Auto Turbo Aspiring - Cobalt SS Network

2.2L LAP Performance Tech 2.2L LAP Performance Tech (2009+) 155 hp EcoTec with 150 lb-ft of torque

Auto Turbo Aspiring

Old 01-05-2017, 04:16 PM
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Auto Turbo Aspiring

Hey y'all! My mom has a 10 cobalt that I'm hoping to acquire at some point. Well it's an auto and fwd but I've been snooping around a bit and have heard of some turbo auto builds. Sounds interesting. I use to be all about rwd, V8, NA, manual minded but that's changed after hot rodding this ecotec a bit and doing some research. I'd like a daily but was wondering what combos work. What needs to be done to the tranny and considering I live above 5000 ft and travel to about 8000 ft or so all the way back to sea level. I'd like to make this build a daily and a long distance traveler and it won't be a track car. I like to drive up mountains here in the land of enchantment and it can get snowy and icy. Thanks y'all!

Last edited by 10cobaltbase; 01-05-2017 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 01-05-2017, 04:19 PM
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I think I'd be satisfied with 350 whp
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Old 01-05-2017, 04:22 PM
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Just buy a stock SS 08-10 with the LNF eninge. Run winter tires during the snow/ice season, and summers once the temps heat up. It will be a manual but you wont need to build it or anything, just drive as it with 260whp. It will be quick enough for a daily and long distance traveler.
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Old 01-05-2017, 04:28 PM
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Word. I hear ya. That's much more practical.
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Old 01-05-2017, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 10cobaltbase View Post
Word. I hear ya. That's much more practical.
and it will save you numerous headaches and thousands of dollars, probably would save you enough to buy a dedicated race car.
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:51 PM
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True that! Seems like it's feasible to find one under 10k. This platform is a gem. Definitely hope I'm able to sink my teeth in one soon.
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ECaulk View Post
and it will save you numerous headaches and thousands of dollars, probably would save you enough to buy a dedicated race car.
If he did the work himself it would save him numerous headaches but I don't think it would save him thousands of dollars. All he would need is forged rods and pistons($1,200) and a turbo kit ($2200). Now it wouldn't be on the level of SS suspension or brake wise but for a daily cruiser like he is looking for I would think that would be OK. Me personally I would also recommend just getting an SS because it is way easier and like you said the headaches but to say he would save enough money to buy a dedicated race car is a bit of a reach.
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:23 PM
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I think what Eric meant was that whenyou start messing with stuff, its inevitable that you will need to start fixing things and working on it all the time. As much as we want to believe these things are reliable when built, mine needs something new every week.
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jdbaugh1 View Post
If he did the work himself it would save him numerous headaches but I don't think it would save him thousands of dollars. All he would need is forged rods and pistons($1,200) and a turbo kit ($2200). Now it wouldn't be on the level of SS suspension or brake wise but for a daily cruiser like he is looking for I would think that would be OK. Me personally I would also recommend just getting an SS because it is way easier and like you said the headaches but to say he would save enough money to buy a dedicated race car is a bit of a reach.
Also he mentioned 360whp, which you're not getting with the zzp KO4 kit on a 2.2, so add another grand to the turbo kit at least. You also missed the head gasket, timing kit, clutch, flywheel, TOB, bolts so there is another grand to a grand and a half once you get the tools to do it yourself. So now easily at 5-6k for the turbo build, add that to the purchase price assuming 3k and you could have a nice LNF and not have the crappy LT seats and a better suspension.

Not to mention who has built an engine the first time and had perfect success? Also it's a built motor so the time to rebuild will be shorter than with an OEM motor.

Sorry if this comes off as dickish, but the real cost is always higher than what everyone throws around. I don't want the OP thinking he can get away with just spending $3,400 and getting his goals. I enjoy seeing people build cars, but for a daily it's not practical.

Originally Posted by Slowbalt2000 View Post
I think what Eric meant was that whenyou start messing with stuff, its inevitable that you will need to start fixing things and working on it all the time. As much as we want to believe these things are reliable when built, mine needs something new every week.
This. I was about to turbo my base model, then the SS I currently have came up for sale. Best decision I ever made. Unless you have the resources Adam (Slowbalt2000) has don't build a base model. Also if you want to build a base model, have a second base model for your daily.
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ECaulk View Post
Also he mentioned 360whp, which you're not getting with the zzp KO4 kit on a 2.2, so add another grand to the turbo kit at least. You also missed the head gasket, timing kit, clutch, flywheel, TOB, bolts so there is another grand to a grand and a half once you get the tools to do it yourself. So now easily at 5-6k for the turbo build, add that to the purchase price assuming 3k and you could have a nice LNF and not have the crappy LT seats and a better suspension.

Not to mention who has built an engine the first time and had perfect success? Also it's a built motor so the time to rebuild will be shorter than with an OEM motor.

Sorry if this comes off as dickish, but the real cost is always higher than what everyone throws around. I don't want the OP thinking he can get away with just spending $3,400 and getting his goals. I enjoy seeing people build cars, but for a daily it's not practical.



This. I was about to turbo my base model, then the SS I currently have came up for sale. Best decision I ever made. Unless you have the resources Adam (Slowbalt2000) has don't build a base model. Also if you want to build a base model, have a second base model for your daily.

I have built my own base model with TVS and I have had my fair share of issues. If you look at what I wrote again you would see that I recommend getting an SS based on my experience. My only point was the cost factor was over inflated. Along those lines I included cost of head studs plus head gasket to the figure I cited for forged rods and pistons. I am getting by just fine with just a clutch on stock flywheel but OP would have enough torque he might need a flywheel too. I would argue you could get clutch, flywheel, TOB, and timing chain kit all for under a grand although I don't know how much flywheels cost.

I'll say it again, if OP just wants to go fast and not use this as a learning experience or has an attachment to or other reason to build his base model I am with you in suggesting he just get an SS. I had many reasons why I wanted to build my car so an SS wasn't the right option for me but man it would have been a lot easier although I would argue similar final price after replacing struts and wear components on an SS with near 100,000 miles on it.

Edit: Base model LS Cobalts with 5-speed like mine can be found for $2,000 to $2,500
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jdbaugh1 View Post
I have built my own base model with TVS and I have had my fair share of issues. If you look at what I wrote again you would see that I recommend getting an SS based on my experience. My only point was the cost factor was over inflated. Along those lines I included cost of head studs plus head gasket to the figure I cited for forged rods and pistons. I am getting by just fine with just a clutch on stock flywheel but OP would have enough torque he might need a flywheel too. I would argue you could get clutch, flywheel, TOB, and timing chain kit all for under a grand although I don't know how much flywheels cost.

I'll say it again, if OP just wants to go fast and not use this as a learning experience or has an attachment to or other reason to build his base model I am with you in suggesting he just get an SS. I had many reasons why I wanted to build my car so an SS wasn't the right option for me but man it would have been a lot easier although I would argue similar final price after replacing struts and wear components on an SS with near 100,000 miles on it.

Edit: Base model LS Cobalts with 5-speed like mine can be found for $2,000 to $2,500
Cost isn't the only factor. Some people are just not capable of building a turbo car properly. I've seen so much crap at local meets. Owners are proud of it but they're hacked together time bombs.
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jdbaugh1 View Post
I have built my own base model with TVS and I have had my fair share of issues. If you look at what I wrote again you would see that I recommend getting an SS based on my experience. My only point was the cost factor was over inflated. Along those lines I included cost of head studs plus head gasket to the figure I cited for forged rods and pistons. I am getting by just fine with just a clutch on stock flywheel but OP would have enough torque he might need a flywheel too. I would argue you could get clutch, flywheel, TOB, and timing chain kit all for under a grand although I don't know how much flywheels cost.

I'll say it again, if OP just wants to go fast and not use this as a learning experience or has an attachment to or other reason to build his base model I am with you in suggesting he just get an SS. I had many reasons why I wanted to build my car so an SS wasn't the right option for me but man it would have been a lot easier although I would argue similar final price after replacing struts and wear components on an SS with near 100,000 miles on it.

Edit: Base model LS Cobalts with 5-speed like mine can be found for $2,000 to $2,500
Torque delivery on a supercharger vs a turbo is completely different. I would never change a clutch without changing the flywheel, there isn't enough material to just surface them on these cars.

The point about wear parts is moot between an SS and a Base model. Rear twisting beams are different though. Hell Wangspeed sold his track setup cobalt for 10k with only 52k miles, you can find an SS with 60-80k miles for 7-9k normally with a few mods already done.
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:59 PM
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built motors are a headache.

keep it stock. buy an SS.
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:00 PM
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All great advice. I'm a dreamer and do have experience wrenching and I'm just seeing the tip of the iceberg so far. From driving this stock 2.2 auto around town was enough for me to enjoy. I guess I like the car cuz it's my Mom's and before driving it, I didn't realize it's fun factor. I can only imagine how fun an SS sc or tc or even the 2.4 would be. These cars aren't heavy and they pack a surprising punch. It handles quite nice too. I use to work for a Honda dealership and thought only Asian cars had the compact game down. Well not true at all. Glad gm churned this one out and it's too bad they didn't sell but the Cruze looks fun too. Good stuff everyone. Thanks for the input!
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Old 01-06-2017, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ECaulk View Post
Torque delivery on a supercharger vs a turbo is completely different. I would never change a clutch without changing the flywheel, there isn't enough material to just surface them on these cars.

The point about wear parts is moot between an SS and a Base model. Rear twisting beams are different though. Hell Wangspeed sold his track setup cobalt for 10k with only 52k miles, you can find an SS with 60-80k miles for 7-9k normally with a few mods already done.
Originally Posted by cluelessk View Post
Cost isn't the only factor. Some people are just not capable of building a turbo car properly. I've seen so much crap at local meets. Owners are proud of it but they're hacked together time bombs.
E-Caulk if you read what I said I mentioned the turbo having different torque and he may need a flywheel, that I didn't know.

Cluelessk I know cost isn't only factor. I stated many times that I though OP should buy an SS instead as it is much easier and more reliable. My ONLY argument was the cost is not as extreme as it was being made our to be.

For me personally, this was a learning experience. What is cheaper to experiment on than a base model Cobalt? If a screwed up a head or something I could get a replacement on the cheap. If you just buy an SS you would barely have to do any work to it, which is also the benefit. But it my case would defeat the whole purpose of what I was trying to do.

If you just like Cobalts, want to go fast saving money and prevent headaches, buy an SS. If you like wrenching on cars, don't mind fixing your car when it inevitably breaks and want to learn on a cheap platform, boost a base model.
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Old 01-06-2017, 06:40 PM
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It also sounds like you're a new driver. Hit up an autocross event even with the LS.

My first event a '04 Corolla on good tires was running better times than me.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:29 PM
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Quite the contrary sir. I'm in my middle 30's and quite an enthusiast and have many different tastes on automobiles. Right now due to modern day history's largest ongoing scam known as baby mama support oops I meant child support, my current ride is the city bus. But anyhoo, I've definitely have had the opportunity to test drive several different machines and also have owned a few hot rods, even if I'm the only dope who thinks they're hot rods. Well I think these are fun little machines especially for the money. I might even be satisfied with bolt ons and good tires with this bad boy
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:34 PM
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I've never autox'd though. Always been into drag racing. I grew up in Texas where that was king. Some did autox but it wasn't very typical
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 10cobaltbase View Post
I've never autox'd though. Always been into drag racing. I grew up in Texas where that was king. Some did autox but it wasn't very typical
It's way more fun than drag racing with street cars.

Hp doesn't mean as much, it's more about momentum.
Plus it's not as hard on your car.
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