What to paint headers with?

Mopar Exhaust Systems

  1. Evan Dutch

    Evan Dutch Well-Known Member

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    im gonna order a set of painted headman headers soon and I’d like to paint them with something that doesn’t burn off quickly. I’m gonna have them blasted but I’m unsure of what to paint them with. I’ve read that some people use grill paint and have had good results with that.
    Any suggestions?

    Thanks.
     
  2. SSG_Karg

    SSG_Karg Heeeeeres Johnny!

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  3. Abodybomber

    Abodybomber Breaking street machines , since 1983.....:) Legendary Member

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    VHT high temp aerosol. Strip the black paint off , heat the tubes & spray.
    Run the headers 3 or 4 minutes, shut engine off 2 or 3 times.
    Let headers cool in between cycles...
     
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    • matthon

      matthon Well-Known Member

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      I used Rustoleum grill paint, many light coats. Took a map gas torch to them and it didn't affect the paint at all.
      It lasted for many years.

      They started to show signs of rust last year, so I had them blasted and ceramic coated locally. Showing signs of rust already.
      Ordered a set of TTI headers for another car and paid the extra to have TTI coat them.

      On the cheap, I would use the Rustoleum again, and remove and reapply every few years. Otherwise, order coated and forget about them.
       
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      • Tooljunkie

        Tooljunkie King of cobble/master of the broken bolt FABO Gold Member

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        I used grill paint. Cant say as how well its doing as engine is still on the stand.
         
      • dartfreak75

        dartfreak75 Restore it, Dont part it! FABO Gold Member

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        I'm in the same boat I used rustoleum grill paint on mine but my engine isn't running.
         
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        • pntastar69

          pntastar69 Well-Known Member

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          I used the Eastwood stuff years ago on a set of Hookers. Blasted and cleaned them, brushed on a coat and had a local powder coater bake them in his oven. Repeated a 2nd time. Surprised they lasted 5 years until I sprung for TTI's.
           
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          • matthon

            matthon Well-Known Member

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            Also, when I did the grill paint I taped off the collector, then emptied a spray can into all 4 tubes, taped off the tubes, and turned the headers upside down and back again multiple times.
            This was my way of getting some kind protection inside before I had everything assembled and I could start it.
             
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            • Evan Dutch

              Evan Dutch Well-Known Member

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              I’ve read that they’ll start to rust from the Inside out if they are not coated.
               
            • Fast340cuda

              Fast340cuda Well-Known Member

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              I’ve had good luck with VHT.

              Of course good prep helps. I sand blast and make sure there is no surface contamination (oil, etc) before spraying the paint on.
               
            • fishfly

              fishfly Well-Known Member

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              I bought this....
              Thermal Exhaust Manifold Coating & Header Paint | ZyCoat
              but I haven't tried it yet. It's expensive, but if were to last a long time and give the heat reduction they claim, it will be worth it. I called and spoke to someone in the company..I he was the VP of hushmat that makes the sound and temperature insulation for autos and he swears by it. We'll see. For the inside of the pipes I bought eastwood's internal exhaust paint with the spray adapter that allows one to spray all the inside of the tubes. Haven't tested that one either but I've liked all eastwood's paints that I've bought. Lastly, as mentioned above, I've heard of people good results with the BBQ grill paint. I think there is a youtube video of someone that compared and used VHT and rustoleum high temp paint and the rustoleum was better. I personally use krylon BBQ paint for much of my work that needs to painted black because it's so tough and lays out really nice but never used it in an exhaust application.
               
            • dartfreak75

              dartfreak75 Restore it, Dont part it! FABO Gold Member

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              I like that idea. Good advice!! Thanks
               
            • pishta

              pishta I know I'm right....

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              I used the white VHT ceramic high temp paint and it was incredible. You must heat cure it per the instructions or it will come off on your hands even when dry. Happened to some fresh silver VHT painted ones that didnt get cured for months. But BBQ paint is the go to for a quick coating after you blast them to prevent garage patina.
               
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              • Evan Dutch

                Evan Dutch Well-Known Member

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                If you paint it with vht or a similar paint do you have to bake it to cure it or will running them on the engine to the job?
                 
              • 70chall440

                70chall440 Mopar or No Car...

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                All I can offer is that I tried to paint some Hedman headers several times without success, however I attribute some of my issues (rust) to living in the Pacific NW. One thing I can offer and as stated is to blast the headers prior to painting them, do not think that the coating they come with acts as good primer because it doesn't. Personally, I would not use anything but coated headers anymore; sure they cost more but they last a very long time.
                 
              • Fast340cuda

                Fast340cuda Well-Known Member

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                Baking them probably isn’t a bad idea if you aren’t installing them right away. I didn’t bake mine but installed and ran them a few days after applying the paint.
                 
              • Evan Dutch

                Evan Dutch Well-Known Member

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                I was gonna paint them then install them on the engine. But I’ve still got some work to do to get the engine running I might wait to paint them
                In that case.
                 
              • pishta

                pishta I know I'm right....

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                you can do either, on the car is more fun. I understand you can paint and store (me) , but it will get your gloves dirty when you install them, dont get hand oil on them when you install them, wear gloves.

                Curing FLAMEPROOF™VHT FLAMEPROOF™ Coating only attains its unique properties after correct curing (refer to instructions on the can).
                • On the Vehicle
                  • Paint must be completely dry before curing
                  • Run at idle for 10 minutes
                  • Cool for 20 minutes
                  • Run at idle for 20 minutes
                  • Cool for 20 minute
                  • Run under normal operating conditions for 30 minutes
                • Off the Vehicle
                  • Paint must be completely dry before curing
                  • Heat to 250°F (121°C) for 30 minutes
                  • Cool for 30 minutes
                  • Heat to 400°F (204°C) for 30 minutes
                  • Cool for 30 minutes
                  • Heat to 650°F (343°C ) for 30 minutes
                 
              • harrisonm

                harrisonm Well-Known Member

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                Agreed. I have tried a lot of paint on headers over the years. NONE stay on. I don't care what the label says. About 15 years ago I used this Eastwood paint. It lasted for several years. Take the headers off and have them blasted (if you can). Then CLEAN them THOROUGHLY and paint them. When installing them on the car, use gloves. The oil in the skin on your fingers will cause problems when the paint cures with engine heat.
                 
              • pntastar69

                pntastar69 Well-Known Member

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                One thing about the Eastwood stuff, you can sand, clean, and reapply whenever needed to cover up troubled spots. It blends right in.
                 
              • Fizz66Coronet

                Fizz66Coronet Member

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                Ceramic coat them and take a file to the mounting flange for leaks
                 
              • Evan Dutch

                Evan Dutch Well-Known Member

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                Are there any companies that make a “ceramic in a can” type paint? I think I saw something like it on a PowerNation show on spike a couple years ago.
                 
              • Fizz66Coronet

                Fizz66Coronet Member

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                Test fit them first.
                 
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                • j par

                  j par Well-hung Member

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                  That engine? :poke:
                  I bought cheap Summit headers and Dragstriped them for four years and last year wrapped them. I think it's a bit cooler under the hood and they look good "to me". Mostly because it's the "look" I'm going for.
                   
                  Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
                • pishta

                  pishta I know I'm right....

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                  yes VHT makes a Ceramic coat, thats the stuff I used. IIRC Most high temp paint is ceramic based now.

                  could you go totally old school and use pottery glaze on a cast iron manifold? Iron melts at 2800, glaze fires a ~1200. Let your kid do it in ceramics class! :lol:
                   
                  Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
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