What should I do to the SLK430 next? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

Performance MODS for the R170 Tuning and Performance modifications for your SLK

View Poll Results: What should I do next?
5.0 with manual 1 16.67%
5.4 (maybe M113K) with Auto 5 83.33%
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#1 Old 03-30-2018
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What should I do to the SLK430 next?

So the time has come. I've got some money to spend for the next big round, but I'm curious what path everyone would go. The big unfortunate thing is that the 6 speed manual, according to many sources, may not handle the big V8 power. because obviously choice A is to get the 5.4L with that transmission. on the other hand, the 4.3L or 5.0 with the 6 speed might be pretty fun, BUT will be ~50 HP down from the 5.4. so, what do you think would be more worth it? Big power with the Auto, or smaller power with a manual?

vote above!
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#2 Old 03-30-2018
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Will the R171 engine fit? I would say get the R170 3.2 AMG engine. Same power (almost) as the 5.4 and made for your car.
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#3 Old 03-30-2018
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Will the R171 engine fit? I would say get the R170 3.2 AMG engine. Same power (almost) as the 5.4 and made for your car.
but - it's supercharged. the V8 would be NA and I wouldn't need to run an intercooler. bottom line, the V8 fits and seems to be easier to source.
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#4 Old 03-30-2018
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Gotta determine what YOU want most. I'd like to be able to row my own boat WITH the big engine but I can't so I have to make a choice.

I know that having a manual in traffic jams is a total PITA. If you only drive in the wild blue yonder, get the stick.

If you have to deal with traffic, get the horses.

Either way, your choice is yours because you have to live with it. I didn't vote
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#5 Old 03-30-2018
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I don't know but, if you have an urge, then maybe a completey new project beckons. The 4x4 SLK
PS. how does the steering conversion feel compared to the standard SLK box set up and is it reallistic to do on a standard car?

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#6 Old 04-02-2018
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I don't know but, if you have an urge, then maybe a completey new project beckons. The 4x4 SLK
PS. how does the steering conversion feel compared to the standard SLK box set up and is it reallistic to do on a standard car?
honestly.... it's terrible. BUT - it is smoother than the steering box and doesn't grab all the little ridges in the road like the steering box setup did. but on-center steering is a little too loose for my liking. once you're in a turn, it is pretty sharp feeling.

I'm thinking about ways I can improve it, but I keep coming back to just finding a steering rack from a car that has sportier steering than a 3500lb luxo sedan.
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#7 Old 04-02-2018
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I am quite sure you want the bigger power. I think my 55 might have just enough power with long tube headers and a tune. The 7 speed auto isn't bad in automatic mode with a tune. The paddle shifters are freaking worthless though as there is a good second of lag from the time you hit the button to when it shifts. I wish we could get a trans tune for the car. They had them for the 5 speed AMG AT, maybe that is an option from an earlier C55 or something? A manual in the car would be nuts, but it would cost me a fortune in rear tires
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#8 Old 04-02-2018
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The Auto 55 guys always go with the Brawn!
Us small displacement guys have to advocate for the clutch!
We drive fast and have a blast and we have the diminutive 300!!!
Obviously you have to get the car "right", balanced and tight in any choice you do.
Is this your daily driver? do you sit in traffic?
My 535i with manual is 0-60 in 5.5 seconds but its not nearly as much much as our SLK300!
Do what you gotta do to have fun! Is your 50hp really going to be that missed? That would be a big improvement on my SLK!
But we not talking about my SLK are we??? Enjoy the process and the outcome!


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#9 Old 04-02-2018
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Cool Having it all, to shift or not to shift, that is the question.

Back in the day a manual transmission was preferred namely because automatic transmissions were primitive and too slow to shift also sliding slowly into gear taking away from acceleration, newer automatic transmissions (namely the SLK 7 speed) are not only faster than manual to shift they are also intuitive going into turns and up and down hills. I would wager that if you could get a 55 AMG with manual trans the average driver running the manual couldn't keep up with the auto in a head to head. The AMG has the manual option that can be shifted using either the shift lever or paddle shifters for those times you want to feel like your 16 again so there's that. I smoke and I like to sip a beverage on my way to and from work so not having to mess with a clutch and shifter going through town is actually a plus to me but it really comes down to a personal decision. I'll bet you can guess how I voted.
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#10 Old 04-03-2018
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dude, you will never leave it well alone, will you

you are worse than me, and with bigger ideas. Stick with the 722.6 5speed auto box. You can source a paddle shift kit a la AMG, i know, I have one, I just haven't fitted it yet. From one of the excellent contributors here, Chris Messmer. All the up and down-changing control you need, and no letting go of that bucking, writhing steering wheel.
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#11 Old 04-03-2018
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Originally Posted by Eeyorewolf View Post
Back in the day a manual transmission was preferred namely because automatic transmissions were primitive and too slow to shift also sliding slowly into gear taking away from acceleration, newer automatic transmissions (namely the SLK 7 speed) are not only faster than manual to shift they are also intuitive going into turns and up and down hills. I would wager that if you could get a 55 AMG with manual trans the average driver running the manual couldn't keep up with the auto in a head to head. The AMG has the manual option that can be shifted using either the shift lever or paddle shifters for those times you want to feel like your 16 again so there's that. I smoke and I like to sip a beverage on my way to and from work so not having to mess with a clutch and shifter going through town is actually a plus to me but it really comes down to a personal decision. I'll bet you can guess how I voted.
Paddle shifters don’t Change what you do with an auto.
Nobody says auto is not convenient. The are. If you text, smoke, eat, drink, etc whole driving they are better than manual.
If you are in traffic a lot and its a daily driver, they are preferred. Gas MPG is also better with an Auto
WE conversing about a dude who is making a “FrankenSLK” and the intuitive wonderfulness 7 speed you speak of is not an option.
Your right, the average manual driver cannot keep up with a modern automatic. We are having too much fun to care.
If you underestimate that, then you have the proper set up for you.
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Last edited by dbgrn; 04-04-2018 at 12:29 PM.
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#12 Old 04-03-2018
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I'm afraid it is too late for the Auto option now. I went ahead and purchased a 6 speed manual "kit" from a Chrysler Crossfire. It came with everything between the Flywheel and the diff.

I did this for a couple of reasons:

1. the pre-tap-shift version of the auto is terrible to use for any kind of sporty driving
2. I can now change my highway RPM based on different rear-end ratios by swapping diffs from different cars (s class, W210 etc.) and the ECU wont have any say
3. Finding an auto that plays with the SLK ECU, and also having the torque rating of the V8 was proving to be a challenge
4. last year I drove 3 hours home from an Autocross that I could have done very well in limp-home mode.. 2nd gear and 30 mph the whole time. ever since then, Auto's have left a sour taste in my mouth because of all the computerization.
5. after having a manual Miata for a few months... man do I miss driving manuals!

Never again will a silly little computer ruin my day!
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#13 Old 04-03-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turdo2 View Post
I'm afraid it is too late for the Auto option now. I went ahead and purchased a 6 speed manual "kit" from a Chrysler Crossfire. It came with everything between the Flywheel and the diff.

I did this for a couple of reasons:

1. the pre-tap-shift version of the auto is terrible to use for any kind of sporty driving
2. I can now change my highway RPM based on different rear-end ratios by swapping diffs from different cars (s class, W210 etc.) and the ECU wont have any say
3. Finding an auto that plays with the SLK ECU, and also having the torque rating of the V8 was proving to be a challenge
4. last year I drove 3 hours home from an Autocross that I could have done very well in limp-home mode.. 2nd gear and 30 mph the whole time. ever since then, Auto's have left a sour taste in my mouth because of all the computerization.
5. after having a manual Miata for a few months... man do I miss driving manuals!

Never again will a silly little computer ruin my day!

Should be a fun install and easier to control. You won't have to fight the computer! Good luck!


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#14 Old 04-03-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bargamon View Post
Paddle shifters don’t Change what you do with an auto.
Nobody says auto is not convienent. The are. If you text, smoke, eat, masterbate, drink, etc whole driving they are better than manual.
If you are in traffic a lot and its a daily driver, they are preferred. Gas MPG is also better with an Auto
WE conversing about a dude who is making a “FrankenSLK” and the intuitive wonderfulness 7 speed you speak of is not an option.
Your right, the average manual driver cannot keep up with a modern automatic. We are having too much fun to care.
If you underestimate that, then you have the proper set up for you.
He asked our opinions on 5.0 with manual VS 5.4 with 7 speed auto unless my memory is poor which it is from time to time, I have owned several manual trans including an SVO Mustang, Eagle Talon, Shelby Cobra, Mustang GT, I learned to drive on a Dodge Dart with three on the tree so I'm not estimating anything, grinding through gears is a very small part of the driving experience "in my opinion" unless burnouts are your thing and tires are expensive. Since my search for a vehicle began by looking for a Lotus Elise or Exige I was thinking manual and a bit skeptical about the loss of "fun factor" with the mandatory auto in the 55 AMG but ultimately I'm glad I decided on it for the reasons I mentioned previously. Maybe I misunderstood the inquiry, it happens.
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#15 Old 04-03-2018
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Originally Posted by Eeyorewolf View Post
He asked our opinions on 5.0 with manual VS 5.4 with 7 speed auto unless my memory is poor which it is from time to time, I have owned several manual trans including an SVO Mustang, Eagle Talon, Shelby Cobra, Mustang GT, I learned to drive on a Dodge Dart with three on the tree so I'm not estimating anything, grinding through gears is a very small part of the driving experience "in my opinion" unless burnouts are your thing and tires are expensive. Since my search for a vehicle began by looking for a Lotus Elise or Exige I was thinking manual and a bit skeptical about the loss of "fun factor" with the mandatory auto in the 55 AMG but ultimately I'm glad I decided on it for the reasons I mentioned previously. Maybe I misunderstood the inquiry, it happens.
The 5.4 I was talking about is an M113, which only bolts to a 722.6 (5 speed). I should have specified!! apologies!

I also apologize because I asked everyone's opinion, then went ahead with an option based on my own personal opinion... but it was more for fun and to see what everyone thinks about it. Bottom line, if it was an easy choice one way or the other I wouldn't of asked and it's amazing that these topics pop up on other forums and people almost unanimously say "go auto". And I see why. These Mercedes automatic transmissions are absolutely fabulous! super simple to work on, cheap parts and the seem to take abuse VERY well!

I once had an automatic Porsche 944 at the same time that a buddy of mine had the manual. We both came to the conclusion that you could actually "drive" the auto car because we weren't worrying about the gears. For me, I think the SLK is perfectly fine with an Auto, but I'm concerned about my future modifications playing well with the ECU. so I ultimately decided on the Manual.

End of day - I spent $1200 on the manual conversion. A well-tested 722.6 would have ran me $800 to $1000 shipped to my door, and then I would have possible gear ratio complications in the computer. plus, I read somewhere that the manual is less than half the weight of the Auto.
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#16 Old 04-03-2018
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#17 Old 04-10-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turdo2 View Post

End of day - I spent $1200 on the manual conversion. A well-tested 722.6 would have ran me $800 to $1000 shipped to my door, and then I would have possible gear ratio complications in the computer. plus, I read somewhere that the manual is less than half the weight of the Auto.
Save the manuals! I'm a mega manual fan, and I'm 100% with you on this one.
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