Leak - Possible Intake or Head

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by jstenhouse, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. jstenhouse

    jstenhouse New Member

    I found this forum looking for a DIY for my 5.7 Vortec intake manifold gasket. Found a great one, and liked the caliber of the posts here. Looks like a great and knowledgeable group.

    I'm the original owner of a 98 Chevy K1500 suburban, 160K+ miles. Been nursing a leaking radiator for a few weeks. Got hot a couple of times, but not in red zone or boil over. Topped up periodically with H2O. Last week I checked the oil and it was a gruesome mud color and read high on the dipstick. Had the manifold gasket done at the Chevy dealer 100K ago. They advised its something of a maintenance item. At $750 then its a big of a sting.

    Changed oil, got a new radiator, being tight for cash tried a little Bar's Head Gasket Fix...to no avail. On running it new oil turned a lighter shade of mud - more yellow than tan. I hope its an intake manifold and not head gasket. Intake manifold is a bit of a challenge, but head gaskets are over my head. At 160k+ the expense of having it done might be better applied to a new crate engine or long block. Looking to keep it stock, but considering a 383 upgrade. Only concern is tranny's ability to take the added torque. Again original with a slight front seal drip.

    If you don't feed and shoe the mule she'll quit working.

    Glad to find a good web resource for GM trucks.

  2. retired2001

    retired2001 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Welcome to the G M TC !

    - - - Updated - - -

    Welcome to the G M TC ! I had the intake gasket leak on my '96 at about 100K miles. It was an expensive fix, but it worked. A new motor isn't going to be cheap, either.
  3. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Welcome to GM Truck Club from the RTP area! There are already a few of us, here, and it's nice to see yet another local! :great:
  4. Curky

    Curky Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Welcome to the club, enjoy the site. Hope to see you stick around... Like to see some pics
  5. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Duh-IGNORE HARMONIC DAMPER BS-I did the timing chain at the same time-SORRY!!!

    Did mine 1998 Suburban 2wd-intake manifold gaskets-at 210,000-probably done by PO at 155,000 also
    Used latest greatest FelPro #98000 or 58000 I think- stainless steel and super duper silicone.
    Very common problem-
    Have you replaced them yet?
    You wouldn't want to run much on water/coolant contaminated oil-cause lots of engine wear.
    I stupidly had a jack legged mechanic do work-ended up having to redo a lot of it-he stripped partially stripped screws bolts etc-even the harmonic damper bolt/screw and the threads in the crank(it has held for 2 years-now-the gaskets and the cleaned up threads)

    It is a 8-15 hr job done with hand tools taking your time -you can do it on one Saturday or make it two day-removal and replace gaskets one day-put "stuff" back on the second. day
    Take your time-clean the engine bay first-usual stuff.
    You do need a puller replacer tool for harmonic damper(which is why I decided to let the half assed mech do it-didn't want to buy tool-$40-stupid-since I ended up having to buy it anyway
    Pretty sure you can borrow tool from Autozone-just buy gaskets from them? $75 mailorder-few bucks more-but under $100 I guess for kit from AZ-includes valve cover gaskets-
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  6. donyms

    donyms Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Welcome to the club, it's good to have you aboard. :glasses:
  7. jstenhouse

    jstenhouse New Member

    Puller for harmonic damper??

    Harmonic damper...that's the first I've heard of it. Read the Haynes manual (barely useful) and a good link to a step by step dyi.
    While not on blocks the burb is sitting still waiting for me to tear into it. Rainy and wet here so will move into garage tomorrow for the start of this project. Nice to work out of my house when things like this go south.

    Thanks all for the welcome and encouragement on the intake manifold job. I'll take some happy snaps along the way and post.


  8. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    duh getting old!

    It is REALLY NICE HERE-New Orleans suburb- 70 degrees-clear sky- beautiful-almost makes up for a 5 month long summer!
    So NC is wet-and getting a bit cool I guess?
    Get the BEST intake gaskets-not sure how good the latest generation of GMs gaskets are-
    But the Fel Pro 98000 58000 set is obviously "high tech" looking stainless steel and some fancy looking silicone-supposed to be the latest greatest-OK 2.5 year later- but even the regular gaskets are good for 60,000+ miles.
  9. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    ****Thread Moved Here****

    This dual topic thread seemed to start leaning from Member Introduction to Tech, so it has now been moved to the appropriate section.
  10. jstenhouse

    jstenhouse New Member

    To any and all who have happened upon this thread, I have finally completed my intake manifold repair...started 10/09/12. Many interuptions along the way including Thanksgiving, Xmas and dispatching my son off to military school (need another forum for that discussion).

    Its not that bad a job, a little tedious, and lots of connectors and nuts and bolts to keep up with, but do-able given time and patience. It helps to work from home and have an extra car. The advice and DIY's found hear and through this forum were incalculably valuable. Two additional links the second of which from a seasoned professional GM wrench provided the most detailed info and pictures. Links here:

    Rookies guide to intake manifold repair-

    BETTER DIY by a GM pro for intake manifold repair, spyder and injectors, and reassembly - (best ofthe web)

    A few obserzations:
    1 - job is a whole lot more accessible if you remove the fan shroud, air cleaner box, and alternator. (see second link above) Fan too but I gave up on mine.

    2- get some yogurt cups, disposable glad storage tubs or something to put the nuts and bolts for each step in and a note re: what they are. The ones that I could screw back into where they came from I did. Masking tape and sharpie to label what each connector is and where it goes.

    3 - the A/C bracket is easily pulled forward once retaining blots and nuts are free'd.

    4 - Removing and marking the distributor location was the trickiest bit. (the rotor will rotate inside the distributor housing that goes into the engine - it inserts through the intake manifold into the oil pan and and is toothed to drive the oil pump).

    5 - cleaning the goop up is the ugly part. Get lots of carb cleaner, brake cleaner, a handful of scotch bright scrubbing pad (available in the paint department at your local big box H/W), a bronze parts brush (looks like a tooth brush - good for cleaning threads, stubborn gasket residue, and grime), a couple of old tooth brushes, some Q-Tips, a can of denatured alcohol (great for cleaning metal parts...even better if you can find a cheap parts washer - Harbor Freight has once @ $75 -beyond my budget), some regular alcohol (beer or whiskey worked well for me to ward off desperation) a can of acetone (final clean of gasket mating surfaces), shop rags and a few rolls of paper towels.

    6- once the manifold is off remove the upper part and clean the spyder, injectors and the holes they go into.

    Not having had any rough running problems I did not replace them but understand there is an updated or aftermarket spyder that is desirable) I did take the pressure regulator off and cleaned the screen / the gasket and other parts looked fine so I did not get the repair kit.

    5 - The Fel Pro 5900 gasket set is the bomb - steel and triple ribbed rubber gasket.

    6 - Don't get in a hurray. Try to remember where you put your tools.

    Make sure you get all the connectors hooked up again. Then double check.

    Bon chance! My burb runs better now than before. Good for antoher 160K miles.

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