victory_red_SS’ RWD Cobalt Project Build
Hello, my name is Rod and I am an …. oh wait that is a different group….no seriously, I am actually a car modificationaholic. By now many of the forum(s) members are familiar with my long overdue project. There are many threads on the different forums that have similar information but some are extremely long. Now I want to give the build details without all of the other details, mainly where I was ripped off, lied too and let down, repeatedly. I will also write about what we have not what it was going to be.
This project has almost taken 4 years of my life but now we are coming into the home stretch.
My project car is a 2005 Chevy Cobalt SS/SC, which I received April 5th, 2005 and was the first one delivered in my local area. I had to wait a whole month before delivery so I started researching everything Cobalt related and that is when my biggest misfortune happened, I found car forums. From then on I looked forward to all possible performance modifications for my car. It was during that search that I found a company who was ‘supposedly’ able to make ……..oh wait that is the bad story, this is the good one.
Over the course of this project, my car has morphed into what we have now, a 2005 V-8 Rear Wheel Drive Supercharged Cobalt. The car now has a complete chromoly tube chassis, a 4link suspension with a Pro Bar w/diagonal link. There is also a 24” Pro-Anti roll bar and wishbone track locator. We have Strange, 6” stroke coilovers with 12”x110lb springs on the back and the steel wheel tubs we have are 38” x 24”. For stopping power there are SSBC brakes on all four corners and a Sampson parachute on the back end.
The floors are aluminum and the firewall and transmission are a medium gauge sheet metal. The floor panels are being secured with epoxy and rivets to allow for removal should the need arise. There is a full chromoly race cage in the car and only the funny car part of the cage needs to be welded into place. Once the cage is finished we will be getting it NHRA certified to run as low as 7.50 seconds.
For the front suspension we started with a Mustang II clip. There are also Strange coilovers on the front with a 3” stroke and 8”x300lbs springs. The front fender support rails were modified to allow for the lower stance of the car and provide more clearance for the tires. We are using the stock body panels and hood. There is some discussion about getting fiberglass doors made for the car as well as ditching the power windows. By removing the power windows we reduce weight and wiring needs. It has been suggested to lighten the front end to allow for better weight transference and the rear end squat at the start line.
We have now got the steering column installed and we will be using a removable steering wheel to allow me to get in/out of the car a bit easier considering that a funny car cage does not allow for me to use swing out bars on the cage. Other items inside the car will be kept to a minimum such as the exclusion of a stereo. I am going to enjoy the sound of the car so why drown it out with music. We also don’t need the added wiring because keeping radio talk to a minimum is important come race day. Using the Painless wiring harness/parts, we will be wiring up the basics as far as components go such as lights. I haven’t decided on the power locks yet. I had planned on more creature comforts for this car but the weight issue will win out. I will still be using the stock dash and interior panels where possible. We had looked at using a universal dashboard but that came with issues I didn’t need. The plan is to retain a mostly stock look in the passenger area of the car including an upgrade to the plastic panels and headliner. I haven’t figured out what to do with the tunnel yet but once the interior is being worked on I will figure that out. We will be using racing seats for sure but I need to make sure they fit me better than the ones we originally bought.
Now for the good stuff the drive train. I recently decided to use the LSX block for my build as this is the best small block GM makes. We will be using top grade components in the engine like the SCAT billet crankshaft and Mahle 8.0:1 pistons, Oliver connecting rods, Bullet camshaft & roller lifters and a ATI front dampner to list a few of those components. The engine will be built to a displacement of 439 cubic inches. We have Dart heads and the valvetrain will support 7,000 rpms. On top of the engine we will be using a Wilson billet intake manifold/fuel rails. We have chosen to use the Wilson manifold to safely handle the 20lbs of boost that we will generate from the F-1R ProCharger we are using. For fuel management we have the Bigstuff3 stand alone computer which allows for very flexible tuning, including tune on the fly. For cooling we are using a Griffin radiator as well as a Meziere electric water pump fpr the air to water intercooler. We have two fuel cells in the trunk and they are setup so we can easily drain them as we switch from pump gas to race fuel and methanol.
There is a line-loc for the burnouts and to help put that power to the back wheels we are using a 2 speed powerglide that is race prepped and has a transbrake. We will be using a 4200 rpm stall torque converter. For the rear end we have a aluminum case Strange Ford 9”. We actually have two sets of axles and gear sets so that we can run a spool on the dragstrip and a posi on the streets. The gears that we were going to use have been changed because we are also changing the height of the slicks we will be using. We are planning on a 15x32x14.5 tire on the back to get the car to hook and wheelie bars to keep the front end down.
The custom engine cradle/mount and transmission mount have been made from chromoly and designed not only to with stand the torque but to also be removed quickly for ease of replacing parts, when needed. The headers are also custom pieces and one side (the hardest side) is now made and just needs to be welded after the other side is done. The headers are tuned and equal length within 3/16” of each other.
The car is supposed to head home in the first part of April so the wiring and interior can be worked on. During that time the engine will be built as we prepare for a completion date of June 1st. From there the car will have the finishing touches and then head out to the track on test & tune days for proper set up and dialing in of the car. I recently completed a course at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School that allowed me to earn my NHRA completion license so I will be allowed to run my car from the get go. We are now planning to unveil the car to the Cobalt community on July 2nd at Mission Raceway, my local NHRA race track. This unveiling will be in conjunction with the Western Canada Cobalt Meet. If all goes as planned then I am looking at entering the bracket race being held at Mission that same weekend.
The following pictures are relevant to how the car is now and is a brief pictorial history of my project.
For anyone interested in reading more of the actual story behind my project please visit my website at Official home of the VictoryRedSS RWD Cobalt and check out the pages there. There is also an update of the story being prepared that covers the last year. It may take a few more days as I type really slow.
Thanks for reading and caring about this project,