2003 Chevy Malibu Intake Manifold Gasket (3.1) repair

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  #1  
Old 02-11-09, 10:56 AM
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2003 Chevy Malibu Intake Manifold Gasket (3.1) repair

I've read through the posts on GM's faulty intake manifold gaskets and even posted one myself about trying to get GM to pay for this. But now that push time has come and I have to do the repair myself, I need to know some information:
Do I use GM's replacement IMG or an aftermarket?
What kind of gasket sealer to use, does it come with the IMG?
Should I replace the phlenum at the same time?
I know I have to change the coolant and oil after this, but what if there is coolant "gunk" already building up inside the engine, how can I clean that out?
Are there any other parts that should be changed while this thing is apart (head gaskets, ........)?
Any final warnings or suggestions that aren't included in the manuals?
Thanks and if you see me riding the bus after this, don't laugh ....
 
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  #2  
Old 02-11-09, 02:17 PM
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Well all i can say its your lucky day in that Ive done this job before and I can help ya through the job.

Well first off I did this job on a 94 grand am 3100 v6 which has the same flaw and same basic design as the one I have.

Well as for gaskets I got a lower intake manifold gasket set which is made by fel pro which is a good brand to use and almost all gaskets are made by them. Anyways you want the big gasket .. 1 small tube of black RTV gasket ... which is high temp silicone made for making gaskets. And there should be 2 upper intake gaskets. Also you want to have a throttle body gasket as once those are set you dont wanna use again. Also a egr gasket is recomended but not required.. and since your in there its easy to change

Also you will want a fresh load of engine oil and a some new coolant for the job wether it be dex cool or regular anti freeze but never mix the either one. Also if you are still driving the car you can run a bottle of cooling system flush that you drive for 50km or miles before changing the coolant to clean the system.

Ok so first off I would recomend you get a Haynes or a Chilton's manual but if you are fairly mechanically inclined you can do it.

Ok so first off im going by memory and a general description.

So first is check your owners manual for a fuse location of the fuel pump.. and remove or as I do disconnect the fuel pump directly at the pump behind the fuel tank under the car. Once done start the car up and let idle until it stalls. Then turn the engine over 2 or 3 times to remove all fuel from the fuel system


So first drain the cooling system and start to remove the air filter and filter hose that connects to the upperintake manifold.. should have a throttle cable and cruise control cable attached.. dissconect and set aside. Next disconnect the sensor wires to the throttle body should be 3 i think. Might be best to lable each one since you dont want to mix them up. Now disconect coolant line if yours has one that goes to the throttle body and then remove throttle body.

Now disconect the EGR valve and set aside. Disconect all vaccum lines and hoses that run to the upper intake and set aside. Disconect the Map sensor and vaccum line which should be located behind the upper intake and set aside. Ok when losening the bolts to the upper intake they shouldnt be tight but they might be.. first start with a middle bolt and just losen about half a turn and then the other side and so on.. until all bolts are losened then remove all bolts... Be sure to put some
paper towel into each intake so no debris fall into the engine.

Now disconect the serpintine belt from the tensioner pully and set aside. Next you may have to remove the upper engine mount... if so support the engine under the car with a block of wood ... next remove the 3 bolts holding in the power steering pump the bolts are located through the pulley. and set aside.

Now disconnect the fuel line at the fuel rail. Some fuel may leak so have a rag underneath the connection. On mine i had to use 2 wrenches and it was a real bugger to disconnect.

Ok same thing with the loosening of the bolts start in the middle and move in a criss cross pattern then remove..

Ok now you should see the valves and push rods and stuff.

So now you have to losen each rocker arm enough you can rotate them to pull out the pushrods.. should be 2 for each cyl. But you have to make sure each rod goes exactly into the orginal location or you will have a problem. Now pull off old gasket.. Now make sure all old gasket material is removed and clean.. but sure to not mark or scrape the head to lower intake manifold surface and have it shiny clean all the way around.

Now add a bead of that RTV gasket sealant.. make the bead is continuous and from end to end.. this is where the gaskets always fail.. So make sure you have lots on with none dropping into the engine. Now place the next gasket in place and install pushrods into proper location.

Now is a good time to have a hanynes manual for torque settings. You must torque the rocker arm nuts to spec. which I think is about 25 ft lbs.. And now install is revearse of removal. But be sure to torque all lower intake, upper intake manifold, Throttle body bolts to spec. Once all put back together.. Drain oil and add new oil so if any debris landed inside it should drain out the bottom.

Good luck with it all.
 

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 02-12-09 at 05:30 AM. Reason: Removed email
  #3  
Old 02-11-09, 02:29 PM
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I would advise against using silicone RTV, unless you know exactly what to get. I do at least 2 intake jobs a week and most of them have been done elsewhere that used silicone RTV, such as Permatex, etc. They are not totally oil resistant, and don't last very long. I have a bunch of extra GM sealant. I can mail you one if you'd like.

Now, I'm not saying the brand of RTV doobiess mentioned is bad, just gotta make sure you get the right stuff. I use only the GM stuff, because I found it far better than what I've seen other people use.
PM me your address if you want the GM sealant, it's free.
 
  #4  
Old 02-11-09, 02:35 PM
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I think I might have some extra gaskets for you as well. I'll check and see if they will work.
 
  #5  
Old 02-11-09, 08:48 PM
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ok here is the silicone sealant that is just as good as any.. I did my head gasket on my car about 40k ago and no probs at all...

http://www.permatex.com/products/Aut...sket_Maker.htm
 
  #6  
Old 02-12-09, 08:09 AM
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To flush the engine, can I use regular Prestone radiator flush or does the Dex-Cool coolant need a special flush?

How about the phlenum? One mechanic I talked to said that I "had" to replace it - does it need to be replaced automatically or only if I see anything wrong with it?

Thanks
 
  #7  
Old 02-12-09, 11:09 AM
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Well about the dex cool make sure the label says it is compatible with it or maybe to be safe you can go to your local GM dealer and buy the acdelco coolant flush. But on the other hand if your coolant isnt dirty I wouldnt bother but that is just me.

As for the upper intake I cant see any reason to replace that it all since its a cast alluminum and if it isnt cracked or warped. But to check put a ruler on the mating surface of the upper intake where it would sit on the lower intake.. and if it appears warped might have to replace or if you can see any real cracks on it. But also i got a crack in mine... ( I know its not right but I just expoy'd the crack and its all sealed.
 
  #8  
Old 02-27-12, 05:12 PM
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i am in the middle of changing the intake manifold gaskets on my 2003 malibu i just put the motor back together and while trying to charge the fuel system i had fuel coming out of the inlet line on the injector rail any thoughts
 
  #9  
Old 02-28-12, 05:44 AM
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Where in the inlet line is it leaking? When I did mine, I left the injector rails connected - some procedures say it is easier to remove the rails and just pull them out of the way when you remove the intake manifold. But if you did it the way I did and disconnected the fuel line both going in and the return line but left he fuel rails connected to the IM, the one thing that I read about in post was that there is a rubber o-ring where the return line connects to the outlet of the fuel rail - when I took it apart I did not see one and would have sworn there was not one - and it took a few minutes for the GM dealer to find the O-ring I was talking about. However there definately is a O-ring where the return line connects to the fuel rail.
 
  #10  
Old 11-12-12, 07:18 PM
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I am getting ready to change the gasket on my 2003 Malibu. The reason I am doing this is cause the heat stopped working and I checked the coolant level and it was empty. I looked all around the engine for leaks and I noticed that there was green coolant on the other side of the engine under the intake manifold. My question is if I follow the steps that everyone listed, will it seal that leak and return heat to my car?
 
  #11  
Old 11-13-12, 06:00 AM
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When mine leaked, it was all leaking into the engine - so I never saw any leaks on the outside. The bad intake manifold gasket is a pretty common problem so my money is on the I.M., but it is a pain of a job so I would make sure you are right before going thru all this trouble - how fast does it leak? Do you see any other leaks? Do you see water vapor in the exhaust? Can you do a pressure test on the cooling system? Are you sure the leak you are seeing is coming from the IM and not just some hose and then drained down to the position you see it in? It is a pain job, but can be done and I did it three years ago and still no problems - and I am NOT a good shadetree mechanic. Good Luck!
 
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