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w0rm
 
  Plenum gasket repair procedure - Posted: 04-09-2007, 01:41 PM
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Post #1

I wanted to add my piece to this great website since it was so much help for me during a plenum gasket repair. There are alot of threads with this problem, but never one with exact procedure to do the job. Also, I have added what you should be doing once you are already into a good part of the engine work. This thread should contain everything you need to know about changing your plenum.

I've attached a word document containing these instruction if needed. Also, the pictures are included in the file and the links I was not able to post (This is my first post. Must have at least 10 posts to attach links). If an administrator could add these for me, that'd be helpful. Where you see the notes on here, is where the link will be in the word document. Sorry for the inconvenience.

I noticed my '98 ram 5.2L consuming alot of oil with no visible signs of a leak. It also seemed to be losing alot of coolant. I was told if you remove your oil cap while the engine is running and place your hand over the hole and notice vacuum, there's a good chance the plenum gasket is blown. I also found if you look down into your throttle body and notice considerable oil build-up, this is also the case. My truck had a no-start without prior problems due to oil build-up on the spark plugs as well. As for the coolant, the thermostat gasket was the culprit.

What you’ll need:

- Hughes Plenum Gasket Kit Part# 7714
- Intake Manifold Gaskets & Bolts
- Fuel line removal tool (size E) -very important
- Water pump by-pass hose (I made the mistake of not replacing this and had to do the job over to replace it. For $7 it’s worth it!)
- Thermostat & Gasket (Might as well do this now. I have a ’98 and the gasket was leaking bad)
- 2 Worm Gear Hose clamps (For the water pump hose, much easier to work with than the factory hose clamps)
- Thread locker (I chose breakaway strength just in case)
- Inch/lb Torque Wrench (Yes, Inch Pounds)
- RTV Silicone Sealant (For cork intake gaskets)
- Cap, rotor, spark plugs & wires. (Also grab a coil of that plastic conduit for wire protection)
(Follow this link to find the TSB on Spark plug wire routing (see attached file for link) ) <-- Highly recommended to follow this TSB

Removal Procedure:

- Drain about half your coolant
- Disconnect negative battery wire
- Remove Air filter housing/ducts
- Remove throttle body cables (Do not remove throttle body until intake is off)
- Remove all vacuum hoses, PCV, etc.
- Relieve the fuel pressure line. (There's an air valve on the driver side fuel rail)
- Disconnect fuel line using the fuel line removal tool.
- Remove the upper radiator hose at the radiator. (Don’t worry about disconnecting at the thermostat just yet)
- Remove the belt
- Also, remove the idler pulley located right of the alternator for easier access to a pulley bracket bolt. (I would also suggest spraying some penetrating fluid on the belt tensioner and see if it springs back properly)
- Remove A/C unit electrical connections
(There’s a connector with a red tab connected to the wire harness, this will unlock the connector, but the red tab doesn’t come all the way out. After it’s unlocked, push down on the back tab of the connector to remove.)
- Also, the battery lead to the alternator has a clip attached on the bottom of a bracket from the alternator to intake. Remove that.
- Remove all A/C bolts along with the bracket to the intake. (There’s a tricky bolt under the A/C lines, just loosen it enough to get the A/C unit out and leave it on the unit)
- Set the A/C unit on your fan shroud.
- Remove the alternator electrical connections.
- Remove all alternator bolts and brackets.
- Remove the A/C & alternator support bracket, there should only be 6 bolts. (Make sure you’re not removing the water pump bolts!)
- Remove the water pump hose & thermostat housing. (That little by-pass hose might look intact but I had a pinhole leak which I noticed after the work was done. Plus, it’s easier to remove when you know you have a replacement)
- Remove the fuel injector electrical connections & unclip the wire harness from the valve cover bolts. (These are also tricky, try wiggling them loose but if it doesn’t want to go, cut the electrical tape holding the clips and remove the clip from the bolts once the wire harness is free. There should be 3 per side)
- Now that everything is free from the intake, take the time to clean off or vacuum any debris from the area where the wire harness ran. (Also, you might want to check the valve cover bolts, some may be hand tight)
- You should now be able to remove all the intake manifold bolts and free the intake from the engine.
- May be obvious, but you want to cover the center of the engine along with the intake/exhaust ports on the head. (Some suggest covering the push rod area with aluminium foil)
- Clean the old intake gasket away from the heads and intake. Also, where the cork gaskets will go on the block area, there are 2 little holes on the front and 2 on the back sections. It’s a good idea to clean them out, to allow access for the RTV sealant when you install the new cork gasket. I used carb cleaner w/ rags, a scraper and a wire wheel on a die grinder to remove the old gasket.
- Remove the throttle body. (I suggest removing the air sensor at the back or the TB and cleaning that with carb clean)
- Remove the Plenum pan and get ready to see what’s been eating your oil faster than you can fill your tank with gas.
- Replace the gasket and pan using the torque and pattern specs given to you with the Hughes Kit. (DO NOT FORGET TO USE THREAD LOCKER. Don’t want those puppies coming out)
- While everything is out of the way under the hood, this is a VERY good time to replace your cap and rotor & re-route the spark plug wires
- Re-route spark plug wires following this TSB (see attached file for link)(Couldn’t find stock on the wire clips so I just winged it. You might want to install the coil wire after this job is done since it follows the wire harness)

- Now that the intake is out, you might decide you want to port your manifold. I did this and have noticed the engine runs a lot smoother. It requires less throttle to get up to speed which will save on gas mileage. Apparently it also improves torque. The procedure takes more time than actually replacing the plenum gasket. Here are a couple links if you are interested and want to see how it’s done: (see attached file for dodgetalk threads that inlcude pictures)
Note: Injector rails & internal air sensor will have to be removed as to not damage them during this procedure.

(see attached file for links to dodgetalk threads with pictures)

- What we did was remove the divider by cutting it with a reciprocating saw and chipping away the pieces with a hammer and chisel until most of it was gone, then finishing it with a die grinder. Be careful near the throttle body ports as you don’t want to break that part off. We also took around 3/8” off of the runners, and smoothed out the injector ports.

- The throttle body was also shaved. Take away the lips that obstruct air flow.

Re-Assembly:

- Install intake gaskets
- Use RTV sealant along the top and bottom of the cork gasket, and very importantly, where the head and block meet.
- A good idea (thanks to the knowledge of father fxrguy) is to chop off the heads of the old intake bolts and use them as a dowel to align the intake during installation. Only use 3 bolts on the corners (Note: Do not use a “dowel” on the corner near the distributor, leave that corner open as the intake wont slide past that protruding bolt)
- Follow this link for intake manifold torque specs: (see attached file for link to dodgetalk thread) (bolts 1-4 being the middle, left to right. Bolts 5-12 starting closest to center and out) Specifications are simply 72 in/lbs in 12 pound increments.
- Install the new water pump hose with worm gear hose clamps.
- Now everything can be installed in reverse order.
- After everything is assembled, reset the PCM so the readings can be re-programmed. (To reset PCM, leave the battery disconnected, turn the key to run for 20-30 seconds, turn key off and re-connect battery)
- If everything has gone to plan, you should have no more oil leaks, coolant leaks or spark wire arcing.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Plenum repair.doc (287.0 KB, 1742 views)

Last edited by w0rm : 04-09-2007 at 03:16 PM.
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LoudRam
 
 Posted: 04-10-2007, 10:59 AM
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Post #2

Thanks a million for this. I'll be doing mine in the next month or two. This will really help!!!
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w0rm
 
 Posted: 04-10-2007, 12:22 PM
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Post #3

Sorry, made an error. To reset PCM, disconnect the ground wire, turn and hold the ignition on START for 10-15 secs. The gauges might sweep, I'm not sure but I've got to do it myself now.

Last edited by w0rm : 04-10-2007 at 03:09 PM.
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LoudRam
 
 Posted: 04-10-2007, 02:10 PM
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Post #4

I do have one question...Why do you need to reset the PCM?
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'01 Ram 1500 SLT Laramie 4x4 Quad Cab Debadged, 360 cubic inches of pure American muscle.
Performance Mods:Hypertech Power Programmer III, TB: Fins cut, ported and polished Intake: Ported and polished, runners cut down 5/8", 180 T-stat, Edelbrock Pro-Flo 1002, Magnaflow high flow cat and 3"SI/2.5"DO exhaust w/ 3" polished stainless tips, Plenum repaired w/ Hughes kit
Appearance Mods: Eagle wheels 16x8, 33" Toyo Open Country AT's (285/75), Diamond Back headlights w/Silverstar lamps, Aluminum billet grill, Lund moonvisor, Black tube step bars, Bulldog keyless entry, Westin ultimate bull bar w/2 Baja 55w off road lights w/HID lamps

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Dodgevanman
 
 Posted: 04-10-2007, 02:15 PM
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Post #5

I did this on my '94 van last June. It was a job I tell you that. Less room to work on a van.
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bcdalton
 
 Posted: 04-10-2007, 02:24 PM
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Post #6

w0rm- Thanks for the write up.
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w0rm
 
 Posted: 04-10-2007, 02:41 PM
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Post #7

Wirenutt1969- Why do you need to reset the PCM?

When you replace that plenum gasket, the air readings are going to be different, because it's not drawing in air and oil. It's just good measure to reset. More so if you're going to port the intake manifold. I did the job 2 weekends ago, and i'm finally starting to feel the difference in power now. So it will take time for the PCM to get used to the change. Resetting the PCM, I imagin, will return values back to factory and remove values from running with that crappy plenum.

Last edited by w0rm : 04-10-2007 at 02:51 PM.
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w0rm
 
 Posted: 04-10-2007, 07:28 PM
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Post #8

Quote:
Originally Posted by w0rm
Sorry, made an error. To reset PCM, disconnect the ground wire, turn and hold the ignition on START for 10-15 secs. The gauges might sweep, I'm not sure but I've got to do it myself now.
I've been mislead yet again. I tryed this method with my '98 ram 5.2L and am not sure if it reset. What did work however, I read in a previous thread, is to leave the battery connected, with the key in the off position, press and hold the trip selector button and turn the key to the run position. I actually started the truck but I doubt I needed to. The odometer read "check" and I released the trip button and that's when the gauges began to sweep. I know this worked because I had a stored code, and after doing this, the code was cleared.

Glad that's all cleared up
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360_4x4
 
 Posted: 04-10-2007, 07:50 PM
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Post #9

seems like alot of work there...hope mine isnt bad...and stays good if it isnt
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ton602
 
 Posted: 04-11-2007, 11:24 AM
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Post #10

Quote:
Originally Posted by w0rm
I read in a previous thread, is to leave the battery connected, with the key in the off position, press and hold the trip selector button and turn the key to the run position.

Glad that's all cleared up
Crazy, I just tried this and it worked. I tried to reset my pcm last week by disconnecting the neg cable and was not sure if it reset or not but this definitely worked.
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01offroadster
 
 Posted: 04-11-2007, 12:01 PM
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Post #11

Ok so if i take my throttle body off and look down in there and its all oilie.... then i need to change the gasket... correct?
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w0rm
 
 Posted: 04-11-2007, 12:44 PM
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Post #12

Quote:
Originally Posted by 01offroadster
Ok so if i take my throttle body off and look down in there and its all oilie.... then i need to change the gasket... correct?
Yes. When i had the intake out, it didn't show much oil on the casting, the plenum pan had oil smeared on it, as you can see from the picture. But, my engine used ALOT of oil. If you take the TB off and use a mini flash light and look down at the pan and see oil, time for a change. Also, try taking off the oil cap and feel for vacuum, and take out your spark plugs and look for any oil build-up on the plugs. If all those 3 things fit your engine, it's the plenum.
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bfktech
 
 Posted: 04-20-2007, 08:18 AM
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Post #13

Question,

I've taken the manifold off... but noticed when i did some coolant getting into whatever that is below the intake manifold... (mind going blank)

What do i need to do about clean/relubing this area? i have puddles of green where puddles of oil are. I'll post pics this afternoon when i get home.
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bfktech
 
 Posted: 04-20-2007, 08:40 AM
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Post #14

Also, i noticed on my fuels rails, the injectors?? ... some were wet and some not - should i replace these too? 1 of them looked realllllllly dry....
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bigschwerm
 
 Posted: 04-20-2007, 09:44 AM
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Post #15

replace the orings on the injectors there a couple of bucks at the parts house...
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Update: 7/27/07 1/4 mile run 13.312 @ 102.67 60ft 1.96

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BLACK 1997Ram Ext. Cab 1500 2wd S/B
Performance Mods: Good for 320ish hp to the wheels/awaiting dyno run
5.9L Short block Bored .30 (local shop)
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w0rm
 
 Posted: 04-20-2007, 09:48 AM
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Post #16

You're going to want to soak up all the anti-freeze that you can. Best way is to use a wet/dry shop vac and some rags.

As far as the injectors, i'm not sure if that's a problem. Chances are if you didn't have fuel problems before, than no need to fix what isn't broken. When removing the fuel rail, you have to take extreme care not to damage the O-rings sealing them. If you notice those are dry/cracking, i would definately replace them.
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jeepme79
 
 Posted: 04-20-2007, 10:06 AM
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Post #17

For the cost of the o-rings, I would just replace them and not worry about it. They can look ok, but be dry and permanantly formed in that shape, where they don't seal right when you put them back in.

Yes, use shop rags for the AF, then change/flush your oil after the truck is running again. (i had the same issue last weekend).

If you have time, I would do some tweaking with your intake while it is out. I wish I had the time to do mine, but I needed it back on the road that same day.


wOrm - Great write up. I read through it twice and it made the job much easier.
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bigschwerm
 
 Posted: 04-20-2007, 11:39 AM
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Post #18

Preventive Maint. Minds well replace all the little things while its easy to do...cause they all could add up and cause something bigger down the road

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepme79
For the cost of the o-rings, I would just replace them and not worry about it. They can look ok, but be dry and permanantly formed in that shape, where they don't seal right when you put them back in.Yes, use shop rags for the AF, then change/flush your oil after the truck is running again. (i had the same issue last weekend).

If you have time, I would do some tweaking with your intake while it is out. I wish I had the time to do mine, but I needed it back on the road that same day.


wOrm - Great write up. I read through it twice and it made the job much easier.
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Update: 7/27/07 1/4 mile run 13.312 @ 102.67 60ft 1.96

New Pics Aug 8th 07: NEW RIM PICS CLICK HERE

BLACK 1997Ram Ext. Cab 1500 2wd S/B
Performance Mods: Good for 320ish hp to the wheels/awaiting dyno run
5.9L Short block Bored .30 (local shop)
Schmidt Motor Works Ram Air Setup 4" Tubing
53mm Custom Throttle body
Custom Flashed Computer (Tom Fox)
Hughes Stage 1 "KEG" with extra Machining/Plenum Kit
Hughes Heavy Duty Super Prepped 2.02/1.620 Heads W/HD Valve Springs *Shaved .025"
1.7 Harland sharp Rockers
Custom ground KRC 210x Cam
Ford Racing 24lb Blue Top Fuel Injectors Part# 0280150947 F1TE-D5A
Improved design AIRTEX Fuel Pump (O'reily auto parts)
Underdrive pulleys
Accel coil
MSD 6A Ignition Box
MSD 8mm wires Brass cap/Rotor
Autolite Platinum 3923's
Dual Flex-A-LITE Efan's
180* Thermostat
Roll Pan
Royal Purple Throughout Drivetrain
Pacesetter Headers/gutted Magnaflow Cat /Flowmaster 40 series front of pass. side tire dual 3" tips
3.92 Gear Swap with Spool
~DodgeTalk.com 360MAGNUM Enthusiast Member #40 ~
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w0rm
 
 Posted: 04-20-2007, 11:48 AM
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Post #19

you're right, let's add in the procedure to replace the injector O-rings. I wish i had now.
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bigschwerm
 
 Posted: 04-20-2007, 11:52 AM
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Post #20

hey i have my intake off as we speak (in the middle of a cam swap) i might be able to get some pics of how to replace the o rings.....
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Update: 7/27/07 1/4 mile run 13.312 @ 102.67 60ft 1.96

New Pics Aug 8th 07: NEW RIM PICS CLICK HERE

BLACK 1997Ram Ext. Cab 1500 2wd S/B
Performance Mods: Good for 320ish hp to the wheels/awaiting dyno run
5.9L Short block Bored .30 (local shop)
Schmidt Motor Works Ram Air Setup 4" Tubing
53mm Custom Throttle body
Custom Flashed Computer (Tom Fox)
Hughes Stage 1 "KEG" with extra Machining/Plenum Kit
Hughes Heavy Duty Super Prepped 2.02/1.620 Heads W/HD Valve Springs *Shaved .025"
1.7 Harland sharp Rockers
Custom ground KRC 210x Cam
Ford Racing 24lb Blue Top Fuel Injectors Part# 0280150947 F1TE-D5A
Improved design AIRTEX Fuel Pump (O'reily auto parts)
Underdrive pulleys
Accel coil
MSD 6A Ignition Box
MSD 8mm wires Brass cap/Rotor
Autolite Platinum 3923's
Dual Flex-A-LITE Efan's
180* Thermostat
Roll Pan
Royal Purple Throughout Drivetrain
Pacesetter Headers/gutted Magnaflow Cat /Flowmaster 40 series front of pass. side tire dual 3" tips
3.92 Gear Swap with Spool
~DodgeTalk.com 360MAGNUM Enthusiast Member #40 ~
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