Mercedes M113 Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning the Mercedes M113 engine!"

The Mercedes M113 great bases for a tuning project and with the best upgrades like a remap, turbo improvements and camshafts you will definitely increase your driving experience.

Let us review M113 tuning and point out the premier modifications.

By altering the bore and stroke the M113 came is sizes from 4.3 to 5.5 liters. The 4.3 was bored to 89.9mm and the 5.0 and 5.5 had a 97mm bore.

The engine that replaced the M113 namely the M156 was slated for lacking the torque of the M133 so it still has a place in many enthusiasts hearts.

History, Power & Specs of the M113 Engine

Interestingly the head has 3 valves per cylinder (two for the intake, and one larger exhaust). The cylinders are lined with silicon/aluminium, and the M113 has Sequential fuel injection, fracture-split forged steel connecting rods, a one-piece cast camshaft, and a magnesium intake manifold, making this a great base for your tuning project.

M113 4.3

  • 1997-2000 C43 AMG
  • 1997-2002 E430
  • 1998-2002 CLK430
  • 1999-2001 ML430
  • 1999-2006 S430

275 hp 279 PS 205 kW at 5,750 rpm 400 Nm 295lbft at 3,000 rpm

C43 AMG 302 bhp 306 PS 225 kW at 5,850 rpm and 410 Nm 302lbft

M113 5.0

302 bhp 306 PS 225 kW at 5,600 rpm with 460 Nm 339lbft of torque at 2,700 to 4,250 rpm

  • 1998-2008 G500
  • 1999-2006 S500
  • 1999-2006 SL500
  • 2000-2006 CL500
  • 2001-2006 ML500
  • 2002-2006 CLK500
  • 2003-2006 E500
  • 2004-2006 CLS500
  • 2006-2007 R500
  • 2008-2017 SsangYong Chairman W

M113 5.5

342 to 362 hp (347 to 367 PS; 255 to 270 kW) at 5,500 rpm  510 to 530 Nm (376 to 391 lbft) at 2,800–5,400 rpm

  • 1997-2000 C55 AMG
  • 1998-2001 SL55 AMG
  • 1998-2002 E55 AMG
  • 2000-2002 S55 AMG
  • 2000-2003 ML55 AMG
  • 2000-2003 CLK55 AMG
  • 2002-2006 CLK55 AMG
  • 2001-2002 CL55 AMG
  • 2002-2003 G55 AMG
  • 2004-2010 SLK55 AMG
  • 2006-2008 SLK55 AMG Black Series
  • 2005-2007 C55 AMG

M113 5.5 Kompressor

469 bhp 476 PS 350 kW for the E55 AMG at 6,100 rpm with 700 to 800 Nm 516 to 590lbft of torque at 2,750–4,000 rpm.

574 bhp 582 PS 428 kW in the 2004-2006 CLK DTM AMG, with 700 to 800 Nm 516 to 590lbft of torque at 2,750–4,000 rpm.

  • 2003-2006 CL55 AMG
  • 2002-2006 S55 AMG
  • 2002-2008 SL55 AMG
  • 2003-2006 E55 AMG
  • 2004-2006 CLK DTM AMG
  • 2004-2011 G55 AMG
  • 2004-2006 CLS55 AMG

Tuning the Mercedes M113 and best M113 performance parts.

Best M113 mods

The best M113 parts on an engine are usually the ones that give the best power gain for you spend.

We won't be swayed by popular M113 parts, they need to be cost effective.

Significant gains on the M113 can be made from camshaft upgrades. Altering the camshaft profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the bhp and power output.

Fast road cams usually raise the performance through the rpm band, you could drop a little low end torque but your high end rpm power will be lifted.

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

On a car used daily must carefully try to optimize your torque band to your typical driving style.

I'd be completely gobsmacked if you have ever thought or claimed that a M113 Competition cam is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic. The low end idle will be very lumpy and irregular, so something you would notice on a track when you drive in the upper third of the rpm band, but on roads this is a serious issue and we've heard from lots of drivers lamenting their decision to add an extreme competition cam profile to their engine.

Each engine responds better to less aggressive camshaft durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The ecu map and fuel pump and injectors also have an effect on the torque gains you'll make.

A longer valve duration 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.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.
  6. Typical stage 1 mods often include:
    Remaps/piggy back ECU, drilled & smoothed airbox, Fast road camshaft, Panel air filters, Intake manifolds, Sports exhaust header/manifold.

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

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

    Plan your options and then buy your parts and set yourself a power target to avoid wasting your time and money.

    ECU flashing should help to fully realize the full potential of all the tuning parts you've done to your M113.

    (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 NA (naturally aspirated) engines, but power output often vary depending on the tuning parts you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

    It is the aim to any engine upgrade job to push fuel and air into the M113 engine

    Intake manifolds transmit the air from the intake filter and allow it to be fed into the engine cylinders.

    Design and flow characteristics of the Intake manifolds can make a substantial effect on to fuel mixing and power on the M113.

    On popular production engines manifolds are crying out for aftermarket tuning parts, although some makers provide decently flowing headers.

    Fitting big valve kits, carrying out 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also raise bhp, & more importantly will make space for raising the bhp increase on other modifications.

    M113 Turbo upgrades

    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 the engine is fitted with a turbo parts are relatively easy and turbo charged engines will have uprated components.

    There are practical limits for every engine, with some being extremely strong and some only just able to handle stock powerResearch these restrictions and upgrade to better pistons and crank to cope with the power.

    We see many car owners spending a a stack of money on turbocharger upgrades on the M113 only to suffer the humiliation of seeing the M113 go up in smoke just after it's used on the roads.

    Bigger capacity turbo units commonly suffer low end lag, and little turbo units spool up much more quickly but do not have the top end torque gains.

    Over the last 20 years the world of turbo units is always developing and we commonly find variable vane turbo units, where the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

    Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and direct these at differently angled vanes in the turbocharger. They also improve the scavenging effect of the engine in the case of the M113 you have cylinders 1 and 4 paired and 2 and 3, making the turbo engine feel like a much bigger NASP unit..

    You'll commonly see there's a limitation in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the M113 when loads 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 sapped torque at a much lower level.

    Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large performance gains, although more difficult to configure. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.


    You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so need to pay attention to the fuelling when you start extending past 20% of a performance increase.Most tuners we speak with say to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

    As a rule of thumb add 20% capacity when buying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and allows 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.

    M113 Performance Exhausts

    You only need to boost your exhaust if your exhaust is actually creating a restriction.

    On most factory exhausts you'll find the flow rate is still ok 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 generally help improve air flow from the engine but do not go too large or you might just stuff your flow rate and make things worse. So generally speaking, keep to a size of 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

    Usual exhaust restrictions can be located the catalysts installed, so adding a higher flowing race alternative such as a sports catalyst pretty much removes this restriction, thanks to it's larger size and surface area, and will effectively raise the performance to levels you would expect without having a catalyst installed, but keeps the car road legal.

    Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the M113

    The M113 engines are generally reliable and solid units, as long as you follow the manufacturers service schedules, and use a good quality oil to ensure longevity. Few problems should happen as long as they 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 M113, 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 M113 engine please join us in our car forums where you can discuss M113 tuning options in more detail with our M113 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.

    Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

    We love hearing about our website visitors projects, especially the mods done and which work best for you on your car. Which helps us keep our guides and tips up to date helping others with their modified car projects. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these M113 tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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    3 Responses to “M113 Tuning”

    1. Marc says:

      So you do not have a shop or do you ?

    2. TorqueCars says:

      We are just an online magazine. We’d love to have a shop, perhaps that’s the next step for us.

    3. Juvenal da Silva says:

      Hi i bought a M113 5.0 from a S500
      To fit it to my land rover discovery 1 with a ZF automatic box
      I’m busy making a bell housing to attach the two I’m using a spitronics EMC
      I will be using mainly for offroad rides on our sand dunes. I would like to know how many litres of water should the radiator carry not to have heating issues because I’m in Mozambique in south of Africa and it gets very hot down here.
      Thanks I really appreciate you advice

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