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1G Questions about painting entire exhaust system

XC92

Proven Member
1,428
300
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
I'm going to be removing, cleaning, derusting & painting the entire exhaust system on my Talon, from the exhaust manifold & heat shields, to the entire exhaust pipe including the cat, muffler & tailpipes, and the cat heat shield.

I was just wondering how high a temp paint I need for the various parts. Is 500F enough, such as Duplicolor supports, or do I need something much higher, as high as Rustoleum's 2000F High Heat paint. I suppose that different parts are going to generate different max temps and perhaps need different temp rating paints.

And do I need to prime, or is several coats of paint enough, so long as I rough up the metal or use an etching agent like POR-15's Metal Prep?

If I do need to prime, what do folks suggest I use?

And speaking of POR-15, any reason to use or not use it on any of these parts? Seems like overkill but I did recently purchase a 6-pack of their 4oz cans.
 

curt-s

Proven Member
1,547
312
Dec 21, 2008
Winnipeg, MB_Canada
POR15 high temp paint is designed for this. Do not use a chassis saver on any exhaust component.
If you can go with higher heat tolerant paint, I don't see the reason why not..
just follow the manufacturer's directions as they can differ from product to product.
 

Canadian_CD9A

Proven Member
781
447
Feb 10, 2012
Winnipeg, MB_Canada
You can try painting the exhaust system up to the cat with VHT 2000* header paint. It's going to wear out, but that's your best shot. Don't even paint the cat, it's the hottest part of the exhaust system and will roast anything that touches it. After the cat, you might be able to get away with your 500* stuff. Honestly, painting the exhaust is pretty silly. I'd do the manifold and turbine housing, and maybe the muffler to hide some flaws, but that's it.
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,428
300
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
POR15 high temp paint is designed for this. Do not use a chassis saver on any exhaust component.
If you can go with higher heat tolerant paint, I don't see the reason why not..
just follow the manufacturer's directions as they can differ from product to product.
Debating whether it's worth the extra cost and bother of POR-15 for rarely seen parts like manifolds or exhaust parts, but I'll consider it. I didn't realize that they make high-temp paint for such applications.

You can try painting the exhaust system up to the cat with VHT 2000* header paint. It's going to wear out, but that's your best shot. Don't even paint the cat, it's the hottest part of the exhaust system and will roast anything that touches it. After the cat, you might be able to get away with your 500* stuff. Honestly, painting the exhaust is pretty silly. I'd do the manifold and turbine housing, and maybe the muffler to hide some flaws, but that's it.
Yeah, probably silly, I agree, but I'm restoring everything and it'll stand out like a sore thumb if I don't treat it too. It's quite rusty and nasty-looking so I figure why not. It's probably a good idea to at least derust the flanges of the various sections, in case I ever need to replace any, so I might as well do the tubes too. As for the cat, would derusting it help keep it cooler and maybe working better? And it actually exceeds 2000F?
 

gofer

Moderator
8,119
1,299
Feb 18, 2006
South Gilbert, Arizona
I've been touching up my o2 housing and Tial wastegate for years with Rustoleum high heat BBQ black rattle can paint and used the same stuff on my downpipe before I wrapped it and it holds up fine. The only reason why I've ever had to touch it up is because I'll knick it with a wrench when I'm working on the car, I've never seen it flake off. I also used this on my exhaust manifold heat shield before I upgraded to an FP manifold and it looks just as good as the day I sprayed it. Just need to prep your parts really well before painting them...


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CKOPOCT

Proven Member
90
50
May 27, 2017
North East, Maryland
A hot cat is a properly working cat. The cat functions by basically being an internal blow torch that burns off unspent hydrocarbons and uses extreme temps to convert emissions gasses to inert emissions. The action is internal. The condition of the outer casing won't affect it.
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,428
300
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
I've been touching up my o2 housing and Tial wastegate for years with Rustoleum high heat BBQ black rattle can paint and used the same stuff on my downpipe before I wrapped it and it holds up fine. The only reason why I've ever had to touch it up is because I'll knick it with a wrench when I'm working on the car, I've never seen it flake off. I also used this on my exhaust manifold heat shield before I upgraded to an FP manifold and it looks just as good as the day I sprayed it. Just need to prep your parts really well before painting them...


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I cleaned up and painted my manifold cover a while back with Rustoleum high heat primer & paint and didn't really like the result. Some small cracks have emerged that are rusting, and I didn't care for the rough matte finish. Maybe I really should try POR-15 high heat, but I'm concerned that it only handles temps up to 1200F.
 

motomattx

Proven Member
3,707
1,455
Dec 9, 2010
wampum, Pennsylvania
If you want it to look really nice and last for some time the only thing that I can suggest that has worked for me and others is Cerakote ceramic coating, its made for high heat of exhaust, you would need a spray gun to put it on, I suppose that you could possibly use a paint brush if you really wanted to, and even with poor prep and a brush I would figure that it would still beat fizzy can paint all the way around.
 

Mech Addict

Supporting Member
988
426
Jun 9, 2019
Jackson, Wyoming
A way to improve the appearance of the exhaust pipes is simply to wire-wheel all the rust down to clean-ish steel. I did this for the part around the muffler flange, and it looked great. It will just begin rusting again, but it’s been a few years (here in Dry-Oming) and it hasn’t really changed yet. Rainy, coastal NYC may yield a different results over time.

It’s the closest thing to “factory” because exhaust was never painted. The manifold & turbo are hidden by the heat shield. Several other members have discussed restoring the look of the heat shield already.
The muffler must be stainless steel because mine still looks fine at 32.
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,428
300
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
I'll probably go with POR-15 high heat although I just found out about a competitor called KBS that makes a similar high heat paint that's rated to 1500F vs. POR-15's 1200F. Not sure if that matters on my stock Talon. It's turbo but I rarely if ever redline it or really push it to near its limits.
 

Justin DuBois

Proven Member
770
588
Aug 15, 2019
Oakland, California
I dunno how long this will hold up, but this combo worked so well on the manifold heat shield I decided to give it a try:

Flap disk strip and shape the nasty welds:
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Zinc cold galvanize:
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Steel-it stainless steel spray paint
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I don’t think steel-it is heat rated, but it did well on the heat shield (top)
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XC92

Proven Member
1,428
300
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
I've done some more research and I'm now strongly leaning towards KBS XTC high temp paint, which is rated to 1500F. They say that it's best to use their high heat primer but it's basically zinc paint, and POR-15's Metal Prep, which I recently bought, basically preps the metal with a zinc phosphate coating, so it's probably redundant and not really necessary. I'd probably get a pint and use it on everything exhaust-related, manifold, shields, turbo, pipe, muffler.

If anyone here has experience with it I'd love to hear about it. But, I mean, even if it doesn't take, it's exhaust parts so it's not that big a deal.
 
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