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Intake Manifold Compatibility?

 
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Old 27 Nov 2013, 05:58 pm
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Default Intake Manifold Compatibility?

True that '01-'05 nonturbo Cruisers all use the same intake manifold?

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Old 27 Nov 2013, 07:13 pm
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Default Re: Intake Manifold Compatibility?

Almost. The 2001 and 2002 had the EGR tube attached to the rear of the manifold. After that, the holes in the back was plugged up.

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Old 27 Nov 2013, 07:14 pm
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Default Re: Intake Manifold Compatibility?

Oh wow, good to know! Can you knock that hole out, or is it not possible to use a later manifold on an earlier engine?

And, is the fitting on the upper or lower part? I have zero recollection!

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Old 27 Nov 2013, 07:51 pm
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Default Re: Intake Manifold Compatibility?

It's on the upper manifold and I don't think you can add the EGR tube to the later manifold as it's molded to except the tube and the two bolts that hold it in. So it's 2001-2002, 2003-2005.
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Old 27 Nov 2013, 07:56 pm
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Default Re: Intake Manifold Compatibility?

Happen to know if the lowers are the same? The lower is, I'm told, the part that needs replacing. Probably not... why would any manufacturer make things easy?
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Old 27 Nov 2013, 08:41 pm
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Default Re: Intake Manifold Compatibility?

I don't know for sure but I would think that the lowers ARE the same. Maybe someone else reading this post can confirm.
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Old 02 Dec 2013, 12:43 pm
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Default Re: Intake Manifold Compatibility?

Thought I would follow up on this:

It looks like there were three iterations of the composite manifolds - early ('01-'02), mid (guessing '03-'04) and then late ('05+). The early ones have an EGR port, a "bottom mount" oil dipstick brace, and an "early style" flange between upper and lower. The mid have a blocked EGR port, a "bottom mount" oil dipstick brace, and an "early style" flange. The late have a blocked EGR port, a "side mount" oil dipstick brace, and a "late style" flange.

The head doesn't seem to change, so you can swap these around freely as long as you have a matching (early or late) upper and lower. The flange between upper and lower changed in '05 (AFAIK, couldn't find an '04 to verify). The position of the outermost bolt positions changed from the side to the front, maybe for better sealing? If you're going from an early or mid to a late style manifold you need the dipstick, but it swaps easily. If you are putting a mid or late style manifold on an early car, you need to cut out the opening for the EGR port. A Dremel and a side cutting bit make short work of the process. The thread inserts for the EGR tube retainer are present on all of the manifolds. I think it was ChryCo's intention that all manifolds be EGR capable. That said, I did find that the thread inserts seem to fall out of the manifolds but they are easy to put back in - heat them and the mount up with a heat gun and drive them home. When the plastic cools, the inserts are locked in and not going anywhere.

Needless to say I spent a while at junkyards over the weekend. End result is an '01 PT Cruiser now has an '03 manifold with a Dremel'ed out EGR tube hole and a melted-in tube retainer plate thread insert.
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Old 02 Dec 2013, 03:33 pm
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Default Re: Intake Manifold Compatibility?

Thanks for getting back with some useful info - perhaps it'll help someone else.
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Old 02 Dec 2013, 04:39 pm
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Default Re: Intake Manifold Compatibility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thesameguy View Post
The lower is, I'm told, the part that needs replacing.
so.. did you fix your original problem?
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Old 02 Dec 2013, 06:47 pm
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Default Re: Intake Manifold Compatibility?

Oh yeah, I fixed it. The "I'm told" part turns out to be key. A shop down in SoCal did the diagnosis and offered to fix it for $400, which I thought was a little extreme. MSRP on the part is $115 and there are $20 in Fel Pro gaskets needed. It's *maybe* two hours of labor (I did it in 1.5, FWIW). I made the call that $400 was too steep for the problem, and since I was going to be there anyway offered to fix it.

I ran into a small problem in that no Chrysler dealer between here and Los Angeles had a lower intake manifold in stock. A few uppers, no lowers. I posted my question here because i found four junkyards en route that had PTs of various years, but only a couple '01s and they had been out for a while so it seemed likely they'd be well picked over. I wanted to know my options.

After visiting a few yards, it struck me as odd that every PT was missing the upper manifold. Piles of lowers, no uppers. After examining a lower manifold, I couldn't figure out how one would fail. It's one piece. The uppers, OTOH, are two or three pieces glued together with lots of fittings that might break and leak. Weird that the piece that seemed unlikely to fail, was not in stock anywhere, and was present in all the junkyards is the piece that supposedly needed replacing. At that point I started seriously doubting the shop's diagnosis.

Eventually I did find an '03 PT with a fully intact engine bay (Fairfield, California if anyone is interested...) so I harvested it's upper and lower manifold, fuel rail, and injectors. It was easier just to keep it all together (and half price day, so.... ). Drove down to SoCal Friday afternoon and got to work on Saturday.

I won't bore ya'll with the details, but it was not the intake manifold - upper or lower - that had a problem. They looked great, thought I replaced them anyway. After several hours of testing and checking I traced the problem to a weak ignition coil - the #4 tower was making spark, but apparently not strong enough to light up a cylinder. Time was short and my options limited, but a $70 "ValuCraft" (POS) coil from Autozone bolted in and restored the car to running.

It's been two days but I'm still really irked at the shop. A crap diagnosis is one thing, but I have zero confidence that after taking this lady's $400 and still having a problem they would have copped to their error. I find it much more likely they would have magically found a second problem and charged her another $400 for an ignition coil (repeating much of the same labor...). It may sound pessimistic, but if you look at the lower manifold's construction and placement, I just don't see how you could even diagnose a vacuum leak there much less become convinced there was one. (And yes, I verified they had diagnosed it not with a smoke machine, but with carb cleaner... wtf?) What I believe - and there are numerous other details I don't need to go into - is that this shop either never looked at the car or conceived of a way to part this woman with her money and "lower manifold leak" seemed like a plausible way to do it.

I need to find a better shop for her, because I'm pretty sure these guys are crooks. Not out-and-out thieves, I guess, but some mixture of bad at their jobs and dishonest. Sickening.
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