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Perfectionist Procrastinator
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Discussion Starter #1
Newbie question here: Is it possible to remove the oil pan from a 350 while the engine is installed in a 1970 Nova? I've always thought it was, but I'm trying to get mine out and the bellhousing (four-speed manual) is getting in the way. There just does not seem to be enough space between the crossmember and the engine block, which in turn does not give me enough of an angle to pull the pan down and back without running into the bellhousing.

Any tips?
 

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Mekanicus Automotive Group
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178 Posts
A good trick.

This is one that I've done on my highschool car, a '68 Camaro.
If you have access to an engine hoist, pull up a little tension on the hoist after it's strapped to yer' engine. Pull the primary bolt on one engine mount, (you may want to pull the bolts out of the tranny mount too, to keep from tearing it to shreds.) and pump the hoist up a bit. The engine should list to one side, thus giving you just enough space to drop the pan out. Hope I helped, and hope it works on a nova.

Speedshift.
 

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Mekanicus Automotive Group
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Tricks of the trade

However, do keep in mind that the first and last time I did that was many years ago in highschool. Since that day, I've always had them out for major maintainence issues. But it certainly can be done. I love the old machines for this sort of thing. From 1956 to 1958, all chevy v-8s were front mount, and some had the crossmember so far away, you could damn near rebuild the engines without pulling them from the car.

Speedshift.
 

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As speedshift mentions raising the engine a little will likely be required (personally I often loosen both mounts. Keep an eye on the distributor cap and fan to radiator clearance when you raise the engine. You may also need to rotate the crankshaft to get the front of the pan to clear the crankshaft counterweights.

On a side note, 58 was the first year for side motor mounts on their passenger car.

"...... you could damn near rebuild the engines without pulling them from the car......."

Thru around the mid 60's in-car overhauls were much more common than removing the engines. There was even a crankshaft grinder made that could do the rod journals in car.
 

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Car? Truck? Who Cares
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Also helps to have the crank in position on this car.

Can't exactly remember what position, but you don't want the first two crank throws or weights getting in the way.

Did this on a 76 nova----pain in the (yep--thats the spot)

Bryan
 

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In the long run, its easier to remove the engine.........Unless you are just replacing the gasket, or oil pump, you are probably going to have to do it anyways.
 

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I'm with poncho, pull it out then you can clean and paint it at the same time. I also like to use the one piece oil pan gaskets.

Why are you pulling the pan?
 

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Perfectionist Procrastinator
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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for the input.

As to why I'm pulling the pan, long story short (saving the whole story for another thread) there is definitely something wrong mechanically in the engine and I wanted to check the bottom end for a spun bearing or other such failure.

I don't have a hoist at the moment so my best option is to use a floor jack. Problem is, with the car up on jacks as it is, the jack won't raise high enough to reach the block. I'm hesitant to use something as a spacer for safety reasons.
 

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Newskool
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I would pull the engine then. You are simply risking more damage for the sake of a possible option.

If you list some symptoms your engines giving someone here can probably point out an almost guaranteed problem. You will most likely have to pull the engine anyway.
 

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Perfectionist Procrastinator
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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, but the fact that this is my DD and I don't have the funds at the moment to rebuild the engine, I need to make sure something is wrong that would require it, rather than something that can be fixed in the car.

Again, thank you for your replies.
 

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Yank the distributor, remove the fan and both main bolts on the mounts. You should be able to get about three inches of lift before the bellhousing hits the tunnel.

Turn the crank until the 1/2 rod journal is off to the side and the pan should come out with a little cussing.


You're on your own with the floor jack, I've done some questionable things in the past but I would never tell anybody else to do it.



Larry
 

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10-4 on that cold knock what ever route you take be careful with that floor jack!!! and stands!!!! YES I HAVE DONE SOME REALLY DUMB SH!+, yeah thats the stuff. lucky a few time too. older and wiser now (3 kids wife house note car note ) you get the picture!!!Brian
 

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Give us a description of what the car is doing. You may not need to pull the pan in the first place. How's your oil pressure? Is it ticking/knocking/growling?

I used to do a lot of work in the ditch and gravel.

Just another thought, a lady I work with son damn near got crushed by not using jackstands not two months ago. It busted him up some but it could have been a lot worse. Don't trust your life on a $.10 rubber o ring!!
 

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On my '72 Nova, I only had to jack the engine up enough to stick a chunk of 2x4 under each motor mount to hold it up a little bit. The trick is to turn the crank so the timing mark is pretty close to straight down. This gets the counterweights far enough out of the way that you can work the pan out. It's tight, but do-able.

Also, remove the distributor cap so it doesn't get crunched on the firewall when you jack the engine up. And don't forget to undo the fan shroud so it'll move up with the fan.
 

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Perfectionist Procrastinator
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks again everyone for the tips. Turns out my family up in Sacramento has an extra car they are not using that I am going to borrow for a couple of months. This lets the Nova off the hook in terms of transportation, so I am going to yank the whole engine. It's something I've wanted to do since I bought the car and now I have an excuse.
 
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