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How do you change an oil pan gasket on a small block Chevy?


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2011-07-27 14:23:14
2011-07-27 14:23:14

If the engine is out, you remove the oil pan bolts around the pan and then pry gently between (with a putty knife or a flat screwdriver) engine and the pan. Make certain that you remove the old gasket with a putty knife before installing the new one. Also, check your pan for "flatness" and "dimples" around the pan bolt holes by resting the bolt surface against something flat (maybe your garage floor?). Use a flashlight or a piece of printer paper to see if the pan lies flat against that surface. If the pan isn't flat, you might want to go ahead and replace it, too.

If the motor is in, it MAY be possible to remove the pan by just loosening or unbolting the motor mounts from the frame/cross-member. Then raise the engine up enough to get clearance to remove the oil pan bolts. Clearance is the biggest issue, and sometimes requires removal of the distributor so it doesn't contact the firewall; or the transmission so it doesn't contact the transmission tunnel. Check these clearances closely before unbolting the oil pan. Removing the pan also requires clearing the crank journals and the oil pump pickup, which can require several inches of clearance.

If you are changing the oil pan gasket with the engine in the car, and you cannot remove the pan, DO NOT scrape any pan gasket material into the pan. If you do, you need to pull the pan out, probably by pulling the engine. Be patient and work slowly and carefully. It can be done! And make sure you use a four-piece gasket, not the one-piece.

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