Anyone ever made their own header heatshield?

I got an itr header with no heatshields. i think i’m gonna try and make my own. time to fire up the old oxy acetalyne rig!!! anyone have any suggestions on what type of sheetmetal i should use for the skidplate? i know that i will be using some thicker stuff uptop. anyone ever made their own heatshield and have any suggestions on steel thickness?

if you’re going to make a skidplate go with steel, and make sure it’s at least 1/8 of an inch thick.


3/8"!!??!! Do you realize how thick that is? That is WAY overkill, not to mention that skidplate would weigh a ton. I figure you’d neeed at least 2 sqft of plate when you’re all said and done, if using 3/8" thick mild steel that’s about 30lbs of metal.

yeah, that’s alot. i was thinking more along the lines of 2 1/4 inch strips to cover the primaries in an h form surrounded by 1/8. i was thinking 1/16 but i don’t even remember if they make it that thin. even then, 1/4 inch is kinda thick… ?

FLP makes one thats 1/4" thick

this picture gives a good idea of how thick it is.

hmmm, i wonder if one can anneal (sp) aluminum the same way as steel. i guess i’ll just go buy a piece and see what happens. i guess i’ll use very thin gauge steel for the top part. i don’t know how to weld aluminium nor do i have a tig welder :frowning:

Yea 3/8" is way way thick. I’d go for 1/4" mild steel for the skidplate, and 1/8 or 1/16 stainless up top, for show. Man I can’t wait to get a MIG and a TIG machine for home, then I’ll be able to start doing things like this! I heart welding :rockon:

I think 1/4" steel is still overkill…

That 1/4" FLP is aluminum, so you can go that thick w/o adding a lot of weight.

Gil, that aluminum one is not welded at all, it’s just a sheet which has been drilled for mounting holes, cut, then bent to shape.

If I were you I’d do some searches (google and h-t) to get some good examples of what others have done. I think with something like this simple is going to be your best option.

Keep us posted with pics!

yea, i know. i was looking to do the skidplate and also weld up a cover for the top. after seeing that last post on on that alum. skidplate, i was wondering if i could anneal (sp?)/ heat up the aluminum to bend it as one does with steel in order to make it more pliable. i have a few poles in the backyard that may give me that nice bend. i just don’t want to crack the aluminum by heating it and trying to bend it. i don’t remember how aluminum reacts to annealing or if you can even do that with it… hmmm…

Sorry. I didn’t mean to freak everyone out. 1/8 of an inch is what I meant to type. Sorry.

I had one I made out of 1/8" thick steel. It’s a skid plate. You either want to protect your header or you don’t. Don’t be concerned with weight.

[QUOTE=icemanGSR;1945768]Sorry. I didn’t mean to freak everyone out. 1/8 of an inch is what I meant to type. Sorry.

I had one I made out of 1/8" thick steel. It’s a skid plate. You either want to protect your header or you don’t. Don’t be concerned with weight.[/QUOTE]

1/8" is probably perfect for your run of the mill mild steel. Everyone should be concerned with weight. It’s all about compromise and diminishing returns…

Yes, aluminum can indeed be annealed. In fact, aluminum sheet is available in annealed condition, aka 0 temper. Thicknesses around 1/8" can be bent to fairly tight radii without annealing, but 1/4" may require it.

If you were referring to steel, anything that thin is described by sheet metal gauge. 16 gauge steel (0.0598" thick) is probably closest. I would think 16 or 14 gauge steel would be appropriate for the heat shield. Here’s a link regarding sheet metal thicknesses:

If you do decide to try welding aluminum, just remember that it’s tricky due to its higher thermal conductivity and the presence of an oxide film on the material surface. Welders typically get paid extra to work with aluminum and for good reason; the fumes from the burning oxide layer are toxic.

so then if i get it non tempered, i will have to temper it to maintain ridgidity, right? i guess it should be ok as long as i make it glow and quench it. awesome. thanks for the advice!!!

Not exactly. Some alloys are not heat treatable, and simply heating with a torch and quenching is a little random. And in some cases 0 temper may have sufficient strength anyway.

The FLP site says their skid plate is made of 6061 (which is heat treatable), but doesn’t specify the temper. The bend radius looks to be fairly large, probably 3 or 4 inches, which should allow it to be formed without cracking.

Here’s some info regarding minimum bend radii for aluminum alloys, which states a minimum bend radius of 1" for 6061-T6:

I’d have to do some calculations to determine how much force you’d need to yield 5052 or 6061.

EDIT: 5052-H32 has a yield strength of 28,000 psi, which is actually quite close to that of mild steel. Assuming you were trying to bend a piece that was 6" wide by 1/4" thick, the bending moment required for yield would be 1750 in*lb. If you had 36" of material extending past the “forming die” (aka steel pipe), then the force required to yield the piece would be about 50 lb. Seems reasonable.

So my idea would be to get a 4 or 5 foot length of material, fix one end near the pipe somehow, and push or pull on the free end to form it around the o.d. of the pipe.

yeah… i didn’t think the heat would work, lol. awesome. i’ll do that. thanks!!!

What about modifying a stock ITR heat shield to fit a Megan header? Such as welding on pieces to thread the bolts through? Will the sheild fit over the Megan in the first place?

I’m thinkin this would be a pretty neat way to “stealth up” the engine bay. Anyone ever tried it?

When I put on my Megan, I just couldn’t get it clean enough to repel the multi-colored fingerprints. My other option is to powdercoat the upper portion, but the heatshield mod may be cheaper. What’d ya guys think?


Corniest quote ever: “Get yours today! JDM is IN!”

there was a guy asking about that a while back. we suggested he weld up a set of bungs that will line up with whatever heatshield you are using. basically what you said. try it!

im assuming your headers are stainless steel… in that case you could just sand and polish them to restore them to their original condition.

but the coloration will still still happen so just make sure there are no dirty fingerprints after that…