Modding and performance tuning parts for the Mercedes M200 engine!

Tuners tips on "M200 Modifications"

M200 Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Mercedes M200

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Mercedes M200 engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars are frequently getting posts about how to improve the M200 from people inquiring about getting more power from the M200 and wanting to know what are the ultimate M200 mods that work. So let us look into Mercedes M200 upgrades and outline the best mods that work on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

The Mercedes M200 really good project engines and with the best uprated tuning mods like a remap, turbo improvements and camshafts you will positively maximize your driving fun.

We shall look at M200 tuning and point out the best modifications for your car.

Just because particular mods are appear in lots of M200 projects it doesn't mean it is good, so we'll concentrate on the greatest mods that will give your M200 the best power gain for you money.

Without us subscribing to the misaprehension of 'if it's shiny and makes more noise it must be good' you seem to get in many tuning magazines and on car forums'.

M200 induction kits

Improving air intake on the M200

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is too little fuel then it will run lean, if there is not enough air it runs rich sapping power which risks damage to the M200. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So the aim to any engine performance tuning job to feed more air and fuel into your M200 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 on the M200 when considerably more air is being pulled into the engine.

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

Air Intake manifolds take the air from the filter and allow it to be fed into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The size of bore and shape and flow rate of the Intake can make a noticeable difference to to fuel engine efficiency on the M200.

On popular production engines intake manifold are in desperate need of performance upgrades, although some makers provide reasonably well designed intake manifold.

Fitting big valve kits, doing some port matching and head flowing will also increase performance, this will give you increasing the performance increase on other parts.

M200 performance cam tips.

Different M200 engines respond better to more or less aggressive camshaft durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The ecu map and injectors and fuel pump also will make differences on the power gains you'll achieve.

Extending exhaust or intake durations can alter the power 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.

The cam profile plays a big part in the engines power output so cam upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake and exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen cam profile, so large bhp gains are on offer for cam upgrades.

NB: Fast road camshafts commonly push up the performance over the rev band, you may sacrifice a little low end power but higher rpm power will improve.

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

A Motorsport and race cam won't do well if driving in heavy traffic.

You should ideally match your engines power to your usage of the car so for a car driven daily stick with a shorter duration M200 cam

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the M200

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 M200 parts:

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

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

Stage 2 M200 parts:

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

Stage 3 M200 parts:

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

Carefully think through your options and then find your modifications and set yourself a power target to avoid disappointment.

Remaps allows a tuner to fully realize the full potential of all the tuning mods you've done to your M200.

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 power output will rely on the tuning mods you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the M200

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 M200.

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 a car has a turbocharger parts are more reliable and most turbo engines are built with strengthened components.

However you'll find engines will have power limits

Research these limitations and install forged components to cope with the power.

We see many people spending a lot of money on turbocharger upgrades on the M200 only to watch the car catastrophically fail when it's been enthusiastically driven.

Big turbochargers often experience a bottom end lag, and smaller turbochargers spool up much more quickly but do not have the top end power band gains.

In recent times the range of turbos is always evolving and we are seeing variable vane turbos, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust flow into two channels and feed these at differently angled vanes in the turbo charger. They also help 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 difficult to install. We have this guide to twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the M200

When you increase the bhp and torque you will need to pay attention to to the fuel system.

More bhp and torque needs more fuel. Most tuners we speak with say to over specify your injector capacity.

As a rule of thumb add 20% to the flow rate when specifying an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and allows some spare capacity should the engine need 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 M200 performance exhaust upgrades

You may need to improve your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your current exhaust is actually causing a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll find the exhaust flow rate is good 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 out of the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too big or you could will reduce the flow rate. Stick to one and a half to two and half inches for best results.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate come around the emissions filters installed, so adding a faster flowing race alternative will help avoid this restriction.

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

Faults issues and things to look out for on the M200

Like most engines an M200, 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 M200, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned M200 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 M200 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about M200 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their M200.

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