Jet-Hot Coating and Flowmaster Exhaust for Project Swinger

Selecting an exhaust system for your muscle car is probably one of the most important choices you will make. Should it be loud or quiet? Whatever you pick, the sound is what defines the build. But outside the sound, you want the exhaust to look good as well. That’s why when it came to choosing an exhaust system for our Project Swinger Nova, we went with a name synonymous with muscle cars – Flowmaster Mufflers. But we just didn’t stop there, we sent our exhaust system out to Jet-Hot Coatings to help keep temperatures cooler while also sprucing up the looks.

Exhaling Properly

Our Project Swinger is moving along nicely, and we’re down to some of those small details that can easily be overlooked. We can’t wait to get out on the street and enjoy the fruits of all the labor and long hours put into this project..for now however the work continues.

To date we’ve figured out how to get our GM Performance Parts LSA crate engine into the car, fitted the trans, the list goes on and on. Now we need to tackle that unseen detail that contributes both the performance and the excitement of any project car, the exhaust system. We do after all want to make sure that this supercharged beast can exhale as well as it can inhale and sounds good while doing it.

We started with a Flowaster's U-Fit dual exhaust kit along with a set of Super 44 mufflers. After assembly, we sent project Swinger’s entire exhaust system to Jet-Hot for a polished coating.

Some Assembly Required

Obviously when Swinger originally rolled off the assembly line Novas were only factory equipped from the folks at GM with a small block Chevy. I doubt any of the engineers of that day had even fathomed the stellar performance of the LSA engine we’re installing. As such there is no direct “bolt in” exhaust system for our application so we’ll need to make one of our own.

Before it could be coated, we had to build and weld the exhaust using a Flowmaster U-fit kit and mufflers.

We turned to the good people at Flowmaster and got hooked up with one of their U-fit kits in 2 ½” diameter (part number : 15936). This kit also includes the components to construct a balance or “H-pipe” so that exhaust pulses are balanced appropriately. Last giving us that signature muscle car sound is a set of Flowmaster’s Supper 44 mufflers (part #: 942548).

With the engine installed the first task at hand was to start at the front and fit the balance pipe kit, once this was satisfactory it was onto the rest of it. Our mufflers and associated pipers were mocked up, followed by the construction of the over axle setup and tail pipes. Once everything was checked for clearance and fit was satisfactory it was removed for final welding.

Getting the Most Out of Our Investment

Let’s face it, we have a lot of time, hard work and money invested in this project. As such we need to make sure that all of our components not only last long, but take full advantage of technologies that are available to enthusiasts today. So with that mindset we shipped the completed exhaust for project Swinger out to Jet-Hot coatings to get coated from the headers to the exhaust tip.

The Jet-Hot coating on this system  will not only help with heat control under the hood and inside the car, but will also provide corrosion resistance for our exhaust system that will allow it to endure for years to come. Not to mention that the exhaust system will have a great looking appearance that can easily be maintained.

Benefits of Coatings

Performance

  • Reduces under-hood temperatures
  • Improves thermal efficiency of the engine system
  • Helps maintain uniform temperature throughout the exhaust system

Protection

  • Can help extend the life of neighboring components
  • Improves thermal oxidation protection at higher temperatures
  • Provides protection up to 2,500F (Jet-Hot Extreme 2500 series)

Polish

  • Provides a clean appearance
  • Available in a variety of colors and finishes
  • Unlike some chromes, Jet-Hot’s silvery finish won’t blue
  • Easy to clean

The Process

When it comes to getting your parts coated, first fill out Jet-Hot’s online ordering form so you can receive a proper quote on your order. For the sake of coating an exhaust system inside and out, here are their prices:

  • $355 for a pair of long tube headers
  • $30 per linear foot of exhaust piping in 2.5-inch diameter
  • $125-$145 per muffler (depending on length)
  • Plus return shipping

Upon receiving, cataloging, inspecting and photographing our parts at their Burlington, NC facility the crew at Jet Hot begin the coating process by cleaning the parts. This cleaning removes both organic and inorganic material from the parts. Things as minor as the oils from your skin as well as any other contaminant that you can imagine must be removed prior to coating. To remove these oils on most parts Jet Hot uses an oven and literally bakes the parts at 650 degrees for an hour. Parts that would be damaged by such a process are solvent or alkaline washed instead.

Left: Parts that can tolerate the heat initially are cleaned at 650 degrees in a large oven. Right: A spray gun is used to coat the outside of parts while a proprietary method is used to do the insides.

After the cleaning or washing process has been completed, the exhaust parts are then grit blasted to get the material down to the “white” metal, this process also allows for proper surface conditions for the coating to adhere to. Parts such as our exhaust components are grit blasted both inside and out.


Jet-Hot Coatings Shop Tour

We were lucky enough to go to Jet-Hot’s east coast facility for a complete shop tour on how the coating process works. Check out that article here.

Once cleaned and blasted, the parts head to the coating area. Each part is coated by Jet-Hot, using a spray gun in a controlled environment. It’s important to mention that many parts such as our exhaust are not only coated on the outside but also the inside. “Jet Hot has its own proprietary equipment that applies the coating to very intricate ID surfaces of parts ranging from headers to intake manifolds for commercial customers,” according to Jet-Hot design engineer Dan Burton.

From here parts are sent to the curing stage where both convection and infrared technologies combine to cure the part in an expedited and effective manner. Parts are then burnished with another light grit blasting and sent for a final coat and curing before final inspection and shipment.

Since our complete exhaust system is being polished it has one more step to go through, tumble polishing. After 10-20 minutes in the tumble polisher the parts are removed and cleaned again, then given a final hand polishing.

Jet-Hot's coatings are available in a number of different colors, from traditional blacks and grey's to red, blue, green, and other colors to fit your tastes. To apply these, once the base coat on a part is cured, it's sandblasted using a light grit sandpaper to create a proper adhesion surface. The top layer of coating containing the color is then applied by hand, just as the base coat was.

Controlling the Heat

Supercharged engines will produce a lot of heat over extended usage or under hard use. Heat of course is the enemy of both horsepower and parts. Excessive heat robs you of performance and steals your hard earned money in parts failures.

Left: Beautiful, yet durable the process leaves the stampings readable on our Super 44 Flowmaster Mufflers. Right: You can even read the part number on the backside of the muffler.

While Dan does tell us, “There is no specific value for the temperature reduction that can be attributed, since different parts generate different levels of heat.  This also must be clarified additionally with the type of coating that is applied to the exhaust components under the hood of the vehicle as different coating have different temperature resistance levels.” To that end, by having our system coated at Jet-Hot we expect to see a reduction in exhaust heat under the hood and heat transfer into the car versus an uncoated system.

Aiding the Flow

From here you can see how nicely the Flowmaster U-fit kit works on project Swinger

We all know that better flow equals more horsepower. What many enthusiasts do not realize is the additional benefits of Jet-Hot coatings to parts where flow is critical. Since like everyone else we are trying to wring as much horsepower out of this project as possible, we’ll take every advantage we can get.

The inner coating applied to our exhaust system known as Jet-Hot Flow Coating will allow for a uniform surface across the entire exhaust system. According to Burton, “Laminar flow is improved with the processes that Jet-Hot performs.”

This additional benefit may be even better realized in the case of hand built exhaust systems such as ours where multiple components were welded together. Since we can’t see the inside of those welded joints it stands to reason they could cause unwanted turbulence. Smoothing this out with the uniform surface from the Flow Coating will help keep those spent gasses flowing quickly out Swinger’s pipes.

Finishing Touches

Laminar flow is improved with the coating and finishing processes that Jet-Hot performs.

We received Swinger’s exhaust back from Jet-Hot looking almost too good to hide most of it under the car. Upon checking everything for shipping damage we proceeded to our final assembly steps getting the pipes all back into place. As you can see the fitment was not affected at all by the Jet-Hot process.

We’ve all experienced or seen shiny parts that lose their luster over time. This is not the case with Jet-Hot products, “Jet-Hot High Performance Coatings are a long term coating, which is why we offer a no questions asked lifetime warranty on our coatings,” explained Burton. “A lot of the life of the part in terms of the coating is a direct relationship with the care that the customer maintains with his parts.  Cleaning and an occasional polish will go a long way to maintaining the look of the parts for many years to come.”

Left: We can't wait to hear this custom system rumble when we fire up swinger and hit the road and track for the first time. Right: It's almost criminal to hide parts that fit and look this good under the car.

With Flowmaster’s U-Weld kit, we were able to easy assemble a high-quality, complete exhaust system for our LSA-powered Nova. On top of that, we had Jet-Hot coat our complete exhaust system so that the bottom of the car will look at good as the top will for years to come, while also providing us with much-needed heat-blocking protection.

 

Article Sources

About the author

Don Creason

Don Creason is an automotive journalist with passions that lie from everything classic, all the way to modern muscle. Experienced tech writer, and all around car aficionado, Don's love for both cars and writing makes him the perfect addition to the Power Automedia team of experts.
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