500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Model 107 Specific Mods -
We seem to have a lot of posts around this particular model, I wonder why?!!???
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Greg in Oz
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500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by Greg in Oz » Thu 04 Feb, 2016 11:42 pm

On numerous occasions over a long period of time I have discussed the desire to fabricate a performance exhaust system for my 500SLC. The eventual failure of the standard rear muffler was good incentive to finally getting around to doing something about it.

The aim was to fabricate a system that would hopefully offer a performance improvement along with just a hint more V8 exhaust note, all whilst offering an appearance and fitting the car as closely as possible as the original factory system. I was prepared to make an appearance sacrifice in replacing steel with stainless steel for longevity and hopefully a saving in cost could be achieved compared with a genuine factory system.

Being unaware of any full stainless steel systems that fitted all my requirements, I decided to fabricate my own. Initially I considered fabricating just the mufflers and having an exhaust shop fabricate all the pipe but in the end I decided that with some extra labour on my part I could fabricate the whole thing myself. Doing it this way would also offer the advantage of using mandrel-bent pipe compared with conventional press bends that an exhaust shop may use. Madrel bends don't suffer a reduction in pipe diameter the way press-bent pipe does.

Given that the 5 litre SLC came standard with "tri-Y" pipes for each cylinder bank (ie. an 8 into 4 into 2 system which has 4 manifolds feeding 4 engine pipes which merge into 2 at a flanged joint just ahead of the front muffler) which were still in good condition, I decided to retain these and start the new system at the flanged joints ahead of the front muffler. This would effectively replace the remainder of the exhaust system which is where I consider most gains in performance could be achieved given that this section is essentially shared across all models in the 107 range including the 2.8 litre six. For a 5 litre V8, I consider the original system to be undersized to achieve the full potential of the engine at wide open throttle in the upper rev range.

I had previously seen the internal construction of the front muffler as being a twin-pipe, straight-through, glass-packed design. It has a pair of 2 inch pipes at its entry but midway through has a significant reduction in the diameter of the perforated pipe before exiting with a pair of 1.75 inch pipes. I decided to replicate this muffler with a similar twin-pipe, straight-through, glass-packed design but would stay with 2 inch diameter pipes all the way through. The pair of pipes between the front and rear muffler would therefore be 2 inch diameter instead of the original 1.75 inch.

I had previously obtained an old rear muffler the same as that fitted to my car which I cut open to reveal a twin-pipe, triple-pass, glass-packed design. I decided to duplicate this would be difficult so chose to go with a simple twin-pipe, straight-through, glass-packed design of the same internal volume (same external dimensions) as the original. The new one would also maintain 2 inch diameter for each pipe rather than the 1.75 inch of the original.

After completing fabrication of the new mufflers, I removed the old exhaust system and fabricated the new pipes. This was achieved by joining mandrel bends with suitable lengths of straight pipe. Everything was tack welded with a TIG welder under the car before removing it all to complete all the welds on the bench with the TIG.

The attached photos (which I have also posted on various Facebook groups including the OZBENZ Facebook group) show the progress of the fabrication and the final result. I am very happy with the result. It fits the car well and sounds fantastic (without being boomy or noisy). All that remains is to get it back onto the dyno to compare power output figures with those measured with the original system. You can see and hear videos (3 videos showing the progress) on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/greg.yates.359
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107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by T-Modell » Fri 05 Feb, 2016 2:21 am

Great result Greg! Hats off to doing it on your own. Aren't there any on the market in Oz?

Here you get them for the 500SLC and - soon - for the 500SL. Cost 1.280 Euros + 19%tax (from motor to the back), 4 -> 2 -> 2 (SL!)

Thomas
---------------------------------------------------------------
1967 W111 250SE Cabriolet, horizon blue
1973 W115 220D 5.0 Pick-Up Argentina, work in progress 2017/18
1986 R107 500SL, arctic white, the midlife crisis viagra replacement
2007 R171 SLK350, calcit white
2008 S211 E63T, calcit white, sleeper

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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by 420 SE » Fri 05 Feb, 2016 3:36 am

Now that is a work of art...
Ross
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420 SE - 1988 (Lucy) - back into service!
ML 500 - 2008 (the Doha desert Dame) - retired
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A couple of others not worth mentioning

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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by McGavin » Fri 05 Feb, 2016 5:55 am

Better than a brought one, well done, top shelf work Greg.

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Greg in Oz
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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by Greg in Oz » Fri 05 Feb, 2016 10:31 am

Thanks for the nice comment guys.

Thomas,
Do you have any links to the system available there for the 500SLC? Would I be correct to assume it is just a copy of the original system except in stainless or is it a larger diameter performance system? I believe the standard system which reduces to twin 1.75" (45mm) is too small for the M117 engines and causes a loss of power in the upper rev range. My goal was to achieve a larger diameter system (twin 2" or 51mm was a logical choice given that was the pipe diameter before the front muffler) in the hope of unleashing more power and hopefully just a little more V8 note whilst also keeping a similar appearance to the original (as best as changing to stainless steel would allow). I have seen stainless mufflers fitted to MBs in Australia but they are always in the original pipe diameter. I have also seen "sports" and custom exhausts but they rarely resemble the original in appearance and are often noisy or cause owners to complain of annoying booming, droning or resonance at certain engine speeds. I am pleased to say that my system achieved everything I wanted and also cost me less than doing it any other way. All up I spent well under $500 AUD for all the stainless steel pipe, mandrel bends, perforated tube, new rubber hangers, new flange seals and new flange bolts. I already had the sheet stainless steel for fabricating the muffler casings and a mate gave me the glass fibre roving needed to pack the mufflers. The rest was just my own time which I will admit was substantial (a large amount of my annual leave) and way longer than I expected it would take me. Fortunately, the final result is very satisfying so it was money and annual leave well spent.

Greg
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by McGavin » Fri 05 Feb, 2016 10:46 am

Is the crossover pipes on the tri- y down pipes stock for an SLC? , my SEC is twin all the way to the rear muffler(kidneys removed) and the SEL merges at the cat after the tri- y's. The crossover would bring the torque on sooner?

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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by Greg in Oz » Fri 05 Feb, 2016 11:17 am

McGavin wrote:Is the crossover pipes on the tri- y down pipes stock for an SLC? , my SEC is twin all the way to the rear muffler(kidneys removed) and the SEL merges at the cat after the tri- y's. The crossover would bring the torque on sooner?
Yes, every 107 with a V8 has a balance pipe (H-pipe or crossover pipe) beneath the transmission between the engine pipes whether fitted with just 2 engine pipes or 4 as for the 5 litre. Would be interesting to compare torque and power curves with and without it as they are supposed to help low end torque. Early in the 29 years that I owned my 350SLC I had the balance pipe removed when it rusted. I can't say I ever really noticed any difference in performance. The only possible difference may be in the exhaust note as I expect the balance pipe may remove some of the V8 throb.

The only exception are those fitted with a catalytic converter such as the 560SL. These merge the engine pipe from each bank into a single pipe ahead of the cat and from memory don't have a balance pipe (which would seem a bit unnecessary).
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by Bartman4800 » Fri 05 Feb, 2016 5:47 pm

Chapeau! Very well done.

I had an exhaust system made for my Finnie in steel, which I must admit, was cheap for 550 aud.

However when I removed it to have the front downpipes coated (the only original bits) I found that some of the welds were "closed" at the top with exhaust sealant.
So they must have hooked it up and decided to weld the areas that were accessible while installed.

Futhermore, instead of crimping a piece of pipe to fit the chrome plated end tip, they tacked it on (which then broke off at the slightest touch)

Next time I will do it myself - in stainless...

Question: how did you do the mandrel bends? Did you buy off the shelf mandrel bent pieces?


Regards, Bart
Last edited by Bartman4800 on Fri 05 Feb, 2016 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1963 220 Sb Sedan "Kermit" (Australian Assembly)
1960 220 Sb Sedan "Zum Schlachten" (Early German Assembly, with a torsion bar spring for the bonnet) - Stored in Country WA
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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by T-Modell » Fri 05 Feb, 2016 6:02 pm

Greg in Oz wrote:Thanks for the nice comment guys.

Thomas,
Do you have any links to the system available there for the 500SLC? Would I be correct to assume it is just a copy of the original system except in stainless or is it a larger diameter performance system? ...

Greg
Greg,

the guy has no pics, just a price list. So I do not know the diameter. He's developed a new system for the SL and wanted me to do the prototype adjustment ... I just wasn't satisfied with the 20% discount he offered :laughing6:
A friend has sent me that picture once:
SLC Sobkowiak.jpg
Best regards
Thomas
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---------------------------------------------------------------
1967 W111 250SE Cabriolet, horizon blue
1973 W115 220D 5.0 Pick-Up Argentina, work in progress 2017/18
1986 R107 500SL, arctic white, the midlife crisis viagra replacement
2007 R171 SLK350, calcit white
2008 S211 E63T, calcit white, sleeper

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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by CraigB » Fri 05 Feb, 2016 8:22 pm

Nice work Greg. Not tempted to ceramic coat your headers? Then it would all be shiny! That balance pipe, does it also have a little pipe between the ones close together?

I got a bit excited when i saw the heading and thought "hooray, someone trusted making RHD headers" until i came back down to earth! I'm not in any hurry and that project is way down the list but hopefully someone decides to do a run of these. Interesting what you say about removal of the balance pipe on the 350.
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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by Chai » Fri 05 Feb, 2016 9:41 pm

Nice mufflers Greg.
For the glass fibre roving inside the muffler, was this a case of stuffing the fabric in and around the perforated tubes hard inside before sealing to reduce the throb from the outer tube?
Chai
1974 450SLC

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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by Greg in Oz » Fri 05 Feb, 2016 11:45 pm

Bart,
I purchased the straight lengths of stainless steel tube and stainless steel mandrel bends online from ECS Engines at http://www.ecsengines.com.au/ and the perforated stainless steel tube on eBay at http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/290582067572

Thomas,
The system in the photo you posted appears to be the standard reduced diameter after the front muffler and also appears to be the standard mild steel system up to the joints between the front and rear muffler.

Craig,
No, I wasn't tempted to ceramic coat the headers. It took me long enough just to remove the old system and fabricate the new without adding the complexity of also removing and replacing the manifolds and engine pipes. Maybe that's something I could consider if I ever need to remove the cylinder heads or engine. As for the balance pipe, yes, it joins all 4 engine pipes and therefore has a short pipe between the pair of engine pipes for each bank.

Chai,
I just kept feeding the glass fibre roving into each muffler and packing it in with some rod. It is packed reasonably tightly around each perforated tube and fills the volume of each muffler between the perforated tubes and outer casing. Basically, the mufflers are just a larger volume, twin-pipe version of the "hot dog" glass-packed muffler. Their advantage is that they still significantly reduce noise but do not cause any restriction to gas flow.

I also forgot to mention that I weighed both the old and new systems. The old one came in at about 24kg and the new one about 26.5kg.

I have been out in the car tonight for a get together and dinner with car club members and have had a chance to spend more time driving it at a range of different speeds in varying traffic conditions. I am really happy with the new exhaust system. Under steady speed cruise conditions at any speed it is almost silent. Exhaust noise only becomes apparent with increasing throttle opening. As best as I can tell, engine performance appears to be noticeably stronger in the mid and upper rev range. Looking forward to getting some new numbers from a dyno run.
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by kimrh » Sat 06 Feb, 2016 2:30 pm

http://www.timevalve.com/cat/about.html
For those who can't make their own system-
Timevalve in USA make any exhaust system component up for any old Merc model required to factory spec fit but all done in top quality stainless steel.
Pity our Aussie $ has crashed.
Click on Euro Benz and drill down through the models
87 White Euro 500SEC "ECE" 195kw
88 Black Euro 560SEC 220kw
89 Midnight Blue Euro 560SEL hydro 220kw AMG Kitted
http://www.flickr.com/photos/krh2013/sets/72157632548663623/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/krh2013/albums/72157668572599252

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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by Greg in Oz » Sat 06 Feb, 2016 8:14 pm

kimrh wrote:http://www.timevalve.com/cat/about.html
For those who can't make their own system-
Timevalve in USA make any exhaust system component up for any old Merc model required to factory spec fit but all done in top quality stainless steel.
Pity our Aussie $ has crashed.
Click on Euro Benz and drill down through the models
Someone on the 107026 Facebook group asked if mine was a Timevalve system. Just looking at their systems they appear to be good reproductions in stainless steel of the original systems. Unfortunately, this wasn't much use to me when I wanted a stainless steel system with larger diameter pipes to achieve better gas flow in the upper rev range at wide open throttle. Given that every 107 uses the same twin 1.75" pipes after the front muffler and the same rear muffler, the system is undersized for the larger engines such as the 5 litre. I chose to go with twin 2" (the diameter forward of the front muffler) for my entire system. I also chose to build straight through mufflers so as not to restrict gas flow. To get some idea of how restrictive the standard 107 system is, you only need compare power output figures for the 560SL with those for the W126 560SEL or 560SEC.
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by Greg in Oz » Tue 09 Feb, 2016 6:47 pm

For those of you who are not on Facebook and cannot see (hear) the videos, I have now posted them on Youtube.

The video of it running without any mufflers (a mandatory test whenever an exhaust system has been removed) can be seen and heard at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqNfAJqIOtM
Note the reaction of my unsuspecting camera operator (it was much louder than the video would have you believe).

The video of it running with just the new front muffler (with pipes only tack welded together and without flange gaskets fitted) can be seen and heard at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mPaR1EalDc

The video of the newly completed system can be seen and heard at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8W2U4rPrvU

The camera makes all the videos appear to have about the same noise level but in reality it got significantly quieter as each muffler was fitted.
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by T-Modell » Sun 18 Dec, 2016 12:12 am

Hi Greg,

to add to your story: I have the stainless steel complete system for my 500SL here for two months now, tri-y, so 4-2-2, but ... cannot fit it :banghead:
Although mine had been delivered without cat (so 4-piece manifolds), those manifolds have been thrown away in the 90s (when the cat was upgraded) and replaced by the (also two-piece) ones who end up in one pipe per side. Impossible here to source those "old" manifolds.

So what's the plan: As my donor car is a 500SL 1983 with the correct manifolds, we might take those manifolds off when the motor has been fitted into the pickup, send them to Poland as a sample and have 1..10 produced in stainless steel.

Regards
Thomas
---------------------------------------------------------------
1967 W111 250SE Cabriolet, horizon blue
1973 W115 220D 5.0 Pick-Up Argentina, work in progress 2017/18
1986 R107 500SL, arctic white, the midlife crisis viagra replacement
2007 R171 SLK350, calcit white
2008 S211 E63T, calcit white, sleeper

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Greg in Oz
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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by Greg in Oz » Tue 20 Dec, 2016 1:49 am

T-Modell wrote:Hi Greg,

to add to your story: I have the stainless steel complete system for my 500SL here for two months now, tri-y, so 4-2-2, but ... cannot fit it :banghead:
Although mine had been delivered without cat (so 4-piece manifolds), those manifolds have been thrown away in the 90s (when the cat was upgraded) and replaced by the (also two-piece) ones who end up in one pipe per side. Impossible here to source those "old" manifolds.

So what's the plan: As my donor car is a 500SL 1983 with the correct manifolds, we might take those manifolds off when the motor has been fitted into the pickup, send them to Poland as a sample and have 1..10 produced in stainless steel.

Regards
Thomas
Hi Thomas,

That's a pity your original Tri-Y manifolds were discarded. I expect that if you had tubular headers manufactured which replicated the factory Tri-Y manifolds and down pipes, you would not have any difficulty finding buyers for them. Just remember that they would only suit LHD versions though as for RHD the steering box is in the way. Obviously, if anyone manufactured Tri-Y headers for RHD 107s there would also be a market for them.
107023 - 350SLC: 1973, 3sp auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold July 2012 after 29 years ownership)
107026 - 500SLC: 1981, 4sp auto, thistle green, green velour
124090 - 300TE: 1990, 4sp auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex
124090 - 300TE: 1992, 4sp auto, malachite (spruce green), black MBtex
201024 - 190E-2.0: 1985, 5sp manual, black, black MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 5sp manual, arctic white, blue leather
201028 - 190E-2.3: 1992, 4sp auto, blueblack, grey MBtex
201028 - 190E-2.3 Sportline: 1990, 4sp auto, signal red, black cloth (parts car)
201034 - 190E-2.3-16 Cosworth: 1985, 5sp manual, blueblack, black leather
YG2S8 - Mini Clubman GT: 1972, 4sp manual, blue, parchment vinyl (my first car which I still own)

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Re: 500SLC Stainless Performance Exhaust System

Post by T-Modell » Fri 11 Aug, 2017 12:43 am

Hi down under,

I've finally installed my stainless steel 4-2-1 exhaust system to my R107 500SL, so I thought I post it here. As mentioned before, I used the manifolds of my donor car (4 pieces) together with the stainless steel exhaust system. It was really tricky to install, especially get the old manifolds out and the new (old) ones in. I was allowed to do it with Mercedes together in their workshop, however Juergen and I couldn't manage it in a day (maybe I was more of a hinderance) :laughing6: . The pipes of the system were too long, so we had to make some adaptations.

As it's raining cats and dogs today, I could only have a quick run on the Autobahn up to 180 ... but my feeling is, that I might have the extra 20hp (RUEF 245hp, CAT 223hp); it revs better, has more umpf and also the sound improved; more V8, but not bogan-loud. Once it's dry again, I will test, if the vmax is > 228, as it was up to now (GPS) ... here's some pictures:

Image
Image
Image

Regards
Thomas
---------------------------------------------------------------
1967 W111 250SE Cabriolet, horizon blue
1973 W115 220D 5.0 Pick-Up Argentina, work in progress 2017/18
1986 R107 500SL, arctic white, the midlife crisis viagra replacement
2007 R171 SLK350, calcit white
2008 S211 E63T, calcit white, sleeper

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