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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V Performance Mods Discussion, Got the K dubs installed today in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; Those are starts in the right direction. I'm off Wednesday, so I'll be disassembling, and taking lots o pictures. Thank ...
  1. #31
    ahahnu's Avatar
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    Re: Got the K dubs installed today

    Those are starts in the right direction. I'm off Wednesday, so I'll be disassembling, and taking lots o pictures. Thank you.

    It doesn't happen when going around turns, just slower parking lot speeds.

    I hope you get your suspension set up taken care of soon....

  2. #32
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    Re: Got the K dubs installed today

    hey ahahnu, did you use that shop up on Springfield near the new Walgreens? What'd you think?

    trust them to do shifter/exhaust and/or headers?

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    Re: Got the K dubs installed today

    Quote Originally Posted by darkman View Post
    You can drive the car with them disconnected long enough to see if the noise is eliminated. If it is, then your issue relates to the sway bar and/or end links.




    Mike...sounds like good advice as usual from darkman. You could even do z06 endlinks while you're down there

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    Re: Got the K dubs installed today

    Quote Originally Posted by jclayc View Post
    hey ahahnu, did you use that shop up on Springfield near the new Walgreens? What'd you think?

    trust them to do shifter/exhaust and/or headers?
    The owner's name is Tom, and I think he can handle it. I'm not sure if he will do exhausts, but you never know. Def go there and atleast ask. They work on a wide variety of regular to muscle to exotic cars there.

    Matt, I was thinking the same thing!

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    Re: Got the K dubs installed today

    I installed mine today (well, yesterday, since it's really Monday morning now ). No real surprises with the install, but took me almost 7hr working alone. I did waste some time trying to do a SS brake line install, and spent a lot of time chasing tools. I imagine I could do it in 3-4hr next time.

    More to follow, gotta capture pictures off my camera and compose my thoughts.
    '05 Stealth Grey CTS-V, Hyper Silver Linea Corse Venetos w/Continental ExtremeContact DWs (summer), black Team Dynamics ProRace 1.2 wheels with 275/35-18 R-compounds (track), Hyperblack Rota Torques (winter), KW Variant3s, V2 front brakes, Hotchkis rear sway bar, EPS cam, TEA-ported 243 heads, FAST92 intake w/LS2 TB, JBA Camaro/G8 1-3/4" shorty headers w/JBA cat pipes, Corsa exhaust, UUC motor and tranny mounts, UUC shifter, MAPerformance trailing arms, Specter cradle bushings, etc...

  6. #36
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    Re: Got the K dubs installed today



    Waiting for pics.

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    Re: Got the K dubs installed today

    +1 on that. SG, lowered, now were talking!

    Congrats on doing it yourself. Something I couldn't do.... Were you able to adjust the settings and how do you like it....

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    Re: Got the K dubs installed today

    So, it starts out with removing the rear seat in order to access the rear upper strut mounts. I'd like to thank GM for bolting the rear seat back in with 8, count 'em, 8!!! bolts. Oh, and I'd also like to thank GM for making the studs that poke through into the trunk about 1.5" longer than they need to be, so you get to unthread the nuts for about 6 hours while lying in the trunk.


    Here you can see the top mount is already unbolted so the strut is just attached at the knuckle:


    Once you pull the strut out, you need to loosen the cradle on that side so you can get the spring out. The Factory Service Manual (FSM) says to just unbolt the lower strut mount (obviously already done) and then loosen the cradle on that side, but I found it was more effective to unbolt the lower control arm from the knuckle as well. Once the spring is out, you have to remove the rubber lower insulator that sits inside the control arm, and the sombrero-looking upper spring insulator:


    Note that both of those are full of sand and grit and light gravel, and the upper one in particular will rain all that down upon your arms when you yank it free. Here's the mound of dirt that came out of the spring perches:


    The stock spring vs. the KW spring + adapters:


    The lower adapter installed in the control arm:

    It fits snugly onto a lip that sticks up around a hole in the control arm. I tapped it into place with a rubber mallet to be sure it was seated, but I'm sure the weight of the car would have done the same without my assistance.

    Adapter in, sombrero removed:


    The stock rear top mounts get transferred over to the KW strut. The top of the factory strut is squared off so you can put a little 6mm wrench on the shaft while you loosen the top nut. I laid the strut down on a bench with the sides of the black washer seen below clamped in a vice, then used the 6mm and 15mm wrenches to remove the top nut. Here's one disassembled showing the various bits:

    The three parts in the middle (the black washer, the top mount, and the lower rubber adapter) all go onto the KW strut.

    I didn't take a picture of the KW strut with the top mount installed, nothing too special there. The KW shaft is 7mm at the top and the top nut (and top lock nut) are 17mm. Once everything was together I put the stuff on the car. Here's the rear bits installed:


    The FSM tells you to bolt the strut to the knuckle, then lower the car and line up the top mount with the hole. Well, that struck me as a stupid way to do it, and with only one of me and two sides to the car, it would've been a real PITA. So instead, while the car was still up on the lift, I just used a tranny jack to lift each knuckle and bolted in the upper strut mounts while the car was up in the air. I just stood on the wheel/tire lying there next to the car so I could reach in to the rear seat area.
    '05 Stealth Grey CTS-V, Hyper Silver Linea Corse Venetos w/Continental ExtremeContact DWs (summer), black Team Dynamics ProRace 1.2 wheels with 275/35-18 R-compounds (track), Hyperblack Rota Torques (winter), KW Variant3s, V2 front brakes, Hotchkis rear sway bar, EPS cam, TEA-ported 243 heads, FAST92 intake w/LS2 TB, JBA Camaro/G8 1-3/4" shorty headers w/JBA cat pipes, Corsa exhaust, UUC motor and tranny mounts, UUC shifter, MAPerformance trailing arms, Specter cradle bushings, etc...

  9. #39
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    Re: Got the K dubs installed today

    Moving to the fronts, you lift the car and unbolt the strut from the control arm - 2 13mm bolts. That's pretty easy. The harder part is getting the upper ball joint to pop out of the knuckle. I removed the pinch bolts and tried various combinations of prying and banging (with a rubber mallet, didn't want to damage the aluminum bits). I soaked the ball joints with good ol' PB Blaster and eventually they decided to pop out. I used zip ties to hold the knuckle roughly vertical, otherwise the knuckles would flop out and basically be held in place by the brake line under tension - bad idea!

    The other issue I had with the upper ball joints is that removing the pinch bolts did quite a number on the threads of the bolts. The driver side one in particular took a beating:

    You can see all the threads are pretty galled, and near the end the threads were nearly wiped out. I was doing the install at a Navy Hobby Shop, and didn't have anything to fix the threads, so the short term fix was to put the nylock nut on there backwards (nylock first) so the nylock would get past those damaged threads and hold. Horribly ghetto, but I only live about 5 or 6mi from the base, so I figured it was safe enough. When I got home I was able to use my thread repair kit to fix the threads - I was frankly amazed at how good they looked when I was done. I thought for sure I was going to have to get atleast 1 new one from the dealer, and it probably wasn't something they would have in stock, but it turned out I was able to get the bolt looking almost 100%.


    Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself... Once the upper ball joint is out of the knuckle and the lower strut mounting bolts are removed, lower the car back down and remove the 5 bolts that hold the upper mount in place and remove the whole assembly. I was happy to see that GM was smart enough to use a shorter bolt in the rear-facing angled hole on the passenger side, otherwise you'd have to remove the battery to get the passenger side mount out. I didn't get a picture, but it looks like this thing but with a strut and coil-over spring sticking out of it.


    You then have to use a spring compressor to take the load off the top mount and undo the top nut (again, 15mm nut, shaft has 6mm flats) and remove the stock strut and spring. In the above picture the only things that get re-used are the bit upper mount assembly (duh) and the big dished washer that sits in the upper rubber perch. The KW front struts have aluminum adapters that sit up against the bottom of the big upper mount assembly - the adapter is visible in this picture showing everything installed:


    In order to bolt the KW coil-over to the upper mount/control arm assembly you have the lower the spring perch down a ways to give enough room to play with. Once everything is together you can dial the perch back up to the proper position. I did one while it was off the car, and other other while it was on the car - just as easy either way.

    On both the front and rear dampers the rebound damping is adjusted at the top of the shaft using a 2mm allen wrench. Fully clockwise is full firm. The instructions give a starting setting - for the fronts, they say to back off 12 clicks from full firm, and rears to back off 9 clicks.

    The bump/compression damping is also the same type of adjustment on both front and rear struts. Down at the bottom of the damper is a slot through which you access a shaft that is cross-drilled. A 1.5mm allen wrench goes through the cross-drilled holes and allows you to rotate the saft. The slot in the strut body lets you rotate the shaft 90deg at a time.


    Again, the instructions tell you to go full firm (full clockwise, looking up from below), then back off - 0.75 turns up front and 1.0 turns in the rear. Once you're done with the adjustment there's a black plastic piece that clips over the hole in the strut body to keep mung from getting in there. I'm probably going to put some tape over those to ensure they stay in place for the long term.


    Note that when you install the struts in both the front and rear that you need to ensure that lower damping adjusting slot is pointed towards the center of the car! There's nothing that points that out in the directions, but fortunately I noted that as I was installing them. If you don't do that you'll have a helluva time trying to adjust damping - I think you could still do the fronts, but the rears would be damn near impossible.
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    Re: Got the K dubs installed today

    As for height adjustment, KW gives specs for that, as well. God bless German engineering! As I posted in the big KW Group Buy thread, the specs are 13.4 - 14.6" for both front and rear, measured from the center of the wheel straight up to the fender lip. The stock measurements (on my car) were ~14.5" front and ~15.25" rear (slight differences side to side, but that's the ballpark figures). The instructions even tell you where to set the spring perches to give the max and min drop, which is very nice attention to detail.

    I ended up a little lower front and rear than I wanted to be (no fault of KW, I was just interpolating wrong in my head). I drove home to let things settle, then found a good flat place to measure (as I've posted elsewhere, the concrete pads around the pumps at gas stations are generally pretty level). The fronts were around 13-5/8" and the rears were around 14". I've since raised the fronts up about 3/8" from there, so I'm basically at 14" all around. I want to raise the rears about 1/4" or so, but that's going to be a little more difficult. The thread type on the rear upper spring perch (which is where the height adjustment is) is not the same as the front strut bodies. Basically, the threads aren't designed to allow you to adjust the rear spring perches with any sort of load on them. The KW instructions say, "You have to remove the rear axle adjustments to correct (screw up the threaded ring) the car height." Sunday night I tried jacking up the corner of the car, then unbolting the control arm and lowering it (with a jack under it as I unbolted it). I wasn't able to lower it enough to get the spring to turn. I'm hoping that if I unbolt the swaybar endlinks the control arm will drop further (it was definitely being held up by the loaded swaybar) and I'll be able to adjust the spring perch on the car.

    Here's the car as it sits now:








    I'm sure some will say it needs to come down more in the front (and there is a bit more than 1/2" more play per KW's specs), but I don't have any desire to drop it that much. I might bring it down just a hair more up front, and then lift the rear about 1/4" to give it back some of the factory rake.

    Here it was before the drop. I've come down about 1/2" up front and over an inch in the rear.


    The ride quality (using the KW suggested starting points) is excellent. There's no doubt I'm running higher spring rates, so little bumps that wouldn't have been perceptible with the stock suspension (FG2s) are now perceptible. Not in a bad way, though. The damping has that excellent European feel - firm, but somehow gentle. Tough to describe, but it's not at all harsh like most of the Japanese dampers (Tein, JIC, etc) are. Going either direction from my house the road has manhole covers and associated dips that run across the road. With the stock suspension the car would pitch up and down as each end of the car went through the dip. (I can only imagine how much worse that pitching would be with FG2s trying to control the 500/550 or 600/650 springs that GC guys are running.) Now, the car just gives a nice, solid-feeling tunk! tunk! as it passes over the dips. Very nice.

    Unfortunately, I don't really have any good, fun, windy roads around here to test on, but on Thursday and Friday I'm heading to Portland Raceway and Oregon Raceway Park, so the suspension will get a work out there.
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  11. #41
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    Re: Got the K dubs installed today

    Nice pics! And I agree on the rake. Maybe a smidge lower on the front and the same higher on the rear. As for ride and control, I'll let you know as those T2s should be getting in today and as long as nothing drastic happens, I'll be driving them on the V to Chicago this weekend. If I don't like them, I'll be feening to get back to FG2s on my GC 500/550...

  12. #42
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    Re: Got the K dubs installed today

    Looks great. Excellent write up with pictures. The V looks great. As you said and comparing the photos, I think mine is that little bit lower in the front for factory rake look. The rims look sweet on the SG. Excellent.

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    Re: Got the K dubs installed today

    Did you do the endlink switch over as well?

  14. #44
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    Re: Got the K dubs installed today

    Still stock endlinks. I had ordered the Hotchkis adjustable C5 Vette ones (which I learned of through a post by Norm V), but they had to make a set, so they won't get here until maybe late this week or early next week. So yesterday I called Luke and he's shipping me some Z06 endlinks via 2-day UPS so I'll have them tomorrow.

    Nothing like waiting for the last minute to prep for a track day - I've got the endlinks being delivered tomorrow, some Hawk DTC-60s coming tomorrow, some titanium front shims coming tomorrow, and a pair of spare front brake rotors to pick up at Autozone tomorrow. Gotta get all that stuff in hand, then drive down to Portland tomorrow afternoon/evening, then install the rotors and pads, bleed the brakes, and find somewhere to go bed in the pads.
    '05 Stealth Grey CTS-V, Hyper Silver Linea Corse Venetos w/Continental ExtremeContact DWs (summer), black Team Dynamics ProRace 1.2 wheels with 275/35-18 R-compounds (track), Hyperblack Rota Torques (winter), KW Variant3s, V2 front brakes, Hotchkis rear sway bar, EPS cam, TEA-ported 243 heads, FAST92 intake w/LS2 TB, JBA Camaro/G8 1-3/4" shorty headers w/JBA cat pipes, Corsa exhaust, UUC motor and tranny mounts, UUC shifter, MAPerformance trailing arms, Specter cradle bushings, etc...

  15. #45
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    Re: Got the K dubs installed today

    A) you are crazy.

    B) if you can/will please take a picture of the endlinks attatched to the sway bar. I want to see the angle it is at.... I know everyone is doing them, but is seems like it will be pulling the bar down at a wierd angle. I dunno. Thanks, and good luck this weekend!

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