Date registered: Nov 2014
Vehicle: 2000 E 320 Wagon + 2002 ML 500 SUV
Location: Pineywoods Region of East Texas
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 137 Post(s)
Our ML500 Exhaust project: Upgraded Muffler / 2nd Cat delete = Exotic V-8 Rumble
I'm posting here to hopefully help provide a more precise plan or to suggest alternatives for those wanting / needing guidance on affordable exhaust options for their ML500 or ML320's.
Before taking any action I watched every YouTube video and read every thread on ML exhaust mods / muffler upgrades. Most were helpful, but frequently lacked details on which exact muffler was installed or exactly what factory components were retained or deleted.
This I found frustrating, as I was hoping to have some precision in terms of how to proceed, especially considering my practical limitations on budget, and no desire to have to 'weld in / cut out' numerous models of mufflers to eventually achieve a satisfactory & lasting Upgrade !
Additionally, I also just completed a very satisfactory Exhaust upgrade on my wife's w210 Wagon, with the 3.2 V-6, m112 engine, with a slightly different muffler (a Flowmaster 40 Series) but the same engine that many of you have in your ML320's.
Along the way to this exact ML Exhaust Upgrade outlined below, I did research & conceive of a couple of variations that could also work perfectly well - but as those exist mainly in theory, I won't waste words explaining them, unless some of you reading have a desire to hear more regarding alternatives to my actual exhaust mods.
Enough said, here's our Exhaust Upgrade details:
This "Rumble Performance Muffler" R22583 is built better than it's very modest price might suggest.
I examined it very carefully before installing, and all the welds were correctly made and the interior baffles are well connected to the externally welded muffler case.
It appears this is made by a subsidiary of Magnaflow or AP Exhaust. It's also listed as an AP Exhaust VX2583 Performance Muffler.
And to remove any doubt, it's a 'DUAL INLET, SINGLE OUTLET' design, despite what a couple of commenters suggest. I bet they didn't look inside very carefully, as the bent metal baffles that direct the sound are bent for the sound / hot gas path to go FROM the Dual Inlet side, towards the Single Outlet.
This is also listed as a 'Transverse Dual In' type muffler.
Can this be used in reverse ? Perhaps, but the design is Dual In, Single out.
It turns out a lot of SUV's use the 2 Inlet, 1 Outlet exhaust system layout.
Our 2002 Mercedes ML500 - with the 5.0 litre Benz V-8 does and that is what I got this muffler for, to upgrade the factory MB muffler on our overly quiet ML500.
Our factory muffler was huge, twice the size & 4 times the weight of this much lighter - and quite a bit louder "Rumble Performance" 2 chamber muffler.
But that's what I was after, getting a V-8 rumble at both idle and while driving around, that was audible in the vehicle, but with no irritating drone inside at highway speeds.
After a bit of trial & error I achieved that and am delighted at the exotic Euro / Muscle car sound that makes driving a bit more fun & interesting.
As a warning, I at first deleted our factory resonator (while keeping the MB factory muffler), which gave a nicer but really subtle growl. Then, upon deleting the large MB factory muffler, and installing this Rumble Muffler (aka VX2583), the interior highway drone was just too much !
Back to the exhaust shop to have them Re-install the factory resonator back to it's original spot, just behind this new muffler.
Now, a week & 300 miles later, I'm very happy with the result: A throaty growl that is audible under most driving conditions, slightly audible but controlled under cruise, and no highway drone. It sounds very much like a Dodge Challenger Hemi / 5 Litre Mustang or Audi R8 Sportscar, which was my goal. (Yet well short of anything near obnoxiously loud.)
Also a nice side benefit: 1.5 mpg increase, which combined with a similar 1.5 mpg increase from the prior deletion of my clogged secondary Catalytic converters, means we now get about 19 mpg highway vs 16 mpg before these exhaust mods.
My total cost was minimal: $100 to delete Cats / straightpipe it. $ 50 to install muffler & $50 more to Re-install the factory resonator, plus the super reasonable $23 fo this muffler.
In 6 months of driving, we may save that back in fuel costs alone....thanks for reading - David in East Texas