Fitting a X pipe to a V8 Kompressor

Discussion in 'AMG Lounge' started by C240Sport97, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. C240Sport97

    C240Sport97 MB Enthusiast

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    For some time, I have been thinking about making my CLS 55 sound a little more V8. It’s too quiet at lower speeds (almost inaudible in town speeds), and properly audible only at quite high engine speeds.

    I heard an E55K (Adrian’s) at Bluewater which had had its center silencer removed – sounded great. Planned to hear it on the move, but never got round to it.

    Decided in the end to ‘just do it’.

    Ian (flanaia1) recommended Exhausts UK Custom Stainless Steel Exhausts. I called them and explained what I wanted. They did a bit of research, and told me I need a X pipe as the center silencer that was being removed performed the “balancing” of the 2 banks of cylinders. We agreed a price, and a date (on the way to Scotland for the Scottish hoon) for fitting. They assured me they used the highest quality stainless steel (304, whatever that means) and TIG welding (also supposed to be industrial strength). They estimated that it would take about 2 hours, as they had to make the X pipe with the car present.

    exhaustsuk are about a 10 min walk from Mercedes Sheffield.


    Where is the battery?
    When the car was first on the ramp, we could not find the battery (needed to isolate it). It was not in the place you expect it to be (i.e. to the right of the spare tyre well). The manual stated that the battery is to the right of the spare tyre well. We didn’t know where the secondary battery was either. We could not see a battery anywhere in the engine compartment.

    Scratching our heads for a while, I noticed that there were 2 coloured round things near the rear of the spare tyre (I don’t have a spare tyre, so I have an additional storage compartment under the boot floor) compartment. We unscrewed those, removed the moulding for the additional storage compartment, and there was the large battery lurking .. parallel with the rear axle, and about 6 inches behind the rear axle. I like to think AMG did this for improved weight distribution.


    Designing the X pipe
    It turns out that there is a balancing pipe where the secondary catalysts are (just behind the gearbox) – there is a separate pipe linking both banks of cylinders.

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    The owner of exhaustsuk said that the linking pipe at the secondary cats meant that X pipe was not needed to replace the center silencer (which had an AMG stamp on it), as the exhaust system was already ‘balanced’ at the secondary catalysts stage. We could simply fit straight through pipes. You will see from the pics below that the center silencer (under the rear seats) had 2 inlets and 2 outlets. I decided I wanted a X pipe to replicate the effect of the center silencer (except for the silencing!) for more ‘balance’ and hopefully a more even sound. They said that was fine.

    The center silencer was cut out, and we planned to re use the clamps holding the silencer place. In part this resulted from necessity as the exhaust pipes were not of a diameter pipe that exhaustsuk made or had in stock. I asked for there to be as large a chamber for the X pipe as possible. They thought they could make it from 2 sections of pipe with cutting of pre-made curved pipes and welding.

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    Turns out that they had to make 6 separate bits due to the restricted space and because of the curvature of the slightly curved pipes that they had. I am sure the price quoted did not envisage the extra cost and effort involved in having 6 bits instead of 2, but exhaustsuk honoured the original price without a murmur.


    Making and fitting
    The guy who worked on my car, Karl, is a master craftsman. He spent about 3 hours designing, measuring, cutting, fine tuning, welding, polishing and fitting the X pipe. It was an utter pleasure to see him work. It was as if he was working on his own car. The care, the thought, the skill, the intensity, the concentration, the dextrousness, the experience .. it was superb and almost magical. It is wonderful to know that we have these skills available. I told him so, and he said he really enjoyed working on my car, as it was such a challenge and so different to simply attaching pre made sections of exhausts.

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    You can see from the pictures what a top quality job it is. The welds are almost unnoticeable, the design flowing and OEM. The quality really shines through.


    What does it sound like?
    In summary, absolutely fantastic.

    At low speeds in town, there is now a louder, clearer and not at all intrusive V8 burble or hum. The sound depends on how aggressively the throttle is depressed – with the result that it is still very refined when pootling, but significantly more audible when pressing on. At a constant speed, there is virtually no difference to OEM. The refinement has been retained, but the voice is there when and where you want it, at all speeds. At a constant motorway cruise, it sounds exactly like it used to (which is exactly what I wanted), but a bit louder.

    The difference is that there is more depth, more presence, more clarity, more volume, more thunder and more roar when you play with the accelerator at any speed. It’s the difference between an outdoor concert and a concert at the Royal Festival Hall.

    No droning, no humming and no unwanted sounds at any speed.

    It is as good as I wanted and imagined it to be.

    I am completely delighted with the outcome.
     
    27 people like this.
  2. longhoughtonlad

    longhoughtonlad Active Member

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    Nice one!
     
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  3. trapperjohn

    trapperjohn MB Enthusiast

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    During the Scottish Hoon I pulled over to let a convoy of Datsun 260/280s flying thingies go past, all with various stages of noise coming out of their rear ends. At the end of that convoy was Sean's car - The harmonic crescendo which emanates from his car puts everything else I have ever heard into the Jedward style of noise.
    Thunder from the exhaust, lightening performance from the car, the "purr"fect latent stillness at tickover. If there is a God of Weather and Sound I think his name is Sean.
    To see Sean coming up in the rear view mirror for a "fly by" is the instant cue to drop your window and listen, boy you have to be quick though!!
    Money well spent young man.
     
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  4. Bobby Dazzler

    Bobby Dazzler MB Club Veteran

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    Nice write up, and a lovely job. I bet it sounds even better than it looks.
     
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  5. st4

    st4 Banned

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    Trust me, it does :thumb:
     
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  6. c55

    c55 Active Member

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    Real Nice Mod....::thumb:Sweet!!!!
     
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  7. flango

    flango Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Sean, great write up and pics, I know the guys at exhaustsUK well as they do all our work as you know, Karl really is a master craftsman and if Matt gives you a price thats the price no matter what. I can also vouch for their after sales service which out of all the work they have done for us I have only had to use once on SWMBO Audi A8, last August exhaustsUK put a full stainless system on it including 2 x sports cats. This july one of the cats failed, I took it back and not only did they replace the faulty cat, they removed the pair and replaced them both with another brand, not a pennys charge no argument to get it done only profuse apologies that it had actually failed in the first place.

    They really are a top quality outfit who know their business extremely well and I would recommend them to anyone :thumb:
     
    3 people like this.
  8. OP
    OP
    C240Sport97

    C240Sport97 MB Enthusiast

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    not sure what the exhaust pipe arrangements are for the naturally aspirated 6.3 V8 .. but I suspect a X pipe will do wonders for that engine too :D
     
  9. C43AMG

    C43AMG MB Enthusiast

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    Great work Sean, looks great and i can imagine what it sounds like. I have had mine done on the CL for a while now, it does make a great sound.
     
  10. Alps

    Alps MB Enthusiast

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    uhmm, after the silent stealth o-60 at trax, i feel a mod coming on!, nice write up sean
     
  11. e55

    e55 Active Member

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    Great write up Sean and I am glad you finally done it
     
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  12. amg fan

    amg fan Member

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    Hi Sean does your car have the 2 small resonators as well? I'm looking at doing my sl55 and have been advised to chop out the resonators but not sure how this would compare to the centre silencer as per your wondeful creation! Also anyone know of an equivalent fabricator in the south near Brighton?? I had it booked in somewhere but pipe was too big for their equipment! Any thoughts appreciated cheers.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    C240Sport97

    C240Sport97 MB Enthusiast

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    happy to demo the sound to you :)
     
  14. OP
    OP
    C240Sport97

    C240Sport97 MB Enthusiast

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    I would have thought that your SL55 has the same system .. with shorter pipes

    not sure what you mean by resonators?

    Look at the first pic .. there are 2 primary cats with the X pipe, followed by the center silencer (which was removed) followed by the individual back boxes connected to each twin tipped exhaust
     
  15. Bobby Dazzler

    Bobby Dazzler MB Club Veteran

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    How about a trip to see BlackC55 in Portsmouth? I don't think he's done an SL55 yet - maybe yours could be the template for the rest?
     
  16. amg fan

    amg fan Member

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    Cheers guys. Any excuse for a blast hey...game on! The resonators are 2 small silencers that are after the cats but before the main rear silencers. Can't remember but the only time I've been under the car I don't think it had the silencer that Shaun removed.
    I'm new to forums so how do I look up black c55 as I'm viewing this mod as a must do!
     
  17. DRBC43AMG

    DRBC43AMG MB Enthusiast

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  18. OP
    OP
    C240Sport97

    C240Sport97 MB Enthusiast

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    they sound like the secondary cats ...
     
  19. amg fan

    amg fan Member

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    Cheers made contact with black c55. Thanks
     
  20. Black63

    Black63 Member

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    That look really good, bet it sounds even better. Hope you dont mind me asking, how much did the conversion cost, thinking of having it done on my CL55K.
     

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