NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money?
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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V Performance Mods Discussion, NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money? in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; Recently bought a 2005 Cts-V and am looking for some performance mods i have around 2k to spend and any ...
  1. #1
    braaaaphd is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money?

    Recently bought a 2005 Cts-V and am looking for some performance mods i have around 2k to spend and any help would be very appreciated. Im looking for the most noticeable increases in power while keeping its reliability. (used parts preferably)

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  3. #2
    FuzzyLogic is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money?

    OBX 1-7/8" headers ($550), Kooks 6760FC high flow cats ($450), and a white-box Magnaflow 16636 catback (which is the '05 part number).

    The Magnaflow catback might take some doing--the vendors on eBay will, according to my notes, sell it for $625 (and possibly less), but you have to play their game and make them a low offer. Apparently, they're not allowed to advertise prices that are anywhere near what the thing actually costs.

    I would avoid Pacesetter headers, even though they're cheap, because they're a little smaller (1-3/4"). Also, please note that the Magnaflow exhaust is designed to be fitted to your stock manifolds. If you decide to run without catalytic converters, it'll connect to the OBX headers, but if you want to be street legal, you'll have to cut/weld to interpose the Kooks cats. I got everything to fit together roughly using a sawzall, and paid $150 to have a shop finish the job for me.

    Also, you'll almost certainly want to budget for a 50 square foot roll of b-quiet Ultimate and 4 sheets of Luxury Liner Pro, plus a roller and adhesive (which will cost you about $400 total). When you're at that point, give a holler. I still haven't made time to write up a build thread on eliminating resonance in the trunk, but suffice it to say that if you don't apply acoustic treatments to the trunk, trunk lid, and lower seatback, the drone at 1800 RPM is eventually going to drive you nuts.

    Here's what mine sounds like:


  4. #3
    P-Funk's Avatar
    P-Funk is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money?

    For exhaust, I'd say Magnaflow. Can get for around $600 on ebay shipped to your door and they sound great. I know quite a few people have gone with Pacesetter headers and others have gone with OBX which should be the cheapest option for headers.

  5. #4
    FoD
    FoD is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money?

    Welcome!

    Is it stock now? What mileage? If it is stock and higher mileage (80k+), I would take the 2K and invest elsewhere first. I would do a clutch/flywheel upgrade, change out the motor mounts, diff bushing. If you are installing, that should be around 800-1K depending on what you choose. If you like doing burnouts, get some upgraded anti-wheel hop axles from GForce Engineering, and some Rear Cradle bushings from RevShift. That puts you around the $1500-1700 mark. Get a short throw shifter (I have forum member PISNUOFF's shifter assembly...world of difference over stock!). After that, see how you like it. Save up a little more and do H/C/I then. The small things with this car make a HUGE difference. Aftermarket parts are quite a bit more expensive with this vehicle than say the Mustang/Camaro world due to limited market. Keep that in mind.

    Enjoy your new ride!

  6. #5
    OneFast V is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyLogic View Post
    OBX 1-7/8" headers ($550), Kooks 6760FC high flow cats ($450), and a white-box Magnaflow 16636 catback (which is the '05 part number).
    Why not just buy OBX headers and the OBX high flow cats. on amazon they go for around $600 for both
    FuzzyLogic and FuzzyLogic like this.

  7. #6
    braaaaphd is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money?

    Completely stock as of now and for milage i'm right around 70k also for install i'm not to sure if i trust myself trying to install all of that (being that i'm 16) and what do you think i would pay for the installation?

  8. #7
    OneFast V is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by braaaaphd View Post
    Completely stock as of now and for milage i'm right around 70k also for install i'm not to sure if i trust myself trying to install all of that (being that i'm 16) and what do you think i would pay for the installation?
    Full exhaust install depending should run around 5 hours labor, depends on your local labor rate. Around here it's roughly $100-140/hr meaning at least $500 for install

  9. #8
    FuzzyLogic is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by FoD View Post
    Welcome!

    Is it stock now? What mileage? If it is stock and higher mileage (80k+), I would take the 2K and invest elsewhere first. I would do a clutch/flywheel upgrade, change out the motor mounts, diff bushing. If you are installing, that should be around 800-1K depending on what you choose. If you like doing burnouts, get some upgraded anti-wheel hop axles from GForce Engineering, and some Rear Cradle bushings from RevShift. That puts you around the $1500-1700 mark. Get a short throw shifter (I have forum member PISNUOFF's shifter assembly...world of difference over stock!). After that, see how you like it. Save up a little more and do H/C/I then. The small things with this car make a HUGE difference. Aftermarket parts are quite a bit more expensive with this vehicle than say the Mustang/Camaro world due to limited market. Keep that in mind.

    Enjoy your new ride!
    Agreed with the above, although I'm a little more specific/anal about what I put in my car. The cheapest and most effective clutch swap that you can do is a F1 Racing Multifriction LS7 clutch kit (comes with a new pilot bearing and PowerTorque CS2529 slave) and you can choose whether to use F1 Racing's excellent 20.4 lb chromoly steel flywheel included in their full kit ($660), or get their partial kit ($445) and spring for a rebuildable 13 lb Fidanza aluminum flywheel ($435).

    A lot of people have done well with Azn2dmax's and PISNUOFF's custom short shifters, but I prefer the Katech shifter. You'll definitely want to do a complete overhaul of the bushings in the car, which will be a night and day difference in the way the car handles. Also, consider lowering the car and definitely add a Hotchkis or Addco sway bar set. Again, each of the above mods will be a night and day difference--it'll feel like you're driving an entirely new car with each mod.

    Over the course of 2 years (and $9,000), my CTS-V underwent some pretty dramatic changes, both cosmetically and functionally. Granted, you don't have the disposable income that older guys do, but I think you'll find yourself following the same path:

    April 2010


    July 2010


    June 2011


    August 2012




  10. #9
    braaaaphd is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money?

    thanks for all the help, ill be ordering the clutch kit today along with the short shifter. Now i just have to find a shop, the ones around me are mostly euro and now im debating on dumping all my money in (was trying to save up for a bike) but might have closer to 10-12k in the next few months.
    thanks!

    ----------

    thanks for all the help, ill be ordering the clutch kit today along with the short shifter. Now i just have to find a shop, the ones around me are mostly euro and now im debating on dumping all my money in (was trying to save up for a bike) but might have closer to 10-12k in the next few months.
    thanks!

  11. #10
    FuzzyLogic is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money?

    Where are you located? You *can* do these installations by yourself. And you'll make your money go twice as far.

  12. #11
    braaaaphd is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money?

    Minneapolis Minnesota and i would definitely do them on my own if its not to hard of a install or if i could get some help.

  13. #12
    FuzzyLogic is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by braaaaphd View Post
    Minneapolis Minnesota and i would definitely do them on my own if its not to hard of a install or if i could get some help.
    If you're only 16, I'd like to think that your dad has plenty of tools. Otherwise, you'll end up spending about $800 on tools. There are instructional how-tos on everything, including your clutch installation.

  14. #13
    Dan_Gurney is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money?

    If your age is right at 19, please do not go blow 10-12k on your car.... 10-12k at your age spent wisely can make your life a lot easier (save a lot of debt/make buying a hosue easier now) which allows you to live a better life the whole way through (IE have more money that you can easily spend on cars/hobbies) Will the V be more fun with the mods, Yes, but really 10-12k more fun... Trust me it can suck to skip the "fun" things now, but when you can have hte disposable income later in life to be able to buy the things you want without thinking about it.. much better.

    This is why i am a boring forum member, I can never bring myself to spend the amount of money I would love to spend on my cars. But I don't think i really have any less fun.

    I would recommend gettign out and driving your car. Go find some autocross near you. Spend a little extra on tires and entry fees, but it will change your perspective on what you want to do to the car, and may find that it is more enjoyable to learn how to drive good.

    P.S. and go buy good tools, those are a lifetime investment. not a few year car investment.
    CoSteve and CoSteve like this.

  15. #14
    thebigjimsho's Avatar
    thebigjimsho is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Gurney View Post
    If your age is right at 19, please do not go blow 10-12k on your car.... 10-12k at your age spent wisely can make your life a lot easier (save a lot of debt/make buying a hosue easier now) which allows you to live a better life the whole way through (IE have more money that you can easily spend on cars/hobbies) Will the V be more fun with the mods, Yes, but really 10-12k more fun... Trust me it can suck to skip the "fun" things now, but when you can have hte disposable income later in life to be able to buy the things you want without thinking about it.. much better.

    This is why i am a boring forum member, I can never bring myself to spend the amount of money I would love to spend on my cars. But I don't think i really have any less fun.

    I would recommend gettign out and driving your car. Go find some autocross near you. Spend a little extra on tires and entry fees, but it will change your perspective on what you want to do to the car, and may find that it is more enjoyable to learn how to drive good.

    P.S. and go buy good tools, those are a lifetime investment. not a few year car investment.
    You are such a boy scout!

  16. #15
    TheLostDriver is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: NEW TO THE V WORLD- what headers/exhaust are the best for the money?

    When you decide to get headers, go ahead and get motor mounts while you're there. Will make a world of a difference on the installation. I learned that the hard way

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