View Single Post
Old 12-13-2012, 04:25 AM   #9
Registered User
Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 171
My Ride: 2000 323i
Thanks for the input. Its very helpful and informative.

Regarding the "ceramic powder coating" that sounds like a jump to conclusions on my part. While sifting through some powder coat supply retailer catalogs I found a small section listing ceramic coating. I presumed since it was in a catalog for powder coating supplies it was in dry powder form, which spawned that theory. Good info to know though.

As for justifying the expense, that's about right: ebay headers vs expensive race headers from a "reputable" brand. I know these parts are passive performance components and don't need to be held to extraordinary manufacturing tolerances, but I do worry about the quality and craftsmanship of the headers. Money does not necessarily equal quality, but its a good rubric when in doubt. Like mentioned above, warpage and other failures related to poor quality are a concern. I would be really upset if BOTH the headers and the finish were trash because the headers failed or became damaged through normal usage. But you make a good point.

Looking back over the original post, I think I could have worded that much differently. I asked a completely different question than what I really wanted to know. Sorry about the poor word choice on my part. Let me try it again:

I'm concerned about the reliability of these headers because they are very cheap in comparison to other versions on the market. I know that a person gets what they pay for and I'm not really concerned about that. But the last thing I want to do is invest any more money into them than is wise. So, that being said, is it wise to ceramic coat ebay headers? Is the build quality good enough for moderate to severe daily driving usage? Or should I wait and ceramic coat a "better quality" set in anticipation of these ebay headers becoming warped or suffering weld failure?

I know my original post was way off this point, not sure what was running through my mind at the time. Sorry about the confusion.

Originally Posted by View Post

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….
alexxander.foster is offline   Reply With Quote