Is Header coating worth the expense

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Post  blown473 on February 8th 2014, 2:28 pm

The high heat from my supercharger exhaust temps has dulled the silver, but it still looks really good, and the insides still look good. It's not bright like chrome, but not completely flat silver either, just dull shine. I can't complain they have given me good service.

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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  jasonf on February 8th 2014, 10:46 pm

My tbucket headers were originally Sanderson coated and they looked like crap in a few years. I have heard similar things about Sanderson headers from others as well. I had them re-done by Nitroplate and what a disaster that was. It took them three tries and 3 months because they are flat out stupid over there. It has been several years and they are starting to look like crap now as well. The aluminum in the coating oxidizes just like an aluminum boat will. It also makes water spots like crazy. I have heard you can polish them but have not tried myself.

If it weren't for the fact my headers are out for everyone to see, after 2 sets I would never put silver headers on any chassis car unless you don't plan on driving it. I'm sure in a race car environment they would last a lot longer but for a street car I have not had good experiences at all. I will do a solid color on my 56 headers when the time comes. Another thing I would like to try on the next set is to weld up the section where all the tubes come together at the collector (on the top and sides). No matter how good the coating they can not get in there and within months they start rusting in between the tubes and it stands out like a sore thumb. Also, make sure you have bungs welded in before even if you are not using them now. You never know when you may want to add a wide band sensor or something.

Here is an example on how water oxidizes the coating. This is what I received on my SECOND try from Nitroplate.


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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  supervel45 on February 9th 2014, 12:03 am

Been there done that with chrome too. When I had the 6-71 they would glow by the heads at night at idle. I don't know how stainless steel would hold up to the heat, but I would think they could be polished out, at least, if you wanted the chrome/silver look. On the JetHot it would seem if they are polished, it would make the coating thinner, and maybe why they do not recomend it on extreme applications? The NASA coating Randy mentioned does sound appealing, if you are after the functional aspects versus looks. It was mentioned about coatings not getting in the cracks and depressions, and there is some truth to that also. I think alot has to do with how the surface is prepped, but even with a perfect prep it is still a problem sometimes, with any plated/coated object.

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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  dr's wife racing on February 9th 2014, 12:19 pm

I had jet hot almost chrome on my fox body headers for eight yrs. It was a race car not street but the on y place where the coating was coming off was where the headers had bounced off the race track. I sprayed enough NOS to put a small village to sleep. The headers I have now have only a little run time on them the are the chrome colored coating from nitro plate. The are fine so far. I know some guys have had qualitly issues with them. Once you have a coated set you will not want a set of uncoated one's.
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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  GTmustang on February 9th 2014, 1:06 pm

dr's wife racing wrote:I had jet hot almost chrome on my fox body headers for eight yrs. It was a race car not street but the on y place where  the coating was coming off was where the headers had bounced off the race track. I sprayed enough NOS to put a small village to sleep.  The headers I have now have only a little run time on them the are the chrome colored coating from nitro plate. The are fine so far. I know some guys have had qualitly issues with them. Once you have a coated set you will not want a set of uncoated one's.

My last set of headers were coated with the chrome look ceramic, they had only minimal street use and about a half dozen 1/4 mile passes during the 3 years that they were on my car. They still looked pretty good, but when I removed them the last time, you could see where they had dulled down in the first 6-8" from the head. I really like the almost chrome look, but I think I'm going to go with
QC Coatings "Black" ceramic which is rated to 1800 deg and contains no aluminum to cause dulling. Hopefully it will stay looking "like new" for a long time. My custom headers were a big investment that definitely needs a quality ceramic to protect them from both corrosion and heat damage, and to look good while doing it!
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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  LivermoreDave on February 9th 2014, 1:44 pm

Wheelie58 wrote:Coating the inside and outside of the headers increases the lifespan of the tubes for sure.
I remember starting my car with uncoated headers after sitting for 2 months in the winter and having lots of rusty crap all over the floor that came out of the headers. With coated ones...that doesn't happen any more.
There are lots of good coating vendors. Mine were done at Performance Coatings in Jonesboro, GA.
Keith

During one of the WTS Jon Kaase spoke about rusty headers. How rusty headers could damage the engine during an initial startup. Seems during camshaft overlap the rust could be pulled into the cylinder and in the case Jon spoke of, damaged the rings!

Dave.

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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  dr's wife racing on February 9th 2014, 2:30 pm

I agree the finish had dulled down on mine to. I considered it normal wear and tear. The finish waas in tact and not coming off.
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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  GTmustang on February 9th 2014, 2:46 pm

dr's wife racing wrote:I agree the finish had dulled down on mine to. I considered it normal wear and tear. The finish waas in tact and not coming off.
My coating had good adhesion also, but you could definitely se that it had degraded. Nitroplate told me that it happens when the exhaust temp approaches the melting point of the aluminum powder used in the silver ceramic around 1100-1300. I would prefer the silver finish, but I'm hoping that the black ceramic will stay looking new longer. Nitroplate puts their color finish over the top of a coat of the silver, to me it seems that if the aluminum in the silver coat starts to melt it would effect the color over the top! I'm going to talk to QC Coatings and get a quote on Monday. From their website it sounds that they use a black ceramic coating good for 1800 deg and don't have to coat it over the silver. It sounds like that would offer the best long term life.
Gary

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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  TravisRice on February 9th 2014, 9:05 pm

jasonf wrote:My tbucket headers were originally Sanderson coated and they looked like crap in a few years. I have heard similar things about Sanderson headers from others as well. I had them re-done by Nitroplate and what a disaster that was. It took them three tries and 3 months because they are flat out stupid over there. It has been several years and they are starting to look like crap now as well. The aluminum in the coating oxidizes just like an aluminum boat will. It also makes water spots like crazy. I have heard you can polish them but have not tried myself. [/b]

Here is an example on how water oxidizes the coating. This is what I received on my SECOND try from Nitroplate.




Simple Mothers hand rub polish works well. Although I recently bought some aluminum polish that is the berry's. It is sold at Advance Auto and is called White Lightning. It is a bit pricy but I have never seen anything remove water stains off of my bare aluminum wheels like this before. You have to rub a little but not nothing like Mothers. It is a water like liquid that seperates in the bottle, white milky looking on the bottom and clear liquid on the top, have to keep shaking while using it. I have not tried it on the coated headers yet but I really see no reason why it would not work.

As far as the coating becoming dull off the head out 6"-8" that is commonly associated with a lean issue.

The Jet-Hot coated headers that you could buy through Summit and Jegs used to come with a paperwork ( 10 years ago) that also detailed how to care for the coating. It stated how you could use the mothers polish to brighten and protect the coating and that it should be performed atleast once a year. Also it detailed if you parked your car over concrete for long periods of time that a few layers newspaper under the engine on the concrete floor would keep the headers from oxidizing and or pitting. I would think your turn down extensions would polish up pretty easily Jason, maybe even sealing them up a little to prevent such harsh tarnishing.













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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  GTmustang on February 10th 2014, 4:00 pm

Well I shipped my headers out to Q.C. Coatings in Utica MI today to have their high luster silver ceramic coating put on them! I considered having the 1800 deg matte black coating applied, but decided to take my chances on the silver coating. It should really brighten up my engine compartment and preserve my headers at the same time. Hopefully they stay looking good for a long time. Thanks to everyone that offered their opinions and insights.
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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  NO FAIR on February 15th 2014, 3:19 pm

I had Performance Coatings do mine and they look great I think it was $400. I have a friend who does circle track racing and on his coated headers he used a product called "Header Chit" and he said it makes the headers look brand new. Also if the headers are individual tube with slip on collectors I would recommend using an anti seize product on the collector (copper kote or ARP assembly lube) or they will be horrible to pull off later.
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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  bbf-falcon on February 15th 2014, 7:32 pm

I agree,i used the copper based antiseize on the ones I had on the Maverick and they slipped on/off very easy.

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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  jasonf on February 15th 2014, 9:36 pm

I've never heard of it before but after a quick search here is the Header Chit in case anyone is curious. I can't find any info about it on their site though..  Arrow 
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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  Copperhead on February 17th 2014, 2:29 pm

LivermoreDave wrote:
Wheelie58 wrote:Coating the inside and outside of the headers increases the lifespan of the tubes for sure.
I remember starting my car with uncoated headers after sitting for 2 months in the winter and having lots of rusty crap all over the floor that came out of the headers. With coated ones...that doesn't happen any more.
There are lots of good coating vendors. Mine were done at Performance Coatings in Jonesboro, GA.
Keith

During one of the WTS Jon Kaase spoke about rusty headers. How rusty headers could damage the engine during an initial startup. Seems during camshaft overlap the rust could be pulled into the cylinder and in the case Jon spoke of, damaged the rings!

Dave.
 
Dave,
 
If you don't mind,...Next time you see Jet-Boat Bob, remind that even though my headers look good on the outside,.....they're rusty as shit on the inside. I'd hate for any of that rust to get sucked into the cylinders when he dynos my 598.
 
I'm going to have them re-coated before I run my truck, but for dyno purposes, they'll have to be blown out with an air-hose real good prior to using them.
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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  bbf-falcon on February 17th 2014, 6:44 pm

I have a header tube cleaner that I made a few years back that works really good.I took a 3/8 steel cable and welded a round wire brush to the end of it.You will need a varable speed drill so when you get to the upper side of the tube you can go a lot slower.

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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  GTmustang on February 18th 2014, 5:18 pm

Got my headers back from getting ceramic coated at Q C Coatings and they look fantastic. They will probably lose some shine over time, but they still will probably look better than black! I highly recommend Q C Coatings in Utica MI to anyone, the price was right ($275+ shipping) and I got them back in a week!
                                                                                                Gary" />

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Re: Is Header coating worth the expense

Post  TravisRice on February 18th 2014, 8:24 pm

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Bill does great work. You can get an even better price by sending more stuff usually. I sent 2 sets and they ended up being $250 ea and the quality is second to none. I opened my personal ones up and glanced at them, very nice as usual. Another good plug for QC Coatings.

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