Which car?

Blue Man

Member
Could use your help.

Trying to buy a donor car and I have two possibilities lined up right now. (Just for reference, I have basically ZERO mechanical experience.)

1. Car one is a 2005 cobalt 2.2 automatic with 75K on it. $800. Was driving fine last year when they hit a deer. Front left and side damage making the car undriveable and they did not have the time or money to fix it. Has sat for nearly a year and went up for sell a month ago. $800. Seller says the engine and tranmission worked fine before the accident. They do not know now.

2. Care two is a 2008 cobalt 2.2 ss/sc with 140K on it. $1,150. Owner says it needs a new clutch but works otherwise. No body damage. Has been sitting for a while. Went up for sell a few days ago. NO TITLE. Owner says he bought it a few months back from a guy who was supposed to get a new title sent to him, then the previous owner went into the hospital, etc, etc, and now there is no title.

I do not believe I can verify that the engine works on either vehicle.

Any thoughts? Is one better than the other or should I keep looking for something else?

Thanks!
 

k.rollin

Goblin Guru
Unless you plan on keeping the engine totally stock, stay away from the 2005 & 2006 2.2L engines. They cannot be tuned using HPTuners. A standalone ECU could be used for those engines, but you won't have the same level of tuning support from other members here because we haven't gone down that road in this application.
 

Ark :D

Goblin Guru
Car 2 would be a turbo, not a SC. That's a great price for a turbo donor.

Nevermind that, he (or someone else) must have added a supercharger to a 2.2. Just personal opinion: I'd prefer a car not modded by anyone.
 
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Robinjo

Well-Known Member
In my opinion, I'd keep looking. Neither option get me going.

If I had to choose one of those, Option #2. But I'm like Ark except I can deal with a lightly modded car. Adding a SC is not 'lightly' modded to me.
 

escapepilot

Well-Known Member
The no title part scares me a little. Probably not an issue but could be in some states or with the right (wrong) inspector. However, no title should give you plenty of negotiating leverage. Also, verify that car #2 is 2.2 ss/sc. If it has been modded, I would want to know details. No details = no sale.
 
If your "ZERO" mechanical experience is like my zero mechanical experience I'd be hesitant to buy a donor that I can't verify has a working engine/trans. This is a recipe for a whole lot of extra work. But at least you might get some more "experience" going that route. :D

The no title issue would also give me second thoughts if you plan on registering your goblin. Check you state's requirements and process thoroughly.

My additional two cents, I would hold out for a OEM SC or TC manual donor as I think in the long run this would be the most bang for your build.
 

r3drckt

Goblin Guru
Keep Looking. Find one that is running and driving if you have no mechanical experience. Clutch jobs are easy when the engine is removed, but no experience can cause issues.
 

Ark :D

Goblin Guru
If I had to choose one of those, Option #2. But I'm like Ark except I can deal with a lightly modded car. Adding a SC is not 'lightly' modded to me.
It's not that I can't/won't learn, it mainly that I cannot gauge the quality of someone else's work, and these cars are typically owned and modified by late-teens/early-20's "racer bois" that may or may not know what they're doing. Worrisome!
 

Blue Man

Member
Does either of these look any better?



Both are SS/SC's. One says it has a vaccuum leak? Is that a big problem? It also has a new clutch and transmission, so that could be good?
 

Ark :D

Goblin Guru
You could get the 2005 for less than asking price. Otherwise, no red flags that I can see. The owner of the 2006 thinks he's sitting on a treasure trove though.

Again, I kind of would shy away from a donor that's had major engine/trans work but if it's documented well (receipts from the shop that did it, etc), should be fine.
 

Ross

Goblin Guru
The 2006 has Recaro seats, which is usually packaged with the G85 trunk code... which means it has a $1200 Quaife differential in it. I really like the Quaife in my Goblin, as it keeps the back end of the car planted, accelerating, and under control when pushing the car hard. Also, the seats have deeper bucket shape, and keeps my butt from sliding around, and saved me from buying racing seats.

Here is a video of me tracking down a vacuum leak. Wasn't too hard to find the 4 vacuum leaks I had.
 
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Blue Man

Member
The 2006 has Recaro seats, which is usually packaged with the G85 trunk code... which means it has a $1200 Quaife differential in it, which I really like in my Goblin, as it keeps the back end of the car planted, accelerating, and under control when pushing the car hard. Also, the seats have deeper bucket shape, and keeps my butt from sliding around, and saved me from buying racing seats.

Here is a video of me tracking down a vacuum leak. Wasn't too hard to find the 4 vacuum leaks I had.
The 2006 sounds like a winner then? It’s the best one I’ve seen so far.
 
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