Intake Manifold Rings??

Hello all, first time posting. I have a 1952 Buick Super that's in need of some help!

I pulled the head because of low compression in one cylinder and lapped the valves. The head gasket was in a sorry state as well, as I found out.

It was my first time setting up a distributor from scratch. (After disassembling/cleaning the lifters I turned the engine over to adjust the valves lash per Ken Ellison's instructions:

I believe that I have the timing correct after three tries of setting the distributor. It coughed the first time (I was off a tooth), it backfired the second time (off by 180) and by the third time the battery was quite low.

TO THE POINT: __What are the intake manifold inner rings for?__ Do I need to have the outer rings (that look like almost like fender washers) installed, despite new manifold gaskets (from

I left the outer rings off, because the new gaskets sit against one another, and it seems that the old outer rings were gaskets that sat between the intake manifold and the head. I did retain the inner rings (that look like a ring with a section cut out), and put all four in the manifold side before assembly.

Thanks for reading, any an all information is greatly appreciated!



Active member
Pete, the "ring" inserts are used , mostly, to align the manifold. Glad you kept them. The flat "crush" gaskets were the gasket/seal initially. Buicks came from the factory with no manifold gaskets. When the gaskets you used begin to leak, replace them with ones from REM_FLEX. Available from Summit Racing.

The hydraulic lifters , PER THE BUICK SHOP MANUAL, adjust as follows. With the valve closed and lifter all the way down, just take all the slack out in the valve train. Then turn the adjusting 2 more turns. I hope the method you used is OK. I did not watch the video, but it shows a V8. May not adjust the same. They are not oiled the same.

Are you aware there is a 1952 Shop Manual available on this site for download? In Reference.

Good luck

Thanks Ben!

Yes, I usually read the shop manual like the bible. Glad I kept those rings! And I'm glad to know what they're for. I think the alignment may actually be why it's not starting. The gaskets I got are thick, and too thick I think for the rings to reach to the head.
Go by the recommendations in the shop manual for sealing up the exhaust manifold to head. 90 weight gear oil and grafite. I used gaskets for a long time and kept cracking manifolds. I tried that mixture and no more broken manifolds. I never had a leak in 3 years.
Never would have guessed! Thank you for the recommendation. It's no surprise to me that they crack, especially after pulling it off the head. Anything I can do to preserve this classic! Another question I have (though perhaps suited for a different thread), is are there supposed to be 10 manifold studs?

I have 9 holes, but I swear it should be 10. After much scraping and scrubbing, I can't seem to uncover one at the back of the engine. The one at the front of the engine was broken off, but it was clearly visible. I don't want to just start drilling into a broken stud that isn't there, or scraping away material that shouldn't be removed. I even used my caliper to pinpoint exactly where the stud should be but I can't uncover the faintest outline.


Active member
DON'T drill! For whatever reason, Buick did it different in different years. Probably the "broken" one at the front was just a short "guide" stud. Many had these at the front and back, as well as the center between 4-5. Some as yours, not drilled at the back. Strange stuff.

I just checked my 263 in my 1952 it has 9 bolts holding the exhaust and intake manifolds. There are ears on the exhaust manifold at the back of the engine for a 10th bolt but there is no hole on the head for it. I have never had an exhaust leak there.