Engine & Header Coating Technology - How It Works

Jet-Hot explains the technology and science behind header and engine coatings, and the benefits they offer in power and durability.

Stephen Kim Aug 24, 2012 0 Comment(s)
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Jet-Hot offers several different coating options: Extreme 1300, Extreme 2000, and Extreme 2500. Extreme 1300 is by far our most popular coating. It is easily identified by its polished aluminum finish, and is capable of providing continuous protection to a skin temperature of about 1,300 degrees F. This makes it ideal for naturally aspirated motors, and it can be applied to the majority of parts that we see. The next step up is our Extreme 2000 coating; it contains stainless steel elements that provide thermal protection to skin temperatures of about 2,000 degrees F. This type of coating is best suited for applications with turbos or superchargers that run very hot. Finally, Extreme 2500 is a full ceramic material that provides the best level of insulation for any application. As its name suggests, it can withstand skin temperatures of about 2,5000 degrees F. It contains no metal content at all, can only be applied to the outside surfaces of parts, and is often used on components located downstream of turbochargers.

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Turbo Applications

Many people are already familiar with the benefits of ceramic header coatings in naturally aspirated engines, but they offer advantages in turbo applications as well. Due to the extreme heat generated by turbo motors, Jet-Hot recommends using our Extreme 2000 or Extreme 2500 coatings in turbo applications. Coating the hot side parts can maintain the heat inside components better for improved thermal efficiency. Furthermore, our coatings help spread the heat out more uniformly. Interestingly, in rear-mount turbo combinations customers have reported reduced turbo lag when using Jet-Hot coatings.

Coating Maintenance

One of the biggest benefits of a coated header is its shiny good looks, but as the miles and years tack on, regular maintenance is required to prevent dulling and staining. Jet-Hot recommends that customers periodically clean their headers to remove any salt or road grime that can accumulate on the surface. The best way to do this is with light soap and cool water. Oil, transmission fluid, and engine coolant can be easily removed with fine steel wool or a Scotch-Brite pad. Any nonabrasive polish can then be used with a soft cloth to bring out a high-luster finish.

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Aluminum will cloud up when cleaned in a hot condition, so it’s imperative to allow the surface to cool down first. If headers are dulling, the coating is getting too hot for the application, or there is residue that’s causing the color change. Furthermore, uneven fuel distribution and improper spark timing can result in extreme exhaust gas temperature that may exceed the temperature range of a coating. To avoid this, it’s important to make sure an engine is in optimal running condition. Jet-Hot customers can also rest assured that their header coatings are covered by a lifetime warranty. If there’s ever a problem, just ship the headers in and we’ll re-coat them under warranty.

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Internal Thermal Coatings

With racing classes as competitive as they are these days, engine builders are increasingly using coatings on internal engine components to search for extra horsepower. In addition to exhaust coatings, Jet-Hot also offers coatings for internal engine components such as pistons, crankshafts, and bearings. Internal engine coatings fall into three categories: ceramic metallic thermal coatings, friction reduction coatings, and oil-shedding coatings. Ceramic coatings are often applied to piston crowns, valve faces, and the cylinder head combustion chambers. This provides thermal management and helps retain heat in the combustion chamber for improved power.

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