Tonight's test drive

Well, test drove a 2001 cobalt S1 tonight. Had an engine rebuild last year, which appears to have included strengthened long bolts, port and polish, forged rods and pistons. Car already running an emerald. Print out 201bhp (for what it’s worth)

Start up - rough, has been standing, so a bit of condensation from near side exhaust, which went away after warming up. Idles at 1200rpm - ?normal for the VHPD (I thought it was).
Must buy new shoes. Currently pressing brake, accelerator and clutch, grinding gears, and kangarooing off like a child on a first lesson.
Frst impression - bloody awful gearbox, gutless as hell - where is the performance?? Keeps making some odd sound - high pitched, usually across holes in road - can’t decide if it’s the body moving on hinges or the tyres - car doesn’t feel like it’s moving around.
Bugger me does it turn?! (Rhetorical - I know all you know!) Makes me wonder why I haven’t done this before.
Anyways, continue on with warming up engine, not really getting any preformance, but does remind me of the sound of a spitfire between 4-5k. Then I remembered - peak power 8000rpm - drive like my old type-R. Holy [censored] - a new engine sound (the 6th), you can feel the cam come on and it just exploded from 6k up. Steering feels better and I just can’t believe why other manufacturers can’t do this.

Worries - that sound hasn’t gone away and I am more convinced now it is the tyres, so I am going to have a crash (woohoo again), the engine sounds like a bag of nails below 4k ( and the garage tell me they would recommend a rebuild every 20k!), will need to become a track going regular to enjoy performance.
If anyone can identify with the above on their first experience, what did they think? That car needs a new set of front tyres and the back felt quite loose over bumps.
Well, guess I’d better speak to the owner and see what we can do.


i think the ‘yip’ you refer to is pretty common with all exiges. It is just the standard exige suspension. As for the rough idle, if hes had an emerald mapped properly it shouldnt be that bad. Usually only stock/190 vhpds idle rough due to the bad cam timing from the factory.They will kangaroo from biting point until the engine is fairly warm.

You will have to rev the car to get performance as i found out after test driving one a few months back and feeling really unimpressed by the speed after my evo7. Once you adapt to the characteristics of the car and learn to drive it properly you will be able to exploit the cars performance to its true abilities.

I wouldnt worry bout new tyres. As for gear crunching, check the gearbox oil level. Its common on the exiges to uprate the linkage. My exige had had around 20 track days to its name when i bought it but the owner lied to me and told me it had 2. Not knowing any better i bought the car just for the sake of having one and promptly found it needed a rebuild.

The car had done 22k and i am now 2k of everyday road use since the build. If you dont trash it (though that is what it is meant for) and keep the oil / coolant levels regulary checked and service the car on time you should find they are quite reliable wee cars and dont need rebuilt that often. Unless you are using it hard on track all the time.
Congrats on the purchase when you buy it


nothing in your report sounds too worrying…

they should idle at 1250rpm… rough might also be okay but it depends what you mean ie its no BMW…

the high pitched noize you mention does indeed sound like YIP… that means you have standard Koni shockers

can’t comment on your driving prowess but you’ll get the hang of it…

they don’t need 20k rebuilds as a normal thing…

get to the track


Ta for help.
The car is still tunning standard brakes as well, which weren’t to inspiring, so that would be first outlay i think.
Idle was fine, just sounded like a highly tuned NA at tickover. (I was just impressed - ain’t it sad!).
As for engine delivery, I’ve been driving around in my TDi now for 6 months and don’t usually see the far side of 2.5k, but having come from my type-R I’ll get used to it.
Best part of all was getting back into my car and getting the feeling that you get after you’ve been karting i.e. your car feels like a blancmange, rolls like a motorbike leaning etc. That I could get used to!

Frst impression - bloody awful gearbox…

Get the quick shift and gearlinkage kit, big improvement in the shift and both are pretty easy to fit.