: Best mods to start



V-twin
09-29-13, 01:29 AM
I'm getting ready to order the first round of mods for my 2006 CTS-V. I just bought the car about a month ago, with 69,000 miles, completely (almost) stock. It had the CAGS eliminator already, a spare tire and a K&N filter in the stock intake.

I've spent hours reading through old threads on here from the FAQs and specific searches, and I've got some of the stuff figured out, but I'm still undecided on others, so I figured I'd post up the plan, and see what feedback I can get from everyone who's got the experience with these cars/mods.

This is my daily driver, and I'm mostly looking for reliability, good handling and power, and a nice exhaust tone, louder than stock, with a deep tone, not so loud I wake the neighborhood (I have another car for that). I'm pretty happy with the power for now, so I'm not too concerned with engine mods for right now. Those will come later.

I've already had PISNUOFF modify my shifter, and I'm waiting to install until I can do a bunch of this stuff at the same time.

I'll start with the mounts and bushings:

UUC shifter bushings from Luke
Revshift blue motor mounts
Revshift tranny mount insert
Revshift red cradle bushings
Revshift red diff mount bushing



Then exhaust:

OBX headers w/high flow cats - OR - Pacesetter headers w/ high flow cats
Stock exhaust manifold gaskets
header studs?
Magnaflow or Borla mufflers on stock pipes, with stock resonator
4" double wall slant tips



I haven't decided yet on headers, because I want high flow cats for emissions inspection, but I also want ceramic coating for lower underhood temps. I'd love to get Kooks with cats, and a Corsa cat back, but I can't spend $3000 just for exhaust. I've seen threads with Magnaflow mufflers welded in place of the stockers, and they sound good. Anyone done the same thing but with a Borla muffler? I'd really like to hear how that sounds.

A few engine upgrades:

New spark plugs (stock)
160 deg. thermostat
Spark plug wires
Plug wire wraps
Modular intake tube?
Down the road a ways... LS7 clutch and flywheel



Does anyone make a modular intake tube for these cars, to use the stock airbox and filter? Is the Volant intake worth the money? Which plug wires are good with headers?

And suspension/wheels/tires:
I'd love to buy the KW V3 or Belltech coilovers, but they don't fit the budget right now. Are the D2 or ksport coilovers a significant improvement over stock for handling? I prefer a stiffer spring rate than the 400 lb/in stock springs, but still want a good ride quality. I don't plan to do any track days in this car, but I suppose that could change. I would like to get the ride height a little lower (.5 to 1" lower should be good), and fit wider 19" wheels, too, without rubbing. I'm considering Forgestar F14s, or Linea Corse HC855s. Would the D2 or ksport coilovers stock spring rates be sufficient to lower the car with either of those wheels without rubbing? And for tires, I'd probably run Hankook Ventus V12 Evos.

So that's where I'm at currently. I welcome any and all advice, and hope to get my questions answered, too.

Thanks,
Tim

Naf
09-30-13, 05:06 AM
Motor mounts headers cia...

Than later heads cam intake.

Than brakes suspension

And finally exterior cf mods

FuzzyLogic
09-30-13, 09:07 AM
How much are you willing to spend to avoid rework--for instance, pulling the transmission again later on? Are there any upcoming periods of time where you'll have more than Friday-Saturday-Sunday to work on the car?

You seem like you're off to a good, educated start, but I really recommend you stay away from D2/K-Sport coilovers. As with many things, there's a big cost hurdle that you'll have to clear if you truly want to improve the performance and ride quality of the car instead of merely making it look fast and ride like a vomit comet.

If you've read my CTS-V suspension tuning threads here and on LS1Tech, you already know that independently adjustable conpression and damping are critical to achieving better ride quality than you have now while simultaneously lowering the car and improving performance. As you may recall, even one click off the optimal rebound settings for my spring rates had a noticeable impact on performance and ride quality. Now imagine not having that adjustability at all (or artificially linking those adjustments, a la D2/K-Sport).

In my book, stick with the stock suspension until you can afford the Belltech (KW V3) package and a set of 896 in-lb Swift springs. You'll save time and money in the long run.

philistine
09-30-13, 04:37 PM
Depending on your sequence of mods, you will be very familiar with dismantling and reassembling your car. For example, do rear cradle bushing and you will be removing your exhaust etc. So that mod you could group with rear-end bushing, transmount, trailing arms, brake lines, brakes, and exhaust.

Take a look:
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/2004-2007-cadillac-cts-v-performance/289471-revshift-subframe-control-arm-bushings-installed.html

If you're waiting to put on that shifter for another group of mods, clutch, shifter bandaids, and again exhaust and transmount go good with each other.

Just something to think about before you tear into your car. Personally, I gather a collection then plan a hell week of mods...or in my case hell month as I complete my fueling mod.

Regarding your spark plugs, I use NGK stock heat range, stock plug wires and plug socks to protect them from the headers. At the risk of getting flamed...I'm not a believer in any cold air intake on a stock block, purely aesthetics and gains only a chassis dyno can measure - plays a larger role when you forced induct it then do some shopping. If you do CAI and headers separately, plan on paying the tuner twice unless you tune yourself. Heads, cam, intake...another tune. Those sessions can be $200 a pop for light mods and up to $500 for more invasive mods.

For header studs, ARP. Just be prepared in the event one of your stock exhaust bolts snaps off at the head - more common than you think.

OEM exhaust gaskets FTW

A medium budget friendly exhaust is Stainless Works 3" header back. I have that one and love the sound. Best sounding exhaust I ever owned was a headerback Bassani but the drone could be overpowering - that was back in my Mustang days.

You got a pretty big list of stuff there.

V-twin
10-01-13, 08:30 PM
How much are you willing to spend to avoid rework--for instance, pulling the transmission again later on? Are there any upcoming periods of time where you'll have more than Friday-Saturday-Sunday to work on the car?


I'd prefer to do it right the first time to avoid rework. If you're thinking replace the clutch now instead of later, I was planning on waiting because the clutch was just replaced less than 10k miles ago, at the same time as a slave cylinder warranty replacement. I'd rather wait a while on that.

I won't have any long weekends to work on the car soon, but I can leave it in the garage for a week if I can't finish in one weekend, and drive a different car.

V-twin
10-01-13, 11:03 PM
Depending on your sequence of mods, you will be very familiar with dismantling and reassembling your car. For example, do rear cradle bushing and you will be removing your exhaust etc. So that mod you could group with rear-end bushing, transmount, trailing arms, brake lines, brakes, and exhaust.

I was trying to do most of the stuff that will require much disassembly at once, to save time and take advantage of stuff already being taken apart. Are wider trailing arms necessary to run 10" wide wheels in back?


Take a look:
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/2004-2007-cadillac-cts-v-performance/289471-revshift-subframe-control-arm-bushings-installed.html

That looks like a royal pain. I hope the improvement is worth it.


If you're waiting to put on that shifter for another group of mods, clutch, shifter bandaids, and again exhaust and transmount go good with each other.

Just something to think about before you tear into your car. Personally, I gather a collection then plan a hell week of mods...or in my case hell month as I complete my fueling mod.

Regarding your spark plugs, I use NGK stock heat range, stock plug wires and plug socks to protect them from the headers. At the risk of getting flamed...I'm not a believer in any cold air intake on a stock block, purely aesthetics and gains only a chassis dyno can measure - plays a larger role when you forced induct it then do some shopping. If you do CAI and headers separately, plan on paying the tuner twice unless you tune yourself. Heads, cam, intake...another tune. Those sessions can be $200 a pop for light mods and up to $500 for more invasive mods.

For header studs, ARP. Just be prepared in the event one of your stock exhaust bolts snaps off at the head - more common than you think.

OEM exhaust gaskets FTW

A medium budget friendly exhaust is Stainless Works 3" header back. I have that one and love the sound. Best sounding exhaust I ever owned was a headerback Bassani but the drone could be overpowering - that was back in my Mustang days.

Thanks for the recommendations. I think I may just do headers and cats now, and wait on the catback or mufflers. I'll see how it sounds with the stock mufflers. That shouldn't be difficult to do later on.


You got a pretty big list of stuff there.

I know. I won't do all of it at once, but I should be able to get most of it done. Wheels and suspension will probably wait.

philistine
10-01-13, 11:58 PM
I'd prefer to do it right the first time to avoid rework. If you're thinking replace the clutch now instead of later, I was planning on waiting because the clutch was just replaced less than 10k miles ago, at the same time as a slave cylinder warranty replacement. I'd rather wait a while on that.

I won't have any long weekends to work on the car soon, but I can leave it in the garage for a week if I can't finish in one weekend, and drive a different car.

The OEM clutch with that boat anchor of a flywheel is why some replace it. Brand new or used, the mod of replacing it is worth it by I think everyone who has. To save some coin on new prices check out a little more on the forums and LS1 tech...really good deals on flywheel/clutch as some move to the next tier of horsepower.

RyRidesMotoX
10-02-13, 11:51 AM
I have the header back Stainless Works exhaust, 1&3/4 headers and then 3 inches all the way back. I love how it sounds. I get home at like 2am everyday from work and I have no complaints from the neighbors.

V-twin
10-09-13, 11:50 PM
Anyone have any experience with both OBX headers and Kooks? Is it really worth twice the price for Kooks?

I'm considering the LS7 clutch (probably a Monster stage 2), but leaning toward waiting until later. I don't have a problem with the clutch/flywheel now, but my brother is going to replace his (04 CTS V clutch) with the Monster stage 2, so I'll see how differently it drives before I make that decision.

Stroudism
12-31-13, 04:42 AM
Anyone have any experience with both OBX headers and Kooks? Is it really worth twice the price for Kooks?

I'm also interested in this...

FuzzyLogic
12-31-13, 01:39 PM
I'm also interested in this...

As I understand it, Kooks developed the headers, and OBX ripped them off. Functionally identical pieces, both 304 stainless steel.

rand49er
12-31-13, 04:32 PM
As I understand it, Kooks developed the headers, and OBX ripped them off. Functionally identical pieces, both 304 stainless steel.Somebody just the other day was complaining about the OBX hitting his steering linkage. Don't have the problem with Kooks.


EDIT: Yeah, here it is ... http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/2004-2007-cadillac-cts-v-performance/429161-fng-help.html

253ctsv
12-31-13, 06:19 PM
Kooks are the tits

ctsv247
01-03-14, 12:14 AM
I would scrap all if it and do the 8.8 swap based on the fact that just about everyone who does it says its the best money they've spent on the car. Followed close behind that is the ls7 clutch strictly in terms of the reviews people are writing about it.

philistine
01-03-14, 12:22 AM
I would scrap all if it and do the 8.8 swap based on the fact that just about everyone who does it says its the best money they've spent on the car. Followed close behind that is the ls7 clutch strictly in terms of the reviews people are writing about it.

It is a different car after the swap. Doesn't drive the same in any gear - much, much better! A clutch and 8.8 swap will keep you off the dealer's lot and make you love the V1.

ctsv247
01-03-14, 12:41 AM
But all the mounts and a shifter upgrade kinda go without saying

Whitten
03-24-14, 10:59 PM
I'm in the same boat as you, I have done some very easy and basic things to the car and now I have a blood lust for more mods. It is my daily driver as well so I won't doing a heads cam package or any wild suspension mods.

I did go today and pick up some TR55 plugs to replace the original AC delco's that currently reside in her and was astonished to find that this car has next to no room to do a plug swap....thought I was in the clear when I left the Gen 4 F-bod world but oh well. I want Kooks headers and a clutch desperately but after installing PISNUOFF's Hurst shifter yesterday I have determined that I really need to get some new poly motor mounts because it is getting damn near impossible to slide into 1st gear or reverse.

darkman
03-25-14, 08:45 AM
I did go today and pick up some TR55 plugs to replace the original AC delco's that currently reside in her and was astonished to find that this car has next to no room to do a plug swap....thought I was in the clear when I left the Gen 4 F-bod world but oh well. The inconvenience associated with the spark plug change is one reason many of us run Iridium plugs that have a much longer life. The idea of running copper plugs and changing them frequently is actually anachronism from the old days when we ran carburetors and therefore needed to "read" out plugs to monitor fuel tuning. Nowadays even bracket racers leave their plugs alone between rounds and instead monitor data logs.

V-twin
03-25-14, 11:50 PM
I've been meaning to update this since I did some of the mods I discussed above. I started by putting in the PISNUOFF shifter, and it made a huge difference in making the car fun to drive. Although... I wish he would have started selling the Hurst shifters earlier... oh well.

Next I bought a Magnaflow cat-back off eBay fairly cheap. The exhaust didn't get a whole lot louder. In fact I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't louder. It definitely has more of a performance tone under acceleration.

I found some Katech headers on eBay, and had them ceramic coated, and installed them along with Revshift blue motor mounts, Revshift tranny mount insert, TR55IX spark plugs, Accel ceramic plug wires, new front O2 sensors (since the old ones were seized in the stock exhaust), an MSD starter (old one failed), Revshift red diff bushing and Creative Steel cradle bushings. I rented the Creative Steel tools to make the job easier (more on that in this thread (http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/2004-2007-cadillac-cts-v-performance/432898-need-help-cradle-bushing-removal-creative.html)). I also put on the Creative Steel trailing arms, in preparation for some wider wheels (maybe after the kids graduate college...).

After all that, it was time for a tune to get the rear O2 sensors turned off, and see how it did. It put down 355 hp, 352 lb-ft tq at the wheels. It sounds great. I love the roar at startup, and it gets a little loud at WOT, but cruising around town it's not all that loud at all. It feels more powerful too, and is even more fun to drive around. I just barely stayed in my $3000 budget.

I would love to keep going with the mods, but I think my next ones will be Forgeline wheels (or Linea Corse LC855), with KW Variant 3 coilovers. That'll be a ways off, though, since it's around $4400 of mods. Anyone who wants to sell theirs cheap, let me know!

GDPossehl
03-27-14, 05:34 PM
Sounds like you've got a good start. Those dyno numbers sound a little lower than expected, but could just be the dyno. Mine put down 370 with similar mods on a dynojet.

InfrareV
03-27-14, 09:28 PM
I found some Katech headers on eBay, and had them ceramic coated
I didn't know Katech made any headers for our car(or any car), not that they aren't capable. Do they seem custom made, or was it just Katech selling someone else's product? I believe I've seen Kook's parts on their site in the past?

Sounds like you've got a good start. Those dyno numbers sound a little lower than expected, but could just be the dyno. Mine put down 370 with similar mods on a dynojet.
They seem about right to me? The only thing I see making power is the headers? 25 is closer to what most are getting then the 40 you saw?

EDIT: I found some information here (http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/2004-2007-cadillac-cts-v-performance/151918-katech-headers.html). The primaries look to be a lot shorter than some of the other guys(Kook's, SW, B&B).

V-twin
03-28-14, 12:25 AM
I was hoping for the 370 hp range, too. The guy who tuned my car said it was probably bad gas because it was pinging, so it wasn't taking the full spark advance he was trying to tune in.

I asked about the headers before I bought them direct from Katech, and they said this was the pair they used to develop their production run. The quality was top notch, and they fit great. Just a little close to the starter. Bolted right up to the Magnaflow cat-back. Sounds good too.

Becker
03-28-14, 05:27 AM
I have had nothing but good results from factory AC Delco plugs and wires. Zero reason to upgrade IMO. I actually went back to stock when I bought the car and have had better results than NGK. Different strokes for different folks I suppose.

rand49er
03-28-14, 12:24 PM
I didn't know Katech made any headers for our car ...Back in summer of '05 (I think ... or was it '06?), Flyboy had Katech do a FAST 90, a Katech spec'd cam, plus their headers and a tune on his V. Don't how many sets were made, but probably not many.