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Topic: Our ML500 Exhaust project: Upgraded Muffler / 2nd Cat delete = Exotic V-8 Rumble Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-22-2019 01:01 AM
Jonathan Kucyj Please tell me that is fake news! I I I I...um WTF? Not only is it ugly and terrible and bad and ugly... it's not safe at all to run that exhaust like that.

This was a great read and I hope you were able to follow his example because someone should never have touched that car and should never touch anything else...EVER.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ed7c9 View Post
Thanks David, great info! Sorry on the delay in photos but I have an update!

I used some QuikSteel from Autozone to patch up what I circled in red in that one photo just to stop the huge leak. Sounds/drives much better but still leaks. Please note I bought the car like this non-running! I don't think I would ever treat a car like this, esp a MB and an AMG at that!

Whoever did this basically permatex'd the crap out of it. The cats are two years old or so and it has randomly added pipes amidships (says 2.000" AL on the side. Aluminium?) fused with the OEM ones then joining with that terrible seam you see. Sound isn't great, when I have this all removed/fixed I want to add the muffler you did and get that Mustang V8 rumble.

I don't know how much of this I can save or if I should get new cats and steel and a muffler. Rear muffler is okay (save for the damn host clamps). Sounds solid and doesn't show any damage from rust or idiot previous owners.

Feedback would be great! I have some more work to do on it to get it road legal before I send it to my neighbor/welder/mechanic's place but I want to get some MB owners input first on how to get this looking and sounding good.
07-11-2018 09:00 AM
2000 E 320 White Wagon Darkmann:

Ok that makes sense.

Btw, my upgrade muffler replaced oem muffler sits in same location. And that chamber behind it is the oem resonator.

(which should likely be retained unless you're upgrading muffler to a 'mild turbo muffler')

I think ML320's have same layout but not sure.

On 2nd Cat delete, I don't know how much detailed layout diagrams emission inspection shops have access to.

IE do they KNOW for example, that certain year ML's had 4 Cats, not 2?

Or do they guess from looking at obvious evidence (bad welds, poor bends) that 2nd Cats have been deleted ?

Thank God, I can't say firsthand as I've been gone from So Cal for a decade now.

I'm sure if you ask politely locally you could find out how hard they enforce it.

Around here, its a "hidden Truth" that Rural "State Inspection" garages are less stringent than big city ones, and I bet thats true everywhere. Hint, hint, lol...

Cheers - David in East Texas
07-10-2018 01:53 PM
Darkmann
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000 E 320 White Wagon View Post
...
Are you thinking the 2nd Cat delete OR upgrade muffler wouldn't be allowed ?

Just curious !

David
I think the second muffler is allowed - though there are counties here with posted "NO EXHAUST MODS ALLOWED" signs due to noisy ricey mufflered cars. Also, one of my other vehicles is a Z32 twin turbo with intake/exhaust mods, and I have not had any issues with it. The second cat is what I'll have to check - with no O2 sensor on it, I really don't see why it would be an issue. But you never know when you live close to Washington, DC.

Any Marylanders here who can chime on this?
07-09-2018 08:50 AM
2000 E 320 White Wagon Darkman:

Thank you - glad its appreciated you found it helpful.

Hopefully your emissions rules don't prevent you from doing what's best for your ML !

Are you thinking the 2nd Cat delete OR upgrade muffler wouldn't be allowed ?

Just curious !

David
07-08-2018 04:15 PM
Darkmann
Great Original Write-Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000 E 320 White Wagon View Post
...On the 600 mile highway drive home from Florida our ML500 just returned 19.3 MPG....
That's very good to hear. I really like the write-up and vid. Would definitely look into this mod. Have to check-out the emissions rules in MD where I live.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000 E 320 White Wagon View Post
...With 3 teenage daughters, there is already a 'drone' at highway speeds !

Cheers - David in East Texas
LOL! Next they'll be asking to take the truck out for a spin!
07-07-2018 02:31 PM
2000 E 320 White Wagon Hey all:

Trip MPG update:

On the 600 mile highway drive home from Florida our ML500 just returned 19.3 MPG.

Feels very good to have it that reasonable, finally.

It was a warm drive 100 deg, 5 of us, fully loaded averaging around 70-75 mph.

The noise on the highway was pretty acceptable. You do hear the exhaust note at speed - not bothersome though.

Wife & daughters got used to it.

With 3 teenage daughters, there is already a 'drone' at highway speeds !

Cheers - David in East Texas
06-22-2018 06:01 AM
pte
Our ML-500 exhaust project update

I've been watching this thread since it started. Todays pictures of the system , It appears to be weak & Shaky. Subject to cracking of repaired areas & the start of new ones. It maybe time to replace from the engine manifolds to the rear Muffler. I did Headers and down pipes . Front Cat delete at first . But at the slip fit area between the new stuff & the older piping & rear cats , I would keep developing minor exhaust leaks. So I update to V-Band exhaust connection clamps and S.S. flex pipe inserts at the down pipes. All down recently & after the 1st install in 2012. Attach is some info I posted back Then. A recent dyno pull showed I had over 400 crank HP/ and back up with a 14 second flat 1/4 run at Palm Beach moto-sports park. My ML -500 is still evolving . https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w16...ml#post5559472

Your on the right track with your Exhaust updates. I chose to do mine a little different , I still do very long road trips , so I did not want a droning exhaust . but one that would snarl , when I floored the Load peddle . . If you really want a major change in Performance . Change your Torque converted to a Hi stall ( 2000 RPM ) PTE
06-22-2018 04:32 AM
ed7c9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000 E 320 White Wagon View Post
Hey Ed:

Just some quick impressions:

First, yours is an ML55 which has some variance in layout. For example, (this is surmisal on my part from a modest amount of web research - no ML55's are nearby for inspection) you probably have a transverse mounted rear muffler at the very back of your ML, just fore of the bumper.

In that area, I have a spare tire / carrier.

On this ML500 only a single 2.75" pipe goes thru / up & over the Rear Suspension crossmember, so all of my ML500's exhaust components are forward of this Rear Suspension Crossmember.

I would be curious to know what belongs in the center of your rig. Where the large heat shield is visible & the akwardly fabbed "Y Pipe" is located.

I'd guess that that used to be a center 'muffler / resonator'. It might have been just like mine, which was a large 2 in, single out Muffler.

Ill try to find an image that shows your layout. Also here is a thread discussing this issue:

https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w16...er-ml55-2.html

Layout here: https://goo.gl/images/rkwxyu

I bet that is what you had stock. Maybe others with an ML55 of your year can confirm.

Anyhow, you could probably drop the rear Catalytics - the ones with no O2 sensors on them. Just have them removed & straight pipe - NOT Aluminum - installed in their place.

The awkward Y-pipe is probably losing you some efficiency and is likely an attempt to merge the exhaust streams - which is required but needs to be balanced.

Your original Muffler / Resonator was, in effect, a Y-pipe in that it was 2 in, 1 out. And MB engineers would have balanced it.

Come to think, donb't drop the rear cats just yet, as if you do that and keep the funny y-pipe it may be overly loud.

If you don't mind taking that chance, then go right ahead. I guess you still have the rear muffler in any case, which my ML500 lacks.

This is why I had to add back in my stock Resonator behind my new "Rumble Muffler R22583", is because of excess drone.

The resonator tames that effect. It's also an effect of the Rumble muffler being an 'Aggressive sound 2 chamber performance muffler.'

Ok, so here's what you could do, now to think of it: You could just get the Rumble performance muffler, have it installed to replace the awkward Y-pipe. Why ?

Well, the muffler is only $28 from Amazon & a shop would probably install for $50-60, and this would at least balance your exhaust flow. Probably improve the sound too.

Then next step would be to consider removing the Rear Catalytics.

Mine were partly blocked - I estimate one side more than the other.

I can't even being to say how much better then engine runs now - the oil seepage from valve cover gaskets, oil cap & oil cooler has totally stopped - engine runs cooler - sounds better idles smoother.

Unmonitored (no O2 sensors = no indication if they're clear or blocked ever) Catalytics were basically a stupid, brain-dead 'throw a bone to Enviro-wacko California & Fed bureacrats' move, if ever there was one.

Seriously, many cars are saddled with this junk and they're just there to please California enviro bots ?

Once these ill conceived units get blocked, how many engines then die slowly from suffocation, causing a host of other issues along the way ?

As one who escaped from the California nightmare, I'm a bit more able to grasp this than others who've never lived under that regime.

Gotta admit, cutting the Rear Cats out feels like taking part in an Automotive Tea Party, 2018 Style !

Rant Over.

But I hope understood & helpful to you and others, too.

Cheers - David in East Texas
Great info David, thanks! That AMG sounds good too, wish mine I had that burble going for it.

So post 13/16 in that thread is the OEM setup for my 2001. The PO removed the secondary cats and rear muffler (or what I would have called resonator) so its new front cats, crappy welds/turns then into that scary Y then it meets up in that rear, transverse muffler with the goofy hose clamps. Basically from the rear doors back its OEM and forward of that its all some weird concoction.

My guy came by Wed night and looked it over. He said if I want to flip the car (I bought it for $2000 as a project) he can clean it up but if I want to keep it (my plan) he recommended his buddy who can fabricate a new system and save those cats (just grind down all that permatex then weld those cats in place). I have leaks in mine but driving at 2k RPM I don't have a drone so the rear muffler is doing it's job. I would like to keep it and probably add what you did and have the rumble but not the annoying drone.

It'll be a few weeks until I have it read to go to his shop but I will keep you updated! Thanks again for the help and the links. I wasn't sure how to start my exhaust thread so pardon me for stealing yours!
06-20-2018 12:23 PM
2000 E 320 White Wagon
A few impressions....thanks David

Hey Ed:

Just some quick impressions:

First, yours is an ML55 which has some variance in layout. For example, (this is surmisal on my part from a modest amount of web research - no ML55's are nearby for inspection) you probably have a transverse mounted rear muffler at the very back of your ML, just fore of the bumper.

In that area, I have a spare tire / carrier.

On this ML500 only a single 2.75" pipe goes thru / up & over the Rear Suspension crossmember, so all of my ML500's exhaust components are forward of this Rear Suspension Crossmember.

I would be curious to know what belongs in the center of your rig. Where the large heat shield is visible & the akwardly fabbed "Y Pipe" is located.

I'd guess that that used to be a center 'muffler / resonator'. It might have been just like mine, which was a large 2 in, single out Muffler.

Ill try to find an image that shows your layout. Also here is a thread discussing this issue:

https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w16...er-ml55-2.html

Layout here: https://goo.gl/images/rkwxyu

I bet that is what you had stock. Maybe others with an ML55 of your year can confirm.

Anyhow, you could probably drop the rear Catalytics - the ones with no O2 sensors on them. Just have them removed & straight pipe - NOT Aluminum - installed in their place.

The awkward Y-pipe is probably losing you some efficiency and is likely an attempt to merge the exhaust streams - which is required but needs to be balanced.

Your original Muffler / Resonator was, in effect, a Y-pipe in that it was 2 in, 1 out. And MB engineers would have balanced it.

Come to think, donb't drop the rear cats just yet, as if you do that and keep the funny y-pipe it may be overly loud.

If you don't mind taking that chance, then go right ahead. I guess you still have the rear muffler in any case, which my ML500 lacks.

This is why I had to add back in my stock Resonator behind my new "Rumble Muffler R22583", is because of excess drone.

The resonator tames that effect. It's also an effect of the Rumble muffler being an 'Aggressive sound 2 chamber performance muffler.'

Ok, so here's what you could do, now to think of it: You could just get the Rumble performance muffler, have it installed to replace the awkward Y-pipe. Why ?

Well, the muffler is only $28 from Amazon & a shop would probably install for $50-60, and this would at least balance your exhaust flow. Probably improve the sound too.

Then next step would be to consider removing the Rear Catalytics.

Mine were partly blocked - I estimate one side more than the other.

I can't even being to say how much better then engine runs now - the oil seepage from valve cover gaskets, oil cap & oil cooler has totally stopped - engine runs cooler - sounds better idles smoother.

Unmonitored (no O2 sensors = no indication if they're clear or blocked ever) Catalytics were basically a stupid, brain-dead 'throw a bone to Enviro-wacko California & Fed bureacrats' move, if ever there was one.

Seriously, many cars are saddled with this junk and they're just there to please California enviro bots ?

Once these ill conceived units get blocked, how many engines then die slowly from suffocation, causing a host of other issues along the way ?

As one who escaped from the California nightmare, I'm a bit more able to grasp this than others who've never lived under that regime.

Gotta admit, cutting the Rear Cats out feels like taking part in an Automotive Tea Party, 2018 Style !

Rant Over.

But I hope understood & helpful to you and others, too.

Cheers - David in East Texas
06-19-2018 05:59 PM
ed7c9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000 E 320 White Wagon View Post
Hey Ed:

Thanks for the 'Flowers'....I enjoy the sound with each drive !

On your situation, I don't know if you saw my earlier thread on how I had a cracked weld on my passenger side front Catalytic - symptoms sound just like yours.

It progressed from a slight hiss (also fumes in cabin at idle; had to hit reciirculate air button alot) slowly got louder til one day - say in 45 days time it was super loud - I stopped driving, read up on threads & examined my Cat welds sure enough they were showing a half to 1mm gap separation on upper & lower welds.

It was bad enough I took pictures to show exhaust shop & picked the one that sounded the most confident to fix the problem at reasonable price.

They did it for $80 - it helped doing a rear cat delete as they just made that part the rear cut for the removal and then undid the 2 Exhaust flange bolts, the 2 bracket support bolts & unplug o2 Sensor.

Then they did reweld cracks on bench & reinstall. I was afraid the Cat would Melt or Self Destruct so I trailered it to the shop for the fix.

Anyhow long story but PTL it's all fixed now & better than ever.

Hope yours is as simple to remedy - keep us updated please.

Cheers - David in East Texas
Thanks David, great info! Sorry on the delay in photos but I have an update!

I used some QuikSteel from Autozone to patch up what I circled in red in that one photo just to stop the huge leak. Sounds/drives much better but still leaks. Please note I bought the car like this non-running! I don't think I would ever treat a car like this, esp a MB and an AMG at that!

Whoever did this basically permatex'd the crap out of it. The cats are two years old or so and it has randomly added pipes amidships (says 2.000" AL on the side. Aluminium?) fused with the OEM ones then joining with that terrible seam you see. Sound isn't great, when I have this all removed/fixed I want to add the muffler you did and get that Mustang V8 rumble.

I don't know how much of this I can save or if I should get new cats and steel and a muffler. Rear muffler is okay (save for the damn host clamps). Sounds solid and doesn't show any damage from rust or idiot previous owners.

Feedback would be great! I have some more work to do on it to get it road legal before I send it to my neighbor/welder/mechanic's place but I want to get some MB owners input first on how to get this looking and sounding good.
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