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Old 09-09-2011, 12:59 PM   #1
BrownSaturn
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Default 2001 SW2 Intake Manifold Coolant Leak - A cautionary tale

9 Sept 2011

Anyway, I had a long road trip to go on, so rather than risk ruining my trip with a sudden rupture of the failure-prone plastic coolant stems of the circa-2000 S-series plastic intake manifolds, I figured I'd reinforce the problematic area with the modification shown in the pictures in blue. Basically, I used a dremel tool to make a slit in the flange, wrapped a 3/4" heater hose, and then a hose clamp to secure the stem.

However, it was the smaller line (in green) that ruptured about 3 months later. As you can see, there is no tell-tale sign of leakage or impending doom. A post-mortem of the pieces showed that the heater stem (the larger one that I modified) was in good condition, but the smaller one (the coolant deaerater stem) had internal erosion at the joint and was totally embrittled. When I undid the hose clamp, it totally fell apart, only held together by the hose clamping force.

BTW I hate to sound like a commercial, but rather than spend the cash on a replacement manifold, I used the retro-fit kit from carsaturn.com. It looks pretty nasty to have to cut-apart your manifold, but it seems to be working OK. It took me about 6.5 hours (even with the FSM). The only thing missing from their instructions is the torque specs for the nuts for their replacement stem.

-phil
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2001 SW2 Intake Manifold Coolant Leak - A cautionary tale

Use the same torque as you use for the intake manifold nuts. The metal repair is a great part.
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