SwerveMonkey's Street Goblin - 08 LS Donor

I have always dreamed of building a real car from the ground up... this seems to be the most attainable way to do that.
I bought the donor and jumped head long into the process of stripping it down with the exceptional challenge of working in a tiny one car garage in suffolk county NY.

at this point I have been able to get through the first two walkthrough videos a little at a time.
I'm a shift worker for particle physics operations in Brookhaven Lab, leaves little time for myself along with being a new home owner.
between my job, my chores, my "honey-do" list, and sleep... I hope to accomplish a lifelong dream before I am too old and too broke to afford it.

I had been storing pics in Imgur's site, great image storage ;-D
//imgur.com/a/wv6j4hv - couldn't link the image directly, here is a link of "day zero"
so i guess this first post is playing double duty: introduction as well as playing catch-up.

I've read up on what others have been doing with the spare parts that can be salvaged and unfortunately there is not much of a market this late into the game and this far out in suffolk county.

more to come... i've already broken up the images by what i did... "Day X" posts on imgur, so those will be my first few replies to myself
 

Desert Sasqwatch

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the Goblin forum. Looks like you are committed, since you have purchased your donor already. Looks like you are off to great start. I hope you find this car build a rewarding process and can fulfill your dream of building it from the ground up. Please note there are a few NY builders and you may want to consult with them about your build process and the 'extras' they had to add to complete a registration there. :)
 
there are a few NY builders and you may want to consult with them about your build process and the 'extras' they had to add to complete a registration there. :)
thanks for the welcome , and yes! I have been sifting through the build logs and the forums in general to see what the requirements were for NY state. i think i found a few good examples, but I wanted to cross that bridge when I get to it. im taking my time with this build and it is already a great experience just carefully dismantling the cobalt. reminds me of when i worked on my old '01 prelude.
 
From previous notes:
each "day" was just a couple hours i could squeeze in, ha ha
  • Day 1 [ ]
    • Car was placed in garage
    • found jacking points on the car
      • rear has the spring carriage under the control arm
      • front is under the control arm connection to the subframe
    • SS recaro seats in the car, will be set aside for the final build
    • passenger door interior panel stripped, it was falling off since previous owner had an incomplete task
    • all four wheels placed on wheel dollies to allow side to side movement
    • hood has been removed, 13mm bolts
  • Day 2 [ ]
    • crankcase vent hose remains, pulled from CAI
    • MAF sensor set aside, screws taped secure to sensor
    • CAI box removed, set aside, 10 mm bolts
    • depressurized fuel rail
    • Headlights & Brakets removed, 10 mm bolts [ ]
  • Day 3 [ ]
  • Day 4
    • Fromt bumper mount removed, 13 mm bolts
    • both doors removed, 10 mm bolts
    • seats removed, 15 mm bolts
 
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I've scrappped the idea of adjustable jackstands, I value the ability to breath under my own power....
Day 5 (completed some time ago)
  • fenders were removed along with wheel well liners
  • all bolts so far bagged and tagged. some various bolts/nuts left assorted in magnetic tray
Day 6 ( today's work )
  • Previous owner had spline drive lugnuts on the wheels... freaked out until i found the key drive in the rear seat under some junk... all four wheels are off and under the whicle as precautionary redundant to jackstands
  • Four Jack Stands under the car with the front stands under the prescribed location in the tear down video
  • most of the trunk cleaned out and now being used as storage until it is time to strip the rear of the car
  • hood latch disassembled due to it being in the way and likely to snag clothing
 
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Desert Sasqwatch

Well-Known Member
Wow, you aren't kidding that is a tiny garage space! Looks like you're progressing on the tear down. Just take your time, take plenty of photos so you know how things looked before taking them apart, and label EVERYTHING. BTW, the 'kid' must have had a sticker fetish, I haven't seen that many stickers in one place since my son was 4 years old. :p
 
Day 7
Seats are out of the car and "set-aside" for later use... I'm thinking of bagging them with some febreeze when winter comes around... have to see what approach others had RE: the seats

Day 8
simple task... drained the brake fluid for both front calipers...after a couple days of dousing the bleeder bolts with liquid wrench. [ overkill?? IDK ]

not so simple approach... took some time trying to finagle a solution for draining the brakes
As opposed to simply buying a vacuum pump, i DIY'd a solution out of a ice cream container and a siphon pump I already had lying around. worked out great as i could also just pump the brake pedal a bit to get the reservoir empty.

hopefully the next few steps will go smoothly since I hit almost every bolt i could see with a dab of liquid wrench two days on a row... <fingers-crossed>
 

Vwsaabvt

Member
Forget liquid wrench, pb blaster, wd40, and any of that crap. Get some aerokroil or knocker-loose, they work way better and you need very little.
 

TravMac

Member
I love the fact that every square inch seems to have stickers on it. I hope that design is preserved in the final build somehow!
 
LoL at the replies, thanks for the support guys, but there will be no sticker bombed body parts here, ha ha.

{edit : DAY 9}

tonight i was able to get a few things done. not many pics though, this was all basic stuff.
things to note though....
  • the 2008 cobalt has a different brake retainer spring clip than in the video
    • insert Imgur link
  • the calipers and brackets will need a thorough cleaning, need to research for tips and tricks
  • I attempted to get the sway bar endlinks off... but failed to loosen them, now they are just spinning in place.
EDIT: shortly after posting i found that the sway bar removal has a technique to it.. I need to box wrench one side awhile ratcheting the other side... don't have a 18 or 19 mm so i will have to postpone until then <sigh>

POST EDIT: the box wrench technique was a lie!!! for my model the OEM endlinks are practically assumed that they would never need to come off, so there is no prescibed fitment on the "inside" of the bolt.... instead it is suggested to use vice grips, see next post for details <grrr>
 
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Desert Sasqwatch

Well-Known Member
Cans of brake clean could be used, but I used dry cleaning fluid. Is essentially the same stuff as the chemical in the cans, but can be found way cheaper - $5 gal versus $5 for a 16 ounce can of spray. Cuts through all grease and carbon dust, just don't get too much on your hands or anything else - use neoprene gloves and goggles. Will evaporate quickly, so disposal is not an issue. I used heavy paper under the parts and got all the crud onto it, then disposed after evaporation. Good kindling for a firepit.
 
Cans of brake clean could be used, but I used dry cleaning fluid. Is essentially the same stuff as the chemical in the cans, but can be found way cheaper - $5 gal versus $5 for a 16 ounce can of spray...
I'll have to keep this in mind... i had already naively bought two brands of penetrating spray... one PB and another liquid wrench... but since they are contained in the cans already I'll take it <shrug>

DAY 10

hindsight being twenty-twenty, I should not have cut that bolt....

ran to my local Harbour Freight and grabbed a decent set of vice grips...
worked like a charm to get the stubborn sway bar end-links to come loose.

i had to score opposite sides so that the vice grips wouldn't slip on the round surface that Chevy gave these things....


With all that done i went ahead and pulled the strut assemblies out...
- thing to note with the 2008 Cobalt ... the strut assembly comes off with only the three bolts on the top of the fender.. not the large nut inside the spring bucket
- also the lower strut bolts were crazy tight, nothing I had on hand would work even with extension jigs... I needed to grab a deep socket set and a long arm ratchet to finally break those nuts free
no pic there, thought it was kinda trivial [ any opinions? ]

once the struts were off, I went to town on the Driver side assembly
shaving off as much as i could and as close as I could to the bracket without touching it with the angle grinder.... that paid off big dividends!!
https://i.imgur.com/h31K8oB.jpg

so i should have snapped a shot right before i tapped on it, but here it is about to plop through
https://i.imgur.com/6DdW7jI.jpg

and the bracket itself is not damaged in any big way, just surface scarring
https://i.imgur.com/vLpu4vX.jpg

end links are scrapped... regardless, I would not want those even if the goblin could use them in the suspension geometry...
 

Torchandregdoc

Well-Known Member
Cans of brake clean could be used, but I used dry cleaning fluid. Is essentially the same stuff as the chemical in the cans, but can be found way cheaper - $5 gal versus $5 for a 16 ounce can of spray. Cuts through all grease and carbon dust, just don't get too much on your hands or anything else - use neoprene gloves and goggles. Will evaporate quickly, so disposal is not an issue. I used heavy paper under the parts and got all the crud onto it, then disposed after evaporation. Good kindling for a firepit.
Tim, what is the brand name of the fluid you use?
 

Desert Sasqwatch

Well-Known Member
NOTE: I use this for cleaning parts, not to break parts loose - although it will seep into anything it touches.
The dry cleaning fluid is called Puro made by Adco. My neighbor gets this stuff for free, as it is supposedly banned now for use in commercial dry cleaning. It cleans well, but be aware it will cause darkening of aluminum.
 
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