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recklessactn 06-01-2010 07:34 PM

LSJ Modification Guide
First off I want to thank the many and various members of the cobalt community for knowledge shared and lessons learned (good and bad including myself).

Now I still feel there is a great majority of people getting the LSJ as a used car and want to know what they can do to it to make it "faster" and I'm noticing there's not any clear cut thread that explains this upfront. I have been into the cobalt platform since 2005 and have had a LSJ since 2007 and have done some extensive modding and all by my own hands and have helped many other LSJ's (alot.. alot, with theirs) and this is what I'm going to say are the best routes for modding your car with some variations between each as you want to more aggressively go forward with your LSJ.


Route 1: The Warranty Retainer
You still have a powertrain warranty and you want that warranty to back you up in case trouble comes knockin and you don't want to be told "Your car is modded sorry". This is not the most cost effective way to make power, but you do it and retain the warranty.

Your Mods are:
GM Stage II: Installed by your dealer. Yes its expensive but the dealer did it.
Stock Air Box Mod (How To Section) or Aftermarket intake: Aftermarket intakes may or may not increase your dealers discomfort level but you will LOVE the sound that your blower makes.
Optional: GMPP Exhaust (P or T): Great sounding exhaust but no gains over stock exhaust.

Your WHP Avg on this setup will be from 225-245.

Route 2: Power and Reliability
Your not as warranty conscious as the previous mentioned route so your lookin to make some decent power but don't want your car to run into problems down the road with CEL's or extensive wear and replacing parts more often. THIS IS THE BEST OPTION IMO, lots of fun and it's not going to bite you in the ass later, trust me on this one.

Your Mods are:
42lb Injectors w/2.9 Pulley: You will need to find a shop or a tuner to do a tune for you and or install (requires pulley press if your stock)
Aftermarket Intake or Stock Airbox Mod: Blower whine = :guns:
Header Downpipe Combo or Just Downpipe: If your sticking this route stay catted, catless has minimal gains and on SC'd cars and it is very very loud. This option you'll preferably want a 3in. downpipe with 2.5in exit. GO STAINLESS
OTTP STG1 Rotated Mounts: No wheel hop, enough said.
Aftermarket Heat Exchanger: Dont skimp on the money here buy a good one and be happy with keepin the temps cool so you can beat on it without being choked by your stock H/E rampin up the temps after/during pulls.
Optional: 2.5in aftermarket exhaust will have some benefits here down the road and if you want a different noise comin out the back then take your pick of exhausts, BUT stock exhaust will not hinder you.
Optional: Wideband and/or Interceptor here will give you data on the car (how its running) and if you want a tuner to tune you, you need the wideband.
Your WHP Avg on this setup will be from 250-265.

Route 3: Power Options
You are pretty confident about taking care of your car and you know how to push it without goin past its limits, so lets get into making this thing a beast of a DD.

Your Mods are:
60lb Injectors w/2.8-2.7: (recommend staying at 2.8) Have a shop or tuner, tune your car or maybe grab hptuners and learn yourself. BUT DEFINITELY GET IT TUNED FIRST BEFORE BY AN EXPERIENCED PERSON BEFORE YOU PLAY WITH IT. Also read up on tuning so you know whats goin on with your car.
Aftermarket 2.75in or 3in Intake: If your lookin to make some good power you should go 3in, if not 2.75 is fine.
Header and Downpipe w/ 3in collector and 3in Downpipe: Definitely want to move to a 2.5in aftermarket exhaust or maybe even 3in to set yourself up later for bigger mods, depending on your goals.
OTTP STG 1/2 Mounts: Again no wheel hop, enough said. Slight more vibs with 2 but you cant go wrong here, especially if your staying m62.
Aftermarket Heat Exhanger: Buy from ZZP or OTTP and get the largest most expensive one, your going to be bringing the heat... cool that sh*t down, might even want to get dual pass here.
Wideband and Interceptor: You need the wideband for tuning and is a great indicator of potential problems and the interceptor I say is a must to monitor your IAT2's and give you the info on DTC's and other car dynamics
Optional: Meth Injection has its benefits here, cooler IAT2's and allows more leeway for timing. Totally up to you but remember you have to tune for it.
Optional: LSJ Upgraded clutch with stock flywheel, this or another aftermarket brand but stick stock flywheel and don't go lightened!
Your WHP Avg on this setup will be from 255-275.

Route 4: MOD THIS B*TCH!
You are a knowledgeable LSJ guy and your are gonna milk every ounce of power out of your baby till every person you come across on the road is crying they got beat by a cobalt. THIS IS FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO PUSH PAST THE LIMIT AND HAVE THE MONEY TO DO SO.

Your Mods are:
Ported and Polished head, TVS (or combo of the 2), Turbo Build ( and/or with p&p head), Twin Charged: Your ready to get your hands on some great LSJ power mods and you know who or how to do it. Have at it.
60-79lb Injectors: Depending on application. Various pulley sizes for M62 and TVS but as rule of thumb here, don't go below 2.7 unless you truly understand what your doing to your blower and you know what your gaining... only WTQ.
HP Tuners or Trifecta: At this stage in the game you should know what is goin on with your car and should be able to make on the spot corrections if something comes up or diagnose and fix the problem if its hardware related. GET IT
Aftermarket Header and Downpipe Your getting close or your over 300 WHP, this is a restriction and has to be removed and replaced. 3in downpipe with 2.5in/3in exit, 3in is the better route to go here.
Aftermarket Exhaust Stock is restrictive and a 2.5in is cutting it close now... 3in is the better route here as well.
OTTP STG 2 Mounts: You need them... period
Aftermarket Heat Exchanger w/ Dual Pass: (Not applicable for turbo build) No reason why you should not have both on your car. Your power will be hurting if the temps get too hot.
Wideband and Interceptor: No questions asked here, you need the wideband for tuning and if you dont have your laptop with you, the interceptor is your best friend.
Aftermarket Clutch: Your putting alot of power down to those wheels, wouldn't want the clutch to hold you back so upgrade to an aftermarket but stick stock flywheel or get the exeddy hypersingle!
Optional: Meth Injection is totally up to you if feel the need to get more out of your car but for the SC'd builds the heat exchangers have come a long way and the dual pass is an excellent choice to keep the car happy.
Optional: Consider doing some internals work like valves, valve springs (If you did not get a p&p head) and pistons at least.
Optional: Nitrous... You better know what your doing and you will make 300+ Easy

Your WHP Avg on this set up will be from 275-300+++

Thoughts comments suggestions are welcomed but this is the more or less a solid piece of explaining how the new guys and maybe some of the veteran guys who haven't done much power wise to look about doing some mods in the future. The aftermarket has matured for our platform and its time you guys got a hold of some great products our vendors have to offer!

Black ss/sc 06 is my hero ;)

DeepBlack SS 06-01-2010 07:36 PM

Though it was good until I read the sticky me now part. Any one who demands a post of their own be stickied is fail.

gwatson650 06-01-2010 07:38 PM

good write-up.

recklessactn 06-01-2010 07:39 PM

its needed, to many posts on the forum askin what should i do this or this kinda of questions. hey ill take it down though once it is ;)

qweewee 06-01-2010 11:15 PM

Good write up!

Black SS/SC 06 06-01-2010 11:33 PM

Good idea. Thanks Mr. Butter Bar. It's now a sticky.

ssyellow 06-02-2010 01:12 PM

Thanks for the good read.


irishredheadpa 06-04-2010 07:12 AM

Good info

TxLonghorn#1 06-05-2010 05:46 AM

one hell of a post:twothumbs

Kfive 06-05-2010 07:09 AM

idea.... maybe put prices? but this helped me a lot!

PerformanceClutches 06-08-2010 10:51 AM

Route #5 .... well i think you already know what that would be. lol

Good Write up MAX!!! It's nice to see someone actually write up something nice on this forum so hopefully when someone asks what should i do to my cobalt we can just link them right to this thread.

vahdyx 06-09-2010 01:41 PM

This is the best thing I've read about my car.


I'm looking for reliability and option 2 looks very attractive. Is it safe to assume that the OTTP Stage One kit is exactly this without heat exchanger and a 3.0" pulley rather than a 2.9"?

Also how reliable is a stage 2 kit from ottp? Would it really be that bad to get just that? It has a heat exchanger with the price.

I'm definitely not car savvy and I'm probably considered an idiot to most on this site, but I'd say I'm more of the general public so I'm actually quite normal in terms of car knowledge.

EXsoccer1921 06-09-2010 01:54 PM

Originally Posted by Black SS/SC 06 (Post 4984032)
Thanks Mr. Butter Bar.


06blackg85ss 06-09-2010 02:04 PM

wow, the rest of us just figured this stuff out on our own through trial in error.

Pyros777 06-09-2010 05:41 PM

Optional: Nitrous... You better know what your doing and you will make 300+ Easy
Or just use GM Stage 3. ;)

Good writeup. Very solid starting point for people just getting into modding their LSJ.

Midwest Ecotecs 06-09-2010 05:50 PM

Good write up I definately learned some new stuff from reading up on this

Traviper 06-10-2010 03:05 AM

awesome write up. definitely using this as a guideline

recklessactn 06-26-2010 09:39 PM

if anyone wants a more detailed kinda explanation of the routes, I'll be more than happy to take pm's

ramrod1337 06-26-2010 09:56 PM

Hey very helpful for a quick guide!!

the_cobalt_kid 07-18-2010 01:28 PM

AWSOME write up! from an LT none the less :lol: Good info none the less!

neumannl001 07-20-2010 09:48 PM

Thanks for the "in a nut shell" write up "reckless"

b00sted06ss 07-20-2010 11:16 PM

Good write up I'll be sure to use this for future reference

leviticus88 07-21-2010 08:35 PM

What, no nitrous option?
I think it atleast has to be included on the list as a possibilty considering it's pretty darn safe and easy to do on an LSJ. Especially with GM Stage 3 or Trifecta Stage 3.

smthomas556 07-21-2010 08:40 PM

Originally Posted by Black SS/SC 06 (Post 4984032)
Good idea. Thanks Mr. Butter Bar. It's now a sticky.

Butter Bar :lol: :lol: :lol: I have been out too long!

sjc0013 08-01-2010 08:31 PM

great write up!

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