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Old 12-13-2012, 03:04 AM   #7
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RE: Ceramic Coating your Headers

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexxander.foster View Post
Hello!

I've got a set of ebay headers that I want to throw on my e46. Currently I have free access to powder coating equipment and would like to take the time to put a decent finish on them. However, I'm at a cross roads for what kind of finish to apply. The price for high temp powder coating material is about $25. So far the best price I could find for ceramic powder coating material is about $120. These prices are based on pretty much only enough powder coating material to do a single set of headers -no left overs.

Since these are ebay headers its really difficult to justify a ceramic coating that costs nearly as much as the headers themselves. Its also foolish to try to do this myself since that's pretty close to what it would cost for a company to coat them for me.

I already have a pretty solid understanding of the technical and theoretical benefits of ceramic coating. I'm mainly wondering if anybody has any input on the subject. If so is it worth it for a daily driver application? How about leads on some cheaper sources for powder coating ceramic material? I'm also not opposed to the VHT spray can route.

Thanks!
Alexxander:

First things first, there is no such thing as “Ceramic Powder Coating”. There are standard powders, high temp powders and ceramic coatings. Powders are obviously powder and ceramics are all wet sprays. The only correlation between ceramic coating and high temp powder coating is that they are made for high temp applications. That’s where it ends. Ceramic coatings are functional coatings / thermal barriers which are designed to keep hot or cold either inside or outside of something, much like a thermos. There are various types of ceramic coatings ranging in functional temperatures of 1300F-2000F+. High temp powder on the other hand is basically a powdered BBQ paint meant for limited temp industrial applications. They are capable from 800F-1200F-ish. Although some people have used them on certain exhaust applications, I wouldn't recommend it for a basic auto application, let alone anything performance oriented.

As for justification of coating an “ebay” header vs what, a race header? Not sure why you need to spend more on a header to feel better about protecting it. I’m not following that logic. If they fit and work, I would imagine you’d want to protect them and gain the thermal benefits of the coating. If you do it properly there’s no need to touch it again. As far as justifying the benefits, again it comes down to your budget and what you want. How does someone justify a set of 5k to 8k racing wheels on a street car? Sure they’re lighter and reduce un-sprung weight but are you ever going to see reduced lap times running back and forth to 7-11 for the latest Twilight Collector cups? I predict, not. They just look cool. If your wallet can handle it there is no downside to coating the header. If you’re on a VHT budget that may work for a while as well if you are able to prep and cure it correctly….
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