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How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

This is a discussion on How long to replace intake manifold gaskets? within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; I searched and found lots of information on the job, but nobody says how long a job it is. I ...

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    How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?


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    I searched and found lots of information on the job, but nobody says how long a job it is. I know it's subjective, but I'm just curious about how long I should expect this job to take. I think it's in the process of letting go - I've been a bit suspicious it was on its way out for some time now, but the small puddle in the driveway after my wife left has me extremely concerned about her even being able to make it back home tonight (she's about 60-70 miles away). What I believe to be the original gaskets have 145k miles on them.

    FWIW, I'm a moderately experienced shadetree mechanic type. When I replaced the water pump on the truck, it took about 1.5 hours of actual work (I spent significant time trying unsuccessfully to come up with a substitute for the wrench to get the fan off). Most of what I've worked on has been German, so I don't have a good feel for how long different common V-8 GM jobs ought to take. Full day? Half day? Full weekend?

    '97 K1500 Suburban/5.7 Vortec, BTW.

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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    Full day on the safe side but prolly 5 or 6 hours. You never know what troubles you might run into.
    97 Gmc Sierra 1500
    Current mods: Flowmaster 40's, K&N FIPK, S10 converter, wait4me tune, LT1 fans, 2" drop shackles, Alpine CDA-9856 head unit.

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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    I agree with a full day. If you have all the tools, parts and have to make limited trips to the parts store.
    1991 C1500 Ext. Scrapped. I still have the engine, tranny and Detroit tru-trac.
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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    I forgot to mention if you havent replaced the heater hose fitting that might be a good time to do that as well.
    97 Gmc Sierra 1500
    Current mods: Flowmaster 40's, K&N FIPK, S10 converter, wait4me tune, LT1 fans, 2" drop shackles, Alpine CDA-9856 head unit.

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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    a full day if you haven't done one before
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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    Plan on a day (full 24 hours) just because the RTV your going to need requires 24 hrs. to fully cure. The actual job shouldn't take more than 5-6 hours - if you know where everything (including bolts) goes back. Label connectors and screw bolts back into threads so you don't lose and know exactly where they go. Will help speed things up. You can even take some digital photos as you go along. Be absolutely sure you put some o-ring lube back on the o-ring going around the fuel injector plub harness. I've seen too many guys not do this and the upper intake manifold won't seat correctly and when you start your engine the vacuum leak will sound like a 707 taking off. You'll need to take off the valve covers so plan on replacing these gaskets also. I agree with dalejrfan8 - replace hoses - with antifreeze being drained it makes it much easier. Also replace the distributor ring gasket - it cost like $.50. If you mark the distributor, when you reinstall - the small torx screw, closest to the manifold, holding the cap down - it should just be kissing the manifold - maybe like 1/16th - 1/8"th gap. This will keep your cam retard within spec.
    Last edited by tjk1812; 04-27-2008 at 03:42 PM.

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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    Quote Originally Posted by tjk1812
    Plan on a day (full 24 hours) just because the RTV your going to need requires 24 hrs. to fully cure. The actual job shouldn't take more than 5-6 hours - if you know where everything (including bolts) goes back. Label connectors and screw bolts back into threads so you don't lose and know exactly where they go. Will help speed things up. You can even take some digital photos as you go along.



    a few hours, but you should let the RTV cure overnight, then reset base timing and go. Make sure you burp the air bubbles out of your cooling system.
    91 K1500 ECSB
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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    Quote Originally Posted by dalejrfan8
    I forgot to mention if you havent replaced the heater hose fitting that might be a good time to do that as well.
    Not to mention make sure thats not the problem to begin with !!!

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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    what do u guys use? rtv ALONE, a gasket kit, or both?

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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    You need the kit for all the gaskets, as well as some RTV for the areas where the lower manifold mates to the block directly (oil valley). Put a healthy bead on there, and let it tack up for a few minutes before you put the lower intake back on
    91 K1500 ECSB
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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    Quote Originally Posted by weider1717
    what do u guys use? rtv ALONE, a gasket kit, or both?
    definitely both - intake gaskets along the heads then run a bead of RTV along the front and rear of block and up the heads about 1/2" to make sure nothing leaks.

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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    5 to 6 hours id take pictures of all angles so theirs no question where everthing goes back i did mine in 3 1/2 hours
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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    Thanks for lots of great input. My wife is on her way home now (should be getting close). No issues, and I had her add some water to the overflow bottle on the way to be safe. I'll top it off and take a good look at everything to see where it's coming out before I rip off the manifold, but considering the mileage, I'd almost be surprised if it's not. Sounds like it's not too bad a job though.

    The best part is I was telling her about what I suspected to be the problem when she was leaving to head home, and I mentioned I couldn't find my service manual. She instantly told me what box it was in, and where in the garage the box was located.

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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    Quote Originally Posted by blue70beetle
    Thanks for lots of great input. My wife is on her way home now (should be getting close). No issues, and I had her add some water to the overflow bottle on the way to be safe. I'll top it off and take a good look at everything to see where it's coming out before I rip off the manifold, but considering the mileage, I'd almost be surprised if it's not. Sounds like it's not too bad a job though.

    The best part is I was telling her about what I suspected to be the problem when she was leaving to head home, and I mentioned I couldn't find my service manual. She instantly told me what box it was in, and where in the garage the box was located.
    you let you wife near your stuff in the mans area(garage). lol.
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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    Just did my dads about 6 hours
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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    Quote Originally Posted by kenman1717
    you let you wife near your stuff in the mans area(garage). lol.
    Only because she knows her way around. She doesn't generally get involved in doing the mechanical work, but we completely remodeled a completely trashed house we were in prior to this one, and she did a ton of the work on that.

    She made it home fine, having put a total of (I think) 5 16-oz bottles of water in when she stopped for supper, and when I checked the level, it was still just over max on the overflow, and the radiator was full. Maybe it's not as dire as I thought, but this morning she ran to the store and back (1 mile each way) before she took off for Indy, and when I took the kids to church less than an hour later, there was maybe a 6-7" dia orange puddle where she had parked. I just added probably 2.5 quarts of coolant/water within the past week.

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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    If you can be careful with the heater hose fitting on the rear of the manifold, stock ones are junk. Mine broke(made of pot metal) and it took a while to get the remaining part out and clean the threads really good. But I would definitely replace it, only like 12 dollars at your GM dealer. Good luck.

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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    Before you go to all the trouble, make sure it is in fact your manifold gasket. I went through the hassle of replacing the gaskets on a 1999 5.7L vortec Suburban, and they were fine. I wasted $50 on gaskets, and $90 on a Craftsman inch-pound torque wrench, not to mention all the coolant.

    I had a leak at the water pump where the previous owner's mechanic just put RTV without a gasket.

    The quick connect heater fitting on the front of the pass. side intake manifold was leaking also. It ran down the valley between the valve cover and intake manifold and was dripping off the back of the motor, looking just like an intake manifold leak. (If you do this, I couldn't find a 1/2" NPT to 3/4" barb fitting at Lowes or Home Depot. I had to get a 1/2" NPT to 7/8" barb, a length of 7/8" heater hose, and a 7/8" to 3/4" reducer in the brass plumbing section, to step it up to the stock 3/4" heater hose where I cut it. Hope this saves you a trip to the hardware store.)

    If you get a schrader valve that would go in a regular car rim, it jambs neatly on the barb directly below the radiator cap. This is the barb that the overflow tank hose hooks to. Pressurize your system with a bike pump up to about 10 psi, and you can locate the leaks.

    If I had done this, it would have taken me 1 day to replace the quick connect fitting and water pump gasket. Instead it took 2.5 days to replace the intake manifold gasket needlessly, put it all back together, cry about it still leaking, locate the real leaks, buy the parts, and get it fixed correctly.
    Last edited by crsmith; 04-28-2008 at 08:35 AM.

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    Re: How long to replace intake manifold gaskets?

    Quote Originally Posted by ryenol
    If you can be careful with the heater hose fitting on the rear of the manifold, stock ones are junk. Mine broke(made of pot metal) and it took a while to get the remaining part out and clean the threads really good. But I would definitely replace it, only like 12 dollars at your GM dealer. Good luck.
    i just bought a new one today, but when i went into parts i specifically asked for one that wasn't made of that, i wanted a steel one, so our walking parts manual, thats what we call one of the parts people cause he is basically a parts catalogue, he can tell you exactly what you need without even looking it up.


    he said the one i wanted comes on early 90s cavaliers, same fitting, except its steel, they put pot metal ones in the trucks for some reason, so if your going to replace it get this one, only thing you need to check, is the size of the hole in the seal, make sure its the same as the one you take out, there are a few different ones, if you get to small a hole it could cause problems.
    2003 Chev Silverado 4x4 4.10 gears and it has a 4.8L
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