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2014 ATS 2.0T AWD
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Discussion Starter #1
So now that we can purchase the block separately, I have a few questions that I'm having trouble finding answers for.

My plan is to buy the block, buy ZZP JE forged piston, molnar rods, and a factory crankshaft and have the bottom end assembled. I would most likely attempt to get the oil pan off the busted engine but I'm sure I'd have to drop the subframe to do that and at that point I may just buy a new oil pan too. I'm planning this under the assumption that the blown ringland in cylinder 4 has scored the cylinder wall.

My first question is would it be practical to rebuild the block beforehand then just have it installed, or have everything taken out and rebuilt all at once? I may be able to have the block and bottom end built cheaper separately and was hoping to save on installation by just having them install the block rather than take it out, rebuild it, then put it back in.

My second question is can you drop the subframe and just take the bottom end and block off or will the entire engine need to come on out? Pardon my ignorance, I'm obviously no engine builder, I just thought asking was worth a shot.

Also, if you think I'm all together going in the wrong direction here, I'm open to suggestions on how to get this done the fastest, least painful, and cheapest way possible. Thanks for reading!
 

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I would honestly get an lkq engine from a junkyard off one that was totaled hit in rear of you can find one.. this will ensure the car was running.. they are not that much from what I have seen. Also you would have an extra head sitting around just asking for some titanium valves, springs, port and polish etc. maybe deck it for a bit more compression and make some serious power when the time is right. Plus all the sensors and extra parts on it would be nice to use if you needed an alternator or something.. I’d bet that a full lkq motor low mileage would be less than a brand new block from gm. Idk your location but if you are in the north east you can use ocean county wreckers and speak with Loc. Good guy will search around if needed and good prices. I mean how nice would it be to have a custom tubular manifold made and not need to take your ride off the road since you were able to pull one off the other motor.. be able to have a machine shop allow the turbo to have a larger turbine etc. that’s what I would do.. and will eventually do.
 

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If the concern is the state of the cylinder bore, why not spend the $ to get a decent cylinder borescope (or even a not so decent) and then shove it into the spark plug hole and peer around? Pull all four plugs and rotate the crank till #4 is as close to BDC as you can get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would honestly get an lkq engine from a junkyard off one that was totaled hit in rear of you can find one.. this will ensure the car was running.. they are not that much from what I have seen. Also you would have an extra head sitting around just asking for some titanium valves, springs, port and polish etc. maybe deck it for a bit more compression and make some serious power when the time is right. Plus all the sensors and extra parts on it would be nice to use if you needed an alternator or something.. I’d bet that a full lkq motor low mileage would be less than a brand new block from gm. Idk your location but if you are in the north east you can use ocean county wreckers and speak with Loc. Good guy will search around if needed and good prices. I mean how nice would it be to have a custom tubular manifold made and not need to take your ride off the road since you were able to pull one off the other motor.. be able to have a machine shop allow the turbo to have a larger turbine etc. that’s what I would do.. and will eventually do.
That has always been the plan up until now. Now I feel like I could get the block and throw the forged internals in and be back on the road in just a little more time than it would take to swap the engine. Plus I'm kinda concerned about swapping in a used engine that's subject to the same malfunction, I won't feel at ease until I have forged internals. I feel like swapping the engine then rebuilding the busted engine at my leisure could leave me with two busted engines and having to rebuild it to get it running again anyways, if that makes sense. If it weren't for my lack of confidence in the OEM guts your suggestion would be the obvious choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If the concern is the state of the cylinder bore, why not spend the $ to get a decent cylinder borescope (or even a not so decent) and then shove it into the spark plug hole and peer around? Pull all four plugs and rotate the crank till #4 is as close to BDC as you can get it.
I should do this just to see what I can see but I know I won't be able to make a 100% accurate assessment until the piston comes out so I haven't bothered.
 

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Iam just about done with the shop installing the motor back into my car after throwing forged pistons and rods from zzp into the car. I reused the factory block after having a piece of piston chip off in cylinder one. they were able to bore it a little and still be able to use the factory sized 86mm pistons in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Iam just about done with the shop installing the motor back into my car after throwing forged pistons and rods from zzp into the car. I reused the factory block after having a piece of piston chip off in cylinder one. they were able to bore it a little and still be able to use the factory sized 86mm pistons in there.
Interesting.. Maybe I will go ahead and check it out with a borescope. Mind if I ask what the rebuild cost?
 

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Under any and all circumstances the entire engine is coming out they cannot just pull the bottom end off... idk if you are building yourself or having someone do said internals, however new or not, a reliable builder is going over the block fine tooth and comb as they are not putting their name on this work being done without checking everything. The machine shop I use goes as far as to order multiple sets of pistons and weighs them to some unimaginable number to make sure they are that close in spec. Same time they are going to be cleaning and flushing the entire block looking for cracks imperfections etc.

I’m assuming you are tuned or will be tuning once you do this bottom end. Most tuning companies will give discounts on all additional tunes beyond the first, as you add more performance parts etc.

Though I see a hone as an option and will work, I also know all these newer motors are built with tolerance in mind... otherwise they would not be putting the start stop features in them using direct injection etc. as you remove material you lose tolerance and more oil passes through the cylinder wall. Unless zzp or someone else is offering a larger piston and ring setup you are doing yourself a disservice in the performance department, not that it wouldn’t work, or that some shop would do it, but I 100% promise that the honed motor will produce less compression than one at factory spec. Aka less power overall... that could be 2hp or 10hp and a vacuum system that sucks up more oil which is already an issue with these things. A bunch of different scenarios but based on the simple fact removing material and not adding somewhere else is going to make a difference no matter how minimal.

With junkyard motors. You can be very specific in what you want. They can and will provide vin numbers of the car they were pulled from and can send vehicle photos of the same. You can request a motor with under such and such mileage ie. Under 5k mileage and vehicle hit in the rear... in the line of work I do I have to have very specific information when ordering anything for a car as in what I stated above or our company, the yard, the shop working on it etc. can be sued. If I were you I would call a few large yards not your local “you pull it” place but insurance totaled vehicle yards before going any further.
For reference on this there was a train full of Audi’s that derailed due to the shipping agreement by the company and Audi every car had to be totaled... each and every car on that train was brand spanking new... most of not all didn’t have a scratch on them due to this derailment... those cars are all back on the road with salvage titles either in the states or shipped overseas with a freaking clean title it’s actually nuts how some of the contracts are written. Long story short make a few phone calls before you bite the bullet on this.. I doubt an extra day on the phone is going to cause much delay.
Just my long winded 2 cents. And I don’t mean to offend anyone, I apologize in advance if I did.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Under any and all circumstances the entire engine is coming out they cannot just pull the bottom end off... idk if you are building yourself or having someone do said internals, however new or not, a reliable builder is going over the block fine tooth and comb as they are not putting their name on this work being done without checking everything. The machine shop I use goes as far as to order multiple sets of pistons and weighs them to some unimaginable number to make sure they are that close in spec. Same time they are going to be cleaning and flushing the entire block looking for cracks imperfections etc.

I’m assuming you are tuned or will be tuning once you do this bottom end. Most tuning companies will give discounts on all additional tunes beyond the first, as you add more performance parts etc.

Though I see a hone as an option and will work, I also know all these newer motors are built with tolerance in mind... otherwise they would not be putting the start stop features in them using direct injection etc. as you remove material you lose tolerance and more oil passes through the cylinder wall. Unless zzp or someone else is offering a larger piston and ring setup you are doing yourself a disservice in the performance department, not that it wouldn’t work, or that some shop would do it, but I 100% promise that the honed motor will produce less compression than one at factory spec. Aka less power overall... that could be 2hp or 10hp and a vacuum system that sucks up more oil which is already an issue with these things. A bunch of different scenarios but based on the simple fact removing material and not adding somewhere else is going to make a difference no matter how minimal.

With junkyard motors. You can be very specific in what you want. They can and will provide vin numbers of the car they were pulled from and can send vehicle photos of the same. You can request a motor with under such and such mileage ie. Under 5k mileage and vehicle hit in the rear... in the line of work I do I have to have very specific information when ordering anything for a car as in what I stated above or our company, the yard, the shop working on it etc. can be sued. If I were you I would call a few large yards not your local “you pull it” place but insurance totaled vehicle yards before going any further.
For reference on this there was a train full of Audi’s that derailed due to the shipping agreement by the company and Audi every car had to be totaled... each and every car on that train was brand spanking new... most of not all didn’t have a scratch on them due to this derailment... those cars are all back on the road with salvage titles either in the states or shipped overseas with a freaking clean title it’s actually nuts how some of the contracts are written. Long story short make a few phone calls before you bite the bullet on this.. I doubt an extra day on the phone is going to cause much delay.
Just my long winded 2 cents. And I don’t mean to offend anyone, I apologize in advance if I did.
I don't intend to do this kinda work myself, I lack the resources and knowledge to tinker with the moving internals. I was hoping to save money at the machine shop by buying a new block and getting the pistons and rods myself, but from what I'm gathering here is they may not even want to install them or may want to try other pistons? I don't want to spend the money on the CP ones and the ZZP pistons are only $150 more than the JE Forged OEM spec joints so I'd like to go ahead and get the ZZP pistons.

I really don't want to hone the block for that very reason. I feel like the slightest boring will warrant a different set of pistons, custom ones at that point, and I'd be spending a ton on them.

I was running a diablo tune but over there in the FB group they're pretty adamant about them..I'll say..not helping the situation, so it's likely I'll be switching tunes. But if I do end up swapping a used engine in, I'll run a different tune and add a catch can system and just hope for the best I guess. I just keep going back to the fact that if I swap for a used engine, I'll be stuck having to bore the block and invest in custom pistons if I ever want the ease of mind that comes with having forged internals.
 

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Interesting.. Maybe I will go ahead and check it out with a borescope. Mind if I ask what the rebuild cost?
I used the forged zzp pistons and rods which came out to about $1200 ish, then I bought all of the OEM gaskets that the LTG uses, the front and rear main seals, head studs, and anything else to close up the motor. I also bought a couple of extra little goodies to add to it like colder spark plugs and a new oil change and a new coolant flush. All in all with the Labor I was out the door about $5,000. Its alot but personally to pay $5,000 and never have to worry about it again, is kind of nice!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Its alot but personally to pay $5,000 and never have to worry about it again, is kind of nice!
Not bad at all, I was trying to work within a $4000 budget but I'd totally muster up another $1k to get it done. I just bought an F30 328i so now I can sell my girlfriend's truck to rebuild the ATS but it's old and only worth about $4k lol
 

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Which diablo tuner do you have? If it is the (I think these are the only one but could be others as well) I3 or above they can be tuned specific to your build.. you just need to find a certified tuner with an awd dyno. I know from looking most of the reputable guys will not touch a boosted tune with email data logging... if yours is awd they will also need an awd dyno and luckily for us the evo and sti market made them much more popular than they used to be.

The zzp stage kits are just canned tunes for their parts installed on a test ATS.. which is good but each and every one of our cars is ever so slightly different. So a dyno tune performed by someone who knows what they are doing will always be better than a canned tune or a stage kit tune which is basically the same thing. They do dyno tune if your willing to bring the car to them though. 200 bucks on their site..

I have the Diablo I3 on mine It has advanced tuning. I have mine set to run a little rich like 1-2% I’d much rather get some shitty gas mileage than run lean and pop the motor...

Do not order the catch can from zzp it’s junk... it is 100% the same cans you see on eBay. The freaking picture is the same as well. It is not baffled and totally useless.

The mishimoto can is only worth anything at all because of that custom built valve they designed... but their cans can be purchased on eBay in fact I ordered one from China that looked the same... everybody said it is not the same they glue them together blah blah... nope it is literally built the same way... sold as a 3 port but you can cap the port with a vacuum cap lol. It was like 30 bucks shipped... only issue is no magic valve.... I really really wish I could buy that valve separately and aluminum.. but screw everybody who wants it right. I’d pay 50 bucks for that valve if it was aluminum and I’m sure many others as well.. I’ll bet they would make a ton more money selling that valve at a 300% markup on their cost of it.

I am currently in the works of designing a system myself after reading every freaking thread about these things I have found an issue one way or another. I literally spent all day vacuum and pressuring testing the entire pcv system and plumbing it. I have, I think I’m up to 11 different designs made up on my computer. I don’t have anyone to help me test them in real world conditions through my vacuum tester so I am literally testing one at a time measuring the pros and cons of each system... what I can say so far is I have the turbo side/ dirt side/ top pcv can collecting the same crap that mishi is showing in their magic tap system and not filling the can with oil only the nasty brown mixture of crap we don’t want in our motors which is causing all these piston/ engine failures.. so now I’m hammering down the cleanside because I refuse to just put a check valve in it and be done.. that to me is a half ass fix. So get the motor built and I will have this catch can design ready to go by then.. hoping by the end of the week lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Which diablo tuner do you have? If it is the (I think these are the only one but could be others as well) I3 or above they can be tuned specific to your build.. you just need to find a certified tuner with an awd dyno. I know from looking most of the reputable guys will not touch a boosted tune with email data logging... if yours is awd they will also need an awd dyno and luckily for us the evo and sti market made them much more popular than they used to be.

The zzp stage kits are just canned tunes for their parts installed on a test ATS.. which is good but each and every one of our cars is ever so slightly different. So a dyno tune performed by someone who knows what they are doing will always be better than a canned tune or a stage kit tune which is basically the same thing. They do dyno tune if your willing to bring the car to them though. 200 bucks on their site..

I have the Diablo I3 on mine It has advanced tuning. I have mine set to run a little rich like 1-2% I’d much rather get some shitty gas mileage than run lean and pop the motor...

Do not order the catch can from zzp it’s junk... it is 100% the same cans you see on eBay. The freaking picture is the same as well. It is not baffled and totally useless.

The mishimoto can is only worth anything at all because of that custom built valve they designed... but their cans can be purchased on eBay in fact I ordered one from China that looked the same... everybody said it is not the same they glue them together blah blah... nope it is literally built the same way... sold as a 3 port but you can cap the port with a vacuum cap lol. It was like 30 bucks shipped... only issue is no magic valve.... I really really wish I could buy that valve separately and aluminum.. but screw everybody who wants it right. I’d pay 50 bucks for that valve if it was aluminum and I’m sure many others as well.. I’ll bet they would make a ton more money selling that valve at a 300% markup on their cost of it.

I am currently in the works of designing a system myself after reading every freaking thread about these things I have found an issue one way or another. I literally spent all day vacuum and pressuring testing the entire pcv system and plumbing it. I have, I think I’m up to 11 different designs made up on my computer. I don’t have anyone to help me test them in real world conditions through my vacuum tester so I am literally testing one at a time measuring the pros and cons of each system... what I can say so far is I have the turbo side/ dirt side/ top pcv can collecting the same crap that mishi is showing in their magic tap system and not filling the can with oil only the nasty brown mixture of crap we don’t want in our motors which is causing all these piston/ engine failures.. so now I’m hammering down the cleanside because I refuse to just put a check valve in it and be done.. that to me is a half ass fix. So get the motor built and I will have this catch can design ready to go by then.. hoping by the end of the week lol.
I have the I2, the I3 wasn't out when I bought it. I did some custom tuning via email but the issue we were running into was the device doesn't record the PIDs required for proper tuning of boosted applications. Also, there's not an AWD dyno within 250 miles of where I live, so after a few bolt on's I needed the tune adjusted quickly and went for the email option. Just wasn't comfortable driving the car 200+ miles with CELs popping up left and right, even though I knew the CEL was due to the catless DP. It's still uncomfortable, you never truly know if something else went wrong along the way.

I've been checking out your post on catch cans and I'm interested to find out what you learn. Up to now, the Mishimoto system seems to be the only thing I'd invest in as I'm not savvy enough to fabricate one myself.

All that being said, from looking around locally, I may end up having to haul the car to DFW to have it rebuilt anyways, so at that point I'd likely go ahead with a legit dyno tune.
 

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[/QUOTE]
I have the I2, the I3 wasn't out when I bought it. I did some custom tuning via email but the issue we were running into was the device doesn't record the PIDs required for proper tuning of boosted applications. Also, there's not an AWD dyno within 250 miles of where I live, so after a few bolt on's I needed the tune adjusted quickly and went for the email option. Just wasn't comfortable driving the car 200+ miles with CELs popping up left and right, even though I knew the CEL was due to the catless DP. It's still uncomfortable, you never truly know if something else went wrong along the way.

I've been checking out your post on catch cans and I'm interested to find out what you learn. Up to now, the Mishimoto system seems to be the only thing I'd invest in as I'm not savvy enough to fabricate one myself.

All that being said, from looking around locally, I may end up having to haul the car to DFW to have it rebuilt anyways, so at that point I'd likely go ahead with a legit dyno tune.[/QUOTE]

I just did a quick read on the i2 but I do not have yours in front of me so I cannot verify... I have the same issue though with concerns of an awd dyno tuner. There is one like 30 miles away but he refused to do it because I bought the tuner from diablo sport directly and not from him... which I will be emailing diablo about (if you see this diablomike and feel this is a diservice to your contract with cmr distributors pm me please and I will give you name and location of shop) seriously what if I had just moved to my location from across the country whatever the shop lost business now and in the future so enough about that..
same with me next closest with an awd dyno is like 150 miles away.
Back to your I2 it seems that you can run advance tune on yours as well, basically adjust minor things. But fuel trim at specific rpm is one of them you don’t have a cat, if that is the case and yours has the advance tune option.. run the 91 octane tune set it to run like 10% rich at all rpm and loads... you’ll constantly blow black smoke when running rich, it will destroy your cat, which is gone on yours.. then just back down that percentage until the smoke isn’t blocking your view from the rear view mirror. Get to a comfortable speed and keep it there... if you see a traffic jam on your Waze app pull over grab lunch dinner whatever until the traffic clears up. You’ll probably fill the tank 30 times since your gas mileage will be that of Ford F-150 pulling a House but at least you won’t pop your motor..
thinking about this it would probably cost the same to have it towed lol. Just remember as long as you’re blowing thick black smoke but no crazy noise your running rich and can always have a full flush and top end clean again towing it is probably cheaper even at 2 hours away..

One more thing about the diablo.. they are offering a buy back to upgrade to the new trinity I think it is check on that you may qualify for it.

I unfortunately did not get to work on it today due to the rain.. I got to thinking about it and testing the vacuum without actually driving the car under different load conditions may not give me reliable values. so I did what any guy with multiple projects going on would. I went to the parts store gathered some extra tubing, fittings and t’s. Finished the crap around the house I promised the wife I would. Checked the weather for tomorrow supposed to be in the 50’s and sunny. Played with my son tried to teach a 2 year old how to use a screw driver.. he figured it’s nothing shaped like a ball but screw it I’ll throw it anyway.. finished house projects... etc. I’m going to update that thread after I eat some dinner... but the catch can design has not left my head I have been texting a few buddy’s who play with this stuff as well and have some more ideas.
Going to draw those up tonight after kid goes to sleep and start testing the vacuum again tomorrow..
in the meantime check out if your diablo tuner has those options.. I’ll keep doing my best to help you with what I can.
 

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Hey Jay, hows the forged engine build progressing?

Mine is my daily driver, so with a compromised piston in #1, I am building a forged engine on the side, driving like a granny to prolong stock engine till the swap. Donor is a 2018 LTG with 8k miles being torn down now. With mine being a AWD version, there is a bit more work then an RWD to engine replacement.
 
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