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Discussion Starter #1
Hey so I know that ceramic coating headers can net small gains but I don't want to pay 250 to have them done for such a small gain. it is a daily driven car too. I was going to get some header wrap until I read that the wrap can hold in moisture and damage the headers. Has anybody ever seen a wrap actually damage a header or seen any decent gains from just a wrap?
 

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Hey so I know that ceramic coating headers can net small gains but I don't want to pay 250 to have them done for such a small gain. it is a daily driven car too. I was going to get some header wrap until I read that the wrap can hold in moisture and damage the headers. Has anybody ever seen a wrap actually damage a header or seen any decent gains from just a wrap?
Coatings can be done DIY by the way.

On wraps, I run them on my headers as they are more effective than coatings. However coatings can be done on the inside which is a plus. The wraps wear out after awhile, no issues ever with them hurting the metal on decent quality exhaust on many different cars.
 

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wrap is good for performance but not for the life of your header so i wouldn't bother with either coating or wrapping since it's daily driven. Maybe try to make a heat shield for it or get a TDR blankey.
 

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You can also apply a silicone coating to your headers before wrapping them to help with oxidation. Honestly, unless you do a legit ceramic coating like Swaintech, then its basically just high temp paint. Wraps work extremely well for the cheap cost involved as long as it is applied correctly.


edit ^what this guy said. Heat shields or custom heat blankets work the best. You'd actually be surprised of the difference from a simple steel heatshield.
 

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wrap is good for performance but not for the life of your header so i wouldn't bother with either coating or wrapping since it's daily driven. Maybe try to make a heat shield for it or get a TDR blankey.
I'm at year 7 on some Racing Beat headers. Been thru several re-wraps as they degrade and weaken. The headers are still fine. The life of the wrap can be increased somewhat with certain spray on coatings.

Header wraps came out in the 1980s. Back then most headers were mild steel and the sport compact scene was not even present. So trapped water held against the metal, lesser quality welds, less heat resistant metallurgy etc.

With modern stainless steel headers wrap does not seem to be anything like a major problem. Makes a huge difference to temperatures in the vicinity, but heat shields for an air filter in the region makes sense.

When you wrap a Miata header, it is much, Much, MUCH easier to do it off the car. You can do it on-car but it is hard to reach certain spots. So you wind up with a lesser result and scratched up arms.
 

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- when you wrap ANY header, it is mucho, Mucho, MUCHO easier to do it off the car.
- get a TDR blankey. It will save you time, the headache and monies since you've been thru several re-wraps.
- not wrapping your header will actually prolong the life of your good choice good quality non-inexpensive 7 yr old RB header.
 

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- when you wrap ANY header, it is mucho, Mucho, MUCHO easier to do it off the car.
- get a TDR blankey. It will save you time, the headache and monies since you've been thru several re-wraps.
- not wrapping your header will actually prolong the life of your good choice good quality non-inexpensive 7 yr old RB header.
I just redo it every few years. Looked up the header age since they were on the car when I got it. Rewrapped the header when I picked it up as that wrap was going bad. All together it is at about 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 years of wrap use and the header is on it's second engine. I prefer taped over blanketed headers personally.

I'm not thinking the wrap is killing my header life. Lots of miles and autcrosses in all sorts of weather conditions. And the headers get looked over when they get redone.

On various other cars I have had similar experiences, no issues with wrap hurting header life.
 

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Hey so I know that ceramic coating headers can net small gains but I don't want to pay 250 to have them done for such a small gain. it is a daily driven car too. I was going to get some header wrap until I read that the wrap can hold in moisture and damage the headers. Has anybody ever seen a wrap actually damage a header or seen any decent gains from just a wrap?
If you're expecting some "seat of the pants" reward for either ceramic coating or wrapping your headers, you're going to be disappointed..... There are numerous reasons for ceramic coating exhaust components, but significant HP gains is not one of them. You'll certainly see a positive bump, but unlikely enough to make you aware of it. Ceramic coating headers will reduce reduce under hood temps, provide corrosion protection and provide some adjunct performance gains. Especially beneficial for turbo applications and any SS components. The most common reason for coating pipes is to keep your expensive pipes looking new for years to come.

Wrapping headers can provide similar thermal benefits but comes with their own set of negative problems. The most notable problem is the moisture / corrosion issue you brought up. Regardless of the weather / elements you're driving in, the header wrap will hold in moisture from both condensation and external water hazards. This is a big problem for mild steel headers but not a huge issue for SS headers.

The bigger concern for header wraps is a safety issue. If you have ANY fluid leaks; i.e. fuel, oil, brake / steering fluids. etc, I would recommend NOT wrapping your pipes. Automotive fluids like these are soaked up like a sponge by header wraps and are fireballs waiting to happen.

Now for the most confusing / counter-productive rationale for most Go / No-Go performance mods. You say "It's just a daily driver". This terminology is typically used to discourage moderate or questionable upgrades fearing that said upgrades would only be justified if you were "racing". If the upgrade is beneficial and affordable wouldn't make more sense to use it on a vehicle you drive 30 days a month as opposed to one you drive once or twice a month??????

Wrapped Mild Steel Header




Un-Coated / Un-Wrapped SS Header
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey thanks for all the great feed back on this. I decided to just do a diy coating of the high temp header paint so I did six solid coats of the black vht header paint and I will most likely be adding a TDR heat blanket too instead of wrapping. The car has one of those I.L motor soprts cold air boxes that pulls air from in front of the radiator so air filter temps are not an issue at all but it should still keep my engine bay temps at a healthier spot durring summer traffic jams and if I start to autoX the car this year.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The black vht paint I did just because I did my valve cover and the top portion of my intake manifold in the wrinkle coat black paint and i really like the way the flat black headers match with everything in there now. But in hind sight when I get the TDR heat shield i won't even see them any more haha.
 

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The black vht paint I did just because I did my valve cover and the top portion of my intake manifold in the wrinkle coat black paint and i really like the way the flat black headers match with everything in there now. But in hind sight when I get the TDR heat shield i won't even see them any more haha.
I really hope you followed the curing instructions on the can or else it will begin to flake off.
 
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