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Currently I have the stock header on my 95 GSR with the heat shields removed. I know this is transferring heat to the motor and to the radiator making a hotter and harder working car. I'm getting ready to purchase a new header and was wondering which is the better route to go for keeping the heat in the header and not the motor bay, stainless steel or ceramic coated? Does anyone know if these aftermarket designs insulate well enough to eliminate the need for heat sheilds? Thanks for any input on this.
 

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Neither stainless steel or ceramic coated mild steel are good conductors of heat so you're fine either way. I've never actually measured the temperature of the manifold since I don't own a laser infrared thermometer but I would guess the ceramic coated headers may run slightly colder on the outside. But that's just a guess as ceramic is a better insulator than stainless steel. Whether the better conducting mild steel underneath the cermaic coating is able to transfer more heat to the outside than a plain stainless steel header would I couldn't tell you.
 

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I think the ceramic coated ones would work better because the ceramic coating acts as a reflector to keep the heat in the header which also keeps the exhaust gas velocity high. But then again, stainless is a poor heat conductor. The one thing I do know for sure, is that the headers have a much lower thermal mass than the stock cast iron manifold and so will heat and cool more quickly. The headers will remain cooler on average than the stock manifold because the airflow across them will remove heat more quickly than it would the stock manifold.
 
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