2008-2013 Cadillac CTS Performance Mods Discussion, 2012+ Performance Thread For LFX 3.6L V6 Engine - Discussion & Resources in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; Good thread!
I wanted to add the Billet technologies and the Moroso are indentical in the inner make up both ...
I wanted to add the Billet technologies and the Moroso are indentical in the inner make up both letting almost as much oil through as they catch, but far better than no can by far. The video is great to show just how much oil is contaminating the intake aircharge on these and other engines....they just dont show how much is getting pulled roght through the can and still into the intake.
To test any can, pick up a clear glass inline fuel filter between the can outlet (those cans have no designated inlet or outlet and if any need more details let me know) and the intake manifold vacuum barb. In 1-200 miles you will se how much oil is drawn right through the cans that are not very effective. All cans catch oil (even a beer can we tried with 2 barbs on it).
In all the testing we do of every can we find on the market we only endorse those that catch at least 80% of the oil allowing very little pull through (even though they are direct competitors).
The Elite engineering is a very good working can that lets very little oil through....so is the AMW & the Saiku Micchi.
The LFX we currently have the following products for:
CNC ported TB
After market cams
Ported cylinder heads
Catchcan system that traps ALL the all
single turbo system
twin turbo system
front mount centrificul super charger system
Purpose built stall converters
(and more in the works).
Tune both Trifecta and HP Tuners. The Trifecta has a few more tables opened than HPT, but its coming along.
Seems like there is a lot of back and fourth with Magnaflow...seems like the price is great. I just don't want my Lac to sound like an import tuner!
I hear you! I see another user posted they had a corrosion issue - out here that is not a problem so news to me - I would definitely call them up and speak to them, ask direct questions! Where is a sound clip? What warranty is offered against corrosion? If the answers don't inspire confidence I'd pass on it.
I confess I called Borla and asked about drone issues, they guaranteed none. I hung up, called back, and asked a different person again! Same answer. THEN I bought mine.
Damn....that's too bad! Guess I will be going with Magnaflow. Its not a lot of people complaining about the drone issue. More good feedback than bad. Next move is to find a shop and see how much labor will be.
You see people talking about polishing or boring, otherwise modifying the throttle body on a CTS. Well just what is it that’s going on here and how does it benefit you? You often hear your engine is just an air pump, and every time we can make it easier for the air to go through your engine, the engines going to work better. Granted, if you have a forced induction system, you will see a better benefit from this modification. But even a naturally aspirated engine can see a benefit. If memory serves correctly, somewhere on the order of 2rwhp from this mod on a 3.6 DI engine.
The short version is, the throttle bodies used on our engines are well made, but if they spent the kind of time on them to make them perfect, they’d have to charge twice as much for them. So what we’re going to do is put the time in ourselves. Seeing that we’re the ones who get to reap the benefits, that seems fair, doesn’t it? What you’re going to do is take a Dremel and remove all the ugly casting artifacts that were not machined out of your throttle body casting during production.
You will need the Dremel toolset shown below plus you’re going to want an 8mm socket and a 10 mm socket. A brand-new long bristled 1 inch paintbrush is helpful to gently whisk away the dust. For polishing, you’ll want a stick of Dico TC6 polishing compound, available at any hardware store (it looks like a red stick 6 inches long, 1 inch diameter, white and brown wrapper). A few pieces of Scotch Brite (yellow, red, green) are also very helpful. Finally, a can of “Mother’s” mag and aluminum polish with a cotton rag is good for finishing.
Disconnect the Negative battery cable (if you lock the trunk, you know how to get back in?)
Remove your engines top cover (remove oil fill-cap, gently pull up front)
Loosen the 8mm screw clamps at each end of the flexible rubber air intake boot
Remove the boot and set it on top the intake manifold (don’t remove fresh air pipe)
Gently pull the red locking clip from the throttle bodies wiring harness & unplug it
Remove the 410 mm bolts holding the throttle body, don’t let it fall off!
Now that you have the throttle body in your hand, inspect the casting for the unfinished areas and typical ridgelines left over from machining. The picture below shows the type of thing you will see. Run your finger over the edges like air will and note the many bumps, ridges and other-than-awesome transitions. Make sure you have a very well lit work surface; preferably high enough that you can stand comfortably and aluminum shavings won’t be a problem.
Set up your Dremel with a small bit shown below and the cable drive attachment. Set the tool to the lowest speed. If you’ve bought the set that I’ve shown in my picture you’ll have all the tools you need included. Now it’s time to have a “big pair”, and dive in with both feet. If you are inexperienced with a Dremel tool, be advised they try to skip off sometimes; if you have a piece of junk metal around it might be good to test on it first.
You’re going to remove material but not all the way around. Due to the way the throttle plate seals at the top looking from the outside, you won’t be able to get all the way around. Take a Sharpie marker, and put a mark inside the throat about a quarter inch from the plate at the top on either side. Were going to consider this our absolute limit to how far we’re going to take the tool. This will ensure you never get far enough to actually “Nick” the throttle plate, and that shall have a smooth transition from your work, to the castings original metal.
Remember all the work will be done on the outside / intake of the throttle body! The side that faces your intake manifold and engine will not be touched. I suggest you start on the bottom looking from the outside; you can work here with relative safety until you get the feel for the tool and the metal. This section is also the easiest and requires the least amount of work. As you can see in the photo below, I’m removing the ugly casting line in the transition of the boot area to the air horn. Just focus on smoothing out the bumps for now, and always be mindful of the thickness of the casting. We don’t want to burn through OMG! Remember, “Small moves Elly!”
After you’ve made some progress, shut down the tool and use your paintbrush to whisk away the cuttings. I’m not a fan of high-pressure, big air hoses. We do not want to force metal into the shaft openings around the throttle plate with high-pressure air. The gentle bristles of the brush will easily brush away the cuttings. Now take a look at your work and run your fingers over each area. For those less experienced, you might be surprised how sensitive your finger is to surface imperfections. Trust your fingertip, and give the throttle body another round of gentle work until you are satisfied that the small cutting head has done all it can in the smaller areas.
Now you’re going to want to take the small sanding drum attachment, and smooth out the rough sand cast marks, in the area that the boot attaches to the outside of. You’ll also use the drum attachment to make smoother transitions from where your last bit knocked down the casting seems and imperfections. Again, take your time, take frequent breaks to brush away the dust and review your work in progress. I don’t think any of us want to purchase a new throttle body, so make sure you’re not in a hurry to drive off somewhere in an hour! The picture below shows the entry area after mini-drum sanding.
When you’re satisfied that the drum attachment has smoothed all it can, it’s time to begin the polishing process. Clean things up with your dry paintbrush, and inspect your throttle body making sure there are no loose metal shavings still on it. Use your yellow, then red, and finally green Scotch Brite to smooth off as many imperfections as possible in your work area. Now tear off some of the paper from the Dico polishing compound, attach the small cotton drum polishing pad, and you can turn up the speed of the tool a little bit. Run the tool into the compound gently until it’s red from the compound. Start at the outer edge and run the polishing drum around the throttle body and you’ll note that it turns a smeared gray. Keep working the polishing pad in around a one by one inch area, and you notice the aluminum starts to brighten up.
If you don’t have a lot of experience polishing metals, don’t fret! As long as you’re not using too much speed or pressure the worst that can happen is it’s going to take you longer to get the job done. To finish, use the Mother’s polish and a cotton cloth. Keep after it until your finished product looks like the pictures below. The polishing stage could possibly take longer than the cutting did, so don’t be afraid to give it several goes, maybe even going back to Scotch Brite a couple times until you’re getting the smooth finish that matches what you have on the engine side of the TB (We are not working on head ports and there is no fuel to atomize up here). Only word of warning here: Do Not let the chuck of the Dremel drag on the TB; it will leave some ugly marks on it – you can fix them but you’d be adding to your work!
Once you're smooth, clean and polished, it’s time to reinstall the throttle body on your engine. Reverse the removal process from above, and once your car is all back together, reattach your battery. Now your engine’s PCM will relearn the fuel trim tables based on the modification you’ve made over the next 50 miles or so. If you have other modifications such as exhaust, K&N filter, etc. these all contribute to your combination of improvements. I do have the modifications listed above (plus a catch can), and I can tell you that the total difference is very significant!
Now that wasn’t so hard now was it? You’ll be needing that money you saved by doing this mod yourself, to put in the gas tank with your new heavy right foot!
Great post! Except never polish the surface after your finished.....the smother and shinier a surface, the more drag and trubulence is created from that drag. Think golf ball dimples. A golf ball will fly app 1/2 as far if it has a smooth shiney surface than with the proer sized dimples. The v6 is so velocity sensitive you want nothing in the intake tract to cause the distrubance and slow the velocity like polishing does.
A few years ago, I figured out a way to improve even further on the cold air intake kits that were sold for Chrysler LX chassis vehicles. Because they already had a cold air intake on them, I called the mod the “chilly” air intake mod. The purpose of this mod, is to make sure your engine doesn’t breathe any stale air.
I’ve decided not to put a cold air intake kit with the large filter on my car - it might have something to do with the fact that you can get one for an LFX yet! What I came up with in my research is that the 6.2 engines use the same air box and air filter as the 3.6s! If GM thinks that same airbox can flow enough for a 6.2 engine, I’m going to be okay with the K&N drop-in filter. Granted the 6.2s are supercharged, but the CFM is there regardless. Because K&N filters typically flow twice what paper filters do, this is a good place to start, your part number is 33 – 2411. You can compare the filters in the picture below.
You’re going to need to remove the front trim panel along the top of the radiator. Unscrew and remove the pushpins, gently remove the hood sealing gasket and lift the trim panel out and set it aside somewhere safe. Lift up the trim panel that attaches to the airbox slightly, and reach your hand behind the strut tower brace to gently slip the panel rearward without breaking the clip!
You will need 8mm and 10 mm sockets to loosen the air boot, and remove the one bolt in the driver strut tower holding the airbox. Your MAF sensor plug has a red locking clip, carefully slide it towards the rear of the car, and then press your finger right in the center of it to unlock the plug, while gently wiggling it towards the rear of the car. Take your time and be careful with this, after you’ve done it once it’s pretty simple.
In the following picture I’m trying to show you part of a thin plastic panel that was blocking the airbox from receiving fresh air from the grill. Once you look at here with a flashlight, it’s pretty easy to see that removing some of this will allow air a direct path into your airbox. These pictures show you what it looks like after you remove a piece about the size I’ve shown. You can clearly see the grill as you look from the back; this is what the airbox will see as you go down the road.
To ensure that the pressurized air coming into the grill will be all the airbox breathes, and that we don’t lose cooling efficiency by air leaking around the side of our opening, we’re going to use some closed cell, heat resistant foam, and make a gasket for the airhorn. This piece will be about 5 ½” square, and you want to put your airhorn through the lower portion of it. It can be a little tricky to get in place once it’s installed, I sprayed some silicone spray around the edges of the fender and used along Phillips screwdriver to help stuff it in place. In the picture below you can see how it looked before I installed it, and if you look through my grill, you can clearly see the black foam sealing the airhorn to the grille, and the airhorn opening looking at the grill.
How much power is this modification really worth? On a hot day parked in traffic, possibly nothing. But most of the time, the outside air that first meets the front of your car, will be going into your engine. Between the added flow of the K&N filter, a potentially cooler intake charge, and a little help from the front clip at speed I think it’s certainly worth the time. I can tell you that after doing this, axle back exhaust system, polishing the throttle body and letting the car relearn it, it was a noticeable difference on my car. For every 10° you can lower the temperature of your intake air, you should realize a 1% gain in power. If you can drop 20°, that’s worth more than 6 hp.
If you’re curious about what might happen in inclement weather, the intake air pulls up through the air filter, and there are 2 drain holes drilled in the bottom of the airbox. If you really went puddle splashing, I think you’d be fine. And if that wasn’t good enough, there’s another catch basin with a drainhole right behind the throttle body, on the intake manifold. So there it is, do what you will!
Installing an Air / Oil Separator on the LFX Engine
Installing an Air / Oil Separator on the LFX Engine
When I had 900 miles on my new CTS Coupe 3.6, I removed my PCV line and in tapping the intake fitting on my hand, I dispensed more than a drop of oil. That was reason enough for me to decide that this motor could benefit from an air / oil separator, or “catch can” as they are commonly called. After pulling my throttle body off, and carefully dredging a rag around up inside the intake in many different directions, I did not manage to find any puddles of oil, but there is an oily residue on the passages as you can sort of see in the picture below.
This post covers installing a separator on the LFX engine. The 3.6 PCV line is the same size used on the CTS V (3/8”), so I decided to go with the Moroso #85603 kit because it was in stock and shipped the same day. The separator is anodized black, but you can get natural finish if you go with #85602.
For your install, you want to remove the engine cover, and the passenger side trim cover. Next, remove the factory PCV line, which has a quarter turn fitting on the intake manifold, and a ridiculous plastic latch on the valve cover. This piece would like to break, and I don’t suppose engine heat makes the plastic anymore cooperative. I’ve shown a close-up of the fitting below, you can see the plastic latch that locks it onto the valve cover. If it breaks, or if you break it while removing the line, don’t worry about it because you are not going to reuse it. Once you have the valve cover fitting off, you can gently bring the line forward, turning the intake fitting of the PCV line ¼ turn counterclockwise in the intake, then lift it up and remove it.
The CTS V separator kit was designed to mount to the filler neck of the 6.2 engine. The stainless steel bracket that is included, handily mounts to the passenger side strut tower brace. You’ll need to drill two 1/4" holes here, don't get excited about the prospect of drilling this cast bracket, you may note there’s already a hole drilled in the driver side unused. Below I’ve shown some measurements of how far down and how far to the side I mounted my bracket for your reference. For clarity I did not start the measurements on zero. To mount my bracket I used stainless ¼” x 1” socket head screws.
Below I’ve shown where I cut off my PCV line, and the offset piece and fitting that attaches to the valve cover is not reused. We’ll attach our hose directly to the fitting on the valve cover, and use one of the small hose clamps to secure it. Use the other hose clamp in the kit to secure the longer hose on the cutoff PCV line.
Spend little time to route the hoses cleanly, and then reassemble everything and you’re done. I’ve driven about 800 miles since my install, and I’ve got less than a teaspoon in my separator. But the real proof is when I pulled the line from the intake, I no longer had any oil dripping out of the PCV line. That is after all, the point isn’t it?
This is a great spot to install the separator, it is rock solid, and extremely easy to unscrew and check or empty as needed. You barely even see it from the front of the engine.