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Camaro V8 LS3 / L99 Engine, Exhaust, and Bolt-Ons Bolt-Ons | Intakes | Exhaust

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Old 05-06-2010, 01:03 AM   #1
adub4185
 
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header ceramic coating

For those with ceramic coated headers, I have a question for you guys. Have you had any problems with the coating thus far? Any cracking, degredation, or any signs that it is burning off? I will be doing Kooks LT's in the near future and am debating having them coated as I have heard mixed things. I for one think that the ceramic coating would be an added benefit to keeping temperatures lower in the engine compartment, plus coated headers look really nice. I would think if the coating was applied properly that it would probably last as long as the headers would, but I was told that it will eventually burn away and would not really have any positive effect on performance. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated and thanks in advance.
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:58 AM   #2
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The coating we do is all supercharged grade..and has a warranty against cracking, peeling, and all. It is durable enough that many tractor trailor companies are now using it on their smoke stacks since chrome is becoming an environmental no no. The coating itself is ceramic powder (think pottery) baked on the header. They then mix in silver and aluminum power and polish it to give it the chrome like appearance. The limiting factory on the coating is not how hot it can get before it fails..but more how much heat the silver power can take. For instance with extreme sterling silver we do on most headers, the coating is rated to 1700 degrees because that is where the aluminum in the coating starts to discolor. Even though the aluminum, which is just there for appearance is discolored, the coating itself can still do it's job for several hundred degrees higher. This is all kind of mute because the 1700 degree extreme sterling silver coating we sell is overkill for most cars. If your engine gets hot enough to damage the coating, you have worse issues to worry about than header coating.

That being said, the only issue I have seen (very rare) is the silver coating loses it's luster and turns a matte silver on the bends where there header primarys connect to the flange. This is normally the result of being run really lean at some point. One thing most people do not know is the coating does it's final curing during the first 20 minutes it run on the car. Basically, they cook it on at 400 degrees at the coater, and then when you first run the car, it gets to 700 or so degrees and does the final curing. Normally it is recommended that after you install coated headers you either run it down the highway for 20 minutes, or let it idle with fans over the engine for 20 minutes so the coating has consistant tempature to do it's final cure. The worst thing you can do is install headers and immidiatly throw the car on the dyno..this kind of shocks the coating and does not let it cure properly. The dyno is normally the hottest your car will ever get since it is going full blast, and because of the new headers is likely runing lean.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarylandSpeed View Post
The coating we do is all supercharged grade..and has a warranty against cracking, peeling, and all. It is durable enough that many tractor trailor companies are now using it on their smoke stacks since chrome is becoming an environmental no no. The coating itself is ceramic powder (think pottery) baked on the header. They then mix in silver and aluminum power and polish it to give it the chrome like appearance. The limiting factory on the coating is not how hot it can get before it fails..but more how much heat the silver power can take. For instance with extreme sterling silver we do on most headers, the coating is rated to 1700 degrees because that is where the aluminum in the coating starts to discolor. Even though the aluminum, which is just there for appearance is discolored, the coating itself can still do it's job for several hundred degrees higher. This is all kind of mute because the 1700 degree extreme sterling silver coating we sell is overkill for most cars. If your engine gets hot enough to damage the coating, you have worse issues to worry about than header coating.

That being said, the only issue I have seen (very rare) is the silver coating loses it's luster and turns a matte silver on the bends where there header primarys connect to the flange. This is normally the result of being run really lean at some point. One thing most people do not know is the coating does it's final curing during the first 20 minutes it run on the car. Basically, they cook it on at 400 degrees at the coater, and then when you first run the car, it gets to 700 or so degrees and does the final curing. Normally it is recommended that after you install coated headers you either run it down the highway for 20 minutes, or let it idle with fans over the engine for 20 minutes so the coating has consistant tempature to do it's final cure. The worst thing you can do is install headers and immidiatly throw the car on the dyno..this kind of shocks the coating and does not let it cure properly. The dyno is normally the hottest your car will ever get since it is going full blast, and because of the new headers is likely runing lean.
Good info....didn't know about the curing piece. I'll have to keep that in mind.

I will be doing the coating if nothing else but for looks. I've had ceramic Hooker Super Comps on my '69 for about 10yrs now and they look as good as the day I put them on. Now grant it I've probably only put 5k miles on it in that time frame but I think they'll hold up in the long run.

I say do it.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarylandSpeed View Post
The coating we do is all supercharged grade..and has a warranty against cracking, peeling, and all. It is durable enough that many tractor trailor companies are now using it on their smoke stacks since chrome is becoming an environmental no no. The coating itself is ceramic powder (think pottery) baked on the header. They then mix in silver and aluminum power and polish it to give it the chrome like appearance. The limiting factory on the coating is not how hot it can get before it fails..but more how much heat the silver power can take. For instance with extreme sterling silver we do on most headers, the coating is rated to 1700 degrees because that is where the aluminum in the coating starts to discolor. Even though the aluminum, which is just there for appearance is discolored, the coating itself can still do it's job for several hundred degrees higher. This is all kind of mute because the 1700 degree extreme sterling silver coating we sell is overkill for most cars. If your engine gets hot enough to damage the coating, you have worse issues to worry about than header coating.



That being said, the only issue I have seen (very rare) is the silver coating loses it's luster and turns a matte silver on the bends where there header primarys connect to the flange. This is normally the result of being run really lean at some point. One thing most people do not know is the coating does it's final curing during the first 20 minutes it run on the car. Basically, they cook it on at 400 degrees at the coater, and then when you first run the car, it gets to 700 or so degrees and does the final curing. Normally it is recommended that after you install coated headers you either run it down the highway for 20 minutes, or let it idle with fans over the engine for 20 minutes so the coating has consistant tempature to do it's final cure. The worst thing you can do is install headers and immidiatly throw the car on the dyno..this kind of shocks the coating and does not let it cure properly. The dyno is normally the hottest your car will ever get since it is going full blast, and because of the new headers is likely runing lean.
So.....what really happens to the coating if a high-performance shop is performing a Kooks ceramic header install (etc) with tune on a dyno, since this is the worst?????
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:59 AM   #5
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I coated my Trailblazer SS headers 3 years ago. 37,000 miles on it and my daily driver. Still look impressive. Not quite as shiny but clean. Also coated my Camaro headers and mid pipes. Looking like new. I believe it helps retain some heat in the exhaust pipe rather than emitting it into the engine compartment. Can only help and not hurt.

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Old 05-06-2010, 10:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smirnoff View Post
So.....what really happens to the coating if a high-performance shop is performing a Kooks ceramic header install (etc) with tune on a dyno, since this is the worst?????
You need to make sure they do the curing process and let the car run down the road, or at idle for about 20 minutes before dyno testing. Also if at all possible avoid doing dyno runs when the car is running very lean. A lean exhaust run makes uncoated headers glow for a reason.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:57 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info! It is much appreciated. I will for sure get my headers coated and make sure the shop that installs them does it as you have directed.
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:50 AM   #8
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Not promoting but as far as coatings go I would go with "jet hot" with all my previous vehicles no rust, just pretty bluing after heatup and break in and i kept the bay heat down. No luck with ceramic coatings all that I have come across with time have flaked and burnt up exposing the metal to deterioration and weakened weld points resulting in blow outs. Just my 2 cents
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