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Old 01-23-2011, 09:17 AM   #1
rick19917
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Default 98 malibu intake manifold gasket problems.

About a year ago I had to change my intake manifold gasket and my head gasket because water was getting into the oil and one of the cylinders. I had the heads machined as well. Now the same thing is happing again. There is water vapor coming out the exhaust. So I took apart the engine and saw that the Intake manifold gasket failed. It was a Fel-pro Part # : MS98004T. I don't know if i should buy it again or is there another gasket i can use?? ----i dont want to have to be changing them every year, taking the engine apart is a pain.
--------------- 98 3.1 malibu
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:31 AM   #2
mrblanche
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Default Re: 98 malibu intake manifold gasket problems.

This is an old problem with that engine. I don't think anyone got to 50,000 miles on it without replacing the gaskets. Usually only has to be done once, if the dealer does it. Go ask the dealership what they use.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: 98 malibu intake manifold gasket problems.

FEL-PRO gasket kit P/N MS98004T should do it for 3.1L VIN M (8th of VIN). FEL-PRO has a bolt set P/N ES72225 to go with the gaskets. I think the problem is insufficient cleaning of mating surfaces, reusing bolts, or incorrect torque.
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: 98 malibu intake manifold gasket problems.

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Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
This is an old problem with that engine. I don't think anyone got to 50,000 miles on it without replacing the gaskets. Usually only has to be done once, if the dealer does it. Go ask the dealership what they use.
I had a '98 years back that I put 14x,xxx without changing the gasket.
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: 98 malibu intake manifold gasket problems.

The problem is different expansion rates of steel and aluminum, tearing the intake gaskets.
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: 98 malibu intake manifold gasket problems.

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The problem is different expansion rates of steel and aluminum, tearing the intake gaskets.
Na, it's not that. Many cars have aluminum heads on iron blocks.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: 98 malibu intake manifold gasket problems.

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Na, it's not that. Many cars have aluminum heads on iron blocks.
The gasket in question is not between the block and heads, but between the intake manifold and heads.

Just a quick search on that year will come up with many hundreds of hits on the intake gasket leakage. Some blamed it on Dex-Cool coolant, but believe me on this when I tell you GM eventually discovered the problem was exactly as I described.

A secondary factor was that the gaskets were made of plastic.

But it's fairly obvious that if the gasket is replaced with a better gasket, and the Dex-Cool is replaced with normal coolant, and the gasket then fails again, there is another problem going on, and GM has said the different expansion rates is the key.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: 98 malibu intake manifold gasket problems.

I'll buy all that but, with all due respect, I'm not sure how that's going to help the OP with his present problem? Are you saying it's futile, that he's going to be doing this LIM gasket job every year? The FEL-PRO gasket kit is the redesigned variety with rigid inserts which should have lasted. Isn't it likely that we're looking at a botched job?
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: 98 malibu intake manifold gasket problems.

It's certainly possible. It's even possible someone put in the original style gaskets, although I thought he said he did it himself and put in the Fel-Pro. I see the pro up above said that it's crucial to replace the bolts, too. I'm not sure that would occur to me, unless the parts man handed them to me with the gaskets as a kit. That's why those guys get certificates from Chevy after spending long nights reading boring manuals.

I wasn't brave enough to do it myself on my '98 Lumina, and it cost a pretty penny, something like $1200, if I recall rightly (paid under warranty, and done at a Chevy dealership in Irving, TX).

I've changed the head gaskets and the intake gaskets on my hot rod with a Chevy 350, and it's bad enough, with almost nothing in the way, not even fenders or a hood.

Last edited by mrblanche; 01-25-2011 at 08:09 AM.
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