Choosing the Correct Intake Manifold Gasket for Your Vehicle
Because your intake manifold is subjected to extreme vibrations and heat, you can expect that the mounting hardware will soon wear out. At the top of the list is its gasket. Although your factory intake manifold gasket is designed to withstand the excessive heat produced during the combustion operation in your engine, it can only take so much. Over time, it will get blown and leaks will be possible. If this is actually happening now, get a direct-fit replacement set. For the best intake manifold gasket set for your vehicle, make sure you check on the quality of its material and manufacturing technology.
Materials commonly used in manufacturing an intake manifold gasket set
Rubber is the most common material used in making automotive gaskets. This is an elastomer with very high flexibility and water resistance. A gasket made of rubber is an inexpensive alternative to the more innovative PTFE or Teflon-made gasket. If you are looking for a reliable but inexpensive replacement for your factory gasket, you will never go wrong with ones made of rubber.
Metal is a durable material used for making automobile gaskets. It is perceived to solve blowing issues of rubber-made gaskets, but it is also a good conductor of electricity and heat that can eventually cause overheating to aluminum cylinders. If you have an equally malleable and ductile metal engine, this could be the best choice for you.
Nitrile rubber is another good material used in making gaskets. It is a synthetic rubber copolymer of acrylonitrile (ACN) and butadiene. It differs from rubber because it can resist oil, fuel, and other chemicals. Nitrile rubber is also a bit pricey when compared to natural rubber, so expect to shell out more if you are choosing an intake manifold gasket set made from this material.
Silicone is also a synthetic compound used in the production of automotive gaskets because of its very high resistance to water and heat. If you want a longer-lasting performance gasket for your intake manifold, make sure it's made of silicone.
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or Teflon is among the newest materials used in making automotive gaskets. It is a fluorocarbon solid with high electronegativity of fluorine, making it hydrophobic. PTFE has very low friction coefficients to solids, too. Intake manifold gasket sets made from this material is your best choice.
DIY Installation of an Intake Manifold Gasket Set
Changing a blown intake manifold gasket is going to be one of the first replacement tasks you will encounter with your automobile. The gasket is what keeps your intake manifold leak-free and your engine's intake operation efficient, so don't neglect this seal. In case your stock part is actually blown and leaky, get it replaced right away. Do this before it leads to serious engine problems that will surely result in low power or poor operation. Though this is a task that will require technical know-how, you can choose to DIY using our step-by-step installation instruction here:
Difficulty level: Difficult
Things You'll Need
- Aerosol lubricant
- Locking pliers
- New intake manifold gasket
- Turn your engine off, and disconnect the negative battery cable.
- Wait for your engine to completely cool before working under your hood.
Step 1: Loosen the clamps that secure your water pump hose and upper radiator hose to the intake manifold, and then pull both hoses off.
Step 2: Unbolt the hold-down bolt that secures your distributor in its place. Remove the distributor.
Step 3: Remove the valve covers using a wrench, followed by the intake manifold bolts. If they are stuck, use an aerosol lubricant like the WD-40. This will require you at least 30 minutes waiting time before you can start picking on the bolts. Use locking pliers to remove the bolts.
Step 4: Take the manifold off and discard your old gasket. Scrape the mating surfaces with a flat surfaced hand tool like knife or cutter to remove adhesive and gasket remnants.
Step 5: Install the new gasket. Make sure that it is completely aligned with the manifold.
Step 6: Use new manifold bolts for best result. NOTE: Use the required torque to prevent damage on the new gasket. You can find the correct values from your dealer or the manual of your vehicle.