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How difficult is it to replace the oil pan gasket?

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge Service and Repair Questions Answered Here How difficult is it to replace the oil pan gasket?

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  • #580711
    Juan ReyesJuan Reyes
    Participant

      I own a 1996 Ford Taurus it has the 3.0 V6 DOHC Duratec engine. A mechanic told me I have an oil leak and I have to replace the oil pan gasket on it. I have never done this before. I am just wondering how difficult is it to replace? I called around and every shop said including the dealership said 2.2 hours. I got a range of prices too starting at $275 and ending at $370 dollars.

      I just want to do this myself to save money. I own a small mechanics tool set from Home Depot I got years ago. I don’t own a torque wrench though. Do I need one for this job? I also own car ramps and wheel chocks.

      I had a mobil car mechanic come and replace the oil pressure sender a while ago. I saw the oil leaks myself and that’s why I took it for a quick checkup to a mechanic. He saw the oil pressure sender and then told me about the oil pan gasket.

      Should I have a professional do this or can I do this myself? I like working on my own car and I like saving my money. I already have replaced brake pads, rotors, spark plugs and spark plug wires.

      What should I do?

    Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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    • #580757
      college mancollege man
      Moderator
        #580781
        Jeff KetchemJeff Ketchem
        Participant

          I have done one and to be honest it wasn’t hard, but I had a lift and my arsenal handy. I don’t know how agreeable I’d be to doing it on jackstands or ramps though. lol

          #580782
          asetoftoolsasetoftools
          Participant

            depends on the car really. Take a look at the manual. If you can see all the bolts, and dont have to remove anything like a motor mount, then It should be pretty easy. Both my oil pan and transmission pan drop right out of my car with like 20 bolts each or something. So in my case, its one of the easier things I have done, on jackstands even.

            I would get a haynes manual or chiltons before you do anything.

            from college man link, looks like you gotta remove exhaust 🙁 I wouldnt do that myself unless its not rusted. Most exhaust stuff is much easier with an impact and heat i gather.

            and from this, ( https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=corsica%20oil%20pan&tbs=imgo:1#q=Ford+Taurus+oil+pan&tbm=isch&tbs=imgo:1 ) it looks like a deep pan. On my car its very shallow. Its probably worth the service, unless you got the time and want to put in the elbow grease to “Remove Y-pipe and catalytic converter assembly.”. That looks like the hardest for a street mechanic to me. Unless its all brand new. my 2 cents

            #581051
            EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy
            Keymaster

              I believe the link that College man posted is accurate and is a good step by step for the job. I would be careful using ramps though. Those can be difficult sometimes but once you’re up on them you’re supported pretty good. Sometimes they do get in the way while you’re working however but for that job it shouldn’t be too bad. Personally, I prefer to use a jack and jack stands. As for the torque wrench, I don’t think you need it. As long as you’re consistent and don’t over tighten. One way to do this is by using 1/4″ tools to do the work. They have less leverage and less of a tendency to brake fasteners or over tighten. That’s not to say that using a torque wrench is not a good idea. Also, don’t go overboard with RTV. This is a common rookie mistake. It really doesn’t help seal and in some cases can actually cause leaks. Let the gasket do the work and only use RTV at the seams or corners in small amounts. If you ever have to take the pan off again, you’ll thank me.

              Good luck and keep us posted how the job goes.

              #655934
              ROBERT FRANKrobert
              Participant

                A note for the weekenders. RTV? … LOL… Given the context I was relatively certain what that was, but wanted to look it up to be sure — room temperature vulcanization silicone. e.g. permatex or loctite. There are about 100 varieties.

                FYI… I looked online to compare prices — Online about $8 for a good quality oil pan gasket. However, shipping was another $9.

                At local parts store, only $12. Sometimes local is better, and always good to keep the cash in town, if possible.

                #655945
                Lorrin BarthLorrin Barth
                Participant

                  RTV – a fancier version of bath tub caulk.

                  #655956
                  WOTStangWOTStang
                  Participant

                    With a car of that age, i think you are going to have more trouble with the exhaust bolts, especially if you live in a northern climate than you are going to have with the oil pan itself.

                    Be sure to mind the areas where it addresses the use of silicone and the location of bolts/studs when you remove them (i find taking a picture of the bottom of the pan before starting helps a lot. Other than that, thoroughly cleaning the pan and block mating surfaces is of utmost importance for a good seal.

                    Torque spec is 15-22 ft-lbs for all bolts.

                    #655989
                    hondaguy453hondaguy453
                    Participant

                      Make sure you spray the exhaust bolts with wd40 or something before trying to loosen them. It’ll break up the rust and make it easier for you to remove them.

                      #656039
                      zerozero
                      Participant

                        [quote=”WOTStang” post=128777]With a car of that age, i think you are going to have more trouble with the exhaust bolts, especially if you live in a northern climate than you are going to have with the oil pan itself.[/quote]

                        This is what I immediately thought of. On a 96, the rust might be the only thing holding the exhaust together. When exhaust hardware gets crusty it takes a lot of heat and an equal amount of penetrating fluid before you can even think of removing any of them. Basically if an exhaust stud breaks and you don’t have the equipment you’re basically up the creek. As such I’m voting to pay someone to do it.

                        Also going to agree with what Eric said about using 1/4 tools. Had a boss insist that we torqued down oil pans. Did it twice, broke a bolt each time and that was the end of that. Just remember the amount of torque required is generally relative to the fastener size. So that little bolt with a 10mm head doesn’t need a He-Man turn of the wrench when installing it.

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