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From Another Forum:

"My heads have front and rear water passages but my intake only has front water passages and the rear water passages are blocked. This is true on my old intake that was on my car as well as on my new Winters intake. Why would GM do this? Do I need to do anything different when installing"?

All of the small block intake manifolds came with blocked rear water passages with the single exception of the CrossFire intakes because they had to be cast with open rear passages to remove the casting sand from the center water heated chamber under the runners. When installed with the correct gaskets those rear water passages get blocked.

Okay, so why are the rear water passages blocked? The water pump forces water into each side of the block where it flows past each cylinder to the rear of the block, rises up into the rear of the head, then travels foreword in the head while cooling each combustion chamber along the way. When it reaches the front it flows into the intake manifold then up through the thermostat. So the water makes an abrupt U turn at the rear of the block.
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