NA vs. FI debate
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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V Performance Mods Discussion, NA vs. FI debate in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; I swear I hate going to the tuner shop near me because every time I do I start thinking of ...
  1. #1
    Cal
    Cal is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    NA vs. FI debate

    I swear I hate going to the tuner shop near me because every time I do I start thinking of ridiculous modifications for the car.

    I am not terribly interested in drag racing, but I am very interested in road courses (what the car was made for).

    Most people will tell you that in order to do heavy road racing you need to keep the car naturally aspirated. Superchargers and turbos will wear out and decrease engine life in such harsh driving conditions.

    Here's my conundrum:

    Do I...

    1) work the engine via something like the 427cid 7.0L 580hp gen III upgrade listed on Mallett's website - there is a 372cid upgrade also

    2) drop an ATI kit in it for the tune of 8-9k and run it at 8-9lb of boost, giving me the option to go as high as the 20lb range when I am ready to throw in another 6k and rebuild the bottom end

    The costs are nearly identical, with around $15k for the 580hp engine upgrade and probably 15k+ to be running mega boost on a solid ATI kit with all car systems upgraded appropriately to handle it.

    Or, I could always get one of the guys I know on the side to work the engine, probably for a lot less, but it does make me a little nervous.

    All of this is spurred on by the fact that Ford & Chevy are coming out with 500hp cars in the near future, as early as the 2005 model year (Camaro, Mustang, M5) so we will have a lot of real world competition on the streets very soon, and I hate losing, especially to a $30-40k car driven by an 18-year-old.

    Any thoughts? I know a lot of you want to throw blowers and other less-expensive upgrades (ATI is a high priced kit I realize, but it lets you go to around 1000hp without a second thought, other kits like Mag are limited in their potential) on your Vs, so let me here what you have to say on the naturally aspirated vs. forced induction debate.


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  3. #2
    wildwhl's Avatar
    wildwhl is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: NA vs. FI debate

    Cal -

    You and I have briefly disussed this issue before. For me, I'm going to go FI when the time comes. My reasoning is that the bottom end of the LS6 is pretty good and can be used within reason for FI applications. I will enter into this part of the modification life of my V knowing full well that it may fail. If/when it does, then I'll go stage two and build an engine specifically intended to take advantage of the ATI previously purchased. In the process I'll get to have two different levels of modification for roughly (I hope) the same cost as an expensive stroker motor from the get go. Of course, the counter argument would be to pull the stock LS6 and sell it to offset the cost of the larger motor, but that's just not me. Besides, I've had turbo and s/c cars before and really enjoyed playing with their FI parameters. Seems to me that properly setup a FI solution will work best for my application being that I will still drive the V most days of the week and judicious throttle management (read = control that right foot, Bill) should keep the engine alive according to what I've found on the Z06 forums.

    Everyone will have their own approach, I'm sure, and the street threat is somewhat already here and only going to become more so. I, too, don't want to let an 18 year old in his new 500hp whatever simply walk me at the light. I also don't want to give up ANYTHING in the twisties. The FI seems the simplest approach at this point in time, and I wouldn't be living with a lumpy, noisy stroker during my off the gas moments when I was simply getting from point A to B.

    Finally, I'm not sure how much more hp the V needs with my driving intentions. I'm thinking about 100, but we all know what we set out with never ends up being enough. So, I could shoot for 150-175 and swear to myself I'll be happy at that point. I've seen some pretty sweet results on the Z06 forums with head/cam/intake/exhaust mods...maybe I'll find 75-100 hp sufficient - but then again, if I'm going to crack the engine open, may as well go all the way. Time will tell, I suppose.

  4. #3
    JBsZ06 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: NA vs. FI debate

    I'd either recommend going with LQ9 truck heads..with their 72 CC chambers to lower the compression to the mid 9's and then go with an intercooled magnuson supercharger..


    Sell your ls6 heads for 800 dollars and it should cover the cost of the LQ9s installation..and then figure..? 6 grand for the intercooled magnuson supercharger..

    It comes with a 36month/36 k mile warranty to so its not a bad way to reach around 490 hp..

    Another option that might interest you if your running track days..would be the new AFR heads sold for around 2300 dollars with dual springs etc...

    Then add the cam of your choice..If emissions is an issue? I'd recommend the very streetable and civilized 224/224 114lsa that I have. I don't even think the NJ inspectation station would know I have a cam in the car..its that stealthy..

    Without the AFR heads I'm putting out 396 rwhp..and 380 lb/ft of torque..Cost me about 2 grand for the cam install w/ls1 edit and appropriate dual crane spring kit..

    Of course you need headers too..so figure 1500 to 2 grand installed..

    With the afr heads...? I'm figuring if I end up going for more than what the car is presently putting out? I assume 445 to 450 rwhp with my mild and emissions friendly (passed sniffer in california tests on the net) cam..

    Want 485 rwhp? Go for the wild @ss cams out there like LG's G3X5 ..I just didn't want to give up on emissions sniffer capability and daily driving civility..

    Road racing track days?

    The AFR heads? 2300 then sell your ls6 heads for 800.
    Cam 400
    headers? 1500?
    ls1edit? 500

    Installation costs for this? I'd figure a grand at shops like the one I used..

    Total cost ? I'm figuring? ~5 grand for 450rwhp emissions friendly after you sell ls6 heads

    If emissions sniffing tests are not a concern..I'd say you could go bigger than what I have because the 2004 CTS V series ls6 cam is better than what I had stock in my 2001 z06...

    There are a few guys tempted to do just headers and AFR heads on stock cammed ls6's..over at the z06 site..

    Not sure what it will do with stock z06 cam but it could be an interesting way to go..

    figure 350 for the head swap labor..2300 for the heads..1500 for the headers? 500 for ls1edit.. minus 800 for selling ls6 heads..

    Not sure what the end result will be though..

    Should be in over the next few months though..

  5. #4
    JBsZ06 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: NA vs. FI debate

    Cal, I noticed your in NJ..


    If you want a good tuner to work on your car thats prices are awesome...I recommend TTP in saddlebrook NJ up near the GW bridge..Exit 163 GSP

    I had them do my cam only install on my Z06 and I'm very pleased.

    You could probably get a cam/headers/ls1edit installed on your car for 3400 dollars and be dropping anywhere from 400rwhp to 450 rwhp depending how aggressive you want your cam to be..

    Here's what I have just for reference although at this point? I would recommend the AFR heads at the same time..since they are breaking news..and making some awesome numbers..

    -----------

    2001 ZO6 TTP 224/224 114lsa Cam Pkg 396rwhp 380 rwtq, dual crane valvesprings, Halltech Tunnel Ram, FLP headers, ASP 25% Pully, 3.73 Getrag Rear,2004 Z06 shocks,Shaner S2 TB,Hurst

    ------------

    Add about 300 if you go with a pully..

    If you need a contact let me know..

    Also East coast supercharging is doing AFR heads now too and probably not that far from you either..(near englishtown)

    Good corvette tuners in both cases..and will have great experience for the identical engine in your CTS V series..

    I'd say the CTS V series is even easier to work with because of the shape of the front end..compared to the vette..

    Should be a snap!

  6. #5
    Cal
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    Re: NA vs. FI debate

    Did you do throttle body & de-screen of the MAF? What kind of HP would you reckon the pulley picks up?

    I go to East Coast, btw. I am about 30 min from them. They know me well by now, I was there the other day with my partner's Z06 and that dyno is what my car and his were on.

    They are building a new 10k sq. ft shop with 10 lifts that should be pretty sweet. Can't wait till they have room to make my custom roll cage! heh.

  7. #6
    JBsZ06 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: NA vs. FI debate

    I would not recommend descreening of a maf. I am a believer its a good thing to have. I still have the screen in my 2001 maf. Although I was under the impression the 2002 and newer ls6's already had the screen removed by GM .

    As far as a ported shaner throttle body..it really doesn't give horsepower but rather better throttle response.

    The ASP aftermarket 25% pully gives around 4 to 8 hp at best. Since the labor was free while doing a cam install. I figured it was worth the 300 dollars for the part.

    HTH

  8. #7
    JEM
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    Re: NA vs. FI debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Cal
    I am not terribly interested in drag racing, but I am very interested in road courses (what the car was made for).

    Most people will tell you that in order to do heavy road racing you need to keep the car naturally aspirated. Superchargers and turbos will wear out and decrease engine life in such harsh driving conditions.

    <snip>

    All of this is spurred on by the fact that Ford & Chevy are coming out with 500hp cars in the near future, as early as the 2005 model year (Camaro, Mustang, M5) so we will have a lot of real world competition on the streets very soon, and I hate losing, especially to a $30-40k car driven by an 18-year-old.
    This is nothing specific to the LSx-family engines, but blower cars seem to have a hard time staying together - and I'm talking everything from simple stuff like drive belts staying on to major, block-puncturing incidents - in open-track use. Mostly, the blower-kit guys seem to focus on quarter-mile stuff or even just dyno-pull numbers. I'd like to see one of those "1000HP" ATI cars run near-full-throttle for 20 minutes.

    And, for what it's worth, the CTS-V is still a big, heavy car and there's always going to be someone quicker.

  9. #8
    Cal
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    Re: NA vs. FI debate

    Quote Originally Posted by JEM
    This is nothing specific to the LSx-family engines, but blower cars seem to have a hard time staying together - and I'm talking everything from simple stuff like drive belts staying on to major, block-puncturing incidents - in open-track use. Mostly, the blower-kit guys seem to focus on quarter-mile stuff or even just dyno-pull numbers. I'd like to see one of those "1000HP" ATI cars run near-full-throttle for 20 minutes.

    And, for what it's worth, the CTS-V is still a big, heavy car and there's always going to be someone quicker.
    No argument that there are quicker cars; an Evo can get a car length off a rolling start, I am talking about RACING whether it be on the road track or in traffic (gulp). I don't care if another car has a second or two on me from the jump, as long as they aren't outclassing me they will lose whether it be 1 or 10 miles down the road.

    Like I said once the 500hp models start hitting the streets at lower prices I am figuring I will need a little extra oomph under the hood. Just trying to get it straight in my head now so I don't make any foolish purchases in the next 1-2 years prior to the ol' trade-up to the LS7/LS2 whatever they put in this monster next.

  10. #9
    DgtalPimp's Avatar
    DgtalPimp is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: NA vs. FI debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Cal
    Like I said once the 500hp models start hitting the streets at lower prices I am figuring I will need a little extra oomph under the hood. Just trying to get it straight in my head now so I don't make any foolish purchases in the next 1-2 years prior to the ol' trade-up to the LS7/LS2 whatever they put in this monster next.
    Searching e-bay for a JATO (Jet Assisted Take Off) pak?

  11. #10
    Cal
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    Re: NA vs. FI debate

    Looking for a drag chute.

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