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LNF Basics for making more power

2.0L LNF Performance Tech 260hp and 260 lb-ft of torque Turbocharged tuner version.

LNF Basics for making more power

Old 04-17-2015, 03:41 PM
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LNF Basics for making more power

The LSJ section has a thread like this, lets make one for the LNF too. I do not own an LNF but am pretty familiar with the basics, anyone that has any better information please post it and I will add to the OP, and then maybe we can turn this into a nice, organized sticky to show new members.

Basics on your LNF:

It comes from the factory with 260hp/260tq.

Many have the GMS1 upgrade, which is essentially a 3bar MAP sensor and a tune, which brings you to around 290. Great for warranty retainers and cheapskates.
But you want to make more than that, and you wanna know the fastest and cheapest way to do it! Well, my friend, you have come to the right place.

First off, before doing ANY of this, it is IMPERATIVE that you have a properly functioning car. Remend any pending engine trouble codes, running and/or driving conditions before modifying your car! Better to be safe than sorry, and power adding upgrades will only help you so much if, say, you have a boost leak, or your valves are all gunked up -- speaking of that, take a look at this:

https://www.cobaltss.net/forums/how-...emoval-304188/

* Here’s the idea:

*Add all the bolt ons, then tune:
What do I mean? Well, you need to tune in order to essentially make more power. You can have all of the listed boltons below and really not make any more power until you tune. This is because the car has whats called a 'learn down feature'. This prevents you from making more power until you unlock it in the tune. And tuning takes money. So why not save up, add your bolt on upgrades (which we will get into) and then find a good local tuner (look around the forum to find good local tuners, generally ranging from 200-500 dollars, possibly involving dyno time) and bamo, you are good to go.

*What kind of upgrades should I get?

All on you, but there is a pretty solid, proven set of upgrades to get for your LNF to make big boy numbers for chump change.

Intake: any car can use an intake. Go for a 3”, or just do a better intake tube and keep the stock airbox.

Downpipe: most opt for catless downpipe, and many even go for a fulll exhaust. Straight throughs arent genrally needed on a stock turbo. flow is important here.

Charge pipes – these optimize airflow from your turbo, to the intercooler (which you should also upgrade, and will have to since the stock one is notorious for breaking anyway) then from your intercooler into your manifold. However its also been said that there isnt much gain in this alone on a stock turbo. For 500ish dollars its more of a longevity mod.

Intercooler: Higher flow, cooler air charge. The colder, denser air you have going into your manifold, the better.

So basically you are looking at intake, catless downpipe, probably a 3” straight exhaust, chargepipes, intercooler.
Highly recommended to run E85, or the more efficient and effective E47 blend gas.
Get a 3bar MAP sensor. You need this to register and deal with more boost.
Get tuned! This is up to you, but most don’t push the stock turbo past 24 psi.
With all of this, you can easily net 340+ wheel horsepower and 360+ ftlbs! And it’s all bolt on and tune, baby!

Finding the parts I will leave up to you, but would highly recommend looking through the many parts suppliers on this site, such as ZZP, TurboXS, THmotorsports, etc.
All of these parts can be done with handtools and jackstands.


Look at some of these numbers and compare to the mods, sourced from this Dyno thread:
https://www.cobaltss.net/forums/dyno...2015-a-304260/

1. 09whteSSpssssh, 367whp, 445wtq, Verified DYNOmite CP/CD/DP/E/I/IC/E47/HPT Only Graph 1 Graph 2

^This guy has charge pipes, catlless downpipe, exhaust, intake, intercooler, runs E47 blend, and is tuned.

2. Frogstofall, 362whp, 376wtq, Verified Dynojet, I/DP/T/GM1/IC/CP/E47, Graph

^Intake, downpipe, tune, gmstage 1 stuff, intercooler, chargepipes, and runs E47.

3. colodude18, 359whp, 418wtq, Verified Dynojet, K04/T/I/IC/DP/CP/E/E-85, Graph

^Again, Intake, intercooler, downpipe, chargepipes, exhaust, E85 this time, and tune.

4. raver0789, 359whp, 408wtq, Dynojet, I/CP/IC/DP/CB/E47 Graph
5. taintedred07, 356whp, 430wtq, Dynojet, I/DP/E/T/C/IC/CP/K04/E-85/GM1S, Graph
6. FF_ace 351whp, 393wtq, Verified Dynojet, CAI/CP/IC/DP/CD/E/WI/E85/T Graph
7. 09CobaltSS1, 351whp, 388wtq, Verified Dynojet, KO4,I,DP,E,T,IC,CP,GM1S,E47,25psi, Grpah
8. Cavalierssr, 350whp, 439wtq, Verfied Dynojet, I/DP/CD/CP/MD/T/E85, Graph
9. cblt2469, 349whp, 400wtq, Verified Dynojet, I/IC/DP/E/T/UPPER CP/K04/E47/GM1S,
10. mongorat427, 349whp, 363wtq, Verified Dynojet, I/E/CP/IC/T, Graph
11. BYT*SS*TURBO 347whp, 414wtq, Verified Dynojet, DP/CD/CP/I/T/IC, Graph
12. 2010SS 346whp, 426wtq, Verified Dynojet, DP/IC/I/CP/E85/T, Graph
13. vahdyx, 347whp, 397wtq, Verified Dynojet, I,E,DP,T,TK,IC,CP,K04, Graph
14. JBThrasher22, 346whp, 399wtq, Verified Dynocom, GM1S, I, DP, T, Graph
15. leemanfor, 344whp, 457wtq, Verified Dyno, I/DP/CP/BOV/E85, Graph
16. 09BlueBaltSS 344whp, 384wtq Verified Dynocom T/I/DP/CD Graph
17. 09whteSSpssssh 343whp, 423wtq Verified DYNOmite I/DP/CD/CP/IC/T/WI Graph1Graph2

You get the picture, its been done.

Edit 1/20/16:

Forge BPV are NOT an upgrade. They are a pain in the dick and not worth the $150.00 at all. They are too stiff even on the lowest spring and cause BPV solenoid issues as they are slower compared to stock. The stock BPV is the best choice.

You should NOT run a vent to atmosphere BPV or BOV without a tune, on the OEM BPV solenoid, and a MAF relocate it HIGHLY recommended to avoid rich spikes from releasing metered air. When doing the MAF relocate you can simply cut the plastic wire loom open and pull out the wires to move the MAF plug to its new location. No harness or wire cutting is needed on the Cobalts.

Last edited by riceburner; 01-20-2016 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 04-17-2015, 03:57 PM
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Great write-up Rice!
My $0.02:
Although it's a smart thing to do, you don't NEED to upgrade charge piping and intercooler. We had a LNF sedan in our local club make 330hp/420wtq on pump gas with just an intake and down pipe.
Also, you don't NEED a straight piped exhaust to make big numbers. I'm running the Hahn hi-flow cat and 3 inch catback and made 359/418 on the stock turbo and E85. Personally, I like the understatement of having a subdued exhaust tone until you release that powa
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:00 PM
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Is it worth mentioning the learndown feature that prevents the car from making more power just by simply adding bolt-ons? that it must be disabled and/or tuned to make any power off of a bolt-on.

Last edited by riceburner; 04-17-2015 at 04:53 PM. Reason: cleanup
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:01 PM
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^^ahh thats what i was trying to say! forgot the term 'learndown'. I'll add it.
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:03 PM
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But yea i think if we can get together good prices for these kinds of upgrades, most recommended brands, and any other good tips/tricks, we can get a pretty decent thing going here.
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:09 PM
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I don't think quoting should be allowed...? helps keep it clean?
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:28 PM
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Great right up rice. How about the forge bpv some say its not needed but it falls in the same place as charge pipes, a nice upgrade to have
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Old 04-17-2015, 06:37 PM
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Straight through exhausts hurt the stock turbo cars not to mention it sounds like total ****...... You should at least have a resonator or muffler.
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:07 PM
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Thanks for this rice
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:33 PM
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Wow rice you know all that and still own a lsj???

Good write up though
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:50 PM
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Good write up man . What if there's no tuner around where I live ? Anyway do it yourself
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:08 PM
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Charge pipes are a reliability mod. No one can prove gains and some say it can hinder performance. Also they cost A LOT of $$, Almost 500$ for the upper and lower. Only people breaking them are noobs that hit stuff. Or noobs that throw insane PSI on the stock turbo. I will only upgrade my charge piping if my stockers fails, or if I go bigger turbo. Otherwise money better spent elsewhere.
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Old 04-17-2015, 09:18 PM
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Great write up. My jealousy of you Americans and your E85 continues.
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:02 PM
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Good write up.

I would put my list and power but I honestly forgot. I know my last dyno was 426/433
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Old 04-18-2015, 01:05 AM
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Haha well i think were talking stock turbo here kyle.
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Old 04-18-2015, 01:05 AM
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Thanks for any and all clarifications and additions guys.
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Old 04-18-2015, 01:56 AM
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for an lsj guy you have sure done your homework! good write up riceburner. i hope this ends alot of questions/threads with the new owner LNF crowd.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:23 AM
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So can we talk about trans failures? When did yours fail? How much torque at the time? Was it driver error? I just had a buddy lose 3rd on 300/350 and its got me nervous even though I have an HHR.

Im looking to tune for 93oct and be around 330/380. Just want to know how reliable it will be and yes I do like to drive somewhat aggressively, have all bolt ons and KY stage 3 clutch.
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Eddy44 View Post
Good write up man . What if there's no tuner around where I live ? Anyway do it yourself
Good point. The great thing about HP Tuners is that you only need a local HPT cable. The tuner can be anywhere. Tunes can be emailed and flashed. Street logs can be recorded and emailed back. My tuner has never been within 100 miles of my car lol
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by breds2k View Post
So can we talk about trans failures? When did yours fail? How much torque at the time? Was it driver error? I just had a buddy lose 3rd on 300/350 and its got me nervous even though I have an HHR.

Im looking to tune for 93oct and be around 330/380. Just want to know how reliable it will be and yes I do like to drive somewhat aggressively, have all bolt ons and KY stage 3 clutch.
Your buddy doesn't know how to drive plain and simple. I read of all these threads about trans failure and all that **** with the LNF and I just laugh. My stock trans put down anywhere from 350/385 - 465/469. I did probably over 100 dyno passes testing turbos for Pwerks and zero issues. The common factor I see is people NLS and getting into boost at low RPM.

Omiotek had one of the first BW 6758, which is the ZFR and had more dyno passes and track days and never had an issue. Trans, IMO is a driver mod. I know people will come in and argue, but this is purely based off my opinion and experiences.

Hope that helps!
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Old 04-18-2015, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by kdub1492 View Post
Your buddy doesn't know how to drive plain and simple. I read of all these threads about trans failure and all that **** with the LNF and I just laugh. My stock trans put down anywhere from 350/385 - 465/469. I did probably over 100 dyno passes testing turbos for Pwerks and zero issues. The common factor I see is people NLS and getting into boost at low RPM.

Omiotek had one of the first BW 6758, which is the ZFR and had more dyno passes and track days and never had an issue. Trans, IMO is a driver mod. I know people will come in and argue, but this is purely based off my opinion and experiences.

Hope that helps!
I agree with most of what you're saying. I did grenade my stock trans, but this happened on a road track while making ~475+ whp and ~470wtq on a tune that was not exactly boost ramped. Although this happened at >4,000 rpms I wasn't really surprised that it happened at the time as I knew I was pushing the limits of the car.
I agree that the stock trans should be rock solid on the stock turbo unless you mistreat it. On the stock turbo I did a total of many hours of ***** to the wall road track racing on e85 with over 400wtq and never had an issue with the trans.
NLS-ing is a factor (which I never do) and 3rd gear is definitely the weakest link.
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Old 04-18-2015, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by breds2k View Post
So can we talk about trans failures? When did yours fail? How much torque at the time? Was it driver error? I just had a buddy lose 3rd on 300/350 and its got me nervous even though I have an HHR.

Im looking to tune for 93oct and be around 330/380. Just want to know how reliable it will be and yes I do like to drive somewhat aggressively, have all bolt ons and KY stage 3 clutch.
I sold my LNF with 103k miles on it, and I purchased it with 53k miles

In that time I put down all levels of power with the k04, and then a ZFR at 30 psi. I never lost third...hell i was still on my stock clutch when i sold it. it slipped a little bit on the ZFR but was still daily driveable.

The key is, I never went WOT below 3500 RPM's and I had Term give me a nice linear boost ramp. I also didn't drive like I stole it everytime I got in it, but it saw plenty of abuse at the drag strip and numerous 40 rolls.
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Old 04-19-2015, 03:08 AM
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Excellent write up riceburner...... The LNF is a beast, no doubt. All it takes is some simple bolt ons and a dialed-in E35-E85 tune to reach those numbers with stock fueling.

The F35.... Its really not built to be a stout trans sadly. If you drag race A LOT, I would look into trans options. Clutch is a variable also, as well as wheel hop.

Last edited by LNFwagonSS; 04-19-2015 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:09 AM
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Kdub is right. I think a lot of failures are due to driver mod. Don't get me wrong it's not the only thing out there causing failures. There's things suck as huge torque hits down low on sticky tires, wheel hop, and then the obvious exceeding the limits.

During our srt 4 program development we had guys that could drive go 10s on stock transmissions while we had guys buying our best transmissions and throwing them in cars with a 100k old mounts that were torn and lca bushings that were torn breaking our best transmissions. Wheel hop kills transmissions.

Kdub is also right about me. During our cobalt development I had a 5557 put down 442hp/450ft/lbs on a stock motor and trans with an upgraded clutch. I also had some higher Hp numbers but I don't post high numbers for bragging rights. I post my Dd numbers. I decided to make a more track worthy car.my efr setup put Dow. 416/427. I did maybe 30 dyno passes plus 10k on the 5557setip and a few track days. The efr setup I wanted a perfect tune and something that got the power down. I'd say total on that setup I made well over a 130+ pulls and 35k on the car and this doesn't include the track days or dyno day pulls. The car held together and never let me down till I got hit.

The ultimate setup in this car I really feel is a 6258 as far as big turbos go. But that opinion. is based on what I do with my car. Colordude had hard miles on his car and as he said he knew it was coming. Even the best parts wear and fatigue and break.
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Old 04-19-2015, 01:54 PM
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Wow what a great thread for an LNF beginner. Thank you for starting this up! One question though, I heard you have to cut your stock exhaust to install a downpipe. Is that true?

Also in regards to transmission, I heard the throw out bearing is not very durable.
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