road with no cell service. – Johnny Aug 2 '16 at 0:42
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    This isn't good advice, you don't want to put yourself in a situation where you have no spare. I know very few people who would call for a tow as opposed to putting a spare tire on. – GdD Aug 2 '16 at 7:45

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