Author Topic: 6.9 cylinder heads, USA vs ROW  (Read 268 times)


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6.9 cylinder heads, USA vs ROW
« on: 21 October 2019, 09:47 AM »
In another thread Daniel asked about the differences.  See pix below.  I'd summarize them thusly:

Both heads have a long plenum running along the side of the head.  It's visible in a couple of the pix.  In the USA version, however, on the right head there's a bore connecting the plenum to the EGR valve (at least I think it's the EGR valve). Further, on both sides there are small bores connecting the plenum to the respective exhaust chambers.  Note the wire in the last 2 pics.  The euro head lacks these bores.

The plenum also connects to an outlet in the middle of the head (pic '2 port 2') on both left and right heads for both USA and euro heads.  This feeds to the intake manifold.  Where it goes from there I don't know.  In the euro head this doesn't seem to actually feed anything based on the junk inside the intake manifold - but I could be wrong, I didn't try to trace it on the intake manifold cause I'd have to take a lot of stuff apart. 

Hope this was what you're looking for, feel free to shoot me questions if you want more clarification or pix.  Cheers,
Now:  '76 6.9 Euro
Before that:  1966 230S, 1964 220SE coupe, 1977 Carrera 3.0


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Re: 6.9 cylinder heads, USA vs ROW
« Reply #1 on: 21 October 2019, 11:54 AM »
Thanks Dave nice pics  :)
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber


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Re: 6.9 cylinder heads, USA vs ROW
« Reply #2 on: 21 October 2019, 12:52 PM »
That port on the right cylinder head for the U.S. models is for the secondary air injection (smog pump).  It goes up through the upper plenum on the intake manifold and then to the exhaust ports.  There are bores drilled into the U.S. heads that allow this extra air to enter the combustion chamber on the exhaust stroke.  The process worked, but was pretty barbaric in how it worked......the smog pump basically displaced all of the un-burned hydrocarbons in the exhaust in order to pass period emissions standards.  Their argument was that the extra air fed more oxygen to the catalyst causing it to become internally hotter to further burn the un-burned hydrocarbons.  That's how it was originally supposed to work, and that's how smog pumps work now.  However, not in the case of Mercedes.  It worked, but not the way it was intended to. 

The biggest issue with this set up is that the bores in the cylinder heads eventually clog up.....completely......with carbon, and the system is of zero use at that point.....which is why they eventually fail emissions testing.  The remedy is to remove the intake manifold to clean the bores in the heads. 

The EGR system you make mention of is a completely different system.  The pipe coming from the EGR valve connects to the lower intake manifold plenum.  Again, this pipe, where it connects to the intake manifold, loves to clog up with carbon......which makes the EGR system of no use....but that's not a bad thing.  Recycling exhaust gasses for combustion is hazardous to the engine in the long term. 
1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1976 280s astral silver/blue MB Tex
1978 450sel 6.9 Euro, Anthr/velour

TJ 450

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Re: 6.9 cylinder heads, USA vs ROW
« Reply #3 on: 21 October 2019, 05:51 PM »
The smog pump is also on Australian cars, just without the catalyst.

There are small plugs on the intake side for accessing the passages, although it's usually rock solid carbon as UTn_boy has said. You'd have a hard time unblocking it without removing the head(s).

Like current VWs, it was only ever on there to pass tests at the time. Haha.

1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394
2003 ML500