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Newbie - Week #2 Modding Results

865 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  FuzzyLogic
So I got my introduction to mod hell this week.

Upgrades performed a week ago:

- Gutted exhaust
- Replaced differential fluid
- Hard-wired Beltronics STI Driver
- Installed driver's side CG Lock

Upgrades performed last weekend:

- Installed 1-7/8" OBX headers (painted & wrapped)
- Installed mock cats + modified stock exhaust to fit headers
- Replaced upstream O2 sensors with Bosch O2 sensors
- Replaced stock floormats with Lloyd's embroidered CTS-V mats
- Replaced engine coolant and oil
- Installed Lingenfelter CAI
- Tested three different brands of EL wire and 3157 LED bulbs (all rejected)
- Tested VHT brake caliper paint (rejected)
- Removed engine cover (aka, the Engine Blanket)


Lesson(s) Learned #1 (headers):

- The driver's side header requires you to unhook the steering linkage and remove the oil filter (forcing an oil change). These things are NOT mentioned in the FAQ, and caused several hours' delay.

- Although the CTS FAQ does tell you that you have to remove your coolant temperature probe, it doesn't warn you that doing so will result in a major spillage of engine coolant. Another delay.

- Although both Kooks and OBX claim that their kits are compatible with the stock exhaust system, they're not. Turns out that you need a sawzall with a metal bit to knock off almost a foot of the exhaust, which you can do under the car provided that you have tall-enough jacks.

- Once you're "done," you'll still need a pair of Bosch upstream O2 sensor kits ($58 each), since the old sensors only have 12" cables. Don't bother buying extensions online--they're almost expensive as the Bosch kits, and they don't include these nice sensors. FWIW, the driver's side sensor needs every inch of that cable length, plus most of the cable from the old sensor.

- If you have a LS2, you only need to remove the two rear passenger-side spark plugs when you install 1-7/8" headers. Nice.

- Words cannot describe how much of a pain it is to re-insert the dipstick . After fighting with the thing for 3 hours, I found a random illustration in the CTS-V service manual that allowed me to spot the receptacle and shoot the following pictures / video. I may add this to the FAQ to save others hours of hardship.

Informal Dipstick Video (rough)

Midstream Dipstick Picture

Dipstick Receptacle Picture


That's it for the moment. I'm ridiculously tired, and need to think about how I'm going to integrate this stage of my mods into that gigantic post that I've been promising that I'll write after I finish with these mods. Coming up next month:

- LS2 --> LS7 clutch conversion
- Lightweight flywheel installation
- Katech remote clutch bleeder installation
- Lingenfelter / Katech short-throw shifter installation
- Cadillac V2 knob installation
- Kiwi OBD2 Wifi transmitter installation
- 2011 wireless key fob trial
- Ground Control spring kit installation
- Dyno tune
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Three hours to get the dipstick tube back in is about average. Took me nearly that, but it seemed like eight hours. Some guys seem to do it in about 10 minutes while others have to get their car towed and have a shop do it. The instructions in the FAQ were done by Rick (StealthV), and I already gave him heck about neglecting this little anxiety-producing step.

You forgot to report one very important thing! How does it sound?!!
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