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I'm doing the same thing and I have read where it causes the wrapped area to become overheated as it can't disipate the heat but I have no personal experience (sounds like you read similar). I was going to do a small area on both sides of the collector to help keep the heat away from my aftermarket body work that I heard can melt. I don't think that little bit will hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This is what I read.
Regularly we are asked about, or have commented on the use of header wraps (header tape). This issue is a real pet peeve of mine. Good or bad about a product I'll give my opinion based upon direct use and fact, and this stuff screams "Do Not Use!"

THE FACTS:
  • Header wraps are designed to keep the heat in the header to improve scavenging of the cylinders. Keeping the heat in the header allows the exhaust speed to remain high. (the right idea)
  • There are no header manufacturers that I know of that will warranty their headers if any header wraps are installed on their products.
  • In most cases the header wrap damages the headers beyond repair. (I will explain below)
  • If you run a lean mixture, you "may" see a slim performance gain using header wraps. A rich mixture may show slim to absolutely NO gain in performance.
  • If you do not mind replacing your headers and header gaskets regularly, and you like that ugly look of a wrapped header, go ahead and use the heat wrap.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

In the past, almost all NASCAR and other racing engine builders and crew chiefs used header wraps for the added power gains and thermal control benefits offered by their use. Problems occurred when these same teams had to replace the headers after each race (NASCAR) due to the wrap being about the only thing holding each header together. Most engine builders, crew chiefs, and definitely header manufacturers do not promote the practice of installing these wraps directly on the headers any longer! They now utilize the thermal coatings that are chemically and electrically applied to the headers. Popular header coating services include Airborn, Jet Hot, HPC, and some header manufacturers now applying the coatings in-house.

Imagine having to replace a $1200.00+ set of headers after each race weekend! Few but the most financially well-off race teams can afford to do this. Also consider the downtime in remaking a custom set of headers. Most custom header makers do not have copies readily available.

I believe that the wraps are good to protect various 'items' from heat, but not to hold the heat in the header. For example: you can use the wrapping for the protection of fuel and oil lines, wiring, covering a starter motor, etc.

Cool air needs to be around the header, and insulating it with a wrap to hold exhaust heat in makes the header material temperatures near molten. When you wrap the header you trap the heat in the header, but also in the material that needs to breathe to dissipate heat for it's own survival
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
IN CLOSING:

We know that header manufacturers will NOT WARRANTY a header which has had a wrap installed on it. We know that I (and many others) have personally seen, tested and inspected headers that have been destroyed after running wraps on a perfectly tuned engine.

Just because an item or product is advertised for a specific use does not mean it does not do what it is promoted as, but it also does not mean it is the best choice either. We have all seen the recent TV commercials on all of these "medical miracles" and "overnight diets" that do such feats as fast weight loss and re-grow your hair. How often have we laughed at the side affects, like the most common being penile failure. Oh sure, I want to take some drug if my hair starts falling out (yes, it is currently all here) that makes my sex life go to hell. NOT !!! Those pharmaceutical companies can pucker up and kiss my backside! I'd rather have function than hair.

The same can hold true with automotive and marine products. Heat wraps are great, just do not use them ON the header. Use them on a device or component on your vehicle that you are trying to protect from header heat.

If you want a true thermal barrier that will reduce thermal loss in the header, reduce under hood temperatures, and make a few horsepower in the process, have your headers thermal coated by one of the many companies available. Most all of the coating companies offer inside and outside, multi-layer coating as standard. DO NOT allow your headers to only be coated on the outside, this is not a complete or quality process.

Some other considerations about the coatings. Once the header is coated, it is permanent. That means that if you screw up your coated header, it is not an ease job to repair and most header companies do not want to even attempt a repair. The coating permeates into the header material which makes welding processes on a coated material less than adequate. This is why you always coat the headers last, after all modifications to the header are made, and you are 100% sure the header will fit your vehicle.

Lastly, an out of tune engine can damage your header coating. A fuel mixture that is too rich or too lean can create higher than normal EGT's that can and will damage the coating. Most header manufacturers state that if you are installing coated headers on a newly built engine that you do your initial break-in and tuning procedures with an old set of headers or exhaust manifolds before installing your coated headers.
 

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Crash,

I got flamed pretty hard a while back for talking bad about header wrap. I agree with all your facts and would add just one more. Wrapping the headers also holds and forces more heat in the heads and motor as well!! :thumb: Lots of people claim they get lower temps after wrapping???:confused:
Great info thanks :clap: . HOOVY
 
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