The dimerization energies of two M2+ to give M42+ (M = S, Se) were calcd. They depend strongly on the size of the basis set and the correlation method used (ranging from 217 to 522 kJ/mol, M = S) and, therefore, a systematic study of basis set and correlation effects was performed [MP2, MP3, MP4(SDQ), CCSD, CCSD(T)]. The introduction of a second set of polarizing d-functions caused a significant redn. of the dimerization energies, but neither of the above limits is reached by the MPn (n = 2, 3, 4) theory, even with the largest basis sets [cc-pVQZ]. However, convergence was achieved by CCSD(T), compd. methods or hybrid HF/DFT calcns. employing flexible basis sets [e.g., CCSD(T)/cc-pV5Z, CBS-Q or B3PW91/6-311+G(3df)] and revealed an av. dimerization energy of 261 (199) kJ/mol for sulfur (selenium), DrH298 (2S2+ -> S42+) is 257 kJ/mol. In the selenium system the dependence on basis set and correlated method was less pronounced. [on SciFinder (R)]