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Marcus's SL65 Build Thread...

 
Old 04-27-2009, 04:52 PM
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Marcus's SL65 Build Thread...

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is with great pleasure I'd like to welcome you to my SL65 build thread. This has been a year in the making, so please don't mind any mistakes they will be corrected eventually

Now - over the years I've seen many build threads on various forums I've been a part of, and even a few on here (kudos to Finny, Jakpro1, and AMGFan). AMG has been building a reputation with it's forced induction cars - a reputation for power and luxury, unlike any other marque. Now, with the help of MarkoCL65, DSMed, and VRP, AMGs will now be able to stake their claim at a pretty high point on the street machine food chain. This build thread will take you through the long-awaited transformation of my stock 2005 SL65 to an all out MONSTER. I want you all to know that this thread will take some time, but I think it will serve to educate as well as entertain this community.

Now my goal with this build is to end up with a truly world class GT supercar. I'm not looking for a spectacular track car, drag car, whatever. I drove my SL65 over 10k miles last summer alone, so it's STREET prowess is what is important to me (and I think that is really a defining characteristic of all things AMG). Ridiculous speed and power, good looks, top down, and still an everyday capable AMG. It is my true conviction that there are few platforms out there that can do ALL the things this V12 biturbo AMG R230 can do.

So here is how my car arrived from California, beautiful and very stock...



Almost immediately - as is typical for me - tint and euro bumper strips were added (orange/clear/painted side markers are the work of the devil himself!!!).



Then I blacked out the grill...



Wanted to get some baseline numbers... car made decent power but we saw IATs getting high, and soon after replaced the failing water pump.







First thing to address after this was the STEERING WHEEL. The damn AMGs have some of the worst factory steering wheels I've ever had to deal with. First thing I wanted was OEM paddles, second thing MORE THICKNESS, and thirdly ALCANTARA. I was able to work with a very talented local individual (PM me for his contact info) who was able to take this:



to THIS:





It came out extremely well. I am probably going to put this wheel up for sale soon, as we are going to try something else because I have ADD when it comes to modding and instead of cutting the material off the wheel we are just going to start with a new wheel. The paddles are fully functional for 2005 cars, and are totally OEM! Feel great, look great, a no brainer. PM me if you are interested in the wheel.

Next on the list - WHEELS. I opted to go with the 20" Carlsson 1/16 Ultralights. A little bling, but I wanted to go with a tuner look instead of the 3-piece look - and these wheels are relatively rare, lightweight, and I think flow well with the R230's lines. Here are some pics, without lowering...







Next up was lowering the car via SDS. Now understandably this is limited, so we went as low as we could. I'm still debating whether or not to go further with a module or not.



Next up - straight pipes, and SL63 lip spoiler, and updated ('07+) smoked 3rd brake light.

Stay tuned.

-m

Last edited by Marcus Frost; 04-27-2009 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:58 PM
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About time...j/k.

I am loving the Carlsson UL's. I can't wait for more!
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:24 PM
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Here are a couple of NON-pro shots, that show the somewhat-final ride height, SL63 lip, and smoked 3rd brakelight...







-m
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:55 PM
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Looking good so far and am looking forward to the rest of your upgrades! I just took my SL55 in for a 2009 AMG rear Bumper Cover and the 2008 Front Bumper Cover. I'll start a thread here soon with pics when they start work on my car!
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:56 PM
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What exactly did you use to lower your ride and the approx. cost? Something that I still need to do!
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by dave3191 View Post
Looking good so far and am looking forward to the rest of your upgrades! I just took my SL55 in for a 2009 AMG rear Bumper Cover and the 2008 Front Bumper Cover. I'll start a thread here soon with pics when they start work on my car!
The more the merrier...the great thing about "build" threads is the amount of information that can be shared. I have learned so much from previous MBWorld veterans (like Finny) about what can be done and what to do and what not to do...

It may not be for everybody, but it is good to know what can be done...can't wait to see your pics...
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:04 PM
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marcus, notice our posts dissapeared? strange edit: duh because it was in w211 forum

Last edited by JAYCL600; 04-27-2009 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by AMGfan View Post
The more the merrier...the great thing about "build" threads is the amount of information that can be shared. I have learned so much from previous MBWorld veterans (like Finny) about what can be done and what to do and what not to do...

It may not be for everybody, but it is good to know what can be done...can't wait to see your pics...
I couldn't agree with you more as I too have learned a tremendous amount from this forum!
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus Frost View Post
Here are a couple of NON-pro shots, that show the somewhat-final ride height, SL63 lip, and smoked 3rd brakelight...

-m
What width wheels are these? and what tire size and brand?
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:53 PM
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dave3191:

It was lowered using the STAR Diagnostic System or SDS. A competent MB Tech or independent MB shop can do this for you, cost should not exceed $500.

CA_E55:

They are Carlsson 1/16 UltraLights. 20x8.5, 20x11. Pirelli PZERO Nero, 255/35/20, 305/25/20. They are pricey, but IMO have a very nice look on the R230.

-m
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Old 04-27-2009, 08:17 PM
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First and foremost, I must say very nice build and I'm another that appreciates the build threads cause I'm definitely learning alot.

How much were you able to lower it using SDS? That looks plenty low enough for me in the front. Since it was lowered using SDS, does the car know not to go too low and cause an error. I have been a lil bit leery to get links since the car lowers itself at some certain freeway speed and may cause rubbing or some sort of other issues. Currently, I don't have any aftermarket wheels but have seriously been considering some of the 3pc forged.

I hate to seem like a newb but hey, you gotta start some where.
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Old 04-27-2009, 08:45 PM
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Nice work!
I shudder seeing your new wheels on the shatty pavement. Hope you don't fall in one of the dips and bend a lip.

Last edited by BeltFedBob; 04-27-2009 at 08:45 PM. Reason: bad word
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by xavier55 View Post
First and foremost, I must say very nice build and I'm another that appreciates the build threads cause I'm definitely learning alot.

How much were you able to lower it using SDS? That looks plenty low enough for me in the front. Since it was lowered using SDS, does the car know not to go too low and cause an error. I have been a lil bit leery to get links since the car lowers itself at some certain freeway speed and may cause rubbing or some sort of other issues. Currently, I don't have any aftermarket wheels but have seriously been considering some of the 3pc forged.

I hate to seem like a newb but hey, you gotta start some where.
Answering questions and spreading knowledge are why I have these threads - don't hesitate to ask questions.

We were not able to go much on the 65 because it sits fairly low with the 65 ABC program. We got around an inch, possibly less. Doing it through the SDS is a great, cost effective way of lowering the car because you are programming new, acceptable values into the SDS that allows it to still properly manage the ride height at all times. I've written a lot about this so do a search with my name and STAR and you can read my take.

-m
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:32 PM
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Very nice work on you car. Wished the paddles would work on my SL600.

dave3191 I am interested in wha parts are needed to switch the rear bumper cover.
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Old 04-28-2009, 06:26 PM
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[QUOTE=Marcus Frost;3491641]dave3191:

It was lowered using the STAR Diagnostic System or SDS. A competent MB Tech or independent MB shop can do this for you, cost should not exceed $500.

Thanks Marcus for the information! I've already called my MB Service advisor and told him that I would be coming in to get my car lowered after I get it out of the shop from my body mods!
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Old 04-28-2009, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by OUTCAST View Post
Very nice work on you car. Wished the paddles would work on my SL600.

dave3191 I am interested in wha parts are needed to switch the rear bumper cover.
Once everything has been delivered to the Body Shop I'll start a thread that will follow the modifications with pics, materials, etc.! I just recieved a call today from my guy over at Raintree Auto Body and he said that everything came in today except the 2009 rear cover!! I'm hoping that it shows up tomorrow as I have already dropped my car off on Monday! So this sucks and I hope that it shows up ASAP from MB!!!
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus Frost View Post
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Next up was lowering the car via SDS. Now understandably this is limited, so we went as low as we could. I'm still debating whether or not to go further with a module or not.




-m
I think the ride height looks perfect - anymore than this and it looks pimped out
How is the ride now, lowered and with the 20s? Is there a noticeable difference to the down side?
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by CA_E55 View Post
I think the ride height looks perfect - anymore than this and it looks pimped out
How is the ride now, lowered and with the 20s? Is there a noticeable difference to the down side?
Thanks CA. The more you post, the more it seems we have in common.

The ride is only slightly harsher than stock. The 65 has the most aggressive ABC program of all the R230s, and amazingly the jump to 20s really doesn't impact the ride quality much. I'd say with the 20s it's still slightly more compliant than an E46 M3 with the optional 19" wheels (which I think you said you had?)

For comparison - the E55 on the other hand, when going from 18" to 20", is a nose dive off a cliff in terms of ride quality.

-m
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:09 PM
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Straight Pipes - one of the best mods you can do on a biturbo. I know the idea sounds a bit "ghetto" - but anyone who hears this monster will quickly think otherwise. This is how it should have come from AMG... it's a 604hp car... it needs a little bit of noise.

BEFORE





AFTER












Last edited by Marcus Frost; 04-29-2009 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:28 PM
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Marcus, how mach Louder it is.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:40 PM
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Is there a way that you can record the sound of your car now so that we can all hear it???
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:48 PM
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I know everyone is going to ask for a sound clip. I've tried making one, but it's a joke, it doesn't really give a good representation. When you start the car (V12 cars only), and the wastegates are opened to allow exhaust gas to bypass the turbos and hit the cats... the car sounds absolutely amazing, and it is a lot louder than stock. When the wastegates are closed and the car is idling normally, it's only very slightly louder than stock. Light throttle, it's definitely noticeably louder... and full throttle... well, let's just say it's a terrifying symphony that in my mind, suits the car extremely well.

It's the perfect balance IMO... at idle, the car is still very quiet... but once you go WOT... talk about grinning ear to ear.

For some who really want to keep that total sleeper "persona" - straight pipes aren't for you. Straight pipes on the 65 are for people who don't mind their 600hp monster actually sounding like it's packing some power.

-m
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus Frost View Post
Straight Pipes - one of the best mods you can do on a biturbo. I know the idea sounds a bit "ghetto" - but anyone who hears this monster will quickly think otherwise. This is how it should have come from AMG... it's a 604hp car... it needs a little bit of noise.

BEFORE





AFTER











Originally Posted by Marcus Frost View Post
I know everyone is going to ask for a sound clip. I've tried making one, but it's a joke, it doesn't really give a good representation. When you start the car (V12 cars only), and the wastegates are opened to allow exhaust gas to bypass the turbos and hit the cats... the car sounds absolutely amazing, and it is a lot louder than stock. When the wastegates are closed and the car is idling normally, it's only very slightly louder than stock. Light throttle, it's definitely noticeably louder... and full throttle... well, let's just say it's a terrifying symphony that in my mind, suits the car extremely well.

It's the perfect balance IMO... at idle, the car is still very quiet... but once you go WOT... talk about grinning ear to ear.

For some who really want to keep that total sleeper "persona" - straight pipes aren't for you. Straight pipes on the 65 are for people who don't mind their 600hp monster actually sounding like it's packing some power.

-m
Is the sound more along the line of a deeper throaty sound similar to what is accomplished with the 55 by the removal of the resonators? Thanks Marcus!
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dave3191 View Post
Is the sound more along the line of a deeper throaty sound similar to what is accomplished with the 55 by the removal of the resonators? Thanks Marcus!
They don't compare. The v12 cars have "resonators" - they are the exhaust housings of the turbos. Those act as "mufflers/resonators" so the sound the v12 will get from deleting the mufflers is quite different. With turbos and the stock mufflers in place, at throttle you of course get some sound, but in my opinion it's woefully inadequate for a 600hp car. You do not want straight pipes on a 55 car, unless you are super-hardcore and are looking at becoming very unpopular with your neighbors.

Sorry to say, but it's apples to oranges. I have both motors, and I would never dream of putting straight pipes on my 55. The 55 needs mufflers.

-m
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus Frost View Post
They don't compare. The v12 cars have "resonators" - they are the exhaust housings of the turbos. Those act as "mufflers/resonators" so the sound the v12 will get from deleting the mufflers is quite different. With turbos and the stock mufflers in place, at throttle you of course get some sound, but in my opinion it's woefully inadequate for a 600hp car. You do not want straight pipes on a 55 car, unless you are super-hardcore and are looking at becoming very unpopular with your neighbors.

Sorry to say, but it's apples to oranges. I have both motors, and I would never dream of putting straight pipes on my 55. The 55 needs mufflers.

-m
Com'n Marcus...my neighbors LOVE me...! They love my longtube headers leading into my straight pipes and gutted mufflers on my E55...The WOT sound is redonkulous!!!!
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