1999 5.7L intake manifold removal

I have a 1999 1500 Express van with 5.7L Vortec engine. It has the well known problem of leaking coolant at the intake manifold to head
joint.
I have browed lots of posts on this subject but would like more help.
My factory service manual says I need to remove both valve covers which appears to require removal of the steering pump pulley and moving the AC bracket.
My Felpro intake manifold gasket set only includes one valve cover gasket so they seem to think removal of both valve covers is not required.
Why does either valve cover need to be removed?
If only one needs to be removed then which one?
Can the manifold be removed/replaced without moving the power stering and AC mounting bracket?
Anything else special about doing this job on a G van?
thanks,
Andy
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In article

No need to remove the PS pulley or the PS pump itself. Remove the AC compressor and move it aside, unbolt the AC/PS bracket and pry it forward until it's clear of the corner of the intake manifold. IIRC, there are three bolts thru the bracket from the front, and one bolt on the back side of the PS pump. Lots easier than it looks...

Correct. I usually remove the drivers side valve cover, on a van, passenger side might make more sense.

The valve covers overlap the intake manifold.

Your preference, I pull the drivers side. On a G van, it -may- make more sense to pull the passenger side since that side offers more room to work on a van.

No. The bracket overhangs the manifold and one bolt in the drivers side front corner. But, the bracket is very easy to move forward once a few bolts and nuts are removed.

No, just follow all the advice that Ian and I have posted over the years...
Follow the torque specs EXACTLY, do NOT over torque. Torque values are very low, make sure you use a torque wrench of appropriate capacity (electronic is best). Use blue loctite on the manifold bolts when installing. NO Roloc pads when cleaning, putty knife and razor blades to scrape the gasket surfaces, don't sweat the stains left on the gasket surfaces, it doesn't have to shine, just be clean and flat. New coolant disconnect while the manifold is on the bench (if applicable). NO sealers required except the ends of the block/manifold interface, I use "The Right Stuff" instead of the black RTV that comes in the Fel-Pro kit. Keep the injectors 'wet' which means cap off the fuel rail lines once disconnected. There is a mix of metric and SAE fasteners so be careful before you round off a bolt head. Manifold bolts do not need to be replaced unless they are corroded anywhere along the shank/threads.
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Thanks for the advice. I spent an hour or more studying the problem this afternoon after removing the engine cover, air filter, and coolant reservoir, and could then see that the bracket obstructed the front left manifold bolt. Good to have the confirmation that the bracket has to move but that it can be done without removing the PS pulley.
The jobs looks to be quite awkward and I was tempted to have it done at a shop. Trouble is I'm not sure I can get a reliable quote. Pep Boys gave me a price but said no need to remove the AC compressor or either valve cover. If required that would be extra. (I'm guessing a lot extra)
Vans have their advantages but engine access is not one of them. :(
Andy
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Valve cover and AC compressor removal (when required) is part of the labor time for the job, where they come up with the 'extra" is anyones guess. A brake and tire chain is probably not the best choice for any type of engine work... they've already given up clues that they probably are not all that familiar with the job to begin with.

WRT the intake R & R, There are things that are easier to do on a van versus a pick-up truck, the van is a little more awkward compared to doing it hanging over the grill but it's not a terrible job.
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Hey Andy,
This thread has got my name all over it....I will be doing this job on my '99 G30 -5.7 which has the mystery coolant loss.....Just waiting for a little warmth and way less snow ;)
The only thing I can add may be obvious, but taking 5 minutes to yank out at least one seat makes it way nicer to get into the engine bay in the truck. Throw a mat or such on the protruding bolts and flail away !!!
Good luck with it.....
Jeff
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Never_Enough_Tools wrote:

Just don't wait to long that you get intermix.. Water in oil.....
Alan
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I can't comment on the accessing the engine in a G series...but I just finished this job in a 99 Tahoe. After I finished the job...except some distributor issues....I found a good write up on the procedure from another group. I can clean it up, add my own comments and post if desired...please advise. I also made a list of all the torque values, but I through it out when I cleaned up the shop. Sorry.
Let me say that, in general, this is not a job for the week. If you have good skills, patients, and time you can do it. There are no major technical issues and no special tools required but the p/s pulley removal tool and a light duty torque wrench. I've done a lot of repairs and such...and I was quite proud of this one. I cleaned everything as I went along plus re-taped some of the wire looms. The only evidence of me being in there is the fact that the intake and valve covers are factory clean.
It is holding strong and as of day 4......has not consumed any coolant. (But I'm still running a 7 lb cap. Next week I'll put the 15/16? lb cap back on.) Note that I did send in a sample of the oil prior to the repair...and it did show glycol contamination but no concentration values. There was no visible evidence of water in oil...so it must have been seepage that allowed the water to boil out and leave glycol behind. Hopefully no damage was done.
Also, thanks to Cuda, no more P1345 which cost me hours because I didn't mark the distributor before I pulled it out. Was banking on just rolling to 1TDC and pokin' it in.
skimmer

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News Skimmer wrote:

I would appreciate at least a link to the site you're talking about. But if it's not too much trouble I would appreciate you listing your own version. I think I'll be needing to do the repair to my Dad's 1990 Sierra soon. Thanks.
Bob
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I am new to this group and I would like to get the information mentioned. I have to replace an intake manifold gasket in my 99 tahoe fairly soon.
Thanks, Tim
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Updated by request....
----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: alt.autos.4x4.chevy-trucks Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2007 10:39 PM Subject: Vortec Lower Intake Gaskets for Dummies - requested in another group
In response to a request to post a collection on the replacing lower intake gaskets on Vortec CPI engines....
Comments and corrections appreciated.
Legal Disclaimer
My experience is on a 99 (old style) Tahoe 5.7. Your experience may be different. No warranty expressed or implied. Quantities may be limited. Void where prohibited. Offer may expire without further notice. Yadda yadda yadda.
You should look up all the torque values in your manual.
Preface
I bought the complete Felpro intake manifold set which was not complete at all and very expensive. The Felpro design is great. I suggest buying the gaskets you need and not the kit. I used the lower intake gaskets, the RTV, and the fuel line o-rings...that was it. There was only one valve cover gasket, but I took both covers off for cleaning. So I had to buy the valve cover set. There is a part number for only one gasket, but at Pep Boys, it was a dollar more than the pair and special order. The kit comes with the upper plenum cover seal and the throttle body seal but no fuel line to metering block o-rings so you are short if you need to take the plenum cover off. I think it is also short 8 o-rings for the injectors, but I'm not sure how those work because I didn't go there. Remember..this project is to fix a coolant leak...not a air/fuel leak. The kit doesn't come with the thermostat seal but your new thermostat should. No EGR gasket either. The EGR gasket and thermostat are not needed to fix your cooling leak, but you should replace your thermostat and clean your EGR ports while you are there. The intake is more fun to work on at the bench than under the hood.
1. Disconnect negative battery cable.
2. Drain the engine coolant (if there is any left:) to at least a level below the intake. If you have original coolant..drain it all and discard.
3. Remove the air duct from the mass meter to throttle body (cover the mass meter opening with a shower cap or zip bag. Same for the TB or stuff with a lint free rag.
4. Now is a good time to take lots of digital photos...in case you run out of beer before you get it all back together.
5. Remove the upper radiator hose and three heater hoses. One of the heater hoses has the quick disconnect that may crumble in your hands like powdered Gatorade. Have a spare on hand if you don't want delays. The hose with the quick connect can be popped out of its holder and folded back out of the way. The aluminum bypass tube can also be loosened. I can't remember what it gets in the way of...but some slop helps.
6. Remove the top radiator shroud and get it out of your way - especially if you are going to remove the P/S pulley...discussed more later.
7. Remove the vacuum booster hose from the intake and rotate the check valve in the booster so this hose is out of your way. Tuck it over by the booster or down by the driver's upper control arm. This hose will constantly be in your way if you don't.
8. Take the wires off the cap and INDEX THE CAP SOMEHOW WITH A SHARPIE. Remove the cap. Mark with a Sharpie where the rotor is pointing - exactly. Also index the distributor shaft housing with the hold down clamp or intake with a Sharpie. You might need a small mirror to do this. (CAN ALSO roll the engine to #1 TDC compression stroke and line up the timing mark on the balancer with the indexer on the block. With the cap off, you don't need to pull the spark plug. The rotor should point "near" the cast "8" next to cylinder 1's electrode. You should mark the difference between the rotor and the "8" so you can re-create it...else you will probably throw a P1345 code upon restart like I did.) I used a 13mm stubby combination wrench for the distributor hold down bolt. There is not enough room for a full size wrench...there is to break it loose but not make quarter turns. An old fashioned distributor wrench in 13mm would work good too, especially if you can put a ratchet/torque wrench on it to set the torque. The distributor housing is plastic. Be careful when you put the hold down clamp back on it. It likes to be in every position but the right one. Use a small mirror to see it in the right spot before you tighten it down. Also, book says the cap's screws are good for one time use only. Maybe you could just put on new thread-lock paste - not drops. The housing is plastic. If you haven't changed the cap and rotor before, now is the time and you will get new screws with the cap and rotor.
9. Disconnect all electrical connectors and the necessary loom clips. I disconnected the alternator's plug but not the main battery lead. Do not attempt to remove the big wiring harness. Just disconnect everything and move the little pig tails out of the way to a safe area. Bungee cord the two big looms over the middle so that they are suspended above the intake. I didn't bungee.but should have. The intake will slide out from underneath the wires...hence my later term "re-entry."
10. Be careful with the tangs and such on the electrical connectors.they may be old and brittle. (I did find them to be in better shape than those on my '99 Navigator.) Note one of these loom clamps near the EGR to intake connection is a nut on a nutted-stud fastening the plastic upper intake. The stud will probably turn when you try to loosen the nut and you can't back up the stud with an open end wrench. See notes at end on what I did. Also note, all the electrical connections are different so you don't have to mark them. My looms were stiffened from the heat enough to lay back into their original positions. There is a ground wire on the thermostat cover. It has its own nut.
11. There is a bracket that holds the wiring harness at the passenger side rear of the engine. Don't bother trying to get it completely out of the way. Just unbolt it where it is secured near the coil and then just lift it up and out of the way. There is no need to attempt to unbolt it where it is secured to the rear of the head. (I had no problem with this bracket but here is a tip others have noted.... You will note though that the bracket has a small tab right where it intersects the cylinder head/manifold area that sticks forward over the intake. You need to bend this tab out of the way, before you re-install the intake, otherwise it can interfere with the manifold as you are moving it into position.) Also with respect to this clip....if you are going to take off only one valve cover...removing the driver side cover my help the intake slip under this tang.
12. Remove the Evap line from the passenger side solenoid. Don't break the clip like I did. Push on the one side of the clip with the nipple "into" the slot and pull on the hose just after depressing the clip. The hose should slide right off. I broke the clip which is not available from parts. The entire hose with EVAP test port was twenty-something at GM. If you break a clip, post a request and I'll sell you one for $10;)
13. Disconnect the throttle cable and cruise cable. One has a clip. The other just slips in a stop and the cable wraps around. Then squeeze the plastic casing locks out of the bracket and tuck the two cables out of the way.
14. Remove the drive belt.
15. Remove the four A/C compressor mounting bolts. DO NOT DISCONNECT THE HOSE ASSEMBLY. When the time comes, you'll slide the compressor FORWARD to access the driver/front manifold bolt. OR YOU CAN DRAG THE COMPRESSOR OVER AND STORE IT ON THE BATTERY.
16. Disconnect the EGR pipe from the intake near the front and the bolted hold-down bracket in the back. Don't remove the connection from the exhaust line...that is not necessary and could lead to trouble.
17. Somehow disconnect the PCV valve hose. I pulled on the molded elbow on the manifold connection so I could just swing the tube around and not have a hole in the valve cover. When I did, it peeled apart like mozzarella cheese. Replacement tube with valve was only $7 at GM. You might just pull the valve out of the cover and remove the intake with the tube and try to remove it on the bench. It is best to clear it out of the way for a smooth re-entry. Or just buy the tube and valve the day before.
18. Disconnect the two fuel lines at the rear of the manifold. Do not remove the fuel lines where they go into the upper plenum in the middle. Once you have the distributor out, it's easy to disconnect the lines right back at the firewall. You should replace the o-rings. One is big and one is small. (The o-rings in the Felpro kit were black. I've never used black o-rings in gasoline service. Usually, they are red. Hopefully black won't be a problem. I should have picked up some red o-rings from GM like original and on my '93. Black usually means Buna-N which is not the best choice for aromatics.)
19. Disconnect the electrical connector from the P/S pump if there is one. My pump had no connector. There is a clip on the P/S bracket holding the A/C compressor high pressure switch wire/loom. I delayed taking that loose but eventually did and was glad. It allowed that entire pig tail with the A/C clutch plug, temp plug, and ground to be cleared out of the way.
20. TWO OPTIONS:
OPTION 1: Remove the P/S pump pulley and loosen the P/S pump bracket nut and three bolts on the front of the bracket. BORROW TOOL FROM AUTOZONE. One bolt is hiding way down at the bottom. Don't remove the two pump fasteners behind the bracket. Leave the longest bolt in three or four threads so the bracket doesn't fall off. I forget which bolt is the longest but you will figure it out. Two are only about 2 inches long. The long bolt is 4+. This will allow you to slide the bracket and the loose A/C compressor forward to get to the driver/front manifold bolt. The compressor bolts might not have to be removed but it helps to get the compressor more forward than the bracket. THE PUMP WILL STAY ATTACHED TO THE BLOCK BRACKET.
OPTION 2: DON'T REMOVE THE PULLEY. REMOVE ALL THE BOLTS ON THE FRONT YOU CAN EXCEPT THE ONE BEHIND THE PULLEY. THEN REMOVE THE BOLT/NUT? BEHIND THE PUMP THAT HOLDS THE PUMP TO THE BLOCK.....THE PUMP WILL THEN SLIDE OUT WITH THE A/C BRACKET. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BEND THE P/S HOSES BEHIND THE PUMP.
21. The intake gasket kit ships with only one valve cover gasket. You have to take off at least one valve cover to get the intake off. The cover lips sit over the intake so there is no choice but take one off and slip the intake out from under the other. I removed the intake with the passenger cover tilted to the side but then went ahead and tilted the driver's side to the side as well for re-entry. It just looked easier with more space...and it was. Plus, I took both covers off and gave them a good cleaning. That black patina sure looks better than gunk in all the crevices.
22. Remove the intake manifold bolts and remove the intake. You will have to pull up on the wire looms and slip the manifold out the front. I did it even with the coil and ignition module on. Four of my intake bolts where corroded to an hourglass shape. I went ahead and replaced all 8 bolts.4 bucks each at GM. (Yeah, only 8 bolts! I don't know how many bolts a legacy small block V8 has, but my 4.3z has at least 12. 8 on the vortec...another dumb mistake by GM.)
23. Clean the threaded holes where the intake bolts fasten. Clean the heads and intake with a solvent saturated rag. If you scrape, be careful not to scratch. Do not use abrasives, emery, stones, whatever, to clean the heads. All the aggregate will fall into your valley/block and ruin your engine. Before I started cleaning, I dabbed up all the antifreeze, fuel, and oil from the valley area and cleaned the deposits from the low spots. Then I cleaned the gasket areas on the heads and block. Then shop-vac'd the valley. Then cleaned again with a lint free rag. Then I poured a quart of oil over the entire valley to rinse any remains to the pan and leave a protective coating. I covered the valley with heavy aluminum foil to keep the crickets out while I slept. I also cleaned the manifold with solvent only. Maybe there is a better way..like a cloth polishing attachment on a drill or roto. It was pretty easy to clean even by hand. Plus I cleaned all the non-gasket crevices just to make it look good and be clean. (I don't know if a shop mechanic would do this .because I've never hired one. But I do it because my dad taught me to. Yeah, he likes things clean.so I got to do the cleaning. I guess scraping gaskets kept me out of his way. I'll be glad when my son can scrape gaskets and chip welds.)
24. Check the intake faces with a straight edge like a nice level to be sure they haven't warped.which is unlikely if you didn't overheat it. If you see light along the straight edge, use a feeler gauge to measure and compare to specs.
25. For most people, this job is to replace the lower intake gaskets to fix a coolant leak. If you aren't having trouble with the upper intake, save that job for another day. HOWEVER, there were a couple of bracket/loom hold down nuts I had to remove that in turn loosened plenum cover studs. The Felpro kit does not come with all the gaskets you need to remove the plenum and the fuel pipes from the metering block. SO DON'T take all that apart unless you need to and you have all the o-rings. Here is what I did on the bench. Since a couple of the studs came loose, I went ahead a loosened all of them one turn. Then took one out at a time, applied some loc-tite medium, and returned that stud to near snug. After they were all done, I torqued them in stages to spec in a crisscross pattern from the middle to the outside. I did not replace the elastomeric gasket since I didn't pull the cover.just loosened the bolts/studs. Had it been paper or such, I would have. So far, so good.
26. With the intake on the bench, you might want to remove the EGR valve and clear the carbon from the EGR passages. Buy the gasket the day before..it is not in the set.
27. I pulled the intake off with the coil and module in place. They snagged a few times on the loom so I removed them for re-entry. I went ahead a removed the module from its holder and cleaned the heat sink with alcohol and applied a thin layer of Ceramique heat transfer paste which is very similar to what was there.unlike my 93 which had the remains of silicone.not a metal/stabilized oil based heat transfer paste. Actually, silicone is not a heat transfer compound at all.)
28. Remember to clean the threads of your intake bolts if they are not new.
29. Clean all the oil off the gasket surfaces with a light solvent like thinner or alcohol. RTV won't stick if you don't. Follow the directions in the Felpro box for applying RTV. They include Felpro brand black with the intake gaskets. The gaskets have nipples on them to push into the heads so they won't move around. The RTV is applied on the block and one-half inch up the gaskets (both sides/both ends).
30. If you are re-using your intake bolts, apply loctite medium strength threadlocker before you install them.
31. When you install the manifold you need to be able to move it into position while keeping slightly above the gaskets and the RTV at either end. Otherwise you can wipe the RTV off the ends and then you end up with a leak after it's all together. One thing I might try next time is to put a small stud in the passenger/front hole and a taller stud in the driver/second from the back hole. The third bolt hole on the drivers side has a slot in it. With the tall stud, you could index that hole to the tall stud then lower the manifold indexing to the short stud on the passenger front. Then put the other bolts in and finally swap the studs for bolts. The weight of the intake is not very manageable when you're all hunched over.so either make it fool-proof to install or get a helper or both.
32. Torque the intake in three to four stages in the proper order per the gasket spec.
33. By this time, you will be an expert and will know how and the order to put it all back together. One thing to remember is to properly index the distributor. If you miss it by more than plus/minus 2 degrees, you will throw a P1345 code which means your camshaft sensor in the distributor is not in sync with your crankshaft sensor. You will have to trial and error adjust it clearing the code as you go or connect a scan tool with extended data. Remember...no timing light required. The distributor does not control ignition timing or advance.
Finally...before you start engine...change your oil and filter to get all the crud out of your pan. If you are doubt about your cleanliness or didn't drench your valley with a quart of clean oil..Drive your vehicle to Hooters and back and change the oil and filter again!
Skimmer
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What kind of damage can be done by this? My truck has lost about 2 qts of coolant over the past 8 mos or so....I have changed the oil in that time and it did not look abnormal....
If this has the potential for serious damage, I will move it way up on the to do list....
Thanks for any comments..
Jeff
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It can etch grooves in the manifold that would require its replacement.
Whitelightning
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2 quarts over 8 months is not much. But glycol or water in the oil is the concern with contamination. Obviously oil is a better bearing lubricant than glycol and or water. So if you get enough in your oil, you'll lose your lubricating properties and ruin your bearings and/or rings. Go to http://www.oaitesting.com/ and get a testing kit. It is cheap. Then you'll know if glycol is going in there or not.
skimmer

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Thanks for the insight guys....
This repair is going straight to the short list....I've babied this truck far too much to have some stupid damage caused by this....It's only got 60k on the clock and I plan on driving it till the wheels fall off !!!
Am I to assume that a good gasket set (Felpro) will cure this problem for good ?? Has anyone had this re-occur after repair ???
Thanks again...
Jeff
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