: The 501 V

04-07-11, 03:40 PM
Alright as long as no one opposes, I figure I'd start a thread with my car mods, kinda keep all my stuff together under one thread...

Here is my car... all stock


I started the LED light bulb swap... bought my bulbs from SuperBrightLEDs as suggested by the other threads on this topic... My suggestion to anyone doing this READ ALL THE THREADS ALL THE WAY THROUGH BEFORE PURCHASING ANY BULB... cause various things come up thru the history of the thread that you may want to consider...

I started with the License Plate lights, rear dome & door courtesy lights...
All easy to do... the license plate lights are just a pain, I would suggest if your gonna do them do your backup lights at the same time as you won't have to do them separately (like I am) which means taking off the panel that holds the license plate & back up lights.

courtesy lights come out easy, use a small flat head to pry it out carefully. There are four prongs that hold the light in to the socket case. When you've changed the bulb, pull the socket case down, then connect your light cover to the case & reinsert. Also the festoon bulbs I used (4410-x9) work, but they seem a little loose.

here is a shot of the door courtesy light compared to the floorboard lights


another good comparison shot


For the license plate lights I used these


Start by opening your trunk, carefully remove the plastic round push in "clips" that hold the "juke" panel to the trunk lid. Then I used to 10mm size, tall/long socket to remove the nuts from the threads (I think there are 8, I may be wrong)



Once your rear panel is undone, lift CAREFULLY out..


notice the yellow wires?



These lead you to your license plate lights, twist them loose & this is what you will see


Remove the bulb


Install your LED bulb, check to make sure they light up


Do the other side, follow directions in reverse, bob's your uncle & your done.

(My apologies for the dust & pollen, it rained the very next day so I didn't wanna wash the car)



Next was the rear dome light. Very easy, again with the flat head screwdriver, CAREFULLY pry the light down (it may squeak), I believe there are 4 prongs on the cover as well, pull the old bulb put your festoon in, replace the cover & your done... (sorry no comparison pics here)


04-07-11, 03:41 PM
Next I did the arm rest "upgrade"...


I found what I thought was a black armrest on Ebay for less than half of what was a posted price for a new one on a CaddyFaq site.


It's not as dark black as I would prefer, but it definitely doesn't look outta place. The pics make it look really lighter gray than what it is.

First I popped off the middle cover piece,


then the side round things with a flat head screwdriver (small). Just kinda gently go around it, separating the white piece from the round exterior piece.



Next I used an allen wrench (metric 5 i believe it was), looks like you could use a torx set on it.


Once the screws are out, lift the old arm rest out, put the new arm rest in making sure the little black spacers (shown here just under the metal arms & on both sides) are in place...




& screw it back in place & put all your covers back on... side note that the CTS-V cover will not fit on the CTS Arm rest, note the differences

CTS on top & CTS-V on bottom


Here is the finished product




Stay tuned as the story develops...

04-11-11, 04:24 PM
Very nice write up!

04-11-11, 05:36 PM
Indeed! Please don't be discouraged by a lack of posts... write ups with lots of pictures are always appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to do this!

04-12-11, 02:27 PM
Good write up and pics.

Fyi- If anyone is chasing a nasty console rattle, those thin washers between the torx bolts and white plastic may be your issue. To test fort it, if you can lightly bang the side of the armrest and you hear a rattle, (other than junk actually in the console), that's probably it...drove me nuts for a long time!

04-12-11, 05:43 PM
This is good stuff. Always read these type of posts.

04-14-11, 01:30 PM
Good stuff, keep it up!

04-15-11, 07:58 AM
Great write up, much appreciated

04-21-11, 12:54 PM
Took the V in to have the OnStar replaced (was getting the "Phone not Available" message when locking & unlocking the car, as well as a red light on the mirror) got it replaced for free (saved me like $700 according to the Dealership) also, after the 50k service, when I would make low speed turns (left or right) I was getting this NASTY grinding sound from the rear (rear diff to be exact). So they put more additive in the rear diff which made it go away or suppressed it to the point I can't hear it anymore. They used the factory GM stuff though.

As soon as it decides to stop raining I can get it cleaned up once again & lookin half way decent. I'll be ordering a few more of the LED's soon, but I've been side tracked by my other toy (1972 Pontiac LeMans) that I'm working on. Just ordered some DynaMat for it, so that has pulled funding away from the LED project. Too many toys...

04-22-11, 03:36 PM
The LED's for the footwells are a piece of cake to do FWIW.

tommy compton
04-22-11, 04:05 PM
Thought I was gonna be looking at a big block.

04-22-11, 07:36 PM
Thought I was gonna be looking at a big block.:histeric:

THIS is the guy (the OP) to do a writeup on my Katech LS9 clutch install. :thumbsup:

04-25-11, 04:14 PM
The LED's for the footwells are a piece of cake to do FWIW.

Yeah, I keep meaning to order those, but have been forgetting, definitely need to get it done as the yellow light looks like crap in comparison...

04-25-11, 04:44 PM
Ok... So my car had gotten some pea size or smaller hail on it before without any damage done (luckily). So after that I decided not to let the car be that vulnerable again. I did this once before when the storms were blowing thru again, got some hail & was VERY glad I did. Then I got on line here & read a post about the poor guy who owns his V for like 10 days or so & got the crap pounded out of it by baseball size hail & that was just more justification that I wasn't crazy for doing this & was even more glad I did when it did hail on my car with all it's "armor" on.... So last night before all the storms rolled in I "re-armored" the car for more storms...





BUT today we had a nice several hour break in our storm, sun shinning and all, so I went home, uncovered the poor beast & took it to work where I will leave it in the parking deck (we have 24/7 security [human & camera]) at my work, safe from all the bad weather.

Pretty funny, everyone passing by in their cars looking at me like WTH?? Even a neighbor came over & asked me what I was doing... He got a good laugh, but I'll be the one laughing (not really) when his Mercedes looks like the back of a over the hill, beauty queen's thigh.

The "armor" consists of:

1st layer) old bed sheets (entire car)
2nd layer) SEVERAL old car floor mats & rungs from inside my home (Hood, Roof, Trunk)
3rd layer) beach towels & standard bath towels (sides, windows, A & C pillars)
4th layer) thin rubber mat (front windshield, roof, back windshield)
5th layer) pre-cut Styrofoam insulation board (top of the car)
6th layer) packing foam (sides)

Now I cover all this with a padded car cover so it doesn't look abnormal when that's done. Now this may not completely stop it from being damaged, but it will certainly cut down on how much it gets that's for sure.

To answer the question "Why don't you put it in the garage?" & that is a good question. Unlike most of America, I don't have a crap ton of junk storing in the garage, I have a 1972 Pontiac LeMans I am "restoring" (which if my wife was asked, it would be a crap ton of junk, but lets not go that dark place). I am currently trying to figure out something to get the LeMans aka "Heavy Metal" out of there & to it's own safe haven, giving me back my garage.

Anyway, so I thought you guys would get a kick out this... Let the ridicule begin!!!

04-26-11, 12:23 AM
I wasn't home last Friday when the really bad hailstorm hit so I did basically the same thing - two heavy king sized bed spreads under my all weather cover. Survived just perfectly.

04-26-11, 12:29 AM
No ridicule here. I wasn't home last Friday when the really bad hailstorm hit so I did basically the same thing - two heavy king sized bed spreads under my all weather cover. Survived just perfectly.