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Old 08-22-2016, 09:22 PM   #101
jthommarson
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Thumbs Up Re: 00-02 SOHC Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement How-to

Did mine today after work. There is a nice cold front in Durham today so it was bearable outside. Thanks so much for this write up. Very easy to follow. I lucked out too because I didn't have PS to worry about moving.

Here is how much of the old gasket I was able to get. Motor make pretty good disposals huh?

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Old 10-28-2016, 06:39 AM   #102
CM400T
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2001 SL2
Happy Re: 00-02 SOHC Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement How-to

I may be doing this repair on my 2001 SL2 pretty soon. It has 136,000 miles now, it was done once before by the dealer in April 2007 at 57,700 miles. (I really could not have done it myself back in 2007, this time I can.)

Will the "right" gasket, and a good repair, last a tremendously long time, or should I plan on doing this at regular intervals?

(And can this gasket failure happen without setting any codes in the computer? I'll try the brake cleaner test soon.)

Thanks in advance!

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Old 09-30-2018, 10:52 PM   #103
edlee
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1999 SL1
Default Re: 00-02 SOHC Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement How-to

I changed my intake manifold gasket on my 1999 Saturn SL1 this past Saturday. It took me over 10 hours, including a break for dinner and a bicycle trip to Autozone to get a new serpentine belt removal tool. The serpentine belt removal tool lacked a 14mm crow's foot wrench, so I improvised and attached a ratcheting pass through wrench to the handle of the metal bar of the serpentine belt removal tool with 2 zip ties. After disconnecting the battery, I drained about a gallon of coolant by removing the 10mm nut beneath the thermostat. What I did differently is disconnect all of the electrical connectors from the intake manifold. I also removed the power steering pump completely to get easier access to nut 9. You can see nut 9 in the thin vertical space between the power steering bracket and the engine. I also removed the EGR valve, which is held down by two 10mm bolts. This makes it easier to access nut 7 by feel. I removed the 10mm screw attached to the fuel line clip, which was pointed out by ii311hive in an earlier picture.

I highly recommend using the Kobalt Xtreme Access Pass Through wrench, or something like it, for removing some of the 13mm nuts on the intake manifold. This wrench is like a deep socket wrench but with a much smaller profile that can slip into small places, being able to loosen or tighten nut 3 from above. Nut 3 is in a very tight space between two branches of the intake manifold. I still used a ramp to remove nuts 3, 2, and 6 from below. I have great respect for people who managed to remove nut 3 from above. I found nut 3 by feel from below. I used a regular ratchet wrench whenever I need to use an extension, because the extension of the Kobalt pass through wrench is too loose and easily lets sockets slip off.

When I finally got access to the original intake manifold gasket, it came apart in pieces. I could smell the gasoline fumes. The original intake manifold gasket seemed to be made of plastic. These intake manifold gaskets seem to be designed to self-destruct. I used a replacement Fel Pro intake manifold gasket which seems to be made of woven metal. The mating surfaces of the intake manifold and engine were spotlessly clean, which is not what I was expecting. After receiving a P0301 Cylinder 1 Misfire code, I took the car to a mechanic who charged about $400 to replace fuel injector number 1, but that only temporarily made the code go away. I think the mechanic might have inspected the intake manifold gasket area and cleaned it but did not change the gasket. I found it was possible to move the intake manifold back and down a bit so that all of the studs were clear of the intake manifold.

In reattaching the intake manifold to the engine after replacing the gasket, I attached nuts 8 and 5, hand tightened them, then tightened them a little more but not all the way with a ratchet wrench. I then lifted up the right side of the intake manifold with my left hand to align the hole of the support bracket with the intake manifold and inserted the 10 mm bolt with my right hand and hand-tightened the bolt until I had to use a ratcheting wrench. People have reported having trouble re-inserting this 10 mm bolt. It's because gravity causes the intake manifold to droop down and become misaligned with the support bracket.

After I reassembled everything and refilled the coolant, I primed the fuel pump by turning the ignition key to the point just before ignition, waited for the hum of the fuel pump to stop, and then started the engine. The RPMs shot up to 3000, then dropped to about 2000. This wasn't normal. I shut off the engine and tried it again. The same thing happened. I backed the car out of the garage, which slammed into reverse. I took the car for a test drive. I got a Service Engine Soon light. The code was P0507 Idle Speed Higher Than Expected. I drove back to the garage. After all this time and effort, I had failed. I didn't use a torque wrench, so I knew that I didn't evenly torque the nuts. I let the engine cool down for about 5 hours and re-tightened the 13 mm nuts on the intake manifold that I could reach without removing anything or crawling under the car. I tightened nuts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 in the tightening sequence. The nuts seemed looser than when I had originally tightened them. The nuts apparently loosen when they get heated. When I re-started the engine, the RPMs were closer to normal, about 1000 RPM, and settled down to about 900 RPM. I let the car idle for several minutes, and the RPMs gradually kept coming down. My scan tool indicated that the P0507 code was still there but that my car had passed the idle test this time. I cleared the code and went for a test drive. The RPMs in idle varied from about 650 to 800, which is normal.

Previously, the scan tool had been reporting thousands of misfires for cylinder 1, but this time, the scan tool reported 0 misfires for all cylinders. That is a beautiful thing.

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Old 10-02-2018, 02:21 AM   #104
edlee
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1999 SL1
Default Re: 00-02 SOHC Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement How-to

I created a video summarizing how to access the Intake Manifold Gasket:

https://vimeo.com/292859611

I saw another good video on YouTube, apparently from a Canadian professional, but he seems to do some unnecessary steps, such as opening the fuel line and removing the hose next to the green manifold absolute pressure sensor. After watching that video, it wasn't clear to me where exactly the bolts for the power steering pump were located or how to drain the coolant. He also seems to operate on a different model of Saturn than mine.

I found a way to tuck the serpentine belt under the upper right pulley so that the serpentine belt stays in place, as you can see in my video.

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Old 10-02-2018, 09:46 AM   #105
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1998 SL2
Default Re: 00-02 SOHC Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement How-to

Good info, thanks! It's great that these threads continue to help, and more info and experience is added each time

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11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 124k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 10-07-2018, 02:37 PM   #106
edlee
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Default Re: 00-02 SOHC Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement How-to

I learned today that it is possible to lean over the engine from the passenger side and see nut 7 while you guide a 13mm socket on a short extension on to nut 7. Then you can put a ratcheting wrench on the extension.

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Old 10-20-2018, 07:04 PM   #107
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Default Re: 00-02 SOHC Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement How-to

I received a P0401 Insufficient EGR Flow error. The field service manual advises to command the EGR valve to be 100% open with a scan tool to see if the engine idles roughly. I tried that, and the engine began to idle roughly and promptly stopped cranking. I turned off the engine. If the engine idles roughly with the EGR valve 100% open, then the field service manual indicates that the problem is intermittent, so I cleared the code. I removed and cleaned the EGR valve today with some Simple Green spray. The EGR valve pintle and hole looked fine, without excessive carbon deposits. This P0401 code might be related to loose intake manifold nuts or a leak in the intake manifold gasket, because code P0401 is set when the pressure indicated by the manifold absolute pressure sensor does not change fast enough when the EGR valve is commanded open during deceleration once per driving cycle.

I successfully torqued all of the 13mm intake manifold nuts to 22 ft-lbs, which was not easy. I had to use different ways of torquing the various nuts. This is the view of the nuts from inside the car, if you had x-ray vision:

8 4 1 5
7 3 2 6 9

1. 3/8" ratcheting torque wrench with a 13mm crow foot wrench from above. The 13mm crow foot wrench came with my serpentine belt removal tool.

2. 3/8" ratcheting torque wrench with a 13mm crow foot wrench from above.

3. 3/8" ratcheting torque wrench with a deep 13mm socket and 3" extension from below. I had to find nut 3 by feel.

4. 1/2" beam type torque wrench with 1/2" inch to 3/8" socket adapter connected at a 90 degree angle to a Motion Pro torque wrench adapter and 13mm combination wrench after removing the PCV valve hose. The Motion Pro torque wrench adapter has a small vise on one side for holding a combination wrench and a 3/8" hole on the other side for mounting on a torque wrench. There are different models of the Motion Pro torque wrench adapter. My Motion Pro torque wrench adapter, part number 08-0380, requires a 3/16" Allen wrench to loosen or tighten the 2 vise screws. I got the Motion Pro torque wrench adapter from eBay.

5. 3/8" ratcheting torque wrench with 13mm crow foot wrench from above.

6. 3/8" ratcheting torque wrench with 13mm crow foot wrench from above.

7. 3/8" ratcheting torque wrench with semi-deep 13mm socket with 3" wobbler
extension from above.

8. 3/8" ratcheting torque wrench with a semi-deep 13mm socket from above.

9. 3/8" ratcheting torque wrench with a deep 13mm socket from above after removing the power steering pump.

I torqued the 10mm power steering pump bolts to 22 ft-lbs. I torqued the 10mm EGR bolts to 22 ft-lbs. I torqued the 2 10mm throttle body bolts to 22 ft-lbs, because I previously replaced the idle air controller and had tightened the throttle body bolts without a torque wrench. The field sevice manual specifies 19 ft-lbs for the EGR bolts and 23 ft-lbs for the throttle body bolts, but I decided to keep everything consistent.

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Old 11-02-2018, 02:30 PM   #108
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Default Re: 00-02 SOHC Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement How-to

Great Post. I followed your instructions and was able to replace the intake manifold gasket on my 2002 SL1 in about 4 hours with help from my neighbor. I sprayed PB Blaster on the nuts every day for 3 days before I did the replacement and all the nuts came off easy. Taking off the PS unit allows you to get to the 9th nut and stud (hidden by the PS unit)from the top. Otherwise you have to access it from below. If you have the car on a lift that makes the job even easier. Also one nut/stud is above the starter and you have to access blindly from below. A little tricky to do. All the others on the bottom of the intake you can see from below. I accessed all the upper nuts from the top. Hardest part was to get the manifold away from the studs to allow the gasket to slip on. There was not much room to move the manifold back and it was hitting a few studs. Having 2 people pushing and prying back on the manifold, we were able to drop the gasket on to all the studs. Putting it back together was a snap. I dropped 2 nuts but was able to find them. Not too bad for a couple of 65 year old home mechanics. I had the same crease as was shown in the picture and was running high idle about 1300 rpm and had a P0507 code. After the replacement the idle dropped to around 750 rpm (what it used to be) and the car sounds good. I also cleaned the throttle body and put in a new TPS and IAC. I spent a total of about $60 for all the parts. I bought this car new and used as my commuter car until my retirement last year. I have over 300,000 miles on the car and hope to get a few more miles down the road and through this winter before retiring the vehicle.

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