Couple of questions - replacing intake manifold gasket

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Couple of questions - replacing intake manifold gasket

Post by big JC » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:22 am

I have 2003 awd with 105k that I just purchased and am working out the bugs. One of which is a leaking intake gasket. I have read all I could find on this site and others, and have read the fairly week Haynes manual as well. This will be one of the biggest mechanical projects I have taken on and have a couple of questions. I will be using Fel-Pro kit # MS95817. One of the things I don't fully grasp is where exactly to apply the sealant. Another is making sure I achieve TDC in order to put the dist back in properly. If I have the timing marks lined up and the rotor points to cyl #1 on the cap is that TDC? Any advice on that would be great. I have AC and CC can I take the whole manifold out in one piece or should I just take it apart? Hows does one set it back in place without smearing the sealant with the AC lines in the way? I am planing on removing the restricter plate and cleaning the EGR (if it has one ?) while I am in there, any other suggestions? Any tips or advice would be huge Thanks!

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Re: Couple of questions - replacing intake manifold gasket

Post by Smiliesafari » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:38 pm

Use a scribe or other sharp tool to place a mark on the distributor base and the intake manifold. No need to put the engine on TDC. You'll also want to mark the rotor relative to the distributor body. The rotor will rotate slightly when you remove the distributor so make a mental note of how it rotates. The only places that needs sealant are the four corners of where the manifold meets the junction of the heads and block and a fairly large bead along the flat area between those corners. Use brake cleaner or carb cleaner to clean these areas. Any oil residue and the sealer wont do it's job. Although you can remove the manifold in one piece it's easier if you remove the upper plenum. That will also give you a chance to clean the inside of the manifold. You'll be surprised how much gunk has accumulated. It's also less cumbersome to reinstall. When you reinstall use studs (one on each side) to align the manifold. Or get someone to help you. One body inside and one body outside. Take your time. Pay attention to the details. Good luck.
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Re: Couple of questions - replacing intake manifold gasket

Post by big JC » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:07 am

Thanks alot Smilie... your the man! I've yet to have the cap off the distributor on one of these, and was unsure if you could accurately mark the rotor relative to the dist body, or how fine the drive gear teeth are (how precise one must be). I understate your pointers and is clearly easier than fussing with TDC. The stud idea is helpfull as well. I was trying to envision a way to suspend the manifold so I could place it down precisely, and I now I know. Thanks again

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Re: Couple of questions - replacing intake manifold gasket

Post by astrozam » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:57 am

Not sure if you have seen these pics or not, mind you this was for my 95 which although different, is basically the same process... viewtopic.php?f=39&t=4796&p=49433&hilit ... val#p49433

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Re: Couple of questions - replacing intake manifold gasket

Post by Smiliesafari » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:01 pm

I just looked at your post, Zam. That sure is a different setup than the 96. As you said though the procedure is pretty much the same. I see one detail that I neglected to mention. REMOVE the SEATS. It's SO much easier. If you have air tools it will take all of 3 minutes. \:D/
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Re: Couple of questions - replacing intake manifold gasket

Post by big JC » Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:15 am

Thanks for the info astrozam. my egie bay from the doghouse looks nothing liks yours Well I ripped it all out after work this evening and everything went fairly smooth. The only real issue I had was pulling the AC compressor forward. There must be some mystery bolt I can not find or see, but after unbolting the compressor from the bracket I managed to get to the intake bolt. I did find a crack in the tiny vacuum hose. Hopefully I will be able to find some tomorrow before I put it all back together. I do have a question should I use sealant on the intake bolts... what kind? Will the rtv sealant that came with the gasket kit work?

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Re: Couple of questions - replacing intake manifold gasket

Post by Smiliesafari » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:34 pm

At the moment I don't remember if the manifold bolt holes go through to the lifter valley or are blind holes. It's easy enough to find out. Just stick a small object into them to see if they go all the way through. If they go through use some sealer. RTV will be fine. Also don't over torque. These gaskets are a bit sensitive. The same for the upper plenum.
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Re: Couple of questions - replacing intake manifold gasket

Post by big JC » Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:26 pm

All back together and running like a champ :cheers: I ended up taking the throttle body and upper plenum all apart to clean everything up. Took me about 8 hours to put it all back together, and was a major pita. not a lot of room, and was in and out of the van a million times. One thing I found helpfull was to have two nuts and bolts containers. One for what I took off inside, and one for I what took off from the front. Thank god all of the sensors are unique to their connectors in the harness O:) I did have a hell of time getting the dist to line up with my scribe marks. I ended up sticking a screwdriver in the bIock and aligning whatever that piece is that it sits in? Anyway huge relief when it fired up :supz: I have read some conflicting reports on removing the restictor plate. I can say for my van it made a noticeable difference. Definitely has better response, and low speed punch, and clearly breathes better at half throttle under power -IE going up hill. A big thanks for the help guys, now to tackle my chattering timing chain

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Re: Couple of questions - replacing intake manifold gasket

Post by astrozam » Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:36 pm

Good to hear you got it fixed up :supz:

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Re: Couple of questions - replacing intake manifold gasket

Post by Smiliesafari » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:06 pm

Nice feeling of accomplishing something. There's no problem with removing the TB restrictor. Pay no attention to the nay sayers. I removed mine several years ago and enjoy the increased throttle response. These vans are not really hard to work on. Just real time consuming. \:D/
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Re: Couple of questions - replacing intake manifold gasket

Post by 2002Safari » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:57 am

This is an older link; however, replacing the intake gasket will happen.

I found this excellent extensive how to: http://www.handymanlyness.com/archives/ ... Jimmy.html

It's for a Jimmy, but the process is the same other than sheet metal differences.

http://d-tips.com/general/articles/article.aspx?id=3 also give a good how-to but not as complete as the above.

Use Fel-Pro Part Number: MS98002T which contains the metal gasket unlike the separate Fel-Pro which contains the plastic gasket.
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Re: Couple of questions - replacing intake manifold gasket

Post by timelessbeing » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:26 pm

Great article. I wish I had seen that before I replaced my gasket.

To those new to the Astrofari game, make sure to read the "Why Did This Leak Happen?" paragraph about 3/4 of the way down the handymanlyness page. There is also more good stuff in the "Related Articles" at the top and bottom, and also on the main page @ handymanlyness.com.



Thanks for posting. :cheers:

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