View Full Version : Replacing Oil Pan Gasket

08-01-2015, 01:00 PM
Shop manual says I need to drain the cooling system as well as the crankcase. It also says I need to raise the engine a bit to put tension on the motor mounts, I assume to give someone room to remove the oil pump.

I am not going to drop the Oil Pump, just the pan to replace the 50 year old gasket.

2 Questions:

1) Do I need to drain the cooling system to just drop & clean the oil pan, and replace the gasket? (this I can do, but do I need to?)

2) Do I need to really raise the engine to do this? (I cannot as I do not have a motor sling).

08-01-2015, 01:12 PM
You don't need to drain the coolant. You just have to be careful that you don't raise it too high and bend the radiator hoses. You need to remove the oil pump screen to get clearance to remove the pan. You don't need to remove the whole pump. You can use a floor jack to raise the engine slightly. There are flat spots on the front corners of the block where you can position a piece of 2x4 on the jack. Remove the motor mount nuts and then raise it just enough where you can get small blocks of wood between the motor mounts and the cross member. Once you have the pan loose and the oil pump screen off you may need to turn the crank so the counterweights clear the pan. Make sure you put jack stands under the front cross member. Don't rely on the tires.


08-01-2015, 02:03 PM
HI Joe:

Wow. Thanks for that. I have the car on Jack Stands, using the supports where a jack would go to do a tire change, one on each side to the front end is lifted. Is this a safe place for those stands?

Secondly, I think I can loosen the motor mounts, no problem. Thanks for the advice on that. I am going back to O'Reilley's or Pep Boys anyway to get a 15/16" socket and a torque bar to spin the dampener, so I can spin the crankshaft that way, I suspect.

I very much appreciate your patience and teachings. I have never done this before, and I am learning fast! (I am an engineer so I am loving this!)

08-01-2015, 02:15 PM
Normally the car is jacked up using the bumper and bumper brackets or the floor mounts behind the front wheels. I prefer to use the front cross member behind the radiator support. It doesn't hurt to have jack stands in multiple places. Put chocks behind the rear wheels so it doesn't roll and use the emergency brake if it holds. I'm overly cautious when I have to get under a car. When you get the pan off put a straight edge on the flange and make sure it's perfectly flat where the bolt holes are. They tend to get overtightened and warp. If they are not flat use a hammer and something hard to flatten them out. Use RTV sealant on both sides of the pan gasket. Do not overtighten the bolts. Torque them to spec which is about 10-15 ft/lbs. Good luck.


08-01-2015, 03:05 PM
I have her up on stands, rear wheel chocked......drained the oile and removed filter. I found the motor mounts but I am not seeing any flat area to try to raise up the motor.

I do see a small spot about 2" square next to the oil pan, but no other area.....can you post a pic of the area(s) to which you are referring?

08-01-2015, 05:01 PM
I use a cherry picker to hoist the engine from on top. It's safer that way. Pay close attention to your radiator when lifting.

Since you are removing the pan, why not inspect the oil pickup and oil pump? Clean out the crap in the bottom of your pan before returning it to the block.

I use Permatex Black on the gasket: Make SURE all mating surfaces are clean and oil-free. I use lacquer thinner on a rag to clean the block and pan mating surfaces. Put a THIN coat of Permatex on the gasket and let it cure for at least 15 minutes.

As said, if your oil pan holes are not flat, get a hammer and pound them back into position. Put a thin coat of Permatex on the pan AND on the block.

Sealing is accomplished by your gasket sealer, not the bolts. Degrease and dry the bolts. Use Loctite (blue) on all your bolt threads. Oil pan bolts do not need to be tightened past 'snug'. I think the manual wants fifteen foot pounds, which is not enough to squash the gasket or distort the oil pan. Even though the bolts may feel loose, let the Loctite take care of the bolts and the Permatex seal the gasket. Too much gasket sealer is worse than not enough because it gets into your engine parts.

08-01-2015, 07:44 PM
All that is great. I could not seem to figure out a safe way to raise from the bottom. Going to see if I can borrow or rent an engine hoist.

Yes, I agree, if I am going to do that, then might as well go all the way and clean everything up.

Ok, stay tuned!

08-02-2015, 10:47 PM
Ok, got it figured out. Did a practice run. Getting a person to help this week and it should be done! Thanks for all the direction and guidance!

08-03-2015, 11:47 AM
It's a good idea to plan things out first before just diving into it. Don't be surprised if your pan is loaded with sludge. Most cars of that era were not properly maintained and the oil wasn't nearly as good as it is today. Make sure you clean out the oil pump screen and I would agree with Dave that you should inspect the oil pump closely. It wouldn't hurt to replace it since they are pretty inexpensive.


08-03-2015, 11:59 PM
Joe, that is exactly what I am doing. As a matter of fact, since the oil pan has a dent in it, I am ordering a nice, new clean pan, gasket & oil pump.

I have a local classic Ford parts person who can get me both components by the end of the week. My bother will come over and give me a hand, and off we go! Hopefully this should stop at least one of the leaks!

PS: I drained the crank case and found the oil was a black as it gets...so I bet the pan is just full of sludge and all kinds of crap.

08-04-2015, 12:17 AM
If you haven't already done so it's probably a good idea to remove the valve covers and clean the valves, rocker arms and the head surfaces. I'm sure they are loaded with sludge. Also clean out the oil return holes on the bottom corners of the heads.


08-04-2015, 05:28 AM
I'm with John... When these cars were new nobody used or trusted detergent oil. Consequently, the valve covers, timing cover, valley and oil pan accumulated terrible amounts of dirt.

Y-blocks suffered more than FE engines but both of them could be oil-starved from blocked passages without the owner knowing it.

Some of our members had to overhaul their burned out engines because their pickup screens were totally plugged when detergent oil was introduced. The detergent oil dislodged hunks of dirt from engine internals that made their way to the oil pan. Oil does NOT get filtered until it goes through the oil pump first. This is true for all engines because the pump produces flow for the filter to work.

Y-blocks and FE engines use the rocker shafts to oil the rocker arms and valve stems. Y-blocks kept their rocker shafts at atmospheric pressure so as the engine heated and cooled, the drip-method oil holes plugged with dirt. These V8s failed prematurely from oil starvation. They also had solid lifters that required periodic lash adjustment. Mechanics would pull the valve cover off to find the whole thing packed with dirt.

Cleaning your rocker shafts costs nothing but it takes a little time. It can be tricky if they are reassembled wrongly. You can follow the procedure in your Shop Manual. More importantly, take 100 pictures as you go. If you want to see my pictures, CLICK HERE (http://www.squarebirds.org/simplyconnected/390Build/RockerShafts.htm). - Dave

08-04-2015, 11:46 PM

Yes, if I am in for a dime, I am in for a dollar. I am starting with the Oil Pan, pump and gasket replacement, and then moving on to the top of the motor, where I will clean up everything under the valve covers, but probably to straight to the intake manifold, whose gaskets needs to be removed and replaced with new ones, and a silicon agent front & back.

So, it's going to be one hell of a project. I am just planning out the stages, parts required, finding a cherry picker and stand, and off we go...

08-05-2015, 12:57 AM
Geoff, my hat goes off to you for doing your own work. I don't know your 'work background' or your age but I believe 'wrenching' on your own car has many benefits. First hand experience demonstrates a deeper understanding of the mechanicals. If you 'partner' with a family member or close friend, the time you spend together can be therapeutic and rewarding; something you will both talk about for years. Take your time and share pictures of your project with us as you go because others will benefit. Ask questions! The Shop Manual is good but much of the details are vague and we have experienced mechanics who have done this work. They can fill in the blanks and are eager to help and so am I. If you get tired, stop. If I get tired, I find things are not going smoothly and I might start making mistakes. Resting on a problem and talking about it usually renders a solution before I start in again.

There are many talents required in restoring a car that very few people can do. For instance, I do not have a spray booth but I might have a walking foot sewing machine to make seat covers. Or, you may not be a body man but you can do all the electrical. The more work you do, the more that car becomes a part of you as you become a part of it. The final product gives a very rewarding sense of accomplishment and pride that transcends being an 'enthusiast'. Good luck and work safe.

For your project, I suggest you leave the oil pan off until the very end. If you clean the top and need to wash dirt down, or a bolt falls into the engine, having the oil pan off can be a big help. - Dave

08-05-2015, 10:14 AM
HI Dave:

I agree. I am a software salesman by trade, but I am an engineer by training, so diving into a motor is right up my alley. I don't know what I am doing, but I will quickly learn! I like the top-down strategy, as it may be easier to get started at the top of the motor until I figure out how I can get the motor pulled.

Yes, the shop manual is a good reference, but it leaves a lot of vagueness and not a lot of good pictures of where stuff is. I have ordered a Ford Big Block manual that also is a good reference (I hear) and between you, JoPizz, and others, I know I will get the advice I need to make this a mechanically sound project. I can tackle just about anything except the trim and body work. I can read an electrical schematic and splice wires like the best of them!

So the next 2 months or do will be about planning (plus I have a vacation in there), then, when El Nino hits and it starts raining here, I will have lots of time to get 'er done for the spring!

I will be very active on here, plus I will be taking pics and videos of everything I do for my own sanity and publication to pay it forward.

08-05-2015, 11:00 AM
Steve Christ's book on rebuilding Big Block Fords is a great reference. I've used it many times over the years.


09-05-2015, 06:34 PM
Got it. Makes it look easy! LOL! Well, like I said, this is this winter's project!