Modding tuning and best performance upgrades on the Mercedes M276 engine!

All you need to know about "M276 Modifications"

M276 Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Mercedes M276

"Comprehensive guide to performance parts and tuning the Mercedes M276 engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars are regularly getting messages requesting information on how to improve the M276 from people wanting to know what are the best tips for M276 power upgrades. So let us look into Mercedes M276 parts and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

Here we review and look at M276 tuning and outline the optimum upgrades. Mercedes M276 really good project engines and with the ultimate parts like ECU maps, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will noticeably enhance your driving fun.

The top M276 tuning mods on an engine are sensibly the ones that give the best gains for your money.

We won't be swayed by popular M276 tuning mods, they need to be cost effective.

M276 induction kits

Improving air intake on the M276

You need fuel and air for an engine to work. If there is a lack of fuel then it will run lean, if there is not enough air it runs rich sapping power . We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So the fundamental goal to any engine modification task to feed more air into the M276 engine but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is common that there is a limit in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the M276 when considerably more air is being sucked into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor limited torque at a much lower level.

Engines intake headers take the air from the filter and allow it to be sucked into the engine cylinders.

Design and rate of flow of the air Intake manifold can make a noticeable difference to to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the M276.

I usually find air intake manifolds are crying out for motorsport parts, although some car makers provide reasonably well designed air intake manifolds.

Fitting big valve kits, doing some port matching and head flowing will also increase power, this will permit an improved power increase on other tuning parts.

M276 performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to mild cam durations than others.

The map and fuelling also will make differences on the torque gains you'll hit.

Altering valve durations can alter the torque band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

Significant air intake, and exhaust improvements on the M276 can be made from cam upgrades. Changing the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the bhp and power output.

NB: Fast road cams normally increase the bhp through the rpm range, you may sacrifice a little low down bhp but your higher rpm power will be lifted.

Motorsport cams, increase the higher rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

In a car driven daily you should ideally to optimize your torque band to your driving style.

I'd be gobsmaked if you find a M276 Competition cam is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the M276

Stage 1 M276 parts:

Sports exhaust manifold, Panel air filters, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Fast road camshaft, Intake headers, Drilled & smoothed airbox.

Stage 2 M276 parts:

induction kit, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, fuel pump upgrades, Fast road cam, high flow fuel injectors, Ported and polished head.

Stage 3 M276 parts:

Engine balancing & blueprinting, Twin charging conversions, Competition cam, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves).

The M276 engine blocks are great to work on and we note that there is a lot of mods and tuning parts around.

Mapping allows a tuner to unlock the full potential of all the parts you've done to your M276.

Tuning tips and articles Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

You will typically expect to see gains of approximately 20-30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but your mileage will differs on the parts you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the M276

To get a turbo working on a NASP engine there is a lot involved, from lowering compression ratio to improved fuel supply and mapping, so we have found a great guide to helpavoid the common pitfalls or end up with an unfinished project because you were not told what you were getting into by doing this on the M276.

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes excellent power gains.

When your motor is fitted with a turbocharger modifications are going to make more power and most turbo charged engines are made with uprated components.

However you'll find engines have limits

Research these limitations and install forged components to survive the power.

There are many tuners spending a a stack of money on turbocharger upgrades on the M276 only to experience the M276 explode soon after it's finished.

Large upgraded turbo units commonly experience low end lag, and small turbo units spool up more quickly but do not have the top end engines power gains.

Thankfully the range of turbos is always increasing and we now see variable vane turbos, allowing the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and direct these at differently angled vanes in the turbocharger. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

Beefing up the air intake by adding a supercharger or additional turbo will help you achieve very large performance gains, although more complex to configure. We have this article on twincharging if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the M276

Don't overlook the need to uprate the fuel system when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty. It makes sense to over specify your injector capacity.

The rule of thumb is to add 15% to the flow rate when specifying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and affords a bit of spare capacity should the engine require more fuel.

Don't forget that different fuel grades will usually require different settings, a high octane fuel will burn more efficiently than lower octane fuel for example. A car will trim fuel supply to keep within the ideal air fuel mix but at the extreme ends you may need to adjust your injector capacity, or the mapping or you'll get flat spots and potential lean or rich fuel issues..

Recommended M276 performance exhaust upgrades

We'd only recommend you look to upgrade your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your exhaust is actually creating a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you should find that your flow rate is still fine even on modest power gains, but on a serious tuning project with a big boost in power you will certainly need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts can help increase the flow of gases through the engine.

But if the exhaust is too large, ie: over two and a half inches diameter, you will lose much of the exhaust flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate are in the catalyst installed, so adding a faster flowing performance alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Decats (NB:catalysts reduce harmful engine emissions) is illegal in most countries and regions.

Faults issues and things to look out for on the M276

Like most engines an M276, should have few issues if it gets properly serviced and looked after.

We cannot stress enough the need for oil changes with the correct grade of oil on the M276, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned M276 this is more important than ever and close attention should be paid to your maintenance schedule.

If you are interested in learning more or getting impartial tuning advice for your M276 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about M276 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their M276.

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