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I recently bought a 2006 SLK55 AMG and searched everywhere for an affordable set of short (drop in) headers. The only ones that fit the bill were the Topspeed Pro-1 ones on Ebay. They look exactly like the old AMS shorty headers.

Given the price ($475 shipped), I figured that there may be fitment/quality issues, but I also figured it wasn't a huge risk either, so I went for it.

Also, I used this very helpful DIY thread: http://www.slkworld.com/slk-r171-class-diy/20671-diy-slk55-r171-exhaust-manifold-removal-repair-replacement.html

Since I couldn't find any info on SLK owners trying these out, I thought I'd post my impressions....

First off, the customer service at this place it top notch. I had two returns, and both were handled professionally and quickly. Every time I called, someone answered, and all my emails were returned quickly.

1) Fitment: Fitment was spot on, zero issues with fitment. Once installed there were no leaks, nothing was forced, etc. This was my biggest concern when I purchased these, but it was not an issue at all.

2) Quality: Average overall. The main thing is that there is a lot of over-weld inside the header. It was no big deal since I have an air rotary tool and carbide grinding bits, but it you don't have the tools, I'd think that you'd want to get them cleaned up. Other than that, the welds are solid and all the way through, and the flange is clean and 1cm thick. The flanges were slightly warped, but it was very minor and flattened out once bolted down. I've modified cars for the past 15 years (3rd gen RX7s), and these certainly do not have the nicest build quality, but they look like they will work as advertised.

3) Extras: They came with a single compression gasket for each side. I prefer the metal stock gaskets, so I picked up a set for an additional $30 on Ebay. They also came with 4 extra studs to attach to the downpipe, but I used the stock torx bolts.

4) Performance gains: I don't know if their claims are accurate or not, but their inner diameter is a 1/4" thicker than stock (inlets are 1 5/8" vs 1 3/8" and outlet pipe is 1 3/4" vs 1 5/8"). They also look to flow better.

5) Driving impressions: The sound is slightly more throaty than stock and is noticeable at the mufflers. Sounds great overall. There was a clear performance gain, but it's hard to tell how much. The car certainly felt crisper and more responsive. I would guess around 15 whp or so.

Overall, I'd recommend these to anyone who is considering short headers. They are probable going to give you 5-10 less whp than Renntech headers, but they are $3k cheaper :).

Pics (note that in some of these pics, the passenger side header was for another MB. I exchanged it with zero issues):

Stock Inlet Ports vs. TS:




Compared to Stock (passenger side is incorrect in this pic):



Ports after over-weld was cleaned up:





Installed (hard to get good pics, but fitment was perfect):









 

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Discussion Starter #2
A few more pics of the headers themselves. Again, the passenger side is from another MB in these pics (I took the pictures for the return, and never re-shot them after I received the correct header), but the build quality is the same.







 

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Thanks for the review. As for the wrong passenger side header, did they send you another incorrect header? Can you explain the 2 returns?

The cleaning up of the over-weld inside the header, are there shops that do this?

The slight warp on the flange-wouldn't that cause a minor leak or stress on the headers after installation?

I'm debating between these and the Kleemann headers but these seem like it'll cost just as much after fixing them.

Will you add any header wrap or coating in the future?
 

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Thanks for the review. As for the wrong passenger side header, did they send you another incorrect header? Can you explain the 2 returns?

The cleaning up of the over-weld inside the header, are there shops that do this?

The slight warp on the flange-wouldn't that cause a minor leak or stress on the headers after installation?

I'm debating between these and the Kleemann headers but these seem like it'll cost just as much after fixing them.

Will you add any header wrap or coating in the future?
The first set they sent me had one badly warped header. I could fit 2 business cards in the gap easily. I returned both, and the customer service rep said that he'd hand pick two perfectly flat ones. He did, but he accidentally picked from two different types ("MB V8 short" and "MB V8"). Hence the second return, and the above pictures.

As far as the slight warpage, it's very minor - the thickness of a piece of paper. It flattens out perfectly when torqued with minor effort. I tested this by bolting both headers to each other. Even more expensive headers have at least some warpage. I felt I should call it out because of the first set I recieved.

I'm not at all worried about leaks. They have zero leaks as of now, and as the headers heat cycle while torqued down, they will only get more in line with their environment.

There's definitely shops that will port/polish headers. It would be around an hour of labor.

The Kleemann headers replace the main cats, and you'll need a shop to fit and weld them. These bolt on headers will be much cheaper any way you look at it. The Kleemanns' will certainly make more power though :).

I don't plan on wrapping or coating them.
 

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Thanks for the detailed review and follow-up. I always wondered about these and may need to go to these if I stay in CA.
 

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Well now that they are installed and you have had them for six months, how are they. Would you buy them again? Performance improvements? Dyno? Problems/issues? Appreciate the feedback as considering the same units. Would likely have the swaincoated to keep the heat down.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
They held up nicely for a few months, but I ended up trading the slk for a CLA45 amg. I never put the car on a dyno, but I felt a noticeable power improvement. They sounded nice too at WOT. I would buy them again.
 
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