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1989 560SL "Misty", 1971 Fiat 850 Spyder, 2005 Subi Wrx Sti,2004 Moto Guzzi V11 Coppa Italia,
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I have a couple of questions/observations to toss out here and see what happens. I have recently gotten my personal keeper car, a 1989 560sl. I plan on keeping and driving this awesome machine as long as I possibly can. Having said that, the reality that we all are having to deal with is that these cars were created for a world of cheap fuel. Yes I know, I'm not supposed to care about mundane things like that, etc. With that out of the way, I'm calling on a lifetime of car modifications and racing experience to improve fuel mileage, and, as what often happens at the same time, to add some horsepower as well. HP is secondary here, but I don't want to loose any! I do not want to tear a perfectly good running engine apart at this time for any of this.

Now, I notice two glaring exhaust related issues with this engine/car. One, the exhaust manifolds are incredibly inefficient looking. And two, that the very expensive stainless exhaust system has what appears to be several catalytic converters and a couple of mufflers. It all looks very inefficient and fuel robbing to say the least.

I have two questions: One- are there any sort of European exhaust systems that are more efficient than the US system? A better exhaust manifold perhaps? A quality stainless system with no cats in it? Any Euro spec 500/380 that will be better than the US spec 560 parts? Did AMG make anything for this engine that did any of this? Any aftermarket sources for any of these parts/modifications? On a semi related topic, does anyone make any sort of fuel injection mods that will help out in the fuel mileage, and by extension, the performance end of things as well. Has anyone ever recurved one of these distributors? Is there a shop out there that specializes in this particular MB engine series? I know about basic hotrodding 101 all the K&N filters, cams, etc. I'm looking for 560sl specific information here. One last thing- PLEASE, save the sermons, I will assist the whales and save the planet in some other way!! besides, I'll be conserving dead dinosaurs, right??:p
 

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Premium Member
1986 560SL with M120 V12 Engine, 1988 560SL Stock
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9,932 Posts
You can get a set of Tri Y manifolds and exhaust system from a Euro 500SL. As far as modifying this engine you are basically f#$%ed. The engine was a good base engine for it's time but it is not a Chevy. Meaning there aint a F##%^ing after market part for the 117 engine made by anyone. The easiest way to mod this engine would be by home made supercharging.

If you current exhaust system is good and has all it's shielding in place and in good condition I might be interested in purchasing it from you.
 

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2005 S500 4matic
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60 Posts
About a year ago I put a 500 euro engine in my 380sl, using the stainless exhaust system from Timevalve Mercedes 1977-81 450SLC 5.0 and 1980 500SL, SLC Exhaust Systems . As roncallo notes, the 500 has different manifolds, so this system won't directly bolt to your 560 without switching the manifolds first.

You'll also want to consider your local emissions laws. The euro system does not have a catalytic converter per se, but any old-time Mercedes mechanic will tell you that the first 1/3 of the resonator is, in fact, a mini-converter. The problem may be convincing your emissions inspector of that fact. Also, there is no bung on this system for inserting an oxygen sensor; you could probably have one installed by a local muffler shop.

Roncallo is right, there are no aftermarket hotrod parts made for this car. Besides that V-12 he put into his.
 

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2005 S500 4matic
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60 Posts
It's hard to make a comparison, because I went from a POS engine that, when it was operating properly (never), produced 155hp, to one that actually runs and gives 245, plus whatever extra I get from the free-flowing aspects of the exhaust. The exhaust system and engine were swapped simultaneously.
 

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1978 280slc
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3,202 Posts
They didn't use an O2 sensor in 1989? You better make damn sure you don't have to get your car to pass smog before fooling around with the emissions system. My car wasn't properly federalized so it can come back to bite you.

I see for my car you can get a k-jetronic upgrade with controls and add an O2, but you have to have the computer to control the mixture or the O2 won't do anything. You probably have EFI though, at least I'd hope.

I recently realized that the day of the gas guzzler is numbered so I wish you the best of luck on your car and eeking out as much mpg as possible, if you drive it hard though it won't matter. It might actually be cheaper to work on than drive, but what's the fun in that.
 

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1989 560SL "Misty", 1971 Fiat 850 Spyder, 2005 Subi Wrx Sti,2004 Moto Guzzi V11 Coppa Italia,
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
So will the exhaust manifolds from a 500SL bolt on a 560SL? Some say "yes", others "no"......... If so, the rest of the system is the proverbial slam dunk!
 

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1989 560SL "Misty", 1971 Fiat 850 Spyder, 2005 Subi Wrx Sti,2004 Moto Guzzi V11 Coppa Italia,
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I have found a very cool looking stainless exhaust system for the Euro 500SL from a US company called timevalve. The application is 500Sl 1980 on. I would imagine that IF, and that is a big IF at this point, 500SL exhaust manifolds "drop in" a US 560SL, then one would be home free. Now, if I could just find out if this can be done!
 

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It Is What It Is, Dude
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22,841 Posts
ArtD said:
So will the exhaust manifolds from a 500SL bolt on a 560SL?
I'd suggest you start by contacting some of the Benz recycling yards. Those salvage types are a special breed, and it pays them to know what will interchange and what won't.
You'll find some salvage links in the 'Interesting Links' sticky
 
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