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Discussion Starter #1
I hope someone can help out with this problem. A bit of background:

97 Bird, 4.6l
The intake cracked where the heater hose goes in and spewed all the coolant everywhere. So I ordered a standard replacement intake (npi) off ebay that came with a new thermostat and new alternator bracket. The new intake has an aluminum crossover where the thermostat goes, and it also has all the gaskets molded in. So I swapped out the intake without any issues. We go to start the car and the car just cranks and cranks. Then we notice water pouring out the exhaust. So we take everything apart again and yank the intake off and notice that all the intake ports on the heads are wet with coolant and that the intake itself has a pool of coolant inside it. If you look down the throttle body opening there is this huge lake of coolant that you can slosh back and forth.

The outside of the engine itself is perfectly dry. I would think if the intake didn't seal correctly that there would have been some external coolant loss and things would have gotten at least a little wet. But no, not a drop outside. All the coolant made it inside the intake only.

If a head gasket were bad, I can see how coolant would be coming out the exhaust, but I don't see how a bad head gasket would make the intake fill up with water like that.

Any ideas on what to look for? It doesn't look like the water passages in the intake can somehow leak into the plenum, but I could be wrong. I'm not too familiar with these engines and would appreciate any help with this.
 

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Fry Rice Specialist
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i believe the intake you bought is dorman replacement intake.

those dorman replacement intake is junk in my opinion because from many people's experience that their build quality sucks and some of them didn't seal well hence the issue you are having.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was thinking the same thing. After a bit of reading it seems the Dorman intake is hit or miss.

But if the intake doesn't seal well wouldn't coolant leak externally as well as internally?

Just a side note, I was really surprised at how easy these engines are to work on. They look a bit intimidating at first, but once you get past that initial apprehension, things come apart pretty easily. I had the intake off the second time in less than half an hour.
 

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another reason why aluminum intakes are far better
 
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