3.3L Exhaust Manifold Gasket

I'm replacing a bad head gasket(s) on my Grand Caravan 3.3L. When I removed the front exhaust manifold during the initial process, I noticed no gasket. Doesn't the factory use gaskets on the exhaust
manifold to head junctions? This was a surprise. All after-market head gasket sets, such as FelPro, include exhaust manifold gaskets.
I've noted all the discussions on the 3.3L being a robust engine from a head gasket point-of-view, but I know of a number of people with blown gaskets on 3.3L engines. It seems always to be in the same place too, on the transaxle-side of #5 and #6. In fact, in my case, coolant was streaming out on the rear side of #6. The head gasket had separated near one of the coolant galley cut-outs.
Coolant in the engine has been regularly changed every 24K/24months with quality coolant and distilled water. But, the engine has 160K, so I guess I shouldn't be shocked.
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them if you get them
Glenn Beasley Chrysler Tech
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Glenn,
Thanks, I thought this must be the case. One quick question if I may: the leaking head gasket was the front bank of cylinders. I've always thought it best to change both head gaskets when you've torn everything down. But, the rear head looks a "bit difficult," as I don't know if the rear-most head bolts can be reach from the top side. Having worked as a salesperson at a Dodge/Jeep dealer, I seem to remember our techs working on these from underneath on a lift. Thanks again for the input.
Don
maxpower wrote:

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likely go out very quick. Once you separate the manifolds at the crossover pipe all you need to do is leave the convertor attached to the rear manifold......just remove the manifold from the head and push it back towards the firewall and you have access to the head bolts. It really isn't that hard of a job.
Glenn
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