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Old 10-12-2011, 09:15 PM   #1
gnx547
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Default Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

My friend has a 2000 Impala 3.8 with 199,000 miles on it. The upper & lower intake and valve cover gaskets are leaking. I will buy the Fel pro upper and lower intake gasket kit. Does the factory GM 3.8 upper intake have problems or defects from the factory? I know Dorman sells the upper intake, should I also replace the upper intake? Or is the factory one good?

I know this job will take a few hours to do, besides the gasket kits, Is there anything else I should replace while doing this job?

Thanks!
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

you will need 90* elbow plastic tube at lower intake manifold as it always break apart when try to remove it...
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

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you will need 90* elbow plastic tube at lower intake manifold as it always break apart when try to remove it...
^^^^This^^^^ I wish i had someone tell me this my first time!!! lol
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

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Originally Posted by gnx547 View Post
My friend has a 2000 Impala 3.8 with 199,000 miles on it. The upper & lower intake and valve cover gaskets are leaking. I will buy the Fel pro upper and lower intake gasket kit. Does the factory GM 3.8 upper intake have problems or defects from the factory? I know Dorman sells the upper intake, should I also replace the upper intake? Or is the factory one good?

I know this job will take a few hours to do, besides the gasket kits, Is there anything else I should replace while doing this job?

Thanks!
Just out of curiosity, how did you find the lower intake leak? I've found those leaks to be some of the trickier ones to find.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

It is the upper intake,splits at the EGR port fills up with water.Buy the updated Dorman upper intake instead of the GM piece.Some ignore it and shuts off right away.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

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you will need 90* elbow plastic tube at lower intake manifold as it always break apart when try to remove it...
And make sure you get them from the dealership, they are only a couple bucks and well worth the money. Lots of problems with aftermarket ones.

I did this repair on a 04 impala 3.8 about half a year ago and it went pretty smooth. I found mine due to an oil leak. Just took my time and think it took around 8 hours.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

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Originally Posted by gnx547 View Post
My friend has a 2000 Impala 3.8 with 199,000 miles on it. The upper & lower intake and valve cover gaskets are leaking. I will buy the Fel pro upper and lower intake gasket kit. Does the factory GM 3.8 upper intake have problems or defects from the factory? I know Dorman sells the upper intake, should I also replace the upper intake? Or is the factory one good?

I know this job will take a few hours to do, besides the gasket kits, Is there anything else I should replace while doing this job?

Thanks!
Upper/lower gaskets is only a 2-2.5hr job, and it's not terribly difficult. GM has an updated lower intake gasket that IMO is better than the Fel-Pro version. I try to stick with OE parts on these whenever possible, as I've had far fewer problems that way. Don't forget to seal the corners of the lower gasket with silicone. Right Stuff works well enough, but I use the GM engine sealant. Use a dab on the corners of the block, install the gaskets and two end pieces, then another dab on the corners before you install the lower intake. It's also a good idea to do the lower injector O-rings while you have the fuel rail off. Don't forget to check the upper plenum to make sure the phenolic isn't coming apart from acidic coolant or oil contamination.

Part numbers for the 3.8 are:

24503423 - Pipe (coolant elbow #1)
12565082 - Pipe (coolant elbow #2)
12580920 - Plenum Gasket (though I would get the kit)
89017554 - Upper Plenum Kit (TB gasket, plenum gasket, PCV tube)
89017816 - Intake Gasket (this is the updated gasket, you want the updated silver/green gasket, not the old black/red gasket)

If you need them:

89017272 - Updated upper plenum (though I wouldn't replace it unless it's coming apart)
25532619 - Fuel Pressure Regulator
88861417 - GM engine sealant (though you can use something like Right Stuff if you have it around)

Last edited by Stick; 10-12-2011 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

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Just out of curiosity, how did you find the lower intake leak? I've found those leaks to be some of the trickier ones to find.
There is a lot of oil in the corners of the manifold and on the side.

Also is it a pain replacing the rear spark plugs? Does the engine have to be tilted to get to the plugs in the back?
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

+1 on the coolant elbows from the dealership. They cost about $20 at the dealership but are much better than the $4 pair you can find at the local part stores.

I also just replaced the upper intake manifold (Dorman), lower intake gaskets (Felpro) and valve cover gaskets this weekend. It took me about 9 hours from start to finish including an oil change in the end. I forgot to replace the old EGR tube (anchored to the lower manifold) with the one provided in the Dorman kit. Is this really necessary to replace this? Is it worth taking out the upper manifold again to replace the tube?

Last edited by hhuytho; 10-12-2011 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

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There is a lot of oil in the corners of the manifold and on the side.

Also is it a pain replacing the rear spark plugs? Does the engine have to be tilted to get to the plugs in the back?
You don't really need to tilt the engine to change the rear plugs. You only need a swivel spark plug socket and an extension. It may be difficult to remove the plug wires though.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

valve covers and oil pan are probably leaking too
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

Yeah, the valve covers are also leaking a little. My only concern is when removing the manifold coolant might get into the engine and hydolock the engine when fired up. To be safe, I will change the oil but I would also like to turn the engine a few times to make sure there no coolant left. I know you are supposed to remove the plugs when turning the engine by hand. The front plugs are easy to get to but the rears are a pain, so how much of a pain is it turning the engine by hand with the plugs still in?

hhuytho, when you did this did you end up getting coolant into the engine? Just like you I know this will take us about 10 hrs to do. I like taking my time and making sure everything is correct.

Last edited by gnx547; 10-12-2011 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

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Yeah, the valve covers are also leaking a little. My only concern is when removing the manifold coolant might get into the engine and hydolock the engine when fired up. To be safe, I will change the oil but I would also like to turn the engine a few times to make sure there no coolant left. I know you are supposed to remove the plugs when turning the engine by hand. The front plugs are easy to get to but the rears are a pain, so how much of a pain is it turning the engine by hand with the plugs still in?
Just drain the coolant from the radiator, and there shouldn't be enough in the lower manifold passages to worry about. I've probably done 50-60 of these in the last 5-6 years and I've never spilled enough coolant that I'd worry about hydrolocking the engine. Keep a couple rags handy and change the oil when you're done and you'll be fine. Don't worry about pulling plugs, you're pretty likely to damage the plug wires if you start fooling with them trying to get the plugs out.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

When you remove the manifold, if any coolant gets into the crankcase, you may need to pour some oil to the crankcase to flush the coolant out. It's always a good idea to remove the spark plugs when turning the engine by hand. As your car has started leaking, you need to change the spark plugs anyway.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

Drain the coolant first to avoid getting in the engine. Go with the updated upper intake to eliminate that problem. Also, you can get from GM the lower intake manifold gaskets that are ALUMINUM with all the sealing material built into them. Very nice and well worth the money, they look like they would hold up even better than the Felpro's. It is also a good time to replace the valve cover gaskets which are likely leaking by that point in the cars life. I did the upper/lower/valve cover gaskets on a 1996 Bonneville with the same problem a couple years ago. Had to replace the lower aluminum manifold with a good used one as coolant had gone sour and heavily pitted where the new gaskets would have to seal on the manifold.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

On the passenger side dog bone mount, the bracket is cracked that sits over the valve cover that connects the mount to. Also the bolt on the back to remove the bracket is rounded. Looks like a 13mm or 14mm head bolt. It is very tight to get a ratchet in there. I know there will be more room when upper intake is removed. I can use vise grips to remove the bolt but I know the bolt will be on there pretty dam tight. Any other ways of getting this rounded head bolt off? Thanks
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

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On the passenger side dog bone mount, the bracket is cracked that sits over the valve cover that connects the mount to. Also the bolt on the back to remove the bracket is rounded. Looks like a 13mm or 14mm head bolt. It is very tight to get a ratchet in there. I know there will be more room when upper intake is removed. I can use vise grips to remove the bolt but I know the bolt will be on there pretty dam tight. Any other ways of getting this rounded head bolt off? Thanks
I didn't want to remove that bracket at first but I just couldn't take the valve cover off without doing so. Just use the box-end of a combination wrench to break it loose and then use the open-end.
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:45 PM   #18
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

The heater elbow tubes, did you put them in dry? Or with a little rtv on them to help prevent them from leaking?
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:09 PM   #19
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

Just lubricate the elbows with coolant and do not use any RTV. The o-rings will prevent the leak.
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:59 PM   #20
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Default Re: Replacing upper & lower intake gasket on 2000 Impala 3.8

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The heater elbow tubes, did you put them in dry? Or with a little rtv on them to help prevent them from leaking?
This is why it's very important to get the elbows from the dealer. When searching I found lots of people had leaks with new elbows and recomended using RTV on them. You shouldn't need RTV with Orings. I used ones I got from the dealer and put them in dry and didn't have any leaks.
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