Would you like fries with your LIM gasket? [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum


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09-13-2006, 07:48 PM
Well, took the '02 Grand Am GT into the shop today to get the tranny filter, gasket, and fluid replaced. When I picked it up the guy told me my intake gasket was linking. The day I had been dreading has arrived.

I want to do the changeover myself this next weekend. The car has 75K miles on it and the only maintenance I've done is: regular oil changes, coolant flush, 2 fuel filter changes, tranny flush, tranny filter and gasket change, air filters, and PCV valves, regular fuel system cleaning additive.

While I have this thing apart, I want to change anything out that is due to be changed and that would be easier to change while I have it apart. I don't want to change stuff that's really going to add a lot of time to the project, because I really have just 1 weekend to work on it. Of particular concern are o-rings or gaskets and such that may need to be replaced due to disassembling the engine, but that aren't included in the kit. For example I heard something about an o-ring on the fuel rail expanding once it hits the air and needing to be replaced.

My list so far:
FelPro PermaDry Plus Intake gasket set (reusing my bolts, adding a hi-temp thread sealant)
Gatorback Serpantine belt
AC Delco sparkplugs
Thermostat-What are the pros and cons of going lower them than the stock 195*?
Two small hoses, 3/8"x2" from the UIM-anyone have PN#'s?
oil change
coolant system cleaner and refill with new DexCool

Any input would be much appreciated.

Mike Jung
09-13-2006, 08:01 PM
Spark Plug Wires.

09-13-2006, 09:15 PM
I would change out the water pump with 75k on it already. Going to a 180 stat may cause a check engine light but I'm not too sure about that.

09-13-2006, 09:35 PM
don't forget to refill the ketchup reserve

09-13-2006, 09:37 PM
1) Don't disconnect the fuel lines from the fuel rail. This is entirely unecessary and the O-ring you mention has caused people alot of headaches. Just pull the fuel rail and injectors out of the way and bungee them there.

2) For the threads on the LIM bolts, get medium strength thead-locker (blue). Don't know if that's what you meant, but the sealer won't help things as your LIM bolts could still work themselves loose.

Other than that you're on the right track and the plug wires/water pump are the only other things to really consider. You might want to spray off the injector tips with carb and choke cleaner to remove carbon build-up.

09-14-2006, 07:01 AM
1) Don't disconnect the fuel lines from the fuel rail. This is entirely unecessary and the O-ring you mention has caused people alot of headaches. Just pull the fuel rail and injectors out of the way and bungee them there.

I'll second that. I tore two O-rings trying to get the fuel line back into the rail.

09-14-2006, 12:48 PM
Thanks, I'll get both wires and a water pump. I'll just go with the OEM waterpump, unless I hear that it's horrible or something.

Sorry, I meant thread-locker. Is the blue high temp, hi stregnth?

Also, will I need RTV sealant, or does it come in the FelPro packet? If I need it, what type should I get?

Also, I have no idea what two hoses the person that suggested changing them out at the same time are. Does anybody know a part number for them?

I have the Haynes manual, but I've never done this before. Is there a GM bulletin on it or anything that tells what the latest torque specs on the bolts are, etc? I'm not too concerned about taking it apart, or putting most of it back together-my main concern is making sure I apply the gasket correctly and get everything sealed right the first time.

Also, it sounds like no one has mentioned the need for any gaskets or o-rings outside what is included in the kit, since I'm not going to disconnect the fuel rail.

09-14-2006, 02:53 PM
I just did head gaskets and LIM on my '99 3.4L last Saturday.

It's a long and tedious job, but not difficult, especially if you're just doing the LIM.

I heard bad stories about taking the injectors out so I left the fuel injectors and fuel rail attached to the LIM and just pulled the fuel feed and pressure reg off the rails. In my case, the O-rings were fine, although I did need a lot of force to get the feed side out. I was afraid to yank on it, so I just pried it with a wooden broom handle with steady even pressure and it popped out with no damage.

The FelPro perma dry kit is really nice. The LIM gaskets are aluminum with rubber seals around each port. There are locator pins in the gasket so you don't need to worry about ligning them up. THe RTV come in the kit as well as TWO valve cover gaskets and a new o-ring for the coolant bypass. Best Price I found was $55 at www.rockauto.com

09-14-2006, 03:04 PM
BTW, after much research I decided to use Loctite Hi Temp Sealant on the head and LIM bolts.

You should get a new TB gasket as that doesn't come in the LIM set.

Be careful of the pushrods, the intake and ex are slightly different lengths . . . put each pushrod back where it came out.

If you can figure out how to get those friggin 'quick connect' heater hose fitting apart, you did better than me. I gave up and pulled the hose off the fitting.

When you refill the coolant, be sure you have the vent valve open and you have to fill really slowly . . it takes a while.

09-14-2006, 04:08 PM
Sounds to me like you are making this harder than it has to be.

1) You don't need a new throttle body gasket seeing as how you can take the upper manifold off without removing the TB if you want.
2) If your current water pump is working, why change it? They last a long time and there's no point spending money you don't have too.
3) If you've done a coolant change before, you don't need to use a system cleaner and flush it and everything again. The coolant is supposed to last 5 years. You don't even need to completely drain it. Just drain enough to empty the lines from the LIM and fill it back up when you're done. That way you won't get as much air in the system and it will be easier to top off later.
4) The felpro gasket set is nice but not necessary. The new GM gaskets work just fine and are all I've ever used. You'll need upper and lower intake gaskets and valve cover gaskets, RTV sealer, and blue thread locker. Blue is the medium strength, red is high temp high strength which you can use if you want. You don't need teflon thread sealer on any of the bolts because they don't go into any coolant or oil passages.
5) As was already said, don't take apart any of the fuel system fittings. It's just asking for a possible leak. Pull the whole fuel rail/injector assembly out (it may take some force) and pull it aside. Clean the injector types with some carb cleaner if needed. When putting it back in put some engine oil or silicone grease on the injector O rings to make it go in easier and not tear any.
6) If you drive your car in cold winter weather a lot and aren't really doing performance mods, stick with the stock thermostat. Same with the spark plug wires. If they're in good shape and you aren't getting misfires there's no need to replace them if you aren't doing performance mods because you won't get any HP from plug wires by themselves. Just get some new plugs and put some dielectric grease in the sockets on both ends of the plug wires. That will make sure they get good contact and don't corrode over time from water/air exposure.

09-14-2006, 05:09 PM
To each his own, but the parts for this job, including an extra gasket and new antifreeze is peanuts compared to the labor and genral PIA to do the job.

My TB needed cleaning including the IAC passages and you have to take off the throttle cables anyway, so it's no biggie to take off two more bolts.

Wouldn't pulling the injectors make 6 possible leaks instead of only two for the supply/return? I don't really have a strong opinion on this because I read about problems either way.

Before I did mine, I read a lot of stuff on several forums and more than a few people said that they used the 'improved' GM gasket and it still failed again later. I think the way you identify the 'new' gasket is by the little aluminum spacer buttons near the water ports. If so, then mine had the new gasket . . and it failed.

The GM TSB included the part number of the GM 'sealer' to use on threads and Loctite said that their equivalent was the Hi temp sealer, so that's why I used it. The bolts don't go into the water jacket, so maybe there is some other reason they want sealer used . . maybe to lube the treads for torqueing or something.

There's lots of ways to skin a cat, but I wouldn't do a LIM job on the cheap . . it's just not worth doing again.

09-14-2006, 06:12 PM
At 75k, if the water pump hasn't been replaced it will likely start leaking soon after the LIM repair. Being the 'next-weakest-link' in the cooling system.

You don't risk any fuel leaks from the injectors because you just pull the fuel rail and injectors from the LIM at the same time. The injectors remain in the fuel rail. Just be careful to catch the injector o-rings if they come off.

GM may call the required compound for the LIM bolts a "sealent" but its just blue loc-tite.

The success of the GM LIM gaskets depends highly on using proper torque spec on the corner bolts especially. It also depends heavily on the amount of cleaning done to the heads and LIM. I've always used a die-grinder with a plastic surface refinishing wheel. Sometimes a sanding disc and light pressure when heavy material was still left on the heads. I've probably done 30 LIM jobs with the new gaskets and not had one come back.

To get to the corner bolts with a 3/8" torque wrench you'll need a 3/8 to 1/4" adapter, 3" long 1/4" extension, 1/4" swivel (impact style) and a 10mm socket. Crank up the wrench two ft/lbs if its a click type to compensate for the extension and working angle.

Torque spec is 118 lb/in (9.8 lb/ft) for the center bolts and 18 lb/ft for the corner bolts and new style gaskets if my memory serves me right.

09-15-2006, 06:47 AM

You won't have any fuel leaks because you are pulling the injectors from the manifold, not the fuel rail. I've also had my LIM off at least a dozen times on my engine and replaced it on others, always using the new GM gasket and never having a failure. If it's done right you won't have any problems. Just as Scott says, if you clean everything properly and use the correct thread lockers and torque specs/tightening sequence for the bolts, it won't leak.

09-15-2006, 06:07 PM
If I were you I wouldn't use DEXCOOL

09-15-2006, 10:39 PM
If I were you I wouldn't use DEXCOOL


09-15-2006, 11:10 PM
What's that for? I'm gonna flush my DexCrap and use teh good ol' green stuff.

Mike Jung
09-15-2006, 11:23 PM
What's that for? I'm gonna flush my DexCrap and use teh good ol' green stuff.
To bad there is no such thing, anymore, lol

Even the "green stuff" now is (maybe not a Dexcool type, but still) a long life type coolant, that has been dyed green.

09-16-2006, 01:59 AM
dexcool is crap, ate through my lower intake manifold seals twice

09-16-2006, 03:58 PM
Dex-cool DID NOT destroy your intake gaskets. It was a poor gasket design that caused the problem in the first place. This has been covered numerous times.

09-16-2006, 08:22 PM
Yes, it has been covered many MANY times. There is nothing wrong with dexcool. I use it in all my cars with NO PROBLEMS. In a properly sealed system it works like it's supposed to and it lasts longer than the old green coolant. The problems come when you have a gasket leak and the system gets air in it and contaminated with oil or other fluid. That will make it gunk up. It's hard to find the old kind anymore but I don't know why you'd want to, because once you use that in your system you can't have the 5 year extended life anymore. You have to change coolant every 2-3 years no matter what kind you fill it with.

09-16-2006, 08:46 PM
Well the only thing I know is that long ago, when I first got here, I saw the thread about the Dex-Cool lawsuit and read the whole thing. Now, maybe I missed something but I never saw a definate answer on what the Dex-Cool was supposed to be doing that was bad (most ppl said it was crap and damaged things, others said it was fine and did nothing bad). Now, I KNOW that Dex-Cool didn't ruin my intake gaskets (had them replaced, I know it's a bad design), but I thought that there was something else that it would do. Or am I just mixing things up, and it was 'supposed' to be the intake gaskets that it ruined?

I dunno, I just know what I thought I know, which I now know that to be not right. Being of course that which I used to think that I knew to be correct. ^.^

09-18-2006, 11:56 AM
After I did my head gaskets, I ran plain water for a week to be sure it wasn't leaking.

It didn't leak so I took off the bypass hose and flushed the system thru the metal pipe that runs under the UIM to the heater.

For coolant I used Prestone long life.

BTW, the block drain plugs are on each side of the block just about in the middle.