Cadillac ATX Tuning

"Thanks for reading our Cadillac ATX tuning article."

The ATX is a brilliant project car to try. With the right mods your ATX can be transformed into a fun car. Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade to avoid disappointment.

We consider ATX tuning and highlight the optimum modifications. Cadillac ATXs great bases for a tuning project and with a few sensible modified tuning mods you can positively enhance your driving experience.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Handling modifications are at the top of your mod list for the ATX.

Fully adjustable suspension allows you to fine tune the handling of you ATX substantially improving your drive.

We suggest that you fit uprated suspension and lower the car by 22mm - 43 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with uprated suspension.

Don't just look at the peak power figures, you need to see the whole torque curve when determining if a mod is right for you ATX.

Spending just a little bit of money on the top engine and handling parts could transform your car into a credible track car.

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

Engine tuning mods.

These mods sports parts are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you get started.

Getting the right performance upgrade kits for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 competition upgrades just won't work well on the road and will make the car undrivable.

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Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Mapping - remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Suspension upgrade (drop 22mm - 43 mm.), Remap, Lighter flywheel, Panel air filter, Sports exhaust, Alloy wheels.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Fast road cam, fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head, high flow fuel injector, Power/Sport clutch.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Engine balancing, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Competition cam, Sports gearbox.

Peak power is good on competition cars but for a drivable and fun car you need a long power band and perhaps extending the rev range.

In this article we shall give an overview and introduction to the best performance parts for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance part.A fast road camshaft will be one of the best NASP power modifications you can do from a single upgrade to your engine.

It improves the intake and exhaust flow and increases the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a remap. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a motor sport cam as this affects the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to ramp up the fuelling.

Using higher octane fuel is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your Cadillac project after fitting other sports parts. To get sufficient fuel you may need to improve the injectors on your engine.

Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned ATX's uprated injectors.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Contrary to popular belief there is usually very little power gain got by fitting an induction kit, they only help and are recommended after you raise the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for ATX engines you should go with a high performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Sports exhausts generally help improve air flow through the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too large or you might just stuff your flow rate and make things worse. So generally speaking, keep to a size of 1.5 to around 2.5 inches to maximise flow rates, and this should take into account the amount of air your engine is moving.

Head porting and polishing the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. Leave this to a professional though with a proper flow bench and machine tools When you start tuning your ATX you will find that the standard clutch starts to suffer so get an uprated clutch. The best mods we recommend for your ATX are a remap especially on a turbo, a fast road camshaft and sports exhaust, with a good air intake.

NA (naturally aspirated) engines do not achieve big power gains if you remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications. With turbocharged engines this is another story. A remapped turbo will give impressive power gains and take full advantage of the strength of the block. Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will give large power gains. It is usually simpler to add a supercharger than it is to fit a working turbo. With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it difficult to map fuelling with.

It is more straightforward to map a supercharger because the boost is directly proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

As alloy wheels are lighter they improve performance and they can help to cool the brake disks. If you are serious about performance then you will need to carefully choose your tires - ideally with a soft compound tire. Large ATX alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio.

For this reason we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 18 inches, although we know some of our members have installed larger rims with no problems.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss ATX options in more detail with our ATX owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Cadillac tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

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