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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone !

You might remember me from this thread: http://www.yourcobalt.com/forums/new-member-introductions/45137-new-member-first-car.html

But if you don't, long story short: I bought a 2005 Cobalt as my first car and crashed it 36 days later. Since September, I'm stuck with $500 automatic '99 Honda Civic and decided it's time to get back to the Cobalt world because I miss mine so much.

So here it is, I'm buying a new Cobalt soon, but since it wouldn't make sense to buy the same trim level as my old one, I want to aim higher.

My old 'Balt was a 2005 LS sedan, with the 2.2L L61 engine. It didn't had fogs nor sunroof, and had 4 nuts wheels.

I'm aiming for at least 2007 (because they retuned the engines) and preferably under 150 000km (so I'm sure to not have much problems with it from the start) and 5 nuts for the convenience and also to fit parts from a SS :p

If I buy an SS, it's gonna be the 2.4L LE5 (I don't have the budget for S/C or T/C) and if I go into LS or LT (which ever is the best trim between the two) I'll go for sedan because I find the non-SS coupe really ugly.

But, where your advice is needed, friends, is for the following questions:

- What's the difference between the L61 and the LAP ? Apart for HP and Torque, that is.
- Does the 2.4L SS have stock Brembo brakes ?
- If I take the LE5, I've seen that the F23 tranny cannot take more than 170 lb/ft of Torque... It has 161 stock and my plans for my future Cobalt is to tune the engine and some other mods that will probably make it go higher than 170. Will I risk destroying the tranny ? Is it possible to put the F35 on a LE5 ? How much would it cost ?
- Is there any difference between the sedan and the coupe apart from the fact that they are different body types ?
- Is it possible to install the fogs on a Cobalt that don't have them stock ? Is it costly ?

I've also been considering other options than a Cobalt, mainly 2004-2009 Mazda 3 GT (with the 2.3L) and 2003+ Saab 9-3. What are your opinion on these cars ? I've heard that Mazda rust a lot and that the electric system of the Saab 9-3 is shit...

Thanks for your answers in advance ! :D

Have a great day everyone !
 

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- What's the difference between the L61 and the LAP ? Apart for HP and Torque, that is.

Lap has valve relief pistons and a vvt head

- Does the 2.4L SS have stock Brembo brakes ?

No, it has 4 wheel disc, but not brembos.

- If I take the LE5, I've seen that the F23 tranny cannot take more than 170 lb/ft of Torque... It has 161 stock and my plans for my future Cobalt is to tune the engine and some other mods that will probably make it go higher than 170. Will I risk destroying the tranny?

Im running over 350tq on my f23. Its not necessarily the torque numbers, its how it is applied. If its a gradual increase, it will be fine. If it was a torque spike from a tiny but powerful turbo, yes it would probably blow

Is it possible to put the F35 on a LE5 ? How much would it cost ?

Yes but its not going to be any better than yours other than longer gears. Not worth the money to swap everything over

- Is there any difference between the sedan and the coupe apart from the fact that they are different body types ?

Just the body, nothing different

- Is it possible to install the fogs on a Cobalt that don't have them stock ? Is it costly ?

You need a front bumper for the space.
I replied to your questions in thr quote.

You can find an lsj for just as much as an le5 if you look around enough

Personally I would find a better platform car if you have the money for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, thanks for the answers !

What do you suggest as a "better platform car" ?

Also, is it possible to put a supercharger or a turbocharger on the L61, LAP and LE5 ? Just wonderin' :p
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I wasn't expecting a flawless perfectly fit in install either lol thanks for the info :)

What do you guys suggest as another option for a budget of roughly 7000$ ? I want your opinion on other cars that I could buy in the same category as a Cobalt (Don't say Honda Fit, Mazda 2, Toyota Echo or things like that thanks ^^)
 

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With a budget of 7k?

What are you looking for in a car? That will help narrow it down. If you're going to go with a balt, and want it for power and speed, get the LSJ, and eventually turbo swap it. If you're looking for something different, help us narrow it down.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I want a car with a sporty look, that has at least 160HP, that doesn't spend his lifetime in a garage and is not a rust magnet and don't need super-high price imported pieces when it breaks.

I was looking at Mazda 3 GT and Mazda 6 V6, but Mazdas rust a lot, so I don't know really... I'm also told that the clutch is really weak on Mazdas.

I was also looking at Saab 9-3 2.0T. It's really a nice car, but since Saab went bankrupt, pieces for it might get rare. Also, a mechanic told me that the electrical system in Saabs is really awful and isn't reliable. But I've never read anything about it on Saab Forums.

So yeah, pretty much something like that. I'm not really into import cars like Preludes, S2000 or Civic Si either.

Thanks for your help :)

EDIT: Power is definitely what I want ^^ Although some might argue it's really dumb to want a fast car when you cannot use it to it's full extent, I really love fast acceleration. And it's useful when passing someone on a road... I'm always shitting my pants when I do that with my crappy Civic with 80HP... Whereas when I had my 145HP Cobalt, it was much better :p Also, since I have my Civic, I realized that torque really matter... I miss my 155lb-ft.
 

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I wouldn't recommend any VW 1.8T I have known two people having this engine in their car, both are constantly in the shop for repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Anyway, I don't really like Volks or Subarus lol
But what are you guys opinions on Mazda 3/6 and Saab 9-3 ?

Also, I have a few more question for the Cobalt...

- Is it better to buy an LE5 and go from there (maybe an eventual turbo kit) or buy an LSJ and make the turbo swap (also eventually) ?
- Is the SS S/C and SS T/C available in sedan Cobalts ? I really like them :p
- Does the full SS exhaust line is compatible with the L61, LAP and LE5 ? Is it worth it to put one ? Is it costly ?
- What mods should be put first ? (Like intake, tune, etc...)
- Would the standard 4 wheel disc brakes (not the Brembos) work well on a track ? Or am I better off switching for better brakes ?

My goal with my new car would be to go do some lapping once in a while, so yeah that's pretty much it :)

Thanks in advance :p
 

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The LSJ is far better to turbo than the LE5 (even the 06 LE5 with forged internals).
Only the SS/NA (2.4) and the SS/TC were available in sedans (only 5xx of the SS/TC sedans made though, one selling on CSS at the moment asking 13k).

Although those mazdas are kind of nice I only like the speed versions so that makes them just as if not more expensive vs the SS cobalts. Like the Saab 9-3 but really don't like Saab not actually being around anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok I see... Thanks ! Would be super nice to have a Sedan T/C though :p guess Imma go with coupe.

Why is the LE5 bad to turbo ? Is it because of it's higher displacement ? I find it kind of appealing to turbo a 2.4 since it should have more HP than a 2.0 :p

And what about the L61/LAP ? Are they bad to turbo aswell ?
 

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I actually wanted a Mazda 3 when I was car shopping and eventually got my Cobalt because it was cheaper. Mazdas are nice cars but I dont think that they are as customizable as the Cobalt. I havent seen ppl turboing a stock mazda 3 anywhere.
 

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Levee
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Anyway, I don't really like Volks or Subarus lol
But what are you guys opinions on Mazda 3/6 and Saab 9-3 ?

Also, I have a few more question for the Cobalt...

- Is it better to buy an LE5 and go from there (maybe an eventual turbo kit) or buy an LSJ and make the turbo swap (also eventually) ?
- Is the SS S/C and SS T/C available in sedan Cobalts ? I really like them :p
- Does the full SS exhaust line is compatible with the L61, LAP and LE5 ? Is it worth it to put one ? Is it costly ?
- What mods should be put first ? (Like intake, tune, etc...)
- Would the standard 4 wheel disc brakes (not the Brembos) work well on a track ? Or am I better off switching for better brakes ?

My goal with my new car would be to go do some lapping once in a while, so yeah that's pretty much it :)

Thanks in advance :p
LSJ then a turbo swap as the internals are much better suited for FI from the factory than the LE5.

The SS TC and SS NA came in a sedan, the SS SC did not.

The SS TC exhaust will not work with any other cobalt.

Depends on the car you get.

And the factory brakes will do ok on a track, but would be recommended to upgrade if you're going to be doing a lot of hard track racing.

Ok I see... Thanks ! Would be super nice to have a Sedan T/C though :p guess Imma go with coupe.

Why is the LE5 bad to turbo ? Is it because of it's higher displacement ? I find it kind of appealing to turbo a 2.4 since it should have more HP than a 2.0 :p

And what about the L61/LAP ? Are they bad to turbo aswell ?
Here is another somewhat mis-led person. More displacement doesn't mean more power per say. More displacement means more Torque for sure. However top end power can be a little better if all the right things are done to the motor as the larger displacement motor moves more air. However, in order to start seeing that take in effect, you will need to be pushing WAY more power than you can handle through the LE5. I'm talking 600+whp.

The LE5 is not a good starting point for going FI as the cylinder walls are thinner than the 2.2 and 2.0, it has much higher compression than the others (which means you will have to run LOW boost all the time which isn't worth even having a turbo on to begin with), and the internals are glass. IF you spent the money to build the motor and sleeve the block, then yes, go turbo on that all day long and put down some impressive numbers. Unless you plan to do all that, stay away from the LE5 and FI.

The L61 and LAP are decent to turbo, ask Bankerbalt, he did.

---------- Post added at 10:12 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:08 AM ----------

I know people will disagree with me, but I say if you want something with a sporty look and has decent power and will make great power with little money invested, go with a DSM (Eclipse, Talon, Laser). They have FWD Turbo's, and AWD Turbos, autos and 5spd for both. They come from the factory with 215hp, and for like $100 you can run about 300ish whp. The factory bottom ends have been known to hold between 500-600whp (on a really good tune) without breaking. To this day, nobody has found the breaking point of the factory crankshaft.

That would be my recommendation.
 

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I know people will disagree with me, but I say if you want something with a sporty look and has decent power and will make great power with little money invested, go with a DSM (Eclipse, Talon, Laser). They have FWD Turbo's, and AWD Turbos, autos and 5spd for both. They come from the factory with 215hp, and for like $100 you can run about 300ish whp. The factory bottom ends have been known to hold between 500-600whp (on a really good tune) without breaking. To this day, nobody has found the breaking point of the factory crankshaft.

That would be my recommendation.
Hard to argue with those numbers, but what about availability? Those cars aren't exactly common place in my parts. I've seen more RHD Nissan Pulsars then Talons/Lasers.
 

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Just remember you'll have to build those engines at about 100k just because of crankshaft walk.
 

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Just for input on the Mazda 3, I owned one before. As you said she was a rusty little shit despite how many times we tried fixing it. I never had a single problem with it otherwise. It was a good car but as for customizing it, expect literally no help. The forums were pretty much dead aside from maybe a member or two posting. If you're big into aftermarket work on your car and you really want a mazda 3, just be prepared to do everything including troubleshooting by yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, thanks for the feedback !

So, my best bet would be to buy an LS or an LT with a 2.2 and go from there, or invest in an SS S/C. I guess I could also wait for like September 2014 and buy a T/C but meh, don't want to keep my Civic that long lol

Talking about it, what is the highest trim between LS and LT ? Like the one with more options ?

As for Talons and Eclipse, I really don't think it's a good idea. Yes they are tuner cars and can have surprising power with little money thrown at them, but here in Canada ? These cars are not a good bet. My friend owned a Talon before, and yes it's a cool car, but he also had a lot of problems with it, all in the winter.

His power steering belt broke 5 times, one of his pump (don't remember which one) broke 2 times and his engine would never heat up more than a quarter of the gauge, even when cruising at 120km/h on the highway on 4th gear. Also, when the temp was below -25°C, which is really common here, his car would almost never start without getting boosted. Also, his car had only 160 000km, which is really decent.

Great summer car, but I plan on using my next car during winter too :p

As for Mazda 3, I have to agree with y'all that it's not really tuning friendly, but for the community ? It's pretty damn active here in Quebec. Lot of peeps have Mazdas here :p

I think I'm gonna stick with a Cobalt, or maybe buy a Saab 9-3 if I find a good deal :)

Thanks for the answers guys :p
 
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