Edited by HUBBA.HUBBA, 05 November 2019 - 09:09 PM.
Can A Mini Be Too Light?
Posted 05 November 2019 - 09:08 PM
Posted 05 November 2019 - 09:20 PM
It depends on what you mean by performance.
but I will say this you can throw as much power as you want at a poorly set up car and get nowhere near a well set up car with less power.
some completion have minimum weight limits so there must be an advantage.
again there is the issue of where the weight is.
Posted 05 November 2019 - 10:09 PM
'Mo Mendhams' famous odd looking ultra-lightweight aluminium paneled race Mini from the 1970's (No. 179)
Mo Mendhams very strange looking ultra-lightweight aluminium paneled Mini No.179 (at 1m15s) can be seen in this race video from Crystal Palace Sep 9th 1972.
Edited by mab01uk, 05 November 2019 - 10:15 PM.
Posted 05 November 2019 - 10:20 PM
Mo Mendham was a well-qualified aerospace engineer and he and I were student-apprentices at the old de Havilland Aircraft Company from 1957 until 1962. We were also great friends and I navigated for him on several rallies, although racing was his real love.
The big thing for Mo was weight reduction and he was very successful. He first raced a TVR Grantura Mk.1 which he really did a lot of weight reduction on. However, after a crash at Mallory Park he said to me that he was left there sitting in a heap with a load of glass-fibre bits 'sticking up his ****'. He then decided that Minis were the way to go and built several, including the one shown. He wouldn't have seat belts (not compulsory back then) because they added weight.
Apart from being a really talented driver, his engineering skills were fantastic.
Posted 05 November 2019 - 10:53 PM
In the quest for power to weight ratio gains can you go too far making it too light. Not from a structural point of view, but more on performance, suspension point of view. More and more people put lots of holes in their car, surely there's a point where it can go too far?
Colin Chapman's concept of "added lightness" will give definite improvements, be aware though that the easiest mass to lose is usually low down which will result in a raised centre of gravity, it's beneficial to lose mass higher up as well.
Posted 06 November 2019 - 12:37 AM
Back to Mo's Mini the one in the photo had a hand-beaten aluminium roof panel rivetted in place.
Posted 06 November 2019 - 07:11 AM
For road use - yes, they can be too light for sure. Even on the track, there are sensible limits.
The sprung / un-sprung ratio heads off in the wrong direction for starters, then you need quite light spring rates, to be more appropriate for the weight of the car, but then this works against you for the mass of it, when accelerating, braking and cornering. The ride quality also suffers.
Posted 06 November 2019 - 09:41 AM
In the early 70s, BMW invited about 100 drivers to a day at Silverstone.
It was a Teutonic masterclass. We each did 5 laps with an observer in an Opel and 50% of those deemed more promising got another 5 laps in the BMWs.
We were then weighed and measured and our BMI plotted on a graph against our perceived talent.
Unfortunately my 6' and 150lb turned out to be my undoing, as I realised when the chief observer told the final 5 "We can not make the cars any lighter, but you can loose 5 Kilos".
Edited by DeadSquare, 06 November 2019 - 09:49 AM.
Posted 06 November 2019 - 05:11 PM
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