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Discussion Starter #1
I've got no real issue with the standard items on my pre-facelift SLK350 other than the exhaust sounds a bit 'farty' at low revs.

It seems to me that a car with a reasonably sized V6 engine with sporting pretensions should make a bit more of a rumble when you fire it up. So I'm looking for suggestions (preferably based on personal experience) on aftermarket mufflers that might fit the bill.

Some key criteria:

- produce a nice rumble on start up / driving away at low revs
- inexpensive to buy and ship to Oz (so no Brabus, SuperSprint, AMG, etc.)
- fit the standard rear bumper cut outs
- not too much drone at constant cruising speeds

I don't see why it shouldn't be possible to get something suitable landed for around $200 per side (i.e. $400 total) plus fitting, but then again this is a Mercedes we're talking about so I stand to be corrected...

Are MagnaFlow any good on the SLK350? If so, what would be the correct part number? They would seem to be in my price range.

BTW, I know this isn't going to make the car any faster, it's all about the noise! :D

Cheers,
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Nobody changed just the mufflers on their SLK350 to anything other than AMGs or other expensive Euro options? :mad:

It's looking more and more like MagnaFlow will be the only brand name that fits my budget. They are not particularly well known in Australia, so does anyone here have any experience with them (either on a Merc or something else) they'd be willing to share?

I'm looking at their universal range in an oval design in stainless steel with 2.25" centre inlet and 2.25" offset outlet.
 

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If you do a search you'll find a fair bit of info about exhaust options.
One problem that many have experienced when using "cheaper" options is a drone at around motorway cruising speeds. This may or may not be an issue for you - noise levels/pitch are very subjective.
Many custom exhaust builders base their systems on standard round/oval boxes of various lengths. Generally, on a length for length basis when compared with SLK standard boxes, these are smaller in volume and hence noisier and more likely to drone.
If you do go down the local build route I suggest you get a guarantee around maximum noise level to avoid disappointment.
Russ
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey Russ, thanks for your post.

I did a search on here for muffler/exhaust mods and the results I got fell mainly into two categories: those that went down the full/partial AMG road and those that chose systems built by well regarded but expensive Euro third party tuners.

As I said at the outset, I'm trying to get more (pleasant) noise on a budget, which rules out both of the above options - used AMG gear is scarce as hen's teeth out here and is priced accordingly; anything from the Euro tuners is usually very pricey to begin with and costs a bomb for shipping.

The exhaust piping for the stock system is not straightforward - the pipes are flattened in various places to get through areas of minimal clearance and I understand why a complete new system is quite expensive. This is why I am looking at just the mufflers, for which I'm hoping a third party alternative will produce a deeper sound than the stock units, especially at idle/low revs.

I'm well aware of potential booming/droning with third party exhaust components, but usually that comes as a result of increasing the piping diameter unnecessarily and/or using mufflers that have poorly designed internal piping and/or baffles.

The Magnaflow I'm looking at are quite similar in overall size to the stock mufflers (14" long x 9" wide x 4.5" high as opposed to approx. 15" x 10" x 6" stock) and have similar inlet/outlet diameter to stock with straight through perforated piping with high density acoustic packing, so hopefully won't be prone to droning.

I was just wondering if anyone had used them on any of their vehicles that could confirm whether they were good gear in general, both in terms of producing a deeper sound than stock as well as avoiding any issues with droning.

I would be buying the boxes myself and having the local exhaust shop just fitting them for me, so any issues with excessive and/or unpleasant noise will be mine...

Cheers,
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cheers for your feedback :tu:

If I'm reading your invoice correctly, the mufflers are listed as being Xlerator X109s. Are these the same as Magnaflows? Some comments on the web suggest they are, but I've not been able to find a definitive answer.

Also I'd like to cross reference what specs your mufflers are, but I've not been able to find the part number X109 anywhere. Do you remember the vital statistics of your mufflers at all? E.g. overall length, inlet and outlet size, whether they are oval or round, etc.

Thanks again,
Brian
 

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If you do a search you'll find a fair bit of info about exhaust options.
One problem that many have experienced when using "cheaper" options is a drone at around motorway cruising speeds. This may or may not be an issue for you - noise levels/pitch are very subjective.
Many custom exhaust builders base their systems on standard round/oval boxes of various lengths. Generally, on a length for length basis when compared with SLK standard boxes, these are smaller in volume and hence noisier and more likely to drone.
If you do go down the local build route I suggest you get a guarantee around maximum noise level to avoid disappointment.
Russ
I can vouch for what Russ says here.
I purchased my 350 with aftermarket back boxes (much smaller than standard boxes). At motorway speeds they are unbearable, the drone is really intrusive. I am just going through the process of having the stock boxes reinstalled, with a view to getting AMG boxes at a later stage.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Scott, thanks for your feedback.

Was the droning caused by your aftermarket back boxes only at motorway speeds or was it evident at other times as well? My car is purely a weekend fun toy so if it's only really an issue for high speed cruising it's not so much of a problem for me.

I reckon the reason why most aftermarket systems end up having much smaller mufflers than stock is the unusual arrangement with the R171 where the inlet is on a 45 degree angle right at the back corner of the box. It's pretty hard to find off the shelf sports mufflers with that kind of setup.

bstevens52 has said he's pleased with the Magnaflows on his car so I'm thinking if I stick with them I should be OK, unless someone can tell me otherwise...
 

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Hi Scott, thanks for your feedback.

Was the droning caused by your aftermarket back boxes only at motorway speeds or was it evident at other times as well? My car is purely a weekend fun toy so if it's only really an issue for high speed cruising it's not so much of a problem for me.

I reckon the reason why most aftermarket systems end up having much smaller mufflers than stock is the unusual arrangement with the R171 where the inlet is on a 45 degree angle right at the back corner of the box. It's pretty hard to find off the shelf sports mufflers with that kind of setup.

bstevens52 has said he's pleased with the Magnaflows on his car so I'm thinking if I stick with them I should be OK, unless someone can tell me otherwise...
Hi bac
The main time the drone is intrusive is at motorway speeds. However, at lower speeds it is still there any time you touch the throttle, and just gets very tiring after a while.
My old 320 was quiet inside the car until you put your foot down, but was not intrusive, just a great exhaust note.
I think you are probably right about the size of the boxes vs angle of the pipes. The boxes I have are much smaller than stock, but fill the space diagonally, but have loads of space around them

As has been said in many posts, sound/ noise is very subjective.
I too only use the car at weekends, but want it to be civilised and luxurious when cruising, but loud and a great sound when you put your foot down, hence my leaning toward the AMG boxes.

I cannot comment on the Magnaflows, but if you can get to listen to them first, I think it would be worthwhile.

Regards
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As has been said in many posts, sound/ noise is very subjective.
I too only use the car at weekends, but want it to be civilised and luxurious when cruising, but loud and a great sound when you put your foot down, hence my leaning toward the AMG boxes.
After hearing the sound grabs of the AMG boxes in action, I'd love to have them on my car as well.

Two things are stopping me though:
- I'd have to pay around $800 to source a second hand AMG system to pinch the boxes from
- While the quad tips look great, I can't bring myself to cut into the rear bumper to make them fit.

Cheers,
Brian
 

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I am putting an almost brand new AMG 55 exhaust on my 350 next week, have a look at RussJ's thread and you will see it isn't a straight forward fit if you are putting the full (from behind the CATs) AMG55 exhausts on, ratherthan just cutting and putting the mufflers on, as MB intheir wisdom reversed the male / female fittings on the 2 pipes and made it 100mm longer, so it means chopping approximately 100mm (but different for each pipe) out, handing the remaining pipe and welding it on just behind the CATs. Luckily the 350 and 55 pipes are the same diameter. Russ has got pictures on his thread and I will start a new thread with pictures. As I have the factory fitted AMG body styling kit with the different coloured section on the rear bumper I have gone for a diffuser panel similar to on the R172s with 2 cutouts for the 4 tailpipes.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yep, have checked out the other thread on retrofitting an SLK 55 exhaust.

Maybe I'm missing something, but if the main effort in retrofitting the complete cat-back system is mating up the pipes, why not just leave the stock piping in place and just replace the mufflers?

If the rest of the upstream piping is pretty much the same diameter etc., what is the benefit for all the extra effort?
 

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Yep, have checked out the other thread on retrofitting an SLK 55 exhaust.

Maybe I'm missing something, but if the main effort in retrofitting the complete cat-back system is mating up the pipes, why not just leave the stock piping in place and just replace the mufflers?

If the rest of the upstream piping is pretty much the same diameter etc., what is the benefit for all the extra effort?
It's strange that a lot of people with 55s change the resonator (standard on a 55 ) for an 'X' pipe (standard on a 350), yet people putting the 55 system on a 350, bin the X pipe & replace it with the resonator :confused::confused::confused:
 

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Just replacing the back boxes on a 350 makes for a (very) loud exhaust and can cause the dreaded "motorway drone".
Keeping the center box tones things down a bit...
I guess a V8 has a deeper exhaust note as standard and isn't as intrusive as a howling V6. Not sure what an x-piped '55 sounds like from inside but they certainly don't seem too loud when following.
Russ
 

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Frank has had his exhaust done. I heard it this afternoon.

On initial start up, a nice burble.

Ticking over - silent.

Foot down - amazing. Sounds like a good V4 bike, yet he says from inside, no annoying drone or burble.

What is strange is a lot of people on here with a 55 bin the resonator to fit an X-Pipe. Frank has binned his X-Pipe and replaced it with a resonator. How does that work?

After hearing it, I might do the Sheepsmobile. It really does sound good.
 

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The very back section of the AMG exhaust before the back boxes is a different diameter to the 350 and is flattened.

Yep, have checked out the other thread on retrofitting an SLK 55 exhaust.

Maybe I'm missing something, but if the main effort in retrofitting the complete cat-back system is mating up the pipes, why not just leave the stock piping in place and just replace the mufflers?

If the rest of the upstream piping is pretty much the same diameter etc., what is the benefit for all the extra effort?
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Spied this exhaust option on local Oz Fleabay:



It's listed by a local importer, but there's no info as to who actually makes the mufflers. The trapezoidal shape of the boxes is quite distinctive and looks to me to be quite similar to the Remus ones, but I doubt they would be available at that price.

Any ideas?
 
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