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Old 08-29-2013, 03:18 PM   #1
Jesse Pinkman
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Default Replacing an oil pan and (possibly) wheel bearing for the first time any advice?

So here is the deal, I have a 1999 saturn SL2 that has been giving be some issues recently. I need to do some things for an inspection stick anyway, so i figured i'd try to bang it all out at once.

My oil pan has been leaking for a while now from the seal, so i figured the only logical thing to do would be replacing it. I have no idea how to do this, I have tools, just no knowledge on how to do such a task, if anyone had some information on how this could be done I would be extremely grateful.


That being said, I would also appreciate it immensely if someone could tell me if i need to replace a wheel bearing whilst I am working on it. When I get the car up to speed, I'll hear a vibration coming form the right hand passenger side. The vibration will go away when i am going into a lefthand corner and will get louder when I take a righthand corner or turn the car right.

Is this a wheel bearing and if so would anyone mind telling me how I might go about replacing it?

Any help I would really be grateful for.
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Replacing an oil pan and (possibly) wheel bearing for the first time any advice?

I'd rather do a wheel bearing than an oil pan. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm alone with that opinion however
Wheel bearing:

Remove axle nut before lifting car off of the ground (29 or 30mm deep socket)
Take both lower strut-to-knuckle bolts out
Remove TRE from knuckle
Remove knuckle from ball joint
Tap axle a couple times with a hammer, not hard, just enough to get it loose from the hub.
Take knuckle to someplace with a hydraulic press.
Remove evil clip holding bearing in (sometimes it's got retarded eyelets, other times it's awesome and you just pry it out).
Press bearing & hub out from knuckle.
Press new bearing into knuckle (maybe brass brush out the corroded part of the bore & wipe it clean of debre)
Press knuckle onto hub that came with the bearing (don't be silly and just get the bearing...).
Bolt it back onto car.
If you can find an "on-car" bearing press you might be able to avoid the alignment afterward but if it's the driver side you'll need 2.5qt's of Dex III ATF to refill transmission (assuming it's a 5spd) when you take the axle out.


The oil pan is rather more annoying because you have to find some way to hold the engine up, remove lower dog-bone, remove lower dog-bone engine bracket, remove/lower exhaust, remove engine-trans brace, and I think the real fun is getting the crankshaft pulley off.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Replacing an oil pan and (possibly) wheel bearing for the first time any advice?

A machine press is needed to push out the old bearing and put in a new one. Youíll need a machine shop to do it for you.

Before you go ahead and replace the bearing, what makes you think itís bad? Iíd check for play in the wheel first. A bad ball joint, dry rotted sway bar bushings, and loose tie rods can all cause vibrations when turning. Iíve seen Saturnís with 200k miles on them with the original wheel bearings. Another part is more likely the problem.

As for the oil pan - youíll be removing the serpentine belt, crankshaft pulley, transmission brace, and exhaust downpipe to be able to get to all of the oil pan bolts. Youíll need a flat head screwdriver or pry bar to get off the oil pan. Then itís just a matter of cleaning off the old gasket on both the block and pan itself. I'd recommend also replacing the front main seal behind the pulley while you're there. It's about $5 and worth the 60 seconds while the crankshaft pulley is off.

These arenít major automotive tasks, but I think if you take a weekend and work slowly, youíll be able to visually see how to remove both the wheel bearing and oil pan. Plan ahead and have another car in case you have to drive to the parts store to rent a hub pulley or something unexpected.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Replacing an oil pan and (possibly) wheel bearing for the first time any advice?

Are you SURE it's the pan that's leaking and not a drip from higher up? And.. when you say "from the seal" exactly where are you saying? Have you confirmed the source with dye?
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Replacing an oil pan and (possibly) wheel bearing for the first time any advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by off-track View Post
Are you SURE it's the pan that's leaking and not a drip from higher up?
+1, at least half of the "my oil pan needs replacing because it leaks" end up being a leak from the cam/valve cover or elsewhere (like the seal MacGyver mentioned), leaking down and dripping off the pan.
No oil pan gasket, it came from the factory with gray RTV. Unless you have physical damage or severe rust on the pan, it is almost guaranteed not be be leaking from the block to pan seal area because the RTV is pretty solid.

You'll spend a lot of your time scraping off the old RTV. Clean both surfaces well with acetone before putting new RTV on. IMO, was more time-consuming than hard. Never done a wheel bearing to compare.

Oil pan replacement, in case it is really needed
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