Williamj95 Build

At the urging of some other members, I'm starting this thread to document the building of my Goblin. I just bought my donor a month or so ago and I'm just starting the process. My donor is a 2009 LS with the 2.2L Ecotec and auto trans with 117k miles. The first thing I decided I wanted to do was to get the motor humming before I started the stripping process. To that end, I decided to do a basic tune up - oil change, air filter change, spark plugs. For everyone on here who already has their donor, they probably already know this, but for anyone looking to make the plunge their is a tool you will need just to change the oil. The oil filter sits in a housing on the side of the motor (see pic). OilFilter2.jpg To get this cap off requires a 32 mm shallow well socket, which isn't a socket the average home owner has in their tool box. I bought one off Amazon for $8 and once you have that socket and a long extension its easy enough to unscrew that cap and replace the filter.

With that done the next step was to figure out why the engine light was on. I plugged in my ODBII reader and got a P0171 code. That code can mean a lot of things but normally it means a vacuum leak. It was at that point that I noticed that the car was idling a little rough which is a result of a vacuum leak making the engine run lean. In order to try and find the vacuum leak I decided to pull the big black box off the top front of the motor to get a better view of everything. (see pic)

Outlet Duct2.jpg
This black box, which GM calls the outlet duct, was easy enough to get off - couple of hose claims and a tension clamp. But as soon as I got it off I discovered that the car won't run with this removed. It starts and immediately stalls out. With it off though I discovered that the underside around the large hose on the bottom was broken (see pic).
BrokenOutlet Duct2.jpg
My donor had been in a front end collision. The hood was folded and the front firewall was dented in. The engine appeared undamaged looking at it, but I realized this outlet duct must have taken an impact which pushed it down and broke the connection between this hose and the housing. With the connection between the hose and the housing broken, getting it back on was a bear but finally I got it back on. I started the car back up. It ran fine with a slightly rough idle once again. I sprayed some carb and choke cleaner up under the outlet duct and the engine started purring like a kitten for ten seconds or so and then back to rough idle. I inadvertently found the source of my vacuum leak. This outlet duct cost $140 on the GM part store (item number 25793361 encase anyone needs it) by the time it gets shipped to you. But I got the new one, replaced it, cleared the codes with the ODBII reader and let the car run for twenty minutes. No new codes appeared - success!

So at this point, I think I'm ready for video 1 and I can start stripping this baby. Until next time.
 

Attachments

Anks329

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the forums! It’s great making sure the engine is running before you start taking it apart
 

Ark :D

Goblin Guru
Welcome!

Sucks that you had to spend $140 to get the engine running right again. I'm willing to bet someone here has one of those airboxes sitting in the corner of their garage and would have sent it to you for very little money, since it doesn't get re-used.

The peace of mind is worth the cash though, for sure.
 
Yeah, I just started video 1 and the first thing they tell you to do is remove the outlet duct. I didn't realize that and looking ahead it looks as though it doesn't get reused. I was immediately thinking, "the car doesn't run with out it though". But I discovered that when you remove the mass airflow sensor, step 2 in video 1, then the car does run with the outlet duct removed. Who knew? Anyways, it does suck that I spent that money for something that isn't used, but there is no way I could have determined I had all the error codes dealt with without it so I'm just chualking it up as an engine diagnostic fee.
 

Anks329

Well-Known Member
Don't get rid of the mass airflow sensor, it gets reused in the Goblin! You'll be getting a new intake with the kit that the MAF will go in. The engine and computer definitely need that to get the right air fuel mix.
 
Video 1 Done

I finally finished video 1. No big surprises here. I do have a few comments though.

Power washing the engine is one step in this video and I decided to go buy myself a power washed. I bought the Portland 1750 model from Harbor Freight for $90. This thing works like a champ. I've used it to power wash my deck and several other things. If anyone is thinking of buying one, I would recommend this one.

Second, if anyone from DF is reading these, I have a couple suggestions. 1 - Put a list of required tools for the video right at the start of the video, especially for specialty tools like the fuel line disconnect tool needed in video 1. It would just help people to get prepared before they start the video. 2 - In video 1, where you cover removing the battery, adding a line of text that states that the battery is in the trunk would be helpful. Obviously that is not the normal location for a battery.

On to video 2. Until next time.
 
Video 2 complete.

No real challenges here. Everything in the video is straight forward and well done. The two challenges I did have had nothing to do with the instructions in the video. I started my Cobalt stripping with my Cobalt in a car port I have on my property. I completed video 1 with it sitting in there. At the beginning of video 2 they want you to pull the front tires off, so clearly it’s not moving after that, so I needed to move my Cobalt from the car port it was in to my garage.

The first problem I found was that once you pull the battery and then put the key in the ignition, you can’t get the key out of the ignition. There’s some kind of lock in the ignition that won’t let you put it back to OFF when the battery isn’t in the car. I found that there is a way to do it. Turns out there is a small button hidden under the steering column inside a little compartment. Push the button and you can turn the key to OFF to get it out. Here’s a link showing you where the button is.


The second problem I had was I couldn’t put the car in neutral with the battery out either. There’s a solution for that too. There’s a tiny level hidden under the cup holder in the center console in front of the shifter. Push down on the lever and you can shift the car into any gear you want. Here’s a link to a video that will show you where this is.


The only other thing of note was when I got to the point in the video about removing the doors, I realized that the car in the video is a two door while mine is a four door. Clearly that meant I had twice as many doors to remove than they did. Hopefully that isn’t going to cause me any major headaches down the road. I guess I’ll find out when I get there.

Anyways, on to video 3. Until next time.
 
Video 3 complete

Ok, first off let me say that completing the task in the this video was rather difficult. I’m guessing the car they used for the videos never left Texas and all the parts are nice and shining. My Cobalt came from New York and has ten years of rust on it. Nothing comes apart as easily as it does in the video.

First off, removing the sway bars by unscrewing the nuts was impossible. The bolts on these are basically a ball and joint configuration. Trying to turn the nut on these meant just spinning the bolt in the joint. I’ve seen some of these with a hole in the bolt that you can put an align wrench into to keep them from turning, but unfortunately, these don’t have that. After some fighting with cutting the rubber off the sway arm and trying to use a vise grip I finally gave up and just cut the sway arm in half. Of course that means the sway arm bolt is still in the strut so I just tossed the struts. They were rusted to hell anyway. If either the struts or sway arms are supposed to be reused on the Goblin, I guess I’ll be buying new ones.

Second, it’s not shown in the video but you have to remove the tie rod end from the spindle too. It’s funny, at one point you see the tie rod connected to the spindle in the video and then suddenly it isn’t. Unfortunately, the tie rod end is the same ball and joint configuration. One of them, the nut spun off the bolt with no problem, but the other the nut and bolt were rusted together and I ultimately had to just cut the bolt off to get the spindle free.

Third, in the video, when they remove the three bolts that hold the spindle to the wheel hub, the two pieces just fall apart. For me, these two pieces of metal were completely fused together. I actually felt like the hub was pressed into the spindle. I put a torch on them for several minutes and using a 1 ½” diameter piece of pipe and a sledge hammer was finally able to break the two pieces apart.

Another thing, my hubs have some sensor mounted to them that apparently the car in the video doesn’t have. The wire running to it is mounted to the strut (see pic). I destroyed one of these sensors trying to get the spindle and hub apart. Hopefully these sensors aren’t important. I guess I’ll find out later.
19882


19883
 

Rttoys

Goblin Guru
Those are the wheel speed sensors for the abs. You will not need those.

I’m glad we don’t have rust like that here or I would never work on a vehicle again. :eek:
 
That makes sense. Thanks for the reply. I'm glad I won't need them.

Yeah the rust is a real pain the ass. I've had to cut off about half a dozen bolts already, but I'm getting there.
 

Desert Sasqwatch

Goblin Guru
Please, complaining about things just falling apart in the videos versus your experiences with a rustbelt donor is not very fair to the Doyle's. A 10 plus year old car from anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line WILL have copious amounts of rust. Those of us who purchased sunbelt cars - and probably paid a little more for them - did so to avoid the situation you're experiencing. The videos are not a 100% step by step instruction like a plastic model car, it requires the builder to think things through and possibly learn about automotive skills along the way. If there is something not clear in the videos, there is an entire forum of resources to help you through any questions you may. Complaining about it is just bad form.
 

Rttoys

Goblin Guru
Meh. Sometimes you just gotta vent.

I never knew the severity about all the rust stuff, until the interwebby’s came out and I started getting on car/truck forums. It was an eye opener to see the mess they deal with up there. :eek:
 

Goblin Graber

Well-Known Member
Were the front hubs any good that you took out? If they weren’t any good the backs probably won’t be either. Don’t waste your time tearing the back axle apart. Besides the hubs you just need 8-m10x1.5 flange nuts that bolt the hubs to the spindles. I just bought new ones and left the rear put together.
 
Sasqwatch, I wasn't really complaining. I was just pointing out that there's a big difference between the car in the video and the one I'm dealing with. If it weren't for the video, I honestly wouldn't have known the spindle and hub were two different piece given how fused together they were for me.

Goblin, thanks for the heads up. I think my front hubs are ok. I'll keep your advise in mind when I get to the rear and see how difficult it is.
 
Video 4 complete

So everything in this video went fairly easily. Unplugging electrical components is a lot easier than unscrewing rusty old bolts. Never pulled an engine out of a car before so that was kind of exciting, but that went smooth too. On to video 5.
 
Video 5 Complete

So everything went fairly smoothly in this video too. One story I’ll share is in regards to the glass. Getting to those bolts on top of the dash and right up under the windshield is pretty tough. Since the windshield isn’t used for the Goblin, I decide to just remove it to make getting the bolts out easier. I handed my son a sledge hammer and said have at it. I mean how often in your life to you get to smash a windshield with a sledge hammer? He gave it five good swings and while the glass did crack the sledge hammer pretty much just bounced off. That tempered glass is some seriously strong stuff. I ultimately used my grinder with a diamond blade in it to literally cut the windshield out. That worked so smoothly I decided to cut the rear windshield out too without really thinking it through.

The second the blade touched the glass of the rear windshield, it shattered into a million pieces and fell into the car. Obviously the rear glass isn’t tempered like the front. It made a huge mesh but my Cobalt is now minus glass. Anyways, video 5 is done, the mess is cleaned up and on to video 6.

Until next time.
 

Peregrinus

Well-Known Member
Video 5 Complete

So everything went fairly smoothly in this video too. One story I’ll share is in regards to the glass. Getting to those bolts on top of the dash and right up under the windshield is pretty tough. Since the windshield isn’t used for the Goblin, I decide to just remove it to make getting the bolts out easier. I handed my son a sledge hammer and said have at it. I mean how often in your life to you get to smash a windshield with a sledge hammer? He gave it five good swings and while the glass did crack the sledge hammer pretty much just bounced off. That tempered glass is some seriously strong stuff. I ultimately used my grinder with a diamond blade in it to literally cut the windshield out. That worked so smoothly I decided to cut the rear windshield out too without really thinking it through.

The second the blade touched the glass of the rear windshield, it shattered into a million pieces and fell into the car. Obviously the rear glass isn’t tempered like the front. It made a huge mesh but my Cobalt is now minus glass. Anyways, video 5 is done, the mess is cleaned up and on to video 6.

Until next time.
Tempered glass is why the rear shattered, you cant cut tempered glass, that's why it shattered. The front won't shatter like that because it also has a safety laminate on it to prevent that shattered glass from hurting the driver :) this is also why holes in tempered glass fish tanks are drilled before it's tempered, because once it's tempered. U can't cut or drill it. But I do agree it's fun to smash windows with wreckles abandon! Lol

The side windows are like that aswell.


Also those bolts by the windshield deserve a special place in hell, for a big guy like me with large hands it was an absolute nightmare! Infact my entire dash removal was a nightmare. Rest of the car was so easy. That dash kicked my butt for 2 days lol
 

Joebob

Active Member
I am sure you have read it a hundred places but be sure to label every connector as to what it was for. I am doing the electrical now and we are doing automatics whereas the videos are for manual transmissions. If you label everything you can follow the videos but also understand what is needed or wanted as well as a check rather than trying to match connectors and cut something you shouldn't have. Good luck.
 
Video 6 Complete

Actually Joebob I haven’t seen or heard that but that sure makes sense. Based on your recommendation I went back to video 1 and watch everything over and figured out what every connection was connected to and tagged it. Thanks so much for the heads up. It wasn’t too hard for me to trace everything down since the wiring harness was still in the car basically in it’s original position.

As for getting through video 6, I can into a couple of issues. The first dealt with ABS brakes. Rttoys responded to my Video 3 post above informing me that the sensors on my wheel hubs are for ABS brakes. So my car has ABS and the car in the videos doesn’t. When I went to push all the plugs through the small hole in the firewall, I had a few wires still connected to things. The first was a large plug connected to the device shown below.

20359


I figured out that this must be the brains to the ABS system. As you can see all the brake lines are running into and out of it.. The other two wires were running to the wheel wells and were connected to those sensors on my wheel hubs. One of them is shown here.

20360

The other thing related to this was it became pretty obvious that I needed to disconnect the hood release cable from the hood latch mechanism. They don’t tell you that in the video but at one point in the video you see them pull that cable out with the latch mechanism removed. When you are doing this step all of this was obvious and none of it was hard to deal with.

The second issue I had was in regards to the tail light wiring. In the videos they are striping a two door coupe. My car is a four door sedan and there is a clear difference in the wiring for the tail lights. In the video it looks like the wiring of the tail lights resides in the trunk lid. In my sedan the wiring of the tail lights runs out that little hole in the body on the drivers side. The only way to get to that wiring is to remove the plastic rear bumper. Removing the bumper requires removing half a dozen plastic pegs, a small star headed screw on each side of the trunk opening and a screw that resides right where the plastic bumper meets the wheel. That screw holds the metal body to the plastic bumper and to get to it and I had to pry the black plastic out in the wheel well, use a saw to cut a portion of it out, so I could get a 7mm wrench in there to remove the screw. Once all that is removed it’s just a matter of prying the bumper off the car. Here’s a picture of that wiring harness that resides between the metal body and the plastic bumper.

20361


It’s held on in four locations. Pry the pegs free and you can pull it through that small hole in the trunk.

Anyways, it’s all done and now I’m the proud owner of a giant ball of wire. On to video 7.
 
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