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Pelican Technical Article:

Supercharger Removal

Tom Morr

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$15 (gaskets)

Talent:

*****

Tools:

13mm wrenches, ratchets, extensions, wobbles; screwdrivers; E12, T55 Torx bits

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R170 (1998-04)

Parts Required:

Replacement gaskets

Hot Tip:

Consider unbolting the engine mounts and raising the engine to create clearance

Performance Gain:

Replacing leaky gaskets restores power

Complementary Modification:

Replace the air filter

The highest-performance component in the Mercedes-Benz R170 SLK Kompressor is a US-sourced Eaton supercharger. This "kompressor" is a proven Roots-type twin-rotor design, one of many Eaton forced-induction units used in several other factory-supercharged cars.

R170 SLKs use two prominent supercharger models. Pre-facelift cars (built prior to February 2000) have the 62 cubic-inch-displacement M62 model, while the later cars use the M45 model. The earlier cars have a larger pulley with electro-magnetic clutch; the M45 has a smaller pulley, no clutch, and a "snout" between the pulley and supercharger housing.

Removal methods likely vary among models. The demonstration here is on a pre-facelift 2000 SKL230 Kompressor, which has the M62 supercharger. Our car also has TLEV California emissions, which often means more clean-air plumbing than cars built for the international market.

M-B lists 1.8 hours of shop time for supercharger removal, but plan on significantly more time when doing it at home. In theory, the job is just a belt, four bolts, and a couple hose clamps. The reality is that the supercharger is tucked in tightly beneath the air cleaner housing and in front of the exhaust manifold. Access is an issue.

The air cleaner housing definitely has to be removed, and the drive belt has to be slid off the supercharger's pulley. Please see our other how-to articles for details on these procedures.

The max-clearance approach to supercharger removal involves draining the coolant and removing the right-side radiator hose; the fan shroud and fan also come off. (We have how-tos on those procedures.) Further, unbolting the engine mounts (please refer to that article) and raising the engine slightly gives the supercharger more breathing room in the engine compartment.

After watching a YouTube clip of a British mechanic remove the supercharger in a matter of minutes (TV magic?), we decided to attempt a minimalist approach. The upshot: It is possible to jockey an M62 supercharger out of an SLK230 Kompressor (engine 111.973) with the motormounts and fan/shroud still intact. However, the supercharger must be removed in three pieces, and the main compressor housing will scuff the inner fender as it's dragged out. If your car's engine mounts and/or coolant need to be replaced anyway, the "official" steps are probably preferable, particularly if you have a second set of hands available.

Total time might be comparable: disassembling the car versus disassembling the supercharger. In addition to possible paint scrapes, removing the supercharger in pieces can tear the gasket. Luckily, Pelican Parts offers replacements: #111-098-00-80-MBZ for the fiber housing gasket, #111-098-01-80-MBZ for the rubber intake gasket.

Normally, the supercharger doesn't need to be removed unless its bearings are whining. When the bearings wear excessively, the rotors develop excessive play, and their fins can chafe on the supercharger's housing. Rebuild parts are available, but the average SLK owner is likely better off replacing the supercharger at that point. Replacement prices range from a few hundred bucks for functional used superchargers to around $1,200-plus for warrantied rebuilt units. Also, factory-new Eaton models are still available (#111-090-10-80-MBZ) for slightly more than $2,700 from Pelican Parts.

When reinstalling the supercharger, the recommended procedure specifies tightening the two main lower bolts first. Torque spec for the supercharger bolts is 21 Nm.

First, the air cleaner housing must be removed.
Figure 1

First, the air cleaner housing must be removed. Next, the right-side serpentine belt has to come off (please refer to those articles). Lift the plastic cover off the cylinder head and unplug the supercharger's clutch (arrow).

Remove the two small hoses (blue arrows) between the supercharger and the secondary air injection valve (red arrow).
Figure 2

Remove the two small hoses (blue arrows) between the supercharger and the secondary air injection valve (red arrow).

The valve's main hose also needs to be removed from the supercharger (arrow).
Figure 3

The valve's main hose also needs to be removed from the supercharger (arrow). Next, the charge air cooler duct needs to be unclamped near the radiator's lower right corner.

The supercharger's four main mounting bolts have 13mm heads.
Figure 4

The supercharger's four main mounting bolts have 13mm heads. A ratcheting wrench (arrow) is handy for unbolting the one that's in front of the radiator hose.

A wobble joint and extensions are helpful for removing the upper rear bolt.
Figure 5

A wobble joint and extensions are helpful for removing the upper rear bolt.

Instead of draining the coolant and removing the fan assembly, we chose to disassemble the supercharger.
Figure 6

Instead of draining the coolant and removing the fan assembly, we chose to disassemble the supercharger. Its upper housing is attached to the main compressor with four bolts, one of which is in a recess (arrow).

The upper housing's two lower bolts are accessible (arrows).
Figure 7

The upper housing's two lower bolts are accessible (arrows).

The upper housing and inlet-housing bolt together (arrow).
Figure 8

The upper housing and inlet-housing bolt together (arrow). An E12 Torx bit is required here.

Once free, the upper housing can be shimmied out around the radiator hose.
Figure 9

Once free, the upper housing can be shimmied out around the radiator hose. If you're lucky, the gasket that mates it to the compressor housing (arrow) won't tear.

The inlet housing connects to the supercharger's tail end with four E12 Torx headed bolts.
Figure 10

The inlet housing connects to the supercharger's tail end with four E12 Torx headed bolts. They're underneath the inlet tube in approximately the 1:00, 5:00, 8:00, and 11:00 locations. The lower ones are more accessible from underneath, near the exhaust manifold. (Access is improved by removing the lower engine cover and right-side crossbrace, which is secured by two bolts having T55 Torx heads.) Then the supercharger's two lower mounting bolts can be unfastened. They're too long to remove in the car unless the engine is raised. In fact, they'll scrape a little fender paint as the supercharger is shimmied out of the car.

Replacement parts are readily available, as are complete brand-new and rebuilt superchargers.
Figure 11

Replacement parts are readily available, as are complete brand-new and rebuilt superchargers. This image shows the bolt locations.

If you choose to disassemble the supercharger instead of raising the engine, this image shows the approximate orientations of the four bolts that secure the inlet housing to the supercharger (arrows denote bolt holes in the supercharger).
Figure 12

If you choose to disassemble the supercharger instead of raising the engine, this image shows the approximate orientations of the four bolts that secure the inlet housing to the supercharger (arrows denote bolt holes in the supercharger). Reinstallation is the reverse of removal.

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Comments and Suggestions:
MiltonAyala Comments: Thank you for your time Nick.
November 12, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
MiltonAyala Comments: One last thing. I'm thinking of getting rid of the Kompressor for good, what things I need to configure to ger it runnig with no codes jumping. thanks again
November 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure you can do that. You would ahve to buy a normally aspirated engine along with all the electronics and control modules. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
MiltonAyala Comments: I need to replace the timing chain tensioner. The supercharger seems to be on the way, Just to make sure, do I have to disassemble it?
November 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If in the way, you would have to remove it from the engine. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Sia Comments: Any torque setting for supercharger/air intake?
October 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
I don’t have that info.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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