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Old 05-13-2022, 06:48 PM   #1
eskimo619
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Default All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

So I just bought my 2001 saturn sl2 recently. Had read about the common coolant fitting that breaks on the manifold requiring replacement of manifold or cutting that section off and using the revised metal fitting. Today after pulling and cleaning the egr valve I happened to be looking around that coolant fitting and saw a small pool of fluid. I touched the smaller of the 2 lines and it snapped blowing hot coolant everywhere. Was not ready for that to happen lol.

I had already been thinking about doing the intake manifold gasket and cleaning out the manifold and now have to. Well I could just modify the manifold on the car but rather be thorough about it. So I ordered the Dorman metal coolant fitting/hardware, intake manifold and throttle body gaskets, waterpump and thermostat. And will do a coolant flush of course. Probably easiest to swap the waterpump first with using the serpentine belt for tension to get the bolts off and can install the new one and be done with that. Then replace thermostat. Then start the process of getting the manifold off.

I found a few YouTube videos that seem to walk through the process pretty well. Ill just take my time but shouldn't have any issues. Ill certainly listen to any opinions/advice on the job as well. Main thing im wondering is the best way to try and clean out the crud from the intake manifold. Put it in a tote or bucket filled with some sort of chemical to eat away at the junk inside but not damage the plastic? Ill also be changing the oil and trans fluid as well. Should keep me busy all of Monday as the parts arrive Sunday. I'll drain the coolant and remove old waterpump while waiting for the new parts.

Gotta love having to wrench just after buying the car lol.
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Old 05-14-2022, 12:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

I suggest you Very Carefully inspect the used InMan.

I bought a used one from a junkyard -- the small tube was not too bad,
it was intact. But near by, the plastic walls/ridges which support the
manifold gasket (oring type) had a section about 5/8" long, where a piece of the containment ridge had broken off, allowing a leak.

So I'm contemplating purchase of a new InMan....

.....

It Might be helpful to rock the top of the engine Forward to get improved access to the InMan fastenings from the top, after the bottom is loose, dunno.
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Old 05-14-2022, 09:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

it's a bit late if you already bought the dorman retrofit kit (i would just install that and see how it goes) but all s-series engines use the same intake manifold flange and you can simply install a 1991-1999 aluminium intake with a bit of work to adapt the wiring harness and fuel delivery. i believe that's what TomM96 is talking about with junkyard manifolds. with the aluminium manifold you get away from that problem entirely... but as i said you may as well go through with installing the dorman kit on the plastic one.

oh, and if you have an impact driver (one of the 1/4" hex ones) those are excellent at removing the water pump pulley bolts with minimum fuss.
...
rings-1996 sl2 ~215k mi
phoebe-1995 sl1 ~250k mi
janus-2000 sohc2 ~190k mi
tethys-1994 sw2 ~302k mi
rip mimas-wrecked 1996 sw1-trailer
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dione-1998 sw2
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Old 05-14-2022, 06:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

I'll be reusing my stock manifold just modifying to use the Dorman kit. Ill inspect it thoroughly before cutting it to make sure im not wasting time if it has some damage or cracks etc... I dont forsee any major issues as the job looks fairly straight forward. I will be removing the passenger upper mount and dog bone under the airbox to be able to pull the motor forward with a ratchet strap.

I dont have any special tools so will be done using basic hand tools. Really hoping the pulley bolts aren't stuck but ill keep the serpentine belt on for tension and if need be can use a small piece of wood in between the pulluee for extra tension if needed. I know its right getting to the upper bolts on the waterpump itself. But should be alright. Everything comes in tomorrow afternoon and will try to get things started. Drain coolant, replace waterpump. Then start removing all the small pieces that are in the way of getting the manifold out. I'll also remove the hood for added clearance. Looks like only one bolt holds the manifold from the underside and everything 3lae is accessed from up top. Have a couple YouTube videos saved that are pretty decent walk-thrus. One being from carsaturn when they used to sell their own fitting kit. Ive read the Dorman one sometimes comes slightly warped and needs sanding to flatten out the making surface. Hopefully mine is flat lol.

For cleaning out the inside of the manifold, could I put it in a large tote filled with hot water and some sort of degreaser and maybe use a long flexible handled bristle brush/washe mitt of some kind? I know I wont get it 100% clean but getting some crud out would be beneficial im sure.
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Old 05-14-2022, 08:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

Soap & water might work if you boost it over 1000psi. The local manual car wash is usually good for this (great way to clean the interior carpet too if you're really ambitious).

If you just want to soak & brush it you're going to want to leave it at least a few hours, if not the whole weekend, in Kerosene. Diesel works too but leaves more of an oily residue.
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Old 05-14-2022, 08:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
Soap & water might work if you boost it over 1000psi. The local manual car wash is usually good for this (great way to clean the interior carpet too if you're really ambitious).

If you just want to soak & brush it you're going to want to leave it at least a few hours, if not the whole weekend, in Kerosene. Diesel works too but leaves more of an oily residue.
It may be worth the trip to the car wash and pressure wash the inside for the few minutes it gives me. But ill soak it in a tote with hot water and a good degreasing soap and scrub the inside with whatever decent brush I can find. Not sure id be able to get enough kerosene to fill half a tote haha. But ill do what I can once I remove it and cut the end off. Work won't start until Sunday late afternoon and won't get much done. Monday I should have the manifold off and will need to get it hack together sooner than later. I do have my motorcycle should anything hold me up and car can't be finished in a timely manner.
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Old 05-14-2022, 09:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

Just watched a YouTube video with a good suggestion for cleaning inside the manifold. I'll grab a gallon of purple power and dilute it and fill the manifold. Once its soaked for a bit ill use some long dryer lint brushes that are flexible with sturdy bristles to agitate any junk inside. Should do the trick and get it mostly cleaned up. I know it won't be perfect but will be better than the crap sitting in there now. Brushes arrive Monday afternoon, should have the manifold removed by then so I can cut it and get it soaking right away. Maybe have it all back together Tuesday.
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Old 05-15-2022, 10:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

Ended up changing my mind about how I wanted to tackle this project. Decided to cut the manifold with it still on the car as I watched some videos and people said it was very doable with the right tools. Oscillating tool made quick work and only had to remove the intake tube and move a few wires to get access. This all happened in the afternoon. Parts arrived several hours later and I took a look at the new metal Dorman fitting and the mounting flange is warped. Apparanrly this is very common with this part. Had read some reviews about this but figured what are the chances mine is bad. And it ended up being bad. I even called an autozone a few towns over that happened to have one in stock and I asked them to take it out of the package and test how flat it was. They said theirs was also warped. How does Dorman get away with making these when so many are warped? And carsaturn doesn't exist anymore.

People said they were able to tape a piece of sandpaper to a flat surface and sand the piece flat which takes forever. Another said they had someone mill it flat. Im going to call a local machine ship in the morning and ask if they could mill it for me. Should be super quick considering the part is small. I have the studs installed and a gasket ready to go. Also picked up some high temp rtv and will use a very little bit on both sides of the gasket as an extra layer of protection. Hopefully have it fixed and installed tomorrow. I'll let the rtv cure before filling the cooling system with water and running the car to temp and then drain and refill with new coolant. Nothing is ever easy lol.
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Old 05-16-2022, 10:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

@ Eskimo619

Thanks for discussion & foto. A daunting R&R given all the attachments.

I recently brought a used DOHC head to a machine shop for repair,
with the cam cover attached. The shop put the cam cover through the cleaning bath, and it removed all the crud from the oil dispersant ramp in the cover.

I think the Dorman spout fitting flange has that warp as a consequence of
the part suffering thermal stress when the flange is welded/brazed into
place. They'd be more expensive if were milled.
Dorman stuff usually works ... they may be relying on the gasket to take up the slack, but flat is Better.
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Old 05-16-2022, 01:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomM96 View Post
@ Eskimo619

Thanks for discussion & foto. A daunting R&R given all the attachments.

I recently brought a used DOHC head to a machine shop for repair,
with the cam cover attached. The shop put the cam cover through the cleaning bath, and it removed all the crud from the oil dispersant ramp in the cover.

I think the Dorman spout fitting flange has that warp as a consequence of
the part suffering thermal stress when the flange is welded/brazed into
place. They'd be more expensive if were milled.
Dorman stuff usually works ... they may be relying on the gasket to take up the slack, but flat is Better.
I definitely didn't want to risk a leak using it as is. I got ahold of a local machine shop who said they should be able to toss it in a lathe and get the mounting surface flat. Probably only a couple minutes to take care of it. Better than me buying sandpaper and taping it to a flat surface and hand sanding it. Will update once the part is fixed and mounted.
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Old 05-16-2022, 07:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

Quote:
Originally Posted by eskimo619 View Post
How does Dorman get away with making these when so many are warped?
dorman's quality control is legendary for being awful. i think they only get away with it because they are the only ones making many of the parts they sell. i've had issues with malformed threads on a dorman coolant reservoir causing a leak from the coolant cap, as well as dorman parking brake cables being too short so i had to leave the brake on as tight as i could get it for a week to stretch them out before the brakes quit dragging.
...
rings-1996 sl2 ~215k mi
phoebe-1995 sl1 ~250k mi
janus-2000 sohc2 ~190k mi
tethys-1994 sw2 ~302k mi
rip mimas-wrecked 1996 sw1-trailer
pandora-1999 sc2
dione-1998 sw2
penny [iapetus]-1997 sw2
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Old 05-16-2022, 08:17 PM   #12
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

Machine shop took care of things for me. He threw it in a lathe and said he had to take off 15 thousandths material to get is flat. And the part still isn't perfect but much better than it was. Got it installed and used a little rtv on both sides of the gaskets. Waited an hour before fully tightening the nuts. Figured id let it sit overnight to cure before I add water in the morning and fire it up and fingers crossed no leaks. Ill let it run till the fans kick on and thermostat opens to get the water moving through the system. Once it cools oll drain and refill with new coolant and should be good to go. Overall the job hasn't been bad, would have had the same issues with the Dorman part whether i pulled the manifold or modified on the car as I did.

Once this is all set ill change oil and trans fluid. Also did rear brakes today, fronts arrive tomorrow so will tackle those as well. Car has been keeping me busy thats for sure.
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Old 05-17-2022, 09:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

Filled up the cooling system with water and fired it up. Started no issue and after running a short while dont see any leaks. However I noticed the car seemed to be shaking a little more than usual and when I went around the the back I could hear popping from the exhaust. So now have a very noticeable misfire. Spark plugs are new and gapped accordingly. Seems to drive fine with no noticeable issues but at idle there's definitely a missfire now. Previously had a check engine light for P0446 evap something or other that is common on these so not sure if any new codes. Ill have to het to autozone up the street. Is it possible I cut to much and no have a legit leak at the intake manifold? Id expect other running issues. I did the valve cover gaskets and plugs same time which were done in the middle of this coolant job. And pulled the egr and gave a quick cleaning. Previously cleaned the throttle body. Guess I'll see if any new codes have come up and go from there.
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Old 05-17-2022, 05:19 PM   #14
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

Had the cel scanned and it came up with p0446 saying to replace the evap canister vent solenoid. Along with that codes p0037 for o2 sensor bank 1 sensor 2, code p0304 cylinder 4 misfire, and code p0410 secondary air injection system.

Misfire is present only at idle from what I can tell. Seems to drive fine and pulls through the rpms smoothly. I sprayed some carb cleaner around cylinder 4 intake runner and it did affect the idle so that tells me definitely has intake manifold gasket leak. Im just not sure if I cut too much when I hacked off the old coolant ports. Mije looked like the others I saw from videos online. Might need a replacement manifold and then cut it again but more precise. Would it be bad to drive with the misfire? Really can't afford the downtime again but also don't want to harm anything.
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Old 05-17-2022, 07:10 PM   #15
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

A manifold leak could cause a lean mixture at some cylinders, probably the one closest to the leak. That lean mixture could then result in hotter-than-normal combustion temps, and burning of an exhaust valve.
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Old 05-18-2022, 08:16 AM   #16
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

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A manifold leak could cause a lean mixture at some cylinders, probably the one closest to the leak. That lean mixture could then result in hotter-than-normal combustion temps, and burning of an exhaust valve.
After pulling the plugs cylinder 4 where the leak is the plug is blacker than the rest. Cylinder 1,2,3 plugs aren't black like the 4th. I will be doing the gasket sooner than later once I locate a spare intake manifold that I can have cleaned out and cut perfectly ready to bolt on once I pull the current manifold. I can't be sure if its just simply the gasket or if I cut too much off when I modified for the Dorman coolant fitting.
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Old 05-18-2022, 11:19 AM   #17
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

It should not be difficult to leak-check the manifold, once it is off the engine. Block off ports with pieces of wood, sealing with any kind of non-hardening viscous goo; like pipe dope, Permatex #2, heavy grease, honey, clay, etc. Then pressurize it to about 5 psi and hold under water to look for bubbles. The port seals don't have to be perfect, just ignore the bubbles from those places...
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Old 05-18-2022, 09:49 PM   #18
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

So I went ahead and pulled the intake manifold this evening. Actually not that bad of a job. Once removed I immediatly saw the spot causing the misfire. And it appears I cut too deep the other day when I sawed off the broken coolant fittings to replace with the metal Dorman part. Basically I removed the very outer lip the gasket would ride in. Not sure if I can still make this work. Have not been able to source a spare manifold anywhere local. Few on eBay for over $300. And now with the car out of commission I need it back together asap. Thinking maybe with the new gasket and some high temp rtv I can get that corner sealed up best I can and run with it. Has to better than it was with the corner of the gasket not there at all.

I have the manifold sitting in a tote filled with hot water, well was hot lol, and purple power. Started to scrub a bit with a long dryer lint brush that has stiff bristles. Water went black before I could even blink. So much crap in the intake. I know it won't be spotless but figure I can knock off the larger chunks and get it as clean as I can with what im working with. Was nice I didnt have to drain the coolant because of already installing the new coolant fitting. Just have to address the gasket and reinstall. Might be just enough of a lip to hold the gasket and ill strategically use high temp rtv to secure. Will be interesting but have to work with what I have.
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Old 05-18-2022, 11:53 PM   #19
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

I would try building that area back up with JB Weld (steel-filled epoxy). Clean it real good with acetone before applying the JB.
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Old 05-19-2022, 12:59 PM   #20
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

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I would try building that area back up with JB Weld (steel-filled epoxy). Clean it real good with acetone before applying the JB.
I am attempting to build back up a small ridge for the gasket to sit in. I test fit the new gasket first and it does sit pretty solid but figured cant hurt to add a little material. Will shape as needed once its cured but should be solid by this time tomorrow. Will still use a small amount of high temp rtv in that spot as well just as back up.

Was able to clean out some of the crap from inside. Had it sitting in a tote filled with water and purple power all night. This morning went at it with the long dryer lint brush and got some out but realistically I knew it wasn't going to be spotless. Made more of a mess than anything lol. But had to better than it was so thats what counts. Car has 211k miles so not expecting any miracles. Just want the misfire gone.
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