Originally Posted by wotan
Boats! It never ends!!
I watched a show last evening, something about pawn shops. A guy sells the owner's son a boat, the father freaks out (at first, anyway) and tells his kid, "A boat is a hole in the water that you throw money into!"
I always heard, "The two happiest days of a boat owners life is the day he buys his boat- and the day he get rid of it! lol
First, check the oil pressure sender. Wouldn't hurt to look at the base of the distributor, too. Anyway, you could have a rear main gone on it. Was it a sudden thing, or gradual, or?
In any event- IF it's either a rear main seal or a pan gasket, the pan needs to come off. This will mean at a minimum, you'll need the height of the pan, plus some to clear the crank counterweights/throws and the oil pump pick up in order to get the pan off. Removing the engine would sure make things easier. I hesitate to say it's absolutely necessary, but it's close.
For the RM seal, there are complications involving having to remove the rear main cap, oil pump and old seal. The bottom half is a piece of cake, but the top half can be a bit more trouble.
If the engine has been together for a long time, the RM seal will have stuck in the upper half pretty darned good. If you take an 1/8" BRASS drift, you can try popping it loose by hitting it on the end. This has worked for me in the past.
There's a tool made for installing and removing the RM seals, called a SNEAKY PETE
. I know some swear by them, others AT them- personally I've never used the one I own, I always did just fine w/o it.
Cleaning the top seal groove is important. You need to have it real clean so the new seal will slide in easily and so it won't leak, but the job is basically blind. I've had luck using a long piece of gage stock, trimmed for the job (below, usually available from NAPA or a machine shop). You can use some spray gasket remover to soften the rubber if there's a lot adhering to the block.
Many builders have taken to using the "offset" or "clocked" method of installing the seal- that's up to you, as well as where (or if) to use any sealer. I don't use sealer on the seal itself, but use a small amount on the block, adjacent to the seal.
Then there's the front seal that will have been disturbed by the pan removal.