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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all,
I just placed an order for a Larini system. Should I apply ceramic coating to the manifolds? I don't know any place to do it in my country, so I may ask the retailer (elise shop) to do it for me. However it's gona be pricey, around 750$ minimum. Just curious is it worth it to ceramic coat it? My only reason to it is to extend the life of the exhaust, however Larini does have lifetime insurance. What do you guys think? Worth it?
 

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Hi, I'm Len. I own a powder coating shop, and up til recently, we ceramic coated exhausts. We ended ceramic, at least temporarily, because its a different enough process from powder and we have more than enough powder work to keep us busy at present.

I assume the headers are stainless, and if they are, no, don't coat them. Maybe someone with Larini headers can say how they look with time, but good quality pipes should stay looking good for a long time.

If you're looking for performance, i.e. to keep engine bay temperatures down, a better alternative to "Jet Hot" type spray-on ceramics is White Lightning. It's a vitreous ceramic that will far out-insulate spray-ons. The downside is, it's white. If white is unacceptable, the white can be top-coated with a spray-on ceramic. I believe that shop is in PA. I have no experience with them so I can't vouch. There might be some other shops that do something similar.

Spray-ons are good for 1) some performance gains (lower engine bay temps), 2) restoring or protecting carbon steel pipes that would otherwise rust from the hot/wet exhaust gases, or 3) for cosmetics. A 4th related to #2 would be for protection under wraps, since wraps can trap moisture and accelerate oxidation.

I'm going to shoot my OEM cat pipe, since A) I've deleted the rear panel and its ugly, B) I did away with the heat shield, and C) I am going to header wrap the U-bend after I shave off the heat shield mounting bosses.

Further, if you did ever need to call in the Larini warranty, I would pretty much expect them to decline it since the pipes were altered.

Hope that's helpful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Very helpful indeed. From what I understand on their website, it is aviation grade 316 stainless steel. For me performance is not the thing I would want out of it and I don't think it will add much anyways. Just to protect it long term.
 

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Protection wise you will be perfectly fine and should have no problems. The white lightening coating is a great product and if you want to reduce your engine bay temps that would be a good option.
 

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a few things - "jet hot" is not a real ceramic coat as Len mentions - it a paint with ceramic in it. looks pretty, but that about it... a real ceramic coating is what he describes and here is who i used in the USA
White Lightning Exhaust Coatings | Swain Tech Coatings | Industrial Coatings | High Performance Racing Coatings

btw - i really like the finish of the "white lightning" its a dull sparkle silver white. it looks a lot like nice cast aluminum. the advantage for me, is that in CA. it looks very factory and does not look like an aftermarket header. because they visually inspect for that here... header wrap are stainless steel would be a tip off to an illegal exhaust....

it works very well! of course so does exhaust wrap. the disadvantage of coatings is you will never repair or weld a broken header with it on.... so wrap is better, if a cracked header is a possibility. on the formula cars we never coat the headers because they inevitably crack, get bent, etc...

the muffler (not the header) need not be coated or wrapped, the U-tube (depending on your engine - the toyota engined cars have a u-tube from header to muffler) should be wrapped. mine is coated AND wrapped. that thing heats the inner tire and melts the reflector in the grill. now being coated and wrapped - it does none of that (the factory one has a heat shield wrap).

hope this helps
 

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I had my headers and downpipe coated satin black with a techline turbo-x coating with a heat insulating basecoat. Seems to be quite good at reducing engine temps in the area around them but haven't done any measurements to be accurate. Looks better :)

Cost me about 200 but that was out here.
 

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The ceramic coating is not for looks! It is an insulator to keep heat in the exhaust system. Mine is ceramic coated and titanium wrapped...another insulator. One; it keeps the heat away from your fiberglass body. Two; not as hot in the engine compartment. and Three; keeps the energy in your exhaust system for better scavenging.
 

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^^this I know and was the reason for doing it in my case. The looks was a touch of sarcasm since we don't see our headers :)
 

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There is one place in the UK that coats them on the inside. That is more $/# but the best. I am not sure about the last 1/2 of a Larini... I have heard never on a cat. And the mufflers are not overly robust.
 

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I second the Swain Tech White lightening; I used it on my Evora headers and a number of other headers and turbo manifolds. As to cosmetics the Evora compartment is so tight that these are not visible without deep probing whether OEM under heat shield, polished SS or coated.

The logic to use a real coating like WL is to help protect the engine bay from excess heat, while Larini may have done a better job to permit refitting heat shields, I lost both my primary manifold coverings, and while secondary shields remain to protect alternator, engine mounts, etc. there is more exposure to heat than OEM layout. A secondary benefit is extra scavenging due to gas remaining hotter out the pipes; Swain Tech is not cheap (but still much cheaper than F1 Inconel solutions) but have an excellent product used by many pro racing teams. I would coat back to the final merge into a single pipe. If not in US and alternative solution is purchase the Larini system from a US vendor (sector 111) have them ship to Swain Tech and then from there to your place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The coating would be for the manifolds only. I think I'm going to decide against coating as I'm not looking for any performance enhancements, I was mainly looking at it as a way to perhaps keep everything cool in the engine bay and prolong its components as a result, but I think that would be only advised if the car is always being driven hard or taken to the track.

http://larinisystems.com/collection/lotus/evora-s/larini-exhaust-manifolds-inc.-link-pipe

If you look a the manifold in the link above, it looks like there is a heat shield? Possibly to replace the primary manifold coverings? Im just speculating I'm not sure how the layout exactly is
 

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Again, UNLESS the Larini headers permits refitting of the large OEM heat shields I would not run a header in this car without a real ceramic coating. If you look as the install, headers are just millimeters away from oil lines, wiring and other goodies that love heat. Search my user name and headers, here should turn up a number of install photos; the fit is tight, the car is plastic …

some links:
Front header - http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f17...p-plus-20ft-lbs-98008/index5.html#post1847344
rear header - http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f17...p-plus-20ft-lbs-98008/index5.html#post1901129
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
That is a good point, I will shoot them an email and see what the response is. In the event that the heat shield goes, I will apply the ceramic coating, better be safe than sorry.


BTW do you have the layout or pictures of the primary manifold coverings?
 

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The coating would be for the manifolds only. I think I'm going to decide against coating as I'm not looking for any performance enhancements, I was mainly looking at it as a way to perhaps keep everything cool in the engine bay and prolong its components as a result, but I think that would be only advised if the car is always being driven hard or taken to the track.

Lotus Evora S - Larini Exhaust Manifolds Inc. Link Pipe

If you look a the manifold in the link above, it looks like there is a heat shield? Possibly to replace the primary manifold coverings? Im just speculating I'm not sure how the layout exactly is
Unfortunately that photo does not fully represent the final system as the downpipe is coming off in the wrong direction, so it may not even be a shot of the Evora system. It is good to see a Heat shield but if it is the Evora system, does not show them on both banks, .. the after bank has lots of room for a shield, but also has the least heat packaging problem while the front is very tight and you having a S will find that your oil cooler thermostat is within millimeters of the header tube. Maybe Larini did a better job than Komo-Tec on mocking up the MY12 and newer S engine bays, but I had to re-plumb my oil lines and thermostat to remove an interference fit.
 

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I agree with Julian...due to the lack of heat shielding, I coated my headers, vented my rear glass with a carbon tecnocraft replacement, went for an open rear end above the diffuser, and added the intake scoops.

The good news is that although the headers get hot, removing the restrictive primary cats will definitely reduce temps a bit. But I would recommend some sort of heat control program in some form or another if you go that route. It is cheap all things considered.


Swain coat and Inconel are the best. There are other similar coatings, but as mentioned look for ones that offer insulating effects, not just coating/paints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I agree with you invictus, I will most likely find out tomorrow. I will have to ask the retailer to get it done for me in Europe before they ship it out to me because I highly doubt I have any guys here who can do it.

Also to Julien this link may be better:

Larini Stainless 3-2-1 manifold (Evora, Evora S, Exige V6) [LA0348SMANI] - €2,139.00 : Elise Shop, Performance parts for your Lotus Elise

EDIT: I got an email today that the Larini is designed with a heatshield attached to it (as you can see in the pictures) to compensate for the loss of the OEM heatshield
 
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