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Header Coatings


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so im wanting my headers in the spring and was set on ARHs with cats and all that stuff but cant get them coated and no one near me does it


my question is wat other good quality brands are out there that sell coated headers...i deal with ice sand cold temps and salt on the roads so they gotta be tough.


would stainless hold up?


any input would help guys


thanks logan

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Random thoughts:


If buying coated headers, I would want them coated inside and out; that will prevent rot.


If you chip/ding coated headers they will rust and [eventually] fail where the skin was damaged and there is no way to repair the coating short of sandblasting the old off and recoating, which is not worth the expense/effort.


Some coating treatments are CHEAP; others are very resistant to abuse (chipping, scuffing).


If you have to 'massage' your headers with a hammer or prybar (hey 1/4 of the time it has to be done!) you will damage the coating.


There is no way I know of to really bring a coated set of headers back to new condition. OTOH you can take a really used set of stainless headers and work them over with heavy scotchbrite and concrete cleaner and the end result will be brand-new looking headers. SAME IS TRUE FOR CORSA - I did this on my catback (scotchbrite and cheap purple walmart degreaser) and it was absolutely brand new again :cool: after 70K-miles of road grime and 1/8" thick layer of coked-on ATF from a few blown transmissions.


The underhood temps with coated headers WILL be noticeably cooler than with stainless headers, which run just as hot as the factory manifolds but without the benefit of the factory tin heat sheilding.


Stainless pipes will blue on you from the extreme heat; some people do not like the coloration (or 'bluing') of these pipes. FWIW, the bluer the pipes the better, it means that there is more chromium content in the stainless (rust corrosion).


Coated headers cannot be welded (repaired) unless all the coating in the affected area is removed first (i.e. ground off, or risk weld contamination); stainless headers CAN be welded IF you get exactly the same alloy of filler rod as the parent metal and pre/post heat the metal. Welding stainless is a biatch and there are only a handful of guys that really can do a repair that will hold and will stand behind their work.


Coated headers will be cheaper to make than stainless (usually).


With coated headers, the rust prevention is all in the application of the coating material - I had a set of AEM Brute Force headers on my truck, and these were not cheap headers ($600+ retail) and after 3-years use the headers were rusting at the point where the primaries were welded to the flange AND the collector because the coater did not spray the coating into the weld areas & achieve coverage - they still rusted in these spots even though the corrosion was minor, but remember I LIVE IN TEXAS and if these pipes were daily-driven in Philadelphia or Jersey in the winter salt they would be swiss cheese by now at these weld joints. If you live in northern states and drive in the winters then stainless is your only option IMO.


Mr. P. :)


I'm going to add more -


The material/coating (stainless, jet-hot, chrome) is totally secondary when choosing a set of headers IMO. What matters first is correct sizing to intended application, body/frame fitment, COLLECTOR DESIGN, fitment to the catback & correct placement of exhaust hangers, and location of O2 bungs.


IMO collector design is where almost all header makers fall-down; trust me you don't know the struggle of getting sleeved collectors apart (and you WILL have to take them apart, someday) and Dan & I just cringe every time we have to help with a truck that has Pacesetters or Stainless Works headers for this exact reason, it takes an act of God, 3 men and a boy, and an hour just to fight the collectors apart. And you don't know the aggrivation of trying to keep triangular collector gaskets from blowing out - NO traditional 3-bolt flanged collector gasket will hold-up to nitrous or boost forever, you have to get the flanges exactly straight (paralell) to each other so the gasket is evenly loaded and in practice this is almost impossible to do. My preference for collector design is (1) ball/socket design (ARH design), (2) steel o-ring design (OEM manifold design), (3) sleeved design (Stainless Works design); all other bolt-together flange designs I have never had good luck with. One of the biggest reason I bought ARH pipes is specifically because of the collector design.


I am not trying to say finish doesn't matter (it is very important) but make sure you look at all these other factors before making a purchase.



MR.P. said this in this thread found it educational and also cant you buy stainless steel and send them out or you dont want to spend that much money?

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