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Are stainless headers better than ceramic?

This is a discussion on Are stainless headers better than ceramic? within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; im looking to put a full exhaust on my 2000 ws6 wondering which would be best stainless or ceramic headers ...

  1. #1
    Member blackls1ta's Avatar
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    Are stainless headers better than ceramic?

    im looking to put a full exhaust on my 2000 ws6 wondering which would be best stainless or ceramic headers ,i only drive the car when weather is nice,no rain or snow,any help would appreciate.

  2. #2
    SMKDFRD
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    Go with ceramic.

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    Member blackls1ta's Avatar
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    thanks for help,could you give me any info on the ceramics?

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    Ceramic headers just have a high temp ceramic paint on them. The heat in ceramic headers is contained in the exhaust pipe itself do to the thermal insulation that the ceramic coating provides. Which means less heat transfered to the heads and block. Also provides a smooth unrestrictive surface for the exhaust gases to blow across allowing a faster escape from the engine. Obviously these are minute differences, but I have logged about a 4 degree temperature drop off the engine coolant sensor after putting on ceramic headers. Minute, but it counts somewhere in there.
    The incredible X

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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    what it does is keep the under hood temps down by retaining the heat. a mag did a test. bare headers 410*. ceramic coated 214*. doing this translates into a cooler engine and intake tract. also, by keeping the header tube hot, the exhaust flows quicker. when the tube is cool, the heat from the exhaust tries to escape. this slows the exhaust down. the hotter the surface, the quicker it flows.

    stainless steel doesn't rust. mild steel headers do. ceramic coating helps prevent rusting. you can have stainless headers coated as well.

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    member since may 2000 nhraformula's Avatar
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    in due time ceramic will start to flake off weather stainless or not.
    it will take longer to flake off on stainless though.
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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    if that's the case, then it wasn't done correctly. i've hammered on ceramic coating and hasn't come off.

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    member since may 2000 nhraformula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrr23 View Post
    if that's the case, then it wasn't done correctly. i've hammered on ceramic coating and hasn't come off.
    what i should of stated is that it flakes off and theres a spec of rust.

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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    if the process wasn't done correctly, then it will allow the elements to get underneath it. then, the mild steel it was put on will rust. in that instance, we are correct. with stainless, there isn't a chance of rust.

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    member since may 2000 nhraformula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrr23 View Post
    if the process wasn't done correctly, then it will allow the elements to get underneath it. then, the mild steel it was put on will rust. in that instance, we are correct. with stainless, there isn't a chance of rust.
    i can get my friends SS and take pictures and show you that his stainless slp headers have surface rust.
    stainless steel is not rust proof.

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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    and i can take pics of my stainless steel exhaust where it has no rust anywhere.

    is the rust on your friend's headers at the welds?

    there are different grades of stainless steel.

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    member since may 2000 nhraformula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrr23 View Post
    and i can take pics of my stainless steel exhaust where it has no rust anywhere.

    is the rust on your friend's headers at the welds?

    there are different grades of stainless steel.
    on the collectors mainly.
    my pacesetters after 3 years are starting to show some specs of rust.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    yeah pacesetters were never good at rust prevention. those are made from mild steel. may have voiced concerns on the rusting. even my bassani's have some rusting on them. the AC condensation runs down them on the passenger side causing this.
    Last edited by mrr23; 04-16-2007 at 04:20 PM.

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    Rice Hungry GottaHaveLS1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhraformula View Post
    i can get my friends SS and take pictures and show you that his stainless slp headers have surface rust.
    stainless steel is not rust proof.
    I have seen and heard of SLP stainless longtubes rusting. so maybe it's just SLP, cuz there long tube design sucks anyways...
    1999 Trans Am M6
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    Tuned at Mongillo Motors in New Haven, CT

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    Senior Member INMY01TA's Avatar
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    I think all ceramic mild steel headers will rust. Jett Hott is the leader in ceramic coating and a couple of my friends have Jett Hott long tubes and they're both rusty as sh&t.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    I guess it's a matter of perspective. I remember the days when no one had ceramic coated headers. You would put on a brand new shiny black set of headers and a month later they looked bad, a month after that and they were starting to rust, and a month later they were completely rusty.
    If money wasn't the issue I would definitely do stainless but ceramics are a very good choice for the price. You can pretty much buy 2 sets of ceramics for what you pay for a set of stainless.

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    member since may 2000 nhraformula's Avatar
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    just because headers rust doesnt mean they wont work.
    they just wont be bling bling anymore

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    Rice Hungry GottaHaveLS1's Avatar
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    Its defintely not worth the extra $300-400 just for looks. I might get stainless eventually but it will probably many years from now when i have more $

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    if u think about it, our stock manifolds are cast iron, which rusts up, but they'll last for 20 years, so why wouldnt headers last that long?

    its just another way for companies to get more money out of you , for buying something you dont actually need, but that looks nice

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