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Thread: Pipe Coating Options

  1. #1
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    Pipe Coating Options

    So I've pretty much convinced myself that I'm going to have white headers and pipesó despite all the warnings about how hard they are to keep clean.

    With that in mind, do the side pipes benefit from ceramic coating? I can't help but looking at them and thinkingó how many times is someone going to seriously burn themselves on that?

    I guess the main question is: are the side pipes a persistent burn danger, or are they fairly tame? Is that hump in the middle an air gap heat shield (and is it effective?), or is that an expansion chamber in the pipe?

    I'm just wondering if it's worth the expense to try and reduce heat as much as possible or if I should go with a high temp paint or powder coat.

  2. #2
    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    I haven't done ceramic coating on side pipes, so no help there. I have used ceramic coating on headers. Yes, the surface temps are lower, but still seriously hot and dangerous. For the rest of your questions: Yes, absolutely the side pipes are very hot and will cause instant potentially serious burns if you contact them with bare skin. The turnout by the headers is by far the worst. The rest, including by the doors, is also bad but not quite as hot. The "hump" in the middle is the muffler section, so is fully heated. The narrower parts at the front and back are pipe only sections. The Coupe has a slight advantage because the pipes are somewhat tucked into the body sides. Easier to step over than the Roadster. The smaller twin style pipes (like what comes with the kit) are more like what the originals had and tuck in slightly better than some of the aftermarket single tube pipes. But all must be avoided, up to 30 minutes (or maybe more) after shutting down. In case you haven't heard, the kit provided pipes are extremely LOUD. Painfully so IMO. I'd recommend running them before putting any money into them. Then decide.
    Last edited by edwardb; 07-01-2019 at 02:26 PM.
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  3. #3

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    FWIW - I'm planning to ceramic coat my headers, side pipes and heat shields for my Mk4 roadster. I've had Jet-Hot quote the work for me. The headers are SS 4-into-1-into 4 with built-in catalytic converters, and I'm doing the extreme 2500 coating on those in black. The side pipes and heat shields will get their standard satin black ceramic coating, as the extreme 2500 is a rough texture and not durable enough for the exposed side pipes. Total for all parts plus return shipping is ~$1,500. HTH.
    MkIV Roadster build: Coyote, IRS, TKO600. Ordered 10/24/18. Delivered 1/29/19. Build thread here.

  4. #4
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    Thanks much edwardb. I think that's a great idea to see if I can live with the noise level before I invest anything on the stock pipes.

    I had a friend mention a solution would be to fabricate a door sill plate that would unfold and drape over the pipes for entry and exit. I thought that was a really neat idea! Just have to remember to use them (and "un-use" them), but I think you could probably incorporate some sort of indicator/reminder system into it.

    I'm sure I'm over thinking it, but with four kids and a wife (plus everyone else I take for a ride) I really want to find a way to minimize that potential hazard.
    Last edited by Alphamacaroon; 07-01-2019 at 04:00 PM.

  5. #5
    Seasoned Citizen NAZ's Avatar
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    I've insulated exhaust systems and have never found a practical way to put enough insulation on to prevent burns of the skin. I also believe you're going to find that anything that insulates the headers or exhaust pipes is going to make them cool slower too.

    I've been burned on a variety of exhaust systems and have learned that chrome is the worst for staying hot with SS a close second. When I build headers and exhaust systems I use steel (thinner the better up to a point) and paint them black. When I get back from a run on my car it takes about 5-mins for the headers to cool enough I can work around the engine. Headers cool by convection and if you wrap them or coat them it reduces their ability to transfer heat to the atmosphere.

    I've found that given enough space, heat shielding is more effective than insulation. The bigger the gap between the shield and the exhaust the better (inverse square law applies). A good heat shield over the exhaust will do a better job of preventing burns and is more practical than any insulation you can apply.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member AC Bill's Avatar
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    Ceramic coating won't help with the burns. Drummer Mike has some heat shields that look nice, and can prevent a bad searing.

    If you go with white, which on some builds look magnificent, just touch them up with some paint once in awhile. Use the VHT Flameproof paint, and follow the instructions.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AC Bill View Post

    just touch them up with some paint once in awhile. Use the VHT Flameproof paint, and follow the instructions.
    I assure you this is the best way to proceed until you figure out what you actually want + need.

    ~6-8$ spray cans until then...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Packer fan's Avatar
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    I had my side exhaust pipes ceramic coated and they are cool enough to touch for a second or two without getting burnt less than a minute after shutting down. I am impressed.
    Mk4 ordered 1/3/18, IRS, Coyote, T56 Magnum

  9. #9
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    Ceramic coated headers and stainless sidepipes. The ceramic has held up well, the SS pipes yellow.
    All are still hot for quite a while after shutdown.
    No serious burns yet after 65k miles but a friend did melt some polyester and a little girl, about 4, started to melt her shoes on the pipes when she stood on the pipes. Grabbed her quickly, then with her mother's permission gave her a ride around the parking lot. All was good.
    Jim

  10. #10
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    I used VHT and RustOleum white paint on mine. If I remember correctly the RustOLeum white was a more pure white whereas the VHT is more like a Wimbledon White.
    If in doubt......flat out-Colin McRae

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