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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.
...
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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 05-24-2022, 08:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

Quote:
Originally Posted by eskimo619 View Post
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.
Yes, i had the problem of the slightly warped dorman nipple and had to take it back off and plane it on some sand paper. Thought i was the only one with that issue but looks like its been a few and word has gotten out.
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Old 07-24-2022, 03:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: All to common coolant leak at the intake manifold

I just read through this thread to see what was done to fix the leak. I have a 2000 SL2 that's been leaking for years. Could never (or never tried hard enough) to find the leak until yesterday. The problem is it does not leak when it's hot. I assume the very small crack closes up when it's good and hot. The crack runs horizontally on that coolant tube on the manifold. When I first purchased this car back in 2005 the previous owner did not have the proper coolant mix in it and my car actually semi-froze up at work on a below zero day. I promptly fixed that and everything worked fine. But many years later it developed a slow leak. And when I say slow it takes about a month and a half in winter for the low coolant light to come on. It leaks a few drips overnight in the garage after the engine cools down. I wonder if that freeze-up cracked the tube.

Anyways, I noticed the discussion of getting a replacement manifold and thought I would mention this. Rockauto has GM genuine intake manifolds for these cars. $259.79 plus $9.99 shipping to my house. Yeah it will still be plastic but considering the first one lasted this long I won't have the car long enough to make a new one crack. At least I would hope.
...
When I was younger I drove a lifted 4x4 truck with over sized tires. Needed a ladder to get into it. Now in my 60's I drive an SL2 and need a ladder to get out.
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