Topic: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

http://images.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/09-1998-Cadillac-Catera-Down-On-the-Junkyard-Picture-Courtesy-of-Phillip-Warlord-of-the-Alameda-East-Side-Locos-Greden-550x412.jpg

After finding a '98 Catera in a Denver wrecking yard last week, I am once again reminded that the lack of a LeMons Catera has become a serious problem. The Catera is a 200-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive German sedan... and yet we would almost certainly put one in Class C. Jay himself reviewed the Catera back in the day and still describes it as "the Caddy That Sucks," which is really his way of saying "I'd pass over a 5th-place Triumph GT6 to give the IOE to a 29th-place Catera." Just imagine your Catera dueling with an Eagle Vision and a Buick Reatta for the class win!

http://images.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/15-1998-Cadillac-Catera-Down-On-the-Junkyard-Picture-Courtesy-of-VWVortex.com_.jpg
With a Catera, your theme is ready-made: Ziggy The Catera Duck!

So, if your team is scouring Craigslist for crackhead-priced E30s (because your drivers must have rear-wheel-drive and German engineering), or if you're just bored with your Crown Vic or Camaro, consider the Catera!

2 (edited by Clark 2012-01-23 01:09 PM)

Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

Can we get a dispensation for an LS-1 Catera?

Omega V8Opel was planning to upgrade its flagship Omega model with powerful GM LS1 V8 engine used in Chevrolet Corvette.

Unlike V8.com which was the concept car, this model was intended to go into the serial production.

Omega V8 was shown publicly for the first time at 70th Geneva Motor Show (March 2–12, 2000). The V8-engined version was to be put on sale autumn 2000.[12]

The reasons for cancelling production plans were concerns about whether the engine was vollgasfest (German, "Full throttle resistant") - the engine might overheat and be damaged if driven flat out on the Autobahn for long periods of time, although Holden equipped its Commodore (which was re-engineered Omega for Australian market) with the same engine.[13]

[edit]

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Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

You can't get an LS engine cheap enough for LeMons, but I would probably believe a Catera+V8 donor car minus parts/scrap sales deal that made a V8 Catera.

However, such a car wouldn't get Class C... unless you used a Studebaker or similarly weird V8.

Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

We bought a 5.3 truck motor (basically a cast iron, smaller displacement, non-revvy LS), tranny (4l60E) and transfer case for $600 and sold the tranny and t-case for $500.  Real LS motors are still outside the range of LeMons money though, as you say Phil.

21 Time Loser with Class C, Index of Effluency, I got Screwed and Heroic Fix Trophies who usually races, according to Car and Driver, The Greatest Road Racing Cherokee in History.

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Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

Not that I would want one, but 5.3 and 4.8 engines are litterally $200-$300 in yards. I have 86 on the shelf right now.

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Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

Didn't these engines have a similar valvetrain issue to the Ford SHO V8?.... i.e. loss of cam sprocket friction resulting in catastrophic engine failure?

Cool car. This project speaks to me, but I'm already in the middle of a new build.

Lorin Mueller
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Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

Judge Phil wrote:

You can't get an LS engine cheap enough for LeMons, but I would probably believe a Catera+V8 donor car minus parts/scrap sales deal that made a V8 Catera.

You can in Chicago. Circus U-pull has 5.3 LS motors for 200 a pop.

http://circusparts.com/default.aspx

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2011:Campaign to Prevent Gingervitis 58th Place (blew engine), American Irony 23th Place, Showroom-Schlock Shootout 19th Place
2012:Campaign to Prevent Gingervitis 9th Place, Showroom-Schlock Shootout 5th place and B class winner, The Chubba Cheddar Enduro  (Yeah Baby!!!!), American Irony

Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

coolhand454 wrote:
Judge Phil wrote:

You can't get an LS engine cheap enough for LeMons, but I would probably believe a Catera+V8 donor car minus parts/scrap sales deal that made a V8 Catera.

You can in Chicago. Circus U-pull has 5.3 LS motors for 200 a pop.

http://circusparts.com/default.aspx

I don't consider 5.3s and 4.8s "true" LS motors.  IMHO, it needs to have an LS designator to be considered an LS, e.g. LS1, LS2, etc.  The LM7 and LQ9 truck engines don't count.

-Matt

21 Time Loser with Class C, Index of Effluency, I got Screwed and Heroic Fix Trophies who usually races, according to Car and Driver, The Greatest Road Racing Cherokee in History.

Check out our FB Page and follow our various exploits.

Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

TeamPettyCash wrote:

I don't consider 5.3s and 4.8s "true" LS motors.  IMHO, it needs to have an LS designator to be considered an LS, e.g. LS1, LS2, etc.  The LM7 and LQ9 truck engines don't count.

-Matt

BOO sad  5.3's can be punched out to 5.7's and take all the LS1 go fast goodies.

Byte Marks Racing - "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it Fred."
2011:Campaign to Prevent Gingervitis 58th Place (blew engine), American Irony 23th Place, Showroom-Schlock Shootout 19th Place
2012:Campaign to Prevent Gingervitis 9th Place, Showroom-Schlock Shootout 5th place and B class winner, The Chubba Cheddar Enduro  (Yeah Baby!!!!), American Irony

Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

The 5.3 is the same architecture as the other 'LS' series motors, and you can build one with any LS series same family parts AND there is a very very limited interchange to anything you might interpret as a 'SBC'.

It's the same freakin' motor, and ~300hp for $200 with modern engine management is an AMAZING deal. Not that that kind of power in the Opel's chassis will be particularly manageable, but entertaining to watch all the same.

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Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

X-args wrote:

The 5.3 is the same architecture as the other 'LS' series motors, and you can build one with any LS series same family parts AND there is a very very limited interchange to anything you might interpret as a 'SBC'.

It's the same freakin' motor, and ~300hp for $200 with modern engine management is an AMAZING deal. Not that that kind of power in the Opel's chassis will be particularly manageable, but entertaining to watch all the same.

I think it's mainly semantics we're talking about now, but not many of the truck engines came with an aluminum block (some, but not many).  Yes, you can put LS heads and other go fast LS stuff on it, but then it ceases to be a $200 engine...and would equal the price of an LS1...which would make it not LeMons money anymore...which was the original premise.

As to the value of a Gen III Vortec 4.8/5.3, you're preaching to the choir:  We have one sitting in the shop next to the Jeep, just waiting for the right time.  It'll even save us a ~100 lbs compared to the 4.0 lump that's in it.  I have a standing bet with my crew chief that we'll even improve fuel economy.

-Matt

21 Time Loser with Class C, Index of Effluency, I got Screwed and Heroic Fix Trophies who usually races, according to Car and Driver, The Greatest Road Racing Cherokee in History.

Check out our FB Page and follow our various exploits.

Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

I agree.

I'm just saying a stock alloy OR iron 5.3 makes 285 + hp box stock, so you don't have to throw any LS1 parts on it to go fast, and a decent exhaust/intake airbox will get you to 300.

I wouldn't take the efficiency bet, I'd imagine the 5.3 would be better than the 4.0 as well...

The J-Body IS BACK! A Cadillac-badged thumb in the eye of Roger Smith, look for the smoke at a track near you in 2014.
2014, here we go again!
2007/2012/2013 Driver's Championship (what was I thinking!?) 47 races and counting...

Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

As above, I will confirm that LS based V8s CAN be had for lemons money. We had members of our circle lobby HARD to use one in our new car.

If not for the cost of fuel that one would drink over the course of a weekend and fear of "The Wrath of Phil", we would most likely be using one.

PS- There is always the next car ya know.

Daniel Sycks
Muttonheads!, nee Focke-eWe190 85-86-87-88 GTI
A Division of Cosworthless Racing. Sponsored by Marlburro!
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Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

Let's get back to the Catera: you want Class C and IOE contention, run the original V6 or something equally effluent.

You can also get a Chrysler LH-platform car and get well over 200 horses... yet STILL get Class C! I'm telling you, the LH Loophole should be tempting!

Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

Heroin sounds like a good idea to people also, but never ends well. Same could be said for the LH. A Caterable sounds like a better idea.

LemonAid - Changing kids lives one lap at a time.

Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

I won't bad mouth the 5.3, except to mention that it's not a rotary nor a BBC (big-block Caddy)

http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/engi … _for_3252/

Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

Even though i have had a lot of VERY bad experiences with these cars, We are actively looking for a #2 car (non-douche, class C).  A 200hp rear wheel drive Class C is very tempting Phil. I already put a couple of emails out to some craigslisters, ill keep you updated.

18

Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

EriktheAwful wrote:

I won't bad mouth the 5.3, except to mention that it's not a rotary nor a BBC (big-block Caddy)

http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/engi … _for_3252/

How about a nice rocket v8, the only v8 that was able to pass emissions all the way through 1990 with a carb.  (I have a feeling that gm stopped producing not because it couldn't pass emissions, but that they got fed up with the olds engine doing what the sbc couldn't even after they tried to sabotage it with making them use crappy Pontiac parts.)

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Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/12/2008/11/ChevySeriesD_807.jpg

All this talk about Detroit V8s in LeMons is pretty boring, unless it's a discussion of A) putting a Detroit V8 in an Iran Khodro Paykan or B) the original Chevy OHV V8. Yeah, the one from 1917.

Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

I don't know why anybody would want to swap the V6 in the first place. It should be a competent drivetrain once you know all it's weak points and break stuff in the first 2 events. Fix the oil cooler and belt tensioner problems. The trans should be good too.

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Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

BoB wrote:

(I have a feeling that gm stopped producing not because it couldn't pass emissions, but that they got fed up with the olds engine doing what the sbc couldn't even after they tried to sabotage it with making them use crappy Pontiac parts.)

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_PrMTqBqF7SA/Sn2pqyQQ1aI/AAAAAAAAAUs/9daSJlrLx7A/s400/tinfoil-hat-2.jpg

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22

Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

dculberson wrote:
BoB wrote:

(I have a feeling that gm stopped producing not because it couldn't pass emissions, but that they got fed up with the olds engine doing what the sbc couldn't even after they tried to sabotage it with making them use crappy Pontiac parts.)

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_PrMTqBqF7SA/S … -hat-2.jpg

It totally is, I've tracked the conspiracy going on not just with GM but all the major American car companies back to the early 1900's.  The world just isn't ready to see it yet.

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Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

I have had a line on two of these for Lemons money but the lack of support for things like decent brakes and a very questionable history made it a non contender for me.

If anyone wants one let me know as I think one of the cars I found that looked like a decent starting point is still available.

Daniel Sycks
Muttonheads!, nee Focke-eWe190 85-86-87-88 GTI
A Division of Cosworthless Racing. Sponsored by Marlburro!
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Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

Here is a Catera in Arizona with Chevy 350 "partially installed." It's "ready to be completed!"

Re: Revisiting the need for a LeMons Cadillac Catera

Here is an allegedly good-running Catera in New England for $650.

I must say that 90% of Cateras for sale under a grand have some variation on "engine won't start," "needs engine work," or some other version of "timing belt broken/valves bent to shit." But don't let that scare you-- here is a chance to have a powerful less-than-15-year-old German car with rear-wheel-drive and still get into Class C!