Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Belleville, Illinois
Thanked 22 Times in 17 Posts
Re: IS the header gasket crtitical to repair?
The intake is a manifold. Headers are for exhaust and are generally made of steel tube welded together. Exhaust manifolds are cast iron.
Now, if it's an intake manifold gasket, it should be fixed pronto because the engine is sucking air, making that cylinder lean, and if the engine is fuel injected, making all the other cylinders rich. Engine damage can result.
If it's an exhaust manifold or header, the gasket probably won't cause any damage quickly. Long term it can cause some damage, but noise and the CO leak are more significant problems.
Neither condition can cause a vibration when you're off the pedal, but a badly leaking intake can cause the engine to run rough and miss at idle and under power.
Assuming it's a 6-cylinder, it's anywhere from an hour to an afternoon or more depending on your skill and a few things such as what accessories might be bolted to the manifolds, how badly the studs are rusted, and so on. It's one of those jobs that can turn into a nightmare of broken studs.