Intro: How to Ceramic Coat an Exhaust
I made this at Techshop Detroit.
Materials and Equipment:
- Exhaust system
- Spray Gun
Step 1: Disassemble and Clean
After a previous attempt at a rattle can paint job that just didn't hold up I decided to get serious about it.
I disassembled the exhaust and cleaned it up to get rid of all the dirt, grease, and oil.
Step 2: Sandblast
Using the sandblaster I was able to take away not only the old paint but also any rust that had formed.
I plugged the openings to make it easier for myself. The carbon build up on the inside of the pipes is fine, no need to clean it out, it's supposed to be dirty.
After sanding, I wiped it down with ACETONE. It is important that you not use phosphatizers (TSP) or chemical degreasers.
Step 3: Bake
Place in oven at 450 F for 1 hour. This will bake off any residue or imperfections and help the paint adhere. After an hour, remove and let cool.
Warning: It takes a long time for the oven to reach 450 F.
Step 4: Spray Away
I used a cheap-o Harbor Freight HVLP spray gun (gasp!) and black satin ceramic header paint that I bought from Powder buy the Pound. Normal paint or powder coat are not rated for this use. The ceramic is good up to 2000 F.
When spraying, start with the hard to reach areas and then make the big sweeping passes. Make sure to inspect the pieces to make sure of complete coverage.
Let dry for 30 minutes after application.
Step 5: Bake Some More
Now to cure the parts.They will cure at 450 F for 1 hour. Do not place the parts into a preheated oven because it will cause solvent pop.
Place the parts in oven and turn it on to 450 F.
This is a partial cure that will allow the pieces to be handled for installation.
Step 6: Install
Reassemble and install. Once installed, take the vehicle for a drive and get it up to operating temperature for at least 1 hour. This will be a final cure at 750 F or higher.
All done with a solid finish that will last and preserve the exhaust system.