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Hello everyone. I'm nearly finished taking everything I need to off the engine in order to replace the lower intake manifold gasket, and I had a few questions:

1. Product recommendations for the LIM gasket, UIM gasket, and valve cover gaskets
2. Is there some way to clean the valley of the engine? As you can see from the picture, there's a lot of grime on mine.
3. A good way to clean the other engine parts, especially the upper and lower manifolds.

Thank you!
Hood Black Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exterior
 

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I just had my coworker order an aluminum-framed LIM gasket set from RockAuto, along with whatever UIM gasket shipped from the same warehouse for convenience (little truck logo after adding to cart). Brands aren't super critical, but if you want to shy toward AC delco, Felpro, Mahle, Victor Reinz, etc., go for it.

Don't worry about the staining inside the valley. That needs to be protected with a towel/shop towels/etc. while you're in there working. It's a direct line to internal oil passages and critical components, so treat it as carefully as possible.

For cleaning, I use a small shop vac to follow my tools cleaning the LIM gasket surface with a razor, and agitating dirt with a toothbrush or small wire brush. Keep the valve covers and valley towels on while doing this part.

When you're happy with your cleanup job on the engine and parts, place the LIM gaskets and use RTV silicone in the corners (~small marble-sized glob) between the front/rear gaskets and side port gaskets.

Good luck, as I'm about to finish the same job this weekend, unless I see more that needs addressing before closing up.
 

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One other note is that I put shorter bolts on the 2 rear holes of the coil mount bracket, since the originals mashed up against the firewall during removal. I had some that were ~3/8" shorter and cut the small section of the guides off the bracket so they still go into the threads about the same depth. Worked like a charm after ~5-10min of effort with a hacksaw and file.

Should be running in a couple hours (although the heat may slow our work). Replacing a bunch of o-rings that came in the gasket kits, since they're available.
 
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