Big Block Oil Pan Removal

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Mach_One

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My J-code has developed a pesky oil pan leak.  It's not life-ending stuff, it can leak I guess, but it bothers me.  The leak seems to be coming from the front of the oil pan, possibly from the timing cover.  I have not for 100% determined where exactly it's leaking from yet.  My question is: If I were so inclined, is to possible to pull the oil pan on a '71 429 Mach with the engine in place?  It looks like it should come off pretty easy, but maybe the engine would need jacking up to clear the main caps when pulling the pan out?

Anyone done this before?

 

Canted 393

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But you can remove the timing cover with the pan on the motor, but that also includes removing the harmonic balancer. So that means draining coolant removing waterpump its just a timing consuming project. I am with you I hate oil leaks.

 

Don C

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I would make sure it's not the front main seal.

Yes, you'll have to raise the engine some. The oil pick-up will have to be removed when you drop the pan enough to get to the bolts. Removing and replacing the oil pick-up will likely be the biggest pain.

 

TommyK

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When you pull the balancer and before dropping the pan, look carefully at the front timing cover seal. Also, oil can leak past the crank spacer between the crankshaft and spacer where the woodruff key resides making it look like the seal when it really isn't. If you think that is the problem you can pull the sleeve, clean everything, re-install the sleeve and seal the end with some rtv before reinstalling the balancer.

 

Mach_One

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Thanks Guys!  I knew I'd be in for dropping the harmonic balancer, water pump and timing cover also.  Before I go ahead with it, I'm going to clean the area really good and spray it with some penetrant developer.  The developer is a white coat that will provide a clean, white contrasting background so I can see where the oil leak is coming from.  Once complete, the developer just wipes off.

Another question:  How well will I be able to see the camshaft?  I want to check if it's a roller or not.

 

Canted 393

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Only the timing chain will be visible with the timing cover off, you might be able to tell by pulling a valve cover and looking into the lifter valley.

 
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