Ceramic VS Stainless Headers

Discussion in 'High Tech Retrofits' started by patpkk, May 12, 2013.

  1. Randy 81

    Randy 81 Veteran Member

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    Here is what my Stainless Works headers looked like after a while (about 1500 miles)
    [​IMG]

    You can use either Scotchbrite or fine steel wool and they will look more like they did new. I definitely prefer stainless over ceramic, no coating to fail on stainless and they keep the heat in pretty darn good. Stainless Works builds some very nice headers too.
     
  2. BonzoHansen

    BonzoHansen Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    My Amercian Racing Headers are stainless and look great. I can get a pic later in the week.
     
  3. Todd80Z28

    Todd80Z28 Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I've got some cheap Dynomax Jet-Hot coated headers that I bought in 1995 (for just over $200, IIRC), and they are still on the car 18 years and 50k+ miles later. They still look decent- not pretty, especially due to the oil that's been slung all over them down low for several years- but passable, and fully functional. No complaints. My car does not see snow, but it's seen a LOT of rain over the years.
    This pic was taken when they were 8-9 years old, still look roughly the same-
    [​IMG]
    If you want to minimize discoloration in any header, make sure your timing isn't too retarded. Lots of folks leave off vac advance on engines that see lots of cruising (i.e. high vac part throttle), and lack of vacuum advance adds several HUNDRED degrees to the exhaust temp due to the late burn. I'll go so far as to say it's the #1 reason headers don't last on some folks street cars.
    Having said all that, I like stainless, too.:) I've had both (stainless Doug Thorley Tri-Ys and these, on my '81 and '80), and I think the ceramics keep the underhood temps slightly lower.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  4. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    Ceramic will break and fall off the metal if you subject it to extreme temperatures. Stainless steel has nothing to fall off, so they should outlast ceramic by many times.
     
  5. 77LT1

    77LT1 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I kinda like the discoloration of stainless headers. When you pop the hood, people will know right away they're stainless. I have ceramic coated headers that I have had for 20 years. They don't look all that good anymore, but they work fine.

    [​IMG]

    B
     
  6. Protour-Camaro

    Protour-Camaro Veteran Member

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    I have had ceramic headers for a VERY long time. Never had pieces break off before.
     
  7. patpkk

    patpkk Veteran Member

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    Thanks for all for the pictures. Tough decision I have to make. In general I get the idea I should not be afraid to use either type.
     
  8. Randy 81

    Randy 81 Veteran Member

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    Yes, either one will work for you. I will say the Stainless Works headers fit better than other brands I have tried, they do make some nice headers..
     
  9. turbodarryl

    turbodarryl Veteran Member

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    Take a look at the new Hookers that are made specific for the 70-74 0r 75-81 and all finishes
     
  10. bfmgoalie

    bfmgoalie Veteran Member

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    I just had my headers ceramic coated. A couple friends told me when installing the headers I should wear gloves because the oil on your hands will discolor the headers once the engine is fired up. That true?
     

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