3.2 liter 5-speed into a Catera

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V6: 3.0, 3.2 LA3, 3.6 LY7, 3.6 DI LLT Discussion, 3.2 liter 5-speed into a Catera in Cadillac Engine Discussion; Hey guys. Has anyone tried this before? I've been doing a bit of research and info on this kind of ...
  1. #1
    Phantom GTZ is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    May 2004

    3.2 liter 5-speed into a Catera

    Hey guys.

    Has anyone tried this before? I've been doing a bit of research and info on this kind of ordeal is hard to some by. By 5-speed I do mean manual transmission

    Big Question:

    Would the CTS engine controls swap into the Catera? From what I read, the wiring harnesses aren't far off. Not to mention the obvious similarities.

    I guess that would be the major one. I know some mounts will most likely have to be fab'd for the manual transmission. I'll probably hack up a CTS center console for the interior.

    I understand there is plenty more involved with a swap, but I wanted to get the discussion going.



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  3. #2
    Kcryan is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 1992 Tripple Black Allante, RIP 98 catera
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    Re: 3.2 liter 5-speed into a Catera

    Id love a 5 speed catera.... other than that the only advice i can offer is talk to CateraV and look into GTO mounts/parts as the frame is similar

  4. #3
    Phantom GTZ is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Thread Starter

    Re: 3.2 liter 5-speed into a Catera

    From what I've found you would need to use the CPU, wiring harness, exhaust manifolds, oil pan, and accessories from the Catera.

    The restrictions alone from the Catera manifolds will push the lower compression 3.2 liter engine's performance closer to the 3.0 liter Catera motor. I haven't looked into porting the Catera manifolds yet, but I think this swap (at least the engine) is a stupid idea. You might see 10 hp or 15 hp more with an equal ammount of torque.

    As far as the 5-speed, I would rather use the Omega MV6 manual trans, center console, and pedal/clutch setup. Now for the kicker: It is almost impossible to find which transmission they used!!! Every info sheet I find lists the details for the auto, and absolutely nothing on which manual transmission it used.

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  6. #4
    elvin315's Avatar
    elvin315 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): Platinum 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Warwick, NY

    LightbulbRe: 3.2 liter 5-speed into a Catera

    Any updates on this?

    This comes from a newbie so take it for what it's worthbut the 3.2 LA3 is externally the same as the 3.0 L81. All the updates and improvements were done internally. The Catera's motor mounts should fit the LA3. I can't really say anything about the ECM or wiring harness.

    As for the 5 speed transmission, they are plentiful in Europe. Shipping costs could be expensive but buying a rebuilt tranny shouldn't be a problem. Contact the Omega Owners Club and find out how they go about the conversion and what parts are needed. All in all it doesn't seem it'll be a hard job. After all, all it takes is money.

  7. #5
    Marks DTM Calib is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): Vaux Omega (Caterra)
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Nottingham - England

    Re: 3.2 liter 5-speed into a Catera

    To fit a 5 speed R28 manual you need:

    Pedal box
    Flywheel (dual mass)
    Clutch pressure and friction plate
    Gearbox and mounting bracket
    Prop shaft
    gear lever assembly and gaitor
    Clutch master cylinder and pipe work (connects to small plastic spur on existing brake fluid res)

    Possibly a diff change to sort out the ratios of the final drive (try for an LSD from an Ex-plod!)

    Then strap out a pin on the ECU to tell it its a manual setup......

    Have a look here:


  8. #6
    caterasport0520 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Northern, CA

    Re: 3.2 liter 5-speed into a Catera

    I am considering doing the L81 to LA3 conversion using a manual 5 speed. I was concerned about sourcing a trans from Europe considering the "used" situation as well as the cost of freight. I picked up the Gertag 260 from a CTS and am considering going that way. (It is not worked out except for preliminary ideas and assumptions.) My understand this is the 5 speed they used in the 2003 and 2004 (2005?) CTS. This would be easy to verify from production info. I'm thinking I would be able to use the 2003 to 2004 CTS flywheel and clutch.
    I'm not sure of the tail shaft height in comparison to the Catera auto. I'm thinking if the output shaft height is similar I could fabricate the trans mounts as well as the shift linkage. The drive shaft is not worked out but do able if one needed to be made. That leaves the pedal box and hyd. system parts. I would use the Opel pedal box master cylinder and linkage. I would use the hyd. CTS parts at the trans. and tie into the OEM Opel parts. I would use the CTS starter that goes with the 5 speed. I'm not sure about the exhaust clearance at this point. According to what I'm hearing there is a way to tell the ECU that we have a manual trans. I'm not sure about the speedometer but I'm thinking it is electronic.
    There is a thread that deals with a few of these issues else here.
    My next step would be to source the pedal box and other Opel OEM parts I need.
    We could ask for help in locating these parts maybe from a Opel owner. It would make sense to source some sets of parts for interested Catera owners. I would be up for a set as I discussed above. I would prefer to use a new clutch m/cyl. and new slave as well as new hyd. lines. Does anyone have pictures of the pedal box parts as well as the linkage and hyd. parts.
    My thought would be to obtain what we need from the UK and use what is available here. Any info. or thoughts on this would be helpful. Thanks,Den

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