'02 Intake Manifold Project in Progress: Day 1 Problems

'02 Intake Manifold Project in Progress: Day 1 Problems

Actually Day 2, but who’s counting.

Could use a quick answer on these questions so that I can continue.

Day 1 went VERY slow. I made steady progress, but it was painfully slow because I was documenting everything I pulled out and putting bolts, nuts, etc in ziploc bags. Plus, I struggled with some of the connectors - especially one that faces the firewall that I could only see with a mirror: it had a white plastic “rip-cord” to release it and I didn’t realize you have to crimp the bottom of this piece in order to pull it up and out to free the plug so I cracked it off (oh well). Also struggled a bit with the accelerator cables, then the spark plug wires were WELDED in there, it seemed (one broke). Boy, there’s a LOT of stuff that has to come off to get to these gaskets. Today, I pulled out the alternator, alternator mounting bracket, coolant bypass tube, and upper intake with gaskets, but …

I cannot get the Power Steering Pump out!!!

I can’t get it past that back fuel rail which has the fuel test port on the end of it sticking out. The ASE master mechanic at dtips.com said that if you take off the cover on the fuel test port (a simple slim screw-on cap) this gives just enough room to pull the PS unit out. I don’t think so. I’ve tried repeatedly and cannot do it. Do you have to loosen or even remove the back fuel rail? It appears so. I cannot get the braided hose to clear the test port on the left side, and I cannot get the cast iron body of the unit to clear the cast iron of the block on the right side. It just repeatedly jams up because you end up having to twist it as you pull it up in order for it to clear the obstructions on either side.

Also, is this fuel test port thing the Shrader valve people refer to that I need to put a rag over and press in the center to relieve the fuel pressure? Looks like it is.

Another question: How am I going to correctly torque down the rear left-corner bolt that holds down the upper intake cover? This bolt has a nut in the middle and needs to be turned down until the nut is flush. I guess I need a DEEP socket attached to my torque wrench to clear the threaded stud on the topside of the nut? I used a box wrench to get it off, but I can’t use that on re-install, can I?

One other odd thing yesterday (Day 1): I only got about 3 Qts of coolant out of the radiator when I opened the petcock, radiator cap, plastic tank cap, and bleeder screw. I thought this might’ve been because I didn’t heat the car up beforehand to get the T-Stat to open, so I pulled off the lower radiator hose (at the engine side because I couldn’t get the radiator end off - darn silver pipe in the way … the tranny coolant line?). Again - nothing came out. Nothing to speak of came out when I pulled off the coolant bypass pipe, either. Is it possible I was THAT low on coolant, or am I in for a surprise when I finally pull out the lower intake? Could substantial coolant still be trapped in the block and come gushing out on me?

Forgot to mention: 3.4l Base model with 105k miles

I think you are expecting too much from other car talkers because we are not there with you. Most of us are hands on learners/seers, we have to see what you are talking about. With the information you have given and from what I can tell everythng you have questions about are things that happen along the way of repairing your own car so you’ll have to learn like the rest of us did: trial and error and curseing at things. Hopefully the self-taught lessons wont be expensive.
Unless you are doing a total rebuild you will never get all the coolant out of the engine. And, it does sound like you were low on coolant anyway. So don’t worry about this detail.
The schrader valve on the fuel rail is only used to relieve pressure in the lines and injectors. If you have interrupted the fuel system somewhere else during tare-down you won’t have pressure coming out of the relief valve. If you pressed the inner part of the valve you’ll know if there was pressure in the line…trust me, you’ll know. You shouldn’t have to put a rag over the schrader valve, there is only going to be a 4-5 second spit of mist coming out because the car isn’t running. If it was running, like when you are bleeding air out of the system after you’ve run out of gas, then you would need a rag or somethinhg to catch the fuel.
Don’t expect to have every tool in the world in your box. There are so many tools specifically made for the make of car, the maker of the car, the options you have on the car, etc. Sounds like you’ll need a special tool for that one odd bolt. Probably would be able to rent it from the parts store you bought replacement parts from.
All these things that won’t come out…well, that is why I am a truck mechanic.
Good luck, and be patient with yourself

Beefy Norm,

Thanks for your reply. I used to frequent this board a lot before they changed to the current format (which is not very good). There used to be a LOT of knowledgeable people on this board, but maybe they left too!

Oh well, if any of them are still around, here are a few more questions:

1.) How am I cleaning out the upper and lower intakes after I have them off the car? I bought 6 cans of brake fluid, and I’ll be using a flexible putty knife for the flat edges, but what about the curved inner chambers that are full of carbon - like on the upper intake? Is that done with a soft brush, or do I just spray it liberally with brake fluid then hose it down? Also, how long is it going to take me to clean the upper and lower intakes? I’ve only got three days left and my progress has been near-glaciel thus far.

2.) After the lower intake is removed and I clean out the valley in the car where the new RTV will go, should I wash the valley down with transmission fluid to get any debris to wash down to the oil pan? I think I saw mention of doing this somewhere in my travels.

3.) Should I be replacing all the hoses - especially those two small hoses on the Coolant Bypass Pipe underneath the throttle body that might be hard to get at after everything is back together?

4.) Noticed this while trying to yank out the Power Steering Pump: My engine can be rocked 3/4" (maybe more) forward and back on the two front motor mounts. The mounts don’t look bad to me. Is this play normal?

You may have tackled too much for a novice mechanic. Sure, we all wished that there was an experienced mechanic to ask questions of when we got into a repair rather deeply. That would be ideal; but, it’s rarely the way things are.
Have and read the repair manual over and over. Too many novice mechanics don’t – to their own detriment.

Check the flow of water through the radiator with a garden hose. If water won’t flow through the radiator, you may have to replace it.

I dropped the lower intake in today and put the valve covers back on, too. When removing the pushrods, 1 out of 12 could not be removed just by using the Lisle tool and so I had to loosen a rocker arm nut (which then had to be re-torqued down, of course). On re-install, a second pushrod refused to go in using just the Lisle tool (must’ve been due to the new lifter below?), so another loosened rocker arm nut. Kind of defeats the purpose of the tool, but I guess 10 out of 12 is still pretty good! One thing I noticed on re-install in regards to keeping the intake and exhaust pushrods straight: the intake pushrods are raised (they come off the lifters below at a steeper angle) while the exhaust pushrods sit almost flush to the gasket and heads. So if you’ve managed to mix them up, you can still save yourself by looking at the rocker arms. The ones that jut out more toward the center are the intake pushrods.

One possible issue with the gaskets: I noticed afterwards that the long, thin piece at the ends of each gasket that runs up the diagonal “V” at each of the four corners is recessed in at least one of my corners, while the others are flush with the LIM and head below. This concerns me a bit because I wonder if the gasket is slightly buckled inside (hopefully it’s just this flimsy piece that shifted inward a bit). I sure hope it won’t be a problem. The other issue was with the torque procedure. It never fails that there is always subtle contradiction when you read a procedure from more than one source. Most everyone on the web was saying that you torque the vertical bolts to 62 in-lbs, then the diagonals to 62 in-lbs, then the verticals again to 115 in-lbs and the diagonals to 18 ft-lbs. But the Fel-Pro kit said to completely torque the verticals first, then torque the diagonals (same numbers, but a subtle difference in sequence). I did what the Fel-Pro procedure said to do because most everyone said the verticals had to be torqued first (although nobody said “completely torqued” first). Probably won’t make a difference. As I said previously, I’m betting this thing leaks again before long. My theory is the diagonal bolts are the problem. There are not enough of them and they’re too short. I think this is why my LIM was leaking around the PS Pump water passages. Hopefully the thicker flanges on the new gaskets will make a difference, but a couple more carefully-located bolts on each side would probably be better.

Hoping to finish up tomorrow, but still a lot to do: T-Stat and housing, new radiator hoses, PS Pump, Alternator and mounting brackets, front and back coolant pipes plus new hoses there, too (my Fel-Pro kit came with an O-Ring for one of these pipes - not sure which one yet), coil box, new wires, EGR gasket and bolt-up, lots of plugs and sensors to go back on, UIM and its new gaskets, Mass Air Flow pipe and sensor, throttle/cruise linkages, plastic coolant tank, cross brace, fresh oil and coolant, splash guard underneath.

Then, what if it doesn’t work, it leaks, or the computer throws a bunch of codes??? Can’t bear to think of that right now…

hopefully it all works out, but dude reading your posts kind of scares me.well you know what they say if at first you dont succeed try and try again. or that practice makes perfect.

Sounds to me like you’re on top of it and just taking your time to make certain that it’s done correctly. I can’t answer your questions because I’ve never done this job on this engine . . . but it sounds to me like you’re just being careful. Have faith in yourself and check it all twice, you’ll be OK. Good luck. Rocketman

Well, sometimes I post in sort of a BLOG format. I think the extra detailed information is useful for all the non-mechanics out there (like me) who are considering tackling this project.