Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine? - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 8:49 AM Thread Starter
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Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine?

I have an oil leak. I need to change the oil pan gasket. I can't say that I've ever tried doing that with a BBC powered GM A-body car. Has anyone ever accomplished this successfully? If so, do you have any tips that wouldn't be in the repair manuals? And do you guys favor the one piece oil pan gaskets, or the multi-piece ones for this endeavor? BTW this is a Mark IV style aftermarket block if that matters.

The 2x4 pieces of wood wedged between the loosened motor mounts and the frame stands comes to mind. Anything else? I also would want to use a jack stand underneath one of the main bearing caps while I have my hands in there for safety. I dunno if I can pull this off since this engine has an aftermarket Milodon oil pan and a big 4.75" stroke crankshaft. I don't have an HEI distributor, but I'll atleast be removing the cap for some room. I have the car 20" off the garage floor resting on six 6-ton jack stands to give myself as much room as possible, and the headers are coming off anyway so they won't be in my way either. I have oil pan bolts in there now, but I'd like to switch to studs in order to hold the new gasket in place on the engine block.

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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 8:59 AM
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Re: Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine?

On my 72 A body I don't think it would worth the trouble. At best if you could drop the pan you have to it with the pan still under the engine and it would be messy and you may learn a lot of new words. If you have to clean the pan or the block a lot of it will end up in the pan. Go ahead and pull the engine it will be a good time to repaint the headers if you have them and tidy and clean up under the hood. Good luck
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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 9:09 AM
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Re: Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine?

While not impossible, its not practical. You cannot get the engine high enough for the pan to clear the crossmember and pass by the flexplate with the engine still in the car, don't ask me how I know. Pull the engine.

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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 9:19 AM
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Re: Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine?

I have done this before with a stock oil pan in a 1970 Chevelle. Was a PITA but I got it done. I would not even attempt this with a larger,non stock pan.
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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 9:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine?

Here's the difference with my car, (but it's probably a negative rather than a positive) I altered the front cross member section of the frame, so it allows for about 3/4" more depth of clearence for the oil pan. But now the bad part: I did that out of neccessity just to fit the engine in the car with the front of the oil pan being deeper for the 4.75" crankshaft. So unless there's something that you guys can think of that I might be overlooking, that little fact makes it even less likely that I would ever be able to do this without engine removal.
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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 11:37 AM
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Re: Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine?

doable if you want to bad enough, unbolt the trans crossmember and tilt the whole thing,
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 11:43 AM
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Re: Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine?

Just pull the engine.

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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine?

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Originally Posted by pbcbob View Post
doable if you want to bad enough, unbolt the trans crossmember and tilt the whole thing,
I'm glad you mentioned that. Because that's what I've been thinking about doing. I installed the engine and trans in my brother's garage which has much more room than I have in mine, (I have the car in my garage now) and I also had use of my brother's lift too as well as his crane attached to his 12 foot high ceiling. That is no longer the case.

I now have the car in my condo garage, which only has a 7 foot ceiling, and I don't even think I have enough space to move a cherry picker hoist around the front of the car. I also had a big hassle installing the hood back on the car when I removed it for the engine install. I had two guys helping me put the hood back on,along with scribe marks I had put on the hood brackets before I removed it, and we still couldn't get it as straight as the body guy had it. The hood alone was a big hassle. So I'm trying to look at all of my options here. Thanks very much for your input on this. I can sure use it.
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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 12:14 PM
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Re: Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine?

I've done stuff like that when I was young and didn't have an engine lift or even concrete to work on but now that I'm older (maybe not smarter ) I'd pull the engine out instead of my hair
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 12:23 PM
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Re: Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine?

On a nice spring day Billy, yank it and get it on a stand. Do you have any other "maintenance" to do on the longblock?
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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine?

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On a nice spring day Billy, yank it and get it on a stand. Do you have any other "maintenance" to do on the longblock?
No I don't. I really don't have the room. It's a very small garage. In fact, I can't even open the doors halfway out without smacking them into the walls, and it being a condo complex, I can't even work outside in the driveway per condo rules, and my short driveway is on a steep incline anyway. So trust me on this, pulling the motor would be tougher in my case.

Where I have this car now is NOT where I began this restoration/hi-perf build. The project was rudely uprooted years ago by a family member, (long story) and I had to move the car in a haste to my own very small garage, and I've been off-balance with this project ever since. It was beyond my control. So I have to make due with what I have to work with

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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 12:55 PM
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Re: Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine?

I just went through this recently on a 540 in my 66. I was changing from a Moroso kick-out style pan to a Milidon pan to clear my new Lemon's headers. There was no way to get the pan out without pulling the engine up. Since the pan was the only thing I had to do, I lifted the engine/tranny up in the engine bay using an engine tilter and dropped the old pan/installed the new one while it was hanging in the engine bay.

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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 1:43 PM
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Re: Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine?

If the pan needs to come off, out comes then engine. I hate laying on the ground doing that job.
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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 1:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TW View Post
I just went through this recently on a 540 in my 66. I was changing from a Moroso kick-out style pan to a Milidon pan to clear my new Lemon's headers. There was no way to get the pan out without pulling the engine up. Since the pan was the only thing I had to do, I lifted the engine/tranny up in the engine bay using an engine tilter and dropped the old pan/installed the new one while it was hanging in the engine bay.
Thanks very much for chiming in here Tom. I have two specific questions for you, if I may:

#1. I just want to make sure I'm reading you right....so you lifted the engine and trans up both together as an assembly, and without having to unbolt the bell housing from the engine, and without having to touch the torque converter bolts? (that's assuming you have an automatic trans).

#2. When you tried to remove the oil pan, ( I mean before you lifted the motor and trans out) did you first rotate the crankshaft to where the zero mark on the balancer was pointed downward at the 6 o'clock position in order to get the crankshaft counter weight facing up and inside of the block to make more room for the pan?

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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 2:20 PM
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Re: Removing BBC oil pan without pulling the engine?

And I'll chime in here.
SHORT version, yes, it can be done, but it is a major pain, and yes, I've done it--------------twice.
Next time (which I hope is never), the engine comes out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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