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Old 07-15-2008, 07:48 PM
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Thick front pan seal problem... or not??

Finishing up on reassembly, picked up a Fel Pro one piece oil pan seal and new (china) oil pan, and Mr Gasket 2 piece timing cover.. Measured the front mating surface on the pan (distance from floor/straight edge) and got just shy of 2 3/8" (maybe a 32nd off). The engine is upside down, timing cover is bolted down, and the front of the pan is pretty far from the gasket & block. I didn't want to use the pan bolts to draw the pan down (the front bolts will not thread into the block)..

A few attached pictures, all taken at the same time.

Is it ok to draw the pan down?? Should I try a thin front seal gasket?


thanks for any input...

eazy




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Old 07-15-2008, 10:33 PM
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Looks to me like it would be correct once you get the front of the one piece gasket ALL the way down into the groove in the timing cover. It doesn't look like it is from here, the amount showing fron the groove should appear even, and the corners should touch the block on both sides. It can take a decent amount of force with your fingers to do this, it is meant to be a tight fit.

Edit: Even when the gasket is right the pan will not sit down totally flat to the rubber, you will JUST be able to start the front two 5/16" bolts, and may have to lean on the pan to compress the gasket a little to get them to start.

Last edited by ericnova72; 07-15-2008 at 10:38 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72
Looks to me like it would be correct once you get the front of the one piece gasket ALL the way down into the groove in the timing cover. It doesn't look like it is from here, the amount showing fron the groove should appear even, and the corners should touch the block on both sides. It can take a decent amount of force with your fingers to do this, it is meant to be a tight fit.
Actually, right after taking the picture, I got the seal seated a little further down on the block without much force. I understand with the tight fit thing, I've seen the front & rear seals cause problems on other engines from not being clean, tight, etc....
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72
Edit: Even when the gasket is right the pan will not sit down totally flat to the rubber, you will JUST be able to start the front two 5/16" bolts, and may have to lean on the pan to compress the gasket a little to get them to start.
Alright... I'll probably get out in the morning and try to get the pan down a little further by hand. Another small worry was that the Fel Pro's front "thick" seal was so much thicker than that that came with the timing cover..


Thanks for the input, any other info is appreciated.. I may build a test stand in the next few days, just in case..... I'd rather drop the engine in once and not have to pull it to fix a sealing problem... (especially since now everything is pretty clean and oil free..)

thanks again

eazy
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:08 AM
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When it comes to pan seals there are only two types- thin and thick, and this is decided by the front lip of the pan. There is only one type of timing cover as far as dimensions are concerned, they are all the same, so don't pay any attention to the seal thickness that came with the cover- the pan makes the decision. If putting a fair amount of hand pressure to it still won't allow you to get the pan bolts started a couple of threads then the pan probably takes a thin seal unless it is too poorly made. Good luck
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:55 AM
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What year was the pan designed for? What year was the gasket designed for? What side is your dipstick on?

If you purchased a pre 1980 pan and a post 1980 gasket you will experience this problem.

If your dipstick is on the driver side then you definately need a thin gasket. Trying to squish a thick gasket just won't work. You need the right one.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double_v23
What year was the pan designed for? What year was the gasket designed for? What side is your dipstick on?

If you purchased a pre 1980 pan and a post 1980 gasket you will experience this problem.

If your dipstick is on the driver side then you definately need a thin gasket. Trying to squish a thick gasket just won't work. You need the right one.
Ahhh, I do have a drivers side dipstick.. As far as year of the pan; I'm not sure. I simply purchased a drivers side dipstick stock depth, the gasket is pre 1980. I'll check on the pan in a minute, see if it mentions year..

thanks for the help..

eazy


oh yeah- Eric- I understand that there are two front seal sizes, but the pan seal is thicker than the thin & thick seal that came with the timing cover (if fel pro makes all their 1880 front seals this way- there might as well be 3 sizes... Pictures of that later..
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:14 AM
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by looking at your pictures, you have the right gasket. i find it a lot easier to install studs on the 4 corners of the block. in all the years i have been doing this, very few engines needed the thin gasket. good luck.

sam-missle
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam-missle
by looking at your pictures, you have the right gasket. i find it a lot easier to install studs on the 4 corners of the block. in all the years i have been doing this, very few engines needed the thin gasket. good luck.

sam-missle
Thank you Sam, I will work on getting this one down... Hopefully have this engine up and running soon... :biting nails:

eazy
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:45 AM
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The fel pro gasket that you need does not have dipstick holes in both sides. Does yours have the option for either side?

I had the same problem.
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72
When it comes to pan seals there are only two types- thin and thick, and this is decided by the front lip of the pan. There is only one type of timing cover as far as dimensions are concerned, they are all the same, so don't pay any attention to the seal thickness that came with the cover- the pan makes the decision. If putting a fair amount of hand pressure to it still won't allow you to get the pan bolts started a couple of threads then the pan probably takes a thin seal unless it is too poorly made. Good luck
Here is what I was talking about, about the front seal thicknesses. The two black ones came with my timing cover, the blue is my Fel Pro 1880. I understand that there are only two thicknesses, but according to what I have in front of me; someone put out a third size...



The thinnest seal is 1/4" thick, medium is about 7/16", and the fel pro (blue measures about 9/16" (1/8" thicker than the assumed "thick seal"). I will just conclude that the extra 1/8" is part of the design, and is an acceptable difference, possibly necessary for a proper seal.. All I'm saying is; to an "ordinary" observer, the fel pro may look waay too thick..


Quote:
Originally Posted by Double_v23
The fel pro gasket that you need does not have dipstick holes in both sides. Does yours have the option for either side?

I had the same problem.
Only has one dipstick hole, the passenger side is straight and flat, no discrepancies....
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam-missle
by looking at your pictures, you have the right gasket. i find it a lot easier to install studs on the 4 corners of the block. in all the years i have been doing this, very few engines needed the thin gasket. good luck.

sam-missle
Aha, I've seen this done before and will likely resort to it.. Although; anyone under my car inspecting my oil pan bolts will notice the four non-ARP studs in the corners...
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:31 PM
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I always use studs in the corners too, makes it easier.
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:34 PM
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If you decide to switch gaskets, (I have used several of the fel pro one piece gaskets like you have there with mixed results, go with engine techs gasket from competition products I have never had one leak on any of the motors I used them on.) Good luck with whatever you choose.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:58 PM
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Thanks for all the info fellas.. I didn't have an attractive set of stainless studs, so I tried drawing the pan/seal to the block with a few old bolts & nuts, and it seemed to work well.... I'll hopefully pick up some stainless studs & nuts tomorrow morning and be back on my way to having this thing finally running again..

Thanks again everyone


eazy
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:11 PM
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In reference to the engine tech gasket, does drivers side dipstick mean LH side or RH side, i'm confused?
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