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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #101  
Old 09-02-2011, 12:05 AM
559eddie559 559eddie559 is offline
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[QUOTE=musa;6292510]Details, please, details! How hard was it to snake it in? Did you cut the old one or snake the old one out (I would imagine this helped you how to snake the new one in)? Did you remove the oil-level sensor to help snaking in he new pan gasket?

Thanks for any pointers!
[/QUOS

Snaking it was scary because i thought it was too much of a bend for the gasket but its a metal gasket so it bent back easily... It wasnt difficult. the old one was torn apart. After 200,000 miles some of the gasket stuck to the oil pan frame but it can be taken off with a razor of some sort. I was replacing my rack and pinon and thats all i took off which gave me a little wiggle room.

I loosend the engine mount bolts and jacked up the engine by the main engine pulley which is right in front of the oil pan gasket. I had to loosen the fan shroud so i wouldnt brake the fan.
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  #102  
Old 09-02-2011, 07:09 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 559eddie559 View Post
...I was replacing my rack and pinon and thats all i took off which gave me a little wiggle room.

I loosend the engine mount bolts and jacked up the engine by the main engine pulley which is right in front of the oil pan gasket. I had to loosen the fan shroud so i wouldnt brake the fan.
Ah ha,

- You had the steering rack out, so it gives you some extra room to lower the oil pan.

- Jacking up at the Crank Pulley is a no-no. I am glad you got away without any issues. The engine weighs about 350 lbs or so, jacking it up require more force b/c of the hoses and constraints on other parts, so the force to jack it up in the car is more than 350 lbs. You are lucky your Crank Pulley did not go caput.
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  #103  
Old 09-21-2011, 04:19 AM
Hecs21 Hecs21 is offline
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So this thread is exactly what I was hoping to find. I have a 2001 325i with almost 160k miles. I have owned the car for 5 months and have been aware of the oil leak. It appears the valve cover gasket was over tightened and needs changed but I was getting very suspicious that the leak was more than that. I took it in to get brakes and oil change and have it looked at for the leak. It seems the oil pan gasket is the main issue. the pan is clean above the seam but covered in oil below it. *Does this sound to you guys that its good evidence that the oil pan gasket needs changed?

I have mechanic friends that could pull off this DIY method, but I am wondering if I should have concern about not doing it the right way in order to do a thorough cleaning b/c of the high mileage. The $ aspect is the real motivation for me to try it this way so I guess Im just looking for some advice from more experienced owners. Thanks.
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  #104  
Old 09-21-2011, 04:27 AM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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I'm right in the middle of doing this. I have the patient up on stands and drained of oil, engine brace hooked up and ready to drop the crossmember. I'm changing engine and gearbox mounts at the same time.

Hecs21 : My oil pan is the same. leaks around the seam, no oil higher up the engine. You do need to first ascertain that it isn't the oil filter housing (see separate threads on this) because this is a more common leak. It's not easy to diagnose this so have someone check that out.

I think it's unlikely you need to clean the pan. In all the photos I have seen of oil pans removed, I've never seen one that is full of sludge and debris, unless something has let go. There was one thread with a sludgey engine, but you could see the sludge through the filler cap.

I was quoted 'at least' $900 to do this, which made me immediately run to the internet for a case of 'there's got to be another way'. And thankfully there is, it would seem.
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  #105  
Old 09-22-2011, 05:31 AM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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Ahh- not so good

So I got the old gasket out. I decided to snip the old gasket in the location I expected to cut the new gasket.

So I positioned the snips and gave it a quick cut.

Only to hear the horrifying tinkle of bits and pieces landing in the bottom of the pan.

I tried to snake the old gasket out, and it broke in half.

See picture:



I cut at a diagonal (best way to get access) in the bottom right (LHS, rear of engine) and the front right of the gasket broke in half while attempting removal.

The tinkling of bits falling into the pan are pieces of rubber. Much of the rubber material is hard and brittle and it has broken off and fallen in during the process. No surprise why it was leaking everywhere - the old gasket is toast.

So I've got the engine on an engine brace, subframe is undone and sitting a few inches low, but I haven't touched the steering rack, power steering pump or sway bar mounts.

At this point I guess I'm in for dropping the entire crossmember right down to completely remove the pan and retreive the bits that fell in.

Anyone got some tips on getting the crossmember/subframe down further? What do I have to remove?
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  #106  
Old 09-22-2011, 11:27 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brc5 View Post
So I got the old gasket out. I decided to snip the old gasket in the location I expected to cut the new gasket.

So I positioned the snips and gave it a quick cut.

Only to hear the horrifying tinkle of bits and pieces landing in the bottom of the pan.

I tried to snake the old gasket out, and it broke in half.

See picture:



I cut at a diagonal (best way to get access) in the bottom right (LHS, rear of engine) and the front right of the gasket broke in half while attempting removal.

The tinkling of bits falling into the pan are pieces of rubber. Much of the rubber material is hard and brittle and it has broken off and fallen in during the process. No surprise why it was leaking everywhere - the old gasket is toast.

So I've got the engine on an engine brace, subframe is undone and sitting a few inches low, but I haven't touched the steering rack, power steering pump or sway bar mounts.

At this point I guess I'm in for dropping the entire crossmember right down to completely remove the pan and retreive the bits that fell in.

Anyone got some tips on getting the crossmember/subframe down further? What do I have to remove?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForcedFirebird View Post
4 10mmx1.5 bolts that hold the subframe to the chassis. You might be talking about the chassis brace?

I have a small independent BMW performance/repair shop so this was done on a lift, but it went like this...

Hook the engine lift eyelet to brace and raise 5mm.

Remove splash shield and chassis brace.

Remove 2 lower motor mount nuts (AllData says upper nuts, worked fine using lower).

Raise engine another 10mm.

Loosen the power steering pump, leaving top bolt slightly threaded so the belt can stay on.

Remove bolt for dipstick and slide up slightly.

Remove 4 nuts for sway-bar and let hang.

Remove 4 bolts that hold subframe and let hang on control arms.

Remove oil pan bolts.

Remove PS and trans cooler line brackets.

The PS pump will move enough to let the pan drop, steering column linkage can remain, transmission cooler lines can remain, you will have just enough room to reach your hand in and guide the gasket around the oil pickup tube, and you will have plenty of room to clean thoroughly.

Installation is reverse procedure.

If doing this in your garage, you can lift the engine with a jack or engine hoist. That's how I replaced all the crankshaft bearings for the v10 in my Excursion last year.

I am about to button it up, maybe I will take some pics for you guys. A few extra minutes and you won't have to cut the gasket.
^
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  #107  
Old 09-22-2011, 04:26 PM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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Jason5Driver : ForcedFirebird was referring to an E46, which was established elsewhere. The subframes are different. I'll try it out though.
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  #108  
Old 09-22-2011, 07:24 PM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Originally Posted by brc5 View Post
Jason5Driver : ForcedFirebird was referring to an E46, which was established elsewhere. The subframes are different. I'll try it out though.
Correct, but the process is still the same. I've pulled several Bavarian oil pans, but have an engine brace and a lift which most people here are doing it on their backs and no brace.

We use alldata at the shop and the same exact procedure is outlined for the 3 and 5 series.
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  #109  
Old 09-22-2011, 10:41 PM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForcedFirebird View Post
Correct, but the process is still the same. I've pulled several Bavarian oil pans, but have an engine brace and a lift which most people here are doing it on their backs and no brace.

We use alldata at the shop and the same exact procedure is outlined for the 3 and 5 series.
Yes, I've undone just about everything there is to undo and lifted the engine as far as it will go, but the pan is nowhere near coming out. I can see it needs to drop down at the back and then slide out, but that's just not going to happen unless I get about 3 more inches drop from the subframe. The subframe doesn't seem to be dropping at the rear where the mounts are near the swaybar. It's like it's pivoting down from this point instead of dropping straight down. Maybe having it up on a lift gives you the perspective to see what's wrong but with it 3 inches from your face it's a bit hard to work out.

I wish I could get it out because several bits of hardened perished rubber from the old gasket went into the pan. I've fished a bit out but I know there's more in there. It's all in bits about the size of toenail clippings. For all I know they already had fallen in before I removed the gasket and that is why it was leaking. I'm just going to have to entomb these bits in the engine and hope they come out with the next oil change. At least the rest of the pan is squeaky clean.

I've got a fair amount of clearance to put the new gasket in though, I'll try and snake it under the oil pickup. Otherwise I'll do the cut/glue method and hope for the best.
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  #110  
Old 09-23-2011, 04:17 AM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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So an update.

I couldn't get the subframe any lower so switched to clean out mode. Put on some rubber gloves and gave it a very thorough internal caress - working blind, but just feeling for bits and pieces. I also found a chunk of plastic in there - bizarre - it was about an inch long and looked a bit like a piece of zip-tie (but it wasn't zip tie, just similar). I got out probably 70% of the bits (going by the missing parts of the gasket) - the only part I couldn't reach was down around the oil pickup.

I decided to bite the bullet and cut the gasket just to move forwards as I probably spent 4 hours going around in circles and getting nowhere. By this point I didn't care if it leaked oil every day for the rest of it's life I was just 'done' with trying to get more access to the pan. I'm already about about double the amount of time I expected to put in and I still have to put all the power steering pump, subframe, sway bar, dipstick, air box yadadada back on yet.

Forgive me BMW for what I am about to do:



Here's the gasket in-place - cut is just visible behind the oil pipe.

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  #111  
Old 09-23-2011, 09:51 AM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brc5 View Post
Yes, I've undone just about everything there is to undo and lifted the engine as far as it will go, but the pan is nowhere near coming out. I can see it needs to drop down at the back and then slide out, but that's just not going to happen unless I get about 3 more inches drop from the subframe. The subframe doesn't seem to be dropping at the rear where the mounts are near the swaybar. It's like it's pivoting down from this point instead of dropping straight down. Maybe having it up on a lift gives you the perspective to see what's wrong but with it 3 inches from your face it's a bit hard to work out.

I wish I could get it out because several bits of hardened perished rubber from the old gasket went into the pan. I've fished a bit out but I know there's more in there. It's all in bits about the size of toenail clippings. For all I know they already had fallen in before I removed the gasket and that is why it was leaking. I'm just going to have to entomb these bits in the engine and hope they come out with the next oil change. At least the rest of the pan is squeaky clean.

I've got a fair amount of clearance to put the new gasket in though, I'll try and snake it under the oil pickup. Otherwise I'll do the cut/glue method and hope for the best.
Did you disconnect the sway bar from the chassis? The oil pan wouldn't come out completely for me either on the m54's unless the sub-frame and rack was completely removed.
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  #112  
Old 09-23-2011, 05:18 PM
Mudbone Mudbone is offline
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Update from Mudbone

Hi all,

I got a PM from Cam asking for an update and an answer to a couple of questions.

"1. How the heck you did it so well, while others had trouble removing old gaskets. Maybe they wait too long, at that time the gasket crumbles.
Did your old gasket come out nicely, i.e., not crumbled?

2. Long-term report: any leak?"

Answer to #1 - Could be I'm just lucky. The gasket was not "stuck" when I unbolted the oil pan. I merely pulled it away from the pan far enough to cut it in a couple of places and took them out.
The rubber on the gasket was actually still "sort of" pliable. Given that, I'm not sure why it was leaking. I was concerned about it before I began. My backup plan was to spray/pour mineral spirits into the oil pan to flush out anything that might fall in. Plan "B" was to buy "that Jim Dandy DeWalt boroscope" they have at Loew's in order to be able to look around in the pan for the debris. It is approx $300 and could probably be returned after use if sufficient care was taken.

Answer to #2 - Still NO LEAKS - Tight as a drum. I applied a generous portion of sealant at the 2 cut lines.

I hope this helps anyone considering undertaking the DIY.
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  #113  
Old 09-25-2011, 08:09 PM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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Originally Posted by ForcedFirebird View Post
Did you disconnect the sway bar from the chassis? The oil pan wouldn't come out completely for me either on the m54's unless the sub-frame and rack was completely removed.
Disconnected swaybar but didn't give me much movement. Maybe I missed something.

Did not disconnect rack. I can see with the rack out you would get the needed drop on the pan to get it low enough to remove.

I looked at this for a while before I put the subframe back on. The problem is that the mounts at the rear of the subframe didn't drop at all, even with everything removed. Maybe I didn't disconnect the sway bar properly and somehow the torque from that wasn't allow it to drop. Maybe it is the 'pivot' point of the rubber jack point, such that the centre of gravity means that the front wants to fall forwards (I think the axle line is forward of the jack point?). Maybe removing the wheels might have helped in changing the centre of gravity.

The subframe itself wouldn't go lower because of teh various hose still attached - I think these are both the powersteering (goes back and forward in a loop, presumably for cooling?), and the attachments to the rack itself.

Either way, that subframe was never going to come down without a heap more things coming off. That's when I cut my losses, cut the gasket and just fished around in the sump with my hand to find any bits that fell in. I put them next to the dead gasket and I'm confident I got 90% of the bits that came off the old gasket. I found some other bits of plastic in the pan that had nothing to do with the gasket so I'll assume the odd bit of large non metallic detritus isn't going to kill the car. It's not a race engine. It's not ideal, but after having spent probably 15 hours just to get to the point of putting the gasket on, I had to start moving forwards somehow.

I lost the screw that holds the dipstick tube on so I haven't started it up yet (had all parts in a tray but a slipped nut meant I sent the tray flying). I suspect some are in the cold air intake.

ForcedFirebird - if you do another M52/M54 on an E39 could you possibly spare 2 minutes to take a photo of the subframe down far enough to remove the sump?
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  #114  
Old 09-25-2011, 08:15 PM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudbone View Post
Hi all,

I got a PM from Cam asking for an update and an answer to a couple of questions.

"1. How the heck you did it so well, while others had trouble removing old gaskets. Maybe they wait too long, at that time the gasket crumbles.
Did your old gasket come out nicely, i.e., not crumbled?

2. Long-term report: any leak?"

Answer to #1 - Could be I'm just lucky. The gasket was not "stuck" when I unbolted the oil pan. I merely pulled it away from the pan far enough to cut it in a couple of places and took them out.
The rubber on the gasket was actually still "sort of" pliable. Given that, I'm not sure why it was leaking. I was concerned about it before I began. My backup plan was to spray/pour mineral spirits into the oil pan to flush out anything that might fall in. Plan "B" was to buy "that Jim Dandy DeWalt boroscope" they have at Loew's in order to be able to look around in the pan for the debris. It is approx $300 and could probably be returned after use if sufficient care was taken.

Answer to #2 - Still NO LEAKS - Tight as a drum. I applied a generous portion of sealant at the 2 cut lines.

I hope this helps anyone considering undertaking the DIY.
Mudbone, you're a legend mechanic in my book. I have no idea how you got that pan down, old gasket out and new gasket in (in two pieces, as well) without dropping the subframe. It was hard enough to do that when I had enough clearance to stick my hand into the sump and fish around.

As for the flush - it's a tough one, because the front of the pan is lower than the middle, so you'd have to fill it right up and hope the bits float to get everything out. There is a good half inch of oil sitting in the front part of the pan after draining the oil. I took your advice and drained the oil for 48 hours before undoing the pan, and it still dribbled oil continually while it was off. In fact, the continuous dribble of oil made it very hard to get a good bead going on the sealant in the cut position (I did the corners as well).

I'll post more pics of my entire process either in this thread or a new thread. I did take a lot of photos. I did make mistakes which caused me to have to re-do a lot of things so I will be able to provide a lot of traps for young players to avoid.

EDIT : Forgot to add : this car has about 75,000 miles on it. The gasket was completely gone and brittle. It didn't stick to the block or the pan, but the rubber gasket part did shatter when I cut it to remove it. There's not much you can do about this except be prepared for it, maybe slide a thin piece of cardboard or plastic under the section you're going to cut before doing so. If I were to do it again, I would cut my old gasket in about 4 places and slip something underneath the snips before doing so, to prevent pieces falling in, so you can carefully remove the pieces without having to drag any of the gasket 'across' the pan. You want to remove the old gasket always in an outwards direction.

Last edited by brc5; 09-25-2011 at 08:20 PM. Reason: added info about gasket.
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  #115  
Old 09-26-2011, 12:03 AM
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musa musa is offline
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The gasket arrived two days ago but I'm yet to muster enough courage to tackle the project, especially given the the difficulties people are having with this method. But the quote I got from my mechanic for the job is enough motivation to DIY.
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  #116  
Old 09-26-2011, 12:29 AM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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musa - it's all about gathering all the parts, the contingencies and the tools. There are no shortcuts, you need all the stuff, and you need to be prepared, patient and methodoligical. I'd rate it a 5/10 for difficulty, and 8/10 for PITA level.

I advise getting a dipstick tube o-ring and maybe an oil level sender o-ring as well. You will end up removing both these parts so it's good to have a fresh o-ring to put in. The cost is negligible, and you'd hard to stop the gasket leaking only to create an o-ring leak.

Also consider replacing engine mounts while engine is off subframe if you're dropping the subframe. Chances are you could use some fresh ones.

The problem is that many localities have rules regarding oil leaks w/regard to inspections. Often no oil leaks is a requirement of vehicle registration. But the price of fixing is massive, so you'll probably end up under the car cursing. All part of the ownership experience I guess !
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  #117  
Old 09-26-2011, 07:51 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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I am still amazed at how the Original Poster (Mudbone) did it without major issues.

Perhaps the most important thing is: if the old gasket comes off cleanly, then you are OK.
If the old gasket breaks up in bits and pieces, you then deal with the same issues as brc5 is having.
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  #118  
Old 09-26-2011, 11:38 AM
kyle402 kyle402 is offline
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Originally Posted by brc5 View Post

By this point I didn't care if it leaked oil every day for the rest of it's life I was just 'done' with trying to get more access to the pan.
Totally feel your pain. I was in the same boat & then just decided to cool off for a few days & think it through. I know it's a little late to help you, but for anyone else thinking about doing this, I was able to remove my subframe. I had to disconnect the 6 ~ 18mm bolts holding the subframe to the chassis, the sway bar, & the upper & lower control arms. I also disconnected the steering rack from the subframe, but I'm not sure if that was really necessary. When I lowered the jack holding the subframe & it actually came down it felt like a miracle. If I were going to do the job again I would have done all that before trying to remove the oil pan from the block. It would have saved a lot of time & effort with the improved access to the pan bolts, but removing the subframe was my plan B.

After I completed the job I was dismayed to find that I still had an oil pan gasket leak! I'm pretty sure it's just a matter of not tightening the bolts enough because I was afraid of stripping the threads. That said, I just haven't been motivated enough to get back under that car.
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  #119  
Old 09-26-2011, 11:45 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudbone View Post
Hi all,

I got a PM from Cam asking for an update and an answer to a couple of questions.

"1. How the heck you did it so well, while others had trouble removing old gaskets. Maybe they wait too long, at that time the gasket crumbles.
Did your old gasket come out nicely, i.e., not crumbled?

2. Long-term report: any leak?"

Answer to #1 - Could be I'm just lucky. The gasket was not "stuck" when I unbolted the oil pan. I merely pulled it away from the pan far enough to cut it in a couple of places and took them out.
The rubber on the gasket was actually still "sort of" pliable. Given that, I'm not sure why it was leaking. I was concerned about it before I began. My backup plan was to spray/pour mineral spirits into the oil pan to flush out anything that might fall in. Plan "B" was to buy "that Jim Dandy DeWalt boroscope" they have at Loew's in order to be able to look around in the pan for the debris. It is approx $300 and could probably be returned after use if sufficient care was taken.

Answer to #2 - Still NO LEAKS - Tight as a drum. I applied a generous portion of sealant at the 2 cut lines.

I hope this helps anyone considering undertaking the DIY.
Thanks Mudbone,

This is the key: once you have an oil pan leak, do it soon and hopefully the gasket comes out nicely (not in bits/pieces). Once the gasket comes out nicely, do it the Mudbone's way LOL!

If you wait too long (1-2 years after you first have the leak), then the gasket maybe stuck to the oil pan!
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  #120  
Old 09-26-2011, 04:43 PM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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Originally Posted by kyle402 View Post
Totally feel your pain. I was in the same boat & then just decided to cool off for a few days & think it through. I know it's a little late to help you, but for anyone else thinking about doing this, I was able to remove my subframe. I had to disconnect the 6 ~ 18mm bolts holding the subframe to the chassis, the sway bar, & the upper & lower control arms. I also disconnected the steering rack from the subframe, but I'm not sure if that was really necessary. When I lowered the jack holding the subframe & it actually came down it felt like a miracle. If I were going to do the job again I would have done all that before trying to remove the oil pan from the block. It would have saved a lot of time & effort with the improved access to the pan bolts, but removing the subframe was my plan B.

After I completed the job I was dismayed to find that I still had an oil pan gasket leak! I'm pretty sure it's just a matter of not tightening the bolts enough because I was afraid of stripping the threads. That said, I just haven't been motivated enough to get back under that car.
I still haven't filled mine with oil yet. So I haven't found out if it leaks or not! I couldn't get the oil filter out - overtightened is my guess. I'm also waiting on a replacement for the dipstick tube bolt (lost it) and replacing the dipstick o-ring. If I get some motivation over the next couple of days I'll fit those and fill it up and see what happens.

The torque rating on the pan bolts is 10 Nm which is virtually nothing. My torque wrench only goes down to 25Nm anyway, and there's no way you're ever fitting a torque wrench down there anyway. The 2 or 3 bolts above the dipstick area are near impossible to reach with a socket anyway. I just settled for a snug tighten and tried to manually match them all up so they all felt the same.

I completely agree that you should just start with the objective of removing the subframe and work towards that. I also tried to shortcut my way in and just ended up taking twice as long because of the lack of space to get to the pan with the subframe in the way.

Interesting that you took the rack off and control arms off - one of the things holding mine up was the hoses for the power steering rack, so that would give more play. But did yours drop straight down, or did it pivot backwards so that the rear mounting points stayed close to the car, but the front ones dropped down the most?
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  #121  
Old 09-26-2011, 04:55 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brc5 View Post
... The gasket was completely gone and brittle. It didn't stick to the block or the pan, but the rubber gasket part did shatter when I cut it to remove it. There's not much you can do about this except be prepared for it, maybe slide a thin piece of cardboard or plastic under the section you're going to cut before doing so.
Do you think this technique would work:

- Slide the "drywall taping knife" (the tool used to patch drywall) under the gasket and gently lift it off.
- Then one finger behind the rubber part of the gasket pushing it outward while you cut the gasket to keep the rubber from cracking and falling in.


This is what I mean by "drywall taping knife":

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  #122  
Old 09-26-2011, 08:00 PM
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musa musa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brc5 View Post
The gasket was completely gone and brittle. It didn't stick to the block or the pan, but the rubber gasket part did shatter when I cut it to remove it. There's not much you can do about this except be prepared for it, maybe slide a thin piece of cardboard or plastic under the section you're going to cut before doing so. If I were to do it again, I would cut my old gasket in about 4 places and slip something underneath the snips before doing so, to prevent pieces falling in, so you can carefully remove the pieces without having to drag any of the gasket 'across' the pan. You want to remove the old gasket always in an outwards direction.
Do you think it would be viable to put tape over the point to be cut so that the pieces don't fly? May be duct tape or painters tape?
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  #123  
Old 09-26-2011, 09:05 PM
kyle402 kyle402 is offline
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Originally Posted by brc5 View Post
Interesting that you took the rack off and control arms off - one of the things holding mine up was the hoses for the power steering rack, so that would give more play. But did yours drop straight down, or did it pivot backwards so that the rear mounting points stayed close to the car, but the front ones dropped down the most?
It pretty much dropped straight down. I can't really think of anything that would make it pivot around the rear. Did you unbolt the sway bar?
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  #124  
Old 09-26-2011, 10:21 PM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Do you think this technique would work:

- Slide the "drywall taping knife" (the tool used to patch drywall) under the gasket and gently lift it off.
- Then one finger behind the rubber part of the gasket pushing it outward while you cut the gasket to keep the rubber from cracking and falling in.


This is what I mean by "drywall taping knife":
cn90 - I don't think you'd get a tool that big into the area if you haven't completely removed the subframe. You might be able, it's hard to say without having it in your hand while under the car.

THe problem for me wasn't the gasket sticking to the block or the pan, it was that cutting it shattered the brittle rubber, and when I abandoned cutting it, snaking it out also caused bits of rubber to fall off. The gasket came away fine, it's just that the moment any of the rubber touched anything else (camshaft drive sprocket, oil tube, anything) it crumbled away in little pieces about the size of toenail clippings. Same with your finger - the slightest pressure on the rubber crumbles it away, there is no flexibiltiy left. Maybe mine is an extreme case, but it's a possibility for anyone who removes the gasket.

I took a close-up of the bits of rubber - hard to photo something small and black clearly, but hopefully you'll get an idea of what we are dealing with here. All these were retrieved from inside the pan:



I think the best way forwards would be to cut with snips as I did, but place something underneath the snips to catch the pieces if they come off. Something like a plastic ice cream container lid or similar. It would need to be flexible enough to bend it into position but sit nicely once it was in position, and if you slid it under the gasket and angled upwards so any pieces would fall onto it and slide down out of way the pan once cut. With this type of setup, I would cut the old gasket in 4 places (as near to the corners as you could get) so that I could pull outwards on the gasket in all directions.

However, if you have bits of rubber stuck to the block or pan then you're going to have to come up with something else to stop bits falling in. I would also think about the mineral spirits or similar flush idea, and have some at the ready. I would probably remove the oil sender unit before doing this though. But the flush method relies on the bits floating out, which I'm not sure would necessarily work. THere are plenty of nooks and crannies in there for them to stick to.
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  #125  
Old 09-26-2011, 10:31 PM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle402 View Post
It pretty much dropped straight down. I can't really think of anything that would make it pivot around the rear. Did you unbolt the sway bar?
Yes, I unbolted the sway bar, but perhaps I didn't do it properly or it was stuck on or something, because it didn't really change anything for me. Maybe the torque of the sway bar was pushing it up because one of the brackets was stuck or bound on or something. I think a photo of an unbolted and dropped subframe would be great just to see how much drop there was at the back. When I undid mine the back of the subframe was tight against the car, you couldn't fit a finger between it. But at the front it was down a long way, long enough for me to fit my whole arm into the pan and feel around.
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