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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, Ive posted a question regarding headers and exhaust systems a few days ago.
I didnt get as many replies/opinions as I thought, so I address another specific question to you guys which wasnt answered back then.

I plan on replacing my headers and exhaust for some decent system sometime in the near future.
Now heres the question. What would you guys get, if it was your choice?

Since Id like the system to be something long lasting, I thought about getting a stainless system
I get the impression that any coating will peel off at a certain point.
No matter if ceramic coating, powder coating and paint being the worst (?!).

What are your opinions on that?

Also, what is the best/most common diameter for an exhaust system?
It appears to me, that 2 1/2" is the "weapon of choice" /forums/images/icons/wink.gif for most of you guys?


Thanks,
Nick
 
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Stainless steel from the headers back makes sense. You can also pick up stainless mufflers from a few different sources. They cost more, but you'll never need to replace them unless you physically damage the set-up. No coatings necessary on the pipes or mufflers. I had a buddy who put a 2-1/2" set up on his (shhh!) Camaro, looks good and no maintenance in 10 years.

Don't think that you can find stainless headers. Best bet for longevity here is to order up the headers (or send in your current headers) for a coating by someone like Jet Hot, or the like. The do it yourself jobs I've seen have not compared.

A word of caution: be careful when you install your coated headers. If you rub them on your shop floor you can damage the coating.

On the flip side - I put on Hooker Headers without further coating, the black paint peeled almost immediately. In retrospect do I care? Not really - I still love the sound and the power they bring to the car.

Pipe diameter. If you are running a 289, anything bigger than 2-1/2" is going to hurt your low end performance. The original dealer installed dual setup on my A-code motor had 2" pipes. I went to 2-1/2" because I also opened up the intake side of the motor.

Finally - don't forget to get either an H-pipe or an X-pipe. Added performance and better sound.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The engine is a 302, so not really much difference to a 289.
I wouldnt have picked anything larger than 2 1/2" diameter, as I dont like the ricer look.
Right now I have a 2" system.

My (8 months old) cheapo headers, lost their coating immediatly.
Took like a day. Needless to say they are rusty, and look crappy.
To make things worse they dont fit very tight and make a lot of noise when accelerating.

Thats why I decided to get a complete new system as soon as I can afford.
But this time, you bet that Ill go for something decent. Both, good headers and probably
a stainless exhaust.

It looks like my thoughts on the coating were right! No coating = NO peeloff /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

I think Ive read about an Stainless Steel header option in the 2001 NPD catalogue.
But I dont know if that were some decent headers, or just the same cheap
ones that Im running... .
 

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Stainless steel is great and will last a lifetime. However, it has one drawback. It will turn blue/brown after being heated up a few times. It can be polished over and over again, so if your up to that chore, and are willing to spend the extra cattle, your in like Flynn. My vote is still towards ceramic coating for the longevity, the color and the insulating properties. Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I sure wouldnt want to polish my exhaust system all the time! /forums/images/icons/wink.gif lol
I dont really mind the discoloration, that will come with time.
Its just that I hate coatings that peel off as this looks really cheap.

And by the way, I guess another drawback of Stainless systems, is their price! /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

Do you have any idea how long ceramic coatings will last? I dont really want to spend a big amount of money for an exhaust system, just to find out that I will have to recoat them every 2 years or something.
Again, I want something lasting. And that includes the "look" as well! /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

Thanks!
 

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My buddy has had ceramic coated headers on his GT-350 clone for 5 years. he drives his car about twice a week on average. His headers look brand new. I cannot think of another, better endorsement than that. By the way, he got his done at Jet Hot. These days most of the manufacturers offer their products coated for an additional $100 or so. Good luck man.
 

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Stainless exhausts are nice, but they are overkill, IMHO, as I feel the money is better spent other places.

I will never buy another set of headers that aren't ceramic coated. My '66 has ceramic coated FlowTech full length headers on them. They are so cool, that a few weeks ago, when I developed an exhaust leak, I went home for lunch, made myself a sandwich, ate the sandwich, and went outside and pulled the header off. You can grab them with your hand 15 minutes after the engine's off. The non-coated headers on my daughter's '69 (yup, nasty lookin' ol things) you could cook an egg on them an hour after the engine's off.

The next best thing to ceramic coating is nickel plating, IMHO. The JBA shorties on my son's '65 have been on either his car or mine now for well over 3 years and still look fantastic (driven DAILY for that time period). They have "blued" in the hot spots, but still shine nicely. So far, after about a year of the FlowTechs on my daily driver '66 they look like the day I installed them.

On the exhaust, I'd go 2 1/2" aluminized. Anything larger than 2 1/2" can't usually be mandrel bent over the rear axle, thus negating any advantages of anything larger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
John, sounds good.
I guess Ill stick with a stainless exausts if I can afford it.
But you guys got me thinking on the headers. I might consider ceramic or nickel coated ones.
I just want to be absolutley sure that they will last for more than two years.
The coating that is... .

I mean I alredy have bought a pair of headers that are useless, and I dont want to
do that again... . /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
 
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When I installed my Hedman Shortie headers, I let the paint burn off. I then removed them and ran a paint remover wheel over them and repainted them with high-temp paint. It's been about 1 month and the paint still looks good. I'll probably just keep an eye on the paint, if it looks like it needs a touch up I'll just take them off and repaint (an added plus to shorties, you can remove them from up top) They only cost me $105.00 from Summit, I'm sure it won't be too hard to get my money's worth for that amount??

Jason
 

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IMO, a 2.25 inch aluminized system with ceramic-coated headers will serve you well for years. I know many here swear by large diameter exhaust systems, but IMHO, it is overkill.

The 2.50 pipe is harder to bend sharply over places like the rear axle and get past the gas tank. Also consider that most of the high-performance big block cars made during the 60s only used 2.25 tubing.

In the latest Mustang Monthly there is an article titled "Common Restoration Mistakes" or something like that. One of the first mistakes cited is the use of oversized exhaust pipes. According to the article, it is not needed on most street-driven cars and tends to rob short-stoke engines (like the 289/302) of bottom end power.

So...I'd recomend that you not bother with exotic stuff like stainless. Aluminized tubing will last as long as you have the car.
 

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I used aluminized tubing and my car and it looks great. The mufflers are also aluminized. The guys at the alignment shop thought it looked great and spent some time checking it out when on the rack.

As far as size I feel the 2" size will work fine for a stock motor. I also think the larger sizes are overkill, unless the motor is modified.

I have also heard ceramic coating is the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK so bottom line from all your replies is, as far as I can see, that a 2" exhaust might be a bit too low in diameter while 2 1/2" might be too much. So I guess 2 1/4" is the way to go?!
You also seem to be confidant and satisfied with ceramic coated headers. And you even prefer them to Stainless for thermic reasons.

Thanks for you advices, Ill make sure to follow (most) of them.
I still think I will go with the stainless exhaust, if theres any chance that I can
afford them. I dont really like the term "aluminized" and what it implies to me (peeloff?). /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The engine is a 302. Slightly ported, Performer Intake and matching 600cfm Edelbrock carb.
Pertronix ignition. Future addition might be some slightly hotter (Performer?) cam.
So its not really stock, but far from being too hot!
 

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All the factories used aluminized tubing and mufflers since the early 60s. It is what you see when you look at factory exhaust systems that have sort of a dull silver finish. "Aluminizing" is a plating process that starts with steel tubing and plates it with aluminum to prevent corrosion. Many cars built more than 30 years ago still have the original aluminized exhaust compononents.

For a car that is driven daily, aluminized exhaust tubing will last a minimum of 10 years, I would guess. For hobby cars like most of ours, it will probably outlast all of us.

Stainless exhaust systems generally must be purchased pre-bent for your application, because it requires special bending equipment that most exhaust shops do not have. There are a limited number of vendors building these systems and they are quite expensive. Don't get me wrong, stainless is great stuff - IMHO it is better than you'll really need.

You are correct in your understanding that 2.5 inches is larger tubing than your car needs. K-code cars only used 2 inch exhaust (as did early street GT350s). Two and a quarter with some modern turbo mufflers will outflow the OEM system Ford used on HiPo cars.
 

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For my car I chose to buy a set of el cheapo Tri-Y headers - around $100.

I stripped them of the black "shipping paint" and painted them with an expensive high temp header paint - which after a few weeks promptly began to pit with rust pocks. /forums/images/icons/mad.gif

So, at the advice of "roadracer" here I bought a $5 can of Rustoleum BBQ paint at Home Depot (see, they are good for something!). I cleaned up the headers and brush painted them while still installed. What do you know, but now a few months later they still look black and good.

Do they look as good as a set of stainless, nickel, or coated headers? No. Will the coating be super durable? No - I expect to have to spend the 30 mins to repaint it every year or so.......But "bang for buck" I think this was a great option ! HTH - Dickson
 

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I would then go with a 2.25" aluminized system to keep the back pressure up. I have also heard the HiPo cast manifolds would work well with mild engine mods.
 
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