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Discussion Starter #1
I just purchased a 05 Ion RL yesterday with 65k miles for $8.5k in front of the Mall of America in Minnesota.

I did a little research before I purchased the car, but am looking for advice which direction to go with performance upgrades.

I could go with the Stage 2 kit. I think dealer installed is $772. You can buy the parts and install yourself for about $570. If you install the parts yourself, will the dealer flash the program? If so, how much do they charge for that?

I could skip the Stage 2 kit and go with aftermarket. If I go that route, what's the best way to spend around $800? The car came with a new Sachs clutch, so hopefully I don't need to do anything there.

Dual Pass Endplate
$129.99
Cobalt & Ion ---> ZZ Performance

Heat Exchanger
Is 24x8x2.5 inch core size okay?
$149.00
CXRacing - ebay

2.7" Pulley
should I go this small w/o meth injection on 91 octane for a daily driver?
$49.99
Cobalt & Ion ---> ZZ Performance

Belt
I used to replace serpentine belts at a previous job, the part number is typically the length in mm. Is there any reason to purchase a belt from a performance shop verses Walmart?
$45.99
Cobalt & Ion ---> ZZ Performance

60# Injectors
Not sure if this is right size, depends on what pulley size I'm guessing?
If I don't want to mess with meth injection, is the pulley size and injector sizes the right match?
$219.00
2004-07 Saturn Ion Redline 60lb. Injectors w/ Harness Kit - $219.00 : Lightning Force Performance

Tune
I don't know what a tune should cost, what have you guys paid?
I'm not sure who to get a tune from, any recomendations?
Tuner must be in or near Fargo, ND so if things go wrong, I don't have to drive far to make heads roll.
http://www.boostinnovations.com or
Tintmasters Motorsports or
pautofargo - Home or
Auto Trim Dealers Group

3" Catback Exhaust
I'm not sure this is worth doing, because I'm not going to put a loud muffler on. Does anybody make a quite but free-flowing muffler? This is a large percentage of $800.00, so might not be worth it.
$509.99
Vibrant - Cobalt Exhaust

Header
$179.99
Pace Setter 70-1273 - JEGS

Aluminum Flywheel
I'm not sure with is worth doing, because I probably won't be pushing enough power to justify a performance flywheel if I spend almost $400 on a flywheel and only $400 on other upgrades.
$379.99
Fidanza 198201 - JEGS

Intake
I've read other posts that say the aftermarket intakes don't do much. Do you agree or disagree?
$135.00
AEM 22-633P - AEM Air Induction Systems for Saturn - JEGS

Solid Motor Mounts
Does this increase car vibration? If so, I probably don't want to do this.
$189.00
Turbo Tech Racing Solid Upper Engine Mount Chevy Cobalt/Redline 2.0/2.2/2.4L Manual Trans - SALE! - Turbo Tech Racing, LLC

Solid Tranny Mounts
I can't find anybody who sells these. I'm not sure if they are worth doing anyway if I want to stay under the $800 cap.
 

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go with the stage kit from OTTP.....if they were out when i wanted a stage kit....i would have gone that route instead of GM.

don't go smaller than a 2.9 pulley on 42lb injectors...if you go the GM way

then go for cooling mods.....cobra h/e or similar. if you have 60s, i'd go with the dual pass plate w/option b along with the h/e. you're cooling mods would be all good then.

then do a full header back exhaust. the ZZP midlength header/dp combo is awesome...it's what I have. Magnaflow makes the best catback IMO

then get the solid motor mounts.......i have em...the vibs suck for the first 500ish miles but are totally livable after that when they wear in. but i have zero wheel hop now....w/those in combination w/my suspension/chassis mods

as for meth...thats a matter of choice. you'd have to get retuned for it for sure though.....hear it's a pain in the ass sometimes.

hope that helps...lemme know if you have any ???s

congrats on your purchase!! welcome to the forums!
 

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Solid Tranny Mounts
I can't find anybody who sells these. I'm not sure if they are worth doing anyway if I want to stay under the $800 cap.
I have ZZP Solid motor mounts for sale right now.

http://www.redlineforums.com/forums/buy-sell-parts/36771-fs-ttr-top-engine-mount-zzp.html

Here are the links to the products from ZZP.
https://www.zzperformance.com/cobalt_ion/products1.php?id=526&catid=146
https://www.zzperformance.com/cobalt_ion/products1.php?id=496&catid=146
 

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Btw dont worry about running a 2.8 on 42#'s....No problems at all from anyone that i have ever known to run this setup. Also the OTTP stage kit sucks from what a few locals around me said...They alway have idle issues and fouled out plugs, once they got HPTuned these issues went away.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Stage 3 PCM 42#'s, 2.85 pulley,intake will = 800 bucks.....Just add a dry nitrous setup down the road and make 300whp for just alittle over 1k.
Don't you lose AC with the Stage 3? I live in North Dakota, but it still gets in the 90's so I want to keep AC. I don't want to mess with nitrous, being a daily driver. Thanks for the ideas.
 

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Btw dont worry about running a 2.8 on 42#'s....No problems at all from anyone that i have ever known to run this setup. Also the OTTP stage kit sucks from what a few locals around me said...They alway have idle issues and fouled out plugs, once they got HPTuned these issues went away.
Ignore this post.

OTT Tunes do NOT suck.



And it is not safe to run a 2.8" pulley on 42#'s.

Some where on CSS someone posted a log of a 2.85" pulley on 42# injectors and the IDC was 115%. I'll try to find it.
 

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No there is a mod that you can do to aviod losing AC.....Also Nitrous in a DD isnt bad cause your not running it all the time, only when you need it, and the GM stage 3 is a very good tune i have read...Combine that with the 100 octane mode and it gets even better on nitrous.
 
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Yes you lose ac with stage 3 and your pcm is locked so you can't edit settings via HPTuners later on. Stage 3 = retarded unless you are someone who likes the heat and don't want to push your car any farther than what GM allows.
I would say your best way to spend the 800 is to put it on your loan but easier said than done =p.
If you know what you're doing you could get hptuners for under 800 which would be a solid starting point as you can benefit from modifying even a stock tune, then you can drop pulley sizes and add bigger injectors for probably under 200 more and be staged.
If you don't know what you're doing with tuning, then ottp stage kit as suggested above lol.

Ignore this post.

OTT Tunes do NOT suck.

HAHAHA, I would've ignored it after I saw 2.8 + 42# = safe, LOL
 

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Stage 3 = retarded unless you are someone who likes the heat and don't want to push your car any farther than what GM allows.
That is really not true. GM Stage 3 is a very good and safe way to build a car. But for those looking to go beyond GMs idea of a fast LSJ they should skip over it.
 

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OTP tunes do to suck IMO, it depends where you live man, take that into consideration......Not everyone is at the same elevation or has the same humidty, weather etc......From the logs i saw, they were awful! So therefore i wont support them. Box tunes in general suck when they arent coming from GM it seems like. You are not adding in all the variables that come up when throwing a box tune on your car? Please if you are so inclined about tuning and the details of it please break this down for me as to " how this tune will do in a state 2000 miles away from where the tune was made" ?

BTW im not trying to be a dick, but I think some people need to be highly filled in on what a box tune can potentially do to their car.....
 
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That is really not true. GM Stage 3 is a very good and safe way to build a car. But for those looking to go beyond GMs idea of a fast LSJ they should skip over it.
I didn't say it wasn't efficient I meant it's just a preset limit and that's infact what some people want. Personally I don't really wanna run something just because GM said it's good to. Call it a teenage thing but I'd rather do it myself and not GM after seeing their stage 2 dynos that you posted.

OTP tunes do to suck IMO, it depends where you live man, take that into consideration......Not everyone is at the same elevation or has the same humidty, weather etc......From the logs i saw, they were awful! So therefore i wont support them. Box tunes in general suck when they arent coming from GM it seems like. You are not adding in all the variables that come up when throwing a box tune on your car? Please if you are so inclined about tuning and the details of it please break this down for me as to " how this tune will do in a state 2000 miles away from where the tune was made" ?

BTW im not trying to be a dick, but I think some people need to be highly filled in on what a box tune can potentially do to their car.....
BTW i'm not trying to be a dick, but your statements are kind've invalid after you state that a 2.8 pulley and 42# injectors are runable, thats common knowledge that that's false.
how is ottp stage kit shitty? they tune specifically for your mods, and they aid you even afterwards with fine tuning it....
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
go with the stage kit from OTTP.....if they were out when i wanted a stage kit....i would have gone that route instead of GM.

then go for cooling mods.....cobra h/e or similar. if you have 60s, i'd go with the dual pass plate w/option b along with the h/e. you're cooling mods would be all good then.

then do a full header back exhaust. the ZZP midlength header/dp combo is awesome...it's what I have. Magnaflow makes the best catback IMO

then get the solid motor mounts.......i have em...the vibs suck for the first 500ish miles but are totally livable after that when they wear in. but i have zero wheel hop now....w/those in combination w/my suspension/chassis mods
How does the OTTP program change work? Is it a swap or a flash? If it's a flash, do you have to ship them your PCM?

OTTP stage 1 uses 60# injectors, so Dual Pass.

OTTP Stage 1 $425
Dual Pass $130
Catback $510
Motor Mounts $190
total $1255

What would you remove to cut $455?
 

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How does the OTTP program change work? Is it a swap or a flash? If it's a flash, do you have to ship them your ECM?

OTTP stage 1 uses 60# injectors, so Dual Pass.

OTTP Stage 1 $425
Dual Pass $130
Catback $510
Motor Mounts $190
total $1010

What would you remove to cut $210?
Motor mounts...not necessary. IMO, and do the over the axel bend instead of full cat back.
 

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OTP tunes do to suck IMO,
That is your opinion.

Box tunes in general suck when they arent coming from GM it seems like.
Obviously a custom tune is better then a box tune. But for people who don't have HPTs or don't want to pay a tuning shop $600 just for a tune the OTT Stage 1 tune is the best aftermarket tun out there. Hands down.

BTW im not trying to be a dick, but I think some people need to be highly filled in on what a box tune can potentially do to their car.....
Very good point. But I would like to see the logs that you have seen that say that OTT tunes are bad. Can you send me some?

[email protected]
 

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Yes you lose ac with stage 3 and your pcm is locked so you can't edit settings via HPTuners later on. Stage 3 = retarded unless you are someone who likes the heat and don't want to push your car any farther than what GM allows.
I would say your best way to spend the 800 is to put it on your loan but easier said than done =p.
If you know what you're doing you could get hptuners for under 800 which would be a solid starting point as you can benefit from modifying even a stock tune, then you can drop pulley sizes and add bigger injectors for probably under 200 more and be staged.
If you don't know what you're doing with tuning, then ottp stage kit as suggested above lol.




HAHAHA, I would've ignored it after I saw 2.8 + 42# = safe, LOL
Hahaha ya just ask the thousands that are doing it if its safe that dont have one problem at all and they will ignore what you just posted, LOL....
 

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i agree w/benfica.....for now just get the over axel bend....especially if you are worried about noise. keeps things quiet and opens things up.

then when you get the $$$ get a nice header/dp.....you'll be set

and get the h/e AND dual pass w/option b
 

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Discussion Starter #20
How does the OTTP program change work? Is it a swap or a flash? If it's a flash, do you have to ship them your ECM?

OTTP stage 1 uses 60# injectors, so Dual Pass.

OTTP Stage 1 $425
Dual Pass $130
Catback $510
Motor Mounts $190
total $1255

What would you remove to cut $455?
$510 for Catback was for 3". It looks like 2.5" is only $265.

OTTP Stage 1 $425
Dual Pass $130
Catback $265
Motor Mounts $190

total $1010
total w/o motor mounts $820

How loud is the 2.5" mag exhaust?
 
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