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Lower intake manifold gasket a known issue on 3.3?


JStin
04-05-2009, 08:28 PM
It looks like a few things point to a cowl, plenum removal in my future. My 2000 3.3l Gr. Caravan (115k mi.) has what looks like an intake manifold leak. Not really ready for plugs & wires again yet but I'll be doing them any way along with a long list of other items while it's apart.

I'm seeing coolant in the area on the driver side & lesser amounts on pass. side between the heads.

My question is: Is the LIM gasket an issue with these engines?

Thanks.
Jeff S.

coalminer
04-05-2009, 09:06 PM
It looks like a few things point to a cowl, plenum removal in my future. My 2000 3.3l Gr. Caravan (115k mi.) has what looks like an intake manifold leak. Not really ready for plugs & wires again yet but I'll be doing them any way along with a long list of other items while it's apart.

I'm seeing coolant in the area on the driver side & lesser amounts on pass. side between the heads.

My question is: Is the LIM gasket an issue with these engines?

Thanks.
Jeff S.

I just had to do mine on my 2002 3.3, I have never heard of anyone having to replace it before, It was only $18 from Autozone and was not that big of a deal to replace, not sure how long it was leaking but now I am getting the dreaded p0420, so I think it must have been leaking into the intake too, and ruined the converter.

iwannagofast
04-06-2009, 03:24 PM
I have been working for dodge for 3 years and I've never had LIM gasket issues.I have noticed on some older mileage 3.3 & 3.8's that there might be some very minor oil seepage around the manifolds,but nothing that I would note to the customer.taking the cowl of is VERY easy on those vans just watch out for rusted nuts.I actually wouldn't think removal of the cowl would be necessary since once you take the upper manifold of it should be straight forward for the lower.Good luck.

One last note if you have rear HVAC, check your metal coolant lines along the fire wall as they always rust and leak.if you take the cowl of they are very easy and cheap to replace.

wafrederick
04-06-2009, 03:51 PM
The headgaskets on the newer 3.3s and 3.8s do leak once in a while.It is a one piece metal gasket.

michfixit
04-07-2009, 10:45 AM
I assume there are 2 intake gaskets, then? One being under the plenum and the other one is the lwr one as stated?

Trying to sort this out since I have a coolant leak that is showing about 1/2 inch lower than the valve cover gasket and it is just rearward of the back side of the most forward valve cover. I believe this is the LIM gasket as mentioned?

Please clarify for me. I have had the oil tested and none is in the oil, and coolant looks fine but the leak is getting worse over time.

I had somebody tell me it is a head gasket, but I dont follow that reasoning since if it were a head gasket would it not be leaking much lower?? This leak shows up right by the valve cover gasket...

What kind of a job is it to do this??

wafrederick
04-07-2009, 08:42 PM
The intake gasket is one piece made out of thin aluminum.It could be the headgasket,blowing out in one corner.

michfixit
04-07-2009, 10:02 PM
I believe this would not be the head gasket since that is parallel to the valve cover and this gasket is perpendicular to the valve cover and it is very close to it as well. The head gasket is considerably lower.

Based upon that I would think this would be called the lower intake manifold gasket, correct?

This would be the gasket for the 3rd image on this link...the one for the rectangular ports, which my understanding would be the intake since the other side of the head is the exhaust....thinking the outer two ports must be coolant ports and that is why I see my coolant there...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Chrysler-3-3-Dodge-3-3L-Rebuilt-Cylinder-Head-3-8-3-8L_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33617QQihZ010QQitemZ 200194726036QQtcZphoto

Spit
04-09-2009, 04:27 PM
I have a small coolant leak on my 97 GC 3.3 with 175,000 miles..it leaves a small pool of coolant in the valley between the lower manifold and the valve cover gasket...my leak is on the front...on the passanger side...I have had the parts in my garage for 2 months waiting for warmer weather to do the repair. It looks fairly simple...just a lot of steps to follow. I am sure that my problem is the manifold gasket and not the head/head gasket but I won't be able to say for sure until I actually do the job..but like you say from where the leak is...above the head not below it the manifold gasket seems to be the culprit.

I am fairly certain that at one time a small peice of the aluminum manifold gasket did break loose from this area...at least I have a vague recollection of such...

Spit

JStin
04-09-2009, 07:58 PM
I've done the upper & lower intake manifold gaskets on a GM 3.8 & it wasn't bad. I do have FSM's for both vehicles which helps but not required with proper research & help from places like this.

I took videos at various stages of demolition (lol) which I did refer to for proper routing of a few wires & hoses on the reassemble.

I have a bit of a special circumstance with mine. Long story short, my local dealer damaged the engine about 45k mi. ago. They took responsibility & replaced the block. Judging by other issues they created in the process I wouldn't be surprised if the intake gasket leak is related.

kirlax09
06-16-2010, 11:21 AM
It looks like a few things point to a cowl, plenum removal in my future. My 2000 3.3l Gr. Caravan (115k mi.) has what looks like an intake manifold leak. Not really ready for plugs & wires again yet but I'll be doing them any way along with a long list of other items while it's apart.

I'm seeing coolant in the area on the driver side & lesser amounts on pass. side between the heads.

My question is: Is the LIM gasket an issue with these engines?

Thanks.
Jeff S.

Hi,
I am replacing the lower intake manifold gasket now because it was leaking. 2005 3.3 with 65,000. I'm also wondering if this is an issue with these engines. I have a coworker that has a 2005 dodge caravan. Strange thing is that his minivan was at the dealer for an oil change. The dealer asked him if he would mind if they replaced the intake manifold gasket along with the water pump and seal free of charge under the warranty? hhmm.

My dealer told me that they would not replace mine under warranty because at 60,000 I flushed the coolant and replaced what was in there with prestone "all makes all models". So I have been doing a lot of reading online about this trying to find out if I contributed to this problem by replacing the coolant with prestone AMAM coolant. The old manifold gasket does look pretty messed up. Wondering if anyone has an opinion about this. I read that Jiffy Lube uses the same AMAM in chrysler vehicles. Also, I am pretty sure I checked the prestone website and they said that it was fine for chrysler. I think at this point I am going to replace the gasket, do the water pump and seal also, and then completely drain/flush and put the HOAT stuff in there.

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