Beretta, Corsica, & pre-1995 Lumina Among this grouping, these three cars, while being similar to each other, offered something for everyone, from a sports coupe to a roomy sedan.
Platform: L-Body

3.1 intake gasket

Old April 4th, 2017, 8:12 PM
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Default 3.1 intake gasket

Hi.... I am sure this has been hashed over before, but I do have a decision to make about a 1990 Lumina that I inherited. It is pristine, with only one real issue and that is that the A/C doesn't work.... R12 so probably not worth fixing unless someone wants to give me a cheap solution..... But, the reason for the post is to ask about the intake gasket.... which is doomed to fail, or is it? The car has 71,000 miles on it, many of those miles, highway miles from Florida to Minnesota and back..... The first experience I had with the 3.1 was my niece who called me one day and asked about a leak and could I check it out? It was coolant, and of course, the intake gasket had failed. This was many years ago now and $400 is what she paid to have the gasket replaced.... My 1990 3.1 has not shown any signs of a bad intake gasket..... but.... I did contact many local dealers and independent repair shops for a quote and the prices ranged from $600 to $1200.... to replace the intake gasket.... One particular mechanic is a young guy that has done work on my son's truck and the prices were reasonable, and the work was well done. He just left a message on my phone, and said he had researched the 3.1 and wondered if it might not have had an earlier "paper" gasket instead of the gasket that always failed, which he thought, started in 1996 on the second body style of this model.... He talked about a "series one" engine having paper gaskets.... Would a series one, be the same as a generation one? Does anybody know if the first years of the motor were paper intake gaskets? I would like to have a little information on this before I drive the car down to this kid's shop so I can talk a little intelligently anyway..... I am still debating what to do with the car. They are worth almost nothing, but after saying that, you hear stories about this motor/car running 300,000 miles.... now, wouldn't that be worth keeping around and pretty cheap transportation?
Attached Thumbnails 3.1 intake gasket-100_4341.jpg   3.1 intake gasket-100_4344.jpg   3.1 intake gasket-100_4360.jpg   3.1 intake gasket-100_4350.jpg  
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Old April 4th, 2017, 8:45 PM
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I replaced mine on a 96 a few years back because of coolent leaking into the oil. Not a difficult job, but I do have some experience with chevy engines, this will require you to adjust lifters ect. My car has been a real peach. With 185K I still drive it, even with all the issues it's had, gasket (I replaced with Fel Pro) ECM, crank position sensor, and on, but it is like a women, runs great, but when it isn't happy, well. This is a decision you have to make, keep it or not. As far as the gasket, with it's age, and low miles I'd run it, keeping an eye on the oil/coolent level, and not do anything until it has an issue if ever. That's my opinion
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Old April 5th, 2017, 4:43 AM
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Hi Kevin..... Your advice/answer, I am hearing more and more often. I also spent quite a bit of time researching this and came up with a website that discusses the earlier 3.1 engines that apparently/hopefully did NOT have this problem with several people attesting the fact that they never had a problem. This was apparently called a series one engine and the intake problems began with the development of the newer generation series two engines where they upgraded the gasket and used sensors to control the engine..... that was in 1995-1996 which accounts for your intake problem. I also had some coffee this morning; I do better after coffee...... and listened to the young mechanics message on my voicemail. All the information he found confirms the idea that the series one engines had a more conventional gasket..... His advice, was the same as yours.... drive it, and watch the coolant/oil..... The car is just too good to throw away.... and yet, I hate selling it to anybody who is unaware of the situation. Blue Book prices on the car are ridiculous also. Ironically, one dealer offered me $800 if I traded it in. Guess what the average cost to replace the gasket is? I will wait for the title to arrive from the state and then probably advertise it with full disclosure to the problems, and see what happens..... worst case scenario is that I am stuck with this car for many mile and many years... LOL..... Here is the link to the article I found on this engine.... The only sketchy thing is that I found it on the internet and of course, do you believe everything you read? Thanks for taking the time to reply.... it is much appreciated.

1990 3.1L Intake Manifold Gaskets - Powertrain - Community
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