Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

Jan 2, 2010
I am wanting to change the oil pan gasket with out pulling the engine I also have to replace the timing cover gasket and replace a leaking rear main seal. I was wondering if I were to remove the clutch & flywheel, and replace the rear main seal, then lower or remove the steering rack if I could change the oil pan gasket with a fel-pro I piece gasket with out removing the engine. It seems to me if the rack was out of the way, the pan would drop down lower. any ideas???
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Been there, done that - You can do it in the car, but it is hard to do. The best way is to pull the engine.

Disconnect the battery at the battery ground terminal, remove the fan and fan shroud. Both motor mounts will need to have the large nuts that secure them to the frame removed. The trans mount will also have to be loosened, and it is a good idea to remove the drive shaft.

I also had to disconnect the cat pipes at the headers to get the engine high enough to remove the oil pan.
Be prepared to have to drop the steering rack and disconnect the steering shaft. The flex coupling for the steering shaft needs to be disconnected before you can get the rack out. You should disassemble the coupling by removing the 2 bolts that hold it together.
Jack up the engine with a wood block under the oil pan and watch for things that bind or hoses/electrical wiring that may need to be disconnected. I put a couple of wood blocks between the headers and the frame to support the engine. You will likely need to jack up the rear of the transmission as well to get the required clearance.

Scrape the pan mating surfaces clean as possible - old gasket stuck to the surfaces are a source of leaks.

There is a one piece oil pan gasket which will help re-assembly if you can find it. If you can't get this gasket, use weather strip adhesive to secure the cork gasket to the pan rails and the rubber strips to the bearing caps. Use lots of Acetone or MEK to clean the gasket surfaces so the weather strip adhesive will stick good. Read the instructions on the adhesive carefully to make sure the gaskets are permanently stuck in place and won't move when you slide the pan in place. Use lots of blue silicone sealer on top of the front and rear rubber seals where they mate with the pan.
thank you all for the info, I don't have provisions to remove the engine, however I will try to remove the pan after lowering the rack and the flywheel. as stated, I'm gonna do the rear main seal while the clutch is out. I plan using the 1 piece gasket and some sealer, i'm hoping all goes well. I should be able to clean the pan out if anything drops in. again, thanks for the thoughts and replies. if it goes south, i'll just try to find a hoist pull the engine.
well if you dont have the tools to pull it all out( was my case) you can definitely do it with the engine still in the car. I didnt even have to remove the rack. It did take all of a weekend to swap the gasket and it involved a whole lot more swearing. all in all good luck.
Engine hoists can be rented from rent a wrecked tool places for very little sometimes. I have read about jacking up the motor and using blocks between the mounts to do this supposedly safely. But sometimes the right tool is priceless. Crushed fingers stink, and the job is still not done!
Ok, i did it, i removed the radiator, replaced the front cover gasket & timing chain. I left the harmonic balancer off to leave more room.

I removed the power steering rack, it was junk anyway, removed the transmission and flywheel, replaced the rear main oil seal, and then lowered the oil pan, there was enough room to manipulate the pan to get the gasket out and replace it with a fel-pro 1 piece unit. I did not remove the exhaust or raise the engine.

I was reluctant to remove the exhaust as i remember those heater core pipes like to break when the engine was tilted too far.

It can be done, but you need to wear safety glasses and have a good drop light.