Another coolant leak question, 99 SE - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 06-04-2004, 02:01 PM   #1
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Default Another coolant leak question, 99 SE

My mom has a 97 SE that has developed a small coolant leak... I've read through alot of the threads and info about the dreaded upper/lower intake problem... but I dont know if thats what her has...

On the passenger side of the engine, right above the water pump, there is a small 90 degree hose that fits into the lower intake. It APPEARS as though that is where the water/dex is leaking from (I will take and post some pictures later today). Is this a common problem?

The water COULD be coming from above the hose and jsut giving the appearance of coming from it.... is this a symptom of the upper intake leak?

Thanks in advance....
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Old 06-04-2004, 03:14 PM   #2
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The bypass elbow leak that you're referring to is a common issue on the 95-99 Series II 3800s. More often that not they will develop a small crack. If the upper intake manifold, upper intake gasket and lower gaskets have never been replaced you should consider doing it as soon as possible. Even if there is no coolant consumption, it will inevitably happen in the future. By doing it now, you'll save yourself from a hydrolock. You should also consider doing a full coolant system flush and replacing the OEM 195 degree thermostat for a 180 degree. The bypass elbow is most easily replaceable by removing the lower intake. The new elbow costs about $7.00 US from the dealer.

Good luck!
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Old 06-04-2004, 04:20 PM   #3
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damn.

I was affraid of that.

looks as if the lower intake has been worked on (the car is an ex-rental fleet car). There is a little RTV peaking out from the lower intake/upper block junction area. But this could be factory... dunno.

Any tricks or tips to intalling the new gaskets? Does the Helm shop manual help?
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Old 06-04-2004, 04:46 PM   #4
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There shouldn't be any RTV between the upper intake gasket and the lower intake. However, you should see a small amount of RTV between the block and the lower intake in the 45 degree corners.

Before you dive into the job you should get yourself a Chiltons and familiarize yourself with what'* involved. It'* not a difficult job, but is time consuming. Keeping everything clean is critical! Many on this forum have switched from a new GM upper intake to a Dorman upper intake.

When reassembling, follow the bolt tightening sequence and torque values very closely. Search this forum and you'll find lots of useful information.
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Old 06-04-2004, 05:19 PM   #5
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got a link to the Dorman intake?

I'm guessing it solves the cracking problem?
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Old 06-05-2004, 12:50 AM   #6
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Hi Choptop you do not have to pull the intake manifolds just to replace the elbow. You only need to unbolt the belt tensioner assembly.
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Old 06-05-2004, 10:42 AM   #7
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Hello Choptop,

vital49 is absolutely right about the upper intake. I suffered total engine failure from hydrolock, and had to have a new motor dropped in. You can imagine, this cost a bit more than the $200 or so to replace the upper intake. I have a few thousand miles on the new motor now (OEM), which includes a new GM upper intake. But I am getting that replaced with the Dorman very soon. Too scared.

(99 SE 3800 series II)
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