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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, new guy here and new to the Chevy Cobalt world.

I am in the process of finding a suitable car to run in IMCA Sport Compact oval dirt tack races. FWIW, Sport Compact is a very basic factory stock level of car prep (I’ll post a link to the rules if you’re interested). One of the possibilities, based mostly on horsepower to weight ratio, is the Cobalt. There is an 06 Cobalt available that looks to be a possible candidate.

Given that my questions are:
Are there better factory parts (most aftermarket items are not allowed) from newer Cobalts (or ??) that can be easily found and utilized on a 2006 Cobalt? Examples might be better flowing exhaust manifolds (headers not allowed), a better (presumably bigger) bolt on Throttle Body, or a better flowing head, or better suspension pieces.

Also, are there any specific weak links I might be able to address while prepping the car?

Thank you in advance for your input.
 

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The exhaust from the SS supercharged flows pretty well and bolts right up. Throttle body can't be changed out without tuning, not sure if that's allowed for you or not but there is no longer tuning support for the 05-06 2.2l but all of the 2.4 and 07+ 2.2 are tunable. Im assuming it's N/A only or is forced induction allowed as Well? If it is then you could probably pick up a supercharged ss fairly cheap. As far as the head they aren't really swappable from different engines. As far as suspension goes, the 08+ SS(fe5) shocks/struts and springs Are very good for handling and bolt right up with zero modification. The lower control farms off the 05-07 SS bolt right up as well and help with handling a bit but they are aluminum vs the stock steel ones and I'm not sure how well they would hold up.

---------- Post added at 01:48 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:44 PM ----------

With it being an 06 especially, make sure you check the timing chain tensioner, it bolts through the head on the firewall side, big 32mm bolt. If it is flat, change it immediately but if it has a big bump on it then it should be good
 

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If you're going to race on a dirt track with a Cobalt get ready for lots of oversteer. In my opinion not a good choice for dirt racing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The exhaust from the SS supercharged flows pretty well and bolts right up. Throttle body can't be changed out without tuning, not sure if that's allowed for you or not but there is no longer tuning support for the 05-06 2.2l but all of the 2.4 and 07+ 2.2 are tunable. Im assuming it's N/A only or is forced induction allowed as Well? If it is then you could probably pick up a supercharged ss fairly cheap. As far as the head they aren't really swappable from different engines. As far as suspension goes, the 08+ SS(fe5) shocks/struts and springs Are very good for handling and bolt right up with zero modification. The lower control farms off the 05-07 SS bolt right up as well and help with handling a bit but they are aluminum vs the stock steel ones and I'm not sure how well they would hold up.

---------- Post added at 01:48 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:44 PM ----------

With it being an 06 especially, make sure you check the timing chain tensioner, it bolts through the head on the firewall side, big 32mm bolt. If it is flat, change it immediately but if it has a big bump on it then it should be good
No forced induction so the SS is not an option. But the SS parts you mention sound like a good thing to upgrade to. However, speaking of aluminum suspension parts, I read about a guy with a road race car having problems with breaking AL spindles – is that a thing?

It kinda sounds like the 06 may be a bit of an odd duck, is that a correct assumption?

I would go with a 2.4 but the rules specifically disallow engines with Variable Valve Timing. The rules are pretty restrictive.

Re the timing chain, I didn’t realize it was a chain vs. a belt. My plan is to replace all the expendable items before it hits the track.

Good info thank you very much.

---------- Post added at 05:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:39 PM ----------

If you're going to race on a dirt track with a Cobalt get ready for lots of oversteer. In my opinion not a good choice for dirt racing.
Good to know. I would imagine I could account for some of the over-steer with alignment adjustment and tire size / pressure management. Thank you.
 
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