Anyone using the Holley Systemax II intake?

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by SuperchargedB87, Dec 20, 2003.


  1. SuperchargedB87

    SuperchargedB87 Founding Member

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    First off let me say that this is the worst intake I've ever owned. The other day I'm working on my car and I noticed my upper manifold was cracked in two spots. It cracked where it bolts to the lower and I think it was leaking. It also cracked at the vacum fitting which was my fault, but I bearly tightened it and it cracked. So I took the manifold off and put a straight edge to the mounting surface and it was warped about .050" across it. Let me also add this intake has under 50 miles on it. So I bring it to work, weld up the cracks, mill the mounting surface back down and got it straight. So today I bring it home and since I had to sand down where it had to be welded, plus there was now alot of scratches in the finish, I decide to strip it all down and polish it. So I get all the coating off and get it all smoothed out and hit it with some compound and it won't shine. I just spent the last 3 hours trying to get this thing to shine with no luck. I think this manifold is made out of the worst metal in the world. Did anyone else run into any of these problems I had with there's? Cracks? Warped? Most importantly, did anyone ever polish one? Now I don't know weather to give up and repaint it or keep trying. Sorry this is so long.
     
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  2. 88POSLX

    88POSLX Founding Member

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    Yeah, my brother has the intake. I'm not overly impressed with fit/finish myself. When he got the heads ported (Brodix) the porter couldn't even get the ports on the Systemax to match up cuz the casting was so off. I was going to polish the upper for him too but now you've got me worried.
     
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  3. SuperchargedB87

    SuperchargedB87 Founding Member

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    Yeah, its a very poorly made intake. I spent $600 on it, too. I dont know if its just mine but it really doesn't shine up, so I personally would definately not recommend you polishing it until someone else replies and says they did it and that mine is just a fluke. I think its the metal, its like pot metal or something, its really porous and yet very hard at the same time, its junk.
     
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  4. SynMan5.0

    SynMan5.0 New Member

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    What did you torque the intake bolts to? I have one on my '89 Coupe and have experienced no problems. From what I understand it is one of the best street/strip intakes on the market...
     
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  5. getinaGTsoon

    getinaGTsoon Founding Member

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    Yep, I had it on my previous 94 GT, and it ran great... I sold the car about 3000 miles later and it still had no problems... was the best intake I've seen.
     
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  6. RippinTires

    RippinTires New Member

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    Hey sorry to hear your troubles... that sux. But I can't honestly say i've experienced any problems... I'm fortunately pleased with both the upper and lower Systemax... good luck with it man!
     
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  7. SuperchargedB87

    SuperchargedB87 Founding Member

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    I torqued the bolts to 18 ft/lbs from the middle out. I also had to use a 1" spacer, maybe this had something to do with it. That was another problem I had with this intake, it took me over 2 months to get the 1" spacer I needed for it because no one but Trickflow made one, not even Holley themselves.
     
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  8. 1BADCOBRAVERT

    1BADCOBRAVERT New Member

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    Its very difficult to strip of the ceramic coating that is applied to the upper. But once you do get it ALL off it can be polished to a mirror shine like almost any other aluminum. Holley does NOT suggest the useage of a spacer on their intake due to the fact that it compresses and can crack the mounting flange.
    As far as not being able to port match the intake to the heads, that sounds like either lack of the porters experience OR the amount of labor required to do the job surpassed the amount of money that the owner wanted to spend.
    Anyways this is one of the best forced induction intakes on the market and most users have had minimal problems with it , although it is a little harder to install than most , the H.P. that is gained makes it very worth it.
     
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  9. SuperchargedB87

    SuperchargedB87 Founding Member

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    Its not the coating I'm having a hard time getting off, its getting the actual metal to shine. I have a good amount of experience with polishing, I even polished my old manifold. I'm saying that no matter what I try, the thing won't really shine up. Usually when I polish aluminum, it looks like a mirror, this is now where near like that. I think the actual alloy its made out of will not allow you to get it to come up to a mirror shine. I don't know if maybe I got a beat one or what. Also as far as not using a spacer, it is necessity in my case, the stock valve covers will not clear my rocker arms, so the intake hits the valve cover. I think that is rediculous for Holley to say you can't use a spacer with its intake, how many people are running a stock valve cover that use this intake? I agree it is a great manifold as far as flow numbers and even the look of it, I'm just saying it is lacking in quality.
     
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  10. Mike86Stang

    Mike86Stang Advanced Member

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    I had the holley intake from hell.
    Butt load of core shift & when the freeze plugs were prssed in the manifold cracked. I'd never buy one again without being able to visually inspect it before purchasing it.

    Anyway, I run the stock valve covers no spacers... & you'r right it's an aluminum alloy it's a very porous casting & I've NEVER seen one with a mirror finish.
     
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  11. cardudeusa

    cardudeusa Founding Member

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    All this is good to know, I was planning on getting one, not anymore. Guess it will be a Trick Flow for me.
     
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  12. blown1989saleen

    blown1989saleen Founding Member

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    i run a Holley and it went on with NO problems, im not a fan of the tackey looking little vacuum tree they include with it. i didnt polish mine, i roughed it up with some sand paper and sprayed the upper with some black crinkle paint, while i left the raised lettering and lines their polished look.
     
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  13. 86Cobra

    86Cobra Founding Member

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    I've had no issues with my Holley. I've had the upper on and off five or six times without problems. It's far easier to install than the Track Heat I had previously.

    Sorry to hear yours is givng you problems. It's an excellent performing intake on blown and strong NA motors.
     
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  14. SuperchargedB87

    SuperchargedB87 Founding Member

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    Its easier to install than the Trickflow intake? I hate taking that Holley off, taking 1/4 turns with a crows foot sux. I was thinking of replacing it with the Trickflow, maybe I wont now. I might look into the Vortech/Saleen intake, I heard that the upper will bolt to the Holley lower.
     
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  15. 88POSLX

    88POSLX Founding Member

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    You forgot the most important and only option... it was a ****ty casting.
     
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  16. 86Cobra

    86Cobra Founding Member

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    Absolutely easier than the TFS intake. The Holley upper is the easiest I've ever messed with (stock, Cobra, and Track Heat). The TFS upper is HUGE and the rear drivers side bolt is a pita.

    BTW, I don't install the middle passenger side stud and nut on the Holley. I've been running it like that for a year with no leaks.

    The Saleen/Vortech upper will bolt to the Holley lower As far as I know. But it's not near as good a design as the Holley. Honestly, if you want the most power, I would stick with the Holley. You just got a bad casting and might want to consider getting a new Holley upper.
     
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  17. SuperchargedB87

    SuperchargedB87 Founding Member

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    It don't leak with that bolt out? I found a way to make that one and the front drivers side easier, use studs. It made it easier to install, but I still think the stock one is easier. The external EGR is a pain too, but this time I'm omitting it. Since the manifold is fixed now, I will keep using it, I got a new 1" spacer due in tomarrow, so the day after Christmas I'll put it back on, unpolished and unpainted temperarily, and hope everything works out. Also thank you everyone for your input.
     
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  18. str8stang036

    str8stang036 New Member

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    The trickflow spacer fit well with the Holley?
     
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  19. streakmatt

    streakmatt New Member

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    Dude this thread is 4 1/2 years old ...lol :rlaugh:
     
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  20. ls1beater4eva

    ls1beater4eva New Member

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    i am running my holley with my tristate heads and it is awsome and hve no fitment issues nore cracks actually the only other intake i would buy would be a edelbrock but the holley is awsome i know my 347 loves it
     
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