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Intake manifold or head Gasket?

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Old 04-15-2012, 11:09 AM   #1
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Intake manifold or head Gasket?

I've got a 96 Sonoma with a 4.3 that has a coolant leak under the A/C compressor. I put radiator pressure test on it and I could hear it hissing from under the compressor. When I pulled it off, it was all rusty looking like it had been leaking coolant too. It looks like it is right at the front corner of the head, but it also looks like the intake manifold stops there too. So I'm wondering if there is a way to tell if it is the intake manifold gasket or the head gasket that is leaking?
Old 04-15-2012, 11:44 AM   #2
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Re: Intake manifold or head Gasket?

Is the thermostat housing in that general area because i think someone posted onthis issue before and thats what it ended up being... Housing to block gasket,
Old 04-15-2012, 12:43 PM   #3
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Re: Intake manifold or head Gasket?

id say intake manifold gasket thats were my leak was on my 2002 s10 4.3.
Old 04-16-2012, 04:54 PM   #4
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Re: Intake manifold or head Gasket?

intake. My blazer was leaking external there also. My blazer was also leaking internal as well.

if you have choc milk as oil. DO NOT DRIVE IT. ENG DAMAGE WILL OCCUR.
Old 04-16-2012, 09:35 PM   #5
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Re: Intake manifold or head Gasket?

No foam in my oil. Only symptoms I had were overheating and hard starting. Overheating was likely gunked up cooling system. It took me about 10 hours of flushing to get it halfway clean. It only leaks from that spot when i put the pressure test on it, and when its overheating and boiling off. I am trying a stop leak and hoping it helps. I guess I'll know if it worked tomorrow when I drive it.
Old 04-17-2012, 12:23 AM   #6
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Re: Intake manifold or head Gasket?

Quote: Originally Posted by TreeFiter
No foam in my oil. Only symptoms I had were overheating and hard starting. Overheating was likely gunked up cooling system. It took me about 10 hours of flushing to get it halfway clean. It only leaks from that spot when i put the pressure test on it, and when its overheating and boiling off. I am trying a stop leak and hoping it helps. I guess I'll know if it worked tomorrow when I drive it.

When you say hard starting, describe what it does. Does it start and run rough for 5-15 seconds when you start it and it clears up? If so, the intake gaskets are probably leaking into the cylinders and need to be replaced.
Old 04-17-2012, 02:46 PM   #7
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Re: Intake manifold or head Gasket?

Quote: Originally Posted by Outhet
When you say hard starting, describe what it does. Does it start and run rough for 5-15 seconds when you start it and it clears up? If so, the intake gaskets are probably leaking into the cylinders and need to be replaced.
It takes a bit of cranking before it starts. Sometimes 10-15 revolutions before it fires. Sometimes it will start as soon as you tap the key. When it starts hard, there is a second or two of hesitation before it runs right. I think the general consensus is that I need an intake manifold gasket.

Is there anything else I should be thinking about doing while I have everything apart. This is a 200k mile truck.
Old 04-17-2012, 02:52 PM   #8
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Re: Intake manifold or head Gasket?

By the way, the stop leak didn't work. Looked promising last night. It ran for a few hours and stayed at a good running temp (less than 200) the whole time. I drained it all out and flushed the system with water, but when I ran it today it heated right up, and started leaking from the spot under the AC compressor.
Old 04-17-2012, 04:27 PM   #9
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Re: Intake manifold or head Gasket?

Sounds similar to my '96 Sonoma at about 190k. I think it had been leaking for some time prior to that, but the leak was in the same spot as yours. Seemed to be leaking to the outside of the engine, which is probably better.

If you by chance need a new power steering pump, now would be an excellent time to replace it. The re-installation of the intake manifold would be so much easier if that power steering pulley wasn't there (you can still pull it off if you want; most guys don't). It gets pretty tight, but still can be done without pulling the pulley. If you haven't found this link already, I like it best...lots of photos.
Old 04-18-2012, 03:54 PM   #10
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Re: Intake manifold or head Gasket?

You guys were right about the intake manifold gasket. I got the old one out, cleaned everything up and put the new one in. The old one was in really bad shape. I'm surprised I didn't see more leaking than I did. A few more hours of putting everything back together, and hopefully I'll be able to drive my truck again.
Old 04-18-2012, 08:20 PM   #11
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Re: Intake manifold or head Gasket?

OK, I got it back together, but when I put the plenham back on and tightened it down, the fuel injector connection didn't stick up far enough to fully seat the electrical connector. I can get it to start, but the engine vibrates the connector out and it runs rough and stalls out. Any thoughts on how to fix this? Do I have to pull the plenham back off, or do you think I can tap on the top to seat it better or something?
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