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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm about to paint my exhaust, but I've heard from some people that I need to bake the pipes in an oven after I paint them, or they won't cure correctly. Then I heard from other people that I should just put them on and the bike will cure them with its own heat. Others say I need to wrap the headers because they will chip no matter what. I'm using the high temp spray kind, any experience/advice?
 

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I've done 2 of those 3 and this is what I've found. Last year I sprayed them and installed without baking in the oven first, and they held up reasonably well but after about 3 months they were definitely in need of some care, lots of chips and not looking great. This year I baked them and again, they are holding up decently but there are already a few spots that are chipped or flaking off. I think the bake in the oven worked a little better and also I think it looks a little better, but either way you can pretty much count on having to redo them at the end of the year, each year. I'd imagine wrapping them would be a better long term solution, but some don't like the look and I've heard the wraps can sometimes rust but don't know that for sure. Maybe somebody who has wrapped their exhaust can chime in here and give their impressions?
 

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what type of paint did you use? what level of paint are you doing? I don't want to jump the gun, but by "oven" you mean the type intended for painting, right? They make some rattle can high temp paints which should be fine against the heat, after all, these paints are formulated for stoves and BBQs.
 

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I painted before wrapping my pipes and I just didn't like it. It was a mess and chipped even before I got it on the bike. So I ended up stripping all the paint off and just wrapped. You can get the wrap in an off white, black, gray, lava or titanium. I did the wrapping myself and it wasn't too difficult but it would definitely be an easier task with two people. If I were you I would just stick with wrap.
 

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what type of paint did you use? what level of paint are you doing? I don't want to jump the gun, but by "oven" you mean the type intended for painting, right? They make some rattle can high temp paints which should be fine against the heat, after all, these paints are formulated for stoves and BBQs.


I used the VHT (very high temp) paint, the instructions on the can have you set the oven (I used the home stove when the wife was out, but it didn't smell terribly bad.  I'd definitely have the windows open though) at specific temps and basically bake the headers for specific times.  I don't think the BBQ paints will last as long as they aren't meant for as high a temp as the VHT.
 

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I also use the VHT paint for all the bracket pieces I made, and once its baked it is unbelievably hard. I think the only thing that may be an issue is what your using it on, as I dont know how well it will stick to shiny chrome. Have never tried it on chrome, but it may require the surface be a little rougher. I guess if your painting it a fine sandpaper to the chrome couldnt hurt.
 

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I also use the VHT paint for all the bracket pieces I made, and once its baked it is unbelievably hard. I think the only thing that may be an issue is what your using it on, as I dont know how well it will stick to shiny chrome. Have never tried it on chrome, but it may require the surface be a little rougher. I guess if your painting it a fine sandpaper to the chrome couldnt hurt.


That's probably the BEST point made here so far in this thread: WHAT you are painting. I agree it's too slick of a surface and the chrome should be "roughed up" a bit first. I painted my HBOX and it's been 6 months and a couple thousand miles with no paint issues at all....ie it was not a "slick surface" like the chrome on the pipes.
 

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Painting exhausts, it never lasts, will start to chip at some stage and look ratty, period.
Unless you going to race, wrapping a pipe is also a waste of time and it buggers up the pipe if it's mild steel, rusts very fast...wrap loves to retain water and try riding in the rain, the steam that is generated, looks like you running the bike on water when you stop...




I wrapped my R1's Titanium header to protect the fairing and to reduce the heat around the engine, performance gain is almost ZIP but it did the job I wanted...fairing lasted...unless you running a turbo with high boost warpping is pointless but that is another story...



Ok, if you must paint it, bake the paint, paint likes to be baked at a certain rate to a certain temperature...using the engine to "bake" it will not work well. Ramp up times will be drastic as well as cooling off...the paint will start to "micro crack" and adhesion....be poor.



Send it to the guys who paint header pipes, they'll have the right process for you, get it right first time.
 

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I have heard that cerama-coating is a better product to have on your header pipes. I would think that most powder coaters should do that if you need it done......
 

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I picked up some header paint at pep boys and the instructions said bake at 250, 400, and 600 in 30 minute increments with 30 minute cool downs in-between. It also said alternatively you can run the engine at idle for 10 minutes and let cool for 20 or something like that in 3 cycles. So far it seems to have worked pretty good and I'm happy with the look that turned out. It has a matte black finish to it which is what I was hoping for. Definitely recommend doing it with the windows open because mine was pretty smokey lol. It didn't smell horrible but it wasn't exactly pleasant either. IMO windows in the kitchen up with a fan pointing out the window because with old leaded gasoline exhaust residue in there, I know I don't want to be breathing that.
 

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Yea, baked a few brackets I made using high temp enamel. The stuff ends up as hard as the enamel used on appliances and looked great. My only mistake was leaving them in the oven to cool off and forgetting about them. Wife was not too happy about finding a bunch of metal bits in her oven, on one of her cookie sheets (what could I do, the parts were small and would have fallen through the racks lol)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK, so I've spent two days removing rust with an angle grinder (and added a sweet snake skin look to the entire exhaust), I'll be taking photos of the process of removing headers, taping/hanging, painting, baking, and then reinstalling the completed exhaust. I figure I'll just bake the headers in the oven, and I can just bake the H box and mufflers using the bike (they wont all fit in my oven). I picked up some "up to 2000 degrees" paint from a hardware store, I'll be using a priming coat of the cheaper black stuff, then a second/third layer of the more expensive Copper color.
 
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