Ho to Install an Intake Manifold Gasket

Replacing the intake manifold gasket is a relatively easy job for a home mechanic if you’ve got a good set of tools and a torque wrench in the correct range.  This 2010 Jeep Wrangler has a 3.8 pushrod style motor so it’s a relatively easy job.  On this motor, there is an upper and lower intake manifold so you have to remove both of them to get to the gasket we are trying to replace.

Coolant often flows through intake manifolds in a few different places.  On pushrod style motors coolant usually flows through the intake manifold as a crossover between the cylinder heads.  On many vehicles, a little bit of coolant is run near the throttle body to help preheat intake air on extremely cold days and lastly, come cooling systems have the thermostat installed into the intake manifold which means there is obviously coolant running through it.

Intake manifold coolant leaks can often look like blown head gaskets, as you can see in this video as the coolant leaks out right near where the head bolts to the block.  Cylinder head gaskets rarely leak externally and a pressure test and careful eye can often find the exact leak location.

While being a relatively easy job, there are a few quick tips that can help:

Replacing an Intake Manifold Gasket Quick Tips:

  • when you’re depressurizing the fuel system be careful to catch the fuel and properly dispose of it so you don’t end up in a dangerous situation.
  • If you have an upper and lower intake manifold, replace the gaskets between them as well as the gasket from the lower manifold to the head.
  • If your intake manifold covers the spark plug tubes, consider changing the spark plugs while you’ve got everything off.
  • If you’ve got the drain the coolant, consider doing a coolant flush while you’re in there to save time and money and keep your cooling system working right.
  • When reassembling things, it’s important to torque the intake manifold bolts to the factory specification in the correct order to make sure you get a good seal on the gasket.
  • If you’ve got a lot of hoses going to your intake make sure you take lots of pictures and label everything extremely well to make sure it all gets back together the right way.

If the hard part repair doesn’t make sense for your car, consider using BlueDevil Coolant Stop Leak to seal a coolant leak coming from your intake manifold gasket to keep your car on the road.

Pictures Provided By:

Photo by Carlos Freire on Unsplash