It’s easy to become blasé about how fortunate we performance enthusiasts have it in Australia. You know you’re in The Lucky Country when you can purchase a beautiful muscle coupe for a relatively modest outlay, pick up an off-the-shelf blower kit, give the nod to a tried-and-proven camshaft, get it tuned using locally developed flash software and come away with a trouble-free 360kW at the wheels. Sean X’s Holden Monaro CV8 is the perfect machine to highlight how good we have it – so sit back and enjoy the sunshine!
Sean picked up his bright yellow 235kW spec CV8 Monaro after shipping off his LS1-powered VT Series 2 Holden Exec which had been bestowed with all the bolt-on glory. The switch to the Monaro is easy to justify – he simply had to have one!
In stock form, the CV8 Monaro can haul to 100 km/h in the sixes but that still wasn’t as quick as Steve’s departed VT2 Exec. The playing field was leveled thanks to the fitment of a twin 2 ½ inch mandrel exhaust with modified cat converters. Pacemaker 4>1 headers and a ‘mail order’ ECU tune were added a little further down the track – the result, a considerable 221kW at the wheels (up from around 175kW ATW in standard guise).
But it wasn’t long before Sean started looking for more.
The conservative Holden camshaft was next on the hit list – Sean stepped up to a Comp cam which is best described as mild. This was installed together with Comp lifters and pushrods, Yella Terra roller rockers and a stronger timing chain. ARP rod bolts and head bolts were also included to ensure durability when pumping out a maximum of 275kW at the wheels. This was achieved with a custom MAF-less tune performed by PowerTorque in Brisbane.
At this point, the 5.7-litre V8 could rev and sing the way the V8 gods intended but, despite its substantial displacement, there was something missing - that gut-wrenching torque that can shut down any pesky WRX drivers. And, you guessed it, a supercharger was the way to get it.
South Australian based supercharging gurus, CAPA (Centrifugal Air Pumps Australia), entered the equation with their volume selling Vortech blower kit combined with an intercooler. Sean installed the kit using a friend’s workshop facility and employed the supplied pulleys to deliver a maximum boost pressure of 9 psi.
At this point, Sean returned the car to PowerTorque for a new fuel system and engine management mods. The necessary supply of 98 RON fuel is delivered by twin Bosch 044 pumps, a US-sourced adjustable pressure regulator, ASE rails and a 6 ½ litre surge tank. Fuel and ignition are tweaked using HP Tuner programming software in conjunction with a 2 Bar MAP sensor.
At the time of photography, the car was freshly tuned and had no problems turning the rollers of a Dyno Dynamics chassis dyno to the tune of 360kW. That’s with just 9 psi boost and the twin 2 ½ inch exhaust remaining – Sean plans to switch to a restriction-free twin 3 incher along with different headers. With around 100,000km behind it, the standard clutch is also getting close for replacement. The CV8 driveline remains factory except for a Ripshifter and 3.9:1 diff gears.
The Monaro has pretty balanced handling outa the box so Sean hasn’t – yet - found any reason to go chopping or changing any of the suspension. A Whiteline front tower brace is the only exception. Braking performance has been given an effective boost thanks to AP Racing four-pot calipers and 330mm front discs combined with slotted replacement rear discs. Again, it’s all bolt-on stuff that’s no fuss.
Inside an’ out Sean’s Monaro is enhanced with a tasteful amount of aftermarket equipment. The factory yellow paint contrasts against the black painted 18 inch Speedy rims and keen Holden fans will notice the conversion to a VZ-series front bar. Onboard, the factory leather trim provides high levels of comfort and Sean has installed a suitably high-end audio system. An Eclipse flip-out LCD head unit sends signals to Audio Systems amps and beats are produces by DynAudio front and rear splits and dual 12 inch subs.
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