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Old 07-21-2005, 05:07 PM
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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.

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Old 07-21-2005, 05:12 PM
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with only 1inch clearance under the pan I do not think so! to install a one piece seal, you will not be able to get the pan out from under the main caps and oil pump. removing the the motor mount bolts and lifting the engine is not that difficult.
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Old 07-21-2005, 06:34 PM
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IF, and I say IF you can get ALL Of the old cork off the pan and the block, installing the one piece gasket would be my preference. My son does those all the time with only dropping the pan an inch or so. Trick is getting the surfaces clean and dry.
Any chance the rear main is leaking and not the pan? Very common on the 2 piece rear main. My new 350 just started dripping from the main. Pan gasket is dry as a bone. Not planning on changing it any time soon. It drips a few at night and while i'm driving but i'm too old to care and its too hot to do anyway LOL.

Mark
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Old 07-21-2005, 08:28 PM
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Mark, that makes me feel better about the possibility. As for the other note about getting over the caps and oil pump, it should not be a problem since I would be bringing the gasket up under the pan and then slipping it over the pan edges which should work because of the elasticity etc I described. Would have to get it above the pan edges on one end first then work it around the other end. My only concern is dropping any debris into the pan would screw up the whole job. Especially if it was too large to flush out of the drain. Since this gasket is presumed not to be burnt and cracked, that should help, but what if it is fused on with gasket cement? Help!
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Old 07-21-2005, 08:34 PM
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PS. Forgot to relate that the nice man that built it put the passenger side motor mount bolt in from the front, and now the fuel pump housing is in the way, so it would have to be removed first. He apparently put the fuel pump on after installing the engine. Also would have to remove the hood, and carb. Also, the fan shroud has two supports bolted to it to hold up the modified radiator reservoir that sits atop the radiator. All of the above is why I am not too interested in raising the engine.

Does anyone think it would be better to wait it out and see if the leak remains this small, and I can learn to live with it???
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Old 07-21-2005, 09:01 PM
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PPS Mark, I looked twice at the rear main bearing and it appears dry above the pan seal and around the rear main. Will double check before I attempt anything else.
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Old 07-22-2005, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmark
IF, and I say IF you can get ALL Of the old cork off the pan and the block, installing the one piece gasket would be my preference. My son does those all the time with only dropping the pan an inch or so. Trick is getting the surfaces clean and dry.
Any chance the rear main is leaking and not the pan? Very common on the 2 piece rear main. My new 350 just started dripping from the main. Pan gasket is dry as a bone. Not planning on changing it any time soon. It drips a few at night and while i'm driving but i'm too old to care and its too hot to do anyway LOL.

Mark
Does your son have any suggestions as to technique for removing the old cork gasket without getting pieces in the pan? Does he flush the pan out afterwards? Mine has only 4k miles on it. rapsag
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Old 07-22-2005, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rapsag
Mark, that makes me feel better about the possibility. As for the other note about getting over the caps and oil pump, it should not be a problem since I would be bringing the gasket up under the pan and then slipping it over the pan edges which should work because of the elasticity etc I described. Would have to get it above the pan edges on one end first then work it around the other end. My only concern is dropping any debris into the pan would screw up the whole job. Especially if it was too large to flush out of the drain. Since this gasket is presumed not to be burnt and cracked, that should help, but what if it is fused on with gasket cement? Help!
Let us know how it goes!
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Old 07-23-2005, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rapsag
Also would have to remove the hood, and carb. Also, the fan shroud has two supports bolted to it to hold up the modified radiator reservoir that sits atop the radiator.
Why would you have to remove the hood and carb and fan shroud? If you take the fan off you can leave the shroud on. I put a 2x6 under the pan remove the motor mount bolts and lift the motor with a floor jack. Then put a piece of 4x4 about 6 inchec long between the motor and the mount. Let the jack down and you have room enough to get the pan off. Watch out for the dist. cap hitting the fire wall. Thats the only other thing I can think of.
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Old 07-23-2005, 01:21 PM
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The Chevy manual's procedure is to raise the front of the engine off the mounts and insert a wood block (like 454 said) between the crossmember pedestal and the engine clam shell. They also say to rotate the engine crank to a certain postion (can't remember). Apparently, this moves the crank throws out of the way so the pan can slip out the back.
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Old 07-23-2005, 09:12 PM
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Will report later. Now I have a more important ignition problem. (see todays note)
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Old 08-02-2005, 01:05 PM
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Rotate engine

MI2600 It says in the Haynes book to rotate the engine until the timing marker on the damper is strait down. This will place the forward crank in the highest position so the forward part of the pan can be slipped back without having to lower it. After all the above, I have made three conclusions:
1. If I remove the connections of the exhaust from the manifold on each side and lower it, suspend it with a wire. I believe there is enough room to weasle out the pan.
2. If it won't come out. There is enough room to remove and replace the gasket in place. Just have to be careful to remove any and all stuck on gasket and clean the surfaces.
3. Since adding the stop leak and driving a while I have only a minor drip or two from the rear pan seal every day or so. Soooo I can live with it if it does not change for the worse.
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Old 08-02-2005, 01:13 PM
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I did mine on the Camaro and itīs best to get the pan out of the way, I canīt see how you can thread the one piece under the pump pickup, itīs a long ways down. I wouldīnt risk distorting it either it has metal reinforcements in it.
I took off the distributor cap but banged up the wiper motor with the driverīs side valve cover.
Wedge the motor well, it could cost you fingers.
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Old 08-02-2005, 01:32 PM
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If you have drops of oil coming out the little hole in the bottom of your flywheel cover like you say you do...and the rear of the pan is dry like you say it is...your oil pan gasket isnot leaking...It is your rear main bearing seal that is leaking.
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Old 08-03-2005, 07:13 AM
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malc, Do not have to drag the gasket THROUGH pan and under the pump sump. Simply bring it all up UNDER the pan and then slip it over the lip first on one end and then on the other and the sides with it. For a test,if you will take a one piece and lay it on a flat surface, and flatten out the end (curved) pieces, you will see that it is wide enough to slip over the sides of a pan one side at a time. I am told this by a grizzly old shade tree mechanic that works at a local NAPA, who says he has done this. However, since I am not a witness I would have to make a test run first with a borrowed oil pan and the gasket(which I have). For the time being I am sitting on it since the leak is very small and seems to be from the pan as the oil drips down both the back of the pan and the outside of the flywheel cover to the low point (which happens to be where the drain hole also resides). When I took the cover off, there was no puddled fluid in it, the flywheel was dry, and the bearing seal looked dry.
For now I am happy, since the wiring problems are now solved (see my other thread). Will not bother you guys until need arrises. Thanks all. rap
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