Welded tubular 304ss manifold- ceramic coat, header wrap, or leave as-is?


Jun 4, 2021
Twin Cities, MN
2015 e84 X1 35i Msport
Hey all,

What are peoples' thoughts on this? With a 304l ss welded tubular manifold, I've read that ceramic coating can promote cracks. Not sure if it's proven or just anecdotal observations. If true, I'm guessing its due to retaining more heat in the stainless?

If this is true, would header wrap over 304l ss also be problematic for cracking on turbo manifolds?

Or best to leave it bare? I'd like to minimize under-hood heat, but not at the expense of higher likelihood of cracking.

Or maybe cracking isn't that big of a concern with 304 if it's built with a heavy wall (schedule 40)? With 6 runners, and heavy walls I imagine there's plenty of meat to distribute loading across to reduce liklihood of cracks?

Any thoughts, or experience people could share? I'm interested in a kit with a welded 304 tubular manifold, but in general I'm wary of this construction as my car is a daily driver, it's x-drive (extra PIA to swap), and the thought of potentially dealing with a cracked manifold is pretty off putting.


Brigadier General
Nov 6, 2016
ACF 6466 E92 + METH
I vote ceramic coating or leave it bare. You want the manifold nice and hot to keep the gases flowing fast, or so they say. Real world I bet you can't see a difference, at least on the street. I have never heard of ceramic coating cracking at the welds or promoting the cracking. Sounds like something doc race would say ;). I kidd!

Header wrap can trap moisture or so they say which can lead to a manifold failing early. That being said I would wrap your DP in header wrap as a new DP is small money compared to a manifold.
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