The zzp kit caught my attention as well. I have had my 05 since new. Without updating the engine, I would stick with zzp's recommendation. Here is the first of 3 videos where someone rebuilds the engine while installing the turbo kit
You might want to look at a 2018-2022 Malibu 2.0L LTG ecotec engine from a salvage yard. A complete engine package with all parts hoses brackets down pine intercooler could be yours for near the same or less and the factory tune is good for 250hp and 33mpg on the highway. Now if you wish to push it, get the Camero package for up to 350hp out of the same little 4 cylinder that would drop right into a Cobalt……YMMV
And remember, these are all STOCK GM setups and tunes.
@1966tbird that is good advice for the adventurous. I don't have as much knowledge or experience so I tend to drift towards packaged solutions specific to my make/model. In theory one could source the parts for the zzp package themselves but I wouldn't know where to start. For a full engine swap where I am changing years and engine sizes, I would have a ton of concerns with things like would it bolt to my 5 spd manual, would the existing engine mounts work, what connections to the motor (hoses, exhaust, etc) would need to be modified. And the biggest is the electronics. From what I have read my 05 wiring harness and electronics would not be compatible so I would need that but don't know how to integrate the newer with the rest of the car. In the series that I referenced above he had done an engine swap previously and there was a bolt hole issue with the tranny and during the video he takes the time to correct a motor mount.
Per your advice to others you have often recommended compression tests. I plan on doing that later this spring and maybe venturing into leak down testing depending on the compression tests result. If it appears my engine would need work, then definitely the engine swap would be a better option.
The LTG will bolt right up to your 5 speed. If one takes the entire engine assembly from soup to nuts. It will drop right in. This includes everything attached to the engine!
Read up on the LTG and don’t believe what you read in the forum……do your research!
You will need an exhaust from the down pipe into your exhaust system or take a Malibu’s exhaust and adjust it for the Cobalt.
It's hard to say "how much boost" it can handle - since boost can be a factor of many things, but as far as power goes, 250 HP is roughly what has been said the rods can handle - and that was also on a nitrous hit.
I've been pushing around 250 HP for 13.5 years now (with a supercharger), and the car seems to still be happy...but that doesn't mean I don't have a weirdo of an engine and that all of them will handle that as happily as mine has.