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2003 Pearl White CTS
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So I have a theoretical question would it be possible to put a first gen cts v engine into a first gen cts?
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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It's A LOT more than just the engine. Save yourself a bunch of time, headache and money - Sell it and buy a V.
 

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2007 6 speed manual tarnished platinum
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Only way I could ever see this happening with a chance of success is, if you had a cts-v complete with good mechanicals and with a bad body. And a CTS v6 that had say a bad motor and good body that was already a manual trans, you could do all the work yourself and unlimited time and funds. Then swap everthing, wiring, computers, cradle. Still iffy at that.
 

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Call me hopeful, but I think it can be done fairly easily. Yes, there will be hiccups and setbacks, but isn't there always?

I guess you guys may be looking at it as in it will never be a true V unless everything is swapped. Which is true.

But the way I look at it is I can swap a 5.3 with a cam in it and have some decent power that shouldn't do harm to the V6 diff and axle shafts if used as a daily driver and going to the track just to see what time it puts down. Yes, I'll be speeding on the highway, and maybe getting on it from a stoplight, but nothing I wouldn't be doing with the V6. If you're all saying THAT will be too much work, even if it DOES work, then I'm saddened by your lack of adventure. Lol. Yes, I have read that entire thread of the fella that gave is V6 the V treatment, but what he did is not what I'm trying to accomplish. If done in an 04-05 CTS it should be completely doable. Hell, I'm even going to be running a 4L60.

In other words, I respect your opinions, but I think it's feasable, both physically and on the money side. 5.3 4l60 combos are fairly cheap, and if one could read a wiring diagram, he could do the wiring himself. Now you're only missing the V suspension and stopping power. Both of which I don't think will matter to me for a daily driver.

I guess we'll see. I'm just thinking out loud here guys, don't want to offend anyone or step on anyone's toes. Feel free to think out loud back at me. I know nothing about these cars other than what I have read on here the past few days so maybe I'm missing something.

Thanks,
Branden
 

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Your right and I agree 100%. The swap would be feasible. And way cheaper than an ls. (Even tho the 5.3 is technically a ls4) but as long as you pick up the 5.3 ecm/btcm/Tcm you should get everything to work and communicate. Obviously you'll loose dic but if you get the motor from say a Pontiac gxp you can get the hub display instead. Those 5.3 motors are great. I've seen them hold up to 1000hp on stock bottom end assembly. As for your diff theory, unfortunately they really can't handle much more than 300hp. I'm searching for a v carrier right now. Went to the drag strip two weekends ago after installing a vacuum switch to control my water meth mixture ran a 13.9 in the cts and a 9.2 with my other car. But since then (and I only do a wee little wheel hop burnout at the track) I have a major issue with my stock diff now. Shutters on takeoff really bad. It's probably going to grenade next time I wot launch. Just food for thought get the rear diff/ shafts from the 5.3 doner as well.
 

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Thanks for the reply!

The 4L60 is controlled by the PCM, so I wont need a TCM. I'm not sure what a BTCM is though? I'll have to probably run a CTS-V OS for the tune, but segment swap the transmission info in from a truck to make it all talk nicely.

Good to know that about the Diff HP limit. I believe that that might only be the limit of how much shock it can take, i.e. launches. correct me if I'm wrong, but if that's true, I can just use Torque Management in the tune to limit the engine's power on launches so the components can hold up, but still get the rest of the benefits from the 5.3.

How does that plan sound? Open to anything except the classic, "Buy a V" lol.

Thanks,
Branden
 

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07' CTS-V | 07' Lux 3.6 Volant-Borla-Vsways | 08' CTS 3.6 DI Performance
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With high mileage first gen V's at 10 grand it's nuts to try to attempt a V8 swap into a base CTS.

Why not buy a very high mileage V and rebuild the engine and trans (misc suspension work) and call it a day?

That would be a fun wrenching project that would have a guranteed happy conclusion to it. As opposed to a V8 swap into a base CTS with most electronics not working.

A V would have better suspension, better diff, stabilitrak, nav, traction control. Meanwhile a base CTS with a V8 would be a V8 with the corpse of the base CTS.

Actually a V rebuild is my plan for my next winter project..

And while rebuilding one gets the chance to upgrade some components on that LS2, perhaps good quality pushrods, pistons, rods...etc and swap better flowing heads, performance headers, intake some exhaust work and that's a nearly brand new V with nice mods to boot.

And when boredom sets a couple years later, slap a supercharger on top of it all and make 500 to 600 HP from that well built engine.
 

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Bwatson said:
Thanks for the reply! The 4L60 is controlled by the PCM, so I wont need a TCM. I'm not sure what a BTCM is though? I'll have to probably run a CTS-V OS for the tune, but segment swap the transmission info in from a truck to make it all talk nicely. Good to know that about the Diff HP limit. I believe that that might only be the limit of how much shock it can take, i.e. launches. correct me if I'm wrong, but if that's true, I can just use Torque Management in the tune to limit the engine's power on launches so the components can hold up, but still get the rest of the benefits from the 5.3. How does that plan sound? Open to anything except the classic, "Buy a V" lol. Thanks, Branden
technically it's an "ebtcm" electronic braking and traction control module. Aka the abs module
 

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With high mileage first gen V's at 10 grand it's nuts to try to attempt a V8 swap into a base CTS.

Why not buy a very high mileage V and rebuild the engine and trans (misc suspension work) and call it a day?

That would be a fun wrenching project that would have a guranteed happy conclusion to it. As opposed to a V8 swap into a base CTS with most electronics not working.

A V would have better suspension, better diff, stabilitrak, nav, traction control. Meanwhile a base CTS with a V8 would be a V8 with the corpse of the base CTS.

Actually a V rebuild is my plan for my next winter project..

And while rebuilding one gets the chance to upgrade some components on that LS2, perhaps good quality pushrods, pistons, rods...etc and swap better flowing heads, performance headers, intake some exhaust work and that's a nearly brand new V with nice mods to boot.

And when boredom sets a couple years later, slap a supercharger on top of it all and make 500 to 600 HP from that well built engine.
Not sure where you live, but my local Craigslist has a few for 6-7k and ones with not motor or no trans for under 2k. So I'm at the decision of buying one I can drive for a while, or buy one to do the swap right away...

That, to me, does not sound as fun as what I want to do. and it sound about 15k more expensive, at the least.

Right now I drive a work truck trim colorado that I swapped in a 5.3 and T56. It's fun, but nothing luxurious. Thats what I want out of this: power and a bit of luxury.That second part, neither I, nor my parents have ever had, making this a fantastic idea to me beings it will be probably around 4k at the most if I buy a roller, or maybe 8k at the most if I buy a driving car. I have the tools, the space, and here sometime soon I will have the time to do the swap. I already have a motor/trans. to put into something, and this is what I think I want it to be. Plus, I want an automatic. I don't know of any auto Vs.

I appreciate your knowledge in this subject very much! However I will not be buying a V unless its as cheap as a base, or only a few grand more. And at that point, I'd buy a second gen CTS and put the 5.3 in it and have AWD. :)

Thanks,
Branden
 

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Not sure where you live, but my local Craigslist has a few for 6-7k and ones with not motor or no trans for under 2k. So I'm at the decision of buying one I can drive for a while, or buy one to do the swap right away...

That, to me, does not sound as fun as what I want to do. and it sound about 15k more expensive, at the least.

Right now I drive a work truck trim colorado that I swapped in a 5.3 and T56. It's fun, but nothing luxurious. Thats what I want out of this: power and a bit of luxury.That second part, neither I, nor my parents have ever had, making this a fantastic idea to me beings it will be probably around 4k at the most if I buy a roller, or maybe 8k at the most if I buy a driving car. I have the tools, the space, and here sometime soon I will have the time to do the swap. I already have a motor/trans. to put into something, and this is what I think I want it to be. Plus, I want an automatic. I don't know of any auto Vs.

I appreciate your knowledge in this subject very much! However I will not be buying a V unless its as cheap as a base, or only a few grand more. And at that point, I'd buy a second gen CTS and put the 5.3 in it and have AWD. :)

Thanks,
Branden
I don't know man, luxury without everything in the car working as it should is no luxury. I want to build up a V because I want all the factory features to work like A/C for instance and security and what not, I don't want Stabilitrak not to work, I don't want to have ABS issues and other codes and most importantly I don't want to waste my time debugging them.
I want to put my time into performance mods, not getting back to square one and if I need to sell the car, it would be an easy sell, what's the resale value of a CTS with a 5.3L swap? Heck a first gen CTS with an LS2 and T56 swap started by a guy on this forum sold for about 6000 dollars. It's value was probably less than a CTS with a V6 go figure.
 

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I don't know man, luxury without everything in the car working as it should is no luxury. I want to build up a V because I want all the factory features to work like A/C for instance and security and what not, I don't want Stabilitrak not to work, I don't want to have ABS issues and other codes and most importantly I don't want to waste my time debugging them.
I want to put my time into performance mods, not getting back to square one and if I need to sell the car, it would be an easy sell, what's the resale value of a CTS with a 5.3L swap? Heck a first gen CTS with an LS2 and T56 swap started by a guy on this forum sold for about 6000 dollars. It's value was probably less than a CTS with a V6 go figure.
I will have working a/c, i will have an aftermarket security system on it, and I might look into stabiltrack, but I don't really think I'll ever need it.

I will have ABS issues, yes, but I bet i can fix them. I will have codes, but I know I can fix them. Yes it will take time to debug them, but to me thats part of it. if it was easy anyone would do it. Truth be told, this seems to almost be a drop in swap compared to what i have done in the past.

I already said I only want a cam in the car. I have no need for anything else. I'll have my colorado to do stupid fast stuff in. This is for when I want to go somewhere nice with the girlfriend, or a long road trip. Daily Driven, factory feeling car. I understand you don't think it will feel factory, but I know it will. It is the purpose of me doing this car. This will be my 3rd LS swap, and by far the easiest. I am fully confident this will be what I expect it to be.

Resale value? Hell I don't care. If I get back the original price of what I paid for the car I'll be happy. I'm in it to learn and gain experience with wiring and gaining more and more knowledge about how these electrical systems work. I tend to Geek Out on stuff like this.
Plus, that guy that only got 6k didn't finish his, and sold it with problems.

Thanks,
Branden
 

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2006 3.6L CTS, Hotchkis Sway Bars, FE2
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Re: Converting 3.6 V6 to LS2

Possible yes. But the electrical system is your biggest hurdle. If you don't have the tools or friends with the tools to solve those electrical issues, especially if you end up needing to reprogram something. You might want to just stick with the CTS or trade up to a V.
 

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I will have working a/c, i will have an aftermarket security system on it, and I might look into stabiltrack, but I don't really think I'll ever need it.

I will have ABS issues, yes, but I bet i can fix them. I will have codes, but I know I can fix them. Yes it will take time to debug them, but to me thats part of it. if it was easy anyone would do it. Truth be told, this seems to almost be a drop in swap compared to what i have done in the past.

I already said I only want a cam in the car. I have no need for anything else. I'll have my colorado to do stupid fast stuff in. This is for when I want to go somewhere nice with the girlfriend, or a long road trip. Daily Driven, factory feeling car. I understand you don't think it will feel factory, but I know it will. It is the purpose of me doing this car. This will be my 3rd LS swap, and by far the easiest. I am fully confident this will be what I expect it to be.

Resale value? Hell I don't care. If I get back the original price of what I paid for the car I'll be happy. I'm in it to learn and gain experience with wiring and gaining more and more knowledge about how these electrical systems work. I tend to Geek Out on stuff like this.
Plus, that guy that only got 6k didn't finish his, and sold it with problems.

Thanks,
Branden
Well I'm not doubting your experience with swapping LS engines, just making sure you are fully aware for your own sake of the electronic gremlins that others have struggled with. And yes it can be done and has been done, but if learning is what you are after then plug away at it sir. And if you get ABS working then I'm sure everyone would love to know how to fix the software. Oh and one small tip, get your hands on a CTS-V radiator beforehand the stock V6 radiator isn't up to the task as I was told by the guy who purchased the CTS with LS2 swap his CTS was running too hot.

Start a build thread when you get going so we can keep track and help when you need it.
 
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