To Wrap the Exhaust or Not to wrap the exhaust

When I got the engine running - I can see a slight hint of red for the first 6 inches on the header. The supplied header is not prestine like some of the ones I see on other guys pictures and I am thinking I need to wrap it to keep the heat down and hit the quality of the headers. Any thoughts? I tired a couple sections but the wrapping smokes but I figure after a while it will stop smoking.
 

Randy V

Admin
Lifetime Supporter
I prefer to wrap them from end to end. Yes, it is harder on the metal over the years, but it helps keep the heat in check within the engine bay....
They do smoke “a LOT” when they are first started and run in for 30 minutes...
My advice is to only run it outdoors and put a large fan in place to blow the acrid smoke away...
 

Neil

Supporter
When I got the engine running - I can see a slight hint of red for the first 6 inches on the header. The supplied header is not prestine like some of the ones I see on other guys pictures and I am thinking I need to wrap it to keep the heat down and hit the quality of the headers. Any thoughts? I tired a couple sections but the wrapping smokes but I figure after a while it will stop smoking.
Bill, I've tried wrapping headers in the past and wasn't too pleased with the results. The wrapping tends to accumulate moisture when the headers cool down and cause then to rust. The Cerakote coating works much better. The coating does reduce the heat somewhat but it protects the surface and reduces rust & corrosion. It looks good, too.
 

Attachments

I've used wrap and sleeves, Like the sleeves. Usually if your headers are getting that hot you are not running enough distributor advance, something to check. Either run a vacuum advance or dial in more on the efi.
 

Pete

Lifetime Supporter
If you are concerned with heat JET-HOT coatings does a ceramic coat inside and out lifetime gaurantee. I have no affiliation with them.
 

Neil

Supporter
Jet Hot used to be good but they have increased their prices dramatically and closed most of their operations. That's why I recommended Cerakote. The coatings are similar but the cost is reasonable and they have applicators in many locations.
 
Hello, a question please, if I ceramic coat the complete exhaust do I still need to wrap it (which I would like to avoid if possible) thanks
 

Terry Oxandale

Skinny Man
I would say no, but that may be an owner preference decision. Coating helps significantly, so not knowing what the assumed diminished returns are of also wrapping a coated header, I would avoid the wrap. I've never had a coated header go bad in over 20 years of running the same headers. It's a lifetime investment, and IMHO, wrapping accelerates the destruction of the tubes.
 

Dwight

RCR GT 40 Gulf Livery 347 Eight Stack injection
Supporter
I ran ceramic coated headers on my Cobra for 18 years and 42,000 miles. LOVED them. Cool to the touch within a few minutes. The painted, stainless and chrome headers stay hot for a long time compared to ceramic coating. We had all types of headers in the group I traveled with, so I was able to observe them. Chrome is the hottest for the longest.

When I torn down my GT 40 I had the stainless exhaust system ceramic coated.
It will keep the heat down in the engine bay. Looks good, all the time. If they get dirty then I can polish them with aluminum polish used on rims.
Nothing bad about ceramic except the cost but well worth it in the long run.
Just my opinion
Dwight
 
fyi, ceramic coating is nice, if you get your exhaust red hot as in not enough advance or to rich or lean it will take the shine off your ceramic. The effect of this to me is unknown but I have seen it.
 

Ron Earp

Admin
Depends on what you want to do with your car.

I do coat my race car exhaust systems inside and out. I've used Jet Hot ceramic several times and it's a long-lasting coating.

However, it does little to nothing for under hood temperatures in racing use and you can verify this with a thermocouple. Since I would like to keep the engine bay as cool as possible for longevity of other engine components I wrap my headers. For header wrap I prefer the black cloth wrap that is commonly available. I secure it with stainless zip ties and wire where needed.

The header wrap can last a long time when wrapped well, but, it will get dirty and look pretty crappy. One of the cars we run out of the shop has some header tubes I wrapped back in 2015 and the wrap is just now starting to come apart, total race hours on the engine/header wrap is right at 90 hours.

Eventually header wrap fails. It gets brittle and comes apart. Repeated races in the rain will accelerate the process.
 
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+++++ 1 with Ron !!!!
One good trick to extand just a litlle the "brittling" and "come apart" is ; once the wrap have been done and secured with stainless stuff is to use one complete can for each side and spray with hot temp paint , then let dry for minimum 2 days before use
This help extending the wrap life for more or less 3/4 monthes
We experimented this on two similar small helicopeters named Rotorway ; one with wrap and another with similar wrap heavily painted with black higth temp spray ..... the second ones with similar flying hours last 4 more months ......
Then we found a small french company doing our special "thermic" sleeves for racing car turbos who where able to provide 2 inches large inconel very very thin wraping ( with diamonds printed into ) and tried to wrap those Heli , it worked perfectly for so many years !!! Only issue ; the company closed and we never found again anywhere this so special wrapping !!!!!
 

Ron Earp

Admin
Good idea Michel.

Oh, another trick for wrapping - soak the header wrap in water and wrap them wet. You get tighter wrapping and it gets rid of the fiberglass dust issue. On the downside it makes a HUGE mess, or can do.
 
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Yes of course ; I have always soak the wrap before wrapping .... then when all was firmly secured with stainless "zips" it's better to worm all stuff with first a hot gun and then a radiator with afan for 4/5 hours to evaporate by outside than switching the engine to have hot headers !!!!!

Recently I wrapped the front bank of the 6 cylinder Alfa from my Stratos and even doing so and leaving for 4 days all the stuff ; when firing the thing
after 5 mn...... big smoke on the engine compartment and all grandsons asking to cut down everything ( they where thinking of abig fire on the shed !!! LOL:D) After some runs outside all was coming back to normal and only 1/4 of an hour after it was possible to check by hand with no danger that the wrap was perfectly tighten !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!;)
 
There are sleeves for the header tubes that are just as effective. Same material as the wrap but is a loose fit. Can be used if the headers are already installed. I've used wrap and sleeves, both work.
 
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