Tech Area

Changing V6 Oil Pan Gasket

Question: I looked under the car and oil is leaking from the oil pan. It seems that the oil pan won't come of due to the (pulley side of the engine) motor mount in the way. Do you have to remove the mount out of the way to replace the gasket? I replaced the oil pan gasket (new) 4 months ago when the engine was out of the car. What should I use to seal it? Silicon? That's what was on it before I took it apart. Or RTV sealant?? I took the oil pan off the clean the inside of it.

Answer: It will take some time, so plan for it. Also find a piece of 2X4 about 8" long, and a flat board. You will need a floor jack and a pair of jackstands.

Disconnect the negative battery cable and dogbone (either end). Set the car on jackstands, then remove the 2 nuts from the bottom of the front motor mount cradle tray. Remove the starter. Lift the engine by the oil pan (flat board and floor jack), until the front motor mount clears and then remove it and the bracket together (85-87). Set the engine down with the 2X4 edge wise between the front pulley and engine cradle.

Some/most cars will require loosening and moving the a/c compressor, and removing the springs on the RF of the exhaust to allow the pipe under the engine to be pryed down for pan clearance. 88's require even more work as the mount bracket wraps around the engine and also bolts to the other side. Auto trans cars also have a clearance problem between the trans and pan bolts. A 1/4" socket set is needed to get between them.

The pan gasket changed between 86 and 87. 85-86 is cork and 3 piece (2 sides and a front, Black RTV for the rear). A light coating of Black RTV on both block, pan and timing cover usually assures no leaks at these places. You may want to use thread to attach the gaskets through the bolt holes on the pan to make sure the gaskets stay in place. 87-88 is a one piece "rubber" gasket. Use a light coat of Black RTV on the pan to help hold it in place. It is critical to recheck the gaskets to make sure they have not slipped out.

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