another faulty gasket?

Hi I had a 1999 chevy venture with the bad lower intake manifold gasket which i replaced.The family got bigger so i decided to purchase a new 2003 express with
a vortec 4.3 v-6 engine (due to the engines being around for a while, reliable ).The van had 9 miles when we took it home.There was a good vibration coming from the floor boards when in low rpm driving it.( when you let off the gas no vibration, meaning no problems with tires right).We took it to the dealership garage,they said all 4 tires weren't balanced.We took the van home still had the vibration problem,engine also lacked power and seemed to be getting bad gas mileage.Then 2 days later engine started starting hard in the morning chugging for about 5 minutes( misfiring smells like paint burning).To my horror, I took the off radiator cap white sludge inside around the filler neck and brown sludge on the bottom of cap with very little anti freeze in radiator.Took van back to dealership told service director looks like the same problem i had with 99 venture.Picked up van 2 days later they said the antifreeze was low due to evaporation and a ring and pinion in rear end was causing vibration. Took the van for a ride vibration is gone, more power.But, I think they are lying to me about the problem and worried about engine damage caused from leaking gasket. Can anybody let me know if they had any problems with newer 4.3 v-6 and what do you think about the problem.Thank You for your time
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express with a vortec 4.3 v-6 engine (due to the engines being around for a while, reliable ).The van had 9 miles when we took it home.There was a good vibration coming from the floor boards when in low rpm driving it.( when you let off the gas no vibration, meaning no problems with tires right).We took it to the dealership garage,they said all 4 tires weren't balanced.We took the van home still had the vibration problem,engine also lacked power and seemed to be getting bad gas mileage.Then 2 days later engine started starting hard in the morning chugging for about 5 minutes( misfiring smells like paint burning).To my horror, I took the off radiator cap white sludge inside around the filler neck and brown sludge on the bottom of cap with very little anti freeze in radiator.Took van back to dealership told service director looks like the same problem i had with 99 venture.Picked up van 2 days later they said the antifreeze was low due to evaporation and a ring and pinion in rear end was causing vibration. Took the van for a ride vibration is gone, more power.But, I think they are lying to me about the problem and worried about engine damage caused from leaking gasket. Can anybody let me know if they had any problems with newer 4.3 v-6 and what do you think about the problem.Thank You for your time

I think "evaporation" is just wishful thinking, on their part. My truck is 4 years older than yours and the anti-freeze is still at the full mark and none has ever been added. I'm afraid you'll be making a return trip to the dealer. Hope I'm wrong... Dave
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"taptim" wrote

the van for a ride vibration is gone, more power.But, I think they are lying to me about the problem and worried about engine damage caused from leaking gasket. Can anybody let me know if they had any problems with newer 4.3 v-6 and what do you think about the problem.Thank You for your time

People who think that antifreeze levels go down due to "evaporation" are indulging in wishful thinking. There is always a reason why coolant levels go down.
Your vehicle sounds a bit new to be experiencing intake gasket problems....but yes, the late model v-8 and v-6 "vortec" engines have basically the same problem as the 3100/3400 v-6 engines. You don't hear about it quite as much, but we see them in the shop on a regular basis.
Note: the new line of small block chevies do not have this problem as they do not have a "wet" manifold.
Ian
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What years are the late model Vortecs? Didn't really want to hear that.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

I've seen problems with the lower intake gaskets leaking at the front of both v8 and v6 vortecs. Often you can look between the lower intake and the valve cover and see on the driver side front of the engine dried up coolant.
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My 2000 sierra 4.3 also had the gasket leak. They said at first it was normal coolant usage. After I added coolant 3 more times and kept track of it, only about 16oz., they replaced the gasket and no further loss.
Bonneville wrote:

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On Sun, 4 Jan 2004 19:01:58 -0600, "taptim"
.Picked up van 2 days later they said the antifreeze was low due to evaporation ...
Bullshit, pure and simple. Stay on them and keep a record of the stories they tell you. Ask to see the Zone Manager or whatever they call them these days. That explanation is crap. they are hoping you go away until the warranty expires. Either that or they don't have a clue as to the cause and would rather be drawn and quartered than admit it.
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I am surprised they didn't give you the "engine burped an air bubble" explanation they gave my Father in law after 16k miles of no coolant loss. Can you imagine a huge air cavity in the cooling system for 16,000 miles??
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