Chevy Lumina Aluminum Heads - Problem?

I am reparing the infamous intake gasket on a 95 Lumina with a 3400 (i think) V-6. The coolant was leaking on the driver's side of the engine. I
got the intake off earlier today and the area around the coolant ports is not smooth, it's almost pitted or scored. Hard to explain. I do have a picture of it that I'll send if anyone needs to see it, or I'll post it to my webspace when I get the chance. I'm wondering if I need to remove the heads to have the area repaired or if RTV will seal it. It it worse on the driver's side of the heads than the passenger side and it's not too bad on the intake manifold. This car is going to be used primarily by my 18 year old son to drive to school and back.
Thanks for your consideration.
Chip
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Here's the link to the pciture:
http://home.neo.rr.com/rocketitis/luminahead.jpg
It doesn't exactly show the surface real well but, I think you can get the idea. Is this a potential problem? I do not want to replace the intake gaskets again.
Thanks,
Chip
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Chip:
I looked at the picture you posted and from what it looks like to me in that picture, you just need to clean down the mating surface better. There looks to me to be gasket residue remaining on the surface. I can't see any scoring or pitting as described, although it can be hard to see exactly what you are concerned about in a picture. I'm not dismissing your thoughts, it's just that I can't see anything of concern. From what I do see, I would not be concerned. Clean the surface completely and install the new gasket set per the directions. You will need a bead of RTV in the valley between the two heads, both front and rear of the engine.
Thanks for posting the picture. Even when pictures don't give the perfect description all by themselves, they still offer a lot more to work from than not.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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I could not get a good picture of the one with the worst pitting. The one that you're looking at is from the passenger side of the engine and the one that is in the worst condition is on the driver's side. The picture was taken after it was cleaned with brake cleaner. The dark ring around the port is due to the residue that I could not scrape off with a razor blade, this is because it is slightly below the machined surface. I'll take another picture and post it later tonite. I appreciate any thoughts from someone who does this more than I.

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after looking at jpg....doesnt look much different than most ive replaced at 100k or more miles.............oddly enuff, i replaced the intake gaskets in the 99 lumina i put my 18 year old son in 2 months ago. hopefully your boy was more appreciative than mine was. "looks like a taxi dad"...............he is a pisser but i still keep the heat on in his room. so far..................kjun
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Wow, he's complaining about a '99 Lumina! :-) My first car was a 1972 Ford Pinto with a manual tranny. This was in 1989, so not only was it a Ford Pinto but it was a 17 year old Pinto! The car was as old as me (both born in 1972). We bought it at a junkyard owned by my dad's friend for $100. We rebuilt the carburettor and tuned it up, and it ran like a top. My dad's a mechanic. We sold the Pinto for $400. My next car was a 1979 Plymouth Champ (Mitsubishi/Colt), reclaimed from the junkyard for $150 that just needed a good cleaning and a tuneup and I believe a new engine computer. The Champ with its power mirrors and AC almost seemed stately compared to the Pinto!
-
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You "put" your son in? You bought the car? Both my kids had to buy their own and pay all the expenses for them. At the time, they thought I was mean and cheap, but today, they realize they were being taught to be responsible and appreciate the fact. Not a total jerk, I gave my son a good deal on the '71 Ford LTD station wagon for $100. He hated driving that around the girls.
Like all good young drivers, he took the car out when his mother advised him not to and slid on the ice into the guardrail, effectively totaling the car.
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Of three children, I gave two of them cars when they were old enough to drive, but they had to pay their expenses. We used those cars to work together and let them learn something about repairing and maintaining their own vehicles.
The third child reached legal age to drive but not the maturity to do so. Some may have considered me harsh too, Ed, but it took some years before this child learned to view the world extra-analy
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Sounds like you did the right thing.
When my daughter graduated high school and had a decent full time job, I gave her $500 as a gift and would co-sign a loan for a new car. She found one and wanted to go buy it. We went to the dealer and there I was, checkbook sticking out of my pocket. I asked about price and the salesman went into his usual dance routine. I walked out. My daughter is now in tears "its my money why can't I do what I want", etc, etc.
After thinking about the situation over a lonely dinner, I remembered another dealer about 10 miles away. Off we went and found the same exact car. Saleswoman comes out and says "want to take it for a test drive?". I replied, "no, give me a price I'm comfortable with and I'll buy it right now". Ten minutes later, we bought the car and saved $600.
It was a valuable lesson and my daughter is now very capable of negotiating her own deals.
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Except for gas mileage, he loved it for dates. But then, he kept a few sleeping bags in the back.... ;o)
<rj>
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Thats the way it WAS Mine was a $15 1953 Ford from the Junyard and was in 5 colors. burnt 1 qt of oil per day, but Oh what fun I had!

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i LOVED all of the stories about 'first car for the kiddo's'..........oh, and NJ larry, my first was a 62 ford at 300 bucks, 292, 2 dr. 3 on the tree....kids these days dont know how good they got it! i woulda killed for a sedan with CD and a/c at that age...well, maybe not killed.........kjun
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Hi KJUN My 53 Ford had an AM radio with all those tubes . Also had what was called a "Vibrator" in the radio which would crap out if the volume was too high. Had spares I used to get from the junkyards. Even used Reclaimed oil which was in 2 gallon cans. Lots of fun. Could not hide it with 5 different colors due to replaced hood, fenders etc
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i used mucho of the reclaimed, unstrained motor oil! new oil 50 cents...used oil 10 cents. it was a no brainer. i dont think that old v8 cared what i poured in it!.guess i had a special car tho. it was all one color of very faded blue.............................kjun
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Hi Again kjun
My Dad bought a 62 Ford Galaxie 500 New back in 62. What a nice car. Black with Red interior. 2 Dr Hardtop It was his first new vehicle. It also had that 292 V-8, but was a Fordamatic and not a 3 on the tree you had. I loved that car, but was too young to drive at that time!!
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