A Starter's Bolt-On Performance Mod List - Chevy Cobalt Forum / Cobalt Reviews / Cobalt SS / Cobalt Parts
Engine Mods Talk about Chevy Cobalt Engine Modifications here.

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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 01-13-2008, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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A Starter's Bolt-On Performance Mod List

This is simply a place to start for people who are new to modifying cars or just the cobalt in general. Again this is a beginner's group of mods. More advance modifications such Turbocharging/Supercharging, installing new cams, valve train upgrades, and cylinder head modifications will be in an additional forthcoming writeup. If you are unsure of any modification installs, please have an ASE certified mechanic or at least someone who knows what the hell their doing to install any part(s) you choose to purchase.

Please refer to this thread https://www.yourcobalt.com/forums/che...tes-parts.html for a list of cobalt performance parts dealers.

**These modifications can void your warranty so please check with you dealer**

1. Intake
There is a variety of intakes from different companies such as Injen, K&N, Fujita, and AEM. There are three styles of filters. A drop in from K&N replaces the stock air box filter with a higher flow, oiled filter. For better gains, a Short ram or a Cold Air intake system can be purchased. A short ram intake collects air from inside the engine bay. The con of this is that the air charge is hotter and makes the air charge warmer than a Cold Air intake. A CAI collects cooler air from under the car and generates a cooler intake charge. The charge has to travel a longer way than a SRI. This is a fun DIY mod that can free up some horespower and torque, allow your engine to breathe freer and also improve your fuel economy. Oiled filters can mess up your MAF sensor that connects to your intake. The result is that your car may throw a CEL (Check Engine Light). I have heard of a couple case of the car going into "Limp Mode' which is a powerloss mode where the engine has no go whatsoever. To be safe, AEM sells cone filters that are dryflow meaning they have no additives on the filter such as the oiled filters from K&N. Just a suggestion and a word of caution.


2. Exaust
There are a large number of companies that sell exaust for the 2.4, 2.2, and 2.0L trim levels. Borla, Flowmaster, and Pacesetter are just several examples. Now, you can buy a catback system that usually includes piping, a muffler, and a cat. You can also upgrade your exaust manifold with a higher flowing performance header. There are different header options such as a 4-2-1 header or a 4-1 header. A 4-2-1 header means that the 4 exaust ports then run into two sub runners which run back into one larger diameter pipe that connects to the downpipe. The 4 to 1 simply has 4 runners that go into one large pipe. There is also the option of the GM performance extruded Honed manifold but I would go with a header. Now, exaust diameter makes a big difference. if you are going FI with a turbo, a 3inch exaust is perfect because it allows a freer flowing exaust for the turbo to spool more exaust gases. For a N/A exaust, a 2.25in. exaust is fine. Anything higher, we lose backpressure and actually hurt performance.


3. Rims and Tires
Usually an overlooked performance mod, Rims and Tires add better ride quality, great look, and improved traction. LS models come with stock 15in rims with continental tires. A word of caution. The larger rim/tire combination that you go, the heavier your wheels become and may slow you down. Also, a larger rim/tire combo such as 15's to 18inch rims might require a recalibration of your speedometer.


4. Transmission Mounts and Engine Mounts
I recently did these modifications to my LS and what a difference. With our cars as well as other 4-cylinder cars, we have an issue with "wheel hop" which can cause damage to the transmission snapping the transmission axles. Mounts for manual transmissions are fairly easy to install and require roughly 2-3 hrs of work. The upper engine mount requires 30 minutes or less with proper tools. These mods reduce and almost eliminate wheel hop when paired together as well as putting more power to the ground by reducing transmission and engine movement. Turbotech has these mounts and an upper engine mount for reasonable prices and a variety of colors.


5. Strut Bar and Suspension
A strut bar reduces body torque and stiffens your ride up. It also is a great visual modification under the hood. There are many suspension options out there. For those of us who regularly auto-x (which probably isn't a lot of us) suspension can be a huge factor. A tuned suspension with adjustable shocks and struts or a coilover kit can help get the most out of our cobalt's cornering. These systems can run over 1000 dollars which most of us will not purchase. For the rest of us, a set of performance springs will do nicely to stiffen up our suspension, decrease body roll, and give our rides a more aggressive stance. Eibach, SSC, Tenzo-r are a few companies that offer kits. New struts may be required if you want to lower your ride over 2.5 inches. Stock struts can get blown out if the ride is lowered too much. Sway bars are also a great upgrade that reduce body roll and make cornering a bit more pleasureable.


6. Nitrous System
Not a fan of a nitrous sytem because of the possibility of engine damage. Please refer to the nitrous write-up by IMAdreamer for some great info on this. https://www.yourcobalt.com/forums/eng...e-systems.html


7. 2.4L (SS/NA) manifold swap (LS only)
This is a supporting mod done for Forced Induction prep or as an accompanying mod along with a full exaust and intake system. The manifold has longer runners for more air to come into the chamber from the intake and sends that air through the throttle body and into the engine to create a better burn. When done as a standalone mod, this can decrease low end torque. As with any bolt on air modification, the powerband will shift upwards. The result? The car will pull harder at higher RPMs as more air comes into the intake manifold. Crate Engine Depot sells a swap kit for the L61 trim level. Again, this should only be done 1. With full exaust and intake system or 2. A prep for forced induction.

8. Weight Reduction
This can be achieved a number of ways. As cobaltkrazy pointed out, the rear seats can be removed, spare tire and jack, garbage collected in the vehicle, and lighter body parts such as a carbon fiber hood, trunk, or fenders. On our cars, power to weight ratio is everything and it's just one more way to go faster. The cons to this is that body parts can be expensive and by taking out the spare tire, you may find yourself on the side of the road with no way to fix your flat. Also, the rear seats can be an eye soar and inconvient for passengers (thanks cobaltkrazy for the addition)

This is just an informational write-up for those of you who want to modify but don't know where to start. I hope this helps those new to modifying or our platform out!

Jason Spurlock likes this.

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Last edited by Admin; 02-10-2008 at 10:11 PM.
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