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Old 11-27-2012, 09:14 AM   #1
bostonf4$
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Default headers - to coat or not to coat?

I know this has been discussed before but I'm really looking to hear from guys running stainless LT headers that have NOT had them coated and what the negative impacts (if any) may be.

I found a place not too far from where I live that will coat the JBA LT's I just got for around $200 - which is a very fair price I think.

Since I don't care about looks (my engine bay is never squeaky clean to begin w/) does it even matter if I don't coat since the headers are stainless? How much of a difference does it make in under-hood temps?

Thanks in advance

Also if anyone has any good reviews for ceramic coating places in MA or southern NH or RI let me know
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:30 AM   #2
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to coat. Keeps underhood temps down and protects the headers with a ceramic outer coating.

I got my Kooks LT's JetHot 1900 degree "sterling silver" coated from Maryland speed and they still look nearly new after a year and a half of daily driving (and winter!) duties. I know looks aren't everything, but when they're still shiny new, it's easy to spot any problems (leak or otherwise) without too much effort. Plus, they're cool to the touch much quicker than uncoated.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:32 AM   #3
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My stainless headers aren't coated and the only thing I can tell you is that the color changes and they don't stay all pretty and shiny. As for under hood temps, IMHO, it always gets hot under the hood with the engine running so whats the point? I know some say that if the heat is held in it helps the exhaust flow faster and so on but I've never seen any tests done to prove this or even if it could be proven what good does it do? How much HP does it increase? Does it knock off any 1/4 time?

For looks I can see it, for the other stuff never seen any data on it and doubt if it would give any measurable performance gains.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:35 AM   #4
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Sorry. Redoing my response now as I hadn't noticed the JBA in the OP.

Coat. But you should have spent the extra money on getting T304 headers instead. What you have is probably 409 which kinda sucks and will need to be coated for longevity. With good headers like Kooks coating is much more optional.

Honestly, though? Return those headers, buy Kooks, and the coating will be optional. It will reduce under-hood temps a bit as zep mentions so it will still help a little bit, but won't really be very necessary for longevity (though all stainless will eventually rust, good stuff like 304 will hold up for quite a while, especially if you park your car in a garage overnight)

Edit to add: If you do coat them, be sure not to chip the coating as you install them, which will probably be difficult. Chip that coating and you've got a great spot for rust to start and spread. I personally am less optimistic about T409 than Terp4life.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:35 AM   #5
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Jba uses 409 which is a lower grade stainless. It should never rust through but you will get surface rust or corrosion. I would coat them, especially with your winters. Now kooks uses 304 which is much higher quality and probably wouldn't need to coat them.

As far as temps, that discussion would be about as informative as which oil is best. LoL
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:39 AM   #6
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Coat. With our winters, even with a stainless steel header you'll want to keep those bad boys protected.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:41 AM   #7
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I didn't realized JBA used the T409 stainless.
Hmmm... guess I learned something new today.

Still stand by my origonal recommendation, get them coated to protect them from the elements, heat cycles, etc, which will lead to longevity of your investment.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:44 AM   #8
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You forget - I'm a metal guy, I'm not certain whether or not JBA uses 304 or 400 series stainless. The difference is in the nickel content - 304 (or 18/8) stainless has 18% chrome and 8% nickel content - you're right, won't "rust" (it WILL oxidize and have some surface "rust" if you expose it long enough or if it receives any abrasions)

400 series (409 or 410 which is probably what the alternative would be) is basically "chrome steel" as opposed to "stainless" - it has 10-12% chrome and like 1/2-1% nickel. It still won't rust through, but it will probably show some surface oxidization.

For $200 it isn't a bad idea to get them coated...the company I found in Worcester, MA offers silver or black finishes...the said the silver looks better/lasts longer.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:44 AM   #9
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Also, make sure the shop coats the inside too. I know some don't.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:26 PM   #10
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I decided to get them coated. I went out to Worcester, MA today for work dropped them off @ a place called New England Industrial coating - sandblasting and finishing w/ polished silver ceramic coat for $200. I'll post pics w/ the results. They get as far in as they can on the inside, they do the majority of the collector, as far as 100% of the inside of the pipes they can't guarantee but the price is right and they have a good reputation.

Thanks for the input/opinions
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:12 PM   #11
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FWIW, here is a article on engine coatings..and it does touch on headers.

here is the clipped header coating part:
Header Coating Test
Testing coated versus uncoated headers on an otherwise internally uncoated engine showed no statistically significant changes in overall torque and power output, although the engine was up a couple of numbers in the midrange. It could be that stainless steel headers are just less sensitive to thermal-barrier coatings than typical mild-steel headers. In any event, ambient temperatures with a heat gun in the vicinity of the headers did show a 200-degree-F temperature drop near the pipes at the pipe surface. Although the dyno numbers don't reflect this drop, in a tight engine compartment not using cold-air induction but rather ingesting inlet air from inside a hot engine compartment, a reduction in exhaust-radiated heat could translate into a big power gain: On a normally aspirated engine, every 10-degree-F inlet air temperature decrease increases engine power by about 1 percent. Even if the air were only 50 degrees cooler by the time it got into the inlet tract, that's a 5 percent improvement.

Chuck Jenckes, a leading engine development engineer, has a novel theory on the effects of header coatings on engine output. He says if you see a performance improvement from header coatings, it is not directly due to an exhaust-gas velocity change from temperature alterations. Instead, according to Jenckes, it's related to Mach number. "The speed of sound is dependent on temperature. As you change gas temperature, you change the effective tuning length of the header. Sure, velocity may increase, but it doesn't change the mass-flow rate." In other words, a change in the speed of sound changes the characteristics of the exhaust pulses. Under this theory, even greater gains might be realized by redesigning the headers (altering the pipes' tuned length) to take maximum advantage of any temperature change.


Now that all cut and pasted, my headers are ceramic coated. I realize, performance wise it was a statistically insignificant power improvement.... but preferred the clean, always new, look.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:17 PM   #12
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That's the best you can do for your investment. That crap they put on the roads up there............well.........you know what it does.

I had to have my radiator support on the Maxima totally reconstructed because of those winters up there.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:18 PM   #13
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I say NO COAT. My Kooks Mids are a rich golden bronze with a hint of a blueish/greenish/purplish shimmer at certain angles after 15K miles. A coating for my needs was not in demand. I enjoy hearing the chatter of the valve train, I havent experienced any significant heat influx to my knowledge, and the metal holds strong and stays true if of quality. Just my .02$.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:21 PM   #14
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I know the Maxima rust problems well. And I don't own one, but a barter friend does. Did put a new front support in early summer. Must say, it really was not that bad of a job. But rust never sleeps and I'm pretty sure like the fords of the 70's, when he shuts the lights off in the garage at night, if you listen really careful, you can hear it rust.

And yes, I foresee a cross over pipe in his future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deezomaxima View Post
That's the best you can do for your investment. That crap they put on the roads up there............well.........you know what it does.

I had to have my radiator support on the Maxima totally reconstructed because of those winters up there.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agose25 View Post
I say NO COAT. My Kooks Mids are a rich golden bronze with a hint of a blueish/greenish/purplish shimmer at certain angles after 15K miles. A coating for my needs was not in demand. I enjoy hearing the chatter of the valve train, I havent experienced any significant heat influx to my knowledge, and the metal holds strong and stays true if of quality. Just my .02$.
I was thinking the same thing (actually preferring that look on bikes) but came to find out the JBA headers, while stainless, are 409 series which has barely any nickle content. It won't rust through, but it will show surface oxidization and discoloration. So I figured may as well have them coated since they'll get "rusty" looking quicker as I drive in the winters.

I'll post pics when I get them back.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:44 PM   #16
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With 409 you are probably best with a coat. Either way I'm looking forward to reading your "OMG I'm in Love!" thread when you get them installed. I can honestly say that the addition of the Kooks Mids and VMS Tune was the greatest moment so far in my G8 history!
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:49 AM   #17
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I wonder if there's a notable difference in coating applying techniques ....

I know my JetHot Kooks were "dipped coated" meaning that they have a big vat of the coating material and they dip the entire header (so the ceramic coating coats the inner walls as well as the exterior walls) verses spray-in style like it seems that Boston had done.

Maybe some reports of "headers flaking" might be if they were not dipped?
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:45 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zepcom View Post
I wonder if there's a notable difference in coating applying techniques ....

I know my JetHot Kooks were "dipped coated" meaning that they have a big vat of the coating material and they dip the entire header (so the ceramic coating coats the inner walls as well as the exterior walls) verses spray-in style like it seems that Boston had done.

Maybe some reports of "headers flaking" might be if they were not dipped?
It is probably better to have them dipped, but it costs twice the $$$. The headers are 409 stainless to begin w/, I'm more concerned about the exterior than the interior, they will be sandblasted first then 2 ceramic coats. I am sure that will be plenty to keep an already stainless header in decent shape as long as I hose them off once in a while in the winter. The coating shop did say that the black coating they do (1300 degree) is not as durable and doesn't stick as well as the 1900 sterling finish I had done.

FWIW I have also heard bad stories about jet-hot's coatings - I imagine it is a case by case basis but "dipping" them would probably yield better results. That being said - the shop I brought these to is very well known in the competitive racing and custom bike building circles in New england.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:04 PM   #19
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Coated pics attached...will be getting installed Friday, will post results
Attached Images
File Type: jpg photo 1.JPG (142.4 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg photo 2.jpg (54.2 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg photo 3.JPG (94.7 KB, 24 views)
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Gone -'04 GTO A4 2.5" custom exhaust, sweet thunder muffs, H pipe, Z06 heads, Baer brake it, 20% tints, torrid red, AEM brute force intake, tuned
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:03 PM   #20
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Good choice getting them coated... My experience with JBA headers goes back to when my mustang was just a bolt on car years ago, but the short version is I had a pair of their shorty headers rust thru where the four tubes come together. So I pulled them and sent them back to JBA (no big deal since they are only a few miles from my place) and the ones they sent me in exchange did the same thing... rusted right thru that "firecone" point you see in the pics. This time I returned them and before they came back I swapped in a set of long tubes from another maker and sold the JBAs. While they were on the car they worked perfect, its just the rust that killed them.
so again, good choice.... I think the coat will help you avoid what I went thru. I may try them again on the G8 though just because they are local.
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