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Old 12-06-2017, 11:11 PM   #1
GSDrew
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Default New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

I picked up this 2002 SL1 in July and it had plenty of problems due to very poor maintenance... but not being a Saturn novice I grabbed it because the price was right and the mileage was low. 85K miles for $1500 with near perfect interior and body.
After doing the water pump, hoses, radiator, belts, plugs, wires, gas cap, trans filter, trans fluid, vacuum lines connected properly and the intake gasket (yes it had a very bad leak on #1 and #2, the idle was 21000) I got all 4 check engine lights fixed, it passed the emissions test and ran like a champ for 2.5K miles till now... So why is my new Felpro gasket leaking water between #3 & #4? Other than the water leak it still runs great.

Another question... Does the odometer mileage follow the computer? In other words if someone puts in a low mileage computer in a high mileage car... Does the high mileage now become a low mileage car? I'm asking this because I'm finding sign that this car may not be as low mileage as advertised. Also, does the VIN follow the computer?
Thanks guys and Merry Christmas!

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Old 12-06-2017, 11:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

Mileage is in the BCM.

Get that leak fixed as glycol will kill the O2 sensor if it gets sucked into the engine and problems will ensue. To get that gasket to seal requires both head and manifold being absolutely clean. Usually have to pull studs to get it clean. Wipe down with acetone before install. It is possible to use the red Permatex high tack spray gasket(part 80065) on both sides but it is sticky and if the coat is too thick you get a do-over. Buy it local as shipping is expensive for anything that sprays.

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Old 12-07-2017, 07:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSDrew View Post
Another question... Does the odometer mileage follow the computer? In other words if someone puts in a low mileage computer in a high mileage car... Does the high mileage now become a low mileage car? I'm asking this because I'm finding sign that this car may not be as low mileage as advertised. Also, does the VIN follow the computer?
Thanks guys and Merry Christmas!
VIN number is stored in the BCM along with mileage for a GEN3. You can get the VIN with an ODBC code reader and it should match the VIN on the dash plate, engine and transmission stamp if everything is original. GEN1 and GEN2 are different.

...
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

I forgot to mention that after I got it apart and removed the old gasket I scrapped both surfaces with a razor, right up to and around each stud, then went over each surface with emery-cloth and I finished up with a wiped down with brake cleaner. I've changed many gaskets and I've never had this results. I don't understand what I could have done wrong?
Unless this is a problematic seal the gasket sealant shouldn't be necessary. Is this leak a common problem?
I think I have some Permatex high temp copper gasket sealant or Black Max stashed away... Or is the red that was mentioned the preferred?

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Old 12-07-2017, 12:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

It is a common issue on the SL1. FelPro came out with a gasket for them called the "Problem Solver". give that a try and be mindful of how you torque everything. Do it in proper sequence and proper torque and it should be good.

...
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

The red High Tack spray is all that will not cause more problems than you want to deal with. The FelPro problem solver is OK but a real challenge to get installed properly.

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Old 12-07-2017, 03:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

Is the Felpro MS-94286 the "Problem Solver" you referred to? If not what is?

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Old 12-07-2017, 06:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

I honestly dpn't know the part numbers. I just remember it's what was used on my daughter's problematic 2002 sl1 prior to her buying it. She has now put MANY miles on it and not a peep of an issue

...
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

The only FelPro Problem Solver gasket I have seen for a Saturn was for the exhaust side and it was also a perma-torque design. http://www.felpro.com/parts/leak-rep...sket-sets.html

What you need they do not make for Saturn. The composition material with screen printed sealing strips is not going to work for most people if there is any unevenness in the head or manifold. looks like all manufacturers are producing a similar product.

Ultra thin coat of High Tack red on both sides.

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Old 12-08-2017, 11:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

"Do it in proper sequence and proper torque and it should be good."

I got to wondering about the torque spec because I never checked it because it's two flat (?) surfaces. Tighten to tight and then add 1/8 turn for good measure. I was surprised to read that the spec is 22 foot pounds, I'm sure I probably doubled that. Anyway I got the new-used-leaking gasket off last night and it surprisingly looks pretty good, and well compressed.

Could over torquing really caused the gasket failure and leak? Stranger things have happened, but it does seen illogical.

I've got the Permatex High-Tack spray, a new Felpro gasket and will have my torque wrench on hand for the reassembly Saturday morning.
Wish me luck and thanks for you insight.

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Old 12-08-2017, 12:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

With a plastic intake, seems like that could cause​ it to bow up between the bolts.

...
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

"Could over torquing really caused the gasket failure and leak?"

LOL... I'm not referring to all gaskets... Just this case. I know that valve cover and oil-pan gaskets are very sensitive to torque.

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Old 12-08-2017, 01:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSDrew View Post
"Could over torquing really caused the gasket failure and leak?"

LOL... I'm not referring to all gaskets... Just this case. I know that valve cover and oil-pan gaskets are very sensitive to torque.

Yes, and for those reading along at home the SOHC is aluminum intake not rot prone plastic.

When you take it back off lay a strait edge across the intake and se if it is permanently deformed.

Number the studs per the written instruction or use the chart, they are interchangeable.

Minor imperfections are fixed with Permatex High Tack Red.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:02 AM   #14
GSDrew
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

Well I got theintack gasket, with the Permatex High Tack coating on both sides, installed today... and I don't have good news.
I think my issue was not a failed intake gasket but a possible bad head gasket. Is it possible for SOHC head gasket water seal to fail and not leak water into the cylinders or oil?
When I drive it around the neighborhood, at temp, everything seems fine, but when I'm on the expressway or highway, driving at normal speed and temp, again all is fine till I get off and at the next light I see a sometimes large puff of steam raise up form the front of the hood. When I get to a place to stop and check I see coolant on both sides of #4 cylinder and on the auto trans. If I let the car sit and idle in the driveway the temp comes up, the fan comes on, the temp drops and the fan goes off... but no sign of any coolant leaks.
Does any of this sound familiar?
BTW... The radiator, hoses and thermostat were also recently replaced.

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Old 12-10-2017, 09:42 AM   #15
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

Yes, entirely possible and a not uncommon failure. There is a possible fix though. Do not use any product except this recommended exact product and follow directions exactly. Do not use more that 2 tablets and crush them up first before using. Product: https://www.amazon.com/Bars-Leaks-HD...rds=bars+leaks

You should be able to find these locally at the FLAPS but they will always try to sell you something else, just decline and keep looking. NO substitutes.

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Old 12-10-2017, 01:46 PM   #16
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

Will give it a try. Thanks again.

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Old 12-10-2017, 02:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

It works for most people as the factory fill antifreeze(original formula DexCool) tends to soften the head gasket and cause it to seep. This stuff will fix it.

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Old 12-11-2017, 10:20 PM   #18
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

The Tablets seem to be working. No steam or water leaks after 25 miles today, but I could still smell it slightly. So how long can I expect this to last?

Yesterday, before I added the pre-crushed Bar's tablets, I also pulled of the valve cover and checked the head bolts and added about 1/16th turn to each. I used the Felpro VC gasket, and I didn't know which way the tabs face, up or down. I laid them face down because they seem to fit the head better than the VC.

So the DexCool is hard on head gaskets? I never heard that, but then again I'm not a wrench either. For coolant I use CarQuest "All makes all models" because I never seen to remember which to use. When I got the car it had yellow coolant in it.

I'm off for 2 weeks over Christmas and was thinking that would be a good time to replace the head gasket, depending one how long the Bars Tablets will are expected to work. I've only found two head gaskets sets, Felpro and Mahle... Is one better than the other?

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Old 12-11-2017, 10:30 PM   #19
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

BTW... Replacing the Head gaskets doesn't look like it'd be very difficult. The worst part looks like it would be the dealing with the timing chain cover off. Any advice?
I thought I'd remove the head with both manifolds still attached. Any thoughts?
Also, the engine is suppose to have 87K on it. For good measure I was also going to change the chain and tensioner. Comments?
Thanks again for your help.

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Old 12-11-2017, 10:39 PM   #20
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Default Re: New Felpro Intake Gasket Leaks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSDrew View Post
The Tablets seem to be working. No steam or water leaks after 25 miles today, but I could still smell it slightly. So how long can I expect this to last?

Yesterday, before I added the pre-crushed Bar's tablets, I also pulled of the valve cover and checked the head bolts and added about 1/16th turn to each. I used the Felpro VC gasket, and I didn't know which way the tabs face, up or down. I laid them face down because they seem to fit the head better than the VC.

So the DexCool is hard on head gaskets? I never heard that, but then again I'm not a wrench either. For coolant I use CarQuest "All makes all models" because I never seen to remember which to use. When I got the car it had yellow coolant in it.

I'm off for 2 weeks over Christmas and was thinking that would be a good time to replace the head gasket, depending one how long the Bars Tablets will are expected to work. I've only found two head gaskets sets, Felpro and Mahle... Is one better than the other?
Generally it lasts until you change the coolant and when you do that you add a new tablet with the new coolant. All makes-all models is the way to go. The head gasket job is more complex than you think and is rather expensive. The tablets are usually a permanent fix and the addition of a fresh tab when coolant changed is just insurance. FelPro gasket but I would not be thinking a new gasket is going to be any better as there are many details with a gasket swap. SOHC and DOHC timing set steps are identical except for the number of cams. Head gasket includes timing set replacement. Below is what is usually encountered when doing this.

Head replacement and chain remove-replace
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=168496

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