Mercedes M177 Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning the Mercedes M177 engine!"

The Mercedes M177 make a good tuning project and with the ultimate performance enhancements like a remap, turbo kits and camshafts you will increase your driving fun.

In this article we look into M177 tuning and point out the greatest upgrades.

History, Power & Specs of the M177 Engine


Mercedes-AMG C 63 and C 63 S
Mercedes-AMG E 63 and E 63 S
Mercedes-AMG S 63 facelift 2017-
Mercedes-AMG G 63 2019–
Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and GLC 63 S
Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 and 63 S 2020– ISG
Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 2020– ISG
Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupé 63 4MATIC+, GT 63 S 4MATIC+, and GT 73 EQ Boost+
Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 2020– ISG
Mercedes-AMG SL 63 2020– ISG
Aston Martin DB11 V8 and Volante
Aston Martin Vantage
Aston Martin DBX
Mercedes-AMG S 63e 2021–

Tuning the Mercedes M177 and best M177 performance parts.

Best M177 mods

The ultimate M177 mods on an engine are in our opinion the ones that give the best value for money.

We won't be swayed by popular M177 mods, they need to be cost effective.

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 engines power gains are on offer for cam upgrades.

Fast road cams commonly push up the power throughout the rev range, you could drop a little low down torque but the higher rpm power will improve.

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

For a car used daily, really you should, ideally aim to optimize your bhp range to your driving style.

I'd be amazed if you have ever thought or claimed that a M177 Motorsport cam is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic because low end power will be very lumpy. Competition cams are designed for maximum power at the top end of the RPM range, a place that most daily commutes will not permit!

Some M177 engines respond better to mild cam durations than others.

The ecu map and fuel pump and injectors also have a large bearing on the bhp gains you'll get.

Extending exhaust or intake 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.

Typical stage 1 mods often include:
Fast road camshaft, Panel air filters, Sports exhaust manifold, Remaps/piggy back ECU, drilled & smoothed airbox, Intake headers.

Typical stage 2 mods often include:
fuel pump upgrades, high flow fuel injectors, Fast road cam, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, Ported and polished head, induction kit.

Typical stage 3 mods often include:
Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Twin charging conversions, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Competition cam, Engine balancing & blueprinting, Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression.

The M177 power trains respond well to upgrades and thankfully there are quite a few choices of upgrades and tuning parts out there.

ECU mapping should help to release the full potential of all the upgrades you've done to your M177.

(In some cases, as the factory ECU is locked flashing is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and many of these will outperform factory ECU's but make sure it has knock protection and that you get it setup properly.)

It will usually give you around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but power output usually differs on the upgrades you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

Feeding more air into the M177 engine is vital to any engine performance tuning job.

Air Intake manifolds transmit the air during the suck phase from the air filter and allow it to be sucked into the engine cylinders.

Shape and rate of flow of the Headers can make a substantial improvement to fuel atomisation on the M177.

Many mass produced engine headers are crying out for motorsport parts, although a few makers provide reasonably well designed headers.

Big valve conversions on the M177, doing a bit of M177 port enlargement and head flowing will also increase torque, & more importantly will raise potential for a greater torque increase on other upgrades.

M177 Turbo upgrades

NASP engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your M177

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

If an engine has forced induction tuning mods are giving better power gains and most turbo engines use strengthened components.

There are common areas of failure for every engine, with some being extremely strong and some only able to handle stock powerSee where you'll find these limits and upgrade to better quality crank and pistons to survive the power.

It's not unheard of people spending a fortune on turbo upgrades on the M177 only to experience the whole thing go up in smoke when it's completed.

Bigger turbos tend to experience low end lag, and low capacity turbos spool up much more quickly but don't have the peak end torque gains.

In recent times the range of turbo chargers is always increasing and we commonly find variable vane turbo chargers, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust gases into two channels and feed these at differently profiled vanes in the turbocharger. They also increase the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is common that there is a limit in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the M177 when a lot more air is being pulled into the engine.

Going up you'll find 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor limited torque at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp gains, although more complex to get working. We have this guide to twinchargers if you want to read more.


Don't overlook the need to increase the fuelling when you are increasing the performance - it makes the car more thirsty. Most tuners we speak with say to over specify your injectors flow rate.

As a rule of thumb add 20% when fitting an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and provides a little spare capacity should the engine require more fuel.

We think this one is common sense, but you'll need to match your fuel injector to the type of fuel your car uses as well.

M177 Performance Exhausts

You should look to upgrade your exhaust if your exhaust is actually creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll find your flow rate is still good even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow out of the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too big or you could very well end up with a reduced flow rate. So generally speaking, keep to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Common exhaust restrictions are in the catalyst installed, so adding a freer flowing sports alternative is the answer. This keeps the car road legal and will flow much better due to it's higher internal surface area and design, so has the added benefit of keeping your car road legal. The alternative decat should be considered an off road only mod, as removing a catalyst is illegal in most territories and regions for road registered cars..

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the M177

The M177 engines are generally reliable and solid units, as long as you follow the manufacturers service schedules, and use a good quality oilthey are regularly serviced and maintained.

Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will sap power or create flat spots, this is a larger issue on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on removing carbon build up.

Some of our members have had issues with flat spots or glitches after applying mods and upgrades or tuning, this is not usually related to this engines design, so instead see our article on diagnosing flat spots and problems after tuning which should help you get the bottom of this issue.

Regular oil changes are vital on the M177, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your M177 engine please join us in our car forums where you can discuss M177 tuning options in more detail with our M177 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Mercedes tuning articles to get insights into each modification and how effective they will be for your car.

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