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2002 C230 Kompressor Sports Coupe VS. 2003 C230 Kompressor Sports Coupe

41807 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  arielC320
So I've been debating for the longest time which one is better. The 2.3L 2002 C230 Kompressor SC or the 1.8L 2003 C230 Kompressor SC. The only thing I know is that it sounds different. (2002 sounds cooler imo). Other than that I figured because 2002 has 2.3L there's more potential with it. Any opinions? Input?


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The 2.3L motor is a little rougher around the edges but with a simple pulley you can put in yourself and an air filter you can get close to 200HP at the wheels. The 1.8L motor is smoother, gets a few mpg more but realistically it's about 160HP at the rear wheels, if that. A pulley will cost you 2-3 times as much and is unproven and and may get you 10HP, add a chip for another 10HP, still leaves you quite short of the 2002.

So if you are never going to mod it, I would go for the 2003 and have the smoother motor and better mpg. If you want to mod it, go for the 2002 and beat out some european cars costing much more (I beat out a older Acura NSX) with mine.

One last thought, if it were me, I would get the C320 coupe that came out 2003. Smoother engine, quick off the line and can also be modified cheaply with an underdrive pulley kit that gets you another 12HP in the midrange. Also, for a mere $10K, it can be modified for another 100HP.

I switched from my 2002 coupe to a 2004 sedan purely because we wanted a sedan, not because I didn't love my 2002.
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Reactions: 1 call them and ask for Lee, tell him Buellwinkle sent ya. If you send him back your factory pulley he'll give you back a few hundred. I think they now sell the belt with it but if they don't have it, don't worry, it's just a standard 6 rib 56" belt, got mine at Pep Boys for about $20. Instructions are on my website on how to put it in. Also what helps once you get the pulley, for another 3-4hp, is a good aftermarket air filter, the ITG if you can still get it, otherwise K&N. You'll be amazed, the car just flies, drops a full second in the quarter mile. Wish I can do it to my 2004 but Lee hasn't been succesful in running up the numbers on the newer motor. Other tuners sold a few kits, I think Kleemann sold 5 but it hasn't been successful. It's probably because the newer motor is already running 11psi vs. the 2002 at 6psi so there's not a much room for growth.

There's is one big downside, I got my first speeding ticket in many years when I had the pulley.
The don't make the C230 SC anymore (or the wagon for that matter). But yes, I agree, if you are buying used and can get the C320 coupe, that's the best of all worlds.
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Does the Canadian 2006 C230 coupe have a V6 like the sedan?
Puller? You mean pulley? * sells an underdrive pulley kit for the C320 that adds about 12hp. Speaking of puller, you will need one to remove the power steering pulley, the waterpump just bolts on, the alternator requires an air impact wrench.
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