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Thermal Barrier coatings on piston/combustion chambers

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Nov 9, 2000
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
I have priced thermal coatings from the pros and it is litterly hundreds of dollars to have your piston tops and combustion chambers coated. A while back Hot Rod Magazine had a short article about CBC2 Powercoat Ceramic Thermal Barrier Coating that can be applied at home. I presume it can be baked in a home electric oven, like powder coating, (not the one you cook food in).

Now I find it in the Speedway Motors catalog for $29.95. I would hope 1 bottle would be enough to do a set of pistons and maybe a 2nd or 3rd for the chambers and exhaust ports.

My question is has anyone ever did this at home or what is your experience with the pros? It seems to me that if this home brew works and lasts it would be the cheapest horsepower you would buy during an engine rebuild.

I posted this here as most of our engine builders drive Sharks. Don't even need a poll for that one.

Re: Engine Builders

59Tom said:
I posted this here as most of our engine builders drive Sharks. Don't even need a poll for that one.

:grinshot Boy, you're really lookin' to stir something up, eh Tom? :L
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Who? Me?
hi tom, i had crank, rods, pistons, valves, chambers, exhaust ports, headers inside and out coated at polydine in houston. they did a great job, looks outstanding. rod, main, and cam bearings were also coated. according to them this motor should out last me. i don't have any before and after dyno # so i can't tell what it did in the way of touque or hp. carl does this for several pro stock racers and claims it made a diff in the #'s. he would not tell me exactly how much claimed they would not release the dyno #'s. i can tell you the motor runs cooler and smoother. cost was about 1500.00, this was them supplying pistons and bearings. i wanted 10.2 to one and they used ross pistons. the heads were allum gm 219 intake 188 exhaust openchamber oval port. carl is a good guy talks straight no bs. give him a call i'm sure he would discuss this with you. hope this helps robert.
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I have heard claims of 30 horsepower with no other mods. Just from the piston tops, valve faces and chambers being coated.. Heat = power and this keeps the heat in the combustion chambers. The lube coatings on the bearings and teflon on the piston skirts are also good ideas. I wouldn't doubt that your engine will last forever.


It is not too difficult to do yourself. You might consider coating the skirts with TLML moly since you will need to sandblast the decks so the CBC2 will stick. First you tape off the ring groove and pin holes, leaving the places you want to sandblast (the decks and skirts) bare. Also both these coatings hate oil, be careful of fingerprints or you will get “blisters” in the coating. The TLML should be baked at 300F for 1.5 hours and the CBC2 at 300F for an hour. It can be done a couple of pistons at a time in a toaster oven this keeps vapors out of the kitchen appliances. You will only want about .0015 thickness, so your bottle will go a long ways. Let me know if I can help you with more details.

Piston Coatings

Hey Guys, just to let you know, I manage a large teflon and powder coating company here in Houston, Texas. We do piston Tops and skirts for 18.00 a piston. This coating is an aluminized ceramic coating for the piston tops and a teflon/moly matrix for the skirts. We also do the wrist pins for 7.00 each. If you are Interested in having it done you may Contact me at the office at

Lone Star Industrial Coatings

281.355.3511 ext. 243 or 206
Fax: 2813350.5699
Email: rickb@lsslonestar.com


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