Mercedes OM605 Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning the Mercedes OM605 engine!"

Now we shall review and look at OM605 tuning and show the premier mods that work.

Mercedes OM605 are popular tuning projects and with the best performance parts like a remap, turbo improvements and camshafts you will certainly enhance your driving pleasure.

History, Power & Specs of the OM605 Engine

OM 605.910 ERE

83 kW (113 PS; 111 hp) @5000 rpm 170 Nm (125 lbft) @2800 rpm

W202 C 250 D

OM 605.911

83 kW (113 PS; 111 hp) @5000 rpm 170 Nm (125 lbft) @2800 rpm

W124 E 250 D

OM 605.912 ERE

83 kW (113 PS; 111 hp) @5000 rpm 170 Nm (125 lbft) @2800 rpm

W210 E 250 D

OM 605.960 ERE

110 kW (150 PS; 148 hp) @4400 rpm 280 Nm (207 lbft) @1800 rpm

W202 C 250 Turbodiesel

OM 605.962 ERE

110 kW (150 PS; 148 hp) @4400 rpm 280 Nm (207 lbft) @1800 rpm

W210 E 250 Turbodiesel

Tuning the Mercedes OM605 and best OM605 performance parts.

Best OM605 tuning mods

Just because particular tuning parts are popular with OM605 owners it doesn't mean it is good, instead we will concentrate on the top tuning parts that will give your OM605 the biggest power gain return for your cash.

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

Fast road camshafts tend to raise the power over the rev range, you could drop a little low down power but your higher rpm power will improve.

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

On a road car should ideally to match your torque band to your driving style.

I'd be surprised if you have ever thought or claimed that a OM605 Competition 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!

Each engine responds better to different camshaft durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The engine timing and fuel pump and injectors also will say much on the torque gains you'll hit.

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:
    Fast road camshaft, Panel air filters, Remaps/piggy back ECU, drilled & smoothed airbox, Sports exhaust header/manifold, Intake manifolds.

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

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

    Plan your options and then find your upgrades and set yourself a power target to avoid costly mistakes.

    ECU flashing allows a tuner to establish the full potential of all the parts you've done to your OM605.

    (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 your mileage will differs on the parts you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

    Feeding more fuel and air into each cylinder is the aim to any engine performance tuning project.

    An intake manifold will channel the air during the suck phase from the air filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

    The bore size, shape and rate of flow of the Intake manifold can make a substantial improvement to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the OM605.

    We often see manifolds are in desperate need of a performance upgrade, although a few car makers provide reasonably good headers.

    Fitting big valve kits, getting port work and head flowing will also raise power, & more importantly will give you a better power increase on other parts.

    OM605 Turbo upgrades

    NA (naturally aspirated) 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 OM605

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

    When your car has a turbo already fitted tuning mods are giving better power gains and turbocharged engines are made using more solid components.

    However you will find engines will need better parts at higher power limits.Research these limitations and fit better quality crank and pistons to survive the power.

    We see many car owners spending a a stack of money on turbo charger upgrades on the OM605 only to suffer the indignity of watching the OM605 catastrophically fail just after it's used in anger.

    Big turbos will usually suffer no power at low rpm, and small turbos spool up really quickly but don't have the peak rpm torque gains.

    Thanks to progress the range of turbochargers is always moving on and we are seeing variable vane turbochargers, allowing the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

    Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and feed these at differently angled vanes in the turbo. They also help the scavenging effect of the engine.

    It is not unusual that there is a limitation in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the OM605 when loads more air is being fed into the engine.

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

    Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp and torque gains, although more difficult to install. We have this in depth look at twinchargers if you want to read more.


    Don't forget to increase the fuelling when you are increasing the bhp and torque - it makes the car more thirsty. Don't forget to be generous with your injector capacity.

    The accepted safe increase is to add 20% when specifying an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and affords you some 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.

    OM605 Performance Exhausts

    You only need to increase your exhaust if the current exhaust is actually creating a flow problem.

    On most factory exhausts you'll find the exhaust 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 balance the flow of gases through the engine.

    But if the exhaust pipe is too large, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a great deal of the flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

    Typically exhaust restrictions are traced to the emissions filters installed, so adding a freer flowing high performance aftermarket one will improve air flow, and rather than doing an illegal decat, will keep the car road legal.

    Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the OM605

    The OM605 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 OM605, 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 OM605 engine please join us in our car forums where you can discuss OM605 tuning options in more detail with our OM605 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Mercedes tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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    One Response to “OM605 Tuning”

    1. craig says:

      1998 C250TD OM605.960 722.5 What about just a pump upgrade a remap bigger turbo but not huge say a cartridge upgrade and a second electric turbo to eliminate any lag so this is not to race but to be a good streeter at around 200hp. These cars go good on a highway but are not so good around town with their renowned turbo lag?? for us guys who want just milder gain in power and to eliminate that horrible lag car already has 3″ exhaust

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