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Old 04-04-2006, 11:45 AM   #16
NM_HighPlains
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Re: Intake Manifold Gasket (my own Do-It-Yourself experience)

Ahhhh...this thread is JUST what I was looking for. I have the infamous coolant leak and it matches all descriptions here. I've had a small leak for awhile (6-8 months), but when I changed my oil yesterday in preparation for a 800 mile RT to OKC, I found that the leak was worse and I had to add almost 1/2 quart of coolant. That's when I hit the 'net and found out about the intake manifold leak. I think I'll be borrowing my grandmother's '05 Toyota 4Runner for the OKC trip- with 2 adults, 2 child seats, and 1 11 yr old, it'll be a little tight, but at least we can do it. Much better to do that than get stranded on I-40, yeah?

I'm a fair mechanic, having worked on dirt bikes for about 30 years and ranch pickups for 15 or so, but this will be new territory. I think I can handle it, though and I'll be ordering the gaskets and getting the stuff together real quick-like here. I'll also get the distributor gear while I'm at it. Our '99 has 104,000 on it, and I'd sure like to keep it another 1-2 years.

MANY THANKS for that superb DIY website!
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Old 04-05-2006, 05:20 PM   #17
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Re: Intake Manifold Gasket (my own Do-It-Yourself experience)

Good Luck with your repair, HighPlains!

Please come back and report the success when you're done, Ok?
It's likely to be a bit different than fixing dirt bikes though..

Have Fun!
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Old 04-05-2006, 06:14 PM   #18
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Re: Intake Manifold Gasket (my own Do-It-Yourself experience)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburban-97
Please come back and report the success when you're done, Ok?
It's likely to be a bit different than fixing dirt bikes though..
I'll report back. Are there any additional pictures that we need while I'm doing this?

Dirt bikes- I hear ya, there, but I have done the top end on a Toyota 20R engine, several water pumps, alternators, that sort of thing. I'm anticipating busted knuckles and bruised ribs.
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Old 04-05-2006, 06:27 PM   #19
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Re: Intake Manifold Gasket (my own Do-It-Yourself experience)

Hmmm.. There are some pictures on my project page (see first post), and if you followed the underlined links in it, you should have seen all the pics you need to do this repair. Some day I will change that page to show the pictures directly, without having to click on links. Some day.. But you know the saying.. "There is no coming back from the 'I'll-Do-It-Tomorrow Land!' ". We'll see..
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Old 04-05-2006, 06:46 PM   #20
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Re: Intake Manifold Gasket (my own Do-It-Yourself experience)

I got the linked photos- just wondering if there were any additional shots we needed. Like, for instance, the gasket in place? Or the pens in action? I'll just shoot what I think will be useful and go from there.... You gave us plenty to work with!
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Old 04-05-2006, 07:04 PM   #21
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Re: Intake Manifold Gasket (my own Do-It-Yourself experience)

HighPlains, If you feel that you have the time to take some pictures as you do the repair, please go ahead and do it. I would gladly post them onto my project page and give you credit for it.

As a matter of fact, If ANYONE has pictures that could help others with this project, please send me an email to the address provided at the bottom of my project page and I will post them next time I update it.

I appreciate your contribution to this post!

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Old 04-05-2006, 07:56 PM   #22
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Re: Intake Manifold Gasket (my own Do-It-Yourself experience)

Thanks again to Suburban-97 for the great posting. 4,000 miles after I changed my intake manifold gasket everything is still perfect.

While you are changing the intake manifold gasket you might also want to change the heater hose quick disconnect fitting with a steel one. The stock one is pot metal one will fail sooner or later. If it's going to break off better that this happens with the intake manifold off the engine. I understand that there is a factory fitting that is steel but I don't have the part #. The aftermarket one is made by Dorman and is part # 800-401. You can get the fitting at Rockauto.com for $5.00 along with your intake manifold gasket.

Quote from another forum:

"At www.rockauto.com for 5% off here is the code# 385239360427 just put it in the box for discount when you checkout, it works until May, 2 2006 and I all ready tried it and it works."
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:19 PM   #23
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Re: Intake Manifold Gasket (my own Do-It-Yourself experience)

I didn't replace the quick disconnect fitting mentioned by NoEcm when I did my intake manifold gaskets, and I am still sorry I did not..

Good to hear that your truck is doing fine, NoEcm! Same here.

I am hopeful we'll hear a similar story from NM_HighPlains soon.
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:38 PM   #24
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Re: Intake Manifold Gasket (my own Do-It-Yourself experience)

I have the manifold off. No major problems- LOTS of connections and hoses and clamps and clips and thingymajigs, though. I marked everything well.

To get the radiator drain out, I removed the top RIGHT hose and then had clear access to the plug. A 1/4" drive fits into the plug and out she comes. Maybe there's a trick after that, but I ended up with coolant all over the floor and my first job was to clean that up.

I took pictures of the "magic" nuts that lets the A/C bracket slide forward and will send those on after I get done and everything starts.

The only gotchya that occurred was when I loosened the black plastic hose that runs across the engine, thinking it was the "fuel line"- it's marked "tank" and has a relief valve on it! Then, when I went to pull the actual fuel line, I loosened it from the plenum first and got sprayed with gas. That was a "duh" moment.

My coolant leak was definitely coming from the right hand side of the flat surface right next to the actual gasket, so done right, this should get my problem solved. I plan to go ahead and replace the distributor gear and quick connect hose while I'm in. Anything else I should replace? How about the distributor rotor and cap? There is some corrosion on both- dunno yet how well they'll clean up but if I should replace, I will.

Oh yeah, one thing I can't figure out- is this thing metric or standard??? Sometimes 13 mm or 1/2" fit, sometimes 14 mm, sometimes 7/16", sometimes 6 mm.

A deep 1/2" comes in mighty handy for removing the thermostat housing nuts.
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Old 04-11-2006, 02:02 AM   #25
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Re: Intake Manifold Gasket (my own Do-It-Yourself experience)

Quote:
Originally Posted by NM_HighPlains
I plan to go ahead and replace the distributor gear and quick connect hose while I'm in. Anything else I should replace? How about the distributor rotor and cap?
I wouldn't replace the Distributor Cap until after you've got the car on the road and have it running for a while. You'll need the old distributor cap to line the distributor back up to the marks you made on the firewall. At this point make as few changes as possible. If you do have problems it will be much easier to troubleshoot later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NM_HighPlains
Oh yeah, one thing I can't figure out- is this thing metric or standard??? Sometimes 13 mm or 1/2" fit, sometimes 14 mm, sometimes 7/16", sometimes 6 mm.
The car is 1/2 metric and 1/2 SAE. It confuses me too. The stock lug nuts use a 22mm socket and as you said the thermostat housing uses a 1/2" deep socket. Go figure.

Good luck with your project.
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:40 AM   #26
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Re: Intake Manifold Gasket (my own Do-It-Yourself experience)

NoEcm is right, it is good to use the old distributor cap for alignment and then to eventually replace it while you're there. That's what I did too. I also spent probably over an hour marking the position of all distributor parts (closed and open) and also taking many detailed pictures, and the reward was that I did not get any error codes at the end.. Take it easy, it isn't wasted time!
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:10 AM   #27
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Re: Intake Manifold Gasket (my own Do-It-Yourself experience)

Mark the distribitor before pulling out.The timing is not adjustable and you have to set the distribitor with a scan tool,not a timing light.
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Old 04-15-2006, 03:31 PM   #28
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Re: Intake Manifold Gasket (my own Do-It-Yourself experience)

Does anyone have torque specs for the plastic manifold cover bolts?
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Old 04-20-2006, 05:16 PM   #29
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Got 'er done!

Alright! I got 'er done. Been 300 miles and it's looking good- no leaks, coolant level hasn't budged in either the radiator or overflow and oil looks great. Here are some things I discovered:

1) empty .223 shells make perfect "studs" for aligning the intake manifold. Sturdy, won't bend, just the right height. I used two- one in the rear left and one in the front right. This let me tilt the manifold to clear the fitting, then align with the rear .223, then align with the front .223, then set the manifold straight down. Cake.

2) I used too much sealant, but I did take a picture of the "before", so you can compare and adjust.

3) the oil pump turned on me and the distributor didn't line up. It lined up, but wouldn't drop all the way down. So I called my auto shop (I do a lot of business there!) and they told me to just turn the oil pump until it all fit- common problem, they said. I taped a small socket to a long straight screwdriver and turned until it lined up. And it did.

4) I got the fuel line holder-downer upside down the first time and fuel sprayed out. It's HARD getting those fuel lines down enough to thread the nut.

5) another pain in the rear is the hose clamp right in front of the thermostat. I forgot to put that clamp on during reassembly and had to fish it into place afterwards- that took 20-30 minutes alone! I used a regular hose clamp.

6) Useful tools to have before you start: a deep 1/2" socket for the thermostat bolts, a deep 10 mm socket for the plenum bolts, the torque wrench, a foam pad to lay over the engine for you to lay on, a magnetic parts tray, and a lovely and helpful wife to hand you parts and take removed parts and offer sympathy.

7) take a lot of pictures from different angles at different distances. The pictures were invaluable in reassembly.

Truck started 1st crank! I think it idles better now (distributor gear? clean intake? clean fuel injectors?). Everything works- heater, a/c, cruise control, etc. I saved some $$$, learned a lot about my engine, and got 'er done. Thanks a bunch! I'll send some photos to '97 Suburban.
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Old 04-21-2006, 11:02 PM   #30
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Re: Intake Manifold Gasket (my own Do-It-Yourself experience)

You guys are having waay too much fun. I'm going to replace mine tomorrow, along with the fuel injectors (you can search on my name for that thread). Hey, at least I have the two problems at the same time so I don't have to take everything apart twice! I will let everyone know if there is anything different on the big block.
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