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LoneStarS30Z

Do I HAVE to hoist my engine to replace oil pan gasket?

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I've heard this before, and I've searched and searched, and it seems those with ZX's have to lift the engine off the mounts, but I haven't seen a definite answer on if the early Z guys have to.

 

I've looked at it myself and it looks like there's enough space between the cross member to get at the bolts and slide the pan out. Unless the oil pick up in rear of the pan sticks too far down and the angle isn't good for me the slide the pan out.

 

Anyone have a for sure answer on this? It'll save me a great bit of time not having to source an engine hoist.

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Thanks for the quick replies fellas.

 

I entered the magic word combination on Google and found this:

 

 

Just want to note that I surveyed the archives and found all the hints for removal of oil pan while the engine is in the car BEFORE I attempted to do this on my '76 280Z to replace a leaky gasket. And I must report, once you know the tricks, it is a very simple process requiring no removal of crossmember or jacking of engine. Since the hints were scattered in several posts, I thought I would take you through the process with all hints in one place:

1. Jack car up on crossmember and block it there. Even better, I slid ramps under the front wheels (the car is too low to drive up them). This gave me plenty of working room, and was much safer than jack stands.

2. Drain oil. Remove dipstick.

3. Remove all pan bolts. Note that there are two different-length bolts used on the pan. The longer ones go throught the angled metal "spacers" or whatever they are on rear sides of pan.

4. Remove bottom two bolts in the tranny bellhousing. The pan will hang up on them otherwise.

5. On my car (76 280Z), there was a small "anti-torque" thing on the steering rack. It's put together with a U-clamp like you'd find on an exhaust clamp, and is there I guess to keep the rack from twisting. Anyway, mine was situated at the driver's side of the rack. It's in the way for lowering pan. It's simple to loosen it and either remove it or (as I did) simply slide it to the other end out of the way.

6. Knock pan loose with rubber mallet. After 20+ years, mine was almost 'welded' on and had to be pried loose with screwdriver, which actually bent one corner before it would bust loose. You may have to go this way, too, but try to do it only as last resort. Straightening small bends in pan rim is no big deal.

7. Loosen the two 12mm bolts on the oil pickup. They're on the driver's side about halfway down the block. Be careful not to damage the thin gasket. You don't have to actually remove this piece, but I did so to clean it up and replace the gasket.

8. Once the pan is loose, you can get a flashlight and see where your rod journals are situated. The pan will not come out unless the front journals (or more accurately, the crank counterweights in front) are rotated up into the engine. So you need to get your 27mm socket on the crank snout and turn with a big ratchet or breaker bar. (I meant to see where this was compared to TDC, but forgot.)

9. Once the frontmost counterweights are up inside engine, the pan will slide back, down and out. It's a tight fit and takes a bit of jiggling, but it will make it.

10. To install, "reverse the procedure". If you've removed the oil pickup, screw it very loosely into position BEFORE you slide the pan on. Once the pan is back in position, don't forget to tighten the oil pickup bolts before you start in on the pan bolts.

I tried sticking the pan gasket on with sticky sealer, but you have to wiggle everything around so much, that it still came loose. It's okay. You can fudge it around when the pan is in position, just be patient and make sure all the screws are indeed going through the gasket. Finally, do NOT overtighten pan bolts. I think they spec out at 7ftlbs. The pan gasket I used was so thick and squishy that I had to make 3-4 passes around with a small torque wrench before they would 'hold' torque. Also note that there are two or three bolts on the passengers side under the crossmember that you'll have to do with a box end, as you can't get a socket on them.

11. Don't forget to put oil back in the engine! :wink:

 

 

 

Looks like its possible after all.

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John is right, we replaced a pan gasket using a lift. We emptied out all the oil, removed all the bolts and then carfully slide the oil pan out. We used something tacky to put the gasket on so that it would not move. It worked out great, just need to have a steady hand.

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One thing I did was use some light sewing thread to lightly tie the oil pan gasket to the pan. Then simply cut the thread off once you get most of the screws in place.

Edited by JSM

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One thing I did was use some light sewing thread to lightly tie the oil pan gasket to the pan. Then simply cut the thread off once you get most of the screws in place.

 

 

High five. That's one of those, "How come I didn't think of that" type of things. Thanks!

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High five. That's one of those, "How come I didn't think of that" type of things. Thanks!

 

LOL! Back in the day my dad watched me strugle awhile on the pan gasket then he was like try this! Every now and then dads know some things!

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I was actually able to slide it out without even removing the oil pick up, lucky me!

 

Now I'm taking a little break to do some research, I've been a victim of the idiot previous owner over torquing and warped oil pan syndrome.

Edited by LoneStarS30Z

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Yup I was pretty surprised. Although unfortunately I'm pretty sure it might leak again, my bolt holes were pretty concaved in on the holes that didn't have the brace support. Tried my best to flatten them out, but I think I almost did more harm than good, and I'm on a tight time schedule.

 

Oh well. Maybe engine swap in my future anyways.

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JSM, thank your Dad for me! The thread idea worked great. Also you have to turn the crank so No. 1 is at 90 before or after TDC then the pan practicly falls out.

 

Lone Star, get a tub of Permatex RTV Black Max gasket maker. Crawl back under and spackle the stuff between the pan and block. Also go around every bolt hole with the stuff. Don't forget to clean everything with Acetone first. Let it cure over night. That should give you a permanent seal with out re-dropping the pan.

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Just want to comment this worked swimmingly.  I used these instructions this weekend and everything in there was exactly what I had to do.  I was removing a racing oil pan that holds 7qts going back to the stock pan.  You do have to be careful if you are running ARP Studs and 12point nuts.  You must remove the steering rack torque thingy to get the pan low enough to clear the studs. 

 

 I would add that Fel-pro makes snap ups. A stud that allows you to put the gasket up and hold it in place, you can add the pan too and it holds it in place the front is a bit tricky but once you get the pan in place these things are like having two sets of extra hands. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Grt7UQLMOko

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RE: "Ramps Safer than Jackstands"

As someone who has watched stamped-steel ramps rated at 3X the total weight of the vehicle driven upon them spontaneously collapse... "Not on my life ever again!"

I will NEVER use a ramp of stamped-steel ever again, as well as those three-legged jack stands that look like they were made from muffler tubing split a 120 degrees.

I have a solid wood set of ramps I use, and an injection moulded plastic set that I use. Once the car is up on the ramps SOMETHING blocks it there, and SOMETHING is under the frame.


***

 

As for pulling the pan...it's all above, nothing insurmountable...usually biggest issue is the Nissan Applied gaskets are like a subatomic bond with the block and pan and splitting them apart can be a chore even with a special Nazi-Era Scraper that you can whang in there with a rawhide mallet to separate the surfaces.

I tend to spray up into and onto the inner block surfaces with brake cleaner to prevent oil from rolling down into the gasket area while mounting and sealing.

I use the brake cleaner into each of the bolt holes to prevent oil up inside from coming out and making a leak path in the sealant.

Finally, I use studs on the reassembly, all sunk in and sealed (to prevent the oil path mentioned above.) The use of studs allows me to make them long enough to accommodate 1/2" 'sandwich plates' similar to that used on later L28's and L28ET's to spread the clamping function of the pan bolts (nuts) without deforming the pan rails. They are made from 1/2"x1/8" or strap steel I get at Home Depot's metal rack. I make the rails straight, put the clamping sandwich strips on there, and use Flanged Nuts to squeeze it all together. There are two studs that are longer than the rest situated diagonally opposite corners...I put the pan with sealant on it up until I can get a flange nut started on one, then the one in the back... This lets  the pan sit without touching the flanges for a final inspection and maybe alcohol wipe before pushing it up to sealant contact and finger tightening those two nuts. After that, you can quickly do the rest of the nuts.

With a piece of 1/2 square keystock set in your vice you can put your pan over it and beat those concave bolt holes down flat again...and using the above clamping sandwich strips with flanged nuts will keep you from ever having to do it again! 

I also have a bitchen $300+ breakaway torque screwdriver (that someone else paid for) I can use to tighten the bolts exactly where they need to be... I prefer Loctite 598 as sealant alone, or as gasket dressing. If you have a gasket you really need the sandwich strips and a flat flange. With Loctite 598 you can lay your proper bead for sealing, snug the nuts to get initial compression, let it set up overnight/24 hours to cure and then retorque to proper number the next day to get some compression on the 'gasket' you just made with the 598. 

Loctite 598 and Permatex Ultra Black are EXACTLY the same substance, BOTH made by Henkel and simply marketed in different markets with different brands. This comes straight from Henkel Technical Support Engineering. We use it on our oil sumps which are immersed in hot oil 24/7/365 and rarely are expected to be opened for inspection before 5 years of continuous running. It is more tolerant of surface debris / contamination than prior RTV's. Our testing indicated between metal blocks, a bead will have at least a 40X espansion rate in close fitting pieces...meaning a 2mm bead will spread to 80mm wide EASILY when compressed. A 2mm bead is ALL you need if you have less than 1mm distortion. By putting a 2mm bead on the pan and then tightening to metal-to-metal, the bead will EASILY compress to cover the entire mounting flange area, even in the warped areas...effectively permanently sealing the gaps.

***

Even when I don't replace the bolts with studs... those two diagonal studs and flange nuts are installed it helps hold the pan coming off as well! They're like 1" long....I cap them with a piece of vacuum tubing after install so the exposed threads are not gummed up with road grime. If you get realllllly fancy and have longer studs that stick out at least 1/4" beyond the face of the flange nut...those vinyl vacuum caps that are available in Red, Blue, Yellow, Black make for a bitchen detail all around the pan surface as a nice contrast... You know.... "While you're in there..."

Edited by Tony D
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RE: "Ramps Safer than Jackstands"

 

As someone who has watched stamped-steel ramps rated at 3X the total weight of the vehicle driven upon them spontaneously collapse... "Not on my life ever again!"

 

I will NEVER use a ramp of stamped-steel ever again, as well as those three-legged jack stands that look like they were made from muffler tubing split a 120 degrees.

 

I have a solid wood set of ramps I use, and an injection moulded plastic set that I use. Once the car is up on the ramps SOMETHING blocks it there, and SOMETHING is under the frame.

 

 

***

 

As for pulling the pan...it's all above, nothing insurmountable...usually biggest issue is the Nissan Applied gaskets are like a subatomic bond with the block and pan and splitting them apart can be a chore even with a special Nazi-Era Scraper that you can whang in there with a rawhide mallet to separate the surfaces.

 

I tend to spray up into and onto the inner block surfaces with brake cleaner to prevent oil from rolling down into the gasket area while mounting and sealing.

 

I use the brake cleaner into each of the bolt holes to prevent oil up inside from coming out and making a leak path in the sealant.

 

Finally, I use studs on the reassembly, all sunk in and sealed (to prevent the oil path mentioned above.) The use of studs allows me to make them long enough to accommodate 1/2" 'sandwich plates' similar to that used on later L28's and L28ET's to spread the clamping function of the pan bolts (nuts) without deforming the pan rails. They are made from 1/2"x1/8" or strap steel I get at Home Depot's metal rack. I make the rails straight, put the clamping sandwich strips on there, and use Flanged Nuts to squeeze it all together. There are two studs that are longer than the rest situated diagonally opposite corners...I put the pan with sealant on it up until I can get a flange nut started on one, then the one in the back... This lets  the pan sit without touching the flanges for a final inspection and maybe alcohol wipe before pushing it up to sealant contact and finger tightening those two nuts. After that, you can quickly do the rest of the nuts.

 

With a piece of 1/2 square keystock set in your vice you can put your pan over it and beat those concave bolt holes down flat again...and using the above clamping sandwich strips with flanged nuts will keep you from ever having to do it again! 

 

I also have a bitchen $300+ breakaway torque screwdriver (that someone else paid for) I can use to tighten the bolts exactly where they need to be... I prefer Loctite 598 as sealant alone, or as gasket dressing. If you have a gasket you really need the sandwich strips and a flat flange. With Loctite 598 you can lay your proper bead for sealing, snug the nuts to get initial compression, let it set up overnight/24 hours to cure and then retorque to proper number the next day to get some compression on the 'gasket' you just made with the 598. 

 

Loctite 598 and Permatex Ultra Black are EXACTLY the same substance, BOTH made by Henkel and simply marketed in different markets with different brands. This comes straight from Henkel Technical Support Engineering. We use it on our oil sumps which are immersed in hot oil 24/7/365 and rarely are expected to be opened for inspection before 5 years of continuous running. It is more tolerant of surface debris / contamination than prior RTV's. Our testing indicated between metal blocks, a bead will have at least a 40X espansion rate in close fitting pieces...meaning a 2mm bead will spread to 80mm wide EASILY when compressed. A 2mm bead is ALL you need if you have less than 1mm distortion. By putting a 2mm bead on the pan and then tightening to metal-to-metal, the bead will EASILY compress to cover the entire mounting flange area, even in the warped areas...effectively permanently sealing the gaps.

 

***

 

Even when I don't replace the bolts with studs... those two diagonal studs and flange nuts are installed it helps hold the pan coming off as well! They're like 1" long....I cap them with a piece of vacuum tubing after install so the exposed threads are not gummed up with road grime. If you get realllllly fancy and have longer studs that stick out at least 1/4" beyond the face of the flange nut...those vinyl vacuum caps that are available in Red, Blue, Yellow, Black make for a bitchen detail all around the pan surface as a nice contrast... You know.... "While you're in there..."

 

This was great information, written very well, and I could visualize every step. Thanks for writing all that.

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Sometimes I get an idea...and then go a bit overboard with it. My son's 510 wagon has matching the red block stud covers. Nobody ever sees it...

Every time he changed oil and crawled under the car he said "those covers really look good!" I tend to think the same thing climbing under my car as well. If nobody else sees it, so what! 

 

I know it's under there!

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I just replaced an oil pan gasket on a 78z with a l28e in it. You DO NOT have to lift the engine to replace the gasket with the engine in the car. The problem everyone runs into is clearing the crossmember or the bellhousing. The reason for this Clarence issue is the oil pick up tube gets in the way. Once all the bolts in the pan are off and the pan is loose get a ratchet wrench and un do the two bolts that hold it in. Let the pickup tube drop in the pan and now you can pull the pan all the way out.

Edited by Driftinrican

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I just replaced an oil pan gasket on a 78z with a l28e in it. You DO NOT have to lift the engine to replace the gasket with the engine in the car. The problem everyone runs into is clearing the crossmember or the bellhousing. The reason for this Clarence issue is the oil pick up tube gets in the way. Once all the bolts in the pan are off and the pan is loose get a ratchet wrench and un do the two bolts that hold it in. Let the pickup tube drop in the pan and now you can pull the pan all the way out.

How do you get the bolts back in and the pickup reinstalled?  Tiny hands?  Seems like good advice, just wondering.

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How do you get the bolts back in and the pickup reinstalled?  Tiny hands?  Seems like good advice, just wondering.

The pick up is very easy to put back in.

 

There are two or three bolts on each side thar are at a tough angle. I used a magnetic ratchet with a long extension ans a angle joint on the end. Same old tricks like get it seated, thread it backwards very slowly until it clicks into the threading to help prevent cross threading, then screw it in.

 

It takes a second to get the pan in and it rubs the gasket kinda close. I rtv'ed the gasket to the pan prior to putting the pan back in, it worked well. Honestly, I think the ZX pan is a better plan. It could be woth it to hit the JY or ebay and swap to a ZX pan.

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Tony D Post #17

 

Thank you kindly for the information on the Permatex Ultra Black. I used a gasket and did shoddy prep work and because it leaked I am doing it again.  A friend of mine told me about the Ultra Black and I was a bit hesitant.  He said that is all they use on the 300ZX TT.    

 

I bought the studs, all 31 of them and did 3 dry runs putting the pan in so I don't disturb the bead.  I also learned you can absolutely put the pan in with the oil pick up bolted to the bottom of the engine if you go in at the correct angle.  

 

Thank you again for the info!

 

Pete

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