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In my earlier post re: my screwing up a starter install, I mentioned a vertical support member that I removed to remove and install a new starter & solenoid...

It's a steel I-beam looking support that bolts via two threaded shafts that are threaded into the rear underside of the intake manifold at its top, and to the engine block, via two 12 or 14 mm bolts, at the bottom. There's a support plate at the bottom attachement point that also functions to support the exhaust down pipe. The exhaust support u-bolt is located just engine-ward of the catalytic converter.

The support I'm trying to describe is painted balck (on my car anyway) and runs at just about centerline down the back side of the engine. It pretty much boxes in and obscures the starter and is located just to the driver's side of the oil pump and oil filter.

Can someone tell me what the function of this support is? My fear is that it is to provide support to the intake manifold and that, due to my removal of the support, the intake rocked backwards and I've broken the gasket resulting in the probelms I descrobed in my earlier post.

You guy's help is appreciated...
 

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That's very likely. The point of that part is to keep stress off the studs the intake mounts to, and to help the pressure on the gasket to be uniform. The intake manifold is pretty heavy and with the way it hangs off the side of the motor, that support piece is needed. They wouldn't have put it there, otherwise.
 
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