Redesigned V6 intake manifold gaskets

I asked this question on another thread but probably should have started a new one. Family have a 95 Century 3100 that is ready for its second intake gasket job, the first
one was eight years and 40k mi ago. They are trying to decide between taking it to an independent garage or back to the dealer. Are the current gaskets from GM similar to the Fel Pro Permadry (metal frame) or is GM still using the redesigned plastic frame gaskets with the metal buttons in them? This would be for a 95 3100 VIN M.
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GM has the newest gaskets and you should use the updated bolts and torquing procedure. I believe FelPro also is at the same point with this issue.

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"Chuck B." wrote

If you can get metal frame gaskets from FelPro, then use them. We are still being handed the plastic frame with the metal buttons for this engine. GM has changed over to metal frame gaskets for the 3800 v-6, and the Vortec v-6 and v-8. I suspect that GM must have a bunch of those plastic frame gaskets in their warehouses that they need to get rid of first.
Ian
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We have and 04 Suburban with V8 Vortec. Dose this have the plastic or metal frame, and should we be worried about gasket failure. Thanks.
Warren
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"warrenry" wrote

Which engine?
Ian
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As far as I am aware, all V8 Vortec engines run dry intake manifolds, no coolant passages except for 3/8 hoses to the throttle body.

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Ian The engine is 5.3L flex fuel.
Kevin That would be good news about the dry manifold. Is there any way to know just buy looking at the motor.
Thanks Warren
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Has a coolant crossover pipe running between the two cylinder heads at the front.

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"warrenry" wrote

In that case, you would have a dry manifold as another poster mentioned, so you don't have to worry about this issue.
Ian
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Thanks that is good news. Is there anything about the 04 Suburban that I should be looking at now, that has been and ongoing problem for this model SUV. Thanks.
Warren
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"warrenry" wrote

You will probably have to have the front diff bearings replaced at some point.
Ian
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Ian The Suburban is a 4x4 with 42K on it. Could you be a little more detailed about the bearings that may need replacing, and how it check them. Thanks.
Warren
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"warrenry" wrote

We see lots of these trucks with front diff side bearing failures. Usually, you will notice quite a difference in driveline noise when you shift into auto4hi or 4hi. Some noise is normal, but when the bearings get quite bad, it will be loud.
A simple check is to pull the drain plug on the front diff. It has a magnet attached to it and if the bearings are worn, you will see "shards" of metal sticking off the end of it. If all you see is a bunch of "fuzz", that usually is normal. It's not a completely accurate way to tell, but between excessive noise (which is often quite subjective) and pieces of metal on the drain plug...it's fairly accurate.
Ian
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Is there anything that I can do now to stop the bearings from going bad. I've had 4WD's over the years and never had to change anything in the front or rear diff, all of the trucks were used to snowplow with. This Suburban is only used for pleasure, we drive older 4cyl Cavaliers during the week. Thanks.
Warren
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"warrenry" wrote

Not much really. If it's going to fail, it will. I would avoid using auto4hi and 4hi in anything but low traction conditions. Some people like to just leave it in auto4hi, but I really think this is a mistake.
Ian
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Not using the 4wh.dr. on dry surface makes perfect sence. This is good info. I will pass this info. on to my wife as she will be the primary driver in snowy weather. The Auto4 was not around when we had our last 4x4 (Warner locking hubs). Thanks very much.
Warren
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The dealer is the only place for warranty work, but they are usually a hefty premium for normal repairs. If you have a good independent shop, stick with them.
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