kyleGChiker

New member
13
5
3
Buick Ownership
1997 Buick LeSabre Limited
I had a decent coolant leak, and the mechanic said the plastic elbows were urgent, but the upper intake manifold gasket and valve cover gaskets also had leaks. I can't remember if he mentioned about the lower intake manifold gasket or not. I had him do the aluminum elbows and I wanted to do some research on the rest. After a week of studying online in my free time, I decided this would be a great opportunity for me to learn a lot and do this repair myself!
I've read through all the forums here and watched a bunch of people doing this repair on Youtube, so my confidence level is definitely higher, but I want to make sure I have all the parts I need. Here's what I've ordered.

DescriptionPart Number
Upper Intake Plenum w/ GasketDorman 615-180
Lower Intake Manifold Gasket (aluminum)FEL-PRO MS98014T
Valve Cover Gasket setFEL-PRO VS50080R
Valve Cover grommet setFEL-PRO ES72833
Coolant Bypass Gasket (not 100% sure I needed to buy this)FEL-PRO 36021
Throttle Body GasketMahle G31596
Oil filter and drain plug gasketAC Delco PF47E & FEL-PRO 70820
Permatex Blue ThreadlockerPermatex 24200, 6 ml

Other items I'll need to pick up locally:
More shop rags
Oil
Coolant - is universal coolant fine? I plan to do a coolant flush and fill with distilled water, run a little bit, then drain the water and switch to coolant
A few cans of brake cleaner/carb cleaner - which is better for this job?

Lastly, regarding tools, anything out of the ordinary I need to get for this job? I have screwdrivers, ratchet set, 3/8" drive extensions, torque wrench, oil filter wrench, but that's about it.

Assuming I've got everything I need, I'll probably do the job in a week or two. I'll keep you guys posted, and definitely may need some help once I get into the thick of things.
Thanks!
 
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kyleGChiker

New member
13
5
3
Buick Ownership
1997 Buick LeSabre Limited
No replies? I was at least hoping for a "you've got all the parts you need, good luck!"
 

Tcapper

Member
42
20
8
Buick Ownership
2017 Buick Regal 2.0l Turbo
Well I'll reply, assuming that the manifold itself isn't warped, I think from what I can see is that you have what you need. As far as brake cleaner as opposed to carb cleaner, I use brake cleaner to clean, it gets almost all of the gunk off and doesn't leave any residue. Somebody else might chime in about the antifreeze, but we used Prestone All Vehicles antifreeze on my dad's '04 Limited when we changed the elbows and have had no problems at all. Don't know why you want to do the lower intake, but I guess if you're that far, it can't hurt. Lastly is your torque wrench capable of going down to 8 ft. lbs. (96 inch pounds)? 1A Auto has a great video on replacing the upper intake. So have at 'er and have some fun.
 

imidazol97

Top Dog
2,061
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My suggestion would be to use the ATP Graywerks intake upper--it has the metal sleeve in the EGR
passage to dissipate the heat better. That was what I used on my 03 leSabre.

Doesn't the throttle body gasket come with the upper intake manifold? I don't recall.
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Gluttenforpunishment

Active member
167
107
43
Michigan
Buick Ownership
2003 Park Avenue
Here is a fantastic video,

It is 2000 to 2005, and I am assuming you have the 3800/3.8... And, I understand you have a 1997 model...

He has the torque specs, which are crucial. And make sure you have the correct torque wrench. Do not use a 0 to 150 foot pound unit to measure out 15 foot pounds. Use the correct torque wrench.

I would purchase this scraper, it will come in handy, use the plastic blade for gasket removal... https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-52000-Razor-Blade-Scraper/dp/B0002SR88C/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1UZ63UYQD8WRK&keywords=lisle+scraper&qid=1674600709&sprefix=lisle+scraper,aps,121&sr=8-2&th=1

Loctite and antisieze will be needed for the bolts. I would also get a few cans of brake cleaner and some rags.

And I would clean the surface of the motor before you start disassembly, blow or vacuum it off. I would shoot some brake cleaner on her if she is crusty and wipe down.

I am assuming you do not have a parts cleaner, I would run up to Home Depot and get one of these pans if you take off the intake... You will thank me later. Best $8 I ever spent... PRIVATE BRAND UNBRANDED Medium Mixing Tub 887101A - The Home Depot You will find these in the masonry section.

One other thing I would do, is replace the EGR tube while you are in there, if it needs it or not. Go here and see if it is available, GM Parts Direct: Your direct source for Genuine GM Parts | GMPartsDirect.com , or get the part number and see if there is an aftermarket unit out there. I would do this...


On a side note, anything you need to replace, or do on the firewall side of the motor, do it now while everything is off.
 
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kyleGChiker

New member
13
5
3
Buick Ownership
1997 Buick LeSabre Limited
Thanks for the replies everyone, very helpful!

Doesn't the throttle body gasket come with the upper intake manifold? I don't recall.
Yes, it did! Oh well, 'twas only a few bucks.

assuming that the manifold itself isn't warped
That's a good point. I'll need to read up on that to know what I'm looking for to check it when I'm in there.

And I would clean the surface of the motor before you start disassembly, blow or vacuum it off. I would shoot some brake cleaner on her if she is crusty and wipe down.
Good point, I did clean it with Simple Green from Home Depot a few days ago, and it's looking a lot better. Could probably use a vacuum too.

make sure you have the correct torque wrench
I got one just for this job. Figured the money I save not paying a mechanic's labor will cover the cost. ;)

@Gluttenforpunishment the plastic tub and scraper are both great ideas! Also, I've heard the EGR tube can be pretty fragile, so probably best to get a new one for that too.
 
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