View Full Version : Oil pan gasket on a 352

03-31-2011, 10:45 PM
Hey T-bird friends. I'm replacing a leaky oil pan gasket on my 59, 352 automatic. I got the oil pan unbolted and loose. Do I have to raise the motor to pull the pan all the way out? I want to get at the oil pump and clean the screen too. (No such thing as a stupid question, just stupid people) That would be me. ;0)

04-01-2011, 12:52 AM
David, you can't believe how many ask this question. Follow this thread:

Read it through because it cautions about common disasters. JohnG has a great point about rotating the crank to the correct position to make room for the pan. Hope this helps. - Dave

04-01-2011, 01:27 PM
Thx Dave, according to the manual I'll need to unbolt the engine mounts and raise it about a 2x4. Disconnect the radiator top hose - turn the crank out of the way, and then I should have enough room to unbolt the oil pump. It says I'll also need a gasket for the oil pump, I'll call my store to order that now. The pan gasket I ordered is part rubber ($9.99). Do I need to use a gasket sealer like form-a-gasket with this? Is there anything I should look for while I have it open - you know, stuff that might give me some indication of any engine trouble, or problems? The engine has blow by, I think it's from the passenger side cylinder closest to the fire wall because that spark plug was very black and oily.
When I was a kid I replaced a broke engine mount on a V8 once, other than that this is all new ground to me so I just want to make sure I don't miss anything.
Also, can you tell me why the thread says "moved"?
thx again, David.

04-01-2011, 02:13 PM
David, I moved the thread so others could easily find it. Your question is really about your engine. Many other model cars share your engine.

If I didn't add this before, I always put the car on jack stands first to give enough room underneath to work and to get it off the wheels.

When you raise the engine, since the car is not on any suspension, just the engine should move.

Again, read the other thread because it comes from the experiences of many mechanics, not just one guy who wrote a manual.

Wrenching on engines is not for the faint-hearted. Cleaning parts is no fun, either. But once you're done, a great sense of accomplishment and pride will really make you smile. So will the money you save by doing this work, yourself.

Spread a thin coat of RTV on your gasket and let it 'skin' before assembly. It's only there to fill small gaps. Do the same on all mating surfaces but be very sure the old gasket material is scraped off and the surface is oil-free before spreading the RTV. Too much RTV will squish out, go into your engine and clog up your oil system. 'Just enough' RTV will seal nicely and it will probably save your gasket if you dis-assemble in the future.

I have used Permatex #2 (non-hardening), Indian Head (shellac), and a host of others, all successfully. Then RTV came on the market and Ford started using it on oil pans (without gaskets) at the engine plants.

I always ask myself, 'What do the OEM's use?', every time I work on cars. If you stick close to that, you're on the right track. Hope this helps. Take your time doing this job. If you get frustrated, STOP! Go back later when you're in a better mood and not so tired. Things will start 'going your way'. - Dave Dare

EDIT: The day before you start, take your car to a quarter car wash and clean the engine bay underneath real well. Dirt and crud tend to hide bolt heads and get into everything.

04-01-2011, 03:11 PM
Thx Dave!
I wish I could have degreased the bottom first, but the brakes weren't really road worthy. I have the car on 4 blocks and the brakes disconnected for when I get ready to do them. I took the pan off last night, not too much trouble. A tap with a rubber mallet and it came loose pretty easy. I'll get my gaskets tomorrow so I'm just taking my time. The manual said I need to replace the gasket for the oil pump too so I called and added it to my order. I don't plan on having the car running any time soon so I just work on it here and there when I get a little time. I'll most likely raise the engine up tomorrow and go from there. It's nice to work on cars when it's "at your leisure" - I really enjoy it and agree that it's a very satisfying when your done and it's right. I'll get some "RTV" when I pickup the gaskets.
Really nice weather today and tomorrow, might have to go golf and leave the car rill next weekend!

04-01-2011, 03:41 PM
If this job is 'at your leisure', I would like you to hold off buying the pump gasket. Here's why:

I would like you to take the bottom plate off the pump and look closely at the rotors. These are supposed to be precision parts, hardened and ground.

Trouble comes when oil is sucked up to the pump before the filter, (which is how all engines work). Sometimes little pieces of metal get embedded in the pump rotors.

You can buy just the internal pump parts. They come as a 7-piece kit with a gasket. Check out MAC's (http://macsautoparts.com/) <--click here
Search for COAE-6600-8KT for $24.
http://macsautoparts.com/images/75/COAE-6600-8KT_lGIF.jpg BTW, do NOT put any gasket sealer on the pump gasket.

04-01-2011, 03:51 PM
Make sure your back tires are blocked good to keep that Bird in place. Also, before raising the motor, have your hood open (and make sure it clears everything in your garage/shop). I would also watch the space between the upper transmission bellhousing bolt and the plastic A/C case on the firewall- if your Bird has A/C.

Good luck. :cool:

04-01-2011, 06:04 PM
Thx gents, I'm guessing that the 7 piece kit is the same for several engines, at least that's what it looks like. It says "sorry, discontinued item" when I search by my car, but the part number you supplied gives me the kit for a 428. The discontinued one would have been OK for a 352, 390, or a 428. Eventually I want to rebuild the motor so I'll check out the pump and decide if I want to rebuild it now or not. I saw another thread (johnG's) with pix of a clogged screen and a cleaned one - that's kind of why I thought I would check it out. http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm
As for blocking the car; I have it on 4 jack stands with all the wheels off in my driveway. It's level and solid. I even put some un-split firewood rounds under the end I'm working on. A friend at work had a neighbor that had a car fall on him years ago in his driveway. By the time anyone noticed he was a goner. I've always been paranoid (which is good) about crawling under a car, or even a child going under after a ball or something. Better safe than sorry cuz' "stuff does happen".
No AC, not much to get in the way, but I will keep a close eye on it as I jack it up slooooowly. Then I'll put a couple of short chucks of 2x4 in between the mounts and engine and let it rest on those.
thx again, Dave

04-03-2011, 11:02 PM
I put a new oil pump in mine and cleaned the screen and I saw a big improvement in oil pressure. I also put in a new pump drive shaft while I was down there.

04-03-2011, 11:19 PM
I had about 3/16" of gray sludge in the bottom of the pan, not sure what that means. Everything was quite dirty, I cleaned my pump really well. When I turn the pump drive shaft it pumps great now. I completely cleaned the screen and pumped gas, then turpentine through it. It's running clear now. I'm sure that will help a lot with my oil pressure too. Had to scrape away all the oil and dirty to even see the brake line that runs across the support beam. TONS of mess. I'm guessing it's gonna be rough getting that drive shaft to stay in place when I re-assemble. After everything dried I was putting the pump in the oil pan to stash in my garage until I'm ready to install it and a bunch of grit or sand came out. Must have been stuck in the sludge in the screen. Turned the engine a bit and the cylinders look OK. (As if I'd know what they're supposed to look like) Wish there was a way to get the pistons out the bottom and put new rings in. Guess that'll happen in a few years when I pull the engine and rebuild it.

04-04-2011, 12:39 PM
Yes, the oil pump is the collection point for all the contamination in the engine and it has been grinding away for years. I would take the pump apart and rebuild it or put in a replacement pump.

For reassembly, I had the best success with installing the drive shaft and the pump without the pickup screen initially. Make sure you have the clip on the driveshaft adjusted so pulling the distributor up won't pull the driveshaft out of the oil pump socket. Place the pickup screen in the oil pan when ready to lift it up and reinstall and you can access those bolts with the oil pan dropped a little on the passenger side.

04-04-2011, 07:22 PM
I wouldn't put an old oil pump or pump shaft back in, they just don't cost that much and are a PITA to change. JMO Bob C

04-04-2011, 10:17 PM
Thx for the comments gents. I believe you've convinced me, I'm going to buy a new one. I can always keep the new one when I rebuild the engine some day. The reason for not bothering was because the engine is really pretty much shot anyway. Got like 65 to 80 compression, and blows smoke out the cap and manifold vent tube. Also glad you mentioned the clip washer on the shaft. I thought it was in the end on the pump. I can now understand that it must butt up under the distributor cap somehow. Some one else mentioned using a blob of grease to hold the shaft in the distributor, if that doesn't work I'll definitely do it the way you did Astrowing. BTW, nice web page! Not sure if I'm more envious of the beautiful car or the garage! Your pix of the generator remind of the time I replaced the brushes in my old Belvedere cuz I was too broke to replace the whole thing.

04-05-2011, 07:03 AM
David, you may have misunderstood the position of the clip on the pump drive shaft. It should be down, closer to the pump. It keeps the shaft from being pulled up when the distributor is removed for service. If the shaft is lifted out of the pump and then falls, it can go into the pan, then you have a bigger job then just a distributor repair. Good luck, Bob C

04-05-2011, 09:25 AM
Ah, OK then, thx Bob. Good thing you told me.

- dave

04-05-2011, 12:49 PM
...It says "sorry, discontinued item" when I search by my car, but the part number you supplied gives me the kit for a 428. The discontinued one would have been OK for a 352, 390, or a 428...The number I supplied is a good number for all FE engines. MAC's no longer buys the discontinued pump because they no longer deal with that particular vendor.

You can either buy the whole pump, or just the parts that move, at about half the cost. If you still aren't sure about the number I supplied from Mac's, call Becky in Customer Service (800-777-0948). She will verify fitment.

Here's a drawing of your pump:

04-05-2011, 03:06 PM
Give Simplyconnected (Dave) credit for the website. I just provided pictures. The barn I give a lot of credit for design suggestions and construction from my cycling buddies, much as I do everything I've learned here to my Squarebird buddies. Pretty much everything that you'll struggle with on your car, someone here has done the same and has a suggestion.

04-05-2011, 05:31 PM
...Pretty much everything that you'll struggle with on your car, someone here has done the same and has a suggestion.
And it started long before some of us came around. That's the beauty of this open forum; we can compare notes and learn from each other. I'm only passing on information the real designers and engineers freely gave me (God love them) as they passed the baton.

Alexander made all this possible for us before he passed. We have much to be grateful for, as this way was really paved for us to enjoy. I know Alexander is looking down from heaven and smiling because he delighted in seeing Squarebird members enjoying and sharing their passion on the forum he founded.

It is really hard to realize or measure, how much our members and guests have benefited through Squarebirds.org over the years. I'm honored to help and humbled to be among the talent that is here.

04-06-2011, 01:30 PM
Dave; The washer clip on the oil pump shaft goes near the top and fits close to the bottom of the distributor shaft guide. The washer goes on the shaft and only slides one way easily. The washer goes on from the lower end of the shaft and needs to be pushed up near the top. The washer has a flat side and a side that has small locking tabs on the other. These locking tabs need to point down so the washer won't slide down easily on the shaft.The distributor shaft fits in a machined part of the block that holds the bottom of the distributor shaft. There is a nylon washer under the distributor gear that rides on this machined boss in the block. The washer fits up under the boss to keep the shaft in place when the distributor is pulled out. The flat part of the washer goes up under the lower distributor guide in the block and NOT next to the oil pump. Most of the new oil shafts come with the washer already on the shaft and the short end goes up into the distributor.
I have pulled the distributor out and had the oil pump shaft drop into the pan because the washer was either gone or misplaced. Then you have to pull the oil pan to retrieve the shaft. Not a fun thing to do.
Always replace the oil pump and shaft when you take an old pump out. Cost is about $40 -$45. Replacing both can save you a lot of headaches.

04-06-2011, 10:36 PM
Hmm, thx Gary.
Now I have two differing instructions. What you say makes more sense to me because of the way the washer sets on the shaft, and there's really nothing for the washer to hit against if it's installed towards the pump.
I can understand why I should replace the pump, but I don't see why the shaft (which looks to be in perfect shape and has a very sturdily set push washer) would need replacing.

regards, Dave J

04-06-2011, 11:55 PM
...I would like you to take the bottom plate off the pump and look closely at the rotors... Trouble comes when oil is sucked up to the pump before the filter, (which is how all engines work). Sometimes little pieces of metal get embedded in the pump rotors...Remember this post? If you looked at the rotors, there would be no question as to why the drive shaft should be replaced and you would know why everyone agrees. (I think they're tapping into their own experiences to help you.)

04-07-2011, 12:06 AM
Well.....Sorry Gary, but your gonna goof David up. First, there is no nylon washer (see the exploded view supplied by Dave Dare). The distributor shaft just below the gear, rides in a bore that's machined in the block. That part of the block extends down a ways, then the shaft goes through to the pump. The clip or washer that goes on the pump shaft is made to stay in place. A new shaft will have the retainer in the correct location, and should be installed near the pump. The pump is then lifted into place with the shaft going up through the hole in the block until it goes into the bottom of the distributor. So to be clear, the retainer is closer to the pump, and if the distributor is removed and the shaft sticks in the distributor, the retainer (or clip) hits the bottom of the block boss and keeps the shaft in the pump and not in the pan. If I misunderstood your explanation, I apologize. Think of building an engine in a stand, with the block upside-down. The oil pump and shaft should be able to be installed without the shaft falling to the floor. Go to your shop manual for any questions. Trust me on this one, I've done this probably more than 50 times on just the FE block. Good luck, Bob C

PS: Why replace the shaft? because it's OLD & FATIGUED. Because they fail even if they're not 50 years old. My words will be ringing in your ears when you have to drop that pan again because of a failure. BTDT

04-07-2011, 12:55 AM
I happen to have the shop manual which explains how to install the FE oil pump and shaft. It also explains how to adjust the stop for proper height. David, this stop never touches anything in normal operation, so it doesn't 'wear'.

INSTALLATION (from the oil pan side)
1. Position the oil pump drive shaft into the distributor socket. With the shaft firmly seated in the distributor socket, the stop on the shaft should touch the roof of the crankcase. Remove the shaft and position the stop as necessary.

2. Position a new gasket on the pump housing. With the stop properly positioned, insert the oil pump drive shaft into the oil pump. Install the pump and shaft as an assembly.

Do not attempt to force the pump into position if it will not seat readily. The drive shaft hex may be misaligned with the distributor shaft. To align, rotate the intermediate shaft into a new position.

Tighten the oilpump retaining screws to specifications.Swing the inlet pipe so it willclear the oil pan...

04-07-2011, 07:24 AM
Thanks for adding that Dave, You did what we all should do first, crack the book (they're really smart!) If any members here are trying to work on their cars without at least a shop manual, you're spinning your wheels. I made my living for over 30 years as a mechanic, the books were are best tools. If you're doing a restoration you should have 1)the shop manual for your car 2)the electrical manual and the body assy/trim manual 3)the VTCI OFS (original factory specs) manual and 4) a copy of the Ford master parts catalog on cd that covers your car. In fact I need one pre 1960, I've been looking into some earlier cars and don't have it yet. Good luck David, let us know how things turn out, Bob C

04-07-2011, 07:41 AM
Sorry about any confusion about the nylon washer.

The nylon washer goes on the distributor shaft under the distributor gear and on top of the machined surface in the block. This nylon washer has nothing to do with the oil pump or oil pump shaft. If you ever pull the distributor out of the engine this nylon washer usually stays in the block and can be knocked off its resting place into the pan. I usually fish it out and use grease to hold it onto the distributor shaft upon re-instillation of the distributor.

Put the oil pump shaft in like the picture and it will be right. This is from the Ford manual.


04-07-2011, 08:13 AM
The nylon washer goes on the distributor shaft under the distributor gear and on top of the machined surface in the block.

Huh... I've never seen one:confused::confused::confused:

04-07-2011, 10:57 AM
Thx again ppl!
i do have the shop manual, but didn't look to the illustrations because I saw you guys post them here. That manual is great, just download it and print out any pages you're currently using to take out to the car. I did notice that the clip seemed to be on the pump end when I pulled it, but it dropped out when I pulled the pan so i wasn't absolutely sure. I feel better about it now. At most I'll be driving this car 100 miles a year until I rebuild the engine - it's just sitting in my driveway on blocks waiting for me to save up enough to do the brakes next, and a PCV set up on it. Then all the smoke will be behind me!
- Dave J

04-07-2011, 11:16 AM
The Victor o/h gasket set has a nylon washer in it, but it is for the drain plug. A little big for the nose of the dist gear, but it could be mistakenly installed there. I too have never seen a nylon washer used on the dist.