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Engine Oil/Coolant leak on the 3.1 V6

11-09-2004, 11:14 AM
I just read this on Yahoo biz in the Press Release Section. It looks like Federal Mogul / FelPro is going to release a new type of intake manifold gasket set for the known leak problem. Target date is "Early 2005", so hopefully by March. I looked at other FelPro gasket prices on Jegs and Summit, and I think this set might sell for around $20 to $40. This is way better than the approximately $100 GM charges for the same old gasket that has been failing for years.

Also, I was talking to a guy at work who replaced the gasket on his 1999 Malibu, and two others (one '98 & one '99) for friends, and he said this sounds like an improved design. I hope so since I was just asking the same guy about helping me replace mine.

Press Release Source: Federal-Mogul Corporation

Fel-Pro Introduces Solution to Intake Manifold Gasket Leaks on Millions of Vehicles
Thursday October 14, 8:04 am ET

SOUTHFIELD, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 14, 2004--Fel-Pro®, the automotive service industry's premier brand of engine sealing technologies, has introduced an advanced PermaDryPlus® replacement intake manifold gasket design that solves chronic coolant leakage issues facing millions of light trucks and sport-utility vehicles. Fel-Pro Gaskets, "The Gaskets Professionals Trust," are manufactured and marketed by Federal-Mogul Corporation (OTCBB:FDMLQ - News).
Available through Fel-Pro suppliers across North America, the brand's latest gasket innovation ensures a lasting seal on millions of domestic engines that rely on extended-life coolant and were factory-equipped with rigid nylon and molded rubber-type intake manifold gaskets. A broad range of domestic engines may be susceptible to these sealing issues. Immediate coverage of the new Fel-Pro solution is offered for General Motors 5.0L and 5.7L engines manufactured from 1996 through 2002. Additional coverage -- for select Ford (3.8L, 4.0L and 4.2L) and G.M. (3.1L, 3.4L and 4.3L) applications -- will be introduced in early 2005.

"It appears that on some engines, the use of conventional plastic-and-rubber gaskets in combination with the more aggressive 'OAT' (Organic Acid Technology) engine coolants has caused a significant number of sealing-related issues for consumers and automotive service providers," said Fel-Pro Chief Engineer Jerry Rosenquist. "Our team has spent the past two years developing and testing a variety of gasket technologies that can survive in this very difficult operating environment.

"Our new PermaDryPlus gasket is absolutely the best answer for millions of engines exhibiting sealing problems induced by aggressive coolant chemistries and engine-specific dynamic issues."

The new Fel-Pro PermaDryPlus gasket features a high-strength aluminized steel carrier that is edge molded and encapsulated with a proprietary fluoroelastomer (FKM) material. In addition, the new gasket features three separate sealing beads around coolant ports to ensure a long-lasting seal under any situation.

A key element of the Fel-Pro design, the new FKM material was specifically formulated by Federal-Mogul chemists to resist OAT coolants. "We ran our final dyno test for 612 hours and the gasket looked so good it was difficult to distinguish it from an untested part," Rosenquist said.

"The steel provides the strength needed to resist cracking and crushing, and the FKM provides exceptional fluid sealing under all conditions. This design solves the primary leakage issue everyone knows about as well as other concerns typical of engines that have entered the repair cycle.

"The consumer and service provider recognize the problem by the coolant spots that are left on the ground. Unfortunately, retorquing the manifold bolts simply causes additional damage to the carrier, making the leakage much worse," Rosenquist added. Coolant ultimately can leak into the engine oil, causing significant damage to internal components, he said.

Fel-Pro engineers tested several gasket technologies before identifying the new encapsulated design as the best solution, according to Rosenquist. "Our ultimate design is the right choice by any measure - strength, fluid sealability, corrosion resistance, affordability, and ease of installation."

The new PermaDryPlus gasket was subjected to thousands of hours of dynamometer testing before being approved for production. Among the tests was a deep thermal cycle evaluation in which the engine was heated to 240 degrees F, then "shocked" with 0 degrees F coolant in an attempt to induce gasket failure.

"This gasket came through with flying colors - it's absolutely awesome," Rosenquist said.

Other key design features of the new Fel-Pro PermaDryPlus design are stainless steel load limiters and integral locator pins molded into the FKM material.

This new technology is now available as part of a complete Fel-Pro Manifold Installation Set (Fel-Pro P/N MS 98000T) for G.M. 5.0L and 5.7L V8 truck engines manufactured from 1996 through 2002. This time-saving new set contains all of the premium technologies needed to complete an intake manifold gasket repair, including PermaDryPlus lower manifold gaskets, upper manifold gaskets and an advanced PermaDry® valve cover gasket.

For more information on the new Fel-Pro PermaDryPlus gasket and other Fel-Pro problem-solving designs, contact your Fel-Pro supplier, visit, or write to: Fel-Pro Gaskets, Federal-Mogul Corp., 26555 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, MI 48034.

Federal-Mogul is a leading global supplier offering a comprehensive portfolio of quality products, trusted brands and creative solutions to the automotive and other industries. The Company utilizes its engineering and materials expertise, proprietary and innovative technology, manufacturing skill, distribution flexibility and marketing power to create value for its stakeholders. The Company's principal customers include many of the world's foremost original equipment manufacturers of vehicles and industrial products, and aftermarket retailers and wholesalers.

Headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, Federal-Mogul's rich heritage began in Detroit, Michigan, in 1899. Today, Federal-Mogul employs more than 45,000 people in 29 countries. On October 1, 2001, Federal-Mogul decided to separate its asbestos liabilities from its true operating potential by voluntarily filing for financial restructuring under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States and Administration in the United Kingdom. For more information on Federal-Mogul, visit the company's Web site at

12-06-2004, 07:43 AM
The Gasket kit has been released for the VIN code M Engine. I personally installed it with the help of a co-worker this past weekend. The entire job came in at just under ten hours, and included everything in the kit plus a new fuel manifold O-ring, a new water pump, new valve cover gaskets, a new thermostat and a new accessory belt. The Intake Manifold Gaskets have a red-orange seal with three vanes in them, unlike the GM blue bulb seal. Total cost to me was $365.00 and that included paying the guy that I was helping.

The Fel-Pro kit number is MS 90562, and is called the Intake Manifold Set. The kit includes (1) tube of RTV black, (2) 90562 Lower Intake Manifold Gaskets, (2) 91481 Upper Intake Manifold Gaskets, and (1) 95540 Thermostat Bypass Seal.

12-06-2004, 12:34 PM
My '98 LS had the new gasket installed by a Chevy dealer in summer '03. It had just been released.

12-06-2004, 01:36 PM
The set that I just installed (as described in the October press release) is a newly designed one made by Federal-Mogul, being sold as Fel-Pro. They are specifically designed to resist the orange OAT coolant corrosion issues. The seal bead consisted of three tiny vanes, and was made of a red-orange synthetic rubber. The entire kit also cost less than just the Lower Intake pair being sold by GM.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the "new" gasket that GM has been installing since early '03 contains the same old blue rubber bulb seal, but added the guides for the lifters which is used on the M coded 3100 SFI engine that was installed in the '98 and newer Malibus.

12-06-2004, 07:10 PM
This gasket issue is new to me, does anyone know if flushing the orange coolant from the 3.1 engine to the traditional green coolant helps to avoid this problem in the future?

12-09-2004, 11:41 AM
What about the new prestone coolant that claims to work in both "traditional" cooling systems and in Dex-Cool systems? Would that alleviate the corrosion caused by the Dex-Cool coolant?

Johnny R
12-09-2004, 04:58 PM
Don't neglect to press the dealer to replace the gasket free of charge under what my dealer called 'client satisfaction program'. They did it on my '99 Malibu after MUCH aggravation from me, at 60,000 miles (not kms). I wonder if they submitted a warranty claim against another vehicle.

12-10-2004, 07:39 AM
Being the third owner of a car with 132,000 miles, I really had no choice but to do the work myself, or have it done by someone else. I don't have a problem with this though since the car did go at least 120,000 miles without needing anything major. Besides, the water pump, thermostat and accessory belt would have all needed to be replaced soon anyhow.

I read the ingredient list of the new coolant/antifreeze, and it is identical in ingredients and order to the orange OAT stuff. I imagine that they are just adjusting the quantities of each of the ingredients. This being the case, if it is less corrosive, it is probably not so by much.

12-10-2004, 07:43 AM
What about the new prestone coolant that claims to work in both "traditional" cooling systems and in Dex-Cool systems? Would that alleviate the corrosion caused by the Dex-Cool coolant?

Dex-cool is not the problem!
The problem is the gasket itself and the extremely low torque used to clamp the surfaces togather.

12-13-2004, 10:14 PM
if this is what i think it is....i am pissed since i just had to get all that shit replaced for a hella alot more

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