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View Full Version : How to change an oil pan - the hard way!



Eggbert
19-09-13, 11:29 PM
A few years ago, the oil pan in my boat developed a leak. It had rusted through. Imagine that! … an oil pan rusting though! I temporarily patched it using epoxy putty and got through the rest of the season.

However I knew I would have to change it, but it’s a big job as the engine has to be lifted out from below the deck to access the pan. With a lot of other things taking priority, plus money being a bit tight for fuel the last few seasons (economy causing low investment income), the boat has been let go for too long. But it was finally time, and the job is almost complete now. Complete enough I thought I’d post a bit about it. Not to worry; I won‘t be too long winded as it’s mostly pictures!

Not having a convenient set of trees handy, and the trailer not road-worthy enough to go in search of any, I decided I had to build a scaffold too lift the engine. Here’s my initial sketch:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/1Scaffold1_zpsf8087b01.jpg

Not wanting to get too involved in the engineering, I decided to over-build. The engine, with all the accessories (including some heavy water-cooled exhaust manifolds) weighs close to 1000 lbs. I was sure the wood-work as well as my welded-up brackets for the hoists would be more than sufficient. All the hoists were rated at 2 tons, so that was fine.

Here’s the finished scaffold and metal brackets:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/2Scaffold2_zps8727f78c.jpg

Next is a picture of the lifting equipment. It’s two systems for redundancy. Safety first. I know I would have to get under it at times, plus even if no one was there, the engine would put a neat hole in the bottom of the boat if anything failed. Lifting brackets were already installed on the engine, so System 1 is a chain hoist and System 2 is comprised of two ratchet hoists (come-alongs).

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/3LiftingEquipment_zps5f89e1f7.jpg

Here’s a trio of pics showing the engine in place, then half-way out, and finally all the way out. . Only a little weight is on the boards. Mostly they are there so I can sleep at night. I take out the front ones when removing and installing the pan.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/4Engine1_zpsc4a47a23.jpg

Here’s a pic of the old rusted out oil pan. You can see the blob of epoxy putty I used as a patch. Before you get too critical, keep in mind I couldn’t see the area at all when I did the work, but managed to glimpse a bit of what I was doing with a mirror and flashlight.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/5OldPan_zps09d842bb.jpg

Good thing I changed the pan. It was full of thin sludge. Not surprising after 28 years of service, although by the colour I’d say some if it was water. Hopefully from condensation as there has been no history of antifreeze loss (has a heat exchanger, so no salt water in block).

I never would have guessed about the sludge as I made sure the engine started just before I began this job, and it ran fine with no smoke and with normal oil pressure. Maybe the synthetic oil I’d been using saved it. Below is a pic but with most of the sludge removed. You can still see a bit and the color is a bit disconcerting.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/6Sludge_zps215bc8e5.jpg

Below is a pic of my new oil-pan with 1-piece oil-pan gasket and 1/4 turn drain valve. A 1-piece gasket... greatest thing since sliced bread. Those 4-piece gaskets are a real pain when working from underneath. Another bonus of the 1-piece gasket are the reinforcements at every bolt hole so you can’t over tighten the gasket.

When I first got this boat (used as I could never afford a new one), I didn’t realize how one is supposed to change the oil. It turns out the dipstick tube goes all the way to the bottom of the sump and there’s an inexpensive pump you can buy that screw on to the top-side of the dipstick tube so the oil can be sucked out. The first time, I drained the oil into the bilge (what a mess) and washed it out the hull drain. I then installed a ¼ turn valve where the oil-pan plug goes. A tube was permanently fastened to it so the oil could be routed out the hull drain as required.

I decided to continue with the ¼ turn valve even though I plan on purchasing a pump for next time. Here’s the valve (notice it locks, so it can’t inadvertently open):

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/7NewGasket_zpse7c731e1.jpg

Here’s the only mistake I made. The dipstick tube goes through a hole in the gasket, but as you can see below, that’s not an easy thing to accomplish. I should have removed the windage tray, but instead tapped the tube back up out of the way. Major mistake as the tube bends once it gets outside the engine, so tapping on the top end will only bend the tube, not drive it back in.

To get it back in place, I put a clamp on the end of the tube. I used the tube clamp from my flaring kit. I then used a slide hammer on the clamp. Just before getting the last inch in place, I gave the exposed part of the tube some sealant.

To be fair to myself, I really though it was an o-ring system, but no such luck. Below is a pic of the set-up:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/8DipstickTube_zps1ee7b395.jpg

At this point, the new pan is on and I’ve pressure washed the bilge, which turned into one big soapy mess. Took a long time to wash the suds out.

I’ve taken the starter in for a rebuild. It worked fine, but best to overhaul it now as I’m not sure I could even change it once the engine is back in place. I pick it up tomorrow. Once the starter is back in and new oil and oil filter installed, I’ll lower the engine back in position, check the alignment, install the stern-drive and make sure it starts before dismantling the scaffolding.

I doubt I’ll get it in the water for a test run this year, but the boat needs major cleaning so I can do that and hopefully it will be already for next Spring.

And that’s how to change an oil pan… the hard way! LOL.

kitcarsareus
20-09-13, 05:53 AM
A few years ago, the oil pan in my boat developed a leak. It had rusted through. Imagine that! … an oil pan rusting though! I temporarily patched it using epoxy putty and got through the rest of the season.

However I knew I would have to change it, but it’s a big job as the engine has to be lifted out from below the deck to access the pan. With a lot of other things taking priority, plus money being a bit tight for fuel the last few seasons (economy causing low investment income), the boat has been let go for too long. But it was finally time, and the job is almost complete now. Complete enough I thought I’d post a bit about it. Not to worry; I won‘t be too long winded as it’s mostly pictures!

Not having a convenient set of trees handy, and the trailer not road-worthy enough to go in search of any, I decided I had to build a scaffold too lift the engine. Here’s my initial sketch:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/1Scaffold1_zpsf8087b01.jpg

Not wanting to get too involved in the engineering, I decided to over-build. The engine, with all the accessories (including some heavy water-cooled exhaust manifolds) weighs close to 1000 lbs. I was sure the wood-work as well as my welded-up brackets for the hoists would be more than sufficient. All the hoists were rated at 2 tons, so that was fine.

Here’s the finished scaffold and metal brackets:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/2Scaffold2_zps8727f78c.jpg

Next is a picture of the lifting equipment. It’s two systems for redundancy. Safety first. I know I would have to get under it at times, plus even if no one was there, the engine would put a neat hole in the bottom of the boat if anything failed. Lifting brackets were already installed on the engine, so System 1 is a chain hoist and System 2 is comprised of two ratchet hoists (come-alongs).

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/3LiftingEquipment_zps5f89e1f7.jpg

Here’s a trio of pics showing the engine in place, then half-way out, and finally all the way out. . Only a little weight is on the boards. Mostly they are there so I can sleep at night. I take out the front ones when removing and installing the pan.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/4Engine1_zpsc4a47a23.jpg

Here’s a pic of the old rusted out oil pan. You can see the blob of epoxy putty I used as a patch. Before you get too critical, keep in mind I couldn’t see the area at all when I did the work, but managed to glimpse a bit of what I was doing with a mirror and flashlight.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/5OldPan_zps09d842bb.jpg

Good thing I changed the pan. It was full of thin sludge. Not surprising after 28 years of service, although by the colour I’d say some if it was water. Hopefully from condensation as there has been no history of antifreeze loss (has a heat exchanger, so no salt water in block).

I never would have guessed about the sludge as I made sure the engine started just before I began this job, and it ran fine with no smoke and with normal oil pressure. Maybe the synthetic oil I’d been using saved it. Below is a pic but with most of the sludge removed. You can still see a bit and the color is a bit disconcerting.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/6Sludge_zps215bc8e5.jpg

Below is a pic of my new oil-pan with 1-piece oil-pan gasket and 1/4 turn drain valve. A 1-piece gasket... greatest thing since sliced bread. Those 4-piece gaskets are a real pain when working from underneath. Another bonus of the 1-piece gasket are the reinforcements at every bolt hole so you can’t over tighten the gasket.

When I first got this boat (used as I could never afford a new one), I didn’t realize how one is supposed to change the oil. It turns out the dipstick tube goes all the way to the bottom of the sump and there’s an inexpensive pump you can buy that screw on to the top-side of the dipstick tube so the oil can be sucked out. The first time, I drained the oil into the bilge (what a mess) and washed it out the hull drain. I then installed a ¼ turn valve where the oil-pan plug goes. A tube was permanently fastened to it so the oil could be routed out the hull drain as required.

I decided to continue with the ¼ turn valve even though I plan on purchasing a pump for next time. Here’s the valve (notice it locks, so it can’t inadvertently open):

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/7NewGasket_zpse7c731e1.jpg

Here’s the only mistake I made. The dipstick tube goes through a hole in the gasket, but as you can see below, that’s not an easy thing to accomplish. I should have removed the windage tray, but instead tapped the tube back up out of the way. Major mistake as the tube bends once it gets outside the engine, so tapping on the top end will only bend the tube, not drive it back in.

To get it back in place, I put a clamp on the end of the tube. I used the tube clamp from my flaring kit. I then used a slide hammer on the clamp. Just before getting the last inch in place, I gave the exposed part of the tube some sealant.

To be fair to myself, I really though it was an o-ring system, but no such luck. Below is a pic of the set-up:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/8DipstickTube_zps1ee7b395.jpg

At this point, the new pan is on and I’ve pressure washed the bilge, which turned into one big soapy mess. Took a long time to wash the suds out.

I’ve taken the starter in for a rebuild. It worked fine, but best to overhaul it now as I’m not sure I could even change it once the engine is back in place. I pick it up tomorrow. Once the starter is back in and new oil and oil filter installed, I’ll lower the engine back in position, check the alignment, install the stern-drive and make sure it starts before dismantling the scaffolding.

I doubt I’ll get it in the water for a test run this year, but the boat needs major cleaning so I can do that and hopefully it will be already for next Spring.

And that’s how to change an oil pan… the hard way! LOL.

Hi John

Nice job(and weather)

Are you sure you are not a distant relative too.......






Isambard Kingdom Brunel!!!


Trying to figure out what engine that is I don't think it's an FE though

Eggbert
20-09-13, 11:16 AM
It's a 260Hp 5.7 litre Mercruiser V8. Basically a SBC 350 strengthened for sustained running under high load. Both right and left hand dipstick blocks were available, hence the 1-piece gasket was made for either.

I had originally guessed at around 1000 lbs, however I did find a spec of 888 lbs on the net. I also found another rating which was over 900 lbs, although I can't seem to find it again. A lot for a human to lift, but not a lot with some equipment.

Ah... ole Isambard Kingdom Brunel... (what were his parents thinking when they came up with that one?)

Looking through my family album, I found this picture of my Great Great Grand-Pappy Eggbert with Issy:

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t69/EggbertPhotos/MercruiserOilPan/isambardkingdombrunel_zpscdd38730.jpg

kitcarsareus
21-09-13, 06:55 AM
Ah...yeah Distributor on the back I see now

Regarding the name,wouldn't be my first choice although it is one that's not easy to forget.

cheers

marco454v8
21-09-13, 07:47 PM
Hi John,
I just changed that gasket on my big block- this is what it looked like after three years, and 3000 miles!
On my last run of 250 miles I used one Gallon of oil! I feel like contacting Fel-pro, but I don't have the receipt now.
The 'rubber' has gone brittle, it just crumbles apart.
Took me a while to find the source, I thought first the joint between block and intake, as I would find oil up there on the intake,
then maybe filler cap, dipstick, 'not' blind thread in the front of block etc, while all the time I had a big hole in the front part of the sump gasket hidden by the damper!
on the US Cobra forum a guy said 'it's not the first I've seen' so be warned!
Cheers, Mark

Eggbert
21-09-13, 09:40 PM
Ooh... I don't like that news, but glad you told me. I'll pay attention to it. Hopefully mine will be fine as I have no desire to repeat this performance in the near future.