How to upgrade your 08+ Cobalt SS TC LNF!

Apr 12, 2019

Your first decision is important. You should decide how far you want to take your LNF because doing it twice is expensive. Planning out your build before you start is the smartest choice.

If you plan on ~300WHP being the most you’re going to want out of the car, start with the basics, like our 3” LNF downpipe.  It will work with the stock turbo and cat back exhaust as well as with our ZFR and Z54 turbos. The next is either our upgraded intake tube (which works with the stock air box) or 3.25” Fenderwell intake (which replaces the stock air box) mated with the GM Stage 1 Sensors and the ZZP LNF Turbo PCM.

Have you replaced your clutch yet?  Some cars with just a simple PCM reflash need a clutch after a couple days of spirited driving.


The next important mod is the intercooler, it is great for the stock turbo or an aftermarket one.  It is also a cheaper replacement than buying a brand new stock one if your original is damaged (commonly happens due to plastic end tanks and increased boost pressure caused by tuning/larger turbo).
We also offer the Intercooler package specifically for your 08+ Cobalt SS that comes with our oversized intercooler, silicone couplers, and the hot and cold side charge pipes, everything needed to replace the intercooler and all of the factory piping.


Next would be the charge pipes separately, or some people call them intercooler pipes:
Upper pipe (hot side) and Lower pipe (cold side).  The lower pipe is a neat piece; it allows you to convert your car to a “blow through” MAF tube.  That allows you to install an aftermarket blow off valve, which has multiple cool purposes, performance (because the stock one can leak), and sound (so you can vent your blow off valve to atmosphere to get that Pssst! sound when you let off the gas.  Keep in mind the previously mentioned intercooler package includes both pipes along with the intercooler itself.


At this point stronger trans mounts are recommended to keep your engine/trans in place.  Our billet front and trans mounts are a great fit, and they hold the engine firmly in place without the annoying dash shaking effects.  We offer two different rear mounts, the stock replacement or the rotated version which is intended for lowered cars only.
Front Trans Mount and Rear Trans Mount


For goals of 325-375whp or more I would suggest our Z54 Turbo or 6758 ZFR turbo. They will spool like stock and will give you gains of 50-75whp.  For goals of over 375whp, I would recommend our 7163 ZFR turbo instead, the spool has a slightly more lag than stock, but is capable of near 500whp with the right supporting mods.

If you want to make big power (500+WHP), purchase our LNF upgrade kit,  it comes with a PCM file and all the turbo related parts needed for big power (except a catback exhaust).This is a big step, but this is the ultimate bolt on for the 08+ Cobalt SS turbo.

When you increase the RPM range and boost of your car, the stock valve springs will start to float and reduce the higher RPM power of your car. You will want to replace your valve springs with our 82# valve springs.  While you have the car that far apart it would be a good time to upgrade your cams to our Stage 1 or 2 LNF Performance cams.  The stage 1 cams are good up to around 350whp and the stage 2 cams are good for 400+whp. For those wanting to run e47 or e85, the Stage 1 with fuel lobe or stage 2 cams will be necessary, as well as the Opel HP Direct Injection Fuel Injectors.


The next step would be a ported head, we actually offer a Ported head, cam package that includes the ported head with cams and valve springs of your choice.  Like mentioned before, everything is available separately, or sold at a discount in this package.

There is always the catback exhaust; however gains are minimal for replacing the stock LNF exhaust until you are making 350+whp.  Here is our 3” LNF specific catback:
Cobalt version and HHR version.


If handling is a must, then we sell ZZP and Eibach lowering springs along with BC Racing and KSport coil over conversion kits.  The coil over suspension kit allows you to adjust the ride height, spring and dampening rates.

When you make a lot of power, you should upgrade your brake lines to the Goodridge Stainless Steel Brake lines. This will offer better reliability and a firmer brake pedal feel to slow you down from higher speeds due to your increased horsepower.

When you add a bunch of power, it would also be a good idea to improve the brakes at the same time.  We offer Brembo kits for those LNFs that do not come with them, we have a 14.5” brake conversion kit for the front, cross drilled and slotted rotors, multiple brands of brake pads, etc.