I've got a 2wd 98 that got AF in the oil. Bearings didn't last long after that...
I'm interested to hear about the mods that you've done - (rear sway bar, vette servo etc...) as mine will be coming apart this spring for a new engine/tranny. Maybe the heater core, now that I read your post...
Good luck with the manifold. Are those bolts 1 time stretch like the head bolts?
Regarding the intake manifold. I am reading the vortecs have had gasket issues at times. This may have been what led up to coolant issues, whilst combined with the issues of the RED "extended life coolant" they stopped making. I noticed upon removal that I have rust colored stains in my fairly new radiator hoses already.
Once my coolant issues started they didn't stop until this intake gasket popped.
Here's a post on a Vortec Head thread I found about gaskets. It's from 2006...
http://nastyz28.com/threads/vortec-cyli ... ost-551372
I think it's interesting that the GM intake bolts come with thread sealer on them already. Do you think that stuff should be adequate by itself?
From what I have found I would have to agree that the MS98000T and GM bolts (12550027) are the way to go. I have seen a lot of people that have complained about intake leaks on their trucks that use vortec heads.
Apparently there was a GM service bulletin and GM has new gaskets that help seal better (GM# 89017465).
Technical Note: This gasket requires the use of GM attachment bolt P/N 12550027 because the bolt has a ball design on the end that seats in the head so it will not crush the intake manifold gasket.
I think the MS98000T is Fel-Pro's vesion of this gasket.
Fel-Pro PermaDryPlus Valve Cover Gaskets feature:
* Aluminized steel carrier
* Fluoroelastomeric coating
* Edge-molded seals
* Sealing beads
* Self-centering torque-limiters
FEL-PRO HAS INTRODUCED AN ADVANCED PERMADRYPLUS
REPLACEMENT INTAKE MANIFOLD GASKET DESIGNED TO SOLVE CHRONIC COOLANT LEAKAGE ISSUES FACING SOME FOURTEEN MILLION GM LIGHT TRUCKS AND SUV'S WITH 5.0L AND 5.7L ENGINES MANUFACTURED FROM 1996 THROUGH 2002. THIS TIME SAVING NEW SET CONTAINS ALL THE PREMIUM TECHNOLOGIES NEEDED TO COMPLETE AN INTAKE MANIFOLD GASKET REPAIR, INCLUDING PERMADRYPLUS LOWER MANIFOLD GASKETS, UPPER MANIFOLD GASKETS AND AN ADVANCED PERMADRY VALVE COVER GASKET.
IT APPEARS THAT ON MANY OF THESE ENGINES, THE USE OF CONVENTIONAL PLASTIC-AND-RUBBER GASKETS IN COMBINATION WITH THE MORE AGGRESSIVE 'OAT' (ORGANIC ACID TECHNOLOGY) ENGINE COOLANTS HAS CAUSED A SIGNIFICANT NUMER OF SEALING- RELATED ISSUES.