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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When my headers start getting discolored and/or I stop having any desire to polish them, I plan on getting some black header wrap. Looking through the Parts Unlimited catalog I noticed this:



I've never wrapped headers before, so I'm not sure how much of this is legalese for covering ones a$$, and how much is true. I've never seen wrapped headers crack, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Do I really need to worry about my stock headers potentially cracking if I wrap 'em up? 5.gif

Someone here knows the answer meme.gif
 

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it's unlikely your headers will crack as a result of wrapping them, especially on a stock bike...I'd worry more about your pipes rotting away on the inside. Wraps collect and hold moisture right against the pipes.


Why not just get them ceramic coated?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ceramic coating is thin and prone to chipping, right where rocks and debris is being flung by the front wheel.

Also, I think wrapping it would look cooler c.gif ...more hooligan/streetfighter-ish.

Concerned about moisture retention though, since I live in a moisture rich environment 2.gif
 

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People wrap headers to reduce heat, usually in a cramped engine bay where the headers are sitting next to meltable parts. Are your headers producing to much heat, thereby effecting something else on the bike?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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I understand what you are saying. But it will not benefit your motorcycle, other than cosmetically (subjectively). It may actually cause damage to the stock header pipes. I am not saying it will, but that would be enough for me to stay away if my motives were purely aesthetics. A buddy of mine has a turbo integra and he wraps his exhaust pipe, but doesn't wrap the header because the wrap will hold in to much heat and crack the pipes.
 

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Actually this is not cosmetic or to protect from heat. This is to keep the exhaust insulated. Hot gas travel faster... Keeping exhaust gas hotter make them exit faster, more HP in theory. I will not recommend ceramic or header wrap with a carbon fiber slip-on. Increasing the gas temp might melt the can or put premature wear on it. Stock headers are thick enough not to worry about wearing them off.

If you install some get some 0.025" SS lock wire and a lock wire pair of plier. Wrap and put some lock wire around it every few inches to keep it nice and tight. Oh... start that thing outside! Shit stick like hell when for a bit until you burn the glue.
 

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Hmm that's cool. I didn't know that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info Marthy!

In your opinion, is there any danger in the excess heat damaging the catalytic converter in the stock exhaust?
 

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A common misconseption is that header wrap reduces heat. It does not. What it does however is MOVE heat. By wrapping the header, you will either retain the heat in the engine (cylinder head) or it will cause the exhaust gas to remain hot and heat the muffler. As stated, a carbon muffler will not react well to exagerated EGTs. I seriously considered wrapping my Brocks system and was warned against it as it may cause issues with the muffler and packing. Food for thought. Admittedly, it would look badass though.
 

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it's unlikely your headers will crack as a result of wrapping them, especially on a stock bike...I'd worry more about your pipes rotting away on the inside. Wraps collect and hold moisture right against the pipes.


Why not just get them ceramic coated?
Aren't the pipes stainless steel? Is corrosion an issue if this is the case?
 

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I've used it in the past. To prevent corrosion you are supposed to spray it with a silicon spray paint to seal it. As marty said use safety wire to hold it, mine was on a turbo down pipe, so I just used hose clamps at the start and end. It ended up dry rotting pretty quickly, I'd say a year or two tops.
 

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Aren't the pipes stainless steel? Is corrosion an issue if this is the case?
It's resistant, some alloys more than others, but it's not 100%. And it's not just the moisture, there's a ton of stuff on the roads(oils, chemicals, road salts) on the roads that these things are gonna suck up over time. Short-term it's probably not too bad of an issue(especially if you ride only in summers and in the dry), but over a few years it could cause premature corrosion.
 

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Laziness is not a good excuse to wrap a header. With that logic....why not wrap up the whole bike so you never have to clean it? The right way is ceramic coating used in conjuction with a heat shield where rocks would hit the down pipes.
 

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I've done it to a few bikes before, under the guise of hot-rodding (heat scavenging), but really because I liked the look. I think it is easier to wet the wrap prior to applying. I use .020" safety wire starting at the head all the way to termination. The color doesn't stay either, I used to touch it up occasionally with high heat paint. I've never had a pipe crack, and I have removed the wrap off of one bike (to replace torn-up wrap) with a stainless exhaust, and didn't notice any problems associated with its' use. I'll probably do it to the FZ down the road.
 

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They threaten your warranty if you clean the bike with the wrong damn soap.. Dont worry about it bro... If you go crazy on wrap it will retain more heat but unless it rapidly cools in a northern alaskan polar vortex you should be fine.. Stainless is very ductile... Need extreme conditions to crack... Im actually painting my header and mid pipe this off season with high temp ceramic paint... And i map wrap it anyway just for the mad max rustic rebel look of it.

Kaiser
 

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Mother's polish is my goto metal cleaner. I have used header wrap on cars to replace rattling heat shields and to protect an alternator, but I don't think I would use it on a bike because of all of the warnings.
 

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I wrapped my pipes on my 89 GSXR-750. After it started to come unwrapped i took it all off. It turned the exhaust into a giant ball of rust with large pieces falling off. I had to sand blast it and then took it to get ceramic coated. Best decision i ever made. Its going on 5 years now and they still look like the day i got them coated.
 

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Ceramic. Done both. I vote ceramic.

However, like any finish, if it's not prepped and applied properly, it won't last. Applied properly, it is extremely durable. Lots of race coaters here in Indy, very good coaters.
 
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