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Performance & Hotrod Business February '14

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Performance Exhaust HOTROD way up to stainless SS304 on many of our recent product releases. Those shops and customers that are into fabricating their own exhausts will be happy to know that we recently started offering our Builders Series parts, which allow shops to purchase some of the high-quality components we employ on our finished products on their very own custom exhaust builds. This includes one-piece hydroformed merge collectors, investment cast flanges for superior sealing, collector spears, etc. Roman: In general, austenitic stainless steels such as 304 and 321 offer three major advantages over steel in exhaust header applications: 1. Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant and will last many times longer than mild steel, aluminized steel or even 400 series stainless steel; 2. Stainless steel has a low coefficient of thermal conductivity, which helps keep the exhaust energy in the exhaust gases to help them flow better, and keep under-hood temperatures low; 3. Stainless steel does not degrade like mild steel, preventing iron oxide particles from entering the engine from the exhaust, damaging cylinder bores and rings in applications with heavy overlap cam timing. Heitmann: Since most of our products can be sold individually, as just an exhaust header flange set or a U-Weld kit to be built by the customer, we are not able to speak to the performance of the overall exhaust system. We do, however, provide flanges with adequate thickness to resist heat warping (3/8-inch thick), as well as mandrel bends and megaphones in thicker-gauge metal. Typically, our products are sold in mild steel but we also offer our full line in stainless steel, available by custom order. Lewis: Hedman started manufacturing its headers using mild steel tubing and flanges back in 1954 and, prior to 1984, Hedman simply offered its headers in black paint and chrome. While chrome looks bright and shiny when new, it tends to blue (change color) when exposed to high heat. In 1984, it introduced HTC coated headers to the performance aftermarket. Previously used only in aerospace applications, this coating was able to withstand extremely high temperatures without discoloring, and kept the exhaust temperatures up in the header tubes. Over the last few years, stainless steel has become a material of choice among header and exhaust manufacturers. Stainless steel holds up better under prolonged high heat and environmental conditions than mild steel. While stainless steel performs better than mild steel, buyers need to be aware that not all stainless steel is created equal. While most exhausts coming out of Detroit and hitting the aftermarket today are manufactured using Type 409, Hedman Hedders has chosen to manufacture many of its popular header applications using Type 304 stainless steel, which has a higher corrosion resistance and higher operating temperature range. 58 n Performance & Hotrod Business PHBFEB_52-77.indd 58 n Above: Exhaust systems are available in various configurations and made from various materials. Below Left: A three-arm clamping header cap is fully adjustable and is designed for use with a 5-inch ring on Lakester-style headers or exhaust dumps. (Photo courtesy Hells Gate Hot Rods) Below Right: Burns Stainless has developed a stainless steel and Inconel polish called "Manifold Destiny" for cleaning and polishing exhaust components. (Photo courtesy Burns Stainless) PHB: What new products or services will your company offer in 2014? Burnett: We've just finished bringing to market the first fullswap solution for those looking to swap a GM LS engine into a second-generation F-body Camaro or Firebird. We have developed specific engine mounts, headers and transmission crossmembers that cover both the early and late iterations of the second-generation F-body chassis throughout its production run. Early in 2014 we will be completing the release of a similar array of components for those swapping an LS engine into their first-generation F-body or third-generation Nova chassis. This kit is the most comprehensively designed system of parts on the market and provides the user with unique and proprietary design features, such as Hooker clamshell retrofit engine mounting February 2014 1/7/14 2:19 PM

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