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97 sls
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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the process of removing the intake manifold on this '97 4.6 NS for a starter install. Book says the manifold gasket can be reused...good idea?
Will I need to remove the injectors/rail from the manifold to get the manifold off the engine? I'd like to leave them in if possible, I think I can get the fuel rail lines out while attached. Ideas?
Why put a starter under the intake manifold, anyway??!
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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No reason why you can't reuse the gasket if it's in good condition.

I think if you separate the fuel line you can leave the fuel rail on the manifold.

One reason the starter was put there I think is because of space. The added benefit is that it stays cooler than tucked under the exhaust manifold as well as cleaner and drier.
 

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1997 ETC (GAVE TO STEPSON 2011), 2000 DTS (RIP)
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1,702 Posts
I replaced my intake manifold gaskets when I did my HG project. My thoughts are: Why not? They are not expensive, and do you want to possibly do the job over again? Yes, you can just disconnect the two fuel lines and remove the manifold and fuel rail as one assembly.

I don't think I have heard of a Northstar starter failing - they are pretty bulletproof. I hope that solves your problem.

RM
 

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97 sls
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies.
The local AZ wants over $80 for the gaskets, but RockAuto is about $30...I just don't want to wait a couple of days for shipping. My son needs his car running!
I'll take the manifold off tonite and try to save the gaskets...but if they come off bad or tear, he'll be waiting a while longer.
Indications are that the starter is bad, altho he has had steering column wiring issues. The solenoid clicks once when you twist the key. AAA professional jump start couldn't turn it over. Before he got stuck, he got a new battery, and it did start for a couple of days. It's been turning over slower and slower for a while now, and this last heat wave seems to have finished the battery and starter off.
I can't imagine a worse location for the starter in terms of maintenance. I'm sure it's a space limitation due to the transverse engine/transmission location, but wow! I go along with the guy with the '66 Mustang; 30 minutes, including jacking up the car. My '66 was like that!
 

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1997 ETC (GAVE TO STEPSON 2011), 2000 DTS (RIP)
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Sure - you can try to re-use them - the factory say to, but they are 12 years old!

They will not fall apart or tear - they are something like a silicone runner on a plastic carrier - you'll see when you get it off.

Where are you? We are getting a heat wave here in Phoenix - over 100 today!
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Look closely at the cables and make sure there is no corrosion on or in them.
 

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97 sls
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Discussion Starter #7
I'm in Palm Desert, CA, and it's 103 here today, 102 yesterday...cooling to 96 by Friday! We had a hot weekend. He tells me his car does not like the heat. He just relocated here from San Diego, where the SLS was born, and where it was much happier..
Good point about the age of the gaskets. If I had known about having to remove the intake manifold to get to the starter a bit earlier (imagine my surprise last nite, arriving home with the starter and just cracking the manual regarding r&r...!), I would have gotten a set ready to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I will give all the electrical connections a good look, and probably some contact cleaner and some a wire brush too. Never hurts...and the stuff under the manifold gets the closest exam.
 

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97 sls
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Discussion Starter #9
Let's say the manifold gaskets come up alright...would you use any kind of adhesive or sealant on them? One side or both sides? What do you do with new gaskets? What can I expect regarding adhesives on the original factory gaskets?
 

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94 Eldorado, and a 99 ETC
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The intake manifold looks harder than it is.
-Remove the beauty cover
-Remove the bracket carrying the throttle and cruise control cables
-Unplug necessary wires, coolant hose (for the throttle body heater), and vacuum lines
-Disconnect fuel lines
-Remove the eight 10mm bolts holding it down.
-Lift the manifold off of the engine (The gasket is clipped onto the manifold)
-The starter bolts are 10mm.
-Always test the new starter before installing it
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Well yes, the intake manifold removal is easier than it looks.
Once I had the right tools (fuel line disconnects), it came apart in about an hour.
I was shocked to see that the positive cable to the starter had become unbolted! There was evidence of arcing on the copper, and I found the loose nut under the starter. I decided to install the rebuilt starter anyway, as long as I was in there...
After cleaning the intake port flanges on the heads (nicely machined surfaces in there) and a good look at the injectors/ports/gaskets, I decided to reuse the manifold gaskets which looked okay, if a bit flat (crushed?) without a lot of rise in the port o-rings. There had been no adhesives used, I didn't use any upon reinstallation, and the manifold lifted right up on disassembly.
It all went back together very well and pretty straightforward. No parts left over either, which is a good thing.
Started right back up and runs well. Except....
The idle is way too high, about 1500rpm or so. Really hard on the transmission on shifting from park to drive. Given that the PCM was without power for two days, I think it needs to relearn. Reading the codes from the dash (good trick there!), I got three Powertrain codes: P0122 - Throttle Position Sensor Circuit Low Voltage; P0603 - Control Module Long Term Memory Reset; and P1122 - Throttle Position Sensor Circuit Intermittent Low Voltage.
I am going to check for vacuum leaks asap, with carb cleaner around the base of the manifold and all the hoses on top. There doesn't seem to be any way to adjust the idle speed...and I'm pretty sure the throttle cable went back on right. Do these codes indicate a defective TPS? I sprayed all the connectors with contact cleaner before reassembly.
Any other ideas here? Think I need to get some new manifold gaskets and stick them in now? I found a Fel-Pro set at Napa for $50 that will do. The kid was happy to have his car back, but I need to get it running right...
Thanks for any help!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
One other point here: the book I had indicated 80 inch pounds torque on the manifold bolts. That's about 7 foot pounds of torque, and neither of my torque wrenches go that low, so I am sure the manifold is not torqued perfectly. The Haynes manual also didn't have a proper diagram for torque sequence for this model (is the factory manual available anywhere online?), so I started in the center and worked my way to the outside while crossing over...I won't be too surprised to find a vac leak at the base of the manifold. Where do I get a torque wrench that goes that low??
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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For light torque work such as the manifold, get a small click torque wrench which sets to inch pounds vs ft. pounds. Try Craftsman or SnapOn. Maybe a NAPA dealer. You might also be able to find a light duty beam torque wrench calibrated from 0 - 20 ft/lb.

Your torque sequence is basically correct - from the middle two bolts crisscross out.

Instead of spending the $135 for a real Helm GM Factory Service Manual you could either shop eBay or subscribe the car for 1 or 3 years to www.alldatadiy.com

Check the cable attachment to the throttle arm. Also check the TPS connector. Last resort, throttlebody cleaner, toothbrush, rags. (Prop the butterfly open and scrub away. Don't get much cleaner 'way past the butterfly.)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Do you think I would get a code for a vac leak?
I did have the manifold and throttle body upside down for an hour or so...could it affect the tps?
I didn't care for the manner the throttle cable snaps into the cam on the TB...but it seemed to be in the correct position.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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You can only get a code for an electronically monitored device. So no, you won't see one for a vacuum leak. Likewise, having the TPS upside down for a while won't affect anything. Release the cable, and if the throttle lever closes more, then the cable is holding the throttle plate open. If not, look for a vacuum leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Makes sense.
I will look at it more tonite.
Attached is a pic of the nutless battery cable. The nut was under the starter!
 

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Spray some carb cleaner around the intake near the powersteering pump. There's a backfire valve there that gets all dirty and grungy. Then, if you mess with it, it might not seat right which would cause a vacuum leak.
 
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