LS Weight Reduction - Discussion Thread

Lincoln LS Performance

  1. DeviLSh

    DeviLSh Well-Known LVC Member

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    **DISCLAIMER - I am starting this thread to both inquire, and document information regarding removal of non-essential items on the LS. The goal is to provide known and useful information. If you do not agree with modifying an LS to this extent, please refrain from the contribution of your subjective opinion, I would like to keep this as factual as possible. Thanks!**

    Since the LS's aftermarket support and power train upgrades are rather limited, I have thought about stripping weight from the car to help improve performance instead. As my '06 LS nears the end of it's daily driver usage, I have dreamed of it becoming more of a track car, weekend warrior, and all around driver's car, which means I am willing to sacrifice some creature comforts in order to both reduce weight and simplify the operation and diagnostic procedures for the car.

    I would like to gather some knowledge from anyone who:

    A) Has removed these parts already, and what they changed or altered to achieve their results.
    B) Has had this part break, and is otherwise driving the car without the part functioning. This may provide an idea of how the various systems function with one another and what tweaks will be needed to remove these systems, as to not interrupt functions of what remains.
    C) Has experience with weight-reduction on other vehicles, and can provide insight or methods of correct procedures. ​

    Items/Systems that can be removed, and some general thoughts on each are as follows:

    1) A/C System : (Compressor, Lines, condenser, wiring)
    - The belt routing would most likely not support a shorter belt due to the tensioner position, so a bracket and pulley would be needed. (Mustang kits available, or custom. Does the LS share a pulley/compressor with anything in the modular V8 family?. How does jaguar approach their race engine accessory belt routing.
    - The PCM and other modules may communicate signals that are crucial to the car's other functions. (DATC, ABS, Fan operation) ​

    2) Hydraulic P/S system (Pump, lines, cooler, reservoir, VAPS, and wiring)
    - Communication between modules may present errors with advancetac/abs, and ecu.
    - Electric assist, custom R&P, column mounted motors, or manual conversion parts needed to safely operate steering.
    - Belt routing, or new "dead" pulley would be added to maintain original routing/belt size.
    - Benefits would be less drag on motor, less leak-prone lines, and user control of steering assist (if converted to electrical). Less weight, and better gas mpg as well. A cleaner and easy-to-access engine bay would also result. ​

    3) DCCV - The dreaded dual-temp valve in the engine bay. My wife is always one of two temperatures anyway: too cold or too hot, so why do we even bother with this thing?!?
    - Can the DCCV be removed and replaced with a Y fitting? Allowing for a reduction of coolant routing to the heater core, and simplified operation?
    - Along with this, what kind of simplified coolant hose routing could be applied to this car? ​

    4) Emissions - (EGR, EVAP, catalytic converters)
    - I am currently working with Tori (SCT) on a EGR delete file. I have received the file but have yet to flash. He has mentioned he can delete the entire subsystem from the ECU, which should mitigate any non-WOT running issues that are otherwise tuned for with the EGR in place.
    - Cats have been discussed before, check your local laws on this one. But they are "heavy" and could contribute to some weight loss.
    - EVAP: Not sure if this can be removed and vented to atmosphere, it would also have to be "coded" out of the ECU to prevent both a CEL and poor running conditions if the car is looking for the addition of the vapors. ​

    5) Audio: Navigation, Amp, speakers, wiring.
    - This one is probably easy to remove and live without, but For anyone who was cycled the key with these things missing - any adverse effects?
    - This will account for substantial weight savings. My last car was over 60lbs and it wasn't that great of a sound-system. ​

    6) SRS/Airbags
    - Steering wheel and passenger compartment SRS systems should only be removed if other equipment is replacing it. Such as: hanresses, roll-cage, etc. For those who have taken their LS this far (steering wheel swaps, seat removals, OLOA LS?) I would like to know what actions were taken to address these systems. ​

    7) Sunroof : Motor, Glass, track and wiring
    - taking away weight from the top of the car is the best area to do so. Plugs can be made of metal, carbon fiber, composites, etc. ​

    8) Lightweight battery
    - The LS utilizes a HUGE battery. With other various components removed the demand may be less severe, allowing the use for a racing battery.
    - Weight distribution is critical to the LS handling characteristics, and must not be neglected during any of this weight reduction, this includes the rear mounted battery.
    - With interior mounting, a conventional battery cannot be used due to venting.
    - The LS electrical system is picky with voltage. A reliable and suitable battery should be used.​

    9) Seats
    - Rear seats are simple
    - front seats are heavy, and contain a lot of electrical components. This is an easy place to save weight, and race seats help the driver factor by allowing less body shift during cornering. ​

    10) Electronic E-brake
    - I will running the mark8 diff in my car, which requires a mounting bracket for the oem motor to be removed.
    - What type of resistor will need to be put in place to "fool" the car into thinking this motor exists to prevent any codes, failed tests, or warning chimes?
    - Perhaps the gen2 can be converted to a gen 1 manual/cable system. ​

    11) Other: These are all small things that contribute to weight and could also be removed simply, and without much fuss from the other systems.
    - Washer fluid reservoir, lines, and wiring.
    - Hood release sensor (already deleted this, it is a simple momentary switch type sensor)
    - Rear power window motors/regulators.
    - Non-structural door panel bracing, and various brackets for previously deleted items
    - Sound deadening, insulation, and carpet
    - Automatic pedal adjustment motors/mechanisms
    - Telescoping steering wheel motor/components.
    - Backup sensors/module
    - OEM Horns and associated wiring
    - Light weight engine cooling fans​


    As you can see, there is a lot that goes into an LS, and therefore - a lot that come out to help the diet. While I have some general ideas of the challenges that lie ahead for me, I would love to get some thoughts going on how to effectively removed and adapt this car for more performance oriented driving, as well as improve the car by getting rid of some problematic parts at the same time. After all, some of the stock stuff isn't available anymore anyway. If we can figure out how to bypass these items and keep our cars on the road, even better.

    I will update this with anything I find out as I go along, including the actual weight savings from removal. Thanks to all who contribute and again, you don't have to agree with this type of modification to a car like the LS. I am well aware that "better" cars exist for this type of project, and that the "L" stands for luxury. If I didn't know what I wanted out of the car, I would be asking for that.

    Happy modding!
     
  2. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    This is not an endorsement, just answers to questions.

    1. The PCM will not care if the AC is not there. You may have to leave the pressure sensor plugged in, but probably not. I assume you plan to remove the condenser and lines too.

    2. Removing the power steering will not cause any errors (the steering angle sensor is in the steering column, under the dash. You will get a warning when running the KOER self-test, but no warning light.

    3. Do you still want any heating? If not, remove the aux pump and just plug the lines.

    4. There's only a couple of pounds to be gained here. I wouldn't waste the effort on it.

    5. There's more weight here than #4, but not anywhere close to 60 pounds (maybe 10?). Anyway, there will be no errors. Nothing will even know that the radio/speakers/amps aren't there.

    6. Leave the RCM in and live with the warning light. Remove the RCM or the light bulb, and get 25 beeps every time you start up.

    10. You will get a service parking brake warning all the time. There is no "resistor" to fool it. It is a digital system with detailed digital communication. You'd have to make a microcontroller module and know how to program it to say the right things to convince the cluster that everything was okay.

    11. "Telescoping steering wheel motor/components." Good luck with this one.
     
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    • DeviLSh

      DeviLSh Well-Known LVC Member

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      Thanks for the help Joe, regardless of that frown and look of disgust you probably have all over your face. :D
       
    • DeviLSh

      DeviLSh Well-Known LVC Member

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      Update - A/C was discharged, and removed this weekend. I still need to remove wiring for the unit, as well as the two lines that reside at the passenger side of the engine bay (near coolant hardlines.) I was unable to find an off-the-shelf delete kit or compressor that is directly the same as the LS/TBird/Stype, but I found something close....

      Dorman 34159 A/C Bypass kit for the 94-95 5.0/302 Cobra. This car has a 110mm pulley just like the LS, and the triangular dimensions of the bracket are a close fit to the LS. I re-drilled (larger) the bottom holes of the bracket, and using the kit's pulley spacer, the pulley lines up fine with the LS belt system. I am going to work on modifying the bracket to use the third hole, and maybe even the 4th hole. Drove to work today and the belts were silent, and everything worked fine. No errors or lights for having both A/C compressor and pressure sensor unplugged.

      Washer fluid, lines, pump and connectors also removed. Low fluid sensor is normally open, so no need to splice anything together to avoid the warning light.

      Weight loss so far:
      Condenser, Drier, compressor and associated hardware - 26lbs
      Windshield washer tank/pump/lines - 2lbs
       
      Last edited: May 16, 2017
    • Kumba

      Kumba Dedicated LVC Member

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      Man, I live in Florida. Even as a track/drivers car, you still leave the AC hooked up unless it's a trailer queen.
       
    • DeviLSh

      DeviLSh Well-Known LVC Member

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      I hear you, I am probably a rare breed in that I just rarely use a/c. It is not my first car I have owned that I deleted it. I am more of a window's down kind of guy I guess you could say.

      Drove the car all week and no issues to report thus far with the custom delete kit on. Looking at the front of the car is kind of weird without the condenser there, as you can really see the brackets for the PS/Trans cooler behind the grill.

      Regarding EVAP and EGR - I have two questions.
      1- can anyone confirm that the EGR also integrates a MAP sensor?
      2- When the evap purge solenoid opens, does the ECU adjust for this? Or does it just burn the vapor and move on.

      Weight savings from EVAP is minimal, but it would certainly de-clutter the engine bay, so I am thinking about relocating it and venting to atmosphere, or extending the line up to the manifold in a more concealed/clean way. If I vent, wondering if the car will get upset and know the purge isnt going into the motor.
       
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      • joegr

        joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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        1. Yes, the MAP sensor is a part of the EGR valve assembly.
        2. More to the "burn the vapor" side of the options that you presented. I would expect that you might trigger the fuel tank leak detection.
         
      • DeviLSh

        DeviLSh Well-Known LVC Member

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        Thanks Joe, regarding #2, see descriptions below, pasted from deneau.

        The EVAP system monitor:
        • is a self-test strategy within the PCM, which tests the integrity of the EVAP system.
        • monitors the EVAP system for leaks.
        • monitors electronic EVAP components for irrationally high or low voltages.
        • monitors for correct EVAP system operation.
        • uses a negative leak test method to test and activate the EVAP system.
        The EVAP test port:
        • is used to connect the Evaporative Emission System Leak Tester to the EVAP system.
        • is located on the EVAP canister purge valve.
        The EVAP Running Loss System Leak Test:
        • utilizes intake manifold vacuum to test the EVAP system and involves several stages.
        Assuming you referring to the running loss leak test stated at the bottom? The test port section is confusing me, maybe that is a separate test function outside of normal PCM testing.

        If the PCM opens the purge solenoid during this test, it seems like it relies on vacuum present from the manifold for that test. Meaning an open line would most likely trigger a fault. How does the system know its venting vs getting sucked into the motor? Is there another sensors further upstream that looks for that in the test? (just trying to understand it's operation).
         
      • joegr

        joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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        AFAIK in this case, venting is being sucked into the motor, one and the same.
         
      • DeviLSh

        DeviLSh Well-Known LVC Member

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        Rear Seats & Bolsters, three seat belts, associated hardware, and release cables. - 66lbs.
        Trunk panels, linings, and hood lining - 25lbs
        Rear Deck Speakers, both rear amps, nav module - 21 lbs.

        Should have the rest of the audio out this weekend.
         
      • DeviLSh

        DeviLSh Well-Known LVC Member

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        I noticed that the 04-05 TBirds, still use a manual parking brake. I know they have the gen2 motor, but not sure what else may be gen1 on the car still. Any thoughts on getting the TBird components to make the LS modules happy with no ebrake motor?
         
      • joegr

        joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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        Swapping the cluster might do it, but you would have to marry it (and your keys) to the PCM before the engine would start.
         
      • DeviLSh

        DeviLSh Well-Known LVC Member

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        Thats a good thought, can the Rotunda tool do the marriage? I have access to one, but haven't worked with it yet.

        I dont even hate the Tbird's gauge faces either, but I bet the LS overlays would work, I just need the brains from the tbird version.
         
      • joegr

        joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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        I don't know. Probably. Forscan and Autoenginuity can.
         
      • cammerfe

        cammerfe Dedicated LVC Member

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        In regard to the AC, when ECTA was running in Maxton, NC, I quickly found that sitting in 100+ degree temps, in the full sun, in a three-layer driving suit, with full Nomex 'long-johns and head-sock, locked into a 6-way harness with arm restraints and waiting in staging for about an-hour-and-a-half, required not only AC on full-blast, but the second weekend trip I added a 'Cool-Shirt' with the cooler full of ice/water belted into the passenger seat. When I got near the front I could count on the starter giving me a visit between runs just to cool off for a minute.:)

        KS
         
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        • DeviLSh

          DeviLSh Well-Known LVC Member

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          Anyone have any thoughts on if deleting the dccv, and aux coolant pump all together, will affect RFI with other systems like when the dccv goes bad?

          Also, what hoses should be looped if these two items are removed. In order to maintain proper coolant flow.

          I noticed the throttle body also has two coolant lines running to it. Assuming this is to prevent freezing in cold temps. Maybe sticking of the throttle plate as well. Any harm in bypassing the tb coolant barbs and running these hoses straight to the T-stat housing instead?
           
        • DeviLSh

          DeviLSh Well-Known LVC Member

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          Here is what I am going to try out :

          Cap off/plug:
          1 - Three firewall ports for HeaterCore
          2 - Upper rad hose Tee (the one that feeds the DCCV)
          3 - return hardline Tee from core.

          Which will leave me with:
          Degas return line to the firewall hardline like stock --> Hard return line next to motor/exhaust --> modified line from there to the T-Stat housing nipple. Effectively bypassing the heater core, DCCV, and Aux pump all-together.

          Something like this: (box = degas tank)

          Will this revised path allow coolant flow in the correct directions?

          IMG_2560.JPG
           
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          • AmsterDutch

            AmsterDutch Well-Known LVC Member

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            Just wanna say enjoying this thread :)
             
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            • DeviLSh

              DeviLSh Well-Known LVC Member

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              Thanks Amster! I am having a blast with this car so far.

              I have completed my cooling overhaul, and made a few changes to the car at the same time, which belong more-so in here. I am still looking into revised paths for the return, and degas fill, and considering the TB coolant bypass. I don't like that they run all the way around the motor. If I move forward with the EGR delete, I may run the lines under the manifold.

              I am currently running the proposed method a couple of posts up. I have essentially bypassed the heater core, Aux Pump, and DCCV. They are unplugged and deleted. (yes, this means no heat). No codes, or adverse conditions that I am aware of. Bleeding the coolant system is also a bit easier now. And there is a lot more room up by the ABS unit.

              Here is a view of the new coolant return setup:
              36159773630_75277ed4dd_c.jpg

              Made two block-offs, one for the A/C ports on the firewall, and another for the cabin air filter shroud.

              35721714254_677e535cb3_c.jpg

              36159771240_180b3b9ce2_c.jpg

              Like I said, I am looking to revising the coolant system some more, maybe running a different style degas tank and shortening/deleting/replacing some of the plumbing. Upgrading to SS hose, fittings and aluminum wouldn't hurt either. For now, I am happy with the setup.
               

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