The Definitive Guide To Keeping Your Supercharged Mercedes-AMG M113K Cool

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We're not referring to the way it looks, we're talking about keeping those temperatures down when you're doing highway pulls against your buddy's BMW. 

Between 2002 and 2011, Mercedes-AMG strapped a supercharger to the pedestrian 5.3l V8 M113 and stuffed it into numerous engine bays. Dubbed the M113K (K stands for Kompressor), this engine produced anywhere from 469 horsepower to 516 horsepower depending on the production year and model it was in. While the additional power and torque over the unexciting M113 variant was welcome, it did come with a glaring drawback⁠—heat. 

Let's take a moment to talk about how a supercharger system works. A supercharger is simply an air compressor that raises the density of air before it makes its way to the combustion chamber of your engine. With a higher density of air, you can introduce more fuel; with more air and more fuel, you create more power. However, a higher density of air is where that glaring issue stems from. When air is compressed, you are adding additional molecules into the same volume of space, which, in turn, means that those molecules must move more rapidly. The byproduct of the rapid molecular movement is heat. 

supercharger-system

So, how does this affect the M113K you might now be wondering? The ECU in the Mercedes-AMG is constantly monitoring the intake temperature, as abnormally hot air isn't ideal for controlled combustion. When the ECU senses temperatures outside of its controlled range, it modifies the ignition maps that retard timing and reduce boost pressure, all of which leads to a reduction in power output. Depending on the age and health of the supporting systems, recovery times between the throttling of power can be lengthy. 

Luckily, there are three modifications on the market that we recommend installing in street-driven Mercedes-AMG models with the M113K that allows the engine to deliver the rated horsepower output consistently. If you're planning to have your car out on track, additional modifications will be required that are beyond the scope of this article. The modifications can be broken up into three different levels or "stages." 

 

Mercedes-AMG Models Applicable

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

 

Stage 1: Bosch 010 Intercooler Pump Kit

intercooler-pump-kit

The intercooler pump is responsible for moving coolant through a circuit that includes a heat exchanger and a charge air cooler. The pump circulates the coolant from the heat exchanger at the front of the car to the charge air cooler in the valley of the engine. This removes heat from the compressed air. When the intercooler pump is unable to move a sufficient volume of fluid, this results in higher air intake temperatures and lower power output. 

To combat this, we recommend the Bosch 010 intercooler pump as it's the first step in keeping those intake temperatures at bay. The Bosch 010 is the latest iteration of the factory pump and is used in all contemporary Mercedes-AMG vehicles. 

 

Stage 2: Split Cooling System

mercedes-amg-coolant-reservoir

On the Mercedes-AMG cars featuring the M113K, the supercharger cooling circuit is shared with the engine's cooling circuit. The supercharging cooling circuit consists of an air-to-water intercooler that sits in the engine's valley, below the supercharger, as well as a front-mounted heat exchanger. This fluid is stored in the engine's coolant expansion tank and is moved between the two radiators by the circulation pump.

This double-duty system is more than adequate in temperate climates and/or if you're a subdue driver. However, in hotter regions, or if you're someone who regularly enjoys spirited drives, segmenting the engine's cooling circuit from the supercharger's cooling circuit is the next step in lowering recovery times and keeping those temperatures stable.

On the factory coolant expansion tank, there's a tee that allows the supercharger cooling system to share fluid with the engine. The first step is to remove this connection and add an independent reservoir for the supercharger. This affords you the control of the amount of fluid in the system as well as the specific type of coolant you'd like to run for each system. All of this modification makes the engine and supercharger cooling systems more efficient overall. 

We offer a pre-packaged kit which was designed in-house by VRP Speed. The kit includes a reservoir, mounting bracket, cooling hoses, and all of the necessary clamps.

 

Stage 3: Upgraded (PLM Direct Fit) Heat Exchanger 

heat-exchanger

This heat exchanger provides more surface area for heat transfer to occur and utilizes all of the space at the front of the vehicle. It does this without impacting the performance of the other heat exchangers in the system. The nice part about this more efficient heat exchanger is that it fits in the factory locations and retains the factory oil cooler. 

 

 

 

 

With this, you can keep your car running cool no matter how hard you're driving it. And if you're driving it that hard, it might be time to look for some brake upgrades. Similar to this guide, we have a guide to upgrading your Mercedes-AMG brakes, whether that's for affordability or a performance gain. 

Over the coming weeks we will have additional articles on how to get the very most out of your Mercedes-AMG, so make sure to check back here often. And, if you have any questions or comments about this guide, make sure to leave them in the comments below. 

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