W124 Exhaust, Standard or Stainless

Martyn_n

Active Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
633
Location
Leicester
Car
W124 E320, W163 ML270 & W166 ML350
Looks like I'll need to be replacing the exhaust system on my E320 in the near future. I was wondering what everyone elses opinion on the best way forward is. I am torn between a custom made stainless system, matching as near as possible the original for noise, or a genuine MB system.

I'm pretty certain either option will cost in the region of £450 and the original will outlast the car probably so the life of the stainless one is a marginal benefit.

My concerns over the stainless option (which could have a nicer tail pipe!) are the ability of it to sound refined enough and the impact it would have on insurance as I'm with a mainstream company who may frown on it, even if the only difference is the material it is made of.

All opinions welcome.
 

GP801

MB Enthusiast
SUPPORTER
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
2,952
Location
Sussex and Tuscany
Car
2003 W209 CLK, 2005 R171 SLK in UK, 1995 S124 E280 in Italy
I would be surprised if a stainless steel exhaust would affect insurance unless it was designed to increase performance. Genuine MB last for ages. Our rear box went earlier this year after 16yrs. Rest of system still looks ok. Personally I would stick with MB
 
OP
OP
M

Martyn_n

Active Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
633
Location
Leicester
Car
W124 E320, W163 ML270 & W166 ML350
I would be surprised if a stainless steel exhaust would affect insurance unless it was designed to increase performance. Genuine MB last for ages. Our rear box went earlier this year after 16yrs. Rest of system still looks ok. Personally I would stick with MB
I'm guessing mine is the original, also 16 years old, and it's just starting to look ropey. Just hoping the ones MB supply now are of the same quality.
 
OP
OP
M

Martyn_n

Active Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
633
Location
Leicester
Car
W124 E320, W163 ML270 & W166 ML350
The turned down rusty tailpipes look ropey, treat yourself :thumb: and the car !
That's the kind of look I would want from an after market one, classy and understated. The aesthetics are the main driver for considering a stainless one (even shiney new turned down ones look a bit flacid and apologetic!). Where is yours from?

Maybe a standard middle and custom rear box may be the way forward for me.
 

d w124

Hardcore MB Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
12,380
Location
london
Car
w124 3.6AMG styling E320 S124 Lorinser styling
What 124 is it?
 

coupe deville

Active Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
783
Car
93 E320 coupe sportline facelift
Maybe a standard middle and custom rear box may be the way forward for me.[/QUOTE]

Thats the way I went, had the standard centre box fitted a couple of years ago, courtesy Mr Ian B Walker of 124 Works and had the rear box changed exactly a year ago courtesy Exhausts UK Custom Stainless Steel Exhausts in Sheffield, as recommended by Ian [flanaia1], Cobra stainless silencer and twin 3" tailpipes. £200 inc vat.
 
OP
OP
M

Martyn_n

Active Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
633
Location
Leicester
Car
W124 E320, W163 ML270 & W166 ML350
It's a '95 320 saloon. Don't seem to be much off the shelf for it, everything I see advertised is for the four cylinder cars which I think have different systems.
 

d w124

Hardcore MB Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
12,380
Location
london
Car
w124 3.6AMG styling E320 S124 Lorinser styling
The 4 cyl can work on 6 cyl but is not straight fit as the bore might be slightly larger
If it was me,I'd get a backbox from a known company and I'd bypass the middle one to get a better sound but that's me though
 
OP
OP
M

Martyn_n

Active Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
633
Location
Leicester
Car
W124 E320, W163 ML270 & W166 ML350
Maybe a standard middle and custom rear box may be the way forward for me.
Thats the way I went, had the standard centre box fitted a couple of years ago, courtesy Mr Ian B Walker of 124 Works and had the rear box changed exactly a year ago courtesy Exhausts UK Custom Stainless Steel Exhausts in Sheffield, as recommended by Ian [flanaia1], Cobra stainless silencer and twin 3" tailpipes. £200 inc vat.[/QUOTE]
It certainly looks the part, and the price seems excellent value considering the reviews they get elsewhere on this site.

My big issue would be how load it would be. I've been there and done that in my yoof where loud exhausts are concerned. I'm now the old git who moans about every Impreza and corsa that rattles my windows as they drive past. If it sounded like a AMG 63 engine (I know it won't) I'd be ecstatic, if it sounds like a saxo I'd be divorced!
 
OP
OP
M

Martyn_n

Active Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
633
Location
Leicester
Car
W124 E320, W163 ML270 & W166 ML350
The 4 cyl can work on 6 cyl but is not straight fit as the bore might be slightly larger
If it was me,I'd get a backbox from a known company and I'd bypass the middle one to get a better sound but that's me though
I thought that may be the case with the smaller engines. As I say it's just not my cup of tea to have too loud a car anymore, each to their own and all that, so I really want to keep as many boxes in the system as possible but maybe get better looking tail pipes. If the consequence of getting that better look is a vastly increased engine volume I'll be sticking with stock.
 

grober

MB Master
Joined
Jun 22, 2003
Messages
28,589
Location
Perth, Scotland
Car
W204 C200CDI Estate
The only criticism I have heard with certain st/st systems is they tend to " ring"/ resonate a bit particularly when new before they "coke up" a bit. Some people categorise this as a "tinny" sound which they don't like. This would be less obvious in a back box than a centre one. Although st/st exhausts wont rust they are prone to stress shear fractures. Since most are covered by a lifetime warranty this is not usually a problem- you take it back to the st/st supplier/fitter and they weld it up again--- unless you live many miles away from the fitting agent of course and then it can be very inconvenient. Sounds as if a conventional MB centre box with a custom st/st rear box---- MB part or OEM quality part like Erberspacher or ERNST] might be a good compromise especially since its usually the rear exhaust assembly [ normally the over rear axle pipe ] rather than the box itself that fails.
 
Last edited:

coupe deville

Active Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
783
Car
93 E320 coupe sportline facelift
My big issue would be how load it would be. I've been there and done that in my yoof where loud exhausts are concerned. I'm now the old git who moans about every Impreza and corsa that rattles my windows as they drive past. If it sounded like a AMG 63 engine (I know it won't) I'd be ecstatic said:
I told the guys at exhausts uk that i didn't want it to sound like a boy racer and it doesnt. it is a teeny weeny bit louder but nothing you would notice and i put some extra sound proofing under the boot carpet and its about the same now from inside the car as when the original was fitted.
I told them Ian at Jar motorsports Rotherham recommended them and would they do me a good price and they did. They also fitted a st/s bracket near the cat where the mild steel one had rusted thru.
 
Last edited:

RBYCC

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 8, 2007
Messages
1,137
Location
REHOBOTH BEACH DE USA
Car
1971 280SL, 1988 300CE TT, 1994 E320 CAB, 1999 AMG C43, 2005 AMG G55K 2008 CLK63 AMG BLACK SERIES
A proper SS exhaust system using silencers to factory spec will not have any noticeable change in sound level.

In the USA there is a company, ( "Timevalve" US Model Post-War Stainless Steel Mercedes Benz Exhaust Systems )that makes an aftermarket SS exhaust system for the 124 and Mercs going back to 1949.
Borla makes similar Merc systems...

All this to say , not to worry about a quality SS system with factory spec silencers !!!!
I had one on my 300CE for about seven years with zero problems :thumb:

Ed A.
 

flango

Hardcore MB Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 10, 2008
Messages
10,984
Location
Gods own country
Car
Mercedes SLK R171
I thought that may be the case with the smaller engines. As I say it's just not my cup of tea to have too loud a car anymore, each to their own and all that, so I really want to keep as many boxes in the system as possible but maybe get better looking tail pipes. If the consequence of getting that better look is a vastly increased engine volume I'll be sticking with stock.
Don't mess with the bore or you will lose pressure and reduce torque and hence performance. As Coupe de Ville posts just give Matt a ring at Exhausts UK and tell him I sent you. Sean has just had his CLS AMG done there see THIS thread. You can see the quality of the work. They will tailor the sound to your requirements so you can even have it quieter than the original if you wish :dk: These boys know what they are doing as can be seen from Seans experience, there are plenty out there that dont and will fit the wrong size pipe and boxes and screw up your performance and sound in the process. Exhausts UK supply a lot of motorsport teams as well as World Rally Championship teams and I can honestly say your car would be in safe hands.

No I don't work for them or get commission just they operate to a very high standard which our customers also demand so I'm happy to recommend them :thumb:
 
OP
OP
M

Martyn_n

Active Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
633
Location
Leicester
Car
W124 E320, W163 ML270 & W166 ML350
Thanks RBYCC, I wish we had such a company in the UK, unfortunately the demand for that off the shelf provision of standard spec (other than materials used) just doesn't exist here. Most people who want an aftermarket stainless exhaust want it as noisy as possible, and that is what the suppliers specialise in.

The only company that seems to base their stainless systems on standard designs, rather than off the shelf boxes, have just quoted me £720 so I wont be going down that route.
 
OP
OP
M

Martyn_n

Active Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
633
Location
Leicester
Car
W124 E320, W163 ML270 & W166 ML350
Don't mess with the bore or you will lose pressure and reduce torque and hence performance. As Coupe de Ville posts just give Matt a ring at Exhausts UK and tell him I sent you. Sean has just had his CLS AMG done there see THIS thread. You can see the quality of the work. They will tailor the sound to your requirements so you can even have it quieter than the original if you wish :dk: These boys know what they are doing as can be seen from Seans experience, there are plenty out there that dont and will fit the wrong size pipe and boxes and screw up your performance and sound in the process. Exhausts UK supply a lot of motorsport teams as well as World Rally Championship teams and I can honestly say your car would be in safe hands.

No I don't work for them or get commission just they operate to a very high standard which our customers also demand so I'm happy to recommend them :thumb:
Thanks Ian, they are already number one on the shortlist as they replied promptly to my request for info, and they are only about 50 mile away. I'm a big believer in going with personal recommendations from people who have actually dealt with the company in question and there is definitely a consensus about the quality of work these guys are doing. Only decision now is cat back stainless or std centre and custom backbox.
 

flango

Hardcore MB Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 10, 2008
Messages
10,984
Location
Gods own country
Car
Mercedes SLK R171
Thanks Ian, they are already number one on the shortlist as they replied promptly to my request for info, and they are only about 50 mile away. I'm a big believer in going with personal recommendations from people who have actually dealt with the company in question and there is definitely a consensus about the quality of work these guys are doing. Only decision now is cat back stainless or std centre and custom backbox.
If you do go with them make sure you speak to Matt to discuss your requirements and mention us. Some of the W208 and W203 ones they have recently done were around £200 for the back box or £350 cat back but it does depend on your individual requirements but that should give you an idea.
 
OP
OP
M

Martyn_n

Active Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
633
Location
Leicester
Car
W124 E320, W163 ML270 & W166 ML350
If you do go with them make sure you speak to Matt to discuss your requirements and mention us. Some of the W208 and W203 ones they have recently done were around £200 for the back box or £350 cat back but it does depend on your individual requirements but that should give you an idea.
I've had a quote from them (without mentioning yourself) of £400 cat back, which seemed fair given the workmanship they appear to offer.

The fact that coupe deville has experience of std centre and custom back box and he states the noise is virtually unchanged I will probably go down that route so I'll get another quote for just the back box.
 

w124nut

Active Member
Joined
May 9, 2004
Messages
562
Location
Somerset
Car
Mercedes W124 E320 cabriolet
Just had a Mercedes middle and rear section fitted, (close to £500 parts.) The originals lasted 17 years and I consider that good value.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top Bottom