Tips for changing intake manifold

LukeZ

G-Body Guru
Apr 24, 2015
537
63
Delaware
Ordered the Eddy 2601 Air Gap Performer with some tax return money. Non EGR. Should be in by the 26th of this month. Going on a 305 btw.

I've never done this kind of stuff before. Should I drain the coolant and oil to avoid a mess, or is it fine to leave it in? I think someone mentioned in a different thread that I should plug up the EGR ports in the heads with steel wool to avoid some issues with the new intake once I get it on. Is this true?

The new intake is about 4.3in tall. Pretty sure thats bigger than the original. I'm praying my stock air cleaner doesn't hit the hood. Using the stock Qjet too.

Any other tips to make this process go smoothly? I've heard I should run the car and let everything heat up so that bolts and stuff will come out easier. I doubt the stock intake has ever been off in the past 31 years.

Thanks
 

Texas82GP

Just-a-worm
Apr 3, 2015
7,654
113
Spring, Texas
Some thoughts:

1. You need to drain the coolant. Otherwise when you pull the intake, the coolant will flood the valley.

2. You will need to pull the rockers and pushrods. Keep them straight. In other words, when you put it back together, everything needs to go back where it was in the same orientation.
EDIT***No no no!! Not necessary on a SBC.

3. Before you pull the distributor, put a mark at its base and a corresponding mark on the old intake for reference, so you can get the timing close when you put it back together. Also, before pulling the distributor, pull the cap and put a mark on the housing where the rotor is pointing.

4. After you get the intake pulled, mop up the oil and the little bit of coolant spilled in the valley with paper towels. Next, place paper towels in the bottom of the valley to catch dirt. Pull the old gaskets. Now pack the intake runners in the heads to keep out dirt. Now scrape the intake surface on both heads and the front and rear 'china rails' of the block with a single edge razor blade.

5. Now pull the paper towels out of the intake runners into the valley, so trash will be pulled out towards the paper towels in the valley floor. Now wad all the paper towels in the valley into a ball, from the outside in, to capture all the dirt. I have an old nasty shop vac that I like to use to vacuum the intake ports and the valley with. You definately don't want to use the one you vacuum your car with.

6. If there is pitting around the water passages, use a thin application of RTV to help seal to the new intake gaskets.

7. Use RTV in the four 'corners' where the head, intake and block all meet.

8. Don't use front or rear intake gaskets/seals. Instead, use a 1/4" continuous bead of RTV across the "China Rails". Keep the back bead close to the valley. The rear rail is wide in a few places and it's easy to get too far rearward with the sealant. It might help you visualize if you set the intake on dry and take a look.

9. When you set the intake, go straight down. Pull the bolts down slow and even using the factory torque specs and sequence. You might want a nice new set of ARP bolts for looks.

Changing the oil after it is back together is a good idea. An oil change is relatively cheap.

There are some intake bolts, towards the center that are not in blind holes. Look at the heads while you have it apart. Put thread sealant on these bolts so oil doesn't seep past them.

Brake cleaner and a microfiber cloth work pretty well to clean the raw aliminum intake. That's all I can think of for now. Good luck with it.
 
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79 USA 1

G-Body Guru
Sep 2, 2011
952
93
Cheektowaga, New York
Agree with all but #2 in Texas82GP post, No need to pull the rockers and pushrods. Pull the spark plugs though, makes bringing the engine up to TDC much easier.
Be sure to disconnect the battery! Your (-) ground lead is attached at the alternator bracket. (You probably already knew that but its worth repeating)
Purchase a can of Gasgacinch to tack your intake gaskets to the heads before you install the intake. It will keep the gaskets from shifting when the intake is lowered in place.
 
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Texas82GP

Just-a-worm
Apr 3, 2015
7,654
113
Spring, Texas
Agree with all but #2 in Texas82GP post, No need to pull the rockers and pushrods. Pull the spark plugs though, makes bringing the engine up to TDC much easier.
Be sure to disconnect the battery! Your (-) ground lead is attached at the alternator bracket. (You probably already knew that but its worth repeating)
Purchase a can of Gasgacinch to tack your intake gaskets to the heads before you install the intake. It will keep the gaskets from shifting when the intake is lowered in place.
You got me. Must have been thinking of a 60° V-6 or an FE Ford. No need to pull rockers or pushrods on a SBC.
 
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LukeZ

G-Body Guru
Thread starter
Apr 24, 2015
537
63
Delaware
Thank you both very much for the tips. Damn, more work than I thought if I'm gonna do the job right. I will probably wait until spring break to do this because I have a feeling my car will be out of comission for a couple days, and I kind of need it right now for winter session class and work. Bookmarking this haha. Very informative
 
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Bar50

Royal Smart Person
Jan 1, 2009
1,151
113
Tulsa, OK
Let the RTV silicone dry some on the china walls before you set the intake in place. It needs to skin over.

There may be some heater hose and bypass hose fittings you will need from your old intake to go in the new one. Pull them out before you remove the intake it's much easier with the intake bolted down so you have plenty of leverage.

Depending on your valve covers, you may need to remove them as well, as some hang over the lip of the intake.

Don't put any steel wool in the EGR port. The gasket will seal it up just fine.

Wash the crap out of your engine compartment before you start.

Take pics of how everything looks now. Brackets, hoses, wires, so you can look back to reassemble without hassle.

If you do not move the crankshaft, the distributor will go back in where you took it out if you clock it the same way it was when you pulled it out.

Grab some Teflon thread tape for all the things you have to screw into your new intake.

Blue thread locker helps protect the bolts and the intake...same with antiseize for the bolts in the water outlet.

Good luck.

Have fun, and take plenty of pics!
 
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axisg

Comic Book Super Hero
Jul 17, 2007
2,681
113
YYZ
If I may add. The intake will likely have 2 heater hose ports ( one of those will need to be blocked off ). Any time I pull a SBC distributor I pull off the cap and crank the motor over until the rotor is pointing direct at the firewall. That makes it a little easier to line back up again. Also the rotor will turn as the you pull it off the gear on the camshaft so it will be pointing at either the heater box or wiper motor. As you put it back in start from that position and it will rotate back into place. If it doesn't line up or drop back into place you may be 1 tooth off. Just pull it out and rotate it slightly before you drop it back in. It takes some practice but its not a really hard job. Probably a 3/10 on the difficulty scale
 
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LukeZ

G-Body Guru
Thread starter
Apr 24, 2015
537
63
Delaware
I think it would behoove me to just get all the tools and supplies Ill need for the job now and then wait till I have a few days in a row where I'm not going anywhere to do the job. This car is my daily so I sort of need it haha. Can you guys help with the supply list?

As far as tools go:
Wrenches
Razor (to scrape off old gaskets)
shop vac
***I dont have any torque guns or large impact drills. Can I get by with torque wrenches?

Supplies:
The new intake (haha)
Set of new intake gaskets
Set of new intake bolts
New water neck (optional I guess)
New water neck gasket
RTV silicone
Teflon thread tape for new bolts
I'm about to sound dumb, but, is there a gasket for the carb?
New oil
New coolant
Paper towels
Gasgacinch
New spark plugs (if I'm already pulling out the old ones. I think they're old)
And per axisg's comment, what do I use to seal up the second heater hose port?

Thanks for all the help so far, guys
 

565bbchevy

Geezer
Aug 8, 2011
9,210
113
Michigan
I would get a new chrome water neck with the o-ring (eliminates buying a gasket) and a new thermostat while you are replacing stuff they should be available at your local auto parts store.
I have used the gold grade 8 bolts as engine fasteners for many years and they are relatively inexpensive, rust resistant and available at local hardware/home stores or fastener places.
RTV, my favorite for what you are doing is Permatex Ultra Black.
 
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LukeZ

G-Body Guru
Thread starter
Apr 24, 2015
537
63
Delaware
I would get a new chrome water neck with the o-ring (eliminates buying a gasket) and a new thermostat while you are replacing stuff they should be available at your local auto parts store.
I have used the gold grade 8 bolts as engine fasteners for many years and they are relatively inexpensive, rust resistant and available at local hardware/home stores or fastener places.
RTV, my favorite for what you are doing is Permatex Ultra Black.
Where does the thermostat go in the whole mess of the intake? Sorry I'm not learned on this topic very thoroughly. And cool, thanks on the bolts and RTV.
 

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