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87 Euro500HVSEC. 88 Euro 560HVSEC. 89 Euro 560HVSEL
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Discussion Starter · #121 ·
Full updates now up on Carobu Engineering FB page with dyno graphs and comments.
The 560 engine was fitted with CP custom forged pistons 98.5mm 10.5:1 comp so block had to be bored accordingly and retained the MB factory rods.
That is the limit of using MB factory head gaskets and 560 heads were stock
Pretty good result and nice torque curve for the stage 1 cams / Stage 2 more top end HP.
 

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87 Euro500HVSEC. 88 Euro 560HVSEC. 89 Euro 560HVSEL
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Discussion Starter · #124 ·
The forged pistons etc are priced on their website under sub heading HB Sport Parts - 560SEC
CP-Carillo Forged Pistons (to fit MB factory rods) USD$2,400 and billet camshafts USD$1,600 a pair
 

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Outstanding Contributor, Vintage Moderator
450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500se+500slAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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The forged pistons etc are priced on their website under sub heading HB Sport Parts - 560SEC
CP-Carillo Forged Pistons (to fit MB factory rods) USD$2,400 and billet camshafts USD$1,600 a pair
How much for just one piston?


 

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1990 560SEL, 1986 190e 2.3-16V, 1997 SL 600, 2013 S63
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24 Posts
A question for this core group.....what number/dollar amount would be a reasonable price to improve the performance of the cars we love. Is it 5,10,15,20 or 30K.
 

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1990 SEC
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A question for this core group.....what number/dollar amount would be a reasonable price to improve the performance of the cars we love. Is it 5,10,15,20 or 30K.
Take this the right way, but that is an impossible question to answer.

How much performance improvement are you looking for and what is your budget?

While there is a wide range of options if you have access to skilled and knowledgeable craftsmen, I think it's been fairly well proven that there are no inexpensive ways to substantially enhance the performance of our cars.

On the high end you have companies like Mechatronik that will put a modern AMG powertrain in your classic vehicle for $350,000 (it's a W111, but I'm sure they could do a W126 with the proper incentive...) M-Coupe | Mechatronik - Qualität, Perfektion und Leidenschaft . Or you have these Canadian guys putting an M275 with 900 hp (they hope...) into a W126 Widebody XF Motorsports - YouTube .

On the low end, the only proven option is to change your differential gearing from the standard 2.42 to something more aggressive, like a 2.82 or 3.07.

We've seen ECE 300 HP engine swaps, M119 engines, M113 engines and M120 engines going into W126s, as well as some 2JZ swaps. We've seen turbo charged M117s, supercharged M117s, carbureted, stand-alone EFI, etc. With various degrees of success.

It's really up to you to set a budget and look at what it buys you.

That said, a modern car will blow the doors off our old cars.
 

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350SDL, '17 GLS450, "Grandpa's Roadster" Project Car
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We have a saying: "Speed costs money. How fast can you afford to go?"

Back in the '70s one hp per cubic inch was impressive. 1.5 hp was really impressive. I got 190 hp out of a turbocharged SAAB 2 liter engine (122 cid) and that was phenomenal. Today's engines make all that look pedestrian...
 

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1990 560SEL, 1986 190e 2.3-16V, 1997 SL 600, 2013 S63
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We have a saying: "Speed costs money. How fast can you afford to go?"

Back in the '70s one hp per cubic inch was impressive. 1.5 hp was really impressive. I got 190 hp out of a turbocharged SAAB 2 liter engine (122 cid) and that was phenomenal. Today's engines make all that look pedestrian...
Gentlemen, I wanted to thank you all, because I have learned a lot about my car from all of you.
I agree with the above responses and realize fully that horsepower costs money.
My question above was partly generated by some responses on this thread stating carobu engineering or some other program “ is not commercially viable, as it is too expensive “.
So I wanted a kind of poll of opinions on what price point would more people feel the expense was justifiable and would be intersected in buying a complete package or parts of it ala GM LS engine modification parts etc.
I’m exploring any interest from folks interested in collaborating on such a project.
Appreciate your valuable comments.
 

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1991 500SEC Euro, 1987 560SEC Federal
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Hey Wone26,

While I might be wrong here, what I have observed over my time on BW and specifically these W126 pages, is it seems the pool of true & knowledgeable high performance
oriented members have dwindled over time. At least it seems that way to me, yes everyone talks about ways to increase 126 performance, however the actual players today are fewer than say 15 or so years ago on here.

I think John350's point regarding today's automotive performance offerings generally make sense all around, you know?
Relative "Bang for the buck" between today and the W126 there is just no comparison.

Many years ago when I was riding a new K100RS BMW, as I walked away after a ride I always turned for an 'over the shoulder' look at it [for years].
At the time, there were many other bikes available that offered stunning performance for substantially less cash outlay.
My SEC is kinda the same way to me.. A 'Gentleman's Express' that is well balanced in looks, power, handling, & braking.
To me it represents a nicely polished automotive artifact from an earlier time. I'm not quite ready to give that up yet.

M
 

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350SDL, '17 GLS450, "Grandpa's Roadster" Project Car
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You can mess around with the compression and cams, add a set of extraction headers, then adjust the timing and fuel system to compensate. What can you expect? a 10-20% boost? At the expense of low end torque and potentially, longevity. Bottom line, to get more power you have to burn more fuel and to burn more fuel you need more air, so...

If you want a significant boost (50%+) you're going to have to pressurize the intake. Then you need a completely new exhaust or a drive belt, an intercooler, etc, etc, etc...

You know you've gone too far when big engine pieces end up on the road under and behind you...

;)
 

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'91 560SEC, '98 SL500
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@AxelWulff summed it up nicely.

The M117 is an old design that harks back to the '70s, engines make power in the heads, and that is the limitation with our cars, especially the US cars that were made to comply with the drastic change in emissions during the '80s. Having mechanical fuel injection is also a limitation if you want to squeeze more power out of the engine.

The best bang for the back is a custom exhaust from the headers or manifolds back, you will easily see another 20hp / 25 torque and loose about 40-50lbs in weight...but be prepared to spend well over $3,000

I think a cool set-up would be a mild-blow through turbo set-up that runs on wastegate pressure set at 5psig., but will require lots of fab from exhaust, oil feed and drain to a turbo, sealed air box etc etc.
 

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Carobu gets some impressive power out of the 117. The problem for a budget-conscious car guy like myself, is that it‘s more power, but not TONS more power, than the M119 I plunked into the track w140 last month. 318hp for $500, and that included a spare 722.3 also.

My 500 Eurospec motor is powerful enough, if I get the urge to build a punchy 126 it would have a Motronic M119 with 722.6 and a 3.07 LSD. Beyond that you are writing checks the trailing arm rear and relatively small brakes can’t cash.
 
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1991 500SEC Euro, 1987 560SEC Federal
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@AxelWulff summed it up nicely.

The M117 is an old design that harks back to the '70s, engines make power in the heads, and that is the limitation with our cars, especially the US cars that were made to comply with the drastic change in emissions during the '80s. Having mechanical fuel injection is also a limitation if you want to squeeze more power out of the engine.

The best bang for the back is a custom exhaust from the headers or manifolds back, you will easily see another 20hp / 25 torque and loose about 40-50lbs in weight...but be prepared to spend well over $3,000


I think a cool set-up would be a mild-blow through turbo set-up that runs on wastegate pressure set at 5psig., but will require lots of fab from exhaust, oil feed and drain to a turbo, sealed air box etc etc.
Being one of the aforementioned 'Bench Racers', having spent coin on a 'soup to nuts' MB Tri-Ys, MB Tri-Y down pipes & REMUS rear exhaust section.. I'd consider a lightly over-pressure supercharger install on my 10:1 Euro 117.965 powered SEC.

I mean, one can dream, right?.. & at my age, one could use a little performance upgrade...

Everything I've done with the car, or had done, either is or looks factory.. period correct.

Actually, I'd be proud to USE & show off a well done supercharger setup with this extraordinary car..

For ALL of us: Aren't we are so lucky to own W126 Mercs!

M
 

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1990 560SEL, 1986 190e 2.3-16V, 1997 SL 600, 2013 S63
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I love the enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge and experience. It would be interesting to get the sl560’s owner carbou did, perspective on the performance upgrades.
 

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I still think forced induction on the M117 is the way to go, as the volumetric efficiency of the V8s are so high or the ability to drive a supercharger and easily overcome the parasitic drag of another pulley to drive. I think Mike's supercharged 560SEC put down over 300whp which is around 360 ponies at the crank.
 

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350SDL, '17 GLS450, "Grandpa's Roadster" Project Car
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the volumetric efficiency of the V8s are so high
Oh, I don't know... the heads are pretty good, but the intake tract for CIS is a bit of a hodge-podge and the US exhaust manifolds not so great, either. Tuned intake runners and a good set of extraction headers would help "a lot", but, I agree, if you want a significant boost forced induction is the only way to go. in addition, it papers over a lot of the other sins.
 

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A question for this core group.....what number/dollar amount would be a reasonable price to improve the performance of the cars we love. Is it 5,10,15,20 or 30K.
The full build by Carabu is 30k. You can work forward or backward from there. The intake and fueling system is the weak link. As it has been illustrated- you can get cams and pistons for $4k. You'll want Tri-y's or the carabu headers. You'll want to be able to add and control air and fuel. That means one of the many fuel systems: Elbe comes to mind first- I think it is about 5k for that system. So you are approaching 15k here already.

Roncollo can put a M120 on a car and I think that it's a little more than the carabu cost.

The M119 is a great idea. Who has done it? Who would make the motor mounts?

Still, the M113 may not be the motor that the M119 is (opinion) but it may be lighter, easier to work with and take up less space.

You'd better love your car for all of that money. If you don't love it that much you can buy a Mercedes S55 with almost 500hp if that's what you want.

As much as I do like my W126's they are not the car that the W140 is in my opinion. I have not owned a W220 or latter. I can also say that the 107 is not the car the 129 is: I have both too. I'm sure a 129 can not hold a candle to a 230.

Look fellas, like the 60's, there's a reason why car companies are making world beaters now. The writing is on the walls. Happy motoring.
 
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