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.