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Kyle
Moderator

Ceramic coating could be the cure to your corrosion problems

The exhaust manifolds bolted up to the bottom of my Corvair's flat-six engine were absolutely serviceable, but I always thought the look of individual headers hanging out underneath the Argent Silver tail panel of a Corsa coupe was just badass. When I had to pull the engine for a clutch replacement, I went ahead and ordered up a set of headers to bolt up.

 

Read the full story on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/maintenance-and-tech/ceramic-coating-could-be-the-cure-to-your-corrosi... 

36 REPLIES 36
SCHNELL
New Driver

My limited experience with ceramic coating on exhaust is that both inside & outside need to be done for long term results

DUB6
Technician

Agree with SCHNELL.  Ever notice liquid dripping or spurting out from a tailpipe?  That's water (or mostly so).  It's there for a variety of reasons, including the quality of gas being used, and the inherent intake of humidity in the air that feeds in through an intake system.  More moisture than can be burned off equals pooling within the "innards" of the exhaust system.  Pooled moisture equals corrosion, rusting, and eventually cancer from the inside out.  If your exhaust manifold or headers are only coated on the outside they are actually only protected from the outside (duh), so even if you don't drive in rain or through puddles, a certain amount of moisture is always going to be attacking the inside of those items.  And you likely won't see it until it's too late...

perk120
Pit Crew

as an alternative I had a set of NEW headers nickel plated, not chrome just nickel and they have weathered and maintain their look without blueing and do not have the high-gloss of chrome. the nickel plating is much less expensive than chrome.

Zero
Passenger

Where do you get the coating?

oildriller
Passenger

Address: 3876 E Paris Ave Suite 8 Grand Rapids, MI 49512 Phone: 616-719-3124
Gncwesthills
Passenger

Uhhhhhhh....
Gncwesthills
Passenger

Did you READ the article???
dooscoop32
Intermediate Driver

How does ceramic coating compare to jet hot coating both endurance-wise and price-wise?

Sajeev
Community Manager

They are basically the same thing, if I remember correctly.  Jet Hot has specific type of ceramic mixture, but I dont know if its really any better for automotive applications than what a local coating service could do for you. 

Waterboy1KHY80
Intermediate Driver

Good luck, I will be VERY interested to see how this "coating" holds up. I live in the frozen wasteland of N MI as well, and nothing seems to hold up for long, fingers crossed.

Jayramb
Passenger

B

redling5
New Driver

Who does this work & how expensive?

Sajeev
Community Manager

Many large cities have "specialty coating" companies that can do this for you.  I would just search for "specialty coating near me" or something like that in Google and see what pops up! 

JStein
Pit Crew

Kyle:

 

Your article about the ceramic finishes was very interesting and made me think about protecting the original Abarth exhaust I have on the '62 MGA Coupe. Thanks for writing up your experiences. 

stryder13
New Driver

I used Swain ceramic coatings on the outside surfaces of my 1991 Turbo Capri cast iron exhaust manifold and that seemed to work well (no rusting or discoloration). The stock manifold is prone to cracking from the heat but i had no cracking problems,  the rational being that the heat was more evenly spread across the manifold because of the coating. Now admittedly i  only ran the car for a year (i broke the motor for other reasons) but the manifold still looks good as new.

gjb49
New Driver

 

 

GRP_Photo
Instructor

If it's a flat finish, it seems to me that you could paint over it to get the correct color, rather than removing the Ceracote.

astirrett
New Driver

Had an older set of Headman headers on my 3.8 L V6 in my ‘70 Jeep that were a bit old and tired (like me). Took them to Top Gun Coatings in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and had them ceramic coat in a high-lustre silver finish. Two years on now and still perfect and no rainbow heat stain like with real chrome. Awesome. Just did same to my shorty muffler set up.

M5Z3M
Passenger

Not seeing any mention of cost

acooper529
Intermediate Driver

As car guy and an avid shooter, I believe that Cerakote is widely used on firearms parts. I am sure that someone out there knows a lot more about this than I do? I would like to hear some feedback for auto parts resto and DIY application? Is that even possible? 

F360Spider
Detailer

Ceramic coatings of headers supposedly has another benefit: Reducing heat in the engine compartment. This isn't a problem for most cars but for mid-engine cars like Ferrari builds, it's a real problem. Ferrari headers come equipped with covers that contain the heat but most after market headers don't. To prevent heat damage to delicate electronics and plastic parts, folks will spend thousands on blankets, coatings and all sorts of things.

 

Everyone who uses these heat mitigation methods claims "they feel" or "I think" or "it has to be" but nobody really has any data if ceramic coatings actually reduce the heat in the engine bay.

 

I opted to replace my OEM headers with Tubi insulated headers that look very close to the OEM but are far better quality and delete the pre-cats embedded in the headers. I know for sure that the welded on covers that insulate the Tubi headers will actually do the job. 

mathieulecomte
Passenger

I had my muffler ceramic coated for my 65 Porsche 912, very happy with the result. The added advantage of ceramic coating on top of protection against elements is that it also helps with heat dissipation, in my case I wanted less heat in the engine bay which the muffler sits right behind/under. The cost in NJ for my muffler was about 250$ a couple of years ago.

jspboss1
Pit Crew

Great subject, I restored my Boss 351 in the mid 90's. When it came to do the exhaust, I purchased a new set of Hooker Headers. Sent them out to JetHot to get ceramic coated.  Now 20 plus years later (sold and reacquired the Mustang) the headers are corroded and in need of attention. Lesson is, Nothing lasts forever .......................

MoparMarq
Detailer

Three sets of headers ceramic coated. One pair on a classic (which hardly gets driven) look just like they did when new.  One set on a inline 6 (matte black color) that is daily driven still have no rust after 6 years.  One set on a V8 (polished finish) that is mostly driven in wintertime still looks great after 15 years, with only a few little rust spots showing near the heads.  Adds about $200 or so to the cost of a set of headers, but well worth it IMO.  Two of three sets were coated local to where I lived.

bblhed
Advanced Driver

As of right now (10/12/2020 around noon) as far as I know there is an Austin engine sitting on the bench in your garage that is getting a clutch refresh and some "other work" done on it. Will you be getting the exhaust manifold on the Austin done as part of this "other work"? I'm asking for a friend that wants to know.

OC914
Passenger

Nice!  I'm definitely thinking about this for the exhaust on my 914. 

stevecobb45
Detailer

Going through my uncle John's junk yard back in the 60's in upstate NY, I spotted one car on its side ready to be cut up for scrap. This old Nash was a rust-bucket from the word go. Literally everything on the bottom was covered in rust. Everything except the exhaust, which was ceramic coated from the factory. It looked beautiful. Now we use stainless steel. I believe the ceramic coating also reduces the heat radiating off the exhaust as well. Win, win.

flowney
Pit Crew

What about stainless steel? Even discoloration due to heat looks kinda cool.

jaysalserVW
Detailer

A friend who worked at a plating company, nickel-plated the entire exhaust on his vintage VW Beetle.  That means that the inside also was plated.  Unfortunately, he sold the car not long afterwards--so we have no idea how long the nickel lasted. 

Crushers
New Driver

I applied ceramic coating to the turbo, manifold, adapter and the first 3 ft of the custom exhaust for a couple reasons. to help reduce the heat under the hood of a Land Cruiser 40 series and to keep the custom build looking good for a decent amount of time. 10,000 km later and the ceramic coating as well as the rest of the powder coated exhaust still looks brand new. The first winter is coming so spring will judge if the investment was a wise one.

mrhammered34
Pit Crew

I had my headers ceramic coated ten years ago, the car is not driven in the rain or bad weather, motorsports powder coaters in Delavan Wisconsin did the work, after ten years they still look excellent, they used the chrome finish and there still shiny,  they did a great job.

farna
Detailer

Ramb;ler used ceramic coated exhaust pipe in the late 50s and early 60s with a lifetime warranty, back when car warranties were a year or less on the drivetrain. Lifetime was for original owner only though, so few needed replacing when people typically traded cars every 4-5 years (frugal Rambler owners usually kept them longer than the 2-3 years others traded). In the mid 90s an AMC dealer replaced the exhaust system for an elderly woman for free under the warranty. Car was a 63-64 Classic with just over 100K on the clock. she was giving it to her grandson and had all the paperwork, and he found the warranty info. Car hadn't been driven for 4-5 years when he got it running again. The dealer couldn't replace with a new ceramic coated system, they just sent her to a local exhaust bender. But the pipe lasted from 63-64 until 96 or so -- over 30 years. The dealer had the car in a local newspaper advertisement, boasting on the great warranty service provided by his dealership. I doubt he was under any obligation at this point, but the old lady had the car serviced every year at the dealership when she was driving, and they recognized the car when grandson drove up.

Zephyr
Advanced Driver

Can I get myself ceramic coated?

Sajeev
Community Manager

You'd last forever, but wouldn't live to see it. 

okfoz
Intermediate Driver

I have a set of headers which were ceramic coated 20 years ago when I bought the headers it was an option.  They still look fantastic to this day. 

acegan
Pit Crew

So long as you are not going for the instillation benefit of ceramic Cerakote is a better more durable option. Many powder coat firms deal with all three; Cerakote, powder, ceramic. Cerakote is designed for firearms so heat is no issue it is also virtually impossible to remove chemically so no troubles with all the fluids around a car. Just my $.02

 

i use a firm named “Dark Horse” in Dixon IL; Chad the owner can give you all the information you’d ever want.