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Old 04-11-2011, 02:49 PM   #1
RyanL
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Default Oil Pan Gasket Replacement without pulling motor

Hey, I made a post about this the other day at the end of a really long thread and didn't really get any responses. Anyway, I have the oil pan dropped a little right now, but I can't get it all the way off. I searched around, but didn't find anything conclusive about whether or not they were able to get the pan completely off and do it right or they had to half-ass it with it in place (it seems like I would need several more inches to get it around the oil pump). I already have it jacked up a few inches, but the upper intake is hitting up against the firewall. I guess my question is, is it worth it to take the upper intake off or will it just hit something else? The way my luck runs is I'll take that upper intake appart and then something else will be holding it back. It also looks like one of the power steering hoses isn't going to stretch much more. I can get it as is, but would really like to get it off of there so I can clean out the pan and oil pump screen real well. TIA.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:32 AM   #2
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Just an update: I had to remove the upper intake and the distributor cap to jack the motor up enough. I also jacked the transmission up a bit too (not sure if this was necessary, just found it easier). One thing I had trouble with was the rear part of the gasket where it goes into the block (U-shaped part). Pieces of the old gasket where stuck up in the block and I had to use a small 6" long drill bit to get it out. I forget the exact size bit, but it was the next size smaller than 1/8". Getting that part of the gasket out was really a waste for me anyway because I ended up just cutting the top pieces of that U part off of the new gasket (I could not get them to go into the block to save my life!) and skirting a bunch of gasket maker up in there. I used gasket maker on both sides BTW to prevent leaks in the future. One tip I have after doing it is put the gasket onto the block rather than trying to put it on the pan. I put it onto the pan and tried to work the pan back on, but the rear part of the gasket kept on coming off (the fit between the bell housing and the block is tight). I also changed the front seal while I was at it because I was 90% sure that was leaking too. I have a couple of pointers for you guys since I came across a couple of threads where it seemed like others were having much trouble. It was a very simple task if you remove the radiator and fan (fan is reverse thread BTW). It isn't necessary to remove the timing chain cover like I thought it might be. When you put the gear puller on the pulley, just leave the bolt in (just a couple of threads) and also leave the 3/4" head shallow socket on the bolt head. It gives the gear puller something to push on while keeping it centered. You can also put a set of vise grips on your socket to keep the bolt from cranking down while you crank the gear puller (it will stop once it hits the one of the gear puller arms). The old seal pried right out and to put the new seal back in, I just used the same bolt and a 38MM shallow socket (was almost the exact size of the seal, but YMMV because the outside diameter varies from brand to brand). Good luck!
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:45 PM   #3
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Glad to hear you were able to get it without pulling motor. I've had mine out twice now, last time just for lower oil leaks. Once you've pulled one it's not as daunting, just takes a couple days.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:26 PM   #4
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Judging by that picture, it looks like you could use some explorer rear leaf springs. Mine was squatting a little in the rear like yours (most older rangers and bronco IIs that I see look like that). It was a major PITA, but it was well worth it. It doesn't bottom out over bumps when carrying crap or lean when going around turns anymore. It cost me about $200 total; $100 for '92 Explorer springs (I went with vin code U ones which they said were the most common. There was also V and one other code which I can't remember, but I was afraid they might have been too stiff for the weight of the bronco II.), $50 for prothane shackle and spring eye bushings (link), and I also ordered 6 new bolts from Fastenal which were about $35. Opted to go with longer ones (I believe they were 130MM long M14's with 2.00 pitch) because I noticed that the factory ones were eaten away badly where the edge of the shackles were because Ford decided to use shorter bolts than necessary (the threaded part goes into the leaf springs about an inch so it grinds on the threaded part). I had to cut about an inch off of the bottom rear shackle bolts because they stuck out too far, but the others were a perfect fit. Like I said, it was real fun. Be prepared to have a breaker bar with a decent pipe for extra leverage. I even snapped one of the leaf spring bolts heads off which I had to cut in two places with a grinder to get out. It was even a pain just getting the old rotted bushings out of the explorer leaf springs. I used a 1&1/8" hole saw on each side to get the bushing pins out and then had to use a sawzall with a metal blade to cut the bushing sleeves so I could get them out(the factory bushings have metal sleeves on the outside). I know it all sounds like a pain bet it was well worth it. It rides nicely with better control going down the highway at 70 now. If anyone has any questions hit me back while it's all still fresh in my mind.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:13 PM   #5
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Just my $0.02. Anyone that plans on removing the oil pan more than once in the truck's life should do a 2" body lift. Turns it into a 20 min job, because all you have to do is jack the motor and remove the pan (didn't even have to open the hood). That made life much easier when I was experimenting with the oil pump to increase pressure (which worked for me btw).
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillupsOMally View Post
Just my $0.02. Anyone that plans on removing the oil pan more than once in the truck's life should do a 2" body lift. Turns it into a 20 min job, because all you have to do is jack the motor and remove the pan (didn't even have to open the hood). That made life much easier when I was experimenting with the oil pump to increase pressure (which worked for me btw).
It's a little late for me now, but what did you do to increase the pessure? I'm running the rotella 15W40 (which I found out on this forum) which seemed to help a little with the pressure.
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:29 PM   #7
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I shimmed the oil pressure relief spring. Others have said it definitely won't increase pressure in a motor that has low pressure because of worn out bearings, etc. In general they're probably right, but, for me it did.

My 2.9 originally had 15psi cold, and once it was warm dropped below 5psi (that was with 20W50 which was an improvement over 10W30). First I put 3 washers under the spring, and when I started the truck it shot the oil filter right off the block.

I took 1 washer out and then my pressure was much closer to spec. I can't remember exact numbers anymore but it was almost acceptable. The lifter racket was still the same (original motor, 350 000kms) but the power on the highway greatly increased.

Ultimately though, I did the only permanent fix for a 2.9, a 4.0 swap.

(I do miss the mileage.)
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:22 PM   #8
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Default Its been years, but pan came off easily

I pulled the oil pan off an 86 2.9L engine years back. All I remember I had to do was pull the bolts out of the motor mounts, just like doing a Chevy, and jack up the engine, stuff wood blocks in there where they wouldn't slip out --- very important for hands and fingers!, to hold the engine block up as far as it would go, without doing anything to the top of the engine. Then the pan came right off. I was worried about the oil pump going bad, but it was like brand new at 60K. The problem was the dam gauge.

I just remembered, my Ranger has heavy duty factory suspension with 5 leaf rear springs and it does sit higher than other Rangers, so this could be why I didn't have much trouble removing the pan.

Last edited by Halffast; 05-20-2011 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:11 PM   #9
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I don't think that all the suspension lift in the world would help because of where that damn cross member or whatever you want to call it is located (it wraps right around the oil pan, at least on a '89 4x4). If you used blocks of wood, where did you prop it up at? I looked all around and couldn't find a decent spot to lift it or support it besides the bell housing without blocking my point of egress (I pulled the pan out the front). It wasn't that easy for me either and the motor and transmission had to creep forward a bit in order for it to come up high enough. I wouldn't want to have to do it again, that's for sure. If the motor is in questionable shape, I would just wait until a rebuild or replacement is in order to do an oil pan gasket or oil pump replacement.
EDIT: I just noticed that yours is a 2X4. That makes all the difference in the world.

Last edited by RyanL; 05-20-2011 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:02 PM   #10
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Some good info, been debating on doing this job soon. These oil leaks are driving me crazy
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