Wrap It Up: Using Header Wraps To Increase Performance

Heat is the enemy of every racer and high-performance lover on planet earth; it sucks away power, makes track surfaces tricky, and causes a high level of discomfort inside the car. While you can’t control the temperature outside, you can control the amount of heat under the hood of your car by limiting exhaust heat.

Under the hood of your car, there are some vital items that need to be protected from extreme heat, like wires, hoses, fuel lines, and starters. Reducing the heat that is coming from the engine compartment can also make things more comfortable for you in the driver’s seat by eliminating heat that passes through the firewall or floorboards. By using a header wrap, you can limit the possible damage high temperatures can do to parts under the hood, and keep things cooler inside the car when you’re waiting to make a pass.

Nick Helms from Thermo-Tec provides some great information on how to lower the temperatures under the hood of your car by using exhaust wraps.

The benefits of wrapping headers and other hot parts under the hood is pretty extensive, Helms explains. “Wrapping the headers helps the exhaust gases escape the combustion chamber quicker, which allows the car to run more efficiently and produce more horsepower. Having pipes wrapped allows you to work on your vehicle during a race without the fear of severely burning yourself if you brush up against a pipe. Our wraps help insulate and contain up to 70 percent of the heat inside the exhaust system, which helps produce less radiant heat coming out of the pipes.”

Wrapping headers and other exhaust parts might seem like a challenge, but Helms is able to provide some great tips on how to make the job easier. “The biggest tip for wrapping a set of headers is to keep a tight .25-inch overlap throughout the process. This will allow just the right amount of insulation to the exhaust system allowing it maximize its performance. It’s also important to use the proper snap straps on each end to secure the wrap.”

As you can see wrapping your headers and exhaust parts will help cut down on the heat under the hood to make parts last longer, perform better, and allow you to work on the car easier after a run.

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About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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