Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

I've been reading through my service manuals and can't find specific instructions on how to replace the oil pan gasket. Does the engine need to be lifted or is there another way to remove the pan?

If the engine needs to come off the mounts then I don't have the capacity to do it at home with my tools. What is a typical hour count a mechanic will charge for this job?

Anything else in the way of preventative maintenance that should be done while engine is up? Motor mounts? Add a GTS oil bafle?

Thanks and Best Regards,
89' 5-speed.

The best way to do the job it to have the engine supported from above. Both the steering rack and the cross brace should be removed. Since the motor mounts attach to the cross brace, it would be good the replace them as well. If yo plan to use the car at the track, a GTS baffle will not hurt.

The time to do the job is about 6 hours. Add more for the motor mounts and baffle. Parts will run you about $600 or so for all the parts mentioned. If you really feel ambitious, replace all the con-rod bearings too. Add $100 for parts and about 3 hours of labor.

Merry motoring, Ed.

Don't forget new rod nuts if you do the con rod bearings!

Susan Kirby

Use Yamaha-bond4 on both side of the gasket. This will make a 200,000 mile or more seal and you will never have a leak again. Use a minimal coat on the gasket, but "dip" each bolt in YB4 prior to installation. Do not over-tighten!

Marc M. Thomas

Actually, I just removed and replaced my oil pan without dropping the suspension. I removed the bolts between the engine block and the engine mounts, then raised the engine a couple inches. When the bolts holding the pan were removed, I had to reach inside it to remove the pick-up tube. It took a while (there are thirty 6mm bolts) but it wasn't difficult.

Ray Wach

It appears I am not the only one with the pan leaking problem. There has been a lot of incoming email wanting to know the easy way to replace it so here it goes.

I used an engine hoist and two under hoist adjustable jack stands. Drain oil, remove oil sending unit (watch out for that other spring), remove oil fill tube, unplug oil level unit wire, loosen alt. and a/c belts and brackets, remove lower radiator shroud, remove all accessible oil pan bolts, starter, clutch cylinder, and two motor mount nuts and washers. The engine is now resting on the crossmember. On both sides of each motor mount is a mount support built into the lower crank case which also attaches to the top crank case. Place a jack stand under the bolts of each support forward of each mount. Raise the engine to where the mount bolts clear the holes and are about 1 inch above the hole. Remove the remaining four pan bolts and lower the pan. With a 10mm socket and 6mm allen, remove the oil pickup and drop it into the pan. Remove the pan, clean and inspect, reassemble in reverse order.

How long does it take? If I knew now what I just shared with you, probably not more than 2 - 2 1/2 hours.

I hope this helps,

I replaced the oil pan gasket and the rod bearings without removing the suspension (by lifting the engine). It's not hard; I would seriously consider it if I was removing the steering rack. You should also think about the engine mounts (which require steering rack removal) and installing the GTS oil-pan baffle (which only costs $10). Removing the oil pan requires being able to reach the four bolts above the cross member and several bolts behind the a/c compressor and alternator. The cross member is no sweat with the steering rack out; the alternator is not hard to remove, and the a/c compressor does not need to be removed all the way--just loosen it as far as possible.

1. I lifted the engine by putting a bottlejack under the bellhousing, near the starter motor. In my case, I was replacing all the rubber in the intake system at the same time, so the top of the engine was empty. If I had not been, I would have worried about the heater hoses and the fuel lines binding or stretching.

2. I lifted the engine until the exhaust pipes hit the heat shields. Remember, I was not worried about anything soft above the engine getting damaged; if the engine had been complete on top, I would have been much more careful.

3. The engine lifted about 80mm, completely off the engine mounts. I didn't remove the steering rack or look at the mounts carefully, but I don't think it would have been difficult to remove them. In any case, if I had to I would probably just drop the whole cross member out of the car. Once the steering rack is removed, I don't think there's any reason not to, and you need to remove the steering rack to get to the engine mount bolts.

4. I replaced my rod bearings because I heard a slight bearing knock when the engine was very cold (only for the first ninety second's running, in the morning). Kim Crumb said it would be rod bearings before main bearings, and probably rod two (the notorious oiling problem). A set of bearing shells cost less than $100, so it was worth a try to avoid a siezed rod. I checked the clearance of the new bearings with plasti-gauge (within spec), and I compared the new and old bearings--the old bearings were worn, but not dramatically. All showed even use, and the crank pins looked OK. Therefore it was no surprise when I still had the knock when I restarted the car. My conclusion is that it's either piston pins or some other noise doing a very good imitation of bearing knock (sort of like the muffled sound you would hear if two hammers were bumping against each other inside the engine, louder with throttle pressure).

5. Since the crank is held in place by the lower crankcase cradle, removing it with the engine in the car is practically impossible. I replaced the front main seal when I did my timing belt, and my rear seal seems fine. On my automatic car, it's probably possible to replace the rear seal through the lower bell housing.

6. You can tell if the engine mounts are bad by how low the engine sits. I don't know where it should be when it's new, but my exhause manifolds are practically touching the heat shields--definitely too low. I can't spend $550 for something that doesn't make the car faster, so I'm trying to find a cheaper alternative. If I can get the dimensions of the stock mounts, I may be able to find hydraulic engine mounts for another car that would fit. I need to know the original height and bolt length, then I need a hydraulic mount that is no higher, no wider, has bolts at least as long, and can handle the engine's weight. They will probably still cost $100 each.

7. I was able to remove the whole pan. After the engine was lifted and the a/c compressor and alternator were out of the way, I removed the thirty 6mm bolts holding the pan, reached into the pan and removed the oil pick-up tube, then slid the pan forward under the radiator. Installing the GTS-baffle required drilling and tapping holes on my pan--I'm not sure if other pans will have the bolt holes ready. Drilling and tapping was easy.

8. I used an OEM pan gasket, but there has been a lot of talk about changing the design. The OEM seal is a thick cork seal that deforms a lot. Over time it probably shrinks and stiffens, allowing leaks to develop. Mine has been dry so far, but it hasn't been a year yet.

Ray Wach
'85.5 944
'86.5 928
'87.0 944

I did the GTS baffle upgrade recently, and it's not too bad. Basically once you get the pan off and cleaned, you lay the baffle in the pan, with the circular cutout facing forward. You can pretty much see how it fits in by looking at it. It will be sitting on 5 (or 7--I can't remember which) bosses in the pan casting. Get someone to hold it tightly in place while you scribe the mount holes. Make sure your scribe marks are centered in the bosses. I don't remember what size drill and tap I used, but should be self explanitory once you get the mount hardware. Then drill and tap the previously scribed bosses. Clean holes out THOROUGHLY with compressed air, and wash the entire pan thoroughly with warm soapy water. Do the washing several times if necessary to remove all chips/shavings from the drilling/tapping. I then mounted mine using Loctite on the bolt threads. Very easy, you just need to take your time, and not misdrill your pan. Also when installing the pan, highly recommend using Yama-Bond 4 sealant. Stuff was recommended by Marc Thomas, and works great.

Chris Lockhart
'89 928 GT

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