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accordionfolder
accordionfolder HalfDork
11/9/17 9:33 a.m.

I'm picking up a minty Chevy Cobalt SS - I've thought they were cool cars for a long time, but they're also insanely cheap with low miles (this one has 45k). 

I'm getting it for my track car and occasional runabout to make sure I don't miss any more track time by messing up my various "race cars." I enjoyed tracking my Mazdaspeed3, but was always a bit worried about messing it up (it's really my wife's baby). Anything I need to know? From what I can find is that they're dead nuts reliable when left alone. I'll be doing a rollbar/buckets/belts and that's it.



 

NickD
NickD SuperDork
11/9/17 9:37 a.m.

Congrats on finding one that hasn't been hyper-shifted into oblivion, or hideously neglected. These have largely suffered the same fate as the SRT-4.

accordionfolder
accordionfolder HalfDork
11/9/17 9:46 a.m.
NickD said:

Congrats on finding one that hasn't been hyper-shifted into oblivion, or hideously neglected. These have largely suffered the same fate as the SRT-4.

Seems like the lower end of the spectrum gets that way (<2k) - but the "upper" end (low mile '08-'10 models) seem to be well cared for 1-2 owner cars right now. In a nationwide search I found 3-4 similar ones - this one was 2k lower than those and close by.

MazdaFace
MazdaFace Reader
11/9/17 9:59 a.m.

Nice!!! I would love to own one of those or another supercharged one. Hmm...

accordionfolder
accordionfolder HalfDork
11/9/17 10:27 a.m.

The real issue with these is the bolt pattern 5x110 - no wide race wheels seem to exist for them. I'd like to get at least 255s or better under it....

Trackmouse
Trackmouse SuperDork
11/9/17 10:38 a.m.

Was the G6 gxp the same car? If so, it had a wicked cool spoiler that might swap. 

ZombyCougar  Woofencamp
ZombyCougar Woofencamp PowerDork
11/9/17 10:49 a.m.

No.

 

Excellent cars that got zero respect here because some people can't look beyond that great big bowtie on the front.

accordionfolder
accordionfolder HalfDork
11/9/17 11:00 a.m.
ZombyCougar Woofencamp said:

No.

 

Excellent cars that got zero respect here because some people can't look beyond that great big bowtie on the front.

Performance trumps all! That's why I have the "smiley" MS3 and am getting the "rental car styled" SS. 

Ha!

06HHR
06HHR HalfDork
11/9/17 11:09 a.m.
accordionfolder said:

The real issue with these is the bolt pattern 5x110 - no wide race wheels seem to exist for them. I'd like to get at least 255s or better under it....

They used to run these in the GrandAm Street Tuner class.  IIRC some of the teams swapped hubs to the larger G6/Malibu size so they could run Enkei RPF01's.  Really wanted one of these back then, nice score!

EDIT: i think it was a factory approved modification, found this old picture for reference

drdisque
drdisque HalfDork
11/9/17 11:12 a.m.

Yeah, the factory engine management on these things was far ahead of what other "normal" auto manufacturers were doing at the time. It was more similar to an N54/N55 BMW's engine management.

One thing that you might want to look at is having a lot of replacement hubs. I can't imagine they greatly upgraded those so track use might do a number on them.

If you're a junk collector you might also want to pre-emptively source a parts car with a good complete drivetrain. I have a feeling that good replacement parts for these are going to get very thin on the ground.

accordionfolder
accordionfolder HalfDork
11/9/17 11:13 a.m.

In reply to 06HHR :

Oh nice - do you have any more info on that swap? I have a set of rpf01 for the speed3 in 5x114.3 - it'd be lovely to re-use them, but even if I had to get a different set of rpfs that would be better than beating 225s.

06HHR
06HHR HalfDork
11/9/17 11:27 a.m.

In reply to accordionfolder :

No, but I searched the googles found a forum detailing the swap: 5x114.3 Cobalt SS

TGMF
TGMF Reader
11/9/17 11:43 a.m.

Can I ask what stupid cheap is to you? Around my area 08+ SS's are listed at 7-10k....far from track rat territory. 

MazdaFace
MazdaFace Reader
11/9/17 11:46 a.m.

Check out over the top performance or zzp for aftermarket. Never had a bad experience with either of those vendors. Also get yourself an aeroforce interceptor gauge for it. 

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
11/9/17 11:59 a.m.

Hmmmm, quick perusal of the CLs shows a bunch in the 4K range and a few in the 2-3K range.  Nearly all have a salvage title for "light frontal hit".  But I suppose for a track/autocross beater that isn't a bad thing.  Might want to look into upgrading the brakes cool

accordionfolder
accordionfolder HalfDork
11/9/17 12:02 p.m.
06HHR said:

In reply to accordionfolder :

No, but I searched the googles found a forum detailing the swap: 5x114.3 Cobalt SS

Here's another link I found - seems more "off the shelf."

http://www.redlineforums.com/forums/wheels-tires-brakes-suspension/52143-5x114-3-conversion.html

"here is what I did, I went to the junkyard and got malibu knuckles, $50 each, impala hubs on ebay $45 each, outer impala cv's $60 each. axle shop axles and tripod bearings $300 for the axles and inner bearings(they are for the first ariel atom), mix thourghly and u have your bolt pattern with axle that can take over 400 hp. Machine work was limited to taking some material off the bottom to fit the stock lower ball joint and sanding the knuckle on the inside to fit the larger inpala hub, and redrilling the holes to bolt the hub to the knucles. I have had this set up on my car for 4 years now and not 1 broken axle! the rears I drilled out using a pattern I made, the rears can be tricky. Oops, I forgot, you use impala rotors in the front also. The wheels are rota 17x9 5x114.3 with 255/40 tires"

"on the fronts I have 90 300zxtt 4 piston calipers on impala rotors, the rears are 88 rx7 turbo 4 piston calipers with same rotors, yes the stock master cylinder handles it very well, very impressive stopping! The car is only lowered an inch, any lower and the size of the tires might start chewing up plastic! last minute pics, I will try to get some better ones"

**edit - actually I'm not sure if that's right - looks like he's just upgrading for more reliability - they appear to be 5x110 as well....
 

FooBag
FooBag GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/9/17 12:47 p.m.

Does yours have the G85 lsd and RPD display?

I have a low mileage 09 that I autocrossed heavily and is now collecting dust after I went full bore into rallycross. There are 17x9's available from Team Dynamics in the 5x110 pattern; you just have to import them from Europe at around $350 a wheel. The ideal suspension is Konis with the Powell YYZ springs as all the coilovers available are designed for "mad low" not performance. The springs are progressive so you can actually daily drive in comfort, but have enough spring rate for racing purposes. If you're planning on track days or canyon carving, you add the Powell Hardcore rear sway bar. If autocross is the goal, you go with the Powell XXX rear bar. I was able to PAX in the top ten locally with the car in STX form and I'm not that great of a driver. 

As for common failures, you'll take out the VVT phase solenoids regularly if you hit the rev limiter. These are only about $60 for the OEM part and literally take only 5 minutes to swap out.

If you're interested, my set of TD 17x9 wheels is for sale; they are white with a fair amount of paint chips as the paint TD uses is a joke. I also have a fully assembled set of the Konis with the YYZ springs for sale too. Send me a PM if you want details.

accordionfolder
accordionfolder HalfDork
11/9/17 1:34 p.m.
FooBag said:

Does yours have the G85 lsd and RPD display?

I have a low mileage 09 that I autocrossed heavily and is now collecting dust after I went full bore into rallycross. There are 17x9's available from Team Dynamics in the 5x110 pattern; you just have to import them from Europe at around $350 a wheel. The ideal suspension is Konis with the Powell YYZ springs as all the coilovers available are designed for "mad low" not performance. The springs are progressive so you can actually daily drive in comfort, but have enough spring rate for racing purposes. If you're planning on track days or canyon carving, you add the Powell Hardcore rear sway bar. If autocross is the goal, you go with the Powell XXX rear bar. I was able to PAX in the top ten locally with the car in STX form and I'm not that great of a driver. 

As for common failures, you'll take out the VVT phase solenoids regularly if you hit the rev limiter. These are only about $60 for the OEM part and literally take only 5 minutes to swap out.

If you're interested, my set of TD 17x9 wheels is for sale; they are white with a fair amount of paint chips as the paint TD uses is a joke. I also have a fully assembled set of the Konis with the YYZ springs for sale too. Send me a PM if you want details.

It has the display and the LSD! I haven't managed to figure it out, what type of LSD is in this transmission?

The only thing added that I would probably skip is the sunroof - I suppose it'll be nice to have, but weight up top and all that (who am I kidding .. it won't matter for my purposes). Here are the RPO codes if you're interested:



I'll hit you with a PM - I am indeed interested in them! The main purpose for this car is a reliable TT car for NASA - but also for any other form of "racing" I want - including autoX. I'm never too worried about getting to the top of the ladder, I mainly just goof around and pretend I'm a race car driver (bonus: it makes me as calm as a Hindu cow during DD situations). I have an exomotive exocet and a few more hardcore cars that I tinker with - so I'll probably do the minimum and work on the driver mods with this one!

It's cool that it's so capable, one of my first ride alongs was in a Cobalt SS with slicks and it blew my mind! 

accordionfolder
accordionfolder HalfDork
11/9/17 1:43 p.m.
TGMF said:

Can I ask what stupid cheap is to you? Around my area 08+ SS's are listed at 7-10k....far from track rat territory. 

Yeah, this one is 8.5k w/ 45k miles - Not "dirt" cheap, but very cheap compared to it's performance contemporaries (i.e. I'm not finding very many Civic Si/Golf GTI/MS3 with similar miles and condition for similar prices).

Snrub
Snrub Reader
11/9/17 1:53 p.m.

IMO these cars are awesome value for the money.  In my area (Ontario Canada) I see one with 65k miles $5200 US and another with 95k miles for $7k.

NickD
NickD SuperDork
11/9/17 3:46 p.m.
ZombyCougar Woofencamp said:

No.

 

Excellent cars that got zero respect here because some people can't look beyond that great big bowtie on the front.

I think part of the problem was that these cars came out when GM was tossing around performance badges on some real clunkers (Malibu Maxx SS, G6 GXP, Vue Red Line) and cheapening the breed, and the Cobalt SS got grouped in with them

parker
parker Reader
11/9/17 6:39 p.m.

Great car.  I just sold mine for $4500.  New owner immediately gutted it and used the drivetrain for a kit car he's building.  It's a shame as this was a non-sunroof, LSD, 4 door.  Quite a unicorn.  Only a couple of hundred were made.

 

MINIzguy
MINIzguy Reader
11/9/17 8:48 p.m.

Ok, how well do they autocross in stock form?

Thinking Konis, rear sway bar and as much tire I can fit on stock wheels.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
11/9/17 9:42 p.m.

Just when I think I've forgotten about these cars, you guys pull me back in.

FooBag
FooBag GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/10/17 8:38 a.m.
accordionfolder said:

It has the display and the LSD! I haven't managed to figure it out, what type of LSD is in this transmission?

The only thing added that I would probably skip is the sunroof - I suppose it'll be nice to have, but weight up top and all that (who am I kidding .. it won't matter for my purposes). Here are the RPO codes if you're interested:


I'll hit you with a PM - I am indeed interested in them! The main purpose for this car is a reliable TT car for NASA - but also for any other form of "racing" I want - including autoX. I'm never too worried about getting to the top of the ladder, I mainly just goof around and pretend I'm a race car driver (bonus: it makes me as calm as a Hindu cow during DD situations). I have an exomotive exocet and a few more hardcore cars that I tinker with - so I'll probably do the minimum and work on the driver mods with this one!

It's cool that it's so capable, one of my first ride alongs was in a Cobalt SS with slicks and it blew my mind! 

I've never actually seen info as to who made the LSD for GM, but I suspect it is a Quaife as GM has had them do their FWD LSD before.  This is backed up by the fact you could buy a LSD for these cars from Quaife nearly immediately after the cars hit the market.  I honestly don't think the SS coupes were offered without a sunroof; I have never seen one.  I wish mine didn't have it as I barely fit height-wise without a helmet (I'm 6'6").  I haven't seen a PM from you so if you tried to send one, it went to nowhere land.

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