Intake/exhaust mods on my SLK55 R171 - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

Performance MODS for the R171 Tuning and Performance modifications for your SLK

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#1 Old 04-16-2016
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Intake/exhaust mods on my SLK55 R171

Before we begin, couple of notes:

a) I do not know the performance gains of these mods and I have no intention to dyno my car. All I do know is that it sounds absolutely great, revs faster and accelerates noticeably quicker than stock as well as several Ferrari 360s!
b) Sorry, no photos available
c) use this information at your own risk

To summarize, my intake/exhaust mods are:

1) BMC airfilters
2) Modded stock airbox
3) Modded MAF
4) Modded elbow between MAF & throttle body
5) Ported & polished throttle body
6) Renntech short headers
7) Supersprint X-Pipe.

In addition I have Eurocharged ECU tune.

I believe mods 1, 6 & 7 are well covered in other threads or forums, so I'll concentrate here on 2-5.
Please note that I did mods 2-5 during winter storage period so I can't say how any of these mods would impact independently.

So here we go:

2) MODDED STOCK AIRBOX

What?
Removing baffles inside the box. Metal screen at the MAF connection left as-is to leave debris protection.

Why?
Better air flow - especially the lower part after the filters seems to be obstructive.

How?
There are good threads about air box removal, not covered here..
After removal, I used pliers to remove most of the baffles and used Dremel tool to finalize rough edges.
Easy job, took like 30 mins including careful cleaning.

Results?
Can't really say as I have not tested this mod alone. Might do some good in the overall setup.
It's interesting that the Black Series box looks to have exactly the same shape as the stock one.
The information I've gathered says the BS box contains sports air filters (brand/type unknown) and has no metal screen. It's also worth noting that the Renntech box is noticeable higher than stock/BS box without baffles and gains ~10 hp.

3) MODDED MAF

What?
Removing metallic fine mesh

Why?
Better air flow. This metallic mesh is there to stop possible debris, but taking into account that there are air filters, air box screen and the plastic MAF screen, I felt safe to remove it. I've done this to my previous SLK as well and it worked fine for years.

How?
Removal of airbox & MAF not covered here, good existing material in this forum,.
As you take the MAF off, you can see the metallic mesh under the plastic screen that guides the airflow to the sensor.
I removed the metallic mesh carefully with long nose pliers. Leave the plastic screen alone as it is needed to smoothen the airflow for the sensor! It is also a good time good to clean your sensor with CRC MAF cleaner etc. Easy job, 30 mins.

Results?
Based on different sources, this mod can result to 1-2% power increase on higher rpm. In my SLK230 I could feel somewhat quicker revs when I did this mod only.
It's interesting that the Black Series MAF sensor is in carbon shell, I've found no details if/how it really differs from stock.

4) MODDED ELBOW BETWEEN MAF & THROTTLE BODY

What?
Smoothening edges within the elbow and removing restrictions

Why?
Yes, better airflow...

How?
Instruction to remove airbox, MAF & elbow can be found elsewhere. Once off, I used sand paper and Dremel tool to smoothen all edges on the inside of the elbow. The inner bend right from MAF seemed restrictive so I opened the area a bit. I also sharpened the edges of the two air guides inside the elbow (from approx. 3 to 1 mm). I polished the touched areas carefully with Dremel tool and felt tip bit (be careful or the plastic melts).
This was a bit difficult and fiddly job, took like two hours.

Results?
Can't really say as I have not tested this mod alone. Might do some good in the overall setup, especially as there were many edges and obvious restriction areas in a 90 deg bend.

5) PORTED & POLISHED THROTTLE BODY

What?
Removing edge inside of the connection area between throttle body (TB) and the elbow and polishing the area. Cleaning the throttle actuator area of any gunk.

Why?
You guessed it, better air flow!

How?
Instructions to remove air box, MAF, elbow and TB not covered here.
After careful masking of TB areas not to be touched, I used various Dremel bits to carefully grind the inside surface of the connection between TB and the elbow so that no edge could be felt between them. I used Dremel with felt tip bit and some car wax to get "mirror" finish, surface. My throttle body had some gunk, so I cleaned it with normal brake cleaner. As there was a small molding imperfection (5 x 1-2 mm) on the intake manifold side, I used fine (500 grit) sand paper to smoothen it too.

Overall, took 1.5-2 hrs of work, not too difficult.

Note: If you remove TB, buy a new gasket between it and the intake manifold!
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#2 Old 02-20-2018
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How do you feel about your efforts now? Were they worth it? Any unexpected issues as a result?

Also, I want to clean my throttle body, both mechanically and the contacts. I note you reference that there are instructions for removal of the throttle body elsewhere, but in hours(!) of searching I've not found them for an SLK55 (R171). The unique method for securing the MAF for example. And how difficult it is to remove the throttle body below.

Can you share any insights? Would be very much appreciated!

Thanks!

tn
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#3 Old 02-21-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Nelson View Post
How do you feel about your efforts now? Were they worth it? Any unexpected issues as a result?

Also, I want to clean my throttle body, both mechanically and the contacts. I note you reference that there are instructions for removal of the throttle body elsewhere, but in hours(!) of searching I've not found them for an SLK55 (R171). The unique method for securing the MAF for example. And how difficult it is to remove the throttle body below.

Can you share any insights? Would be very much appreciated!

Thanks!

tn

An old thread but OP still around.

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#4 Old 02-21-2018
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Removal is easy:
1) remove airbox, pulls out
2) remove MAF, unclip (large flat head screw driver) and pull out
3) remove the plastic elbow between MAF and throttle body, unclip plastic clips connecting to throttle body and remove the connecting hose
4) throttle body is connected to intake manifold by four bolts, remove attached wire connector too

I suggest to buy a new seal between throttle body and intake manifold.

In addition to my earlier post, I eventually removed all internal vanes from the elbow.

Due to other mods I’ve done to intake and exhaust before test drive, can’t really say the benefit. Throttle response is very good and at least everything is clean.

No downsides so far after couple of summers.
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#5 Old 02-22-2018
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Thanks for the reply, and good to hear only good things have resulted! Did you ever find out if the Black Series also used a "gutted" MAF and elbow?


tn
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#6 Old 02-23-2018
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Black Series has integrated elbow/maf housing made of carbon fiber. The maf component is attached to it. I have seen only pictures of this from outside, but my guess is that it does not have baffles due to carbon fiber construction.
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