Are you thinking of powder coating your exhaust?
If yes, it’s one of the vehicle modifications you can perform that can enhance aesthetic value and boost performance.
Read on to learn whether you can powder coat exhaust headers, what it offers, and the best coats to use.
Can Exhaust Tips Be Powder Coated?
It’s possible to powder coat your exhaust header, and it can help protect the entire exhaust system. But before you rush into doing it, you should know that powder cures at 450°F.
However, when in use, the header reaches temperatures well above 450°F, enough to melt the coating. Therefore, you should be prepared to redo it occasionally unless you use a high-temp powder coat, especially if you’re doing it purely for aesthetic purposes.
Why Wrap Exhaust Headers?
Compared to manifolds, headers enhance performance. However, that’s not the full extent of the benefits they offer.
By wrapping exhaust headers, you’ll enjoy benefits such as:
Lower Temperatures Under the Hood
Engines generate a lot of heat when in use. As such, manufacturers design the components under the hood to withstand high heat levels. Even still, it’s essential to protect them from extreme conditions to decelerate the wearing-out rate.
Header wraps help keep the components under the hood cooler and reduce the temperature of the air the engine breathes in. In turn, this helps increase the lifespan of components.
In addition, with lower temperatures under the hood, the cooldown time after turning off your engine reduces significantly, meaning that you can begin addressing issues with components much faster.
Further Performance Enhancement
One of the primary benefits of wrapping your headers is that it increases the temperature of gasses within the tubing, which is great as the mobility of gasses increases with a temperature rise.
Therefore, the velocity of exhaust gas will increase, thus improving the capacity of engine cylinders to scavenge exhaust gasses.
Moreover, each combustion cycle will be cleaner as the amount of exhaust gas to be removed will be lower. As all this happens, your engine will gradually deliver more power and work more efficiently.
Headers are made using shiny stainless steel that’s visually appealing. But after using it for some time, it turns to a dull dark gray color. With a professional wrap, your header will be sleeker than ever, matching the rest of your car.
Will Powder Coating Work on Exhaust Headers?
While it’s possible to powder coat headers, it’s not advisable. Although it will deliver aesthetic and performance gains, you won’t enjoy them for long as they will melt off. So, if you want something that’ll last long, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
What Coating Is Best for Exhaust Headers?
There are several options to choose from when it comes to coating headers. These include:
Exhaust wraps are thermal insulators that help exhaust systems retain the heat inside. In doing so, the gasses remain at high temperatures increasing the outflow. As a result, you’ll notice engine efficiency and performance improvement.
There are several wrapping options. However, the ones that stand out are:
- Titanium exhaust wrap: Made of lava rock and fiber-based material and is very durable.
- Fiberglass exhaust wrap: Made from fiberglass and comes in the form of woven strips with adhesives, and is highly effective.
- Silica exhaust wrap: Highly effective and can withstand higher temperatures than glass wrap.
A ceramic wrap is an ideal alternative for powder coating. Along with being effective, it’s also durable. These wraps are made of heat-insulating ceramics sprayed on the exhaust header.
The benefits of having a ceramic coated header include:
Unlike powder coats that melt when exposed to high temperatures, this is not a problem for ceramic coats. So, once a fresh coat of ceramic is sprayed on your header, you can expect it to serve for a long time while retaining its effectiveness and appearance.
Available in Different Colors and Finishes
If one of the reasons for coating your header is to improve its appearance, you’ll undoubtedly love ceramic coats. In addition, you’ll have more colors and finishes to choose from, allowing you to select one that matches other aesthetic elements of your vehicle.
Protects Your Exhaust from Rust and Corrosion
After years of use, your exhaust will rust and may begin to erode, resulting in leaks. A ceramic coat will protect your exhaust from rust and corrosion, increasing the system’s lifespan.
Protects Other Parts
Ceramic coating is highly tolerant to heat and does not transmit it to surrounding parts. Therefore, nearby parts that are sensitive to heat will be better protected.
Can You Powder Coat Chrome Exhaust?
Powder coating can be used on many parts to protect them from rust and corrosion. However, it cannot be used with chrome components as the powder will not stick.
So, if you want to powder coat a chrome part, you’ll have to scrub off the chrome surface before applying the powder coat.
Can You Powder Coat Stainless Steel Exhaust?
If your header is made of stainless steel, you’re in luck. You can apply a powder coat, which will serve you for a long time.
How Much Does It Cost to Powder Coat Headers?
Because many people are interested in enhancing the appearance and performance of their vehicles, many places offer coating services.
As such, the prices can vary significantly depending on several factors, including location, header, material, size of header, and facility. So, expect to pay anywhere between a few hundred dollars and a thousand dollars.
Is Powder Coating Good for Exhaust?
Theoretically, powder coating can help eliminate exhaust fumes. However, due to its inability to withstand heat, it will not serve you for long. Therefore, consider ceramic coating or exhaust wraps if you want a lasting solution.
Regardless of the option you choose, be sure to weigh the cost and benefits. But more importantly, have a professional do the job for you to get the best results.