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GO SOX
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352 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched a bit for this to see if anyone else had similar experiences and din't find anything, but feel free to point me to another thread if I overlooked something.

I just bought used headers here and I'm trying to debate whether I should simply buff and polish them, paint them to match my metallic blue AEM CAI, or send them to a shop to get them chromed.

The pros and cons as I see them are these:
PROS
Buff: Simple enough to do, I have an orbital buffer back home and can probably get metal polish pretty easily at an auto shop.
Paint: Again somewhat easy, will look good if the paint is matched well.
Chrome: Daaaamn

CONS
Buff: An orbital buffer (if that's what I could use to apply the polish to begin with) doesn't work well in the tighter areas of something like headers, I'd have to go by hand and use some elbow grease. Not a huge con, really, but combined with inexperience in things like these it doesn't make it stand out as much as a good choice. I figure I won't have to wait too long to repolish, but it will have to be done eventually
Paint: Paint matching and finding high-temp paint that will match will be a bitch. I'm not the most patient guy with sandpaper either.
Chrome: Send to a shop, spend a decent amount of money, wait a month before I can get my headers on (that's from someone on this board who's work I've seen). I'm not sure how well chroming will stand up to heat.

I'd prefer something DIY but that will look good. It is looking like buffing might win out for now, but I'd like some more experienced input.
 

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Premium Member
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14,853 Posts
they don't necessarily change colors.

As for painting, if you are worried about matching exact then why bother trying? Choose a contrasting color, like if you have a black car use red paint, etc.
 

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Let it wang
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962 Posts
they don't necessarily change colors.

As for painting, if you are worried about matching exact then why bother trying? Choose a contrasting color, like if you have a black car use red paint, etc.
He has a metallic blue CAI. I doubt he will be able to get a match to that. What about painting them black?
 

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GO SOX
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352 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I might if I do end up going the painting route. Any tips on the technique? Any for buffing?

My car is already black, and I like the black/metallic blue contrast. Eventually I'd like to get black rims also, so I may decide to paint some components of the engine bay black (including the headers). Are high-temp paints typically glossy? I don't do much paint work so I'm not too sure how to go about getting gloss.
 

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Banned
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Chrome will not change color in high heat. Everything under my hood is chrome for one, and second, look at every Harley Davidson on the road as proof... ;)

As far as buffing and polishing out, thats something you CAN do yourself.. but be prepared for a LOT, and I mean.. A LOT of effort. Before you even get started, pricing out the compounds, buffing pads, and correct equipment you will ned for the job. Once you accumulate the supplies (which will run you between $50-$100 most likely), then you need to have the dedication to complete the job to the fullest without pooping out.

Polishing parts is the most irritating DIY job. Also, if its your first tiem doing it, I would recommend practicing on spare parts on junkyard scrap so you don't flaw the pieces you want in excellent shape.
 

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Chrome will not change color in high heat. Everything under my hood is chrome for one, and second, look at every Harley Davidson on the road as proof... ;)
On both my last Harley, and my current one, the chrome heat shields retain their factory look, but the actual pipes behind them suffer from color change.

I'd recommend checking out The Eastwood Co. They now offer "do it yourself" ceramic coating for exhaust! I haven't tried it yet, but just about everything I have tried from them has worked great!
 

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Premium Member
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383 Posts
On both my last Harley, and my current one, the chrome heat shields retain their factory look, but the actual pipes behind them suffer from color change.

I'd recommend checking out The Eastwood Co. They now offer "do it yourself" ceramic coating for exhaust! I haven't tried it yet, but just about everything I have tried from them has worked great!

+1:agreed: I used their stainless coating several years ago on my ChevyII
that I use to show. It held up pretty good seeing that I drove it to all shows. Just remember it cures with heat, motor running, and it will rub off until it cures. Give them a look -
Eastwood Company: Search Results for header paint

also works better if you can have the part sandblasted first, don't touch them with bare hands until painted.
 
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