Before My First Saab I Drove A Supercharged Chevy Cobalt SS

The Eaton M62 supercharged Cobalt was the first boosted car I ever owned, and it was an absolute blast… once I fixed all the issues that the dealership covered up.

For the sake of clarity, let’s start from the beginning. My automotive journey began with the purchase of a not-so-healthy 2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue. It was the equivalent to Chris’s first car, a Volkswagen Passat, in that it was a cheap, old hooptie that took me to school and my part-time job at Pizza Hut.

The Oldsmobile really played its role as a jalopy quite well: the heat stopped working as winter began, a brake line failed, the coolant was leaking, it overheated at idle, and the transmission whined like a ported supercharger. The worst part, though, was due to the previous owner’s improper installation of the serpentine belt tensioner, which made it sound like a banshee feeding on an angry cat.

It eventually got to a point where I wasn’t sure if the Intrigue was going to make from point A to point B, so I opted to trade it in on a newer, more efficient vehicle. I took a fully loaded 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt LT sedan for a test drive, and the creature comforts had me hooked.

Not only did both the heat and A/C work, but it also had two-stage heated, leather seats. My favorite feature was the factory Pioneer sound system, which included a 10-inch subwoofer in the trunk. On top of all that, it had a sunroof and averaged 30 miles per gallon.

My infatuation with these creature comforts and perceived reliability eventually subsided, and once I went for a ride in Chris’ Laser Red 9-3 2.0T I started to ache for something with a bit more capability. So, I did what any other young man with a need for speed would do, and took to the forums to find out how folks spruced up their boring 2.2-liter Ecotec-powered ‘balts.  I quickly found that the majority made one simple change: they upgraded to the SS model.

I ended up giving the white Cobalt LT to my mother for half of what I paid for it, and I used those funds to purchase a black-on-black 2007 Cobalt SS. Thanks to unethical dealership practices, I learned a whole lot by working on this car. I didn’t really have a choice, as the supercharger and clutch failed within the first month, and I couldn’t afford to pay a shop for the labor. With the help of some friends, I eventually got it healthy enough to test it at Numidia Dragway, but like Chris’s 9-3, this Cobalt’s days were numbered.

Stay tuned to hear more about our experiences with this Cobalt and its peppy supercharged, 2.0-liter LSJ motor, as we’ll get into the greater detail in regards to the clutch replacement, ported blower modification with a 2.7-inch pulley, our experience at a dyno day event in memory of Paul Walker, and more. For a peek at what’s in store, peep the gallery below.

Note: All of these pictures were taken with a cell phone, as this was back before we had Go Pros or digital cameras. Therefore, the quality leaves much to be desired, especially for desktop viewers. 

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