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Marilyn 2.0 is here!

Ladies and gents, shes back! And boy do I have a crazy story to tell you....


LS Fest West 2019



It was really ticking down to the last minute with the build getting done in time for LS Fest West in Las Vegas. Working with Edwin at Specialty Performance has been a joy. There were tons of last minute complications because of the previous shoddy work done to the car by the "other" shop. He burned the midnight oil and worked through the night (over 24 hrs) to get the car buttoned up and I picked it up with my trailer Thursday morning before LS Fest.



We get the car loaded up on the U-Haul trailer and get ready to leave for Vegas only to discover that with the load of the car on the trailer we have a flat tire. I should've taken this as a sign to how the weekend was going to go. Call U-Haul, wait over an hour, get the tire replaced, and back on the road we go. We meet up with BoostDistrict, Holden Parts USA, and a few others in Barstow to caravan out to Vegas together. Everything else went off without a hitch (ha, good trailer pun) and we arrive safe and sound. Karo from HPUSA hooked me up with a place to get the car aligned, I check into my AirBnB, unload the car off the trailer, and get it prepped for an all night tuning session with Tim Haines. We got the startup tune loaded on the car and head for the deserts of Mexico. Roshan from BoostDistrict is driving the car while I man the laptop with Tim at the controls. Pull after pull goes off without a hitch. The car feels AMAZING. After one pull to ~150mph we pull over for Tim to go over the log. He adjusts the tune, we write the file, and go to start her back up. She cranks away and sputters back to life. Puzzled, I ask Rosh to pop the hood because of the labored start. As soon as the hood wafts open I get hit in the face with the smell of Ethanol. My eyes burn, my nose hairs retreat, and I start panicking. I yell for Roshan to shut the car down and start shining a flashlight. Sure enough, injector for cyl 8 is spraying fuel like a fire hose all over the engine. Rosh quickly jumps out of the car and begins looking a the leak. By pure, dumb, luck the car isn't on fire. The saga begins....


I call up my buddy staying with me and tell him to grab my truck, go get the trailer from the track, and come rescue me from the side of the Mexican desert road. 4am, pitch black, not able to start the car and on going on hour 26 of being awake, we push the car onto the trailer. I tow it back to the track and call it a night. We head back to get a few hours of shut-eye an come back with a refreshed mind (and some daylight). Friday Morning we dig into it and come to the conclusion that the upper o-ring got pinched during install. I head off to the parts store to get a new o-ring in hopes that it'll seal. My buddy Geoff pops on the o-ring, gets the rail seated back down on the car, and BOOM, leak fixed. There was a small moment of celebration followed by relief. Although I missed all the racing action Friday, I was still going to be able to get some drag passes in that night to gather more data for the tune. 6:30 p.m. they call Grand Champion (the class I was competing in) to the staging lanes. I fire up the car, get the laptop logging, and park in the staging lanes. I sit there for a little bit before they start moving the lanes. I go to fire her back up and she does the same exact labored start that kicked off the previous night's leak. Roshan, who was in the passenger seat, leaps out and opens the hood. Sure enough, injector 8 was leaking again. I call over to the pit area and ask for some extra hands to get the car pushed back to our pit.


I have to thank my friends here for a second. As soon as I'm back in the pits I have a bunch of guys in the engine bay trying to figure out what in the **** is going on here. After some head scratching we determine that because of the new Atomic intake, my fuel rails are applying enough downward clamping force on the injectors and when it heats up it makes the injector leak. After some frantic google searching Roshan and I come to the conclusion that I'm going to need 2 things; New Fuel Rails and Injector Spacers. Roshan, through his infinite wisdom and connections, puts out the APB for some fuel rails and spacers. Meanwhile Geoff, Roshan, and I start driving around the midway asking vendors what they have that I could buy to get the car back up and running. With the MSD Atomic being a Holley part, and Holley being company putting the event on, the become the obvious choice. Roshan gets to the booth and discovers that they do indeed have a set of rails specific for the MSD intake sitting on this demo motor at the show. However, the part doesn't release for another few weeks and they are unwilling to sell the set they have on hand to me. Defeated, we call it a night.



The next morning we all sleep in a bit after having an overall lack of it for the past couple days. I start scouring local speed shops in search of injector spacers and rails. Roshan got a lead on some injector spacers and the guy is willing to just give them to us. This is seriously why I love the racing community so much. Roshan disappears for over an hour and a half and we assume he's talking to other vendors to find fuel rails. Sure enough, when he comes back, in his hand are the Demo Units from the Holley booth designed specifically to work with my intake. The kicker? THEY GAVE THEM TO ME. I was seriously floored. I have to give the biggest shout out to the product manager in charge of these over at Holley. Seriously, you guys saved the **** weekend. With a renewed drive everyone rallies around to find out how we're going to mount these things. I take off to the parts store to get more o-rings needed for the injectors. The brackets on the rails were originally on an LS3 head car, and with mine being an LS7, the ports are in different places. After a couple more hours of head scratching one of the guys found a way to manipulate the bracket in a way to get the holes to line up and get it mounted to the intake. Injectors seated, bolts tightened, I prime the fuel pump.... After a tense few seconds there was a HUGE sigh of relief when there was no fuel leaks to be had. I fire her up and we let it come up to temp to double check. She holds! At this point the racing for Saturday is pretty much over and I'm only going to get to do my drag race passes again at the end of the night. I go through all the same motions as the night before. I get the car to the staging lanes, fire up the laptop, and prepare for takeoff. But this time, and 3 pops of the hood later, I'm in the water box. One smokey burnout later the lights go green and I'm FINALLY off to the races!


Sunday goes off without a hitch. The competition is pretty much over, but the Auto X courses are open for test and tune. I got to do a few runs, give people some rides around, and enjoy the car for a little bit. I load the car back up on the trailer and prepare for the long drive home on Monday.



I have to give a HUGE shout out to everyone who helped me that weekend. Geoff was my little pit slave and really came in clutch when I needed an extra set of eyes, hands, or a sense of reason. Roshan was the biggest MVP of the weekend, though. It's easy to see why BoostDistrict is renowned for great products, great prices, and even better customer service. He kept pushing on even after I was ready to give up. Without him, none of the racing I did that weekend would've been possible.



Marilyn 2.0 Breakdown

Now, to the meat and potatoes of the build... What exactly did this newest chapter entail?




  • New Cam Motion cam. (Specs are trade secret:devil)
  • MSD Atomic Intake ported by Tony Mamo
  • Heads gone through by WCCH. New exhaust valve guides and new PAC valve springs. (Hint: I needed .700 lift valve springs)
  • Manton custom length pushrods
  • Johnson Short Travel Axle Oiling Lifters
  • Comp shaft mounted rockers
  • Melling ported by Edwin @ Speciality Performance
  • Comp billet double roller timing set
  • BMR Rear LCAs
  • BMR Toe Rods
  • BMR Trailing arms
  • BMR Subfame Connectors
  • Whiteline EVERYTHING. No rubber bushings left on the car
  • Whiteline front sway bar
  • 6 Piston Brembo Calipers up front
  • Repainted Calipers with custom Holden Racing Team logos
  • DBA 4000 Series rotors
  • DBA Race Pads front and Rear
  • Vertini VS09 Forged monoblocks
    • 20x9.5 Front +36
    • 20x10.5 Rear +52
  • Bridgestone RE71R Rubber
    • 245/35R20 Front (going bigger up front. I was worried about clearance, but there's plenty. Going to try a 275.)
    • 295/30R20 Rear
  • King Ultra Low springs (had Super Lows on it previously)
  • ARP Everything
I think that about covers it. There are few more things that I have to finish on the car. Paint the splitter hardware black, finish up the tune with Tim Haines, order my coilovers from australia :devil.... You know, small things. :angel



Professional pictures from 3PS Media (Geoff) incoming, but you'll have to stick with crappy cell phone pics for now. Enjoy!
 

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Ladies and gents, shes back! And boy do I have a crazy story to tell you....


LS Fest West 2019



It was really ticking down to the last minute with the build getting done in time for LS Fest West in Las Vegas. Working with Edwin at Specialty Performance has been a joy. There were tons of last minute complications because of the previous shoddy work done to the car by the "other" shop. He burned the midnight oil and worked through the night (over 24 hrs) to get the car buttoned up and I picked it up with my trailer Thursday morning before LS Fest.



We get the car loaded up on the U-Haul trailer and get ready to leave for Vegas only to discover that with the load of the car on the trailer we have a flat tire. I should've taken this as a sign to how the weekend was going to go. Call U-Haul, wait over an hour, get the tire replaced, and back on the road we go. We meet up with BoostDistrict, Holden Parts USA, and a few others in Barstow to caravan out to Vegas together. Everything else went off without a hitch (ha, good trailer pun) and we arrive safe and sound. Karo from HPUSA hooked me up with a place to get the car aligned, I check into my AirBnB, unload the car off the trailer, and get it prepped for an all night tuning session with Tim Haines. We got the startup tune loaded on the car and head for the deserts of Mexico. Roshan from BoostDistrict is driving the car while I man the laptop with Tim at the controls. Pull after pull goes off without a hitch. The car feels AMAZING. After one pull to ~150mph we pull over for Tim to go over the log. He adjusts the tune, we write the file, and go to start her back up. She cranks away and sputters back to life. Puzzled, I ask Rosh to pop the hood because of the labored start. As soon as the hood wafts open I get hit in the face with the smell of Ethanol. My eyes burn, my nose hairs retreat, and I start panicking. I yell for Roshan to shut the car down and start shining a flashlight. Sure enough, injector for cyl 8 is spraying fuel like a fire hose all over the engine. Rosh quickly jumps out of the car and begins looking a the leak. By pure, dumb, luck the car isn't on fire. The saga begins....


I call up my buddy staying with me and tell him to grab my truck, go get the trailer from the track, and come rescue me from the side of the Mexican desert road. 4am, pitch black, not able to start the car and on going on hour 26 of being awake, we push the car onto the trailer. I tow it back to the track and call it a night. We head back to get a few hours of shut-eye an come back with a refreshed mind (and some daylight). Friday Morning we dig into it and come to the conclusion that the upper o-ring got pinched during install. I head off to the parts store to get a new o-ring in hopes that it'll seal. My buddy Geoff pops on the o-ring, gets the rail seated back down on the car, and BOOM, leak fixed. There was a small moment of celebration followed by relief. Although I missed all the racing action Friday, I was still going to be able to get some drag passes in that night to gather more data for the tune. 6:30 p.m. they call Grand Champion (the class I was competing in) to the staging lanes. I fire up the car, get the laptop logging, and park in the staging lanes. I sit there for a little bit before they start moving the lanes. I go to fire her back up and she does the same exact labored start that kicked off the previous night's leak. Roshan, who was in the passenger seat, leaps out and opens the hood. Sure enough, injector 8 was leaking again. I call over to the pit area and ask for some extra hands to get the car pushed back to our pit.


I have to thank my friends here for a second. As soon as I'm back in the pits I have a bunch of guys in the engine bay trying to figure out what in the **** is going on here. After some head scratching we determine that because of the new Atomic intake, my fuel rails are applying enough downward clamping force on the injectors and when it heats up it makes the injector leak. After some frantic google searching Roshan and I come to the conclusion that I'm going to need 2 things; New Fuel Rails and Injector Spacers. Roshan, through his infinite wisdom and connections, puts out the APB for some fuel rails and spacers. Meanwhile Geoff, Roshan, and I start driving around the midway asking vendors what they have that I could buy to get the car back up and running. With the MSD Atomic being a Holley part, and Holley being company putting the event on, the become the obvious choice. Roshan gets to the booth and discovers that they do indeed have a set of rails specific for the MSD intake sitting on this demo motor at the show. However, the part doesn't release for another few weeks and they are unwilling to sell the set they have on hand to me. Defeated, we call it a night.



The next morning we all sleep in a bit after having an overall lack of it for the past couple days. I start scouring local speed shops in search of injector spacers and rails. Roshan got a lead on some injector spacers and the guy is willing to just give them to us. This is seriously why I love the racing community so much. Roshan disappears for over an hour and a half and we assume he's talking to other vendors to find fuel rails. Sure enough, when he comes back, in his hand are the Demo Units from the Holley booth designed specifically to work with my intake. The kicker? THEY GAVE THEM TO ME. I was seriously floored. I have to give the biggest shout out to the product manager in charge of these over at Holley. Seriously, you guys saved the **** weekend. With a renewed drive everyone rallies around to find out how we're going to mount these things. I take off to the parts store to get more o-rings needed for the injectors. The brackets on the rails were originally on an LS3 head car, and with mine being an LS7, the ports are in different places. After a couple more hours of head scratching one of the guys found a way to manipulate the bracket in a way to get the holes to line up and get it mounted to the intake. Injectors seated, bolts tightened, I prime the fuel pump.... After a tense few seconds there was a HUGE sigh of relief when there was no fuel leaks to be had. I fire her up and we let it come up to temp to double check. She holds! At this point the racing for Saturday is pretty much over and I'm only going to get to do my drag race passes again at the end of the night. I go through all the same motions as the night before. I get the car to the staging lanes, fire up the laptop, and prepare for takeoff. But this time, and 3 pops of the hood later, I'm in the water box. One smokey burnout later the lights go green and I'm FINALLY off to the races!


Sunday goes off without a hitch. The competition is pretty much over, but the Auto X courses are open for test and tune. I got to do a few runs, give people some rides around, and enjoy the car for a little bit. I load the car back up on the trailer and prepare for the long drive home on Monday.



I have to give a HUGE shout out to everyone who helped me that weekend. Geoff was my little pit slave and really came in clutch when I needed an extra set of eyes, hands, or a sense of reason. Roshan was the biggest MVP of the weekend, though. It's easy to see why BoostDistrict is renowned for great products, great prices, and even better customer service. He kept pushing on even after I was ready to give up. Without him, none of the racing I did that weekend would've been possible.



Marilyn 2.0 Breakdown

Now, to the meat and potatoes of the build... What exactly did this newest chapter entail?




  • New Cam Motion cam. (Specs are trade secret:devil)
  • MSD Atomic Intake ported by Tony Mamo
  • Heads gone through by WCCH. New exhaust valve guides and new PAC valve springs. (Hint: I needed .700 lift valve springs)
  • Manton custom length pushrods
  • Johnson Short Travel Axle Oiling Lifters
  • Comp shaft mounted rockers
  • Melling ported by Edwin @ Speciality Performance
  • Comp billet double roller timing set
  • BMR Rear LCAs
  • BMR Toe Rods
  • BMR Trailing arms
  • BMR Subfame Connectors
  • Whiteline EVERYTHING. No rubber bushings left on the car
  • Whiteline front sway bar
  • 6 Piston Brembo Calipers up front
  • Repainted Calipers with custom Holden Racing Team logos
  • DBA 4000 Series rotors
  • DBA Race Pads front and Rear
  • Vertini VS09 Forged monoblocks
    • 20x9.5 Front +36
    • 20x10.5 Rear +52
  • Bridgestone RE71R Rubber
    • 245/35R20 Front (going bigger up front. I was worried about clearance, but there's plenty. Going to try a 275.)
    • 295/30R20 Rear
  • King Ultra Low springs (had Super Lows on it previously)
  • ARP Everything
I think that about covers it. There are few more things that I have to finish on the car. Paint the splitter hardware black, finish up the tune with Tim Haines, order my coilovers from australia :devil.... You know, small things. :angel



Professional pictures from 3PS Media (Geoff) incoming, but you'll have to stick with crappy cell phone pics for now. Enjoy!

Im jealous. Looks great
did you have any problems with wheel alignment
And what lug nuts are those
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Im jealous. Looks great
did you have any problems with wheel alignment
And what lug nuts are those

A little in the rear. I'm working on getting the camber negative. It's at 0 right now. Might have to move to those adjustable arms in the rear. The lug nuts are Monolith Forged Steel lugnuts from MavMan
 

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Bruh, This is hands down the cleanest and best sounding SS's that I've ever seen. Well done on the build. ( I saw it at the SD Wrap open house awhile back)
on another note, I am picking up my new to me SS next weekend and would love to get together so I could pick your brain a bit on the SS platform. I have a 2017 ZL1 making around 900 hp but I'm trying to keep the SS a bit more mild than the Z. I'm in the El Cajon area and would love to get together with the other Holden fans. If you could point me in the right direction for group message boards or FB pages down here in SoCal that would be much appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Bruh, This is hands down the cleanest and best sounding SS's that I've ever seen. Well done on the build. ( I saw it at the SD Wrap open house awhile back)
on another note, I am picking up my new to me SS next weekend and would love to get together so I could pick your brain a bit on the SS platform. I have a 2017 ZL1 making around 900 hp but I'm trying to keep the SS a bit more mild than the Z. I'm in the El Cajon area and would love to get together with the other Holden fans. If you could point me in the right direction for group message boards or FB pages down here in SoCal that would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Thank you, thank you, for the kind words!



That's awesome! Join my club page on Facebook @ SoCal Holden! We get together pretty regularly. As a matter of fact, our next meet is on Sunday!


Feel free to PM me. We can meet up and talk shop!
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Oh man, what a crazy few months it’s been since LS Fest. I’ve been chasing this vacuum leak at the injector port for Cyl 4 for a while now. Originally I thought it was because of the brackets that we adapted from the MSD kit. Well, MSD graciously sent me out a whole new set of rails and brackets because they weren’t working out. Low and behold, the new rails were completely different. Got those installed in a few minutes and the leak seemed to go away. Emphasis on the seemed part… For some reason these new rails had a manufacturing defect in them. The ends of the rails had little pin holes and when the rail got pressure, it would shoot fuel out like a cannon all over the engine bay. No Bueno. I quickly got on the phone with the rep from MSD that I have been working with, Phillip. He’s honestly been the best help I’ve had trying to chase down these issues. It was determined that it was a manufacturing defect and that he would need sometime to work with his engineering team to find out why they had it in the first place. No biggie, I went over to a local fab shop and had them tig weld the ends to stem the leak.


Back to the vacuum leak: Sometimes when I would drive it I would have a random misfire under load. Couldn’t quite figure out why… My tuner was trying his best thinking it was some dead spot in the tables, but with no success. After months of me dicking around with it, it was time to get a professional involved. Back to Edwin at Specialty Performance she goes. And oh boy, what did he find..



Upon arrival he tore down the intake to find any source of vacuum leak. What he found was that 6 of the 8 cylinders had a vacuum leak AT THE **** INJECTOR PORT. Sigh, so much for figuring it out. When I had a stethoscope on it, all of them sounded the same. But what I didn’t realize was that the “Normal” was actually almost all of them leaking. When Edwin took the lid of the intake he discovered that the intake also had a manufacturing defect. The injector ports had a weird bevel on the lid. This caused a dead space when the lid met the body of the intake and allowed air to travel past the o-rings for the injectors. Edwin also noticed that because of the injector leak from the previous fuel rails, there was significant damage to the seals from the E85. A quick call to my boy Phillip at MSD and all was well. They overnighted new set of rails, new intake lid, and a complete gasket kit. I really gotta hand it to the boys over at MSD. Above an beyond in the service. Edwin got the car back together in short order. He even cleaned up the harness in the engine bay and relocated the evap to make it look prettier. What a guy!
Check out below for some pictures for the most recent photo shoot with 3PS Media. Pictured below is the intake in question as well.

 

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****! hahaha I missed the Sunday meet. I just saw your reply. I joined the FB page a little bit ago...I'm the guy with the Grey ZL1 and now the Grey SS. Just ordered the Holden grill and black out bits for the front. Need to get springs soon and then wheels. Possible Maggy for a little boost and stay CARB legal. This is the "family car" so have to keep it mild. The Z is around 900hp and doesn't come out of the garage too much anymore with all of the cops around here cracking down on the BS exhaust laws. I'll hit you up on FB though bro. Glad you got the vacuum issue sorted, I'd imagine she's running pretty good now.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Short and sweet build update.

Tim Haines and I have been working on the tune here and there. He's been great doing revision after revision to get the car dialed in perfectly. For HoldenRun this year, I debuted my Maverick Man Carbon vented hood! Check out some recent pics below.
278144
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278146
 

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Short and sweet build update.

Tim Haines and I have been working on the tune here and there. He's been great doing revision after revision to get the car dialed in perfectly. For HoldenRun this year, I debuted my Maverick Man Carbon vented hood! Check out some recent pics below. View attachment 278144 View attachment 278145 View attachment 278146
Beautiful just beautiful! Dang I'm jealous.
Nice Pics Dane!! BUT they don't do it proper justice!!!

@BigV8 ,, Its even nicer in the flesh!!!

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #51

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Discussion Starter #52
It’s been a few months, so I thought I’d better check in. Life has really gotten in the way of me making any progress on the car. Haven’t had much time to spend with her. I did, however, get to run the SoCal Holden Winter Cruise through the Malibu canyons. I hit the road HARD. Completely dusting the rest of the pack behind me. Turn after turn of flawless performance on a bumpy valley road that descends towards the ocean took a toll on the car. Sure enough, as I reached the bottom, I could hear a pretty obvious clunk happening in the front end. Uh oh… I limped her home and parked her up. Didn’t even look at it for over a month.

When I finally did have some time to take a look, I saw that the strut mounts had obviously failed. There was about an inch gap between the top hat and the strut mount up top. Whoops! Guess that bumpy road took its toll on those Whiteline bushings. No matter. I called up Karo @ HoldenPartsUSA and had him overnight me some new Whiteline strut top bushings with new bearings. I took her over to the shop that does my alignments and had them throw the bushings in for me and do a quick alignment. While James @ Accurate Alignments was disassembling the car, he discovered that not only had I completely domed both strut top bushings, but I also managed to work loose one of the sway bar end links. A couple hours go by and I pick up Marilyn. All tightened up and with some new strut tops. All is well.

As I said before, I haven’t had much time to really spend with the car. Tim Haines and I need to work on the tune more and finish it up. She is far from her full potential.
With LS Fest approaching again, Marilyn will also be going back to Specialty Performance to get a quick once over and checkup. I’m hopeful they won’t find anything wrong! She also needs to have a Vacuum assist pump installed as the brakes get hard when she sits and idles. Cam is so big the car has almost no vacuum. Haha!
As always, some car pr0n for you.

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