Wow, just this weekend I did the typical intake manifold gasket on my 98 5.7 Vortec in my Suburban. What an unbelievable PITA! I consider myself a fairly skilled mechanic after 20+ years of screwing around with vehicles, but that job was a real backbreaker. Wires wires and more wires.
Haven't started it yet -- I had to order up a new EGR pipe, as I mangled the fitting trying to get it out of the manifold.
It just wouldn't come out, and I was hesitant to use heat, as the top of the manifold is plastic.
Ha, maybe i'm not that skilled after all.
Anyway, I guess all I can add is if you have the motor out, I'd do an intake gasket -- they are notorious for going bad.
Old, noisy, slow, and just generally wonderful. Wheeling Jeep.
Less old, less noisy, less slow, daily driver Jeep.