3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion
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2008-2013 Cadillac CTS Performance Mods Discussion, 3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; OK, so it seems the 3.6DI engine aftermarket is still pretty tiny. I'm surprised by this seeing how it's the ...
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    csementuh is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion

    OK, so it seems the 3.6DI engine aftermarket is still pretty tiny. I'm surprised by this seeing how it's the same engine as in the new Camaro's with only a PCM change, and there are already a bunch of turbo and supercharger options for the Camaro's.

    I was hoping to have a little technical discussion on the possibilities of this engine...

    I saw the usual intake and exhaust route, and the 30whp gain. Not baddd, but I'd rather not mod my exhaust and make my super nice quiet car super loud for no reason if not needed now. Something to think about though. Doesn't seem to be conclusive evidence of the exhaust systems fitting the AWD model though except for the GMPP exhaust. Boggles my mind though, as what doesn't fit and why? I simply can't see GM (Corsa? or whomever made it) making their exhaust fit differently than others...

    So to start.. I believe I read that this engine has a forged crank and rods, and I believe forged pistons (anyone clarify). That means it should take a real beating. Anyone run some decent sized nitrous shots yet? Forced induction should be possible pending tuning solutions.

    Direct injection should give a nice fuel window for mods, especially if any tuning solution can up the pressure like is done on other cars.

    AWD. Anyone know how much power/torque the AWD system, trans, diff's can handle? Can they take 400-500+whp?

    Tuning: This is a big one... HP Tuners has basically told me they won't ever support the 2nd gens since GM has made so many PCM changes over the years on this engine. That is a bit harsh, but it's the truth. Make me sad because I have HPT. Trifecta does a tune, but Vince admitted it doesn't do a whole lot. Shift point tuning could help though as well. Trifecta could probably do custom stuff and datalogging if needed. Does EFI Live offer any support yet? Other ideas?

    D3 has the proposed supercharger kit, but it's a bit lofty in price at over $10K i believe. Once could save a little more and buy a V... If the price were closer to $5K, I'd certainly consider... There are several TVS blowers as well as other options that could be retrofit to out application once an intake manifold is designed, drive system, etc. There are also lots of other blowers that could possibly be re-purposed for cheap. Items such as the Eaton M90 or other larger displacement roots style blowers? What about ProCharger's or other 'easier-to-mount' centri blowers? This higher revving 6 could be a total beast...

    Turbos: I haven't seen anything suggested, but a custom turbo setup would always work. Even something like a STS remote mount turbo should work... Think Buick T Type V6 turbo goodness!

    Anything exotic? Valve springs to rev higher? Cams?

    Soo guys, what's the ideas? I'd like to try and brainstorm some stuff and see what all is possible.

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    csementuh is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion

    Bump, anyone have any ideas..?

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    nguyendot is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion

    The transmission is good for like 312hp, it's in the spec sheet - search the forums as someone posted it.

    Also... 30hp from intake and exhaust? Doubtful.

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    csementuh is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion

    D3 has some dyno sheets which show the 30+whp gain from an intake and exhaust. That is a very possible gain if the engine is heavily restricted from the factory. In dealing with forced induction setups like I am used to, I have seen 60+whp out of a conservative tune, as GM tunes tend to run very rich for safety. Why do you doubt the gain so much? Your vehicle listing shows a D3 intake and Magnaflow exhaust, did the pieces not make a difference to you? Not insulting you, just trying to learn more about this platform and the possible mods. If the exhaust sucks that bad, I'll certainly save my money!

    I saw the spec sheet for the tranny. The problem with that is that GM trans are rated low, and are rated in torque, not horsepower (HP isn't 'real'). To err on the side of safety the trans may be rated for 300 something, but would likely not break until 450+ something. It is a way to keep warranty claims to a minimum. I find it a bit hard to imagine the trans not taking much more than the car came with stock, although weirder things have happened... Auto tranny's can usually also hold more power than sticks depending lots of variables of course.

    For examply the Cobalt SS is a front wheel drive car in supercharged or turbocharged varient depending on year. The newer ones are a direct injected 2.0L with 260hp and 260trq AKA the 4 banger in that light car has as much torque as our 3.6L V6. FWD means weak trans and axles in general, yet the turbo SS's can achieve 330+whp with a simple tune and an intake. More supporting mods yields even greater power. People are even turbo swapping them and pushing power well above 400-500whp and still not constantly grenading transaxles. These cars however have a mucchhhhhhh larger aftermarket as they are 'tuner' cars.

    I would certainly like to think that for the money these Cadillacs cost that the quality would at least be on par if certainly not better than GM's econobox. I understand that the CTS will never be the V unless it's a V, however there is no reason we can't a enjoy a bit more power to close the gap. Look at Buick Grand Nationals and other powerful V6's that have been modded for years...

    Besides D3 and KPE, does anyone know of any vendors that have pushed this platform at all? It's always nice when a company plays with their own money first and markets some nice products for sale.

    That being said however the lack of HP Tuners support or a good tuning solution is likely the Achilles' Heal of these engine ever making good power. I'd say there is a reasonable amount of power and driveability available just in the tune alone...

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    nguyendot is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion

    There are no real tuners for the engine available. The intake + exhaust give a peak hp of maybe, and I stress maybe 10-15hp. The stock exhaust isn't very restrictive as it is. There's no turbo to blow here. The intake is actually very well designed as well. Cadillac did quite a bit of engineering on their stuff. The biggest gain would be the long tube headers for the Camaro, if they even fit (they don't from what I hear).

    This is a N/A engine, with direct injection. There isn't much more to be wrung out of it because the very restrictive ECU. If the engine had a turbo, a simple tune would net 50+hp, but it does not. Trust me, this isn't a tuner car, nor will it ever be. The biggest thing will be the D3 supercharger, dyno'd at 131hp increase, which will be nice.

    The reason forced induction is so hard is because a) no tune and b) we can't do much with the injectors. They're not swappable. Please do a search on the forums, many many people have discussed this. There is VERY little you can do to a CTS.

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    morrisdl is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion

    csementuh, I have been looking all over. I have an 09 3.6 Premimum with a 6spd, and the stiffest suspense they offer. I like it but am looking at options to add 50-60 HP. I believe this would really enhance the car as a good sports touring sedan.

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    csementuh is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by nguyendot View Post
    There are no real tuners for the engine available. The intake + exhaust give a peak hp of maybe, and I stress maybe 10-15hp. The stock exhaust isn't very restrictive as it is. There's no turbo to blow here. The intake is actually very well designed as well. Cadillac did quite a bit of engineering on their stuff. The biggest gain would be the long tube headers for the Camaro, if they even fit (they don't from what I hear).

    This is a N/A engine, with direct injection. There isn't much more to be wrung out of it because the very restrictive ECU. If the engine had a turbo, a simple tune would net 50+hp, but it does not. Trust me, this isn't a tuner car, nor will it ever be. The biggest thing will be the D3 supercharger, dyno'd at 131hp increase, which will be nice.

    The reason forced induction is so hard is because a) no tune and b) we can't do much with the injectors. They're not swappable. Please do a search on the forums, many many people have discussed this. There is VERY little you can do to a CTS.
    Thanks for the input. I understand exactly what you are saying. This isn't my first rodeo with modding cars. I know there has been past talk about this platform, I was simply hoping to spark some new ideas and discussion.

    I know what you mean with the peak output from the intake and exhaust. Overall though it would be nice to have this heavy car closer to 304whp than it's 304bhp.

    Obviously some tuning is available as Trifecta Performance can tune the PCM (Vince uses his own custom software), as can KPE using whatever they use. I was reallllllyyyy hoping for HP Tuners support as I own HP Tuners Pro. It would have been nice to adjust the timing and shift points a bit to make the car feel more responsive. But alas...

    I understand the whole Cadillac not being a tuner car with the exception of the V series. Since this is the same engine as the Camaro V6, I was hoping there might be some more development in engine mods. The D3 supercharger for instance is mearly a ProCharger setup. I emailed ProCharger about a kit, but they said they could only do a universal kit for our platform. A custom STS turbo setup would also be a good choice. Trifecta would be willing to do the custom tuning I am sure. I don't know the engineering specs on the direct injection, but normally the injection window is more than enough on DI engines. The PCM regulates fuel pressure using the engine driven fuel pump, so it is a trivial task to raise the fuel pressure, and hence get more flow with a software (tune) mod.

    Overall, it would simply come down to someone wanting to put up the money to try these parts and advance the platform. I know that often times companies will do some R&D to try and improve upon their own products. So far the only companies I have found that have anything decent is D3 and KPE. Am I missing anything here?

    Thanks everyone for your replies! I know there is no magic pixie dust to make power, however every little bit helps. I was hoping someone might have an idea or lead to look into. I suppose for now I will be happy with my intake lol.

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    Re: 3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by csementuh View Post
    That being said however the lack of HP Tuners support or a good tuning solution is likely the Achilles' Heal of these engine ever making good power. I'd say there is a reasonable amount of power and driveability available just in the tune alone...
    I think I read on the camaro forum saying that the tune for the DI engine only got them like 6 hp, something stupidly low.

    Also, don't forget, GM made the cobalt SS specifically for the rice burner tuners. Those guys may get 400+hp, but do they have enough traction to make all that work? I'm sure they rate the transmissions where they feel they can safely run all the time. If you are bolting on an aftermarket supercharger, they probably not going to honor the warranty when the tranny fails, so the specs are mostly for GM internally.

    I don't think the designers were thinking about the tuner market for the regular CTS. D3 kills everybody on price because people that buy cadillacs usually have the money and don't care about the cost. The normal tuner market for v-6 cars are 30 year old dudes who drive used accords. The main tuner market for people that drive cadillacs, are going to demand a V8. Now this may change as government regulations change, but I'm going to guess to meet economy standards, most future engines are going be turbo 6's with little room for tuning gains.

    Personally, I want somebody to take the drivetrain out of a G8 GXP and put it in the caddy. That's the setup we should have anyway.

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    csementuh is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by brothleutner View Post
    I think I read on the camaro forum saying that the tune for the DI engine only got them like 6 hp, something stupidly low.

    Also, don't forget, GM made the cobalt SS specifically for the rice burner tuners. Those guys may get 400+hp, but do they have enough traction to make all that work? I'm sure they rate the transmissions where they feel they can safely run all the time. If you are bolting on an aftermarket supercharger, they probably not going to honor the warranty when the tranny fails, so the specs are mostly for GM internally.

    I don't think the designers were thinking about the tuner market for the regular CTS. D3 kills everybody on price because people that buy cadillacs usually have the money and don't care about the cost. The normal tuner market for v-6 cars are 30 year old dudes who drive used accords. The main tuner market for people that drive cadillacs, are going to demand a V8. Now this may change as government regulations change, but I'm going to guess to meet economy standards, most future engines are going be turbo 6's with little room for tuning gains.

    Personally, I want somebody to take the drivetrain out of a G8 GXP and put it in the caddy. That's the setup we should have anyway.
    Thanks for the good input. You are right on many things. The Cobalt's are certainly tuner cars, and yes, with the right mods they are 10-11 second cars. But hey, if you throw enough money into anything, a Geo Metro can be an 8 second car lol.

    I do remember reading that Vince from Trifecta said there wasn't much to gain from a tune. I may try and get one eventually as there is a local guy who is a Trifcecta dealer and will do the tune for $300 instead of the regular $400. It may be a good bonus to at least adjust the shifts points and air/fuel ratio. May enhance the dailer driving ability.

    The car is beautiful, I just wish I could have affored the $20K+ more for a V lol. Maybe next time. The interior is so nice in this car, that I could certainly see myself buying a used V at some point later on. The LSA is an insane engine to modify. I know I would be super happy with a 700whp+ daily driver...

    I may grab a GMPP exhaust later on and hope that helps a bit with the intake. Other than that I guess we are stuck until the platform gets a bit older and power adders get a bit more reasonably priced.

    Thanks for the input guys!

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    nguyendot is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion

    Actually KPE dropped their tuner software, stating the PCM development changes were too many thus far, and they don't want to put any development into it because of that.

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    csementuh is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by nguyendot View Post
    Actually KPE dropped their tuner software, stating the PCM development changes were too many thus far, and they don't want to put any development into it because of that.
    Ohh, I didn't know that one. Sounds like they went the same route as HP Tuners or were trying to use a solution from HPT when they dropped the project. It's sad because GM did use I believe about 6 difference PCMs on this same engine. I would think that HPT or someone else could at least develop the tuning for a couple of the more popular ones. The PCM's themselves aren't much different on the software level (if at all), the problem is the data read/write access methods change for each PCM so it makes the work that goes into coding that much more difficult. HPT claims it just isn't worth it to them. Vince of Trifecta does all his own work mapping out the PCMs so it looks like right now he is just about the only one who will touch this engine. Still not sure if the tune is worth the $400 his price or $300 Trifecta dealer price for a canned tune.

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    SilverSniper is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion

    New to this forum & interested as well in a tune. I'm up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada & wondering about this Trifecta tune (canned). Are you talking about a products like Diablo Sport,Superchips etc? More info please.

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    csementuh is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion

    Hello. This is what I'm talking about...

    http://trifectaperformance.com/

    Seems to be the only tuning solution. Mail order so I'm sure they'd do Canada for a bit extra.

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    SilverSniper is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion

    Thanks
    I sent email for price & types of gains that can be expected. Hoping to do aliitle to a CTS since I wouldn't be able to get the wife in a CTS-V very often. To much of a white knuckler

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    SilverSniper is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 3.6L DI CTS Power Mod Discussion

    Now to figure out what CAI & exhaust. Chime in if you like. I know there are a few threads already. How about updates. Anyone done anything lately?

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