C180 Power options

Andy W

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I have been reading a thread on another forum and some one said how pathetically underpowered the C180 is, with 4 people in the car going up an hill it wouldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding. Surely a car that produces am I right in saying 120 bhp should pull reasonably well. I pick up my car on Friday and I am already wondering what mods I am going have to make, if it was a bike it would be jets, exhaust , filter and sprockets to alter the gearing, what are my options on my car, I apologise if these questions have been raised a millon times but I do need to know now.
What is this Brabus tuning I keep on seeing ?
 
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jimmy

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My first MB car was a 1999 C180 auto estate, lovely car but it was a bit lacking in the power department. The 1.8 engine produces 122bhp which for a quite big car is not alot these days.

Motorway cruising was effortless, but overtaking took a lot of bottle or a weeks planning.:D The first thing I did was replace the stock filter with a K&N air filter to allow the engine to breathe more freely, the difference was imediately noticable.

Several months later I was still not happy and craved more power, I had the car chipped by Upsolute which added about 16bhp and made a difference to the feel and performance of the car. I tried different fuels and felt Optimax gave a slight power improvement.

As far as DIY goes there is not much you can do, regular servicing and changing the spark plugs may help. I tried an Ecotek valve but could not notice an improvement, others here have. You can get an uprated fuel regulating valve but these and other mods can only add a few bhp if you are lucky on a naturally aspirated engine.

In the end I changed to a turbo diesel, not purely for performance reasons but mostly because of the lack of enthusiasm from the 1.8 engine. For me the diesel is a far better engine, power and economy is better and there is more potential to increase power easily.

I hope I haven't put you off, the C180 is a nice car, it is a Mercedes afterall, but personally I would recommend looking for a C200 or bigger if it is not too late. The insurance will not be much if any more and performance and MPG will be better.

I know lots of people in the motor trade and they all say C180's are very difficult to shift, I was advised to avoid the C180 but ignored the advice and I kept the car less than a year and difficulty getting a decent price for it.
 

GrahamC230K

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C180 will be OK if you don't want a mean machine. It will we be adequate and that's it.

If you want a car to go have a bit of acceleration, over and above the 1.4 Fiesta in front, don't buy a C180. Why even consider making the car you are about to buy go faster, before you have bought it when you are buying the lest powered C-Class that was made?

Purchase cost does not even really come into this, so please consider properly and at least drive the car to make up your own mind.

Not knocking C180's, just people who buy them and complain they are too slow.
 
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Andy W

Andy W

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When I test drove it it seemed fine, a little slow at pulling off from round abouts or overtaking until I got the hang of the kick down (first auto) I am not after a fire breathing tyre squeling monster, I drive a Fiat diesel turbo van by day and the wifes 16 v 1.0 Micra other times (which is a superb car) so I am not expecting a major performance improvement, the car will only be used for Sunday best if you like for a bit of comfort but if 12 -15 bhp can be achieved with a filter and chip that is some improvement and I can see that chip upgrades do make a difference, Superchips have a authorised dealer near me so that may be the way to go. Thanks for your input and I was not having a general moan about the C180 I am still looking forward to it.
 

jimmy

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Andy,

A little advice on the ECU chipping.

Not all C180's are 'chippable', some have different ECU chips. Superchips looked at mine and said that it could not be done, a few months later Koolvin told me about Upsolute and they said it could probably be done. I was lucky that it could and it did make a nice improvement.

I can't remember if it was the Bosch or Siemens ECU that can or cannot be chipped, you won't know which one you have until you take the ECU out.
 

fuzzer

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Mercedes have addressed this with the supercharger.

My car is far from slow :D
 

GrahamC230K

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Originally posted by Andy W
When I test drove it it seemed fine, a little slow at pulling off from round abouts or overtaking until I got the hang of the kick down (first auto) I am not after a fire breathing tyre squeling monster, I drive a Fiat diesel turbo van by day and the wifes 16 v 1.0 Micra other times (which is a superb car) so I am not expecting a major performance improvement, the car will only be used for Sunday best if you like for a bit of comfort but if 12 -15 bhp can be achieved with a filter and chip that is some improvement and I can see that chip upgrades do make a difference, Superchips have a authorised dealer near me so that may be the way to go. Thanks for your input and I was not having a general moan about the C180 I am still looking forward to it.

Fair comment Andy, I hope you enjoy ownership.

However, I promise I'm not picking on you, just starting a debate on something that bugs me!

You say you want 12-15 BHP extra over the 120BHP standard.

A C200 has 136BHP. Is that not the easiest performance upgrade??

Just buy a C200 to start with. With cars the age we are talking of, how much variation in purchase price is there really between a C180 and a C200? Not a great deal I expect.

What's easier to insure - a modified C180 or a bog standard C200?
 

Zoid

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Jun 29, 2003
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Andy,
I am not sure which model,there is pulley system available
check it out at www.vaeth.com

Good luck,let me know after the upgrade

Andreas Ehret at vaeth is the person
 
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GrahamC230K

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Originally posted by Zoid
Andy,
I am not sure which model,there is pulley system available
check it out at www.vaeth.com

Good luck,let me know after the upgrade

Andreas Ehret at vaeth is the person

Andy is speaking of a W202 C180 which is normally aspirated not supercharged like the W203 C180. The Pulley system is for the supercharger.
 

fuzzer

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The original w203 C180 was a 2.0 .

The late 2002 revision came with the 1798 twinpulse Supercharged in the 143BHP version badged at the C180.


I know im sad :rolleyes:
 

mrober

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C180 performance

I have a 143 bhp W203 and find the power to be adequate, nothing more. I previously drove a 115 bhp A4 1.9 Tdi and although the Merc is quicker off the line it lacks the mid range pull of the diesel engine. I agree with a previous contributor that fuel seems to make a difference, the major unleaded brands seem to give an extra edge.

I'm interested in how the C200 makes it's 20 bhp extra, as the engine is the same capacity - is it purely chipped?

I have the optional sports pack fitted and although the car looks quick the modern FSI diesels offer better performance & economy.
 

amdxp

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I am driving a C180, can safely tell that there is not much of upgrade option here , sadly :( Frankly, 122BHP for any car is not that bad at all, but on a 1.4 ton Merc it's just too heavy.

I have gone thru quite a lot of thinking and searching, at the end I had to give up thinking because the REAL upgrade option just too expensive. TURBO or SUPERCHARGE is the ultimate option, both quoted at US$6,500 !!

Engine transplant ? Not worth the effort as you would not know the used engine you buy is problem free. One good way to achieve the same objective is to enlarge the bore (or engine block), fitting with bigger pistons and that will make your car a 200 or 220. I was told the max piston you can use is 230 ! The fuel mapping need to be chip to cater for larger capacity. This option will eventually make your C180 to C220 but more fuel consuming than a stock C220 due to the different in gear ratio !

Next thing I came to know just over the last weekend is that the "POLISHING" and "CHROMING" of the engine block and other components, that the workshop fella told me can increase the power quite noticeably. Is that true ?

Another thing alongside with the polishing will be the modding of CAM which will allow the valve to be pushed lower thereby increasing the compression ratio. Is that true ? For the 2 jobs I was quoted US$450.

Can consider ? Is this type of mod available in UK ?
 

dangermouse1976

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Know I'm about 13 years late to respond to this post but I've got a W203 c180 kompressor (down sizing from a 5 series beemer) but I have to say I've never had a problem over taking on the motorway or pulling up hills with a fully loaded car...sure it may not be an AMG but I've left other seemingly more powerful cars behind without breaking the speed limit or driving dangerously/being a kcid on the public roads.

I am however a relatively newbie in terms of modding /upgrading this type of car so happy to learn from the experience and suggestion of the others....so thanks for sharing
 

ftb

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It's all in the driving. If you overtake a car that drives at the same speed but slower than you, eventually you will overtake it. Power levels matter not.
 

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