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2003 cadillac CTS, 183K miles and quickly counting. 1982 Honda V45 Sabre. 1989 chevy S10 base.
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I side swiped a telephone pole in my 03 CTS after having it only 2 weeks and rather than pay thousands and thousands of dollars to have the doors replaced, fix my f**ked rear quarter panel, god knows what suspension repairs I need, and probably find frame damage I'm looking at an 07 on craigslist that "needs new/used engine" for only $900 and it has the black interior with all the wood grain trim I wish my 03 had, and it only needs minor body work by comparison.

anyway my question is, would it be worth it for me to scrounge up the cash to buy the 07, have a friend tow it about 100 miles (2Hrs) to me, and swap the engine/subframe assembly with my known good-ish motor (I might have it rebuilt while it's out)? but more so, is that even possible without custom fabbing parts? I'd love to know because I'm in already in love with these cars and I feel like it'd cost about as much/more but I'd be happier in the long run if it's possible. Please advise!

Things to note

I don't know exactly what motor the 07 has but it's obviously different because it has a weird looking intake manifold without the PCV hoses and only a single throttle valve connected straight to a box that goes to the airbox.
I do plan on tinkering with the 07 engine before trying to swap it since I have a bit better understanding than your average driveway mechanic.

thanks for any help anybody can give!!
 

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2005 Base CTS work at Pullen solenoids Glass Factory for 36 and a half years
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268 Posts
Depending on your smog rules like here in California you can only put in the same year or later unless it's a classic vehicle before 1975.

Roy
 

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2003 cadillac CTS, 183K miles and quickly counting. 1982 Honda V45 Sabre. 1989 chevy S10 base.
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Depending on your smog rules like here in California you can only put in the same year or later unless it's a classic vehicle before 1975.

Roy
I'm in washington, and even if that was the case I really don't care because that's a stupid law lol
 

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2004 CTS 3.2L M35 LtPt
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240 Posts
The 03 has a very different computer system than the 07. The 07 computer won't run the 03 engine. You'll be spending a lot of time/$$ if you try to make the 03 computer work with the 07 electronics - everything is on a network, and is addressed at the factory by the VIN & security system. You may be able to get the vehicle to run, but the electronics (gauge cluster, DIC, etc) may not work. If you can swap ALL of the wiring and electronics over, then maybe, but... yeah... that's a huge time-sucking vacuum right there. We're talking down to the door modules, etc.
 

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2003 cadillac CTS, 183K miles and quickly counting. 1982 Honda V45 Sabre. 1989 chevy S10 base.
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The 03 has a very different computer system than the 07. The 07 computer won't run the 03 engine. You'll be spending a lot of time/$$ if you try to make the 03 computer work with the 07 electronics - everything is on a network, and is addressed at the factory by the VIN & security system. You may be able to get the vehicle to run, but the electronics (gauge cluster, DIC, etc) may not work. If you can swap ALL of the wiring and electronics over, then maybe, but... yeah... that's a huge time-sucking vacuum right there. We're talking down to the door modules, etc.
Welp a few people already got together to get me a truck and trailer to go get the car, so I guess I'm gonna pray the seller has a really bad mechanic and the engine is salvageable!
 

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'05 CTS-V
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8,246 Posts
The 2003 is really a one-off year. As cabletech said, putting your 2003's 3.2 into a 2007 won't work without lots and lots of work.

The 2007 most likely has a 3.6, which was used for multiple years in multiple models (STS, SRX, CTS), so if the engine is truly toast, there's a pretty good chance you could find a used 3.6 to swap in. Part out / sell everything you can off your 2003 and maybe this cost a bazillion dollars when all is said and done.
 

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2003 cadillac CTS, 183K miles and quickly counting. 1982 Honda V45 Sabre. 1989 chevy S10 base.
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
The 2003 is really a one-off year. As cabletech said, putting your 2003's 3.2 into a 2007 won't work without lots and lots of work.

The 2007 most likely has a 3.6, which was used for multiple years in multiple models (STS, SRX, CTS), so if the engine is truly toast, there's a pretty good chance you could find a used 3.6 to swap in. Part out / sell everything you can off your 2003 and maybe this cost a bazillion dollars when all is said and done.
shoot that's what I was afraid of. I went and got the 07 a couple nights ago and the issue is very clearly rod knock so I should be able to just drop the pan and just replace the whole bottom end to be safe and then it should be good to go right?

Also I'm thinking about just having my 03 repaired because the damage isn't quite bad as I thought (I'll post pics) and it's otherwise still a good car and I hate driving my 1989 S10 with no A/C in the heat we've had in washington lately....
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585085

so far all I can think that it needs is new doors, some intense work on that quarter panel, new paint, and she definitely needs an alignment. eventually I'll get all new rims but the front left is bent so I have it on a jack to keep it off the ground and an identical replacement on the way.
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585084

here's a shot that shows how bad the alignment really is. both wheels are straight...
 

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2004 CTS 3.2L M35 LtPt
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240 Posts
I would sell the '03 and use the money to buy a new (used) motor for the 07. You need to figure out if it's a 3.6 or a 2.8 (VIN decoder would do the trick). With rod knock, if you are lucky you can get away with just replacing rod bearings (I have done that on a different vehicle; drop the pan, unbolt the rod cap, swap bearing halves, retorque cap). But if there is metal in the oil (as with the case of a spun bearing), you won't be able to do that, as the metal shavings in the oil will foil any attempt to fix it. So the recommended path would be a junkyard motor. These cars are common, so finding a motor from an 04-07 shouldn't be a big deal. Just try to reuse all of your sensors that are on the motor.
 
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