View topic - Oil pan removal & re-install Do's and Don'ts

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:17 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:11 pm
Posts: 48
Rookie Texas Jim here - today I finished the oil pan job on my '23 Touring. Here's a chronicle of the job, with a few do's & don'ts, and some pure dumb luck.
-Don't rush. There is much to learn, observe.
-Do take time to clean parts, surfaces.
-If you're not sure if you need to drop your pan for cleaning, next time you drain oil, stick your finger in the strainer hole and feel for sludge. Mine was indescribably thick & nasty. DECADES I'm sure! So DO tackle the job.
-A mistake I made early might have been a blessing in disguise. I removed the oil pump plate thinking I might get leverage to pull the stuck pan. When I did the impeller, vanes and key all fell out. But the hidden benefit here was 2 things: first, when the pan was dropping, the pump shaft fell into the pan, which allowed it to get past the starter chain. I didn't realize this stroke of luck until I was trying to re-install. The second benefit was, I discovered the vane spring was broken.
-I discovered my strainer had a hole in it the size of somebody's thumb. But way to go Myers Early Dodge, they have a well made replacement for $25.
-I washed my pan inside and out with gasoline. The baffle riveted in the center makes it near impossible to actually touch much of the pan inside. I could just slip a chip brush thru the slots to help some. Otherwise swirled gas and it cut pretty well. BUT before that, I had scraped the gasket. Its impossible for scrapings not to fall into the pan. So as I washed I was also washing out all this debris.
-I set the pan on end and let air dry. Then I took compressed air and blew it out all under the baffle, there was a lot of debris that had dried and clung in there. I blew air from every possible angle. Then I took light air tool oil and rubbed oil on the baffle surfaces. The pan itself is ? galvanized? And BTW its pretty darn heavy.
-Mechanic's manual and Book o' Info each have very good very detailed narratives and pic's for this job. Both pan and oil pump. And a re-read became essential during re-install attempt - the tie rod instruction below.
-Felts - again from Myers Early Dodge. Rear felt fits into a deep tight groove, it cant fall out. But front felt just perches in its place. Honestly I found it impossible to know for certain that the front felt stayed in place. This because the wrestle to get the pan in place was difficult.
-Now it reveals itself the dumb luck I had coming down, the oil pump shaft falling out. because going in, the oil pump and shaft are installed - and the vertical shaft won't clear the starter chain. And, the tie rod was preventing also. Here's where re-read of manual was crucial- it says to turn the wheels all the way to the right. Doing so moves the tie rod forward barely allowing clearance.
-It also instructs to swing the rear of pan out to the left. This plus a LOT of finesse allowed the pump shaft to clear the starter chain. Did I say, the pan is HEAVY? I used a floor jack and a helper to hold the pan up once it was generally in place. In fact I couldn't have done it without the helper operating the jack.
-Oil pan bobber rod: I took fishing line and threaded it down the bobber hole from the top. Then took painters tape to make a guide line. But the pan on the jack, I was able to reach in and push the rod thru the hole- then with the fishing line I tied it off so the rod couldn't fall back out.
-NOW is time to slip the L and R gaskets into place. I smear a little wheel bearing grease on my gaskets to make them a little sticky.
-Again at this point I'm painfully aware all the finesse made it impossible to know if the front felt was in place. I could glimpse it from R side, but not L.
-The pan is very tight snugging its trans cover into place. DO NOT use the jack to push it in place. stud by stud pulled it up slow and easy, especially the square studs that go thru trans cover.
-When re-assembling oil line on R side of pump, be sure you prime the pump first. I put the oil line onto pump fitting, then squirted about 6-8 oz oil down the line. The manual suggests priming thru the check ball, but the line was open so seemed more sensible.
-I gingerly hand cranked w switch off just to be sure pump shaft hadn't jammed. This too was impossible to know that it had inserted correctly - but the pan wouldn't have seated it it hadn't. Dumb luck again! I kept hand cranking in hopes I was actually pumping a little new oil.
-I have a slightly better ? oil pressure now, 2.5 lbs on gauge at idle, and about 3+ lbs rev'ing. I'm glad this is over with, but was well worth the job. I hope this will encourage others! Texas Jim, happy to answer any Qs.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:36 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:57 am
Posts: 30
This would make a great article for the Magazine,you should send it to the Editor

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:33 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:00 pm
Posts: 8
Jim, thanks for posting this!!! I'm about to tackle mine, just got the gasket kit last week.
It looks like a chore, and this will definitely help.

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