Making HP. LNF, LSJ, LE5, LAP vs L61

Ross

Goblin Guru
Well this thread should get some opinionated posts. I started this thread after watching this debate video.

When I was looking for my donor, I was hoping for a turbo car (LNF) but was okay with a supercharged one (LSJ) as they were more commonly available.
I ended up with an LSJ after bidding on a few cars, and a few months of shopping on Coparts, IAAI, Facebook marketplace, etc. Was it the right choice for making HP?

Lets start with the Stock numbers:
EngineYear(s)ModelPowerTorque
LNF2008–2010Chevrolet Cobalt SS Turbo260 hp (194 kW) @ 5300 rpm260 ft⋅lb (353 N⋅m) @ 2000 rpm
LSJ2005–2007Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged205 hp (153 kW) @ 5600 rpm200 ft⋅lb (271 N⋅m) @ 4400 rpm
LE52006–2007Chevrolet Cobalt SS173 hp (129 kW) @ 6200 rpm163 ft⋅lb (221 N⋅m) @ 4800 rpm
LE52008Chevrolet Cobalt Sport171 hp (128 kW) @ 6200 rpm167 ft⋅lb (226 N⋅m) @ 4800 rpm
LE52006–2008Pontiac G5/Pursuit171 hp (128 kW) @ 5800 rpm167 ft⋅lb (226 N⋅m) @ 4500 rpm
LAP2009–2010Chevrolet Cobalt155 hp (116 kW) @ 6100 rpm150 ft⋅lb (203 N⋅m) @ 4900 rpm
LAP2009Pontiac G5155 hp (116 kW) @ 6100 rpm150 ft⋅lb (203 N⋅m) @ 4900 rpm
L61 Gen22007-2008Chevrolet Cobalt148 hp (110 kW) @ 5600 rpm152 lb-ft (205 N⋅m) @ 4200 rpm
L61 Gen12005–2006Chevrolet Cobalt145 hp (108 kW) @ 5600 rpm155 ft⋅lb (210 N⋅m) @ 4000 rpm
L61 Gen12005–2006Pontiac Pursuit/G5145 hp (108 kW) @ 5600 rpm155 ft⋅lb (210 N⋅m) @ 4000 rpm

So the LNF wins for stock numbers. If you don't want to build an engine, then the LNF is your HP winner.

If you are willing to build up the engine, where should you start?
Well the list above are the normal Cobalt donors for the Goblin, so these are where I started. Other options are available for engine swaps. (LDK, LHU, etc)
I generally suggest the LSJ, but the LNF can make just as much power, so it is a gray area.

LSJ pros:
- easier to find a donor car (generally cheaper than an LNF, but more expensive than the 2.2L cars)
- lots of aftermarket parts.
- it has port injection, so it is easy to buy bigger injectors.
- supercharger makes boost when you ask for it. No lag.
- turbochargers available to make big boost numbers... with lag.
- longevity. "I daily drive a 240,000 mile stock block LSJ, entry level turbo kit, 408hp at the wheel" 27:00 into this video.

LSJ cons:
- the supercharger makes 12psi boost (stock), 15psi with a smaller pulley, 18psi? if you buy a TVS 1320... but turbos make 20psi boost easily, 50psi is possible.

LNF pros:
- base hp numbers are best
- lots of aftermarket parts (except for fuel injectors).
- longevity. Forged crank, forged connecting rods. Stock is cast pistons. I've heard they are good for 400 hp. Just like the LSJ.
- easier than the LSJ to get to 400 hp? as the LSJ SC tends to get to the 300's, but needs a turbo to get to the 400+hp range.

LNF cons:
- direct injection means it has high pressure fuel lines, and I am not aware of any aftermarket direct injectors for making big HP... but you can add additional fuel with a 5th injector. I just learned about this option it the debate video above.
- the intake valves don't get washed with fuel, so they build up carbon on the back, and need cleaning. Can this be fixed by removing the EGR system?
- turbos have lag. smaller turbos (K04, S252) have less lag. Bigger turbos have more lag, and bigger boost numbers.
- hard to find a donor car/ more expensive

LE5, LAP, L61 pros:
- easy to find cheap donors. I need help here, as I don't know a lot about these engines.

LE5, LAP, L61 cons:
- the block isn't quite as strong, but I have heard they can make 700+ hp, so still lots of hp.
 
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Goblin Graber

Well-Known Member
You have to throw the LE5 in the mix. Other than the tune it’s a direct replacement for the LAP and the L61 only needs to add the cam sensors to the harness or get an LAP or LE5 harness. All three share the same ECM.

When I grenade my L61 it’ll get swapped for an LE5. They are dirt cheap in boneyards, under $500 here, cuz they were used in tons of cars. The 05 and 06’s are said to use a stronger set of rods than the later models.
 

Desert Sasqwatch

Goblin Guru
LNF stock injectors - 120 lb/hr - are good up to 350HP with the proper tune and tweeks. The LNF/LDK Opel injectors - 135 lb/hr - are supposedly good up to 425HP, where you will probably need better pistons at that level. Stage 2 cams, bigger turbo, 5th injector and you could see north of 500HP if your budget will support it.
 

OptimizePrime

Well-Known Member
On the LNF injectors, they are not required with a larger turbo like the zfr 6758 but the Opels (pn: 12621643) are a drop in replacement and net you a 13% gain and can take you well into the 400's whp safely. There is also a fuel cam which can net something like a 20% gain over stock - both have to be accounted for in your tune.

I picked up my Opels used for $100, seal kit for $34 (217-3425 12653395 Amazon) - which I thought was reasonable for the cost / hp. Fuel cam is $300ish but the install is not for the novice.

For the coking issue on the valves, I think best option is to move the pcv external > catch-can > return and spray meth at 'em. Going external can be done by drilling through the stock intake manifold or going with a TTR Intake manifold ($$).

A fifth injector would also do a good job at keeping the valves clean and providing fuel but the jury is out on it's ability to equally distribute the goods across all 4 runners and tuning for this is for the savants.

Other performance ramblings:

An MC2 F35 will generally break 2nd and 3rd gear while seeing low RPM torque around the 400whp area.

The K04 runs out of steam around 5300rpm at 22psi and flows 35lbs/min around this point (310-325whp). I was breaking loose 285 r888r's up top before they were warm.

A zfr 6758 will flow ~45lb/min at 25psi with the same spool as stock.

An LNF can take 7K rpm redlines but it's a waste with the K04 as it's choked out. If going big turbo, buy one & cry once with #82 springs / titanium retainers, neutral balance shafts, and an ATI Damper and run it up to 8K rpm all day.

LNF's respond REALLY well to higher octanes - E85, Meth, Race gas. The $ / value here is great when tuned for.
 

Tinkles

Well-Known Member
What about the LE5? That is my choice if I build another Ecotec. Highest static compression out of all of them. VVT with the stock head if you want to play with it or you can swap on a LSJ head to delete it. Plus there is no replacement for displacement. In theory it should make the most power mod for mod.
 

Ross

Goblin Guru
You have to throw the LE5 in the mix. Other than the tune it’s a direct replacement for the LAP and the L61 only needs to add the cam sensors to the harness or get an LAP or LE5 harness. All three share the same ECM.

When I grenade my L61 it’ll get swapped for an LE5. They are dirt cheap in boneyards, under $500 here, cuz they were used in tons of cars. The 05 and 06’s are said to use a stronger set of rods than the later models.
Oh, good point! I updated the chart.
Does the LE5 use the E67 ECM, with an ethanol sensor?
 

pisco

Well-Known Member
LNF stock injectors - 120 lb/hr - are good up to 350HP with the proper tune and tweeks. The LNF/LDK Opel injectors - 135 lb/hr - are supposedly good up to 425HP, where you will probably need better pistons at that level. Stage 2 cams, bigger turbo, 5th injector and you could see north of 500HP if your budget will support it.
isnt the Opel fuel rail swap e85 compatible as well?
 

Ross

Goblin Guru
How would you power & time the second row of fuel injectors? Stand alone ECU? Or is there a way to trick the stock ECU, or add an add on box?
 

George

Goblin Guru
Use one of many stand alone available.
It only needs rpm and map input. Very simple and very adjutable. They can also be run with E85 making a Duel fuel system

Brad
 

Ross

Goblin Guru
What about the LE5? That is my choice if I build another Ecotec. Highest static compression out of all of them. VVT with the stock head if you want to play with it or you can swap on a LSJ head to delete it. Plus there is no replacement for displacement. In theory it should make the most power mod for mod.
I had those same thoughts back when I started donor shopping. Displacement first, boost second.
But there are other considerations. How much boost a block can take? How much aftermarket support is available for a given block?

There is a replacement for displacement. If you ran an engine off of pure oxygen and fuel at high pressure gas (or even a solid fuel pellet), you will make more power. How fast can your engine burn fuel and extract energy from that = HP. So it is not just cylinder displacement, but total oxygen and fuel. A boosted 2.0L engine with a stronger block can make more power than a 2.4L engine with a weaker block, running less boost.

How much boost can the LE5 take? How much support is there for aftermarket parts? For that matter, can a V6 engine be considered in this power competition? Dale E has a GM supercharged 3.8L one that he is playing with. If it fits, is it the cheapest way to make high HP?
 

pisco

Well-Known Member
with the right budget anything is possible. Here is a 460 horse na 4 cyl out of a boat transplanted into a drag car.

I love the quote at the end.
“ I think he really enjoyed the idea that no matter win or lose we always ‘won.’After all, what are you going to tell your buddies – I just outran that four-cylinder car?””
 

Tinkles

Well-Known Member
How much boost can the LE5 take? How much support is there for aftermarket parts? For that matter, can a V6 engine be considered in this power competition? Dale E has a GM supercharged 3.8L one that he is playing with. If it fits, is it the cheapest way to make high HP?
IIRC a few 06-07 LE5s came with stronger "forged" rods and I would treat them as a LSJ as far as what power level to upgrade the internals at. All the others I would treat as the L61/LAPs. The aftermarket is more limited for LE5s, but there are aftermarket rods, pistons, and camshafts available for it. As far as boost, it is an Ecotec, any boost system will fit as long as it is for an Ecotec.

GM used the L61 engine for it's drag race program, if I remember correctly. They destroked it to a 2.0L and went ham making 1000hp. I forget if I already uploaded this handbook or not. But private racers have made 700-800whp with their Ecotecs(LSJs if i remember correctly). My built L61 should be able to hold 600-700hp.
 

Attachments

Anks329

Well-Known Member
Well this thread should get some opinionated posts. I started this thread after watching this debate video.

When I was looking for my donor, I was hoping for a turbo car (LNF) but was okay with a supercharged one (LSJ) as they were more commonly available.
I ended up with an LSJ after bidding on a few cars, and a few months of shopping on Coparts, IAAI, Facebook marketplace, etc. Was it the right choice for making HP?

Lets start with the Stock numbers:
EngineYear(s)ModelPowerTorque
LNF2008–2010Chevrolet Cobalt SS Turbo260 hp (194 kW) @ 5300 rpm260 ft⋅lb (353 N⋅m) @ 2000 rpm
LSJ2005–2007Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged205 hp (153 kW) @ 5600 rpm200 ft⋅lb (271 N⋅m) @ 4400 rpm
LE52006–2007Chevrolet Cobalt SS173 hp (129 kW) @ 6200 rpm163 ft⋅lb (221 N⋅m) @ 4800 rpm
LE52008Chevrolet Cobalt Sport171 hp (128 kW) @ 6200 rpm167 ft⋅lb (226 N⋅m) @ 4800 rpm
LE52006–2008Pontiac G5/Pursuit171 hp (128 kW) @ 5800 rpm167 ft⋅lb (226 N⋅m) @ 4500 rpm
LAP2009–2010Chevrolet Cobalt155 hp (116 kW) @ 6100 rpm150 ft⋅lb (203 N⋅m) @ 4900 rpm
LAP2009Pontiac G5155 hp (116 kW) @ 6100 rpm150 ft⋅lb (203 N⋅m) @ 4900 rpm
L612005–2006Chevrolet Cobalt145 hp (108 kW) @ 5600 rpm155 ft⋅lb (210 N⋅m) @ 4000 rpm
L612005–2006Pontiac Pursuit/G5145 hp (108 kW) @ 5600 rpm155 ft⋅lb (210 N⋅m) @ 4000 rpm

So the LNF wins for stock numbers. If you don't want to build an engine, then the LNF is your HP winner.

If you are willing to build up the engine, where should you start?
Well the list above are the normal Cobalt donors for the Goblin, so these are where I started. Other options are available for engine swaps. (LDK, LHU, etc)
I generally suggest the LSJ, but the LNF can make just as much power, so it is a gray area.

LSJ pros:
- easier to find a donor car (generally cheaper than an LNF, but more expensive than the 2.2L cars)
- lots of aftermarket parts.
- it has port injection, so it is easy to buy bigger injectors.
- supercharger makes boost when you ask for it. No lag.
- turbochargers available to make big boost numbers... with lag.
- longevity. "I daily drive a 240,000 mile stock block LSJ, entry level turbo kit, 408hp at the wheel" 27:00 into this video.

LSJ cons:
- the supercharger makes 12psi boost (stock), 15psi with a smaller pulley, 18psi? if you buy a TVS 1320... but turbos make 20psi boost easily, 50psi is possible.

LNF pros:
- base hp numbers are best
- lots of aftermarket parts (except for fuel injectors).
- longevity. Forged crank, forged connecting rods. Stock is cast pistons. I've heard they are good for 400 hp. Just like the LSJ.
- easier than the LSJ to get to 400 hp? as the LSJ SC tends to get to the 300's, but needs a turbo to get to the 400+hp range.

LNF cons:
- direct injection means it has high pressure fuel lines, and I am not aware of any aftermarket direct injectors for making big HP... but you can add additional fuel with a 5th injector. I just learned about this option it the debate video above.
- the intake valves don't get washed with fuel, so they build up carbon on the back, and need cleaning. Can this be fixed by removing the EGR system?
- turbos have lag. smaller turbos (K04, S252) have less lag. Bigger turbos have more lag, and bigger boost numbers.
- hard to find a donor car/ more expensive

LE5, LAP, L61 pros:
- easy to find cheap donors. I need help here, as I don't know a lot about these engines.

LE5, LAP, L61 cons:
- the block isn't quite as strong, but I have heard they can make 700+ hp, so still lots of hp.

This is great way to view the different versions of the engine!

I don't see my engine combo in that table for a 07 LS. From this VIN decoder: https://chevroletforum.com/forum/vindecoder.php?vin=1G1AK15F177294052 I've got a L61 with 148 hp [110.4 kW] @ 5600 rpm, 152 lb-ft of torque [205.2 N-m] @ 4200 rpm which doesn't line up in the table. Is there a better decoder to figure out what engine I actually have? All I know is that my Goblin is FAST :D
 

k.rollin

Goblin Guru
This is great way to view the different versions of the engine!

I don't see my engine combo in that table for a 07 LS. From this VIN decoder: https://chevroletforum.com/forum/vindecoder.php?vin=1G1AK15F177294052 I've got a L61 with 148 hp [110.4 kW] @ 5600 rpm, 152 lb-ft of torque [205.2 N-m] @ 4200 rpm which doesn't line up in the table. Is there a better decoder to figure out what engine I actually have? All I know is that my Goblin is FAST :D
The table in the first post only includes data for the Gen 1 L61. The 2.2L engines used in the 2007 and 2008 model years were the Gen 2 L61; changes include a stronger block, larger exhaust valves, and increased exhaust duration, as well as a different ECU. For 2009 and 2010, base models were equipped with the LAP engine, which added VVT.
 

Gtstorey

Well-Known Member
This is great way to view the different versions of the engine!

I don't see my engine combo in that table for a 07 LS. From this VIN decoder: https://chevroletforum.com/forum/vindecoder.php?vin=1G1AK15F177294052 I've got a L61 with 148 hp [110.4 kW] @ 5600 rpm, 152 lb-ft of torque [205.2 N-m] @ 4200 rpm which doesn't line up in the table. Is there a better decoder to figure out what engine I actually have? All I know is that my Goblin is FAST :D
Wikipedia has the most concise explanation of the differences that I have found
GM Ecotec engine - Wikipedia
 
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