Oil pan fun

Getting back to the engine. Head work next. The heads are out having a valve job and a cleanup.

Basic stuff to install the pan.

One thing I hate is having to undo stuff because I didn’t follow the correct sequence. I mounted the pan filler block too early. Fortunately I was able to get the gasket sealer to release the gasket with a little heat from a paint stripper gun. The manual says you can cut off the bottom of a timing cover gasket and use that if you tear the gasket when removing the pan block. That is just asking for leaks!

Next I installed some cut off bolts to guide the pan and to test fit the side gaskets.

Here is one of a couple of gasket holes that could cause grief later.

More woodworking tools that are handy in the garage. My wife bought these for me years ago when I thought I’d try carving. Maybe some day. For now they have proved very handy cutting out gaskets and fabric.

A little trimming and the hole looks a whole lot better. The gasket is fitting nicely in the rear main slot, but only after I trimmed the edge a tiny bit with an Exacto knife.

With the gaskets in place I tried to fit the pan block. Impossible to get the bolts in now that it has been raised 1/16″ by the gasket. The instructions in the service manual may have worked OK back in the day with pure cork gaskets, but with these composite units it is really hard to compress them at all.

I could have just cut the ends off the gaskets, but I figured if I did that then the pan block would be too low for the pan and the gasket over the pan block might not seal as well. So I marked the ends and put them in the vice overnight – using the softer padded jaw covers.

That did the trick. I was able to get the pan block bolts in place with reasonable pressure. At this point the side gaskets have been covered in sealant on the underside and fitted in place. You can see a tiny bit of red gasket maker where the pan block meets the side gasket. I use high temp sealant wherever there is a 90 degree joint that oil can find its way out.

Now for the end gaskets. Both were too long. The rear one I cut off small bits until I got a fit with a slight bulge at the top.

For the front seal I used the pan block to get the length right and to get the proper angle for where the gasket will meet the side gasket. Of course I did this before re-installing the pan block. I will put red sealant on the side gaskets where the front and rear gaskets will finally make contact with them.

The front and rear gaskets didn’t want to stay in the pan or on the block. I was able to leave the rear one balanced in the rear main groove, but the front one wouldn’t stay in place. So I slipped the pan on and let it rest on the rear seal then I slipped the front seal between the pan and the pan block and pressed down. I applied gasket sealant to the topside of the side gaskets ahead of time.

This did not look good. the front seal was making contact on this side but was up about a 1/4″ on the other side. Nothing left but to try (Yoda would not agree- hahaha!). So I put in a couple of longer bolts in the front holes and started to pull the pan down. As I did the seal moved down on the other side until it made contact just as the pan was bottoming out on the side gasket – whew!

I pulled down the front and back just snug then I put in the remaining pan bolts and tightened them from the center outwards. I tightened everything hand tight with a small screwdriver type handle and a 1/2″ socket. I will leave it all this way for a couple of days to let the gasket sealant set up so that when I do a final torque the side gaskets will stay in place and not try to squeeze out between the pan and the block. Now hopefully I haven’t forgotten anything that will need me to remove the pan.

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