jtay

Ceramic coated vs straight stainless for header and exhaust system

    Recommended Posts

    I have picked up a very original 72 240 and the header and exhaust are rusted pretty bad.  I want to replace but have questions.  If you had a choice to go with the MSA ceramic system or the zstory street stainless system which would you choose?  The MSA ceramic says it will be cooler by 40%.  MSA being cheaper is a plus.

    MSA https://www.thezstore.com/page/TZS/PROD/classic19d/15-6001CH

    Thermal Coating:
    This header comes with a highly durable and effective Aerospace Thermal Barrier Ceramic or TBC coating, which is good up to 1300 degrees fahrenheit. The satin "polished" silver finish coats both the inside and outside of the header. This does a number of things. First, it cuts radiated heat by approximately 40%. Not only does this help to keep your under hood rubbers and plastics from drying out, it also lowers the temperature of the fuel and air which translates into increased performance. 

    ZStory  https://www.datsun-zstory.com/echappements/headers/headers-street-sport/

    Thanks in advance.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I've had the MSA header,   meh, the stock engine doesn't get all that hot anyway but maybe in your part of the world you have to take that into consideration. If you do a search I don't think you'll find a lot posts saying how wonderful the MSA header is.

    If you search ZStory you will find many posts praising the beautiful sounds it makes, how well it lets the engine breath and of course how beautiful it is.  Welcome to the forum by the way, we would all love to see your very original 240.

    • Like 4

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    The ceramic coating works well - no doubt. I am still impressed after years how well the coating has held up and it helps beat the heat. I personally don’t like MSA as a business, but the header works . I’ve heard some issues with the flange and some folks were having issues with them sealing . 

     

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Not wishing to divert the thread, what issues have you found with MSA (but if you don’t wish to post publicly then I totally understand). Except for the annoyance e of having to wait for a postage quote, I’ve only had positive experiences to date.

    Back on the thread topic: what’s been bad about the MSA header? I had one before going over to the Z/story one and I thought it was pretty good for power and the low to mid range on the L28 and good all round on my old L26. The sound was also nice with a 2.5” pipe back to a turbo muffler but that setup did drone on the motorway. Having said that I found it was leaking on the L28 ...

    4eab0a565ba3d9c1afbde0005e0b7510.jpg5cc150133f976e92aa1c2d8b16a9b990.jpg

    I’m not defending MSA - just curious as to other experiences.

    Also this is a photo I do like sharing: Race/Sport header meets MSA ...

    cef1367a96333e79908d721af9c27712.jpg

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I do like that race sport header ! That’s a ceramic coat on the race sport ? 

     

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I have installed several MSA systems on stock motors. It needs a resonator. My best recommendation is to go to a 2.25 or 2.5 pipe with a resonator and a magnaflow flow through muffler.  
    the Zstory system I have is a bit aggressive on WOT above 4500 RPM. very mellow at cruising speeds in 2500 to 3700 RPM.  
    I have been using ceramic coated manifold  and parts for over 20years. Currently I have a stock manifold that is ceramic coated matched to a stock down tube converted to to 2.5 in pipe ceramic coated mated to the Zstory exhaust system with the resonator and a JDM muffler. Pretty happy with it. 
    I abandoned the Zstory street header because of the proximity to the rear SU Carb. the race header interfered with the frame on my car. 
    I think you will find that a ceramic coated header is quieter in the engine bay and should flow better and less heat. 
    hope this helps PS I lone Vclamps 

    C67474A0-E211-43AB-AAAB-A9466E57463F.jpeg

    Edited by 7tooZ

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I have the MSA coated header, 2.5" full exhaust on my 280 and 240.  280 had a slight leak and needed a resonator, now it sounds great.  2.4 motor sealed great.  I love the sound of the smaller motor, no resonator.  Very "raspy" sound.

    MSA sends their headers to be coated.  The coating company sends them back in a single box, seems like it's close by? but then MSA was sending them across the country in the same box.  We brought this up and the problem was recognized and then corrected.

    Here's the coating company in Santa Anna, CA. http://www.embeeperformance.com/

    MSA is located in Orange County, CA. too.  They wrap the $^!# out of them now FYI. LOL

    Here's what I received and sorta of started the whole thing.  Joseph at MSA was great helping sort it out.  

    20150309_103320.jpg 

     

    Edited by siteunseen

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I do like that race sport header ! That’s a ceramic coat on the race sport ? 
     


    No sir, that is the Race/Sport in her birthday suit. A thing of beauty. The MSA header in the same pic is ceramic coated (at a vast expense by my local place in the UK). The coating was mainly to reduce engine bay temps. I believe if you want to do that and have it work properly, you need the insides done too.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    2 hours ago, AK260 said:

     


    No sir, that is the Race/Sport in her birthday suit. A thing of beauty. The MSA header in the same pic is ceramic coated (at a vast expense by my local place in the UK). The coating was mainly to reduce engine bay temps. I believe if you want to do that and have it work properly, you need the insides done too.

     

    It would be a shame to cover up the natural SS, but the ceramic really does help with underhood temps 

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Oh I so agree! Sadly I’ve had to cover up the S/S with a diy aluminium heat shield going as I have a very hot engine bay and really don’t like the idea of fuel above hot manifold.

    As it happens I now get condensation on the carb domes after a spirited drive and they feel “fridge cold” to the touch as opposed to the old hot feel. Also a lot less fuel vaporisation issues idling in traffic on hot days.

    • Like 3

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Such a lovely looking car!!

    The z-therapy SUs are one of the best things I ever bought for the Z.

    They made a HUGE difference and worth the wait / cost.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    8 hours ago, jtay said:

    Thanks for the great information.  Since I live in TX and it does get very hot here I think I will go with the ceramic MSA.  I do love the looks of the SS though.  Below are some pics of the car. 75K documented miles and first owner had car until 2012.  Original window sticker and all service documentation throughout history of car.  Next is on to Ztherapy SU carbs.  Called them and they are booked out until June.. Geez they must be busy.  Couple pics of the car below.

     

     IMG_4317.png60046931968__1B5191E8-07AA-449E-B23D-8734572D4624.jpg

    A very big welcome to the group, that is a fantastic looking car!  I'm just up the road from you and would welcome the opportunity to meet.  If you're interested in club activities, we have a very active Z Club of Texas in this area and a lot of folks would be interested in meeting you and your new ride.  I have the Z Therapy carbs and the MSA Premium 2.5" exhaust system and header.  Well pleased with all of it and I do second the comments about needing to add a resonator.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    As I sit in bed with insomnia in the Austrian Alps salivating about the dump of snow we’ll be riding tomorrow, I feel there is something very wrong with me. I’m sat here thinking about exhausts! Is this an affliction? Is this a disease? Is it normal!? Do I need to seek medical advice?

     

    Anyhoo one thought is that the Race/Sport header is materially larger than the MSA or stock manifold, filling that side of the engine bay up a bit more and putting out a fair bit of heat with it. So for those driving left hookers, the fit must be pretty tight with steering / braking components also being present there. How do you keep the heat away from your vital to safety components e.g. steering coupler and brake booster without hefty heat shielding !?

     

    Long though short, I would imagine ceramic coating with whatever header is going to pay huge dividends.

     

    Right then, back to salivating ...

     

    857adcd590e179d786d624f599e5f6fe.jpg&key=e1b83a465b87935166d1f9ac7402639c84e733d9d9971c6043b415f6ec1c27b6

     

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    10 hours ago, AK260 said:

    How do you keep the heat away from your vital to safety components e.g. steering coupler and brake booster without hefty heat shielding !?

    Drive faster.  Enjoy the powder!

    • Like 2

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Nice pic with the snow.  Going to be 50+°F here in Texas.

    @jfa.series1 I am up in the Allen area so let me know where the club meets and I will try to make it.  I have a few things to work out on the car before I feel safe driving it far from my house.  I have to figure out the smog/air pump stuff as Ztherapy will remove the holes and since it will be a few months until I get the carbs I have to figure out how to tune the SUs.  The MFA header does not come with the holes for the smog equipment anyway.  Right now I have more airflow to one than the other SU and the car does not run as good as it should.  This car has had 1K miles put on it over the last 10 years so it has been sitting quite a bit.  I have already removed the old fuel as step one.  I checked compression and it seems pretty good as well.IMG_4313.jpeg

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    The PO of my car spent 7 years doing a ground up rust restoration but then driver her for only 800 miles on 2 years after just to take her to shows etc!

     

    The brakes were pretty seized, the engine was way out of tune and everything needed a good thrash to get back to health.

     

    Mix, ignition and timing are everything. It’s great your compression numbers are good. Sorting the other stuff above out is pretty simple.

     

    You’d be surprised the difference a new coil, dizzy cap and rotor, HT leads and plugs evenly gapped can make to your car’s running. Points correctly gapped also if that’s what you have in the dizzy.

     

    Sort out ignition and timing first (set timing at 32 degrees at 3k rpm. Then it should fall back to 17ish at idle (without the vacuum advance connected.

     

    The carbs are relatively simple to sort out so that the car runs better while you wait.

     

    This should help ...

     

    5d51ff844d990eed120a910d4e47ef80.jpg&key=bc0a06c83a0e29ef9e9fe1f2c5b0057ca307b48fc219fb679d319d76ef7ef588

     

    Get some brake disc cleaner or throttle body cleaner. Take off the domes and give the pistons, domes and the body of the carb a decent clean first. Take care to not mix up the front and rear domes and pistons; they wear together.

     

    Buy a decent air flow meter such as this ...

     

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F192596389772

     

    Disconnect the choke cables form the carbs.

     

    Using the nut at the bottom of the carb, Wind the jets all the way up and as a rule of thumb wind them back down 2.5 turns. I use a digital calliper to ensure the jets are at the same height, each full turn is 1mm down ....

    45510a74733d01855437a6815318cdde.jpg&key=64d18b2feb0a7b28350101be003ba3bb835a4f6e13f2fb769b7cd1490648902c

     

    Put the pistons domes and springs back on.

     

    Use SU official oil in the dampers ...

     

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F143244885465

     

    Completely undo the balance screws and use the idle adjustment screws to sort out an even airflow at idle. I find the easiest way is to undo them completely so the bitterly is shut and with your finger in the carb mouth feel for any movement as you wind the screw down. Stop 1/4 turn just after you feel the tiniest movement.

     

    Then start the engine and keep adjusting the idle screws each, watching the airflow meter until you get an idle without stall.

     

    Then wind down the balance screw until moving the throttle linkage makes both carbs move together.

     

    Then set the fast idle screw to get say 1200 / 1500 rpm and adjust the balance screw until both carbs are sucking equally.

     

    That should sort the air flow and roughly the mix so the car is running better. Ideally you would want to check the float bowls have the same fuel levels before adjusting the mix but that will take a little longer and is quite involved. You will likely need to check that with your Z Therapy carbs too as they can become unbalanced due to vibrations during transport.

     

    The above should give you 85- 90% well setup carbs for OK running.

     

    Now for some “apres ski” and sauna. Apparently swimwear is not allowed in mixed saunas in Austria!!!!!

     

    I will have to be that frowned upon prudish Brit with a towel on!

     

    9ddb54bca23b7918ce5a476acd65e586.jpg

     

     

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    13 hours ago, AK260 said:

    As I sit in bed with insomnia in the Austrian Alps salivating about the dump of snow we’ll be riding tomorrow, I feel there is something very wrong with me. I’m sat here thinking about exhausts! Is this an affliction? Is this a disease? Is it normal!? Do I need to seek medical advice?

    How do you keep the heat away from your vital to safety components e.g. steering coupler and brake booster without hefty heat shielding !?

    Please spare us your Austrian Alps miasma, you're getting no pity from this end.  Lucy is always available to help!

    Lucy Help.jpg

    As to the header heat question, I have the factory heat shield fitted between my header and the SU's.  No heat issues with the carbs or hydraulics.

     

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    1 hour ago, jtay said:

     

    @jfa.series1 I am up in the Allen area so let me know where the club meets and I will try to make it.  I have a few things to work out on the car before I feel safe driving it far from my house.  I have to figure out the smog/air pump stuff as Ztherapy will remove the holes and since it will be a few months until I get the carbs I have to figure out how to tune the SUs.  The MFA header does not come with the holes for the smog equipment anyway.  Right now I have more airflow to one than the other SU and the car does not run as good as it should.  This car has had 1K miles put on it over the last 10 years so it has been sitting quite a bit.  I have already removed the old fuel as step one.  I checked compression and it seems pretty good as well.

    Ah-ha, so you are actually just up the road from me.  Unless they have changed over the years, Z Therapy will leave the smog fittings in place if requested to do so.  That said, if going with a header you'll loose the air injection manifold as you stated and the air pump becomes just so much dead weight.  I had Z Therapy remove all the balance tube fittings for a cleaner look, no regrets.  I'll PM my contact info to you, I might be able to help a bit with getting the SU's tweaked.

    Jim

    • Like 2

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Thanks AK for the laundry list of things.  I received the MSA header and exhaust today.  I also received the resonator I ordered.  I will post pics when I get into it.  Most likely late next week.  I should be able to get the header on but will have to go to a local shop to cut and weld the resonator on.  One thing I do not have is welding tools or the skill to do that.  Thanks for all the help.

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now