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Old 04-07-2009, 10:56 AM
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Header Paint

Hey guys I just put a set of AFR heads on my Stingray and while I had 'em out, I painted the headers.

I used a ceramic color (light gray) paint rated at 1500*F and designed for headers. I had them sandblasted first, then I washed them & dried them for a day in the sun, before painting them.

On engine startup a couple days later, the paint bubbled up. Wish I had left them alone & dirty - now they look like crapola! I have not been able to drive the car yet due to power steering issues but will be later this week.

Question: Has anyone else had this happen? Will the paint eventually cure properly? The only paint I ever used before, was VHT which I used on my Nova's headers all the time. Never before have I had this issue.

I can't think of the brand name on this stuff but I'm sorely disappointed so far. Hope the heck these bubbles flatten out...now that the engine is completely assembled, getting the headers back out to repaint would become a MAJPITA very quickly.

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Old 04-07-2009, 11:13 AM
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I have not EVER had any luck with painting headers. Even VHT will start to dull over time. There is a powder coating that is supposed to be heat proof too, but after talking to a few friends who had it done, they were going through the same thing you are....bubbling. I hate to say this but I think you are either going to have to take them out and get them ceramic coated or live with the bubbles.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandiegopaul
On engine startup a couple days later, the paint bubbled up. Wish I had left them alone & dirty - now they look like crapola!
Welcome to the world of header paint. There are only three coatings that work on headers. High temp ceramic (HPC, Jet Hot, etc), porcelain, or aluminum sprayed.
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
Welcome to the world of header paint. There are only three coatings that work on headers. High temp ceramic (HPC, Jet Hot, etc), porcelain, or aluminum sprayed.
Oh yea and I certainly was NOT expecting miracles. But I thunk it would be like previous applications where I used VHT. Every year I'd repaint or touch them up and it worked fine.

This crapola bubbled up and is already peeling off, and the engine has just been fired three times since the heads went on.
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:42 PM
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Let me guess, this was Dupli-Color ceramic high heat paint? Did the same thing on a friends set. Prepped the same way and bubbled on fire up like you described, flaked off a little while later. VHT is barely passable, as is John Deere Muffler paint. True ceramic such as Nitroplate, JetHot, etc. is the only way to get any lasting results.
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Old 04-07-2009, 04:06 PM
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Gotta agree w/ all the above. Headers are pretty expensive and as you know a real pain to take off and on. There is no paint that do a satisfactory job on them. That stuff was developed in the early 60s to paint gasser headers that were totally accessible and came off the car every week anyway. I have found over the years that the most cost effective thing to do is shell out for the metallic/ceramic coating. Headers NEVER need any attention after that and last forever. You can powder coat the rest of the exhaust system and it too will outlast your interest in the car. PC can be used on everything except the header itself.
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:06 PM
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I will never buy another set of headers that are not ceramic coated. Header or high heat paint is a marketing ripoff.

Vince
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302 Z28
I will never buy another set of headers that are not ceramic coated. Header or high heat paint is a marketing ripoff.

Vince
These were indeed ceramic coated 5 yrs ago but it was coming off in several places. Hence the need to get them sandblasted. Wish I never had because now they are going to rust big time.

Time for some chrome Thorleys.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandiegopaul
These were indeed ceramic coated 5 yrs ago but it was coming off in several places. Hence the need to get them sandblasted. Wish I never had because now they are going to rust big time.

Time for some chrome Thorleys.
Ceramic or ceramic/metallic (Jet Hot)? You had a bad vendor so please don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Chrome as you know goes bad very quickly so that isn't a good choice either. A properly ceramic/metallic coating is virtually part of the steel. The only way to remove it is to grind it off, won't flake, chip, bubble, peel, etc. The stuff even acts as a cathode for the steel so if it gets scratched, it still offers corrosion protection.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:50 AM
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I had the entire exhaust system coated by Jet-Hot. Not inexpensive but it holds up great. LOOKS pretty nice also.






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Old 04-08-2009, 01:35 PM
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Real purty Deuce!
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:20 PM
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His 401K must be doing a lot better than mine is.

Vince
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:37 PM
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Made the mistake of buying the ceramic coated Hedman headers once. Their coating went under the name HTC-High Temperature Coating. This was not the same as the Metallic Ceramic such as Nitroplate or Jet Hot. Got the warranty card out and discovered that they were guaranteed not to rust-as long as they were still in the box and un-installed!(got to read the fine print) I won't make that mistake again, just ceramic might work for the rest of the system but not the header itself. Love the fit of the Hedman's, but it is Nitroplate or Jet Hot that will do the coating for me.
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302 Z28
His 401K must be doing a lot better than mine is.

Vince
My 401K is a 1932 Ford ...
and ... Yes, and it is doing better than most investment accounts ...
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:07 PM
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Header Paint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandiegopaul
Hey guys I just put a set of AFR heads on my Stingray and while I had 'em out, I painted the headers.

I used a ceramic color (light gray) paint rated at 1500*F and designed for headers. I had them sandblasted first, then I washed them & dried them for a day in the sun, before painting them.

On engine startup a couple days later, the paint bubbled up. Wish I had left them alone & dirty - now they look like crapola! I have not been able to drive the car yet due to power steering issues but will be later this week.

Question: Has anyone else had this happen? Will the paint eventually cure properly? The only paint I ever used before, was VHT which I used on my Nova's headers all the time. Never before have I had this issue.

I can't think of the brand name on this stuff but I'm sorely disappointed so far. Hope the heck these bubbles flatten out...now that the engine is completely assembled, getting the headers back out to repaint would become a MAJPITA very quickly.
I am at the same stage with a 347 and I have searched the net and found a product which they clam will never blister. It is alvinprocucts .com. The guy there emailed me to say they do not sell to Australia so its no use to me, but you may have some luck on a test piece of tube. He did say that the preparation includes, sandblasting, the use of a high temp. silicon primer then the topcoat of colour. I have used VHT before with flaking after two minutes on a cast iron manifold. Good luck. Al. The hi. temp silicon primer may be the key to it.
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