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I have a 2012 CTS AWD 3.6DI and have been reading many posts in here about some mods to increase HP. I spoke to a local performance shop and the guy shut me down the second I told him my car. He said the timing chain aren't able to handle it and not to change anything from stock. I tend to believe him because he just turned down thousands of dollars. However, in all the posts I have read in this section, nobody has even mentioned anything about the timing chain being an issue. So...has that problem been fixed for the vehicle I have? Is there an "upgraded" timing chain that can be installed? Also, are there any issues with the car being able to handle the increased HP and torque (I haven't seen this be definitively addressed either) and how much of each? I don't know how much I want to add, but knowing how much the car can handle will guide my decision.
 

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08 CTS DI
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Welcome to the forum. When I bought my first car years ago as a youngster, a GM 2.8L V6 Firebird and asked a similar question of a performance auto parts store owner, I was greeted with a similar response. What neither he, or I knew at the time, is though some of what he said was true, it was for all the motors prior to the year of my car, as GM had upgraded the motor and corrected all of the common problems with it starting with that yr.

I've found that often times individuals who respond in that manner, without indisputable proof, are either parroting what they've heard, or speaking from a little experience with some of the most poorly maintained examples they've encountered with problems. Put good oil in it and change it regularly, and it will last, especially the LFX which has some improvements over the first DI motor.

They are capable of making huge power with forced induction and timing chain failures on well maintained motors are along what's to be expected at the appropriate mileage, usually somewhere in the 125K mile range +/-.

The chains don't fail, they wear out and cause engine codes. When they literally fail, it's usually because they've been continuously driven while in need of replacement.
 

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'12 CTS Performance Sports Wagon AWD
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2008-2009 were known for early chain failures. This was fixed in 2010. Your 2012 vehicle has had the vast majority of bugs worked out and is a great car. It can have lots of performance stuff added. Your best bet is to look around here for ideas or many of the V6 Camaro stuff will work as well when looking at the motor.

At this time the most cost effective way to add performance to your car is with the bolt on SC kit from Will Overkill. It may take you a day to install if you are mechanically inclined and work on your own stuff all the time. 2 if your struggling with it but still capable.

Otherwise you can have a blower custom built to bolt on the top of your motor, or a variety of ways to add Turbos. But these are all custom jobs and likely to cost more than the will overkill setup. Beyond that there are some other things you can do as well but nothing (short of a different type of FI kit) will add more power.

The timing chain in your LFX may have a slightly lower lifespan than a LSx engine but only because there are three seperate chains in a LFX. They are NOT related to your performance level depending on how much you want to beat up your car.

Note if you have AWD you MAY break stuff with forced induction or NOS. RWD can handle it better. But not impossible. We have a member on here that is getting 450whp on his AWD sedan with his setup and short of his main drive shaft shattering, he hasn't had any other issues to date that I am aware of.
 
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