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Old 05-03-2010, 12:14 AM   #1
nil5
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2002 VUE 3.0L
Default 3.0 V6 Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

So it was time to change the oil in our trusty VUE, and I figured I would take care of the leaky oil pan gasket while having the oil drained.

From the directions in the service manual, it seems straightforward and easy... I knew something was wrong about that....

the oil pan will not come out. It is loose, but there is not enough clearance between the block and front-exhaust pipe to pull it completely out. The frustrating part is that the manual does not mention having to remove the exhaust in order to remove the pan!!! Drats. I looked at the nuts where the pipe meets the front exhaust manifold, those looked not too badly rusted... I looked at the other end of that pipe, at the Y-joint that joins the exhaust from the two banks, those looks pretty rusty.

I didn't have any PB blaster or equivalent penetrating oil, so I didn't even attempt to loosen the exhaust pieces for fear of snapping a stud/bolt, but I see no other way of getting the oil pan out---and more importantly, getting it back in squarely.

Oh, and as I am quickly learning, every repair operation on this vehicle (if done by the book) calls for a GM special tool. In this case, it's a pair of headless bolts that help you align the oil pan during installation, which is a pretty smart idea, actually, but of course I don't have those special bolts. I could probably make something equivalent by getting a identically threaded bolt then cutting off the bolt head, but I'd rather not go to the trouble...

Anyone else here removed/replaced their oil pan (gasket) on the 3.0 V6 and have any tips? I'm all ears. I appreciate the help!

Another thing, I tried searching the forums for "oil pan" in the VUE subforum--Not a single thread came back! Could I really be the first person to attempt this?

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Old 05-03-2010, 03:32 PM   #2
den812
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2004 VUE 3.0L
2005 VUE 2.2L
Wrench Re: 3.0 V6 Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

TNX for your post, i need do it too soon....

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Old 05-03-2010, 09:03 PM   #3
nil5
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2002 VUE 3.0L
Default Re: 3.0 V6 Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

Here's some more info for posterity:

When removing the exhaust pipes, be sure to get new gaskets!

Also, before removing the often rusty nuts at the exhaust flanges, be sure to use plenty of penetrating oil, like WD40 or PB Blaster, which I used. Let it soak for a while. I've been letting this soak for a few hours now. Time to go wrench on it!

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Old 05-04-2010, 12:12 AM   #4
nil5
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Default Re: 3.0 V6 Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

The exhaust nuts came off without a hitch after letting them soak with PB blaster for about 2 hours! Got the oil pan off, now it's time to clean out all that old gasket material that's on the oil pan and block... I'll do that tomorrow I think.

Another note: To move the exhaust pipe out of the way sufficiently, you're going to have to disconnect the o2 sensor. The easiest way to do this is to unplug at the connector that sits just atop the A/C compressor. The harder way is to unbolt it from the pipe--I don't recommend it if you're not replacing it anyway. You can't see the electrical connector from below--get to it from above. I used a screwdriver to help unlock the connector, as i couldn't get enough force to cause it to open the usual way.

Yet another note: I just happened to have two spare bolts that are the same thread dimensions/pitch as the oil pan bolts--sort of randomly (one for a 5th gen Honda VFR800's triple clamp, and the other from the VUE thermostat housing). I cut off the big end of each bolt and will use these to align the oil pan when it comes time to install it. Cutting off the big end of the dummy-bolt is necessary so that it may be removed and replaced with the real bolt after the other bolts are installed to keep the pan in place.

Hopefully I'll be able to get the pan and block cleaned up tomorrow, and zip everything back together.

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Old 05-07-2010, 12:40 AM   #5
nil5
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Default Re: 3.0 V6 Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

So I got my oil pan back on No leaks so far !!!!

Torque specs from memory:
Oil pan bolts: 11 ft-lb (I'm sure of this one)
Oil-pan to transaxle bolts: 48 ft-lb (I also seem to remember 54 ft-lb... They are close, though)

The oil pan uses bolts of 3 different lengths, keep track of them ,but it's fairly obvious which go in which slots.

Use Permatex "The Right Stuff" liquid gasket. It works and I have heard nothing but praise for it. It is also what GM recommends.

The oil pan seemed harder to clean than the block, I removed all the old gasket from the little valleys. I used mineral spirits, a wire brush, and a dental pick to clean it. Razor blade is also useful, but be careful! Used my shop vac to get all the little pieces out, in addition to shop towels with.. more mineral spirits.

To clean the mating surface on the engine block, I used a razor blade, mineral spirits. No wire brush as I did not want any metal debris near my crankcase!

I laid a larger-than-spec bead of "the right stuff" along the perimeter of the oil pan, going inside the bolt holes and a little outside of the chamfered edge. The shop manual recommends a 2mm bead, I reckon I put a 4-5 mm bead. I really didn't want it to leak Try to be as continuous as possible and as even as possible

What else... I was able to coerce my brother to give me a hand in reinstalling the oil pan. The trouble is that you really want to press the oil pan to the block ONCE, and only once, to avoid smearing the gasket. The difficulty that I foresaw was in holding the pan in place while threading the bolts, not only to the block but also to the transaxle. Having a second pair of hands really made this much easier, but there was still a little swearing on my part as we tried to line everything up without disturbing the gasket while the pan was in transit from the floor, around the exhaust pipe, back to the block.

BTW I left my alignment bolts in place to get the pan aligned right before i stuck it to the block. These were the bolts that I cut the heads off of, as mentioned in a previous post. They are not as ideal as the special GM part, but good enough

Once the pan was in place we threaded about 2 or 3 bolts to the block then immediately the transaxle bolts, hand tight.

then installed all the remaining bolts and torque it all to spec.

Then reinstall the exhaust pipe, making sure to replace the gaskets with new ones (you don't want an exhaust leak, do you?)

Then I filled her up with 5 qt of Mobil1 and called it a night.

In total, I spent probably 8 hours doing this job. I always take a lot longer than a pro, but so what. I can't say I really enjoyed this job or would do it again, that's one reason I took my time--I don't want to do it again

The main thing challenges you'll face if you decide to do this are:
- remove the exhaust pipe without breaking the nuts (take your time and use penetrating oil). I did not remove it completely, just disconnected both fittings to move it to the side.
- clean the sealing surfaces as well as possible. It takes a little bit of time. If you can find a faster way, more power to you.
- Apply the silicone gasket with care to get an even bead 2-5mm .
- When reinstalling the pan, having some alignment pins/bolts helps to get it straight the first time without disturbing the gasket too much.
- get a second set of hands to help you reinstall it. By oneself, I think it would be error-prone.
- Torque the pan evenly using a criss-cross pattern.

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Old 10-08-2015, 04:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: 3.0 V6 Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

Awsome write up! Going to be doing this soon on my vue

...
I live my life a 1/4 mile at a time.... as long as I dont hit any trees....

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Old 01-27-2017, 11:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: 3.0 V6 Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

Hi in process of doing this job on my l 300 3.o. Do u know thread and pitch of alignment bolts u used? What holds the pan in place if there is no head on bolt? Do u install the brackets on passenger side before putting oil pan in place?

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Old 11-02-2017, 11:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: 3.0 V6 Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

Where can the oil pan gasket for the 3.0L V6 even be bought at? I have called every local parts store near me and they do not have any.

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Old 11-02-2017, 02:45 PM   #9
RobertGary1
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Default Re: 3.0 V6 Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by geekific View Post
Where can the oil pan gasket for the 3.0L V6 even be bought at? I have called every local parts store near me and they do not have any.
Id skip the gasket. Black permetex itself works fine.

-Robert

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