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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Header Coating

Just bought a set a JBA LT headers. I'm going to get them coated locally and wanted to hear some opinions on color. Right now I'm lookin at either thermachrome or satin black. What you guys think??

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 07:45 AM
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 09:11 AM
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I got mine "sterling silver jethot 2100 degree dip coated" (instead of spray coated, dip coated means the entire header goes into the dip tank so the entire inside and the entire outside is coated, unlike spray paint coated where they can only get a few inches inside the primaries).

Mine still look to be in great condition with no flaking or problems with the coating. You can tell there has been plenty of heat cycles in the 35k miles I've had these headers for, but through rain, snow, salt, sleet, hail, you name it, my daily driver sees it all. This coating has stood up to some of the harshest of environments here in the northeast, and if I were to do it all over again, I'd get the exact same thing.

EDIT: Sorry, might have misread your intent, but I wanted to endorse the JetHot system if it's available to you. Do you have any pictures of your "themachrome" or "satin black" that you can post up in this thread to get some additional input?


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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 09:45 AM
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+1 on the JetHot coating
I used them in my MGBGT V8 conversion where engine bay space was limited.
Kept temps down and always looked like new. Coating inside and out is well worth it.

things are not as they appear to be.........

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys! I'm not sure if they spray or dip where I'm getting them done, or if they use the Jethot system or not. I will get more info. I have talked to a guy that had his done there and he was reall happy with the work.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 11:02 AM
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Just bought a set a JBA LT headers. I'm going to get them coated locally and wanted to hear some opinions on color. Right now I'm lookin at either thermachrome or satin black. What you guys think??
So long as they are long tube and you are not running a supercharger, it comes down to which color you prefer. Traditional bright ceramic will not hold up to most SC or turbo applications and it doesn't tend to do well in "shorty" applications either.

Also, the black finish will last longer without dulling or discoloration, but the bright will likely be a bit cooler under hood. To keep it bright and shiny you should also put some non abrasive aluminum polish on them at least once a season.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 11:04 AM
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I got mine "sterling silver jethot 2100 degree dip coated" (instead of spray coated, dip coated means the entire header goes into the dip tank so the entire inside and the entire outside is coated, unlike spray paint coated where they can only get a few inches inside the primaries).

Mine still look to be in great condition with no flaking or problems with the coating. You can tell there has been plenty of heat cycles in the 35k miles I've had these headers for, but through rain, snow, salt, sleet, hail, you name it, my daily driver sees it all. This coating has stood up to some of the harshest of environments here in the northeast, and if I were to do it all over again, I'd get the exact same thing.

EDIT: Sorry, might have misread your intent, but I wanted to endorse the JetHot system if it's available to you. Do you have any pictures of your "themachrome" or "satin black" that you can post up in this thread to get some additional input?
Jet hot told actually told you they "dipped" a bright ceramic on your headers?
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 11:05 AM
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We use Airborn now, and they have special tools to coat inside the header with a sprayer. I am not sure how dip coating would work, as the coating eventually would have to drain out the header in some way. One would think that would create an uneven coating application inside.

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Originally Posted by zepcom View Post
I got mine "sterling silver jethot 2100 degree dip coated" (instead of spray coated, dip coated means the entire header goes into the dip tank so the entire inside and the entire outside is coated, unlike spray paint coated where they can only get a few inches inside the primaries).

Mine still look to be in great condition with no flaking or problems with the coating. You can tell there has been plenty of heat cycles in the 35k miles I've had these headers for, but through rain, snow, salt, sleet, hail, you name it, my daily driver sees it all. This coating has stood up to some of the harshest of environments here in the northeast, and if I were to do it all over again, I'd get the exact same thing.

EDIT: Sorry, might have misread your intent, but I wanted to endorse the JetHot system if it's available to you. Do you have any pictures of your "themachrome" or "satin black" that you can post up in this thread to get some additional input?

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 11:42 AM
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We use Airborn now, and they have special tools to coat inside the header with a sprayer. I am not sure how dip coating would work, as the coating eventually would have to drain out the header in some way. One would think that would create an uneven coating application inside.
Exactly. The first problem is that bright ceramic has a very specific material thickness in which it has to be applied. If its applied too thin you'll have porosity and polishing issues. Worse yet, if it's applied too thick you'll get runs and a very orange peeled finish. Also, any "runs" are VERY prone to delamination in either the baking stage or the polishing stage.

On the subject of ID coatings, its "Buyer Beware"....Any coater can promise you the moon by telling you they coat the inside of your headers to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and unfortunately MANY do. Jet Hot has been blowing sunshine up peoples butts for years throughout their many owners and long before their recent 900 million dollar bankruptcy. The truth of the matter is this, if your coater is spraying bright ceramic on the ID of your headers, it will look nice and pretty when they arrive but its unlikely it will remain there for long. The reason for this is that ALL bright ceramics are water based materials and require an almost surgical preparation process in order for them to adhere to an easily accessible exterior surface. Now try and prepare a complex interior surface that only measures between 1-5/8 and 2-1/2 inch that you CAN'T see..... This level of preparation generally can not be done in most headers. So even if someone "actually" goes through the process of spraying the complete interior surface and again I say this lightly as most don't even spray the whole interior, the chances of survival are slim for a bright ceramic. Some are better than others, but none are perfect.

There are in fact other ceramics that are much better suited for ID applications but they require additional spraying and baking procedures which require additional cost, so you rarely here about them or are even offered them..... If you ever get the opportunity to cut apart a header that was "coated on the inside" feel free to do so. You'll be enlightened.....
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 12:00 PM
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Well, that's news to me. Thank you for clarifying! Learn something new every day. Sorry for the misinformation, I was under the impression that that was the procedure that was used when I learned about the options available at the time.


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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Now thats the kind of insight I was looking for CCP. What colors hold up better in certain applications and such. Froms what you have said I think the satin black will work the best for me. I'm not all about the bright and shiny anyway and my car has satin black accents. I will still check what brand materials they are using and how they apply them and post what I find.
Thanks again everyone for all the input.

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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powdercoatingunlimited.com/ceramic.html

Found a link to there site.

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Last edited by Perhaps; 01-29-2013 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Removed non supporting vendor link.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 12:44 PM
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I'd go for a "Silver" or "Chrome" style look rather then black. It's nice to see what you got every time you open the hood!




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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CCPcoatingscom View Post
Exactly. The first problem is that bright ceramic has a very specific material thickness in which it has to be applied. If its applied too thin you'll have porosity and polishing issues. Worse yet, if it's applied too thick you'll get runs and a very orange peeled finish. Also, any "runs" are VERY prone to delamination in either the baking stage or the polishing stage.

On the subject of ID coatings, its "Buyer Beware"....Any coater can promise you the moon by telling you they coat the inside of your headers to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and unfortunately MANY do. Jet Hot has been blowing sunshine up peoples butts for years throughout their many owners and long before their recent 900 million dollar bankruptcy. The truth of the matter is this, if your coater is spraying bright ceramic on the ID of your headers, it will look nice and pretty when they arrive but its unlikely it will remain there for long. The reason for this is that ALL bright ceramics are water based materials and require an almost surgical preparation process in order for them to adhere to an easily accessible exterior surface. Now try and prepare a complex interior surface that only measures between 1-5/8 and 2-1/2 inch that you CAN'T see..... This level of preparation generally can not be done in most headers. So even if someone "actually" goes through the process of spraying the complete interior surface and again I say this lightly as most don't even spray the whole interior, the chances of survival are slim for a bright ceramic. Some are better than others, but none are perfect.

There are in fact other ceramics that are much better suited for ID applications but they require additional spraying and baking procedures which require additional cost, so you rarely here about them or are even offered them..... If you ever get the opportunity to cut apart a header that was "coated on the inside" feel free to do so. You'll be enlightened.....
I had my Pacesetters coated inside and outside by a local company here in Southern Cali called Embee coating performance, the inside wasn't bright, and when i asked them about it, they said something like the coating they use is different for the inside because of how the material sticks to headers, and how it's supposed to remain in there under high temps. I had mine coated black ceramic outside, and inside was orange, kind of flat, and supposedly rated at a higher temp, 2300F, vs the 1600F for the outside. They do coating for NHRA , and for most of the local Baja racing teams around here, besides some contracts for military grade equipment. They're a little more expensive, but i guess well worth the money based on the job they do and their customer satisfaction around tuning/pro racing shops.

Btw op, satin black looks freaking good under the hood, and it's different than the std shinny headers everyone has. i'd say satin black for the win

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 01:09 PM
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Well, that's news to me. Thank you for clarifying! Learn something new every day. Sorry for the misinformation, I was under the impression that that was the procedure that was used when I learned about the options available at the time.
No problem. That's not unusual. Although they are completely different, many shops and customers alike use "sprayed" and "dipped" interchangeably. There may be a rebel here or there that actually dips a thermal base coat, but dipping a complex header in bright ceramic is a recipe for disaster.

Another common misconception involves powder coating and ceramic coating. They are completely different operations. Currently, there is NO such animal as a "ceramic powder coating". Although there are high temp powders, they do NOT include any ceramic and they are really designed for limited temp industrial applications as opposed to motorsports applications. If a coated wants to coat your headers in powder, run away as fast as possible.

Ceramic coatings for the purposes of this discussion are predominately wet sprayed materials which are water based or solvent based. They are also available as a plasma spray which is derived from an industrial environment as well. This process offers some durability advantages with regards to abrasion but is limited to OD only applications and isn't offered in any colors..
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 01:16 PM
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I had my Pacesetters coated inside and outside by a local company here in Southern Cali called Embee coating performance, the inside wasn't bright, and when i asked them about it, they said something like the coating they use is different for the inside because of how the material sticks to headers, and how it's supposed to remain in there under high temps. I had mine coated black ceramic outside, and inside was orange, kind of flat, and supposedly rated at a higher temp, 2300F, vs the 1600F for the outside. They do coating for NHRA , and for most of the local Baja racing teams around here, besides some contracts for military grade equipment. They're a little more expensive, but i guess well worth the money based on the job they do and their customer satisfaction around tuning/pro racing shops.

Btw op, satin black looks freaking good under the hood, and it's different than the std shinny headers everyone has. i'd say satin black for the win
I agree, black looks pretty sweet in many applications. This is a bit more extreme than Xeqshnr's application at about 4000hp, but you get the idea.





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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 01:21 PM
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Wow, that's an awesome response from both bluegoat06 and CCP, this is a great thread.

I was told by my tuning company that they usually discouraged any type of coating since it was more prone to cracking, chipping, and looking bad after a while. I have not had any of those results with my headers.

While I'm not against the purplish-blue coloring of an uncoated header, I would really love to see some of the fine examples of satin black under the hood of a g8, that has me intrigued.

At least these headers we're discussing are not plastidipped, ha ha ha!


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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 01:37 PM
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Wow, that's an awesome response from both bluegoat06 and CCP, this is a great thread.

I was told by my tuning company that they usually discouraged any type of coating since it was more prone to cracking, chipping, and looking bad after a while. I have not had any of those results with my headers.

While I'm not against the purplish-blue coloring of an uncoated header, I would really love to see some of the fine examples of satin black under the hood of a g8, that has me intrigued.

At least these headers we're discussing are not plastidipped, ha ha ha!

I think what they were referring to was with regards to "tuning". You NEVER want to fire up a new engine or dyno an engine with bright ceramic headers. Doing so will in most cases lead to severe dulling of the finish, or in extreme conditions actual delamination of the coating (see below). You always want to do this with an old set or if you have a High Temp Ceramic it doesn't matter. Once the coating has been over heated it's surface becomes porous and rusting is not to far behind it.

Keep in mind that both "too lean" and "too rich" conditions are equally bad. A lean condition will lead to dulling from the head to about mid primary. Slight dulling is normal in most applications. A too rich conditions will lead to dulling from mid primary to about the collector as raw gasses are burning after the fact.

Fresh Headers after about 5 minutes of a lean start




Unlucky Jet Hot customer not told that bright won't work on a turbo header


Over heated pipes prior to delamination above.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Your right Zepcom this is an awesome thread. Great info for anyone looking to get their headers coated.
That being said I have an intake on my '78 T/A thats Jethot coated bright silver and looks great after 10yrs. But now I know the same coating on a header will require a little more maintenance I would rather do the satin black. IMHO good clean satin black can take the place of chrome anyday.

And CCP, what you talkin bout not as extreme?? My engine looks just like that under the cover! Lol

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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 04:41 PM
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Your right Zepcom this is an awesome thread. Great info for anyone looking to get their headers coated.
That being said I have an intake on my '78 T/A thats Jethot coated bright silver and looks great after 10yrs. But now I know the same coating on a header will require a little more maintenance I would rather do the satin black. IMHO good clean satin black can take the place of chrome anyday.

And CCP, what you talkin bout not as extreme?? My engine looks just like that under the cover! Lol

LOL, my bad. You're probably right. I'm sure yours is nearly identical to the worlds fastest 10.5 shoot out car. PLUS, I bet you have multiple cigarette lighter outlets that actually work and a glove box that isn't hindered by that pesky 5" inter-cooler tubing running through it.
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