Changing pan gasket on 350 chevy
Does anyone have any experience with changing the oil pan gasket on a 350 chevy without raising the engine. My engine is in a custom frame with a permanent crosspiece under the pan right where the motor mounts are. There is about one inch clearance at the back edge of the cross piece. All the pan bolts and the ends are easily accessible. The pan bolts can be removed and the pan lowered perhaps as much as two inches at the rear end about one inch at the front. The gasket set is a standard 4 piece with cork on the sides and neoprene on the ends.( thats why they leak). The engine was rebuilt in '90 but has only 4000 miles (probably why it leaks also). The gasket edges appear good, and there are no apparent leaks around the cork part. The front pan gasket has only a barely ooze with no apparent dripping as yet. The rear gasket seems to be leaking at the juncture of the neoprene and the cork. I have gently snugged all the bolts but no help. It only drips about 2-4 drops from the fly wheel cover (occ, from the rear pan) after setting in the garage for a day or so after a good drive. I have added 'NO Leak' about 100 miles ago and am still waiting for some effect.
I have never had leaky engines and so it bothers me. I realize that the majority of old engines do so to some degree.
1. should I live with it as long as it is negligable?
2. can the gasket be changed like I suggested above?
If I can do the above and get the cork part off without dropping anything in the pan, I think I can put a one piece FelPro neoprine on it from below by stretching it over each side from below, and thus avoid having to get it around the oil pump sump. The curved end pieces of this gasket will give enough extra width when straightened out, to slide over the lip of the pan first at one end and then the other. Or--am I dreaming? I believe the old cork is still intact enough to come off in one piece but not sure of this. Any help appreciated.