Replace Oil Pan gasket in car?

Discussion in '1970 - 1973 Specific' started by 71Camaro707, May 8, 2019.

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  1. 71Camaro707

    71Camaro707 New Member

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    Is it possible to replace the oil pan gasket while the engine is in the car? Or do we need to lift the engine up?

    I got a pretty bad leak on my 1971 Camaro 383.
     
  2. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

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    Its just easier to take the engine out . Have you tried a Fel Pro one piece oil pan gasket ? Thats what I use with no issues in my 1979 Z-28 with a 377 supercharged small block chevy.
     

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  3. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    The crankshaft needs to be rotated to the correct position and the engine needs to be lifted to remove the oil pan.
    (You can hold it in place with a piece of 2x4 between the engine and frame motor mounts.)

    While it is possible to change the gasket with the engine in the car... I recommend pulling the engine.
    If it's flipped over on an engine stand, you can do a better job of cleaning everything and get a good seal on the new gasket.
     
  4. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I've replaced them before while the engine is in.
     
  5. 71Camaro707

    71Camaro707 New Member

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    I have the Felpro thick and thin one piece gaskets. Just trying to see how to tackle the job. Seems like I'll be pulling the engine out. I rather do it right the first time. Plus I can see better inside to see what internal where installed.
     
  6. Desert_Dick72SS

    Desert_Dick72SS Veteran Member

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    More trouble than it's worth to replace it without pulling the engine out. I've done it on Chevys and Pontiacs, but never again!
    Gotta pull it out IMO.
    -Rich
     
  7. lapedr

    lapedr Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I have replaced the pan gasket with the engine in the car on my 72 multiple times chasing an oil leak, and its a major pain. Twisted_Metal is correct about the crankshaft rotation, and 2 x 4 blocks in between the motor mounts and frame brackets. Also, keep an eye on the gap between the firewall and distributor as you raise the engine, and between the fan blade and fan shroud. If you use a floor jack under the oil pan to raise the engine, make sure to put a 2 x 4 or 4 x 4 in between the pan and jack plate so you don't damage, distort, or bend the pan from the weight of the engine and trans. Use the one-piece gasket from Fel-Pro, it comes with 4 special plastic pins that screw into the 4 large oil pan attaching bolt holes at the 4 corners, and holds the gasket up in place so you can install the pan without having to fight with keeping the gasket in place while on your back. Good luck, and try not to get frustrated. A cold beer break helps allot.
     
  8. shad_van

    shad_van Veteran Member

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    It can be done in the car, with the 2x4s like others have stated. I prefer to pull the motor and do it out of the car. also if it is out of the car, I like to do both the rear main seal and the front harmonic balancer seal at the same time. some times its hard to tell if it is just the pan leaking or if it is the main seal or balancer seal leaking as well. doing all 3 solves the problem the first time and doesn't cost much more than doing the pan gasket alone.
     

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