- 01-06-13 02:22 PM #1
2012+ Performance Thread For LFX 3.6L V6 Engine - Discussion & Resources
Hello Fellow LFX Running CTS Owners!
Since you are reading this, you have probably figured out there are limited resources as yet, for the new LFX revision of our 3.6 V6 Engines. This thread will be our resource for sharing all available parts & modifications. I will edit my original posting as things become available to us and hope LFX owners will help in this thread.
What are my qualifications? I have built and raced more vehicles than I can easily recount, and I have no problem admitting when I do not know something, but in that case I will research it! My CTS is fun to drive, but I would like to see an intake, throttle body mod, exhaust, PCM tune and catch can on my car. That simple recipe provides a nice bump in power to many modern vehicles. Remember to always think Combination, not single mods.
All vendors, I invite you to post the availability of your parts for our LFX engines here With Part Numbers please, as well as your contact information. I for one am ready to spend some money. Do you like money? Mine is on the table!
All members, please post links to parts you find that fit the LFX, and be sure to check with the vendors; I have found several already claiming they fit 2012 cars and after inquiring they back pedal admitting they don't know if they fit the LFX!
To start, let's hear from GM on what exactly the variable valved timed LFX engine IS. Some curious changes have been made that hint at where GM is heading with all engines. The following comes direct from the GM powertrain website found here: http://www.gmpowertrain.com/VehicleE...nProducts.aspx (there is some great info there as well about your transmission)
A new, more powerful and more efficient version of the 3.6L direct-injected V-6 – known by its LFX engine code.
Compared to the engine it replaces, the new LFX 3.6L V-6 features:
- New cylinder head design with integrated exhaust manifold
- Improved intake port design and larger intake valves within the cylinder heads
- Longer-duration intake camshafts
- Composite intake manifold
- New fuel pump and isolated fuel rail
- New, optimized-flow fuel injectors
- Structural front cover and cylinder block enhancements
- Stronger and lighter-weight connecting rods
- Camshaft cap and throttle body design enhancements
- E85 ethanol capability
"The changes to the 3.6L V-6 represent greater refinements to an already well-balanced package, including the use of new, lighter-weight components and enhancements designed to improve performance, efficiency and durability." GM (I have underlined some interesting pieces of information!)
Aluminum Engine Block and Integral Oil Pan
The 3.6L V-6 VVT's engine block is cast from A319 aluminum alloy. This aluminum-intensive construction means less weight and greater efficiency than conventional cast-iron engines – and less weight translates to improved vehicle fuel economy. The sand-mold-cast block features strong cast-in iron bore liners, six-bolt main caps, and inter-bay breather vents. A cast aluminum oil pan is stiffened to improve powertrain rigidity and reduce vehicle vibration.
Rotating Assembly with Oil-Spray Cooled Pistons
The crankshaft is manufactured from forged steel, while the connecting rods are made of powdered metal that features a higher ratio of copper, which makes them stronger and enables them to be lighter. The V-6 VVT engine family was developed with pressure-actuated oil squirters in all applications. The jets reduce piston temperature, which in turn allows the engine to produce more power without reducing long-term durability.
Integrated Cylinder Heads/Exhaust Manifolds
The LFX's new cylinder head design has a revised intake port design that enhances airflow to the combustion chambers. Larger-diameter intake valves are used in the heads and work in conjunction with new, longer-duration intake camshafts to provide the engine's boost in horsepower. By using larger valves and holding them open longer, more of the air is pulled into the combustion chamber, for a more powerful combustion. The exhaust manifold is incorporated with the cylinder head, which saves weight, reduces complexity and helps promote a quicker light off of the catalytic converter, which further helps reduce emissions.
Direct injection moves the point where fuel feeds into an engine closer to the point where it ignites, enabling greater combustion efficiency. It fosters a more complete burn of the fuel in the air-fuel mixture, and it operates at a lower temperature than conventional port injection. That allows the mixture to be leaner (less fuel and more air), so less fuel is required to produce the equivalent horsepower of a conventional, port injection fuel system. Direct injection also delivers reduced emissions, particularly cold-start emissions, which are cut by about 25 percent.
E85 Flex-Fuel Capability
E85 is a clean-burning, domestically produced alternative fuel composed of 85 percent ethanol alcohol and 15 percent gasoline. Ethanol is renewable and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions in the combustion process. It can be produced from various feed stocks, including corn and wheat stalks, forestry and agricultural waste and even municipal waste. (I have seen 85 octane at the pump in Utah - it's coming...)
Dual Overhead Cams with Four Valves per Cylinder and Silent Cam Drive
Four-valves-per-cylinder with inverted-tooth chain cam drive contributes to the smoothness and high output of the LFX. The engine incorporates a timing chain with an inverted tooth design. These smaller links engage at a lower impact speed, which decreases the noise generated. In conjunction with the smaller pitch chain, the number of teeth on the sprockets are increased, which increases the meshing frequency and further reduces noise and vibration. Four valves per cylinder and a silent chain valvetrain contribute to both smoothness and high output. Four-cam phasing changes the timing of valve operation as operating conditions such as rpm and engine load vary.
Variable Valve Timing
Variable valve timing (VVT), or cam phasing, helps the LFX deliver optimal performance and efficiency, and reduced emissions. It allows linear delivery of torque, with near-peak levels over a broad rpm range, and high specific output (horsepower per liter of displacement) without sacrificing overall engine response, or driveability. The system changes valve timing on the fly, maximizing engine performance for a variety of operating conditions. At idle, for example, the cam is at the full advanced position, enabling exceptionally smooth idle quality. Under other operating demands, cam phasing adjusts to deliver optimal valve timing for performance, driveability and fuel economy. At high rpm it might retard timing to maximize airflow through the engine and increase horsepower. At low rpm it can advance timing to increase torque. Under light-load driving it can retard timing at all engine speeds to improve fuel economy.
Composite Intake Manifold and Fully Isolated Composite Camshaft Covers
The upper intake manifold for the LFX is made from composite material and provides mass savings over an aluminum manifold, with a carefully designed structure that helps ensure quiet engine operation. The surfaces on the cam covers are shaped to limit the broadcasting of undesirable noise, and the covers use isolating perimeter gaskets, as well as isolating radial lips around the tubes that accommodate the spark plugs. These effectively de-couple the covers from vibration generated in the block and engine during combustion. Acoustic dampening has also been added for additional NVH improvements.
Refinement, Durability and Maintenance
Additional changes incorporated in the LFX deliver greater refinement, quietness and durability, starting with revisions to the front cover. It was redesigned with additional support ribs on the backside and an additional fastener to improve noise and vibration characteristics. The cylinder block is modified slightly to accommodate the front cover's additional fastener. Also, the camshafts feature new saddle-type caps for improved durability. Finally, the throttle body is updated with a new, digital throttle position feature that eliminates a previous mechanical contact for more trouble-free operation.
The fun part is going to be how we improve on this engine without compromise!
- 01-06-13 02:34 PM #2
XE's 2012 CTS Coupe Prem, Touring - Mods
Well I suppose it is only fair I post what I am planning to do with my Coupe.
If I could "buy it today" here is where I would start on my car.
Cold Air Intake - Airaid - looks like a good product but not available yet - increasing the total surface area of your intake filter always helps!
TB Mod - I think there might actually be an available mod for the Throttle Body now - Vendors speak up!
Catch Can - So many modern engines need these! I think the auto manufacturers decided the only way to keep the EPA off their back was to dump all oil vapor into the combustion chamber (intake) which results in freaking Pools of oil slopping around - GROSS! Tracy I'm still waiting for a part number so I can buy this from you!
Cat back exhaust - Magnaflow maybe - not available for LFX yet - might go with cutouts instead as they worked great on my last build - I hate the factory "suitcase" mufflers though.
PCM Tune - I think Vince can do an LFX tune but I need to speak with him about this, hit me up Vince!
- 01-07-13 04:58 PM #3
Re: 2012+ Performance Thread For LFX 3.6L V6 Engine - Discussion & Resources
I believe there is only one catch can for our engines. I could be wrong, but I just ordered mine a couple of weeks ago. Granted, I have a '10 3.6, but the can can't be any different (I believe).
- 01-07-13 08:10 PM #4
Re: 2012+ Performance Thread For LFX 3.6L V6 Engine - Discussion & Resources
D3 CAI is available now. RX isolator, it is amazing, RX ported and polished TB also amazing, Trifecta tune. I have not done the tune yet but that is next after the D3 CAI. Those are the items I am or have done. I don't want to go with the exhaust, maybe later but I don’t want my car to be louder when I am driving it on a regular bases. I use my car all day and I love the quiet cockpit. It's great for business.
- 01-07-13 09:40 PM #5
Remember, the 2012 and up now have the LFX engine. Not the LLT. so I'm not sure all of those items are available at this point. I know the iceolator is NOT available. Unless it changed in the past 24 hours.
- 01-08-13 11:37 AM #6
Re: 2012+ Performance Thread For LFX 3.6L V6 Engine - Discussion & Resources
Ah. I did not read that this was for the 2012.
- 01-08-13 02:57 PM #7
D3 Cadillac Offering THREE Cat-back Exhaust System Options for 2012+ 3.6!
Well I am pleased to say D3 is offering 3 options for Cat-back exhaust on the 3.6di for us 2012+ folks! When you call D3 ask for "Ro" and he can help set you up with any of the following options! The rundown is as follows:
- Install a Stock CTS-V exhaust system with light modding, more power, a bit more volume.
- The Corsa CTS-V exhaust system is quiet until you stand on it, modded to fit, more power.
- For an aggressive "note" to your exhaust the Borla CTS kit is now listed compatible with 2012 models!
(for reference, there is NO intake kit available and due to the "married" design of the new MAP sensor, attempts to "saw it off" the box and attach to aftermarket piping have thrown trouble codes and been unsuccessful at this time. Yes D3 tried it.)
- 01-10-13 02:37 PM #8
HP Tuners 6011 VCM Suite MPVI Standard Packages
For those well versed in creating your own tunes and using A/F monitors, Summit is showing the following tuner available now for 2012+ CTS V6 models! You can adjust anything you want with this system. For those unfamiliar with custom tuning a late model engine, try a Trifecta tune.
- 01-10-13 03:34 PM #9
K&N Drop In Air Filter # 33-2411 Available for 2012+
It was nice to see that K&N has now extended the part listing for their drop in high performance Air Filter up to 2013! All 2012+ LFX engine owners know the MAP sensor is part of the airbox now, so we cannot run the cold ait intake of the 2011- models.
I suppose for now this is our only intake option, I will let you know how it works out!
Since the App guide at K&N shows this filter used for the 6.2L V model also, it MUST flow very well on our 3.6L Engines!
- 01-12-13 11:50 AM #10
The Truth About Air - Oil Separators (also called "Catch Cans")
Let's take a moment to discuss Air - Oil Separators, commonly called "Catch Cans". Since when do we need one and why?
Pollution. The short version is, as we tried to get more responsible towards the environment, auto manufacturers were faced with a troubling issue: Escaping oil vapors. Compared to exhaust, oil vapors are many times more harmful, because they retain both hydrocarbons and other unburnt pollutants. Allowing them to escape in the atmosphere was not an option, so what to do? Use a vacuum line and suck them back into the engines intake tract, so the motor can burn the oil, and the catalytic converter can hopefully bake off what is left. Does it work? Mostly... for awhile.
If you spend some time with your right foot buried down the top of the engine, you are producing a lot more of this unwanted by-product than an average casual driver. The reason is that our engines are just air pumps, and the back of the piston is not burning, but moving just as much air around. Your hot engine has oil splashing all over inside the motor, and the vapors get picked up by this moving air, often called "windage". Over time you are going to move enough vapor that it will begin to condense and coat various parts of the intake tract. The oil vapors burning also leave deposits behind on your valves, combustion chamber, and inside the converters. All in all not a good thing for longevity of that performance we love.
For hard drivers like us, an Air - Oil Separator can allow the Air to pass by, and the Oil vapor to accumulate into oil we can later drain off. Why don't manufacturers put these on our engines from the factory? That is up for discussion - my belief is it would stand as a billboard for the auto manufacturers, admitting they have a long way to go to make engines environmentally friendly. So for now it is our dirty little secret (literally). The PCV system and line name, literally stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation.
So how does it work? There is a ball type check valve on the valve cover, with a 3/8" to 1/2" hose going directly back to the intake manifold. When your engine is running, vacuum pulls on this hose, allowing any blown-by vapors or windage to escape into the intake for burning in the combustion chamber. Some fresh air is allowed to enter via a breather line from the Airbox. We cut into the PCV hose to install the Air - Oil Separator and stop the oil from ever getting back to the intake.
Watch how fast oil collects under hard driving on this CTS-V with a special Clear separator can:
Looks like a tablespoon of oil in ONE (admittedly hard) driving session.
Do I need one? Go pull the PCV line where it connects to your intake manifold. If you can get a partial drop of oil on your finger here, there is likely quite a bit more accumulated inside your intake (you should pull the Throttle Body and clean out the plenum with a long reaching rod and rag). This would indicate you Can benfit from the simple install of a separator. If you are clean as a whistle, you are probably ok.
What makes a good Air - Oil Separator? Designs vary, but the bottom line is this: If you can pull the hose at the intake and you do not have oil residue any longer, your Catch Can is doing its job. I prefer the type that have a metal substrate mesh inside, this forces the vapors to touch and wrap around countless curves and smaller air paths. As the vapors twist and turn about the mesh, they cool and the oil condenses and builds up on the mesh, then dripping into the lower part of the can for disposal later (instead of going into your engine, fouling things up).
Does this change my required maintenance? Not really. After you install an Air - Oil Separator, you should drive about 1500 miles and then take a look - you may have a few tablespoons in the can. If there is plenty of room still in the can, you are likely good to just empty it at your 3000 mile oil change - you can recyle that oil with your used oil. If you use the Oil Life system, then keep an eye on it until you know how fast you build oil up.
My engine is gunked up inside! Now what? Buy some SeaFoam, it eats and breaks down carbon. Dump a full can into 1/4 tank of gas and run it low. Get a second can and follow the directions for fuel injected engine cleaning, you can draw it from your catch can hose that goes into the intake. Don't let the engine "drink" it in too fast! Get a friend to help by barely touching the accelerator enough to keep it from dying while you draw in the cleaner. A MotorVac service would be an Excellent option also, if you know a shop doing them.
This is the Moroso #85602 Separator kit for CTS-V (I used black #85603)
Here is the RevExtreme Catch Can for CTS - Available in many colors.
Another offering from Billet Technology - Different colors.
- 01-13-13 11:49 PM #11
2012+ CTS 3.6DI Spiral Port Throttle Body (LFX) From Bad New Racing
If you want to add a little power, there is a claimed gain of 5rwhp and 5rwtq from this Spiral Ported Throttle Body job done by Bad News Racing.
You have to send them your TB and they mod it. Pay $365, but get $200 back as a core charge.
End cost $165
Honestly I'm on the fence with this one because the TB bore diameter in MM is not changed and the butterfly is not replaced.
- 01-13-13 11:59 PM #12
2012+ Trifecta Tune from Bad News Racing
For the 2012+ PCM tunes we currently have the Trifecta tune available from Bad News Racing also.
This will allow you to state what mods you have and get a tune tailored to your mods.
If it is not just so, you can work with BNR and get it right.
Not sure if these tunes leave artifacts in the PCM the dealership can see or not - I need to ask about that.
If you pop your motor and the dealership discovers the PCM has been flashed you could be in hot water, for those in warranty.
- 01-20-13 10:42 PM #13
2012 LFX Borla 11824 Exhaust System
2012 LFX Borla 11824 Exhaust System
Well I put this on today and let me tell you I am SO HAPPY with it!
Zero Drone, Little to NO change in Cabin volume. My cruising is unaffected volume wise.
When you step on it though, WOW sounds really good!
What is kind of funny is, listen how similar it sounds to This....
To be honest I prefer my CTS - Much more versatile!
- 01-21-13 12:48 AM #14
I'm assuming you have a Coupe...do you know if they have this same exhaust for the sedan, rwd?
- 01-21-13 12:49 PM #15
2012 CTS Sedan 3.6 V6 Exhaust System
- Rugged Ridge - Bumper Light Mounting Bracket
Bumper Light Mounting Bracket - X-Clamp; Light Mounting Bracket
- Dual Audio - 4-Way Speakers
4-Way Speakers - 6-1/2 Inch RoundMore on Dual Audio - 4-Way Speakers
- Signature Products Group Mossy Oak - Gear Shift Knob
Gear Shift Knob - Browning Pistol Grip