by Curt Hoffman
Many people talked to me about my headers and I thought I would pass along what I did to protect them. The headers on my car when I bought it were rusty with pinholes and would not pass Pennsylvania inspection. I looked at headers in other cars and noticed the same problem. I figured with the problem associated with changing headers on a Tiger, I would try to protect them as best I can.
It just so happens fate stepped in and I found a test report in an automotive magazine the very next month (1984 Car Craft Annual). In the article, the advantage of using the new hi-tech aerospace developed coatings for headers was discussed. I decided to have mine done by the firm listed: High Performance Coatings, 1107 Cornell Parkway, Oklahoma City, OK 73108. They coat the headers inside and out with an aluminized ceramic with some chromium and magnesium thrown in as well.
They coat the headers with a black, blue, gold or chrome-like finish. I chose the latter. Total cost with shipping was $146.16 in June, 1986. Turn around time was just a couple of weeks.
The key advantage of these coatings over aluminum, chrome, etc. is the resistance to chipping and the headers can be coated inside and out to prevent internal corrosion.
After one year and about 4000 miles, my headers look like the day I installed them (except for a little oil I burned on from an oil hose leak that I have not scrubbed off yet. The price obviously increased the cost of my J.C. Whitney headers considerably, but it at least appears that I will not be buying and changing my headers in the near future–hopefully never!
Editors note: A company with shops in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Mississippi called Metallic Ceramic Coatings, (Jet Hot) can be reached at 1-800-432-337. They do an excellent job of ceramic coating. The 2001 price for a set of Tiger headers was around $225.
It is best to install the pipes prior to coating so that you can rework them for clearances. If you try to rework them after coating, the coating will crack and fall off.