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Old 08-23-2011, 01:01 PM   #1
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Default Intake Manifold Gasket Advice Needed 2003 SSEi Pics Questions Help Please

Hello GMFORUM and fellow 3800 people,

I am new here and this is my first thread. I recently purchased a 2003 SSEi on a hunch that I could fix its problems fairly easy. I use to own a 94 SSEi until I took out a deer back in 2001. I always dreamed about having the Series II and now I finally got one!

I could obviously tell that the intake manifold gasket needed replaced when I bought the car so I had it towed back to my house. Yesterday I removed it and the pics will show what I found. It appears the coolant passage is severely clogged and I am wondering if I need to go further into the valve train for cleaning and inspection. I did remove the front valve cover and didn't notice anything out of place.

The previous owner said the radiator was very recently replaced, so I am thinking flush it. Replace the water pump and clean the coolant container since its brown (like a HG problem). I am also wondering about the sludge and carbon build up inside the passages, how can I clean them effectively??










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Old 08-23-2011, 01:27 PM   #2
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First off..what you see is very common and normal.

Line the lifter valley with rags and dig that coolant crud out of the passage. If you look at your LIM, you will note that passage is blocked. So anything sitting there, will go no where. However we like clean. So pull the crud out of the coolant passages. The intake ports in the head are a little crusty, we will contend with them later.

Your motor has been getting oil changes approx every 5-7K miles. Likely according to the oil life monitor. I'd suggest you begin changing it every 3K miles to clean the motor slowly via the detergents in the oil. It got there slowly, remove it slowly.

On to the intake runners. Once you are all done with the LIM gaskets. Take a 18" length of vacuum hose and connect it at the passenger end of the LIM where the vacuum T would tyipcally be located. Have a can of seafoam and start the car. Using that tube you can meter the amount of seafoam that enters the motor. When you have the amount specified on the can into the motor, dunk that tube all the way in and stall the motor with the seafoam. Usually it'* wait about 30 minutes and start it back up. It'll plume smoke which is all the gunk in the intake runners.
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:00 PM   #3
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Ok, I have cleared most of the debris and gunk with a wet/dry vac and small hose attachment. Instead of rags I used a piece of cardboard I cut to fit perfectly. I am a bit worried about using seafoam, I have seen people create more problems by using it. I know motors can't compress water and that is why I don't like the idea. Are there any alternatives to seafoam, something I can apply now and suck up with the vac, like brake cleaner or carb cleaner? Any recommendations other that seafoam?

Also, what about the water pump, I have just over 200K?
And what brand of gaskets, are Advance Auto'* Felpro sufficient?
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:04 PM   #4
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Any gasket that is aluminum framed not plastic..Felpro is a good brand just make sure you intake gaskets are aluminum framed
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:46 AM   #5
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seafoam is good stuff. in fact you can get it an aerosol now and it can be used like a spray cleaner while you have it apart or you can straw it through the intake with it running.

http://www.seafoamsales.com/sea-foam-spray.html
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:21 PM   #6
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Well I finished the LIM gasket job last Friday and the car seems to be running good! No check engine light for now. I have only drove it a couple miles due to the condition of the tires, which have inner wear with belts showing. This is my winter beater and I couldn't see myself paying $550 for the cheapest 17" new tires available. So, bought a set of used Goodyear Eagle Ultra Grips for $170 with 70% tread left and now I am just waiting for their delivery. I have also purchased a drivers door window switch, spare key, and a new passenger side mirror glass. I still have the 94 SSEi floor mats at my parents house, so I am hoping they fit, we will see. Right now my total cost is under $1900.

I have noticed the car seems to have all the typical problems, which I expected. Gas gauge, water leaks, boost gauge, power steering fluid leak. Right now I am in the process of cleaning the entire interior (it was a mess) and fixing all the water leaks. Found about six dollars in change under the carpet, an expired AMEX card, and tons of paper clips everywhere.

Every car has its problems eventually and if you are willing to take the time to fix the problems yourself, you can save yourself tons of cash. Or make some cash too!
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