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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone tell me,,, I have a 2012 Malibu LS. Pretty basic when I got it. In 2.5 years ive tinted the windows, rain guards. Ive done all 4. Door panels. Head liner and resr deck lid, wheels off my 96 Vette (adapters required) cold air intake and exhaust, rear trunk spoiler, LED fogs, led high and low beams, led reverse , led brake and tail lights, Kenwood touchscreen, 15 Kenwood Amplifiers. 62 kKenwood speakers and 1 subwoofer, front and rear cameras and made my own mudflaps, white to match the car. Can i add a turbo off another Malibu or Cruze perhaps without hurting the engine? Thx for your input.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Unless you have pockets full of cash, adding a turbo can't be done.

Consider NOS instead. That may be the only way to get the overweight Gen7 slug moving with a 4-cylinder that has been loaded down with 62 speakers, 15 amps, and a sub, which must have added close to 200 pounds to the vehicle.

I can also tell you that you don't need to worry about that "spoiler" working. I've owned 3 copies of the Gen7 Malibu, one at a time. The few times that I took each one up to the speed limiter of 116 MPH, I did not experience any lack of stability. There was only one time when I reached 138 MPH that I knew that I would need a rear wing if I wanted to continue driving at that speed or higher. I don't go anywhere near that anymore, but I did at one time.

So you may want to adjust it to a neutral setting so as not to add more downforce on an already overloaded suspension.
Font Gas Electric blue Rectangle Plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited by Moderator)
I do haveheavy duty springs in the rear, my 1996 Corvette rears are 19's and they stick out the fender about 1 3/4 of an inch, the spoiler is pretty neutral, its more for looks, there is a sad story behind this car which was the reason for all the changes. For very sentimental reasons, I took over the payments but already had 4 vehicles and unfortunately the elimination process was my 69 T-Top Stingray. I got a ton of criticism till those folks heard the story and couldnt apologize enough, anyhow. I do not have a ton of money, and was wanting to get some more hp without have to change vital components(internally) I did see a brand new ready to bolt on turbo kit for just over a G. Whether its correct or not im not certain, basically, whats all involved with NOS?
 

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2017 SS Sedan 6.2L
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There are turbo and supercharger kits for the ecotec 2.4L. The problem isn't the engine, it's the light-duty 6-speed transmission which will rip itself apart. The V6 has a stronger transmission to handle roughly 250 horsepower and torque so there are significant limitations with yours.

The other problem is that your wheels and stereo mods are terrible for performance because you've added both sprung and unsprung mass. The stock 2.4L Malibu wasn't fast to begin with, and it's gotta be significantly slower now.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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If I lost any power or speed i honestly cant really tell, ive got all my speakers distributed pretty goodI removed the rear seats and side pads. I could consider tranny upgrade as well
You must be either young or not used to newer vehicles when you speak of upgrading the transmission.

Basically, the Gen7 came with 3 engine/trans choices:
  • 2.4L VVT DOHC / 6-speed
  • 3.6L VVT DOHC / 6-speed
  • 3.5L pushrod / 4-speed
The 3.5L was more for fleets and was a sturdy engine with less performance than the 3.6L engine.

While it's possible to mechanically swap them, the 6-speed on the 2 engines were similar but not the same. As @cp-the-nerd alluded to, the 2.4L version was rated for fewer ponies. The best info I've heard is that they used spacers in place of actual clutch/disk materials to reduce cost in the 2.4L version, but a full clutch/disk pack for the 3.6L version. The 3.6L version also has a proper filler cap with an attached dipstick cable, whereas the 2.4L version requires you to remove plugs from the side of the transmission just like a manual transmission.

Once you swap in the new mechanicals, you now have to contend with electronics, harnesses, sensors.

You need a boatload of money, no matter what you choose to do.

In short: There is no cheap or plausible way to improve the power of your vehicle and still keep it a reliable mode of transportation.
 

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2017 Chevrolet Malibu LT
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221 Posts
You must be either young or not used to newer vehicles when you speak of upgrading the transmission. Basically, the Gen7 came with 3 engine/trans choices:
  • 2.4L VVT DOHC / 6-speed
  • 3.6L VVT DOHC / 6-speed
  • 3.5L pushrod / 4-speed
The 3.5L was more for fleets and was a sturdy engine with less performance than the 3.6L engine. While it's possible to mechanically swap them, the 6-speed on the 2 engines were similar but not the same. As @campb292 alluded to, the 2.4L version was rated for fewer ponies. The best info I've heard is that they used spacers in place of actual clutch/disk materials to reduce cost in the 2.4L version, but a full clutch/disk pack for the 3.6L version. The 3.6L version also has a proper filler cap with an attached dipstick cable, whereas the 2.4L version requires you to remove plugs from the side of the transmission just like a manual transmission. Once you swap in the new mechanicals, you now have to contend with electronics, harnesses, sensors. You need a boatload of money, no matter what you choose to do. In short: There is no cheap or plausible way to improve the power of your vehicle and still keep it a reliable mode of transportation.
My Maserati does 185…I mean my Malibu does 85…don’t make the Indy 500 look like a Roman chariot race now…slow ride take it easy..beep beep beep beep yeah!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Im 57 and the last Malibu I had was a 71 SS over 30 years ago. I basically know nothing technical about this car yet, its 18 years newer than my Corvette and 12 years newer than my Silverado, and 33 years newer than my 2WD Silverado which are fairly easy to swap parts. Im actually surprized how much this little 4 cylinder rips when i run it through the gears. I was just wondering if there was a fairly non complicated way to get more out of it. Sounds like and engine and tranny swap to the 6 cylinder would be easier. At any rate I appreciate everyone's input and i guess ill jump in my Vette when I wanna do a buck 50 down a long country road.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Im 57 and the last Malibu I had was a 71 SS over 30 years ago. I basically know nothing technical about this car yet, its 18 years newer than my Corvette and 12 years newer than my Silverado, and 33 years newer than my 2WD Silverado which are fairly easy to swap parts. Im actually surprized how much this little 4 cylinder rips when i run it through the gears. I was just wondering if there was a fairly non complicated way to get more out of it. Sounds like and engine and tranny swap to the 6 cylinder would be easier. At any rate I appreciate everyone's input and i guess ill jump in my Vette when I wanna do a buck 50 down a long country road.
I may have been unclear.

Swapping to a different engine and/or transmission will cost a lot of money. It's not practical, and if you don't know how to do it yourself, you may not find anyone willing to do it.

I prefer not to comment further on this enterprise as my opinion should be sufficiently obvious by now.
 

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2017 Chevrolet Malibu LT
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I may have been unclear. Swapping to a different engine and/or transmission will cost a lot of money. It's not practical, and if you don't know how to do it yourself, you may not find anyone willing to do it. I prefer not to comment further on this enterprise as my opinion should be sufficiently obvious by now.
DD you didn’t acknowledge my somewhat poetic response to the fact that a “mobile disco” maybe shouldn’t be a muscle car (?) anyway Happy 2023😎
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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I saw it and snickered. You actually caused me to hear an ear worm with your lyrics, but only for a little while. :)
 

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You would've honestly been better off holding out for a 2LZ trim level, at least then you'd get the higher performance 3.6L mated to the 6T70. That is the one and only thing I don't really miss about my old Malibu is the 2.4. While it was adequate, it was far from exciting when you put your foot down.
 

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The other issue is that you've increased both sprung and unsprung mass, which makes your wheels and radio modifications horrible for performance. The basic 2.4L Malibu wasn't particularly quick to begin with, and it must be even slower now.
 
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