1998 Cadillac Catera engine swap options?

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Cadillac Catera and Cimarron Forum Discussion, 1998 Cadillac Catera engine swap options? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; My parents have a 1998 Catera that they got from my grandfather a while back. They recently put in a ...
  1. #1
    4Birdman is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): Catera
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    1998 Cadillac Catera engine swap options?

    My parents have a 1998 Catera that they got from my grandfather a while back. They recently put in a new transmission and, as normal luck would have it, the radiator recently cracked and it was driven for too long hot and it smoked the motor. So now they have a pretty nice and well maintained Catera with a brand new transmission and a dead engine.

    They went out and bought a new car, and considering the complete lack of value for even a running Catera they decided to keep it until they figure something out.

    My brother decided that he wants it, so we are trying to figure out engine options. We talked about finding a wrecked GTO/Fbody and swapping in the drivetrain, but that would involve him bringing it to my workshop and taking up the majority of my space to do a long drawn out project. I run a business out of my shop so as fun as that sounds I would not like to encourage that as a feasable option.

    So I figure maybe we can find an engine option that is close to a bolt-in deal. Something that we can accomplish in a weekend or marginally more, that won't take up all my space for months on end. I read that the 3.2L is a good option, but not sure if there are any better options out there.

    I am an fbody guy, and an older car guy so newer stuff, especially newer stuff that are missing a few cylinders, I do not have much knowledge of.

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  3. #2
    elvin315's Avatar
    elvin315 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): Platinum 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Warwick, NY

    Re: 1998 Cadillac Catera engine swap options?

    The stock L81 3.0L V6 is a tight fit and anything else will take major work. The LA3 3.2 V6 is basically bored out L81 with all the updates. Opel used it in the Omega and the Catera would've gotten it too if production had continued past 2001. It puts out 220 HP versus the original's 200. It uses a 'fly-by-wire' throttle but the cable throttle and intake hardware from your '98 will swap over with no problems. You'll need to use the L81's oil pan as the CTS's is shaped differently. The alternator, A/C compressor, P/S pump will swap over. Same for the plenum and Dual-Ram assembly.

  4. #3
    investor74 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): '97 Forest Green Catera
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: 1998 Cadillac Catera engine swap options?

    Check out the other thread. 98Geldog has a totalled Catera he's parting out with a 50K engine.

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