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[VT-VX] How To Replace Lower Intake Manifold Gaskets VS-VY Ecotec

Discussion in 'Holden Commodore How-To's' started by aussieakito, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. aussieakito

    aussieakito Holden Dealer Master Tech

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    Once again doing a backyarder, thought i would make yet ANOTHER "how to"

    I take the plenum and top manifold off FIRST, this is NOT required but i like to do it this way so i am able to clean the inside of the manifolds and feel satisfied with my job.
    All stated 10mm bolts are actually 3/8

    Things you will need
    -Lim Gasket
    -Plenum Seal
    -Heater hose "o" rings
    -Lim Gaskets
    -Engine sealant
    -Coolant

    First of all remove the engine cover and disconnect the Negative cable on the battery.
    On top of the plenum there is eight 5mm allen key bolts that need to be removed
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Then remove the plenum lid. If you have never done this you will notice A LOT of gunk build up inside, this is the reason i like to take it apart this way.
    Also take note of the seal under the lid, we will replace this once everything is cleaned.

    [​IMG]

    Remove the air intake, unplug the MAF and IAT sensors undo the lid of the airbox and remove as one piece
    [​IMG]

    Next remove the throttle body cable, if you have cruise control there will be another cable to remove as well.
    These just pop off, Now with a 15mm open ended spanner loosen the throttle body cable and remove it completely.
    There is 3 10mm bolts holding on the throttle body cable brackets, undo these and remove the bracket.
    Unplug the TPS and IAC
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Remove the drive belt and alternator, There is 2 13mm bolts holding the alternator in position and the bracket on top with a 10mm bolt.
    Unplug the alternator and remove
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Get yourself some fuel line release tools and remove the 3 fuel lines from the firewall.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Undo the five 10mm bolts on top of the intake (these wont pull out so just loosen them as much as you can)
    remove the 3 vacuum lines from the rear of the manifold
    undo the 2 vacuum lines on the throttle body
    undo the hose for the EGR on the side of the manifold, right behind the throttle body (one 10mm)
    Remove the entire top of the manifold from the engine
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Unplug and remove the coil pack assembly ( 2 bolts underneath)
    Drain the coolant
    Remove the 2 metal heater pipes
    First remove the rubber hoses on one end, undo the three 17mm nuts on the first pipe and pry it off the engine, note the 'o' ring which we will be replacing.
    Undo the two 15mm stud/nuts that hold the entire idler pulley mount/second heater pipe.
    Pull the second heater pipe out and notice the 'O' Ring on pipe which will also need to be replaced.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now to remove the lower intake manifold undo the twelve 10mm bolts holding it down
    Move harness out of the way
    Unclip harness from around the LIM
    Remove lim
    [​IMG]

    Clean all surfaces and place lim gaskets, make sure to use engine sealer on all four corners
    [​IMG]

    Place the LIM on top and bolt it down, im sure there is a torque setting and pattern for these bolts but i just tighten them from centre outwards with about 3 passes.
    [​IMG]
    Bolt the rest of the manifold back on the same way you took it off, making sure not to forget any plugs or hoses.
    Put a little rubber grease on the end of the injector 'o' rings and make sure their places are clean.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Bolt the alternator bracket, 2 heater pipes and coil packs back on
    Re fit the belt and top radiator hose.
    Top up the system, bleed out the air.
    Check for leaks
    job done

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  2. aussieakito

    aussieakito Holden Dealer Master Tech

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    Added the rest.
     
  3. commodore665

    commodore665 expat Saffa

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    Good write up kito , whose car is it ?
     
  4. immortality

    immortality Home of the smoky breakfast Bacon! Staff Member

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    I like it :)

    You did a nice job cleaning everything up.

    Isn't it interesting how clean the inside of the plenum is where the PCV opening is, must be a decent amount of air/oil coming through to keep it clean like that ;)

    Just a couple of things I would add.

    In your case this isn't necessary as you have given everything a good clean before putting it back together but many don't so I would recommend that the day before doing something like this you clean the LIM and especially around all the injector bosses with a can of engine degreaser.

    I would also recommend putting some sealant on the intake bolts before fitting. I believe the factory torque setting is only about 14Nm which means it doesn't take much for em to loosen off as I discovered when I forgot to do it on mine :( Some people also recommend re-torquing the bolts in a week or 2.
     
  5. Hertz Donut

    Hertz Donut Member

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    MacGyver tool tip for if you don't have access to fuel line removal tools:

    You can cut up the nozzle from a caulking gun cartridge (e.g. Sikaflex) to do the job. Cut the tip down until the opening is slightly wider than the line being disconnected, then cut a slot along the length of the nozzle so you can get it over the line. Push the end of the nozzle along the line into the connector. It should pop right off, and you can move on to assembling a nuclear weapon from a kitchen blender and a stuffed toy.
     
    mdjbags and David Rieck like this.
  6. aussieakito

    aussieakito Holden Dealer Master Tech

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    This was a backyarder i done
    Vy exec


    Also i have no idea why some of the pictures have dropped out
     
  7. MiKExAUS

    MiKExAUS Member

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    thanks for the write up. I'm just about to do the job. Any idea why the pics aren't working?
     
  8. immortality

    immortality Home of the smoky breakfast Bacon! Staff Member

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    Maybe they have been removed from the site hosting them?
     
  9. MiKExAUS

    MiKExAUS Member

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    ofcourse... sorry i didn't read aussie's comment.

    Is there a sure way to tell if it is indeed the LIM gasket that has failed? I have a bit of coolant puddling near the rocker cover. a bit of **** was collecting on the radiator cap seals but i did a coolant flush and it hasn't really come back. but the small puddle of coolant appears every now n then...

    [​IMG]
     
  10. immortality

    immortality Home of the smoky breakfast Bacon! Staff Member

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    YEp, most likely LIM gaskets.
     
  11. Wozza

    Wozza Well-Known Member

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    you can try nipping the manifold bolts up to spec worked on my sons VN...Or you can throw in some bars stop leak worked on my VR for over a year....this is the tut I used when doing my VR Replacing VN-VR Commodore Inlet Manifold Gaskets
    some difference in engine layout but the basics are the same...Take your time, its actually not as daunting a task as I first thought ;)
     
  12. immortality

    immortality Home of the smoky breakfast Bacon! Staff Member

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    If the gaskets are stuffed as per normal that nipping up the bolts won't achieve much. This is what mine looked like,
    [​IMG]
     
  13. MiKExAUS

    MiKExAUS Member

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    Thanks mate, good to hear about it not being as daunting as it seems. I saw that some people suggested nipping up the bolts. I'm just worried that that will increase the pressure in the system and push more of the gasket out, creating a bigger leak. The fact that this is happening in 2016 must mean that they've been replaced before... Anyone know when the Aluminium one's came out? I don't think I've heard of any problems with them, though they could have only been out for a few years...
     
  14. MiKExAUS

    MiKExAUS Member

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    Thanks mate, good to hear about it not being as daunting as it seems. I saw that some people suggested nipping up the bolts. I'm just worried that that will increase the pressure in the system and push more of the gasket out, creating a bigger leak.

    The fact that this is happening in 2016 must mean that they've been replaced before... Anyone know when the Aluminium one's came out? I don't think I've heard of any problems with them, though they could have only been out for a few years...
     
  15. MiKExAUS

    MiKExAUS Member

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    Does anyone know if the rubber seals (not the gaskets) have to go a certain way (front/back). One of them didn't feel properly seated when I did it yesterday. I also didn't realise i'd need a new gasket for the runners where the PCV valve is so I am in a bit of a tricky spot without a working car now... does anyone know what the top gasket is in this package? It seems like we only need one gasket for the runners (the bottom one)?:INLET/INTAKE PLENUM CHAMBER GASKET - HOLDEN COMMODORE V6 3.8L VU,VX,VY ECOTEC | eBay

    thanks for any help!!
     
  16. immortality

    immortality Home of the smoky breakfast Bacon! Staff Member

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    There were 2 different valley gaskets depending on what model. I used a late model valley gasket on a VS and it didn't fit to well either on the rear.

    That link shows the 2 different styles again depending on model. The bottom one is for the VS/VT, for the later models VX/VY they moved the PCV valve breather location (in the plenum) which is the top gasket.
     
  17. MiKExAUS

    MiKExAUS Member

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    thanks for your continued support!

    So when you say it didn't fit too well, did it still work? And this is the rubber seals we are talking about that go at the front and back of the valley (not the gaskets over the coolant and inlet jackets)?

    Also, does that mean the location of the PCV valve is accesible in the plenum? So I don't need to take apart the runners/upper inlet manifold? I only have the VT service manual, and like you say, mine is a vx.
     
  18. immortality

    immortality Home of the smoky breakfast Bacon! Staff Member

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    Correct, they valley seals that lay between the 2 heads. Still worked ok.

    No, the PCV position in the LIM is the same between the 2 models, what changes is where the breather port is in the plenum. On the early version it is right next to the number 5 intake runner which would cop the majority of the crap coming from the PCV valve. In the later model that breather location is moved to just in front of the TB so the gasses/oil coming from the PCV is distributed more evenly. Ultimately the process is identical, just the gasket between the LIM/plenum is a bit different.
     
  19. HsvR86.2

    HsvR86.2 Member

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    Sorry guys, how do view the pics? Thanks
     

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