Modding upgrading and tuning the Mercedes M264 engine!

Modifying and improving: "M264 Modifications"

M264 Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Mercedes M264

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Mercedes M264 engine!"

Popular tuning sites like TorqueCars are frequently getting posts requesting information on how to improve the M264 from people wanting to know what are the best M264 upgrades. So let us look into Mercedes M264 modifications and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

We shall review and look at M264 tuning and highlight the greatest modifications. Mercedes M264 are awesome to work on and with the optimum motorsport mods like a remap, turbo improvements and camshafts you will noticeably increase your driving enjoyment.

When talking about the greatest parts for your M264 engine, we are going to concentrate on the ones that give the best power gain for you spend.

M264 induction kits

Improving air intake on the M264

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is insufficient fuel then it will run lean, if there is a lack of 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 primary aim to any engine modification task to force fuel and air into your M264 but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is not unusual that there is a limit in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the M264 when considerably more air is being sucked into the engine.

We note 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor limited power at a much lower level.

Engine intake manifolds transmit the during the engines suck phase from the filter and allow it to be fed into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

Design and rate of flow of the Intake can make a noticeable difference to to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the M264.

We often see air intake manifolds are improved through an upgrade, although a few OEM provide reasonably well designed air intake manifolds.

Big valve conversions on the M264, carrying out port work and head flowing will also lift torque, & importantly will make space for increasing the torque increase on other parts.

M264 performance cam tips.

Different M264 engines respond better to more or less aggressive camshaft durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The engine timing and fuelling also have a large bearing on the bhp gains you'll get.

Altering valve durations can alter the bhp 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.

Altering your M264 cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine bhp. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the bhp accordingly.

NB: Fast road camshafts usually push up the performance across the rpm range, you could sacrifice a little low end bhp but the top end will be higher.

Competition camshafts, push up the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

For a car used daily you need to optimize your engines power to your preferences.

I'd be gobsmaked if you have ever thought a M264 Competition cam is a pleasure to live with when driving around busy urban areas.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the M264

Before we break the best tuning upgrades down into stages of tune, let's list the most effective tuning upgrades for you.

  1. Suspension Upgrades - always improve your cars handling
  2. Brake Upgrades - Even before adding power improve those brakes
  3. Intake - make sure the intake is not restricted, use filters and intake upgrades to improve this
  4. Exhaust - as with 3 ensure there is not restriction in the exhaust, cats are the usual bottleneck
  5. Tunes - remapping, piggyback ECU's and aftermarket ECU's can all make decent gains
  6. Fuelling - when you've increased power you'll need to match this with more fuel
  7. Turbo upgrades - Improving the intake with a large turbo and better flowing intercooler will be the biggest power gain you'll see (but one of the most complex).

This video guide to tuning cars is a great starting point to work from in your project.

Stage 1 M264 parts:

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

Stage 2 M264 parts:

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

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

Stage 3 M264 parts:

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

Review your options and then buy your tuning mods and set yourself a power target to avoid costly mistakes.

ECU mapping should help to to establish the full potential of all the modifications you've done to your M264.

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 figures achieved may rely on the modifications you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the M264

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 M264.

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.

If an engine has a turbo already fitted tuning mods are relatively easy and we find turbocharged engines use stronger components.

There are tuning limits for every engine, with some being over specified and some only just able to handle stock power

We recommend you find these restrictions and upgrade to forged components to handle the power.

There are many people spending a lot of money on turbo charger upgrades on the M264 only to see the M264 go up in smoke soon after it's first rolling road session.

Larger upgraded turbochargers tend to suffer a bottom end lag, and little turbochargers spool up more quickly but won't have the peak rpm torque gains.

We are pleased that the market of turbochargers is always moving on and we are seeing variable vane turbochargers, where the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and flow these at differently profiled vanes in the turbo. 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 power gains, although harder to configure. We have this guide to twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the M264

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so should ramp up the fuelling when you start extending past 20% of a performance hike. At this point we flag up the need to be generous with your injector capacity.

The accepted safe increase is to add 20% capacity when specifying an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and allows you some 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 M264 performance exhaust upgrades

You only need to to improve your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your exhaust is creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll see the flow rate is 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 usually air flow from the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too wide or you could will reduce the flow rate. Stick to one and a half to two and half inches as a rule of thumb.

Typically exhaust restrictions are traced to the catalyst installed, so adding a higher flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

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

Faults issues and things to look out for on the M264

Like most engines an M264, 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 M264, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned M264 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 M264 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about M264 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their M264.

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