Best route to ~300hp in 2007 SLK 350? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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

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#1 Old 07-09-2018
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Best route to ~300hp in 2007 SLK 350?

Hi all, I just bought a low-mileage 2007 SLK 350 and I'm looking to bump the performance up a bit. I've been looking around a lot online but haven't found much definitive data -- just a lot of hypothesizing.

From what I've seen on here, since I have the manual tranny, it sounds like I'd be risking clutch/transmission damage if I went for serious horsepower gains, but 300 or so seems to be attainable and manageable.

Then the question is, what's the cheapest and most reliable way to get another 30-50hp? FI seems like overkill for those gains, but I'm seeing a really wide variety of results from ECU tune, exhaust, etc. Some people are claiming 30hp gains from an air filter and ECU tune, while others say the gains will be negligible even from a full catback + ecu job.

So for people who have actually done these mods, what did you do, how much did it cost, and how much power did you gain? And for those with the manual, how has your transmission held up to the mods?

Thanks!
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#2 Old 07-09-2018
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https://catalog.kleemann.dk/catalog/...e/350-v6-m272/

350 V6 (M272)
Kleemann offers a wide range of engine tuning products for the normally aspirated Mercedes-Benz M272 V6 engine. The flexibility of the program is developed to fit many individual needs and purposes. Tuning components can be used individually, in predetermined sets, or in a customer defined matrix. The available tuning components address all aspects of the engine and represent a “Stage” tuning concept ranging from K1 to K3.

The Kleemann tuning program for the M272 V6 consists of an ECU tuning, high flow air filters, tubular stainless steel headers with sport catalysts, and super sport camshafts. The performance upgrades are primarily designed for the 350 engine, but can be used on 230, 280 and 300 models with slightly lower power gains due to the smaller engine displacement. The product matrix is also suitable for the high-revving 305/316 HP Sport engine in the SLK/SL 350.

350 V6 (M272)

350-K1: ECU tuning. Up to 305 HP and 375 Nm (278 lb-ft) of torque.

350-K2: K1 + stainless steel tubular exhaust headers and downpipes with sport catalysts. Up to 320 HP and 390 Nm (289 lb-ft) of torque.

350-K3: K2 + super sport camshafts. Up to 340 HP and 400 Nm (296 lb-ft) of torque.

350 CGI V6 (M272)

350-K1(CGI): A custom made ECU software. Up to 335 HP and 425 Nm (319 lb-ft) of torque.

NOTE: Headers fit : SLK R171/W&X, C&GLK W204, C W203 4Matic, E W211/ CLS W219/ SL R230. LHD and RHD vehicles.
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#3 Old 07-09-2018
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Before spending the big bucks, do the routine maint first.


Plugs, HT leads, oil, fluids, filters, etc and see how that feels.


ECU remap next.


Then the list starts getting money based.
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#4 Old 07-09-2018
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Some here have argued that the challenge with more power is how to properly utilize the added gains, if any, from any remap, tune or supercharger/turbo add-ons... Can the car handle such increased power without beefing up the tranny and the suspension? Think LSD as a key need to help control and distribute/handle the increased power much better.

I have a 350 and once looked into increased power. Spoke with a tuning shop in Canada and they were rather honest with what can be done on the NA 3.5L engine in our cars... not much... unless you think a 20hp "increase" is worth the cost of $1000. And that increase may not even be at the wheels, which means you won't feel the gain that much.

This is not to dissuade you from pursuit of more power... but to know that many have sought same and came away disappointed in what could be done.

Now if you have one of the monster 5.5L V8s in the 55s.... then your options for real performance gain increases....

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#5 Old 07-11-2018
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https://catalog.kleemann.dk/catalog/...e/350-v6-m272/

350 V6 (M272)
Kleemann offers a wide range of engine tuning products for the normally aspirated Mercedes-Benz M272 V6 engine. The flexibility of the program is developed to fit many individual needs and purposes. Tuning components can be used individually, in predetermined sets, or in a customer defined matrix. The available tuning components address all aspects of the engine and represent a “Stage” tuning concept ranging from K1 to K3.

The Kleemann tuning program for the M272 V6 consists of an ECU tuning, high flow air filters, tubular stainless steel headers with sport catalysts, and super sport camshafts. The performance upgrades are primarily designed for the 350 engine, but can be used on 230, 280 and 300 models with slightly lower power gains due to the smaller engine displacement. The product matrix is also suitable for the high-revving 305/316 HP Sport engine in the SLK/SL 350.

350 V6 (M272)

350-K1: ECU tuning. Up to 305 HP and 375 Nm (278 lb-ft) of torque.

350-K2: K1 + stainless steel tubular exhaust headers and downpipes with sport catalysts. Up to 320 HP and 390 Nm (289 lb-ft) of torque.

350-K3: K2 + super sport camshafts. Up to 340 HP and 400 Nm (296 lb-ft) of torque.

350 CGI V6 (M272)

350-K1(CGI): A custom made ECU software. Up to 335 HP and 425 Nm (319 lb-ft) of torque.

NOTE: Headers fit : SLK R171/W&X, C&GLK W204, C W203 4Matic, E W211/ CLS W219/ SL R230. LHD and RHD vehicles.[/quote]

I'm aware of these options, but I'm having trouble finding success (or failure) stories. The Kleeman website is even inconsistent -- on the page you quoted, they claim up to 305hp with just the ECU tune. On the product page for the ECU tune, they only claim a maximum of 290hp. That's a difference of a 22hp gain (probably not worth $1000+) vs a 37hp gain (a bit more worthwhile for $1000).

I've also seen a few threads from people who got the ECU tune and found they actually lost dyno hp. I haven't seen any threads from people who got the ECU tune and were totally blown away by the power it unlocked, which is a bit disconcerting. Same goes for the exhaust upgrade. Haven't seen any reviews on the camshaft upgrade.
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#6 Old 07-11-2018
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Do you just want a higher power number?
More torque?
Faster acceleration?
Higher top speed?


IF adding Kleemann etc to a brand new engine it is easier for them to calculated gains.
IF adding to a used engine it is hard to estimate the wear and tear of the engine, change in tolerances etc,
makes it tricky to calculate gains.

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#7 Old 07-11-2018
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Just my opinion but I'd want to see dyno charts of torque and HP vs rpm. My Jeep 3.6 V6 (M276) has 290 hp stock, 305 in the Challenger. Also SAE Gross, Net, or DIN ?


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#8 Old 07-30-2018
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Something else to consider since you have a manual transmission, as I do in my SLK280 (no power mods to my car): Mercedes typically fits a really short first gear in their manuals, so that the car launches quickly and revs quickly. Second gear comes up really fast as a result. Adding power might well make first gear effectively so short as to be useless. The solutions would be to rebuild the transmission with different gear ratios more suited to the new power band, and/or changing the rear axle ratio to a taller gear. Neither of these are inexpensive.
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#9 Old 08-07-2018
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Exhaust Mod - Try it

I wanted a better engine note for my 2006 SLK350. Went to a Mate that has an exhaust shop, where he cut off the rear mufflers and replaced them with resonators and sports mufflers. Cost me about $600 but the sound is great. But to answer your power question (and no dyno so don't know) I a had significant power increase, maybe 15%! Noticeable - so for a cheap option, maybe start there? Might be worth a try.....
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#10 Old 08-11-2018
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I'd like to hear how your 350 came out. been thinking of doing something with mine for a long time but theres never been a cheap way.
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20% gain is just enough to actually notice, but couple weeks and you will be used to it and back to square one. Squeezing out 10 more hp is for racing in some fixed class, and makes little difference under normal use.
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#12 Old 08-13-2018
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I have posted a video right after I had it done and left the exhaust place, but it's been deleted.
The sound is great and makes me smile every time I drive.....
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#13 Old 10-12-2018
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I was once told by an experience race driver that the quickest way to getting more performance from a car is proper driving tuition.

It can take seconds off lap times or how fast and safe you can really exploit the capabilities of any car.

I'm no driving god, but the few lessons I did (needed to for the air cooled 911, no ABS, no PAS no anything!) certainly made for a much quicker and rewarding driving experience.
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#14 Old 10-22-2018
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I had a 2010 Acura TSX 2.4L with a tune and while the horsepower gain was felt (just barely though) the biggest improvement was the way it drove and how much more responsive the throttle became. I would drive other cars and I can tell how lazy those throttles were. It might have been faster but it sure felt faster and it was definitely more fun.

To me the SLK350 is fast enough already especially in sports mode. It feels a lot faster than my Ford Fusion 2.0T. If Kleemann K1 can get me +37hp and +20tq along with an improved driving experience I feel like it would be well worth it.
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#15 Old 10-22-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackRydden224 View Post
I had a 2010 Acura TSX 2.4L with a tune and while the horsepower gain was felt (just barely though) the biggest improvement was the way it drove and how much more responsive the throttle became. I would drive other cars and I can tell how lazy those throttles were. It might have been faster but it sure felt faster and it was definitely more fun.

To me the SLK350 is fast enough already especially in sports mode. It feels a lot faster than my Ford Fusion 2.0T. If Kleemann K1 can get me +37hp and +20tq along with an improved driving experience I feel like it would be well worth it.
Since you are talking about improved "throttle feel", I suggest testing out your 350 with a throttle booster such as one from Piecha, Sprint Booster or Pedal Commander. Pair these throttle boost (set to "Sport" mode) with an upgraded exhaust (butt hp feel), and your drive mode set to "S", you will truly feel the power the 3.5L motor delivers in the 350. For even more thrill, switch the tranny mode to "M" and row through the 7G with extended paddles... now yuo are fully experiencing the car as it should be driven....

I do these almost daily (my car has all of the upgraded features I described above here), sometimes just for fun, but most times to enjoy the full power of the car. There is a reason I bought a 350, and its not for some boulevard cruising or granny drive on freeways
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#16 Old 10-23-2018
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Those throttle boosters are around $300 while the Kleemann tune is $800 and it gives me more power as well so I think I'm just gonna splurge on the Kleemann

What's the recommended exhaust around here? I'll have 295hp at the crank with the tune and maybe pick up 5 more from the exhaust to hit 300hp

I found some fun roads to drive the car yesterday and I can't wait for the weekend to come.


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Since you are talking about improved "throttle feel", I suggest testing out your 350 with a throttle booster such as one from Piecha, Sprint Booster or Pedal Commander. Pair these throttle boost (set to "Sport" mode) with an upgraded exhaust (butt hp feel), and your drive mode set to "S", you will truly feel the power the 3.5L motor delivers in the 350. For even more thrill, switch the tranny mode to "M" and row through the 7G with extended paddles... now yuo are fully experiencing the car as it should be driven....

I do these almost daily (my car has all of the upgraded features I described above here), sometimes just for fun, but most times to enjoy the full power of the car. There is a reason I bought a 350, and its not for some boulevard cruising or granny drive on freeways
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#17 Old 10-23-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackRydden224 View Post
Those throttle boosters are around $300 while the Kleemann tune is $800 and it gives me more power as well so I think I'm just gonna splurge on the Kleemann

What's the recommended exhaust around here? I'll have 295hp at the crank with the tune and maybe pick up 5 more from the exhaust to hit 300hp

I found some fun roads to drive the car yesterday and I can't wait for the weekend to come.
Do this first
it is free

https://www.slkworld.com/general-dis...-learning.html
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#18 Old 10-23-2018
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Kleeman tune for $800? For a N/A 3.5L? Last I checked with Kleemann they gave me a quote for $1,295 + shipping cost for my ECU (roundtrip). And all for a measly 20-25bhp gain?

Here is the email from Kleemann when I enquired about a tune (circa Nov 2017)...

----------------begin-----------
Hello Omo-

Thanks for writing!

Our tune for your ’13 SLK350 is $1295.00 and we’re typically seeing gains of 20-25 HP with a similar improvement in torque, significant improvement to throttle response, the top speed limiter is removed and we’re also able to get ECO mode to default to off when the car is started so you don’t have to turn it off every time you get in the car, if that’s something you’d like us to do. The ECU must be removed and sent to our USA HQ here in Colorado and I can typically get the ECU reprogrammed and shipped back to you the same day it arrives at our office. Return shipping is $70 for priority overnight service. The removal is quite simple and most are able to do it themselves in their garage- if you’ve ever installed a car radio, you can easily handle taking the ECU out yourself.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Thanks again!

-----------------end------------

That is for an R172, maybe your R171 cost is lots cheaper.... but I bet the gain won't be felt much at the wheels... jus' sayn'....

I have the Fox Sport exhaust on mine (designed for the R172 350), and my butt feel hp is at least 5hp plus an AM air filter that deepens the exhaust tone to something more purposeful no dyno numbers to prove anything tho'....

Omo


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#19 Old 10-24-2018
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Quote:
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Ah! I shall

Quote:
Originally Posted by b82012 View Post
Kleeman tune for $800? For a N/A 3.5L? Last I checked with Kleemann they gave me a quote for $1,295 + shipping cost for my ECU (roundtrip). And all for a measly 20-25bhp gain?

Here is the email from Kleemann when I enquired about a tune (circa Nov 2017)...

----------------begin-----------
Hello Omo-

Thanks for writing!

Our tune for your ’13 SLK350 is $1295.00 and we’re typically seeing gains of 20-25 HP with a similar improvement in torque, significant improvement to throttle response, the top speed limiter is removed and we’re also able to get ECO mode to default to off when the car is started so you don’t have to turn it off every time you get in the car, if that’s something you’d like us to do. The ECU must be removed and sent to our USA HQ here in Colorado and I can typically get the ECU reprogrammed and shipped back to you the same day it arrives at our office. Return shipping is $70 for priority overnight service. The removal is quite simple and most are able to do it themselves in their garage- if you’ve ever installed a car radio, you can easily handle taking the ECU out yourself.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Thanks again!

-----------------end------------

That is for an R172, maybe your R171 cost is lots cheaper.... but I bet the gain won't be felt much at the wheels... jus' sayn'....

I have the Fox Sport exhaust on mine (designed for the R172 350), and my butt feel hp is at least 5hp plus an AM air filter that deepens the exhaust tone to something more purposeful no dyno numbers to prove anything tho'....
I emailed Kleemann on Monday so perhaps their prices have changed since you last contacted them.

I drove the car again this morning and dang the thing is fast in sports mode. I'm beginning to think maybe I should get that louder exhaust instead

***such first world problems***
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#20 Old 10-24-2018
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We have many threads on the sport or comfort choice

I drive in sport all the time


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