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Hello,

Counter to my screen name, I traded my ML320 in for a Crossfire two years ago. I just finished a brake modification that I thought I would share with my R170 cousins since our cars mechanically identical. I was not happy with the ugly single piston calipers and wanted somthing better. I thought of C32 brakes since they will bolt on, but even trying to buy these used was very expensive. I did some research and found that CL500 calipers are the same Brembo calipers used in the C32 except they are designed for a 330mm rotor instead of the C32 345mm rotor. the 15mm difference is not much. I used rotors for the SLK32/SRT-6 and then only had to space the caliper out to center them on ever the rotors. To did this took four flat 7/16th washers from Lowes.

I you search around you can find used calipers pretty cheap. I paid $99 plus $40 shipping on Ebay. I then cleaned and re-painted the calipers, bought new rotors and new ceramic pads. This is an easy bolt on job. Attached are couple of pictures. The rotors came with a balck zinc coating that was still wearing off in the picture. I too the picture right after the first road test around the block.
 

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2003 SLK32
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Hello,

Counter to my screen name, I traded my ML320 in for a Crossfire two years ago. I just finished a brake modification that I thought I would share with my R170 cousins since our cars mechanically identical. I was not happy with the ugly single piston calipers and wanted somthing better. I thought of C32 brakes since they will bolt on, but even trying to buy these used was very expensive. I did some research and found that CL500 calipers are the same Brembo calipers used in the C32 except they are designed for a 330mm rotor instead of the C32 345mm rotor. the 15mm difference is not much. I used rotors for the SLK32/SRT-6 and then only had to space the caliper out to center them on ever the rotors. To did this took four flat 7/16th washers from Lowes.

I you search around you can find used calipers pretty cheap. I paid $99 plus $40 shipping on Ebay. I then cleaned and re-painted the calipers, bought new rotors and new ceramic pads. This is an easy bolt on job. Attached are couple of pictures. The rotors came with a balck zinc coating that was still wearing off in the picture. I too the picture right after the first road test around the block.
Good info Lantana. I notice that the CL calipers are rear mounted like the C series calipers, but ours are front mounted. For the C series calipers this means you have to swap the left and right calipers to fit on our cars. This results in inverted piston locations for the leading and trailing pistons on the calipers. They work, but are not really recommended in that configuration due to uneven rotor gripping and wear. I assume the CL calipers are the same(?)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good info Lantana. I notice that the CL calipers are rear mounted like the C series calipers, but ours are front mounted. For the C series calipers this means you have to swap the left and right calipers to fit on our cars. This results in inverted piston locations for the leading and trailing pistons on the calipers. They work, but are not really recommended in that configuration due to uneven rotor gripping and wear. I assume the CL calipers are the same(?)
Yes you have to swap left to right. Use some good ceramic pads and you will be just fine. I can also tell it stops better now. Using SLK32 rotors and CL or S class calipers will give you great performance and looks while being much cheaper than a C32 set up that only has a 15mm larger diameter rotor. I only did the front. Will probably just get a SRT-6/SLK32 rear set up.
 

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08 ml320 cdi,slk 230,01 boxster S,04 carrera911, 99 S320,67 GT350mustang,02G500L,96 s600 w140
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so how much all in all did it cost you?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Calipers used on Ebay: 99.00
High heat ceramic silver spay paint: $7.00
Posi-Quiet Ceramic brake pads: $57.00
"Mercedes Benz" caliper decals: $6.00
New drilled and slotted rotors $230.00

Total: $399.00

If you are doing this upgrade to a SLK32 you only need the calipers and pads.

P.S. I bead blasted the cailpers to bare metal before painting them. A friend has a bead blaster so there was no cost. I also spent about $3.00 on washers which where used as shims to position the rotor side to side on the SLK32/SRT-6 rotors.
 

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SLK R170 2003 SLK 320 Special Edition
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Getting ready for brake upgrade

Hi,

Inspired by your post, I'm working towards a similar upgrade on my stock SLK320. I've sourced front calliper carriers from a relevant donor and I am now considering callipers.

These CL 500's look good and are in good supply. One thing puzzles me is the need to swap the callipers from left to right. Would you mind elabourating? What causes this need? Are the carriers keyed allowing only one way of calliper insertion? Is it the pipework positioning or was it the bleed nipple fouling?

How was your pad wear anyway? Did having the leading brake cylinder in the wrong place cause a problem? How did it turn out in the long run?
 

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1998 SLK 230
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you have to swap those left to right as on the SLK the brakes are leading (towards the front of the car). the CL500 has trailing (towards the back of the car).

only problem i can see is the bleeder is at the bottom now and might be tricky to bleed the system as it should be at the top. not sure how pad wear would be..

there are other options but they dont look as good.. here in Australia any brake upgrade has to be engineered to be approved as an upgrade - and that wouldn't pass. if its a direct bolt on available from a car in the series say slk32 brakes on a slk230 thats no dramas.
 

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SLK R170 2003 SLK 320 Special Edition
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Hi Subby,

I saw that thought earlier in the thread and it got me thinking and prompted some research. I wonder if front vs leading calliper position was Lantana's only consideration?

Pondering, I think there are two variables involved here; 1. The calliper's position (L or T) and 2. The calliper's component's orientation (smallest bore first or second in order of rotation).

Are these not separate considerations? ie. If the bores were identical the only consideration would be the different dynamic effects under braking to the other components for trailing and leading positions of the calliper. This is discussed here April 2000 and in summary the difference in forces relate to torque applied via the hub and the effects of working with or against gravity (T vs L) under braking.

But we have the 'benefit' of another variable in this thread; the order of the small and large calliper bores. Does small bore lead or does large bore lead, relative to the direction of rotation? This is more a matter of pad wear effects, apparently and I found this:

[Different size bores] "allows a pressure differential between the leading and trailing edge of the calliper [relative to the direction of rotation], thus providing an even wear pattern along the entire length of the brake pad, hence it controls brake taper. This is necessary because incandescent material and debris from the leading edge of the pad is trapped between the pad and rotor; it tends to float the trailing edge of the pad off the rotor. A larger piston at the trailing edge of the pad provides more pressure to compensate for this debris buildup and keep the pad flat against the rotor." Wilwood High Performance Disc Brakes

So, from my armchair mechanics perspective (!) I would rotate the callipers from their original trailing position to a leading position but maintain the order of small then large pistons to continue managing the pad wear effects created when the disc passes under the pads.

Unless this is not possible for another reason?
 

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Finally I collected all the parts and set to the brake upgrade. I was working with my 2003 SLK 320. This 320 had brakes that were shot so I opted for aftermarket rotors and pads intended for the SLK 32 AMG in order to fit the front callipers discuss in this thread. I used later W215 CL 500 callipers than those pictured earlier in this thread - these have a vibration spring - they fit, no worries.

CL 500 Callipers were easy to obtain - I was lucky enough to find some reconditioned and painted on eBay.

Rear callipers I got from an SRT-6 that was being broken for parts. These were not in good condition but with a bit of elbow grease, calliper paint from http://www.brakecaliperspecialists.uk and seal kit from Bigg Red I got them sorted. What was a huge pain was replacing the spring kit for these callipers. UK Parts folk seemed confused by 'options' for SLK 32 so I got many spring clip kits that didn't fit. In the end I found the original ATE part from buycarparts.co.uk 13.0460-0236.2 and these fitted but took an age to arrive. Don't believe the crap on their site about delivery times - the company is in Germany and use a budget UPS service that takes forever. I also went back to Bigg Red and they were very helpful and they also had the right part providing photos and measurements to help me identify clips would be a fit.

Rotors and pads, no problem - from Performance Car Parts - K&N, Bilstein, BC Racing, Eibach Exhausts and Suspension and more. Don't forget - bigger rotors for SLK 32, not standard SLK 320.

Now, the fitting: I used 4 off M12 Clearance mild steel 25mm O/D x 8mm thick washer/spacer/sleeve to position the calliper centrally over the rotor. I also upgraded the mounting bolts to 4 off M12 x 40mm Metric Fine 10.9 Grade high tensile self colour steel hex bolts. Parts are shown in pic 1.

Finally I acquired custom hoses for the front. 460mm long with M10 1.00 fixed male/female ends from Custom Brake Hose. I fitted the front callipers with the large piston TRAILING, in relationship to the rotation. This is not as per LantanaML320's set up but seemed ideal given the reason for large/small pistons (see previous post). BUT this meant the stock hose was too short AND the bleed nipple ends up being at the bottom of the calliper. The nipple position meant the calliper was bled off the rotor, chocked out with a block of wood otherwise the trapped air sat at the top of the calliper cavities.

Everything fitted together neatly see pic 2 and 3 and bleeding, although slightly troublesome, worked out ok.

The front rotors were sized to the hub and the only way to release them was to use a make-shift press on the hub/rotor assembly with the hub removed from the car.

With a CLK grill (eBay) and Angel Eyes (apparently only one supplier for RHD cars - not 100% but okish) and finally AMG-II wheels (see posts from billy610 on slkworld for fitting detail), my ride is pimped - final pic.

I can recommend the upgrade. Brake response is great and the car stops sharp as well as filling the 18' AMG-IIs nicely (which was my whole intention).
 

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C32/SLK32 brakes don't rust or get crappy looking like the MB calipers.
And if you spend ~400 to do this, honestly, it would be worth it to spend a couple hundred more and get the C32 brakes. Get Akebono pads and you won't touch them for 100K + miles. I say this from experience. I have almost 150K on mine. And they look great.
 
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