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Old 07-10-2001, 12:09 PM
JPL's Avatar
JPL JPL is offline
Its All Within Yourself
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 249
Good Day:

I have done a search for ‘oil pan’ in all forums, but still have a few questions.

I am considering replacing my oil pan. I am an ambitious, but not yet well-seasoned DIYer. I find fluid and filter changes to be fun and easy, but I don’t know if the oil pan replacement has any caveats.

Here is my step-by-step plan:

1. Bring engine to operating temp.
2. Raise front of vehicle
3. Loosen oil pan drain plug
4. Loosen oil filer housing lid
5. Remove oil pan drain plug, and drain oil.
6. Loosen and remove the bolts holding the oil pan. (I want to draw a stencil of the holes to hold the removed bolts so I replace the same bolts into the same holes from which they were removed.)
7. Remove old oil pan
8. Remove Gasket.
9. Place new Pan Gasket on new pan
10. Put new oil pan in place and secure
11. Tighten new oil pan drain plug
12. Close oil filter housing lid.
13. Replace Oil
14. Say a prayer and Monitor for leaks

A few questions:
Is this a difficult task? Is it more complicated than it appears?

Does the gasket ‘stick’ to the engine? If so, how can I remove the gasket ‘bits’ from the engine? I am not worried about the old oil pan because I am replacing it. I don’t want to damage the engine by scraping or doing something foolish I should not, in an effort to remove the old gasket. Any secret to removing the old gasket?

Should I lube the new gasket with some oil or something else (sealant)? Please recommend.

Do I need any special tools other than wrenches and such? Do the bolts that secure the pan need to be tightened to a specific torque or in a specific order? If so, please recommend the type of torque wrenches I should acquire. What is the lbs of torque to which the bolts should be tightened?

Please share your collective experiences with me. I want to become a seasoned DIYer. Should I wait until I have more experience before I take on this job? The pan is dented but does not restrict oil flow, so it is not a red-hot issue. Is this is a good skill building task that is not too complicated, or that presents a lot of risk?

Most importantly – am I missing any crucial steps? Should I allow my mechanic replace the $25.00 part for $450.00? That is precisely why I think I am missing something important. If it is really strait-forward, why does it cost so much in labor. Is it just time consuming?

If I can do this, I want to do the transmission pan next.

Thanks for your help.
79 300CD (233,000 3rd owner) – My First Benz !
Engine 617.912
Chassis 123.250

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Old 07-10-2001, 03:06 PM
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Replacing the oil sub-pan is easy...replacing the aluminum section above it is a bit more involved. I'd ask why do you need to replace it? And, if you got a quote of $400+ to replace the sub-pan go anywhere else to have it looked at. If it is the sub-pan, you can do it, but why bring the car up to operating temperature? Whatever has settled in the pan will remain there when it's cold.
Randy D.
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Old 07-10-2001, 03:50 PM
JPL's Avatar
JPL JPL is offline
Its All Within Yourself
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 249
Why Replace?.....

Thanks Randy for the response.

I want to replace the pan because it is dented, and a bit rusted (and it was told to me by my mechanic that I 'should think about replacing" it.) Well, as you implied, $400+ is a lot. That’s why I wanted to try it on my own. If I find the job too overwhelming, I will seek a second opinion.

I don’t know if the aluminum section above it needs replacement. I suppose if I get the sub-pan off, I can inspect the aluminum part for damage too. I am hoping not, because the dent in the sub-pan seems to be less than 1.5" deep. There is no leaking, just the dent. Additionally, the pan is beginning to rust at the dent.

I was just bringing the car to operating temp to allow the oil to drain more quickly. If I don’t need to do this I won't. Do you think this is not necessary?

Considering I am replacing to correct the dented, rusted pan, do you think it is worth the effort?

Thanks for your expertise.


[Edited by jpl on 07-10-2001 at 04:06 PM]
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