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Old 02-06-2015, 06:23 AM   #1
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Headers, to coat or not to coat

That is the question. Is it worth coating 304 stainless steel headers aka kooks of ARH. I know it keep heat down but it's it that noticeable? Anyone have coating or none coat header give me some insight please.

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Old 02-06-2015, 06:21 PM   #2
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I've been building and coating headers for over 30 years, and although coating has come a long way it's the grade of SS used that can will help the most. Stainless Steel conducts about 200%less heat per lineal foot than mild steel, so it's heat retention capabilities are pretty good............can SS retain heat better if it's coated with a ceramic coating.................sure.
The under hood temperature in our Mustangs is pretty severe and keeping heat in the header promotes velocity and scavenging at the collector which equates to more HP............along with less heat in the engine bay.
Now with that said most header manufacturers use 304 which is the cheapest SS you can buy, and also does an ok job of retaining heat but not as well as 321............or 347, (347 is used mostly in Turbo systems) and is even more expensive than 321. 321 SS is used in most of the NASCAR exhaust systems. A typical NASCAR exhaust system can run $7 to $8k. 321 SS costs 40% more than 304 SS and you need to buy it in large quantities to get good prices. I have built headers from 321 and after a pass down the quarter I could touch the header with my bare hands and not get burned.
So...............it's up to you because good coating is not cheap and SS 304 is what Ford uses.
So to answer your question, if you took a temperature reading under the hood of your car with non-coated SS and then took it with coated SS headers.............you might see 10 degrees difference..............maybe. Unless you going to do some serious racing I would spend the money on something else....my 2cents.
One last thing..............Ceramic coating needs to be maintained, it doesn't just take care of itself.
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:52 PM   #3
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Thank you very much for your info. Well explained.


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Old 02-07-2015, 04:21 PM   #4
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I just coated my kooks.
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