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Maxing Out the LTG Without Doing Pistons and Rods.

We already did Stage 1 and 2 Upgrades. ZZP has no official Stage 3. No way is the motor coming out, so what else can be done?

Well, here it is. Without doing internals this last project should max out the LTG 2.0t engine without blowing it up. I’m hoping for 375 HP but wont know until it’s Dyno’d. Until then it’s being remote tuned by ZZP.

In a nutshell we’re adding Cams, Springs, slightly bigger Turbo, Large Throttle Body, and the E85 Conversion Kit. That’s on top of the Stage 1 and 2 Kits. Doing Cams and Springs while the motor is still in the car is expert level only . You need an air compressor and special tools. The turbo and throttle body can by moderately experienced or talented novice.

Here’s the parts list, pics, pointers, and videos below. It’s not an exhaustive step by step since most of this will be done by experts anyway who already know most of the pitfalls and tricks but might not have worked on an LTG yet. Again, the Throttle Body and Turbo isnt super advanced and Ive included some videos and pics below comparing the old and new parts.

Tools and accessories: Kent Moore EN-50717 Valve Spring Compressor Set Kit ($200 ebay), Lucas Oil LUC10153 Assembly Lube – 8 oz ($10), Factory Service Manual ($22 – Torque specs, etc)

ZZP will suggest products based on your goals, and give general guidance. I think their rep was trying to help me keep costs down suggesting I re-use a lot of the gaskets except for the valve cover, but I wasn’t feeling it. Not with all the work that goes into the next batch of mods. Gaskets and re-tunes should be done in my opinion. ZZP doesnt provide much technical data (torque specs etc), you should always have a Factory Service Manual ahead of time and ready.

About the Turbo – I’m limited to the “Big Wheel” turbo option instead of their much bigger and beefier Z54, Z57 and ZFR turbos, ZZP immediately dashed my dreams of going huge and told me those require internals i.e. rods, crank, pistons, etc. Nope. My goal is to max out this 2.0t engine in-car.

Their Big Wheel is a stock housing honed out with a bigger propeller; nice and safe, and you get to keep your original turbo, no core to return!


1) Take off the engine cover and pcv lines. ZZP provides a line removal “tool” which is 2 half moons that insert around the couplings and depresses the retaining clip but only worked on one line. Had to use patience and a pick to get the others off.

Remove rear compartment cowl, and back of engine liner. We ended up taking off the wiper deck and motor but not sure it’s necessary. It did make for a lot of extra room to work with. Watch the video below on how to get the engine rear-liner off (2 fastener clips which are kind of hard to access).

Video explaining rear-liner removal.

Stage 2 Cams: You’ll need to remove the valve cover and timing chain cover. Only has 50k miles but since it was apart we did the Timing Chain Kit too.

A few things to note in this video below putting on the new Valve Cover Seal, and the orientation of the vacuum pump and spark plug tubes seals.

2) Doing the the valve springs in-engine requires a special tool. Get it used somewhere like ebay for $200 otherwise new is going to run $400 to $550. You can easily resell it for 80% to 100% what you paid.

Valve Spring Compressor: Kent-Moore EN-50717

Video overview of Valve Spring tool a few tips. We put washers as spacers between the tool and the block to protect the whatever the raised portions of the block are called…

Now on to the Valve Spring Locks (Keepers). Dropping them into the engine is bad of course. We used an engine assembly lubricant which is sort of thick/sticky while gently installing them by hand. All 32 of them mind you. I forgot to get new ones ahead of time and ZZP was out of stock when I checked. We budgeted one weekend to get this project completed and it was start time. So we stuck with the stock ones which happen to be steel (magnetic). The titanium upgrades are expensive and arent magnetic so if you drop one into the engine it’s game over.

New lash adjusters came with ZZP #82 Springs:


Big Wheel Turbo:

Turbo oil inlet gasket , comparison of new and old. Not much of a difference visually.

Large Throttle Body:

I’ll put in a summary here shortly….


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