1. Are custom headers difficult to build by myself?
  2. How do I calculate my header size?
  3. Why should I opt for a performance slip-on merge collector instead of a standard weld-on formed collector with my header build kit?
  4. What materials are commonly used in building exhaust headers?
  5. Should I wrap my exhaust headers with heat-resistant material?
  6. How do I ensure proper fitment and avoid clearance issues when installing custom exhaust headers?
  7. What are exhaust headers, and why are they important in a performance-oriented vehicle?
  8. Ceramic Coating FAQ's- What are the benefits?
  9. Prop 65 Information

Q: Are custom headers difficult to build by myself?

Definitely not! Although it may be daunting initially, building headers can be broken into just a few simple steps. With the right prep work, and of course superior materials made in the USA, our header build kits are the optimum solution to all your header builds. We offer phone and email support every business day to talk you through any design or build difficulties you may encounter during the process. We also have a 6-part video series here to coach you through the steps necessary in header design and fabrication.

Q: How do I calculate my header size?

We figure primary tube size as well as collector size through various methods, though our combined decades of experience have given us an edge over many common misconceptions. Check out our header calculations page for general rules of thumb, and some basic equations for figuring out some starting points on header sizing, collector sizing, turbo charger selection, and more.

Q: Why should I opt for a performance slip-on merge collector instead of a standard weld-on formed collector with my header build kit?

Although a bit more expensive, the hand made, purge-Tig welded slip on merge collectors offer many advantages when compared to a standard formed collector. Our merge collectors are perfectly sized and toleranced to slide tightly over your header's primary tube at the collector inlets. No more messing around with trying to line up a collector star or spike and worry about exhaust leaks at the collector. The integrated merge spike in the collector is also integrated to the collector, reinforcing the collector's strength, and creating a smooth laminar flow for the exhaust. When properly installed, your merge collectors' internal spikes are also excellent scavenging inducers, creating a smooth vortex of gases at the merge point, increasing exhaust velocity and pulling the gases through the primary tubes quicker. This increased exhaust gas flow means less exhaust residual resides in your engine's combustion chamber, thereby increasing volumetric efficiency, allowing more air (oxygen) into the cylinder, which means more fuel can be burned per revolution, meaning greater power can be achieved.

Q: What materials are commonly used in building exhaust headers?

Exhaust headers are commonly constructed from two main materials: mild steel and stainless steel. Mild steel headers are cost-effective but are more prone to rust and corrosion over time; these typically require either a quality coating such as ceramic coatings or high-temp paint, or the use of an aluminized mild steel. Stainless steel headers offer better durability and corrosion resistance, making them suitable for various applications. The most common stainless alloy used for stainless headers, whether off-the-shelf or custom stainless headers, is 304 stainless steel. It offers great affordability with excellent strength and corrosion resistance, suitable for most applications. For increased corrosion resistance in off-shore applications, or general marine work, 316 stainless steel is commonly used, as it has increased corrosion resistance while maintaining excellent strength, at a slightly greater expense. For lightweight headers or high temperature applications such as high-boost turbo systems, aerospace, petrochemical, or other extreme environments, alloys such as 321 Stainless Steel or the high-nickel alloys like 625 Inconel or 718 Inconel are often used. 321 stainless steel and the high-nickel alloys have increased nickel and titanium bonding molecules in the alloy, greatly increasing strength, temperature durability, thermal cycling, and vibration resistance. These are often used in thinner gauge header builds to keep a system lightweight without sacrificing strength or durability. However, these alloys do also come at considerably higher costs than their 304 stainless steel counterparts.

Q: Should I wrap my exhaust headers with heat-resistant material?

The decision to wrap exhaust headers with heat-resistant material depends on the specific application and personal preferences. Header wraps can help retain heat within the exhaust system, which may slightly improve exhaust gas velocity and reduce under-hood temperatures. However, they can also trap moisture and potentially accelerate corrosion of mild steel headers. If your engine or surrounding components leak oils or other fluids, these can also be trapped or absorbed into the wrap, creating a potential fire hazard over time. If you have good quality stainless steel headers, header wrap is not required to improve corrosion resistance or create a boundary layer, however it can still be beneficial for creating a thermal barrier, and lowering engine bay temperatures. It is strongly recommended to NOT wrap any ceramic coated headers, the coarse insulating fibers (fiberglass, carbon, titanium, or ceramic) that give the header wrap it's insulating properties, will vibrate and chafe your header coating, and eventually rubbing it off the header tubes completely.

We recommend a quality ceramic coating job rather than header wrap for nearly every application that a thermal barrier is desired. The ceramic coating is maintenance free, does not require wrap-planning to get around your collector or sensor bungs, and does not increase the overall size of the header in tight-clearance applications. The ceramic coating is also non-porous, giving it excellent corrosion resistance qualities to whatever material you apply it to, without absorbing or retaining moisture or fire hazard fluids such as oils and lubricants. The ceramic coating has a double-bonus option as well- any quality ceramic coating applicator should be able to apply the coating to a large portion of the INSIDE of your header as well. Whether the applicator is able to spray/fog the inside of the system, or use a 'dip & shake' method, adding an internal coating will help considerably with preventing heat soak of the parent metal and even further reducing under hood temperatures.

Q: How do I ensure proper fitment and avoid clearance issues when installing custom exhaust headers?

Proper fitment of custom exhaust headers is crucial to avoid clearance issues and interference with other components. It's essential to take precise measurements of your engine bay and consider factors like suspension travel, steering components, and motor mounts. Mocking up the headers using cardboard or tubing before final fabrication can help identify potential clearance problems. Professional exhaust header builders or experienced fabricators can provide valuable guidance in ensuring a proper fit.

Q: What are exhaust headers, and why are they important in a performance-oriented vehicle?

Exhaust headers are a set of tubes that collect exhaust gases from the engine's individual cylinders and direct them to the exhaust system. They play a crucial role in enhancing engine performance. By allowing each cylinder to expel exhaust gases freely without interference, headers reduce backpressure, improve exhaust scavenging, and increase overall engine efficiency. A properly designed & built header can result in significantly better horsepower, torque, and throttle response, especially in high-performance and racing applications.

Q: Ceramic Coating FAQ's- What are the benefits?

Ceramic Exhaust Coating FAQ

What are the benefits of ceramic coating my exhaust?

Ceramic coating offers a range of benefits, including:

Improved performance: By reflecting heat back into the exhaust stream, ceramic coating keeps your engine cooler, leading to potential gains in horsepower, torque, and efficiency.
Reduced underhood temperatures: Cooler exhaust components mean cooler engine bays, protecting surrounding components from heat damage and extending their lifespan.
Enhanced aesthetics: Ceramic coating comes in a variety of colors for a custom look.
Superior corrosion resistance: The coating shields exhaust components, especially mild steel, from rust, moisture, and road salt.
Durability: Unlike exhaust wraps that degrade over time, ceramic coating is a permanent solution that bonds to the metal.
Easier maintenance: Coated parts are easier to clean and inspect compared to wrapped components.

Is ceramic coating better than exhaust wrap?

Yes, ceramic coating offers several advantages over exhaust wrap:

Durability: Ceramic coating is permanent, while wraps can deteriorate over time.
Performance: Ceramic coating reflects heat, whereas wraps insulate it. This can lead to more consistent heat management and potentially higher performance gains.
Maintenance: Coated parts are easier to clean and inspect.
Aesthetics: Ceramic coating offers a variety of colors for a customized look.
Increased Coating Area: Because we coat internally & externally on exhaust components, there is double the thermal barrier available for improved thermal protection.

What materials does ceramic coating work on?

Our ceramic coating is suitable for various exhaust materials, including mild steel and stainless steel. It offers superior corrosion resistance for both materials, although stainless steel has better inherent corrosion resistance.

What temperature rating should I choose for my ceramic coating?

We offer a range of ceramic coatings with temperature resistance from 1200F to 2200F. The ideal rating depends on your specific application. We can help you determine the best choice for your vehicle.

What is the process for ceramic coating exhaust components?

Our ceramic coating process involves several meticulous steps:

1. Color Choice and Temperature Rating: We discuss color options and determine the appropriate temperature rating for your needs.
2. Surface Preparation: Sand or media blasting removes paint, rust, and contaminants to ensure proper coating adhesion.
3. Baking and Cleaning: Parts are baked to eliminate residual gases and oils, then blasted with air and degreased with acetone for a spotless surface.
4. Ceramic Coating Application: The chosen ceramic coating is applied to the prepared components.
5. Curing: Parts are baked in a specialized oven at the manufacturer's recommended temperature to cure the coating.
6. Cool Down and Inspection: The parts are slowly cooled and meticulously inspected before you receive them.

How long does ceramic coating last?

With proper care, ceramic coating on exhaust parts can last for years.

How do I care for ceramic-coated exhaust components?

Ceramic-coated parts are generally easy to maintain. You can wash them with soap and water and avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners.

Q: Prop 65 Information

For more information regarding Proposition 65 and California's requirements, visit their website: https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/