Wrapping Heat Tape on Exhaust Headers

What You'll Need
Cleaning detergent e.g. Simple Green
Clean dry rags
Header tape
Sharp utility knife or blade
Header tape ties
Tape measure
Hose clamps
Protective overalls
Working gloves

Exhaust headers are designed to enhance the performance of a car. They work by freeing more power from a vehicle. This improves performance which also helps to increase speed. The device functions by preventing back pressure which reduces the amount of work done by cylinders.

However, the process also produces heat which can interfere with power. Wrapping exhaust headers with heat tape is an inexpensive practice which insulates the device from surrounding engine components.

Step 1 – Prepare Materials

Gather all necessary materials and put on safety glasses, gloves, dusk mask and overalls. As the job requires more time and patience, plan well as it is important to make tight and neat wraps on the exhaust header. This makes the insulating material hold the device better and retain as much heat as possible.

Step 2 – Remove Headers and Clean

Remove exhaust headers from the vehicle and clean them. Pay attention to the accumulation of grease, grime and debris in the device, rinse and leave them out to dry completely.

There are tapes that should be prepared by soaking them in water. Confirm if this is recommended by the manufacturers since not all of them should be wet. Soak it in water for a few minutes or spray it with a bottle of water. This makes it easy to wrap the tape around the exhaust header.

Use an exhaust wrap calculator to get the correct size of tape to wrap around the device. The tape can be unrolled and precut to get a few pieces to work with.

Step 3 – Wrap the Exhaust Header

With a piece of precut tape, start on the side closest to the exhaust port. This is the part closest to the engine. Carefully and slowly, make tight and clean wraps down the system and work towards the exhaust tip. The initial wrap should be around the pipe. Secure the ends with header tape ties or hose clamps.

Once the end is firmly secured, continue wrapping around the pipe using a ¼ inch overlap with each pass. Make sure that the tension is even and the wrap lies tightly and neatly on the device.

Step 4 – Tighten Wrap

The most effective way to secure the wrap is by tightening it by hand after every two to three coils. Also check how the primary tubes are installed. If they are very close to each other, consider wrapping them as a single unit. Make sure to maintain a ¼ inch overlap.


After installing the wrapping, it is normal for the exhaust wrap to smoke.