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Old 11-19-2010, 12:59 PM   #1
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Ceramic coating ?

if this question has been asked before sorry. I am looking for a good set of headers for my 10 SS M6 and with high flow cats. I am leaning toward a set with ceramic coating. The question is does this keep the heat down and dissipate it better after shutdown or is just a gimic? thoughts please
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:03 PM   #2
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gimmick/waste of money imho. makes the headers look worse over time. Unless your setup has a big concern with IAT's, I wouldn't bother.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:34 PM   #3
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i like stainless steel headers and had them ceramic coated.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by john468 View Post
I went through two sets of ceramic headers and they both rusted, better off with stainless check these out and the price is right.

Thanks for imput but I have to have Cats emission state great price for the above though
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:48 PM   #5
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Ceramic coating on exhaust aids in 2 ways, first, it retains the heat at a high even level inside the header tubes aiding in the flow and scavenging. And second, it keeps heat out of the engine compartment where it is your enemy as far as the intake air charge side. Hot air is less dense and contains less oxygen than cool air and the cooler the air charge the denser the air the more power produced. I the header tubes, if they cool to quickly it results in turbulence and has a negative effect on the effieciency of the gasses flowing through them.

As for looks, when they get dull, you can polish them back to a shine pretty effectively.

Maryland Speed has a good explanation in another thread on the subject.

Those that follow my tech advice know I am 90% concerned with function & performance and 10% looks, comes from 35 years of performance involvement.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:56 PM   #6

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I would do (and did) ceramic coating if nothing else but for looks. They probably do help with heat but that's not why I did mine. It's all about looks.

They will look like this for a long time. Having 304 stainless coated is different then old style headers being coated.

I have a set of Hooker Super Comps that are ceramic coated on my '69 Camaro that still look great after 11+ yrs of being on the car. No cracking or coming off or anything like that.

To me it's worth the extra $250. If you buy from someone like Maryland Speed it will only cost you about $150 or so for the upgrade. Call them to find out.
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:33 PM   #7
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I like to have some data to base these sorts of things on and in the back-to-back testing I've seen (ceramic coated versus stainless) there was not one degree of under hood temperature change on a street car. Ceramic coating also adds weight and is vulnerable to staining if you spill engine oil. Bare stainless can be easily cleaned.

Last edited by Apex Motorsports; 11-19-2010 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:55 PM   #8
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From Jet Hot's tech section. A little biased but the tech info is correct:

And this goes into the science behind it:

We saw this first hand in the race enines on the dyno. Wether it is enough to show gains on the avg bolt on L99 or LS3 I have not tested to see, but the same proncipals apply.

Now as for the heat, a simple infared heat gun will show if you have to of the same mod car, one with coated & one w/out you will see the heat reduction, and the LS based starters last longer as the uncoated sure shortens the life of them.

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Old 11-19-2010, 09:18 PM   #9

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Coating is not 100% necessary on a stainless header, but it is an added positive if you do decide to order them with it.

Is an uncoated stainless header going to be any hotter than cast iron manifolds..likely not. However will coated stainless headers be quite a bit cooler than uncoated headers or cast iron manifolds? You bet ya!

Coating is not going to show up on the dyno, however it will show up hot lapping at the track. I have hot lapped the crap out a car with coated headers before and been able to come back 15-20 minutes later and the header was cool enough I could touch it with my bare hand. That means under the hood cools down quicker, and you get more repeatable results at the track. Also coating makes you engine slightly more efficient. Because the header traps exhaust heat inside the header, the exhaust gas becomes more pressurized, and leaves the header faster. The faster the exhaust leaves the head, the easier your engine breathes. The common excuse I have heard from tuners of the years as a reason not buy coating is that a coated header reduces how much you can advance the timing vs. an uncoated one. This is a half true, a coated header does require less timing advance, but does not make less power.. This is because you advance timing to help correct an inefficiency. The coated headers make the exhaust gas flow better, making the fuel burn quicker and more efficient, so less timing advance is needed to make the same power.

As for durability, coated headers are very durable. Failures are rare, and when they do happen, are almost always due to the car being run lean (normally during tuning process). You can tell this because the coating discolors around the flange where the primaries bolt on to the engine. The coating does its final curing the first time you run the car, and all the headers we send out have instructions from the coater that say to either drive the car for 20 minutes at highway speeds, or let the car idle for that long with fans running under the car. A common mistake I see is to install the headers, and roll the car on the dyno and start tuning. This is the worst thing to do because the car is not tuned right, and the dyno is the hottest your car will ever be.

As for coatings, I recommend to most of my customer to our polished silver coating by Jet Hot or Enduracool. These are very durable coatings that are cleanable, and will last as long as you have the car with proper maintenance. With coating, you have to understand first off the basic idea, which is to bake ceramic power on your header. It is, in the simplest terms, pottery baked on your header. The coating companies mix in different things to give it a desirable appearance. For instance, the colored coatings (black, blue, gray), all have different resins mixed in. These coatings work good, but in terms of appearance they are the least forgiving. If you over heat a colored header, you burn the resin, and it wil create a discolored spot where the resin was damaged. These coatings can also be stained by fluids. With the silver coatings I recommend above, they mix in silver and aluminum powder, and then after the header is baked, they polish it. This gives the header what I call a 7/8ths chrome appearance. It looks like chrome from a distance, but when you get close, it has orange peel to it. This coating looks good on anything, is wipe able, and best of all can be polished back to a shiny finish. When you over heat a silver header, it will normally only lose some luster, which can be restored by simply polishing the header.

From a business stand point coating is a pain in the butt, so I can understand why places may not be a fan of it. You really don't make money on it, and a lot of times you have customers calling, asking when it will be done in the 2-3 weeks the process of coating a header takes. It is easier to just sell the customer an uncoated header, and be done with it. As for what customers choose, I personally am ambivalent at this point. As stated, a coated header is a bit more work on the business if you want uncoated, I am not going to push you. It's less work for me, and to your average customer is not going to notice a performance difference driving the car (kind of like most cold air intakes, haha). The flip side is, I offer coating, and personally recommend it because I do believe it works, and ensures you will get every bit of performance out of your expensive header purchase. Every GM LSX I have ever owned, has had coated headers on it because I have seen how fast the headers cool down..and simple common sense tells you that anytime you can cool down something mechanical, that is a positive.

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Last edited by MarylandSpeed; 11-19-2010 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:52 PM   #10
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Excelent write up!! I always like quoted facts rather than mixed opinions. Very good explanation & I can't disagree with any of it.
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Old 11-20-2010, 02:16 PM   #11

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Get the ceramic coating for sure. With uncoated s/s headers you can really feel the heat radiating off the header pipes. With ceramic dipped (coated inside and out) you feel MUCH less heat from them This alone can eliminate most of the heat related problems with headers, i.e. melted wiring, roasted starters etc.
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:36 PM   #12
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I was first hand witness to a test set of headers debating the merits of this. 1&3 tubes were coated, 2&4 were not. 1&3 ran at around 650 surface temp while 2&4 were over 900 on the IR gun. I was sold instantly. I dont have ceramic headers because of the cost, but they're certainly awesome. More heat in the exhaust is a good thing, and less heat on the tube is also a good thing. It's a win/win
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