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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My KillerB header is Swaintech coated, but it does not appear to be enough. The fan shroud is starting to melt right in front of the header where the four pipes connect into one. Also, the timing cover just above this same spot has turned white from the heat. I will admit- this car sees hard track use with extended sessions. It seems I will need to add some heat wrap (does this void the warranty on the header?) in addition to the Swaintech coating or perhaps have someone fab up some heat shielding. I am curious if anyone else has noticed this or done anything extra to prevent it.

Also, I should add, the swaintech coating is melting and dripping off the header. It started with less than 1000 miles of use. Swaintech tells me that this is normal and that there will still be protection because it is multi-layered. They also commented that it will look a lot worse over time as it starts to break up and flake off. I am not sure I would recommend this coating or use them again, more due to a lousy customer service experience on some other parts than the fact that their coating will look like crap in short order. YMMV.
 

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2 questions:

1. Was the header brand new when swaintech coated it?
2. Is it the white lightning coating?

Anyway, that sucks to hear. Wrap will help with the heat, but it shortens the life of the metal considerably. I would at least put some gold foil tape, etc. on the timing cover problem areas and fan shroud.

An actual heat shield will be even better. I'm not sure exactly what it's called, but there's a bendable/formable bulk heat shield available for custom applications. You see the stuff underneath a lot of high end European cars, and I think APS uses it for their heat shield kit on the split pulse manifold.

I had a hard time finding it searching around. This is really all I could find: Heat shield for cars, exhausts, turbos, catalytic converters . You can buy a sheet, cut to shape, and wrap around the manifold securing it with metal header wrap ties.
 

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Its not everday you hear about two quality products working in unison to break your car. You really must be experiencing some high temps.

Honestly, I'd wrap it since you are constantly tracking it. You're melting the white lightening....crazy. Or maybe you can get creative and route some cooling ducts in and out
 

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If you are melting your coating your seeing 3,000+ degree temps on your headers...

I have seen STi's come off the track with headers glowing orange (~1500-1800 degrees). 3000 is nuts. I cant see how you are generating that much heat, especially considering 321 has a glass transition temperature below 3K.

Something was wrong with the application of the coating, or else the parts were not thoroughly cleaned. If you have any residual oils on the parts you will not get good results.

As for protecting your plastic parts...I think you need to investigate fabbing some custom heat shields.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
The header was coated new, it came to me this way. As I mentioned, Swaintech was not at all surprised that the coating was melting, they said that this is normal and they knew it was on a Subaru header. Yes, it is the white lightning coating that they use on all exhaust parts. I had my exhaust housing coated for my new rotated turbo setup, so we will see how that holds up in comparison.

We are going to fab some heat shielding. The KillerB website says it can be wrapped without affecting the warranty, so perhaps I will do both. I really thought this would not be an issue with the coated header. If the coating isn't good enough, it really isn't worth the money. It would have been cheaper to just wrap it to begin with. Did I mention they are seriously deficient in terms of customer service? I will be giving jethot a shot at my business next time around. My friend used jethot and at least he wasn't charged a ONE HUNDRED PERCENT MARKUP on return shipping ;).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just to add, anyone who has tracked their GR hard understands the cooling issues. Essentially, they cannot be resolved without switching to a FMIC and ditching the hood scoop. We are now installing the rotated kit and a base model impreza hood that we are venting, so this should help a ton (also have an oil cooler going on). I am not sure how much the cooling system issues affect the header temps, but I am guessing that the heatsoak is reaching a saturation point where everything is just maxed out. This is the point at which I am then backing off and coasting for a lap.

This is why I bought the 321-stainless KillerB header. Anything made of 304 would have given up long ago. I haven't heard of anyone cracking the KillerB yet. I am not sure what I would do if that happened. Ask them to make one out of inconel at a cost of... $4-5k? I can't even estimate.
 

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Just had this thread pointed out to me, so lets see if I can address some of the stuff going on here...

The first question I have is, was the car tuned after installing the header? Installing our headers improves the engine's VE which WILL cause the EGTs to be higher than they should be, unless the tune/fueling has been properly compensated for. Not only can this cause the header (any stainless header) to embrittle, but there are other concerns with engine longevity running the car too lean.

What radiator are you running? Stock and most radiators are far enough away to not even need the fan shrouds to be trimmed, but on GDs trimming is pretty standard; trimming the plastic boss that would be used to hold auto tranny cooler line.

I don't know why the timing cover would have ANY signs of heat degradation on it? It's not that close. Our low mount turbo kit runs the GT35R turbine housing 1/4" away from the timing cover and there are no signs of thermal break down on it, although I do have a few pieces of gold foil on it. Pics?

On the Swain Tech coating, the binders will bubble through the ceramic and 'pill-up' giving a melting appearance. This is definitely NOT the ceramic melting away, and is considered normal. As mentioned you'd need to be over 3,000° to accomplish that. The Swain Tech coating can shed outer layers, but we've NEVER EVER seen headers (our or others), or a turbo housing flake off to bare metal. The coating thickness is generally over .015 thick, and if I remember correctly, 10 or so 'layers' are applied. Loosing a few layers will have no measurable effect whatsoever.

Wrap over the coating is NOT recommended for a few reasons. There is zero measurable benefit to the exhaust or underhood temps. It will drain your wallet and time though. It may also overheat the material, and it will definitely flake off MANY layers of the Swain Tech coating. The Swain Tech coating performs as well as wrap and better than any other coating process I am aware of. I would never use a coating like jet-hot as they generally work best with wrap or as a decorative coating, and that IMO defeats the purpose of having a coating in the first place.

Thermal management can be a tricky thing. Personally, I really don't like the venting/aero on the GRs in regards to the engine bay. There is not much flow through the engine bay at all and the small amount there is seems to put it all into the airbox area. We see temps 10-12° higher than ambient on the GR with our own air intake setup and we saw temps 20°+ higher on top of that with another companies intake. It's all due to the lack of airflow through the engine bay from what I can tell. Increasing power increases heat and it just compounds the effect.

The last Inconel header we quoted was just over $8,500. I would recommend getting a used WRC header as they can be had for cheaper. Although, they generally have dings, dents, designed for anti-lag around the 2.0 engine and have the turbo flange in a different location. If you've got experience welding Inconel this would likely be slightly cheaper alternative as they sell used in the $4-6,000 range depending on configuration and condition.

I'll pay closer attention to the thread now that I know it's here and if anyone has questions/concerns, please feel free to voice them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
KillerB thanks for responding! I will take photos of everything and post them tomorrow. You are right, the swaintech coating is beading up. Perhaps I used "dripping" inappropriately - I didn't know how else to describe it. It is NOT flaking off to bare metal or anything like that, but when I spoke to swaintech they said that over time the outer layers will shed.

I remember I posted this in the "which header is best thread" - the car was immediately datalogged and logs sent to the tuner after installing the header. The tune did not require any changes. The before/after datalogs were nearly identical. The wideband readings did not change at all. This may be partly because I requested a conservative tune to begin with, knowing the car was going to see hard track use, and the tuner said he kept it dialed back some compared to other users. I did not have an EGT gauge, but will with this new install.

The radiator is a mishimoto, so thicker than stock, putting the fan shroud closer to the header. The "melting" is minor, it isn't like the plastic is falling off or dripping, but it is obvious it was affected by the heat. I am not sure why the timing cover appears white. My friend who is installing the rotated turbo kit noticed all of the heat effects and said he has never seen that cover turn white from heat like that. Could something else cause it? This guy was a Subaru tech for years and does all of the engine builds around here and is very well respected.

Good to know about wrapping over the coating - I won't be doing that. I guess inconel is totally out of the question!

Agreed, GR engine bay presents some real issues for track day use. People seriously underestimate the severity of the problem. Not to toot my own horn, but the guys who are slower are not having issues. I spoke to Crawford and read every thread I could, and consensus is that you must ditch the hood scoop and vent the hood. All of the right things are happening now and I anticipate that the heat issues will be cured once and for all. In addition to the oil cooler, I am planning to run an intercooler sprayer and use ice water, hood vent behind the radiator, side hood vents, seal around the radiator/intercooler/oil cooler, 4" inlet into the fender sealed off from the engine bay with a "ram air" duct through the foglight, everything is coated in swaintech header/downpipe/uppipe/exhaust housing/even wastegate dump tube.

I was also planning to put a turbo blanket over the exhaust housing- would you advise against this since it is swaintech coated?

Stay tuned guys... I am pretty determined to make this car capable of full-tank-of-fuel track sessions!
 

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No problem. Looking forward to seeing pics.

Were you going from another EL header to ours? I'd be VERY surprised if WOT wideband feedback was identical. It's just not something we've EVER seen. The variance is going to depend on if you're going from an OEM manifold, UEL header, EL Header. The feedback should have a larger to smaller delta, respectively. We even see feedback differences on customer that have gone from F-R to our header, although again, to a much lesser extent then coming from an UEL header or the OEM manifold. We always recommend street or dyno tuning when installing our headers to assure the tune is safe.

If your tune was REALLY fat in the fueling to begin with and moderate boost, it might still be in the 'safe' zone, but if the car will be tracked the safety margin will be reduced or worse. We've seen headers that have been run on unturned cars, they show it, and it makes me nervous. While 321 is a better suited material, like anything else it does have its limitations too. I hope I'm not coming off as fear mongering here, I just want your engine, header, and everything else to live a long and happy life.

The Mishi radiators are wide. Personally, I don't like super wide 3-row radiators on street cars, IMO they reduce ambient airflow too much and hold a lot of heat if you're in traffic. You're the first to report a fan shroud rubbing. I'd like to see pics if you don't mind. 1/4"-3/8" clearance is typically plenty.

That's what most people say when they hear Inconel pricing :eek: When I fisrt started talking the material suppliers they told me this... 321 is 2X the cost of 304, Inconel is 8X the cost of 321, and titanium is 10x the cost of Inconel. A generalization, but it gives a rough idea of the scale of these material costs.

You're definitely going in the right direction with your hood venting. You should see SIGNIFICANT results following that path.

With the turbo housing, same deal, blanket or wrap. On housings I much more prefer the coating as it has much better coverage over the entire piece. Doing both poses the same risk, breaking down the coating and premature cracking of the housing.

You are definitely on your way! Looking forward to seeing the car coming along :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Fan shroud is not rubbing at all, not even close. Just close enough that the heat is affecting it. I thought my mishimoto was only 2-row..? But yes, much thicker than the stock rad. I was told the 3-row is not good for a car that sees street use or sits in traffic.

I went from the stock manifold to the KillerB. I am not sure what to say about the tuning. I have 91 and 100 oct maps and neither needed to be changed according to the tuner after the header install. As I said, there were no changes in the datalogs. I expected that the header would lean the car out some, but the wideband readings did not show this. The car will be getting a dyno tune from a new tuner with the new setup.

Header coating beading up:








Timing cover turning white. I tried to wipe this off with brake clean and to scrape it off with a flathead, but no dice. It has definitely turned white. I was hoping it was residue or something.





Fan shroud showing effects of heat:



 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I do live at elevation ~4000 ft. I am not sure if this makes it less likely that the header will lean the car out. The track (HPR) I was at last month is at 6000 ft. Cars struggle for air on that course!
 

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OK. thanks for posting the pics!

So the coating is doing exactly what it normally does, which is good. No problems there :)

I've seen the plastic do that, we have a car here that has it too and 2 others that don't. All run the Killer B header. If you look at the adjoining plastic piece it looks normal, so I think it's the plastic that has the issue, not the header heat.

On the radiator fan shroud, I'm not sure what to think. It's no where near close enough to cause anything to melt. They are a lot closer than that on the GD models too.

Elevation should cause a more rich condition. Regardless, I'd be VERY surprised if the wideband feedback were the same, given the difference seen in the engine's VE. It's just not something we've EVER seen.
 

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I'd be VERY surprised if the wideband feedback were the same, given the difference seen in the engine's VE. It's just not something we've EVER seen.
Engine VE goes up, airflow goes up (as does load) so why would the AFRs be lean? (g/s goes up, and so does injected fuel) If speed density, then absolutely, but on a MAF based car (depending how it was tuned) I have seen no changes in AFR on my last car going from ELH to stock manifold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
KillerB thanks again for the reassurance. I decided after my last track day to stop tracking the car until I had heat management under control. I am expecting huge improvements from all of our work. Still unsure what to say about the wideband. I watch the gauge pretty closely any time a change is made, and the needle was dead on before and after. As I said, I was expecting it to lean out. Wideband is an analog LC-1 with new sensor. This is a MAF-based tune (car will now be speed density tuned).
 

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Bump... anyone else experienced this?

Just got done with the first TT race of the weekend and the first event out with my car in a bit. I melted the hell out of the fan shroud on the passenger side from the heat from the Killer B headers. They are Swaintech coated as well... after 2 sessions I noticed a weird sound when the fans came on and after 3 it sounded REALLY bad.

Upon some investigation we found the shroud was melting to the point where the fan was making contact with it after it cooled while sitting in grid. Pretty crazy seeming as it's a good couple inches away from the coated header.
 

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Bump... anyone else experienced this?

Just got done with the first TT race of the weekend and the first event out with my car in a bit. I melted the hell out of the fan shroud on the passenger side from the heat from the Killer B headers. They are Swaintech coated as well... after 2 sessions I noticed a weird sound when the fans came on and after 3 it sounded REALLY bad.

Upon some investigation we found the shroud was melting to the point where the fan was making contact with it after it cooled while sitting in grid. Pretty crazy seeming as it's a good couple inches away from the coated header.
What MY? Aftermarket radiator and shroud; which ones?

Sounds like something is definitely moving, but if they are 2" away, that's a lot, and it should not be causing melting. If the engine mounts/pitch stop are stock, or worn, they may need to be upgraded. If the rubber bushings in the radiator are old, they may need to be upgraded as well.
 

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What MY? Aftermarket radiator and shroud; which ones?

Sounds like something is definitely moving, but if they are 2" away, that's a lot, and it should not be causing melting. If the engine mounts/pitch stop are stock, or worn, they may need to be upgraded. If the rubber bushings in the radiator are old, they may need to be upgraded as well.
05 STi. New motor build with 330whp on a 20g. Group-N engine mounts that have maybe a year of use on them, Kartboy pitch stop. Koyo race radiator, KillerB shroud. Not sure the exact gap between the headers and the fan shroud but it's pretty significant, definitely a good air gap.

It's not a little melting either... after 2 sessions the fan was rubbing enough on the shroud that it sounded like rod knock. Taptaptaptaptap. After another session it was crazy grinding sounds and flying plastic. Looking in there it was melting off right in front of the collector. I wasn't even running full sessions either... oil temps were spiking like crazy so I could only do one or two hot laps at a time before taking cooldown laps.
 

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Sweet, thanks for the info. On the GDs there is a boss on the bottom of the fan shroud. It's actually meant to hold a trans cooler line for an OXT, but has no purpose on the STi. With a thicker radiator, that boss and header can be close. You can cut it completely off, and that should gain you back plenty of clearance.

I've only seen this on the dyno, but maybe at speed the force in the shroud caused it to tear and move further back that what I've seen on the dyno. Shoot me some pics here or via e-mail if you can. I'd like to be able to see what you're seeing.
 

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no issue with mine but, i have a VA. The only issue is the oil filter didn't fit with an oil filter adapter. (perrin).

edit: mine is thermal coated.
 
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