So this probably isnt the best thread but i'm just hoping that for those who arent sure if they have the good gaskets either before or after they buy a car with the 3800 engine, they will be able to see this and maybe get an idea.
The lower intake manifold gaskets are known for going bad. And if you replace them with what was on there it will happen again. So what you want to do is replace them with the newer design which are the metal/aluminum kind. The originals are like a rubber/plastic kind. heres a pic and a little bit of info from rockauto.com.....More Information for FEL-PRO MS98014T
So when looking at the engine to see what kind you have, you have to look where the LIM meets the head of the engine and you can usually tell if the engine is clean and you have enough light.
In this picture just to the right of my finger tip you'll kind of see two layers of silver the middle layer is the actual gasket where the top is the LIM itself and the bottom which is kinda brown is the Head.
the next picture shows an angle looking right down at it where you can kind of see it above the fuel injector which is the tan piece.
if a mod or someone with a program wants they can take the pic and maybe draw an arrow so you can tell a little easier where its at.
but its real easy to tell once you become familiar with exactly what you're looking at. all you have to do is remove the engine cover and take a peak at the areas shown above. if you're getting ready to buy a vehicle with the 3800, CHECK FOR THIS. if you arent handy this is a 6-800 dollar job at some dealerships and/or auto shops.
quick looks at the difference between the two
here you can see where the leak was. it was a small raise at the bottom of the square and it was actually in two squares and on each gasket so a total of 4 spots where it leaked.
so i hope that helps someone. feedback and additional things are of course welcome. please dont knock this thread too hard as i'm only trying to help people out as best as i can. especially those shopping around and possibly getting themselves in a bad situation.