: Water crossover re-assembly

10-16-08, 02:48 AM
Howdy, I have the crossover out from my '96 ETC. I took it out due to a leaking gasket. I have read that it would be a PITA and it wasn't. It was a SUPER PITA. The lower right bolts (2) have hardly any clearance to remove not to mention the flat wiring harness that is in the way of getting-on-with-your-life. I was wondering if I could reduce the length of these 2 bolts for my re-install trials and tribulations? They would need only a 0.5 inch reduction to provide adequate clearance for reinstall. They are a 13mm head size and have a thread length of 1.1" - total length of shaft and thread is 2.9". Torque for this is 18 ftlbs. Is this totally inadvisable - or could I get away with it? Thanks for your reply.

10-16-08, 09:30 AM
The crossover has a lot of stuff hung on it, as well as a tightly tensioned water pump drive. You're torquing into aluminum, so you need all the thread depth you can get.

Can you insert the offending bolts partway through the crossover holes and hold them there with a dab of sealer while you wiggle the crossover down into alignment, then thread the bolts the rest of the way ?

10-16-08, 11:29 AM
Thank you for your reply. Yes, that is how I wrestled it out--with the bolts in place. The transmission selector is in the way and the bolt length leaves them partly under the selector (a blind slow turn with a wrench) - perhaps my knowledge of taking out the selector needs to be updated - were this out of the way, it would be easier to maneuver the bolts & crossover into place. Do you have a recommendation to prevent galling on the bolts - do you use the graphite paste like on a boat trailer - or is there a more specific compound for this use in reinstalling the bolts?

10-16-08, 01:24 PM
On the parts counter or in a blister pack near gasket cement there are pouches or tubes of anti-seize compound. A dab around the first 3 threads or so will do the job. Not too much.......

In a torque-specific application, anti-seize will alter the desired readings.

10-16-08, 04:24 PM
Some one please remind me not to tackle this job should the need ever arise and I start to get ballsy and stupid.

10-16-08, 04:39 PM
Even when I had the engine out of the car it was a major PITA. I tried to take it out with the transmission selector still in place and it made it even harder. I am not sure that I could have gotten it back in with the selector in place. I would take it off and move it out of the way, there are only a couple of bolts that hold it in place. The best thing I found to put everything back together was using a swivel-socket. Sockets like these http://cgi.ebay.com/Craftsman-12-point-swivel-head-sockets-3-8-to-3-4_W0QQitemZ320309631242QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item320 309631242&_trkparms=72%3A1205%7C39%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C 240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

10-16-08, 09:46 PM
It's not as hard as it seems- It's just something you need patience for. Then again I always do it with the intake manifold off. Unbolt the crossover. Remove it. Clean the gasket surfaces. Lay the crossover flat on a table and apply some RTV sealant to the surfaces and one side of the gaskets, and place the gaskets on the crossover. Press them firmly. Wait for the sealant to set up. This will hold the gaskets in place. Thread all the bolts through the crossover and through the gaskets. Put some RTV sealant on the threads of the bolts to seal up the holes (to prevent coolant leaks). VERY carefully place the crossover in the correct position. Thread the top bolts in a ways, finger tighten, and then get the lower bolts. Wait to tighten the bolts completely until you have all 8 finger tight. Torque them down to the specified ft. lbs. If you're careful, you don't need a torque wrench. Just remember this is ALUMINUM we're dealing with- it doesn't take much to strip threads...

Personally I believe in using RTV sealant on the block, heads, and crossover sealing surfaces- just a thin layer to aid in sealing, and this also helps prevent corrosion in the future. I've seen a lot of crossovers and blocks pitted under the gaskets.

10-17-08, 07:21 AM
Remove the 15mm nut that holds the shift arm on the trans, then remove the two 13mm bolts and remove the NSBU (Neutral safety, back up) switch from the shaft and move it to the side.
The crossover needs to be installed with the bolts going through and holding the seals, they are made to be a tight fit to hold the gaskets, only put enough bolt through to do the job.
Don't cut or grind the bolts, sub is right, if you make them shorter you'll end up doing damage later down the road.
I know it sucks, when tightening be sure to start ALL the bolts first, then tighten the rear bolt on bottom first, then the one more forward. You can use a swivel on the front ones (down low) and regular wrenches on the top ones.
I know it is "painful" but just do it, you'll be okay

10-18-08, 12:25 PM
Thank you all for your advice. I saw Ewill3rd’s post on crossover gaskets - the ones I just purchased are the black outside with a blue sealing surface gasket. From those photos, the new ones have the black sealing surface - do I need to go back and see if they have these new ones at the dealer? The NSBU switch came off and this gives me more room to work - i took the crossover off with the switch in place - that was the major pain - the last two bolts – 1 mm at a time. You are totally correct about - JUST DO IT!

10-18-08, 09:55 PM
Where did you get the original set? Were those at the dealer or from an aftermarket supplier?
If they are in good shape I wouldn't say one would be better than another.

I learned a long time ago that it pays off to move things out of the way, it may seem like extra work but you gain so much you save a lot of time overall.

10-19-08, 09:10 PM
Got 'er done! - the gaskets were from a cadillac dealership. They went on fine - nothing leaking, temp is right, life is good....... I did wonder what the improvement was in the black gaskets. I did not use any sealer, except for the water pump cover. I put 3 tabs of Barrs leak into the top hose and renewed with Prestone's Dexcool. Thanks for the support. This really is a great site and made up of worthy individuals whose efforts should not go unappreciated.

Thanks again.

10-25-08, 08:11 PM
Congrats on git'n 'er done _ I'm sure it's a great feeling. The crossover's on my 98 Concours have been leaking for the better part of a year and a half (yeah, I know I'm just doing more damage, but I've only gone < than 1000 miles this year). Based upon what I've read on the forum, I just don't have the cohonies to tackle this job. Any idea what the dealer wants $$$ to do this?

10-25-08, 10:25 PM
hey guys i got a 97 etc and the crossover is leaking on me and i ignored it because it was very very small leak about less than a half a gallon every couple months, this has been going on for about two years and ignored it and than the car started to get hot and wonder why it was the headgasket right there, i just had to do the starter in the car and pull the intake and i seen where the crossover was leaking right on to the head into the v of the motor and the gaskest looked crusty lol but i think that is wat is causing my head gasket