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My Oil Pan removal 280z


Dave WM

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well after the jack slipped off the cross member and smacked the oil pan leaving a nice dent, I decided it was time to replace the gasket (and bang out the dent).

after making sure I could replace the 4 bolts under the cross member (just wanted to be able to put it back together as I knew getting them out was hard and getting them in would be harder), I removed all the bolts and tapped around the pan with a rubber mallet. Ha it said I pity the fool that thinks that will do anything. I did not want to try and pry it for fear of damaging the mating surfaces. What ended working was vice grip plyers attached to the part of the lip that extends downward. I was able to exert enough downward force by pulling on those that the seal broke and then it was pretty easy. Now that its loose I used my shop light to peer in at the front of the pan, noticed I had to turn the crank about 1/4 turn to get the connecting rod up enough to let the pan slide out. Came out easy after that. scraped off the old gasket, banged out the dent in the front of the pan, cleaned out the hard crap in the bottom of the pan. done for the night. Will do a more through cleaning this weekend and reinstall. I have had a leak near the back of the pan which I assume is the rear main, but the rear of the pan seemed overly wet with oil as well. I presume its just rear main oil coming thru and getting that part wet, but at least I will know its NOT the pan gasket now.

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1 hour ago, Dave WM said:

 noticed I had to turn the crank about 1/4 turn to get the connecting rod up enough to let the pan slide out. Came out easy after that.

. I presume its just rear main oil coming thru and getting that part wet, but at least I will know its NOT the pan gasket now.

But  you're hoping it's the pan gasket.

So, the connecting rod was #1?  If #1 was at TDC it would be up and out of the way, right?  Just collecting those puzzle pieces for when I have to do the same.

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Yes it was #1 I will see if I can get a pic or video. Not exactly sure where the piston was, just that it was hanging up on the rod bolts, which would lead me to think it was not at tdc. The thing is its not that hard just spin the crank by hand a bit while you look  to see whats in the way. Hardest part was making that 1st break of the pan from the engine. For a bit there I did not think it was coming off.

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I used a OE from Nissan, its a rubberized looking cork type. I got it in, (sorry no pics, way too oily) so for so good. what was in there was just black rubber.

After banging out the dent, I cleaned it in very hot soapy water (mainly I wanted all the grime off since it was a messy job already, and I wanted a nice clean surface for the bolt hard ware to seat into), tied on the gasket with dental floss so it would not flop around, applied some sealant at the joint of the rear main bearing cap and the timing cover (per the FSM), then carefully worked the pan back into position. I would say the rod journal was about 4 or 8 O'clock. this had the counter balance just peeking down and the rod bolt up high enough to not hang up the pan. Just slowly wiggle the pan into place (the floss idea was great, can't recall where I read about it) cut the floss out, and use a phillips head screwdriver to make sure all the gasket holes are in the right place.  few nuts to hang the pan on then all the bolts checking to make sure the holes in the gasket were where they should be. I used  several tools a 10mm socket on a stubby 1/4 drive, a box ratchet, a box offset, an extension, and fingers only on the ones under the cross member until I could finally get to them with the box ratchet and off set box. Just snug and even all the way around in a series of tightening. It was actually pretty easy just tedious on those 4, that is once the seal was broken getting the pan off.

Next up will be prob some suspension work while I debate with myself about paying for the trans swap or doing myself. The TC bushing look bad, and the ball joint boots are gone so its a big mess. I got some Sankei 555 ball joints on the way. So the plan is to do the ball joints/TC bush/sway bar link bush (the look bad too) and maybe the sway bar bushing (not sure of the condition as they are pretty much hidden by the mount.

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Was that you talking about the TC rods and weight versus no weight, ramps I think where I used a bottle jack.  If it was I'd like to say make sure and put nylon lock nuts on the rods.  I reused my old ones and one side worked loose and fell off, lost one of the bushings and cup washers.

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13 hours ago, siteunseen said:

I reused my old ones and one side worked loose and fell off, lost one of the bushings and cup wa

Same thing happened to me. I forgot to get them while I was at the parts store. Put the old ones back on thinking I would replace them in a week. I week turned into 2 and so on. I heard something clanging around while driving and remembered what I forgot to do :facepalm:

Those washers are expensive to replace too!

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The end of one of mine broke off (PU on both sides) and I lost the washers and the nut.  Heard them hit the pavement  as I was driving  but I was on a bumpy city street and thought I had just run over something.  Steering was loose all the way home, about 4 miles, while I pondered what that metallic clank really had been.  I found a scrape mark on the front of my wheel well from where the tire had moved up and hit it after I bumped the curb when parallel parking, that gave it the coupe de grace.

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37 minutes ago, Zed Head said:

The end of one of mine broke off (PU on both sides) and I lost the washers and the nut.  Heard them hit the pavement  as I was driving  but I was on a bumpy city street and thought I had just run over something.  Steering was loose all the way home, about 4 miles, while I pondered what that metallic clank really had been.  I found a scrape mark on the front of my wheel well from where the tire had moved up and hit it after I bumped the curb when parallel parking, that gave it the coupe de grace.

Not so lucky for you. :mellow:

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well one test drive and again I see the same oil accumulation around the passenger side of the oil pan, right at the gasket, same as before. Oh well I did not really think it was the problem, I suspect the real issue is the rear main. Will end up torching off the exhaust down tube nuts OR paying OR maybe can I get away with unbolting at the catalytic converter to get the trans out (remove the exhaust for there on back to gain access to driveshaft and clearance for trans drop.

Edited by Dave WM
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torque to just good and snug using a stubby ratchet, triple checked I got them all about the same level of tight. the gasket looks well placed. I think the FSM calls for 7 ftlbs, not something I can really set for so I just went for nice a snug. Its not seeping anywhere except the exact same place, which leads me to believe its really rear main leaking down to the pan lip and just following it. I was very careful about making sure the pan was not dimpled (it was not) and getting a good clean surface on both the block and pan. Did NOT use any silicone goop or the like on the gasket since I have always read that is NOT to be used esp on OE parts like this. I did put it where the FSM said to, the parting lines of the timing cover and the rear main cap.

I do have one of those old school 3/8 torque wrenches that is in inch pounds so I assume its just 84inch pounds, could see how tight one is set to determine if my wrist calibration is in the ball park. its the kind with a scale and a pointer that deflects as you twist. Prob good for low torque readings.

Edited by Dave WM
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no idea, but the one that came out was solid black rubber.

I tested my big 1/2 torque wrench by connecting it to the 3/8 spring bar kind, I was able to get reliable clicking at about 80 inch pounds, so looks like I can use the monster to test a few and see how close I was. I don't plan on getting it up on the ramps again until I get my sway bars links in, (I use a combo of ramps/jack stands/jack/6x6's under the ramps to make sure I have about 4 systems in use before I go under the car, takes about 20 mins to get it setup).

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Too tight can deform the pan and cause leaks.

Competition pan gasket   Oil Pan Gasket, Competition, 70-83 Z/ZXIt's made from the same materials as the comp valve cover gasket. I use the valve cover gasket because you can re-use it several times.

Edited by rcb280z
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the other tool I am looking for is a drill chuck extender. I got some reverse drill bits for drilling out the broken stud in the exhaust down pipe, but I have a feeling I will not be able to get a good shot at it, too tight  for the drill and bit. I found a nice 3/8 extender that has a built in handle along the shaft that is there to help control the bit.

 

this thing

http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?c=&p=59985&cat=51&ap=1

Edited by Dave WM
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