Mid Engine Cobalt

Adam

Administrator
Staff member
I didn't want to hijack this thread but here we are:

Our company's roots go back to when we posted our first Goblin prototype build log on a very receptive forum. Before that, it was just an idea between a father and son to Frankenstein a car together by using the leftovers from a Cobalt. If that forum would have been hostile to us, there is a good chance we would have stopped sharing anything on that forum and never would have seen interest in our car as a product instead of just a project. Who knows if any of you would have a Goblin if it had played out any other way.

That forum helped us out so we always knew we would benefit from having our own forum for people to share their progress, get help with questions and possibly throw out ideas they are working on. That is why we launched our first forum before we even had our first orders. And we are so glad that we did.

Many of you guys might not realize how big of an impact you have on the Goblin community and our business. Almost every single first time visitor to the shop and most guys calling/emailing us end up talking about a forum member or two by their screen names and telling us about how helpful they are or how awesome their builds are.

Over the years the forum has been sustaining itself as a positive environment without any input from us. However, we've been pushed over the edge by Mayor West and the many reports we've received from other users about his posts.

Mayor West's recent posts in this thread and many others have been needlessly inflammatory and are not acceptable if this forum is to continue to be a decent community. For that, he is temporarily going to be marked as a "Limited User." He will be able to view threads and add to his own build thread but he won't be able to post or direct message anyone through the forum for the next month.

We are not afraid to take more drastic action in the future to protect the forum.
 

Brian74

Goblin Guru
Thanks. That was wholly the reason I suggest people go back and read through the time you guys spent on Grassroots. Its a great example of; in many ways what this forum has become as well and should continue to be.
 

Classy

Well-Known Member
I actually have read through it, I like seeing the changes y’all went through to get where you did. I will likely start a new build thread to clean the slate once I start. I am very happy to know that I can post here and get support. The negativity was luring me else where... I really want to work with y’all and hopefully begin making a goblin in the new year. I think I need to visit JBINTX again to make sure my head is straight.
If what I do can lead to progress for DF as a whole, I don’t care if they profit from it. I am in no position to try and produce a product like theirs. Hell, once I am done, I wouldn’t mind leaving it at their shop for a bit for them to comb over and use what I did to benefit others.
thank you and I really look forward to hashing over the parts list and a quote in the very near future
 

Brenda

Administrator
Staff member
Okay guys!!!! You just lost my participation in Goblin building. Enjoy your journeys!
Good morning Dale, I really hope that you don't leave our forum.. I really enjoy seeing you on here and talking to you at the meet ups.. I am hoping that the problem has been fixed and that EVERYONE can post and feel comfortable doing it... Lets be kind and respectful to each other on here.. Thanks,
Brenda Doyle
 

Dale E

Well-Known Member
I hope I do this posting thing right

Just some things to share along this line of thinking and for others consideration. Call it a study in design, a proof of concept model. This will not be going into a Goblin, since I am too old for more cars and already have too many toys. This is a hobby and fun to tinker and waste time. Hope someone gets some benefit from this.

Yesterday, October 1st, was a very busy day. I went to the pick and pull and pulled this HHR (Cobalt similar) engine cradle, one control arm and a hub. Then I went to my shed and rearranged stuff and loaded up my 3800 SC V6 onto the transmission (these are from a Pontiac GP/Buick Regal GS). Situated the HHR engine cradle underneath and laid her together - with various wooden aides - to approximate location. Would / will not be hard to make up some mounting brackets to make it all hooked up. The pictures show it not quite level, since my wooden aides were just scraps I had handy. I have a computer to make the engine start and run, but need to make up a wiring harness and mounts. Then it all goes away -- experiment over / done!!

COBALT track width: Front 58.7 --- Rear 58.1
HHR Front 58.7 --- Rear 58.7
MALIBU Front 59.6 --- Rear 60.0
IMPALA Front 62.4 --- Rear 61.5


Everyone has talked about different engines being used, and since I already had one with automatic transaxle, I just did a mock up! Engine cradle with the one control arm and hub cost me 175.00$ at pick and pull.

Thoughts?

Dale

17284

NAKED HHR ENGINE CRADLE WITH ALUMINIUM CONTROL ARM

NAKED HHR WITH VW TRANSAXLE CASE. THE 3800 V6 NA/SC IS 18 INCHES FROM BELL HOUSING FACE TO BACK OF HARMONIC BALANCER PULLEY. THE ENGINE CRADLE WOULD NEED SLIGHT MODIFICATION TO ALLOW OIL PAN OVER IT, BUT IT WOULD STILL FIT BEHIND THE GAS TANK. THE TAIL SECTION OF THE VW TRANSAXLE IS ABOUT 8 INCHES.

NOTICE THE TRANS MOUNT IS ON THE CRADLE SIDE (DOWN) THE MALIBU CRADLE IS THIS WAY ALSO AND HAS A MOUNTING BUILT ONTO THE CRADLE ALREADY, THE BACK OF TRANSMISSION IS EVEN WITH THE OUTSIDE OF THE ENGINE CRADLE TUBE..

ENGINE FRONT. THE BACK OF HARMONIC BALANCER PULLEY IS ABOUT EVEN WITH THE ENGINE CRADLE TUBE.

REAR VIEW. WOULD MOST LIKELY HAVE TO SHORTEN THE DRIVE SHAFTS TO FIT THE COBALT / HHR WHEELBASE. OR MAKE NEW LCA TO FIT FACTORY LENGTH DRIVE SHAFTS.

FRONT VIEW. PLENTY OF CLEARANCE FOR EXHAUST HEADER, SINCE THE FRONT EXHAUST LOOPS OVER THE TRANSMISSION AND JOINS THE BACK ONE (NORMALLY). EASY TO TURN INTO DUAL EXHAUST.

SIMULATED GAS TANK PLACEMENT SHOWING CLEARANCE. AND THIS VIEW SHOWS MORE WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION TOWARD FRONT / MIDDLE. AN LS4 V8 WOULD HAVE A LOWER GROUND CLEARANCE AND WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION WITHOUT THAT HEAVY SUPERCHARGER ON TOP, PLUS THE V6 IS AN IRON BLOCK. THE LS4 IS ALUMINIUM.

IMPALA ENGINE CRADLE IS ALUMINIUM WITH AUTOMATIC TRANSAXLE. IT IS BIGGER-- YES-- BUT ALSO NOTICE THE LARGE FLAIR-UP FOR CHASSIS MOUNTING POINT.
 

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Classy

Well-Known Member
Haha, I am not ruling out a super or turbo charger in the future, I want to get it all together with about 400 hp and go from there.
Side note, there is a video of a twin turbo draken spyder making about 1100 hp and weighs about 2000 pounds. It runs a corvette transaxle and Erod ls3 from the factory. It looks very streetable somehow.
 
Classy, Thanks for sharing all your mock up ideas and images!, they can only help me in the future. I try to keep things simple, cheap and then up the HP after it runs and drives. I'm an old retired guy and I like driving "indoors", I'm drawn to the Goblin IDEA, but want to still be "inside". I find the Cobalt is a pretty enough "envelope". With the science laid out by Twinpala, I believe I can build a mid-engine Cobalt coupe. (I still must find a coupe body with title that's not 4K!) With this Cobalt 4 door donor I've got, someone's stripped donor would actually be useable starting point for me, just time consuming. (I've repaired several badly wrecked Cobalts for a company fleet.) Maybe after mine runs and drives I'll SC/3800 it! Thanks for dreaming, planning and sharing!
 

Classy

Well-Known Member
This was quite awhile ago and I have since bought a Miata. In retrospect of this, I keep coming to one problem for what I would use a modified fwd car to RWD car for. This would be very hard to class for racing.
This would be a fun little toy, but it ends up being a lot of work that you could invest in another more finished car.
 

Desert Sasqwatch

Goblin Guru
Classy, Thanks for sharing all your mock up ideas and images!, they can only help me in the future. I try to keep things simple, cheap and then up the HP after it runs and drives. I'm an old retired guy and I like driving "indoors", I'm drawn to the Goblin IDEA, but want to still be "inside". I find the Cobalt is a pretty enough "envelope". With the science laid out by Twinpala, I believe I can build a mid-engine Cobalt coupe. (I still must find a coupe body with title that's not 4K!) With this Cobalt 4 door donor I've got, someone's stripped donor would actually be useable starting point for me, just time consuming. (I've repaired several badly wrecked Cobalts for a company fleet.) Maybe after mine runs and drives I'll SC/3800 it! Thanks for dreaming, planning and sharing!
The mockup discussions and photos above came from Dale E. He is the forum genius behind trying to use something other than an Ecotec when (usually) new members have grandiose ideas about 600HP Goblins with V8 motors. :cool:
 
More POWER, MORE POWER! Why's it always got to be More Power. Yes, More is always better! But I've decided that I've got to build a running, mid engine car out of junk first. (Then maybe a TURBO!) As Hot Rod magazine once challenged the hobby car public, Dare To Be Different! Thank you for your comments, you share lotsa good stuff! :cool:
Hey, I know where Queen Creek is! My parents recently moved, back east, from Clarkdale, north of Phoenix, half way to Flagstaff. I made several trips to AZ From GA to bring back rust free cars/ parts and to visit my parents. I visited a guy in QC who had 50's Cabover truck bodies for sale, a real car happy/nut and a guy off University(Tempe? Superstition Mt?) who was big into 60's Chevy trucks. I count them as friends since they seemed happy to see me again. My wife and I spent last Christmas in Tucson in our RV. (I'm only in the shop about 2 months, or less, of the year.) I was just beginning to ingest the Goblin story and I don't think I noticed your posts/location until we had moved to stay in Cali, Orange Cove(surrounded by great oranges!). Had I noticed I would have tried to meet up to see your Goblin in person. Dern! It's all about the timing!
"Moving to Montana soon": FZ
 
Classy, I can use any info from your story that you might share.
As I noted before, my "creature" will still be street legal, registered as a Cobalt or as a modified/kit car.(That part is up to the state of GA.) Either way the 'envelope" of the body will be seemingly unchanged, same wheelbase ETC; with a bulkhead behind the front seats, the top 6-10 inches in plexiglas.
I intend to cut the front half/"cage"(from the firewall forward) off a DONOR Cobalt. (Behind the lower front subframe mounts and above the strut towers, likely leaving the firewall intact initially.) Then with the coupe "body" on the lift, I'll raise it up, remove the beam axle and fuel tank, cut away some of the rear floor. With the donor front subframe and suspension attached to the donor "cage" standing leveled and squared on the floor, I'll carefully whittle bits away from both the body and the cage until the two meld into one. Then I'll begin reinforcing as needed. (I wish I had a computer modeling system to ease this experiment!) I am hoping you can share any pitfalls/ dead ends you have run into. Sadly, I am not slated to be back to my garage until late February.
I read with interest your desire to use a KIA body. That is beyond my price range! (Me?, I'm frugal probably to a fault.) That KIA body with a transverse LS motor certainly looks cool! (I have 2 (a 01 and a 04)Silverado's, so I have mucho happy LS experience :cool:.)
If you're not an old guy like me you might look up the Renault R5 Turbo, built from a Renault LeCar. Plenty ugly, but it goes like a spotted ape! Detomaso's Pantera and Mangusta are also inspirations. I have had the circumstance of having worked on examples of both. I've also worked on stationary industrial Generators and Donkey motor installations for AG irrigation, so I guess I see engines/transmissions different than most folks. Give an engine oil, gas, a battery, a cooling system, a simple roof and foundation and it's happy. Oh and keep it above the flood water!
 

Classy

Well-Known Member
I never built this. BUT! I would highly recommend getting a donor that has a large removable hatch like a RSX or the second gen scion TC to make access MUCH easier. I also planned to remove the rear windows to make air scoops to pull air into the rear engine bay.
All this being said. Making a car like this theoretically wouldn’t be all that bad, my problem was going to make it legal to race. I like to auto cross and I dabble with track stuff. To class a car like this would be a nightmare.
I would say find the purpose of the car you want to build, if it is drag racing, show queen or street rod, go for it. But now that I have dipped my feet in the water, I will say you choose a car and build it to the class.
 
Well as to finding a class to race, not my vibe. I just like driving cars and building them myself is a thrill. This will be a road car, built only to make me happy and to challenge myself. If I can make this look simple enough I do hope others follow in my footsteps. I kinda wanted a Goblin but o wanted the indoors. It may get an engine upsize later or a turbo but for right now I just want to build then drive! As to the rear window mods, I’m planning to just pull the side and back window out. I was considering a relieved/ vented piece of plexiglass but a friend is planning a set of aluminum louvers for that rear window area. He has made rear window louvers for several car designs(DeTomaso Pantera) that the aftermarket ignored. Ancient tech, I know, It will be interesting to see how that works out. I don’t have to worry that this whole project could go Tango Uniform because I’m aiming to go as cheap as possible on this first one. If this whole mess turns into a money pit I’ll just scrap it and go to plan “L, M, N,O or P”, no love lost. If it flys I may move on to an LS mid engine Pontiac G6? Or maybe like Hot Rod did and wedge an all alloy LS into a Pontiac Solstice? I think that’s a couple of nice envelopes. I’ll be taking pics and if I have time I’ll try to post a build log. I must admit that a portion of my drive to do this that 2 door designs are getting scarcer every year! And having been poor and having only beat up, decade old four door cars in my transportation price range, leaves me looking at most any new 4 door design and just vomiting. Call it baggage, I can’t like 4 doors. It was my only choice 1980-2004. Then I ended up in a 4 door truck to haul the kids. I guess I’m in Taxi recovery?
 
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