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Can 5th gen exhaust manifold be painted?


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Can a 5th gen exhaust manifold be painted?  I have read that RustOleum High Heat 2000 degreee Fahrenheit paint for barbecues can be successfully used, and was wondering if anyone on the forum had done it?

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I did it a long time ago to my old VF500 stock exhaust and it held up well. I don't see why you can't do it with a 5th gen if you prep it properly.  

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15 minutes ago, slowbird said:

I did it a long time ago to my old VF500 stock exhaust and it held up well. I don't see why you can't do it with a 5th gen if you prep it properly.  

Thanks.  That's very encouraging. Could you kindly give me any advice on the procedure to be followed. I have all my fairings off and decided, ,what the heck, why not make the manifold look better than rust. I haven't got the faintest idea how to safely remove the headers without breaking studs, and then, what's the best way to prep them for the high heat paint?

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In theory, yes, you can paint it. I would warn you against the VHT high heat products. I prepped mine well (sandblasted, cleaned with air/acetone/etc.) and used the full VHT system (primer, paint, clear), heat cured it on the bike (running on the center stand), and it failed within one year on the bike. Hopefully you have better luck with the BBQ paint - that is what I am going to try next also, fwiw.

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6 minutes ago, adkfinn said:

In theory, yes, you can paint it. I would warn you against the VHT high heat products. I prepped mine well (sandblasted, cleaned with air/acetone/etc.) and used the full VHT system (primer, paint, clear), heat cured it on the bike (running on the center stand), and it failed within one year on the bike. Hopefully you have better luck with the BBQ paint - that is what I am going to try next also, fwiw.

Thanks for the warning. I did see many people on the web saying the same thing. and surprisingly even professionally applied ceramic coatings don't hold up either. The BBQ paint properly applied and cured was the only thing that seemed to work for people, and some of the vintage muscle car enthusiasts use graphite on cast iron manifolds. 

 

Any advice on how to remove the the manifold from the engine would be appreciated.   Blowtorch or a particular brand of penetrating oil on the studs? Not sure which is better.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, RossR said:

Thanks for the warning. I did see many people on the web saying the same thing. and surprisingly even professionally applied ceramic coatings don't hold up either. The BBQ paint properly applied and cured was the only thing that seemed to work for people, and some of the vintage muscle car enthusiasts use graphite on cast iron manifolds. 

 

Any advice on how to remove the the manifold from the engine would be appreciated.   Blowtorch or a particular brand of penetrating oil on the studs? Not sure which is better.

 

 

 

I like Kroil (it seems to work better than PB Blaster, other penetrants). I was able to remove my headers without much drama, no broken studs. I treated them with penetrating oil daily for a week or so before starting work on them. The how: I would just work backwards, pull your end can, link pipe, loosen the rear joins, then move to the actual header bolts. I didn't find it too tricky.

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If you don’t dip the header in some type of acid that completely strips all rust molecules, the rust will come right back through any applied finish. Blasting simply isn’t enough. 

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4 hours ago, ducnut said:

If you don’t dip the header in some type of acid that completely strips all rust molecules, the rust will come right back through any applied finish. Blasting simply isn’t enough. 

Good advice.  Muriatic acid (HCl) was easily available in Canada some years back, but with all the increasing nanny laws now I am not so sure. How about some of the so called Rust Converter sprays that professional autobody paint supply shops sell? I am not sure what chemicals they have and what the principle of conversion is. I think electrolysis would be a good option. It can be done with various solutions and a battery charger. saw it on Youtube. haven't actually done it myself.

 

The problem that most people have reported is not the rust coming back, per se, but the coating flaking off, even when professionally applied as in the case of ceramic coatings..

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5 hours ago, adkfinn said:

I like Kroil (it seems to work better than PB Blaster, other penetrants). I was able to remove my headers without much drama, no broken studs. I treated them with penetrating oil daily for a week or so before starting work on them. The how: I would just work backwards, pull your end can, link pipe, loosen the rear joins, then move to the actual header bolts. I didn't find it too tricky.

Thanks. That gives me the confidence to do it. I will have to see if Kroil is available here in Canada.

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18 minutes ago, RossR said:

Good advice.  Muriatic acid (HCl) was easily available in Canada some years back, but with all the increasing nanny laws now I am not so sure. How about some of the so called Rust Converter sprays that professional autobody paint supply shops sell? I am not sure what chemicals they have and what the principle of conversion is. I think electrolysis would be a good option. It can be done with various solutions and a battery charger. saw it on Youtube. haven't actually done it myself.

 

The problem that most people have reported is not the rust coming back, per se, but the coating flaking off, even when professionally applied as in the case of ceramic coatings..

Electrolysis is probably a good idea, provided it’s left in for an adequate time. Evaporust is a bio-degradable product that works great, but, isn’t cheap. Oxalic acid (wood bleach in the deck refinishing dept) works on the cheap. 
 

I had my header blasted and ceramic coated by a pretty well known shop, in the USA. Within a year, the rust started coming back through. The bike was stored in my shop and never saw rain. It was a wasted $280USD. I gave it to a 6th Gen owner to do whatever with. 
 

I deleted pics I had of it, but, was able to retrieve this one, which shows a bit of the rust popping through. 

A8789882-172C-4FC4-A57D-1BF2EBF0BC7C.png

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Check out this neat tool. Way safer than a blowtorch, but too pricey for the home mechanic unless you just sold your tech company.

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, RossR said:

The problem that most people have reported is not the rust coming back, per se, but the coating flaking off, even when professionally applied as in the case of ceramic coatings..

This was my issue, not rust. The coating simply failed. I can't chalk it up to a bad product or an obvious flaw in my process, so I am left wondering. It does seem that others have had a similar negative experience with the products I used. It happens, live and learn. I'll re-do it in over the winter and give BBQ paint a try, or even stove black - that stuff seems to stick like crazy. I sanded, acid etched, cleaned, and painted an old wood stove with some run of the mill 'stove black' and the result has been both beautiful and lasting.

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20 hours ago, ducnut said:

Electrolysis is probably a good idea, provided it’s left in for an adequate time. Evaporust is a bio-degradable product that works great, but, isn’t cheap. Oxalic acid (wood bleach in the deck refinishing dept) works on the cheap. 
 

I had my header blasted and ceramic coated by a pretty well known shop, in the USA. Within a year, the rust started coming back through. The bike was stored in my shop and never saw rain. It was a wasted $280USD. I gave it to a 6th Gen owner to do whatever with. 
 

I deleted pics I had of it, but, was able to retrieve this one, which shows a bit of the rust popping through. 

 

Ducnut that pic is nuts, I'd be steaming if I paid full boat for a professional coating and it failed in that amount of time. Yikes, that is too bad.

 

Also - I second the rec. for Evaporust! I have a few gallons of it kicking around and it is good stuff. I haven't used it on anything as large as a header, but I've had great success with it on smaller parts / hand-me-down old tools / etc... The fact that it is less caustic and non-toxic makes it much nicer to use also.

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I use black stove polish and a tooth brush to blackface the headers and collectorbox.

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2 hours ago, adkfinn said:

Ducnut that pic is nuts, I'd be steaming if I paid full boat for a professional coating and it failed in that amount of time. Yikes, that is too bad.


The header issue just pushed me into getting the VFRD header, which I really wanted, anyway, so I could polish it out to match my Staintune.  The pics speak for themselves. 

6DAE225D-3771-4B28-9797-11E68DDAC039.jpeg

EF287456-2D50-4950-BCF6-934271543A20.jpeg

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50 minutes ago, ducnut said:


The header issue just pushed me into getting the VFRD header, which I really wanted, anyway, so I could polish it out to match my Staintune.  The pics speak for themselves. 

6DAE225D-3771-4B28-9797-11E68DDAC039.jpeg

EF287456-2D50-4950-BCF6-934271543A20.jpeg

 

My first bike, a 1969 Cb350, and my 1973 CB750 both had chromed headers. Why the heck did Honda cheap out on our Viffers? Just because the fairing hides most of it?  🙄   Gotta look into Dutchys's stove polish idea. 

 

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3 hours ago, Dutchy said:

I use black stove polish and a tooth brush to blackface the headers and collectorbox.

I just checked out stove polish. This may be the easiest solution.  Are our 5th Gen headers unpainted steel or cast iron?  Did you have to redo them often?     This manufacturer says 'Note: This product works best on unpainted cast iron. May work on painted steel or iron stoves. Not recommended on unpainted steel.'   https://www.lehmans.com/product/stove-black-and-polish/

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1 hour ago, RossR said:

 

My first bike, a 1969 Cb350, and my 1973 CB750 both had chromed headers. Why the heck did Honda cheap out on our Viffers? Just because the fairing hides most of it?  🙄   Gotta look into Dutchys's stove polish idea. 

 


6th Gen are stainless steel. A bit of work at a buffer will turn them right out. 

 

1 hour ago, RossR said:

I just checked out stove polish. This may be the easiest solution.  Are our 5th Gen headers unpainted steel or cast iron?  Did you have to redo them often?     This manufacturer says 'Note: This product works best on unpainted cast iron. May work on painted steel or iron stoves. Not recommended on unpainted steel.'   https://www.lehmans.com/product/stove-black-and-polish/


Steel. 

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3 hours ago, ducnut said:


6th Gen are stainless steel. A bit of work at a buffer will turn them right out. 

 


Steel. 

Thanks.  This manufacturer says their stove black can be used on steel so I will probably use it as it's available in my area. Good acid clean and brush/sanding first.    https://www.imperialgroup.ca/product/stove-fireplace/maintenance-products/paints-polishes/stove-polish-black-1

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I did my 5th Gen (65k miles) headers with VHT in a Cast Iron colour (gray-ish).  Black or some other colours may show light rust eventually but gray less so.  I left the headers on the bike, fine wire brushed everything I could get at, wiped with naptha to dissolve any oily residues, and finished with isopropanol so it was clean.  Worst spot of brown was at the front fairing vents, more weather exposure there, but all of it cleaned up surprisingly well.

The trick is not to apply a heavy coating... first a light primer coat and let dry overnight, then follow with a second light coat.  I used tinfoil to mask off anything I didn't want paint on.  The other key is to let this stuff air dry for at least a day.  Curing with a hot exhaust is just way too hot for paint and you wouldn't do that with any other paint.  Ideally I'd bake it at 250-300F.

It is holding up very well, no flaking as it is a thin coating.  Perfect, no but plenty good.  Much of it is covered up but I wanted to improve the look while on the side stand.

Clutch_Cover_Off1.jpg

Clutch_Cover_Painted_1.jpg

Clutch_Cover_Painted.jpg

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6 hours ago, raYzerman said:

I did my 5th Gen (65k miles) headers with VHT in a Cast Iron colour (gray-ish).  Black or some other colours may show light rust eventually but gray less so.  I left the headers on the bike, fine wire brushed everything I could get at, wiped with naptha to dissolve any oily residues, and finished with isopropanol so it was clean.  Worst spot of brown was at the front fairing vents, more weather exposure there, but all of it cleaned up surprisingly well.

The trick is not to apply a heavy coating... first a light primer coat and let dry overnight, then follow with a second light coat.  I used tinfoil to mask off anything I didn't want paint on.  The other key is to let this stuff air dry for at least a day.  Curing with a hot exhaust is just way too hot for paint and you wouldn't do that with any other paint.  Ideally I'd bake it at 250-300F.

It is holding up very well, no flaking as it is a thin coating.  Perfect, no but plenty good.  Much of it is covered up but I wanted to improve the look while on the side stand.

Clutch_Cover_Off1.jpg

Clutch_Cover_Painted_1.jpg

Clutch_Cover_Painted.jpg

 

What paint did you use.?  Has anyone on the forum measured the temperature of the headers?

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2 hours ago, raYzerman said:

Brand was VHT in Cast Iron, spray can.  Anything brushed on would be way too thick.

Thanks.  It comes in various colors and a clear coat. The manufacturers instruction must be followed exactly according to reviewers who got good results. https://www.speco.com.au/vht_faq.html    Thin coat(s) are better. Primer not required. Just careful prep. Lot's of videos on youtube for this product. This is a good one. 

 

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