2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log
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Cadillac ATS General Discussion Forum Discussion, 2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; Decided to start a build log for my ATS since a bunch of things have been planned and/or ordered. Car ...
  1. #1
    db_outlaw's Avatar
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    2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log

    Decided to start a build log for my ATS since a bunch of things have been planned and/or ordered.

    Car Stereo
    Last set of speakers are being ordered today. Aftermarket system to include:
    • Scanspeak tweeters in a-pillar
    • Dynaudio 6.5" in doors and Dynaudio 3.5" in center dash
    • Dynaudio 12" in rear deck (may run 2 infinite baffle; undecided)
    • Audison 5-channel amp to run everything except the center channel; smaller 2-channel Audison amp to run the center channel
    • Audison BIT 1 processor
    • 3 boxes of sound deadener and deflex pads for the doors and center channel

    This setup will use the stock mounting locations and be "stealth". Amps and processor will go in the spare tire well with carpeted covers.

    Performance
    I already ordered the Pfadt p35 kit which is good for 260whp and 340wtq. The kit is currently on back order but I expect it with a few weeks. In the future, I'd like to swap the exhaust, upgrade to the Pfadt p45 kit and buy lowering springs when they become available.

    Cosmetic
    This past weekend I tried my hand at using Plastidip to black on my chrome trim. In conclusion, I suck at plasti-dip and removed 90% of it immediately after *trying* to apply it. I still like the black look but I'm going to "do it right" and have already ordered the following:
    • black chrome front grille
    • black chrome rear fascia
    • new 3M badges and Duplicolor shadow spray paint

    In addition, I am researching shops to overlay my chrome window trim with matte black vinyl as well as tint my windows (VA legal @ 50% front and 35% rear). Lastly, when I need new tires, I'm going to upgrade my 17s to black chrome OEM 18s (from Detroit Tire) with Michelon Pilot a/s 3 tires.

    So I have quite a bit of projects in the works. Pics will be posted as they become available.

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  3. #2
    ATSFL is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log

    sounds great thus far, looking forward to pics!

  4. #3
    AirBusPilot is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log

    Your power mods are identical to mine.

    I just have to buy the car first, lol. (Wife has strict orders to finish home remodel first, grr..).

  5. #4
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    Re: 2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log

    Just curios are you retaining CUE head unit? I did something. Similar in my 2011 Corvette GS had to give up Onstar.

  6. #5
    db_outlaw's Avatar
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    Re: 2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log

    Yes, I'm keeping the stock CUE head unit.

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    Re: 2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log

    Black chrome grille, black chrome bezel and window tint installed. Pics...







    Next up, Pfadt p35 kit which arrives early next week... stay tuned.

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    Re: 2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log

    p35 kit gets installed tomorrow and I'm applying black chrome vinyl overtop the chrome window trim on Sunday. Hope it all goes smoothly.
    Groomie likes this.

  9. #8
    bowtie_30 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log

    Let me know how you like the P35 kit. I've been doing research on it and been considering using my Christmas bonus to pay for it.

  10. #9
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    Re: 2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log

    p35 kit has been a failure since I ordered it.

    Firstly, nearly a one-month wait before the next batch was ready (despite immediate charge to my credit card). When my package finally arrives, all I have is a CAI. No tuning cable, no downpipe! Call pfadt (guys, seriously, that phone menu SUCKS... I key an extension and it never wants to take until I jam it in a half-dozen times) and they have replacement product expedited which will still reach me in time for the weekend (when the install was scheduled). Fast foward three days; boom, 2 boxes at my doorstep. Another CAI and a catted downpipe! Still no tuning cable! WTF guys? Eric told me it was safe to still install the CAI and downpipe and just to take it easy until they can send me a tuning cable. So I said, WTH, let's keep the ball rolling.

    My trusty backyard mechanic couldn't break the first bolt holding down the downpipe. Claimed it was stainless steel and that they like to deform due to soft metal. Disappointed, he put on the CAI without trouble. Off to the first exhaust shop who wouldn't install a piece that was not "the same GM configuration". WTH does that mean exactly?! Plus his estimate was $100.

    Off to good-ole Meineke who said they could do it for $50 but they had to let the car cool down so I drop it off. Barely made it back home and they call back saying that the turbo was cross drilled incorrectly to the manifold from the factory and he advised taking it to the dealership for warranty repairs.

    So, currently I have 1 CAI (installed), 1 CAI packaged and awaiting an return authorization number, a downpipe that's riding around in my trunk,an incorrectly mounted turbo awaiting dealership response and a MIA tuning cable that can't seem to make it's way from UT to VA. Poor GM QA and poor Pfadt shipping QA (twice!). Recent Pfadt experience really has me wary to upgrade to the p45 kit. Quite the disappointing weekend.


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    Re: 2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log

    Finally got the tuning cable from Pfadt and the new map but still waiting on delivery of an exhaust gasket before the downpipe gets installed. Maybe by this weekend... In the meantime, I just ordered 18" OEM rims that I plan to get sprayed Black Chrome (PVD) next year. Build is nearing completion.

  12. #11
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    Re: 2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log

    i meant to comment on this a bit ago and never did. an incorrectly mounted turbo?? i hope you didn't believe that; that's almost impossible. the exhaust manifold is cast iron, as is the exhaust housing on the turbo. i guess what i'm trying to say is, there's no way to incorrectly clock it really, not to mention, if your OEM downpipe fits, so should an aftermarket one.

    my guess is you brought it to the shop, and once they realized a catalyst was being replaced, they didn't want to risk possibly getting in trouble, so they made up something to get you out the door.

    do it yourself or have a friend help, it's not that bad really.

  13. #12
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    Re: 2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log

    I meant cross-threaded and not cross drilled. So the 4 bolts that hold the turbo on are all cross-threaded. It makes sense since my friend couldn't break loose the first bolt with a wrench. The entire engine rocked but it didn't give. He stopped because he didn't want to break the bolt. I'm hoping the previous owner didn't do something aftermarket and screw this up. According to the sales guy, the previous owner was going to add an aftermarket kit but opted to trade it in and get camaro and mod that instead. Car only had 8500mi when I bought her and I signed a form that showed how much warranty remained...

    I should know something in a few days when she goes in to get looked at. Whatever the situation, that damn downpipe is getting put on. Either by the dealership or somebody else. I've had the tune since late last week. She also needs an oil change.

  14. #13
    bowtie_30 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log

    Quote Originally Posted by db_outlaw View Post
    p35 kit has been a failure since I ordered it.

    Firstly, nearly a one-month wait before the next batch was ready (despite immediate charge to my credit card). When my package finally arrives, all I have is a CAI. No tuning cable, no downpipe! Call pfadt (guys, seriously, that phone menu SUCKS... I key an extension and it never wants to take until I jam it in a half-dozen times) and they have replacement product expedited which will still reach me in time for the weekend (when the install was scheduled). Fast foward three days; boom, 2 boxes at my doorstep. Another CAI and a catted downpipe! Still no tuning cable! WTF guys? Eric told me it was safe to still install the CAI and downpipe and just to take it easy until they can send me a tuning cable. So I said, WTH, let's keep the ball rolling.

    My trusty backyard mechanic couldn't break the first bolt holding down the downpipe. Claimed it was stainless steel and that they like to deform due to soft metal. Disappointed, he put on the CAI without trouble. Off to the first exhaust shop who wouldn't install a piece that was not "the same GM configuration". WTH does that mean exactly?! Plus his estimate was $100.

    Off to good-ole Meineke who said they could do it for $50 but they had to let the car cool down so I drop it off. Barely made it back home and they call back saying that the turbo was cross drilled incorrectly to the manifold from the factory and he advised taking it to the dealership for warranty repairs.

    So, currently I have 1 CAI (installed), 1 CAI packaged and awaiting an return authorization number, a downpipe that's riding around in my trunk,an incorrectly mounted turbo awaiting dealership response and a MIA tuning cable that can't seem to make it's way from UT to VA. Poor GM QA and poor Pfadt shipping QA (twice!). Recent Pfadt experience really has me wary to upgrade to the p45 kit. Quite the disappointing weekend.
    Thanks for the update, making me really consider not doing this. I think I'll just wait for more aftermarket stuff to come out. haha

  15. #14
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    Re: 2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log

    Been a little while but I finally got my downpipe installed and re-flashed the car with the pfadt p35 tune.

    Weather was clear today so I took the car on some city street driving.

    The short story is

    I think my car's balls just dropped.

    The long story is:

    In comfort mode...
    The car is lot peppier in the low speeds/RPMs. First is a touch anorexic with second being a noticeable improvement. There's a sticky point in second where if you have the throttle just right, the car is just on the verge of shifting to third; like it's beckoning you to hit the gas. I didn't look at my RPMs but I'm sure I was no where near redline. I've had this happen a few times while "normal-aggressive driving". Third is where the power definitely comes out. Turbo is spooled up and away you go.

    I asked pfadt about an issue where the car didn't seem to want to downshift from sixth and here's my response:

    In long, this is the reason why: Regarding the shift points, the tune is designed to shift at lower shift points than stock to fit the power curve with the P35 kit (even on the stock tune, why GM had it shifting at 6500 RPM is beyond me given the LTG’s power curve). For an example, if you go WOT in 3rd gear it will shift somewhere around 4500 RPM. By shifting at 4500RPM, you are keeping your engine in the power band and increasing acceleration. Winding the engine out to 6500RPM is actually the slower way to accelerate due to the turbo engine's torque/power curve. This is part of the tune upgrade that increases power and acceleration. So my consensus is (again, just from your email and not seeing a log file), that when you punched the car, it would have dropped you down a gear where the engine would have been still above 4500rpm, and therefor NOT have been the right gear to get you the most torque available for faster acceleration. Does that makes sense?
    It makes sense to me but at the same time, it worries me in a situation where I'm cruising in sixth and punch it expecting the car to downshift and slingshot its way forward. I can foresee an accident where I'm at-fault if the tune doesn't allow me to downshift.

    Overall it's a solid improvement over stock with a minor gripe or two. Worth the money, yes.

    In sport mode...
    Holy Hell!!! First three gears are smooth. No lagginess whatsoever. Smooth, quick shifts and the car just plows forward. I didn't get a chance to do any dig launches but just from the spirited accelerations, this mode is rocking. Since I was on city streets, I didn't get a chance to romp on it from sixth to see if the downshift issue was still prevalent. I'll test that Monday on my interstate work commute.

    Was the tune worth the cost? Hell yes and now I'm jonesing for the p45 kit.
    off1c3r likes this.

  16. #15
    Limitedslip5150's Avatar
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    Re: 2013 Cadillac ATS4 Performance Build Log

    Very nice, I still have faith in these guys. Did you end up doing the DP yourself? Keep us posted with any more Black Chrome pics, I foresee this in my ATS's future.

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