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2009 CTS 3.6L DI rebuilt to FE3 J55 G80 3.42:1
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It's been a while since the last sting from an expensive maintenance bill. I put a couple more psi of air in the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires as the weather has cooled. I'm still surprised at the difference 2 psi makes. The car drives great without the slightest twitch or wobble. The chassis is well-controlled even on lousy bay area roads, while the 3.6L DI engine is just enough for a daily driver. As the tires get close to expired I'll have to find a set of 19" stock wheels to match the FE3 setup instead of the 18" that came with the premium configuration.

I'm on my second set of front brake pads on the J55 upgrade, it went through the first set without a hint of rotor pulsing. I really appreciate brakes that have enough thermal capacity to not pad transfer to the rotors and cause brake shudder, something I've experienced countless times with lesser cars and brakes.

We'll see how long until the next repair. I'm guessing the thermostat housing is going to want the O-ring replaced next, I'll have to get to it on my time frame, before it gets me. Maybe the rubber Guibo joints in the drive line will want replacing. I think I've got most of the usual stuff out of the way; alternator, timing chains and water pump, shocks and suspension, hubs, motor mounts, etc. I've got less than 140K miles on it, maybe I'll get to 200K without too much trouble. We'll see.
 

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2013 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Sport Luxury
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1,423 Posts
Agree. Sounds like a good and well maintained car.

I have had a fair amount of trouble with my Powerstop pads. During turns something touches rotating parts and make a slight noise. Then some clips came off. And lately pads start to rattle and engage by themselves when reversing.

They were worn but grooving could still be seen.

Anyhow - they went 40.000 kms and I had a new set in my garage so everything is good now.

The powerstop rotors make funny noise because of the grooves and ventilation holes - especially at high pressures, but they are stable, wear resistant and no rust. They take one more turn.

Agree that the 3.6 is not like a lightning but for the lfx you really really has to rev it to make the most of it. It lives between 5-7000 rpms. And the gear ratios and final ratio kills the fun. With a ZF box it would be a gem.
 

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2011 CTS Coupe FE3, 2003 Thunderbird, Gone 2013 ATS, 02 Deville
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1,794 Posts
Ejs, what is the power stop pad # you have used?

I had used 16-1331 and got 41,00 miles from them.
Now I just put on Pwr/Stp 17-1331 the 17- had the hardware kit.
I did use their clips and still had the Pads rattle. I then found the Carlton Brake quiet hardware and use them on all fours, no rattle.
 

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2009 CTS 3.6L DI rebuilt to FE3 J55 G80 3.42:1
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973 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I use Carbotech 1521, which is their street compound. They're good, although not the cheapest. I still have the OEM anti-rattle clips as I only have 30K miles on the calipers, these seem to work fine. First set of pads were GM, which were fine, but the Carbotech have a little more bite and modulation.

I'm guessing you guys already replaced the floating caliper pins and associated rubber bits? A good silicone-based caliper lubricant is preferred to standard brake grease for compatibility with rubber.
 

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2013 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Sport Luxury
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Ejs, what is the power stop pad # you have used?

I had used 16-1331 and got 41,00 miles from them.
Now I just put on Pwr/Stp 17-1331 the 17- had the hardware kit.
I did use their clips and still had the Pads rattle. I then found the Carlton Brake quiet hardware and use them on all fours, no rattle.
It is the Z23 in below link.


The mu is lower than oe but I like to be able to feel it - and if you push they bite. Can be on the low side in city traffic and recovery is bad. But they dont dust or make noise and wear is good.
 

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2010 CTS4 sedan
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763 Posts
I go with the Z17 because the geomet coating works really well up here in the rust belt.
 

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Go ahead, blame me. Everybody does 🙄
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I go with the Z17 because the geomet coating works really well up here in the rust belt.
I've been replacing my rotors with geomet units as needed.
It doesn't last forever, but does seem to buy some time.
 

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2011 CTS Coupe FE3, 2003 Thunderbird, Gone 2013 ATS, 02 Deville
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1,794 Posts
Yes, the Z23 is better for High-speed stopping. I have them on my Thunderbird. But nowadays the cars never get out of Las Vegas.
 

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'12 CTS Performance Sports Wagon AWD
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Hmm, I put the Z23 on my car at all 4 corners and has made a huge difference over stock with J55. There are people that say that slotted and drilled rotors are worse than stock because of less contact area but I honestly don't see it. If I need to clamp down on the brakes they will stop the car very quickly. They FEEL different than the OEM brakes. I wanna say its almost sandpaper like feeling compared to a smoother OEM setup. The slated theory behind the drilled holes is that it allows gas created by the friction to vent through. And the slots clear any debris from the pads allowing the pads to actually touch the rotors at high speeds where as OEM style rotors let a small film of gas to be created between the surface and the pad that insulates the friction. I don't know, all I know is it sure stops better than it did when I bought the car.

I don't know the pad style or rotor.. Just whatever the default pads are with the PS Z23 setup.
 

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2009 CTS 3.6L DI rebuilt to FE3 J55 G80 3.42:1
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Discussion Starter #11
The "film of gas" only happens at temperatures far beyond what you would reach on public roads, it is a track concern only. Drilled and slotted rotors on a street car are pretty much just for looks. Which is fine if you like them. I have heard slotted rotors feel less smooth under the brake pedal, but haven't tried them myself.
 

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'12 CTS Performance Sports Wagon AWD
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Like I said, I dunno. All I know is they stop way better than stock. I do have some warpage going on but I think I over tightened the wheels. And if you saw how I drive my car... :)

Hmm, I wonder if the 3.73 gearing on my car is normal. I only say that because you list your gear ratio as 3.42:1 there lifespeed. I know with my E85 and other stuff this car will scoot. I have some new snow tires coming for my car and a front wheel hub is shot. Waiting to replace the hub until I have the new tires on it since the car is AWD and I am running my 2 best 18" 3 season tires on the front and my 2 best 17" old snow tires on the rear. Going to drop one of the tires off at the tire shop to get the tire and valve stem removed so I can rub off the curb rash and have it re-powder coated before installing the snows on it. Getting Blizzack W90's. Then hopefully will sell the 17's as a set of winter rims. The J55 brakes barely clear the 17" rims though. I had them use the press on weights due to how close the calipers are to the rims. Glue ons are a bad idea for those.
 

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2011 CTS Coupe FE3, 2003 Thunderbird, Gone 2013 ATS, 02 Deville
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I have the power stop drilled and slotted rotors on both my cars and yes the caddy sounds or feels different than the stock rotors, BUT that is not the case with the thunderbird. it does not act like the caddy while braking. It feels just like it did with the stock Ford flat rotor.
 

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2014 CTS Coupe 3.6 RWD Perfomance Pkg, TriCoat White Diamond
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Well as some of you know, I've (with the help of a friend, oK, ok, i held the flashlight :ROFLMAO: ) installed Powerstop Brakes and rotors (slotted/drilled); they work and sound (if not better) like the OEM. There's a few little things one MUST do during installation. 1. clean the rotors of the protective film. 2. use the the NEW floating clips that come with the package, 3. Use the lubrication/grease that comes with the package. Now. YOU MUST DO THE BRAKING-IN PROCEDURE. this is very important!!! I'm talking from experience, as in Pep Boys installation experience. They installed my first set of Powerstop Brake & Rotors. Not only did they put my rear tires in the front (staggered set-up) the didn't do the break-in procedure. ASSUMING, they did; i picked up my baby and went on about my business. Well you know what i did next...gave her hell to see good she stops. OMG the grinding and pulsating feeling and i could hear them grinding scared the SNIZZY 😱 out of me. So, I'm thinking...well maybe they're supposed to sound like that until they get broken in. Over time Some of it went away but not fully and tried my best to not slam on the brakes. Now. When my friend and I put the new set i brought approx a year later, HE knew what he was doing. They stop very well, quite and dustless (which is important considering I'm sportin chrome rims). it's funny, for about a month every time I push on the brakes to stop...I would just smile. A case of Yuengling very well spent.🥃 (y)(y)
 

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2013 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Sport Luxury
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It’s funny you mention it. I feel the new pads have a better bite. Could be the increased compressability new pads have that gives this feeling but anyhow...

The no dust formula is a truth with modifications after 2000 kms on Autobahn. But could be worse.



Wife took this picture at cruising altitude.

 

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2010 CTS4 sedan
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It’s funny you mention it. I feel the new pads have a better bite. Could be the increased compressability new pads have that gives this feeling but anyhow...

The no dust formula is a truth with modifications after 2000 kms on Autobahn. But could be worse.



Wife took this picture at cruising altitude.

You know that the non-US cars have speedometers that go to 270 mph when you switch to imperial. They must have some sort of rev limiters on US models... ;)
 

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2013 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Sport Luxury
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On the way home yesterday I was smoked by what turned out to be an Audi S6.

I was in third lane because of traffic. He was waiting patiently until I could go into the middle lane. Meanwhile I was flooring it in 4th gear to pass the traffic and make space for him.

When I entered the middle lane I was in 5th gear but it took a while for the Audi to build speed to pass. At that point I hit the limiter and the S6 glides by. I dont know if he had removed the 250 km/h speed limit but he just slowly disappeared in front of me.

The wife made a comment and I came back to the cruising speed below 200 km/h.
 

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2009 CTS 3.6L DI rebuilt to FE3 J55 G80 3.42:1
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973 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Guess you'll have to get a tune and remove the limiter. I hear it does nice things for the transmission shift pressure as well.
 
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