2008/2009/2010 SS/TC Model Year Differences?

Joebie

Member
Hey guys, first post here of hopefully many more. I've become interested in building a Goblin and I'm pretty set on a TC engine.

I've been searching around to try to find out what the differences are between the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Cobalt SS TC models are.

So far this is what I know:

-All TC models have no-lift shift?
-2009 had a 4-door sedan SS model available, 2008 and 2010 did not (not that it really matters for the goblin)
-2009 and 2010 has the little screen display with more info instead of a boost gauge on the A-pillar, 2008 just has a boost gauge
-DFKC site says under the "choosing a donor" section that 2007-2008 cobalts did not have TPMS or VVT, but the late 2008 SS/TC does have VVT with the LNF engine, right? Does the late 2008 SS/TC have TPMS? I kinda don't want TPMS, seems like just added complication for no reason.


I've found a 2008 SS/TC locally listed for $3500 with 130k miles on it. Runs and drives, just has some body damage to the bumper. Sounds like a good deal but I wanted to learn more about 2008/2009/2010 model differences to see if there is any compelling reasons to pick one year over others.

Thanks for the help! Like I said at the beginning hopefully you'll be seeing me around more and more if I decide to dive into this.
 

Desert Sasqwatch

Well-Known Member
Joe(?), Welcome to the DF Goblin forum. Good to see you are interested in the Goblin build and sounds like you are serious if you are looking at donors already. Where are you located? There are many Goblin owners/builders and if you are close to someone it would be good to contact them for a look and a ride. You will be hooked at that point, trust me, I know.

Except for the boost gauge, all SS/TC years are the same for everything you will be using to build a Goblin. I bought a 2008 SS/TC as my donor, has the VVT on the engine, the TPMS - if you want to keep it - and the no-lift shifting feature. You will see that the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes (less rotors & calipers), and electrical system are the only items used in the Goblin. Any other 'extras' that are installed on your donor are superfluous items that you can sell to help offset the cost of purchasing the Cobalt donor.
 

Joebie

Member
Yessir, its Joe.

I'm in St Louis and actually know a fellow board member and goblin owner from our motorcycle track days.

I'm going to check his out in a week or two or rather whenever he gets road legal. I'm expecting to really like it but I'm not actually going to be buying anything until i at least sit in and see a Goblin in person.

Thanks for the clarification on the year differences! Is the digital screen a game changer over the boost gauge? I expect not, but then again it does sound like it has some pretty cool functionalities that the '08 years with just the boost gauge dont.
 

Briann1177

Well-Known Member
The RPD gauge can be tricky to find a home for since it's not your typical 2-1/16" style round gauge. I think it's rectangular with quite a bit bigger form factor. I'm glad my '09 TC didn't come with one. Buy a traditionally shaped Aeroforce gauge, a double gauge bracket, and a pod like what ctuinstra designed, and you'll be all set. The Aeroforce gauge is a much better implementation overall versus the RPD gauge. It does way more things.
 

Joebie

Member
The RPD gauge can be tricky to find a home for since it's not your typical 2-1/16" style round gauge. I think it's rectangular with quite a bit bigger form factor. I'm glad my '09 TC didn't come with one. Buy a traditionally shaped Aeroforce gauge, a double gauge bracket, and a pod like what ctuinstra designed, and you'll be all set. The Aeroforce gauge is a much better implementation overall versus the RPD gauge. It does way more things.
Hmm, interesting take on things. I figured everyone would actually prefer the RPD, but I guess not. Thanks for the advice!
 

Desert Sasqwatch

Well-Known Member
If you need 'gadgets' to play with, then the RPD is something you could appreciate. I'm an analog gauge person and find it easier to view a pointer on a dial rather than something more digital (even though it does its best to represent an 'analog' display). Nice thing with an analog gauge is they can be rotated to a position where all 'normal' readings are pointer straight up. Very easy to see everything is operating correctly without having to think about/process a number. Everyone has their own preferences. :)
 

Ark :D

Well-Known Member
Welcome!

$3500 for a 130k 2008 SS/TC seems like more than you need to pay.

My donor (well, one of them....) is a 2008 SS/TC with 78k on it and it only cost me $1700. Granted, it's wrecked beyond repair, so it was cheap. But it runs well, and the only part on it I can't reuse due to the accident is the driver-side control arm. (The turbo intercooler was completely destroyed too but that doesn't matter for the Goblin)

I guess my point is, you can find a "better" donor. That sounds like I'm coming off negative but I don't mean it that way, I promise.
 

Joebie

Member
By the time I'm ready to buy, this one that I originally mentioned will probably be gone anyways.

However there is some merit in buying a local car from a private party that you can see run and drive before the sale instead of gambling on a copart car or something like that.
 

Ark :D

Well-Known Member
Well, you can arrange with Copart to see a car before you bid on it, I believe. Just putting that out there.

My car actually wasn't a Copart car. I bought it from a dealer, who bought it from IAA. I know that IAA and Copart are essentially the same thing, my point is that I didn't have to deal with auction fees or the bidding process. Just took a Saturday to make the 3-hour drive, looked the car over, gave the dealer a deposit, and went home smiling. My wife wasn't smiling, though.
 

Ross

Well-Known Member
Time or money. Lots of turbo cars are in the $3500 range... you can find better deals if you spend time, but if you have money, it is quick and easy. I gave up spending time trying to find a turbo car, and started bidding on supercharged too... still having a blast with the SC Goblin.
 

Joebie

Member
Oh hey, another question, is there any way to tell if a certain car came with the factory LSD? Is the best way to just run it through a VIN decoder?

Is the LSD a big improvement on the Goblin? I've never owned a car with a true LSD, closest I've got is my daily, a BMW that tries to simulate LSD functionality with brakes. It doesnt work very well.

EDIT: after some googling it looks like theres also a tag in the trunk that lists the options and you'd look for 'G85' on there.
 

Ark :D

Well-Known Member
Correct, you want to see 'G85' on the trunk plate. That designates LSD.

Additionally you can tell by looking at the plate on the trans but it's much harder to get to than the trunk plate.
 

Joebie

Member
So I took a ride in a supercharged Goblin (not road legal yet so we just went around his subdivision) and holy fr*ck that thing is fast.

My two main thoughts after seeing his are

-Wow this thing is nuts, i really want one.

and

-Wow this is a lot more work than I thought now that I see it in person!



I'm going to wait a few more weeks, think things over, maybe go for another goblin ride once he has his road legal, and then decide what i want. Other options I'm considering are Mustang GT, Camaro SS, or C7 Vette... the Vette of course being the coolest and fastest but also most expensive.

Thanks everyone for your help so far!
 

Ross

Well-Known Member
The Vette might be the fastest, but not the quickest, or the coolest...
Anybody can buy a Vette,
Someone has to make a Goblin.
You will get a lot more thumbs up, and attention in a Goblin.
;)
PS, If you find yourself in Rogers, NW Arkansas, come by for a street legal SC Goblin ride.
 

Desert Sasqwatch

Well-Known Member
Putting in the time is well worth the reward of a drivable Goblin in the end. There is a high level of satisfaction knowing you built the car from the ground up and can customize (or not) to your heart's content along the way. I built a 68 Camaro SS 396 many years ago - from a bunch of parts in boxes and a rolling body/chassis. Building the Goblin is a greater challenge, but it will also yield a car that would smoke my SS - out turn, out brake and out accelerate.

Each person has their own preferences, wants and likes. If you don't feel up to the challenge, for whatever reason, then starting something that seems this daunting may not be for you. Just know that the Goblin forum family is always here to help with any questions or issues should you decide to dive in.
 

Joebie

Member
I have no doubts that I can do it, its just quite the time commitment and I fear burning out and losing motivation before the project is completed or something I guess. I'm a mechanical engineer by education and have plenty of experience with wrenching on cars and motorcycles, fabrication, design, etc.

I know this is getting pretty off-topic at this point, but has anyone that's driven both an extended frame and regular frame comment on any perceivable differences in handling or driving characteristics?

I know for sure that if I build a goblin I want the full track frame, but I'm not sure if I would go extended or not. I'm a pretty small guy, 5'10", 140lb, so I dont need the leg room or anything... and the shorter frame is less expensive so that's the way I'm leaning but is there any good reason to go extended?
 

Ross

Well-Known Member
If you need the leg room, then extended becomes a good reason.
The Goblin doesn't have much storage room, so I like putting things behind the seats, and using the pocket in the back of the Cobalt passenger seat.
97.5" wheel base on the extended, 93.5" on the base, not sure if you would notice much difference driving them.
RichRich and BAR-AIR are selling their Goblins, if you don't want the time commitment. Lot cheaper than a vette.
 
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