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Old 04-18-2010, 01:06 AM   #1
Dr.Man
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1994 SC1
Dizzy If I have to replace my oil pan one more time!

So I'm changing my oilpan, and at first I use the oem recommended Victor heinz RTV. That leaked, but I assumed I made a mistake, so to check out how good the stuff was I sealed the pan and let it cure a day....IT WAS STILL WET AND THE PAN POPPED OFF EASY.

So then I used RTV Ultra Black Oil Resistant. Worked great on my sc1. However I have a leak again on my sl2. Just after replacing it. The leak is right below the oil filter on the pan. When I change the gasket I used brake cleaner and a wire tooth brush thingy, razor blades...1/8 inch beed, finger tipped the rtv smooth all around.
Did NOT use guide pins. DID check for flatness and tapped the pan with a hammer. The leak is bad and runs all the way down the frame.

What should I do? Should I use acetone to clean the mating surfaces and not brake cleaner?
Does the pan obviously sound to be out of shape? Should I buy a new pan?
Will the pan go out of shape if I don't fasten it down doing some sort of proper procedure or otherwise specific way?
Do I really have to torque spec them down?

I hold the pan hovering about a half an inch away, then i thread a bolt slightly in. I do this in four different corners. Secondly, I press the pan into place and finger tighten the four bolts. Next, I finger tighten all the other 18 bolts, and give them each a quarter turn past tight with a wrench. Proceeding in somewhat of a starfish pattern but its hard to keep track.

Getting these pans off requires some prying and as careful as I try, they still get a little out of shape. I tap them into place, but there never really perfect or even close to perfect.

Last question: If a little oil from anywhere came into contact with the fastened, freshly sealed pan while it was curing...especially synthetic oil, would this be a cause for creating the leak?

...
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:44 AM   #2
1996SL11.9L
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Default Re: If I have to replace my oil pan one more time!

If you set the pan on a piece of glass it will tell you how missshape'n it is.

I drop the pan and let the engine drip for a while.....then clean it up and reinstall everything .

Most importantly is I let the RTV cure for 24hr before I add oil and drive it.

The Right Stuff is good for problem childs, seal wise.

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Old 04-18-2010, 08:13 PM   #3
cboss
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Default Re: If I have to replace my oil pan one more time!

I used the OEM gray and it was terrible IMO.
You can't get the pan on fast enough before the RTF starts curing.

Later when I rebuilt the engine I did the following:

Cleaned old gasket off using Gasket Remover (spray can). It works great.
Then clean the metal up so absolutely no old gasket remains.

Put the pan on a table and make sure it is flat, if not a little tap here and there will put it back.

One thing easily over looked are the bolt holes in the pan. Use some kind of metal punch to tap the hole ridges back down. The bolts tend to push them up so they leave a ridge. With the pan right side up, put the edge on a table and tap the bolt hole ridges back down. This is important for the RTV to seal the holes.

Make sure you scrape any gasket remains on the block surface.

Now clean the pan surface and the block surface with acetone, give a minute to evaporate and then put Ultra black RTV on the pan surface and make sure you round it around the bolt holes completely.

You might want to put two studs (threaded rods with no bolt head) into two bolt holes so you can line up the pan perfectly the first time.

Place the pan on the studs and push into place. Do not slide the pan around. It should go into place and the RTV will act like glue. It will actually hold the pan in palce if done right.

Now put the bolts in and hand tighten them. Torque the bolts down, jumping from side to side (don't do them in order, but one on one side and then one on the other).

A small amount of RTF will squeeze out (if you don't put too much) the edges. I ran my finger around the edge to smear it into the v edge (edge of pan is slightly rounded) between the block and the pan. It makes a nice seal.

Make sure you do not put oil in immediately!

Let the RTV dry for at least a day (24 hours or more). The longer the better.

Now put the oil in.

The key to a good oil pan seal is:

- Flat pan surface
- optional - clean bolt hole threads in block
- perfectly cleaned pan surface (use spray type gasket remover)
- clean block and pan surface with acetone
- tap bolt hole ridges back
- use Ultra Black RTV
- make sure RTV goes around holes completely
- do not slide pan around once RTV grabs. Use studs to get perfect alignment. Install quickly don't give time for RTV to start curing.
- hand tight all bolts first
- torque down bolts, side to side, not in order.
- optional - smear the squeeze out into V between block and pan
- allow at least 24 hours before adding oil (48 hours even better)

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Old 04-18-2010, 09:24 PM   #4
john92saturn
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2002 SC1
2000 SL2
Default Re: If I have to replace my oil pan one more time!

If you tighten and then go a 1/4 turn it could be distorting the flatness and causing a gap. The Right Stuff is self expanding, it will forgive small areas that you may have missed building up. I have used the Right Stuff for several years with good results, every time. It costs a lot more than I want to pay for sealant, but, it is cheaper than the OEM from Saturn, A LOT easier to use, it is sensor safe, and it seals, for me every time.

Is it possible that there is a leak above, from the front cover or the head, or the valve cover? Over time valve covers leak.

Last edited by john92saturn; 04-18-2010 at 09:34 PM..

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Old 04-18-2010, 09:35 PM   #5
1996SL11.9L
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Default Re: If I have to replace my oil pan one more time!

Only problem with Right Stuff is taking it off, its like glue.

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Old 04-19-2010, 01:00 AM   #6
Dr.Man
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Default Re: If I have to replace my oil pan one more time!

Thank you for all the advice. So far I am debating getting a new pan. I really am not sure how the shape of it should be. All I know is that I placed the pan on a very flat surface and it has a very slight rock to it. Secondly I placed a flashlight inside the pan and checked for light to leak from it. The light actually seeps through off and on again in some pretty lengthy areas. Particularly where the oil leak was coming from.

Now I am not a physics major, but I am using a concrete surface. With a mallet braced against the pan in the area of intrest, I beat down on the mallet with a hammer. This doesn't seem to be working?

I think the money for the new pan is better spent on the ribbed idler pulley I need to negate my p/s.

What can I do to reshape my pan correctly?

...
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