Dented oil pan

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Danno

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Looking for someone to talk me out of trying to replace my oil pan because it's dented, because "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
I've read where it's possible to do this by raising the engine, but that the oil pump pickup needs removal, other people say it's easier to just remove the engine. The fact that I'm the one who caused this makes this no easier.
There are no leaks or anything, but I KNOW it's there. This is a 302 C4 with a 2 bbl carb. I'm half tempted to let it go over the summer, and have my local guy do it, but I definitely want to get it taken care of at some point. I have an engine hoist, but not sure if I have the ambition, I'm not a kid any more..........just venting I guess.........
 

Sheriff41

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It depends on the dent. If the bottom of the pan is pancaked it could impede your oil pick up. If it's a corner of the pan that's dented, then probably something that can wait.
 
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Its doable without removing the engine but you have to lift it. I lifted it by placing a 1x2 along the oil pan flange, one side at a time and placing a 2x4 between the engine and mount. Removing the sway bar helps but you don't need to. And yes, you need to remove the pump before removing the pan. You can access the pump bolts through the gap once the pan comes partially down.
 

piper62j

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You do not need to pull the oil pump when replacing the oil pan.. As Tony stated, you can raise the engine enough to slip 2x4s between the motor mounts to support it.. Also, it makes the job easier to drop the sway bar and slip the pan out. You'll be glad you did. Also, YouTube is an excellent source for video information on how to do it..
 
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Hemikiller

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If the pan isn't pancaked, an easy fix is to tack weld a bolt to the center of the dent and use a pry bar or a slide hammer to work the dent out. It doesn't have to be perfect. Grind off the tacks, then DA smooth and give a squirt of engine color.

As far as getting the pan out, after jacking the engine, I found you need to remove the pump *and* the sway bar. I replaced a locked up 302 oil pump in a Home Depot parking lot back in '91 when I was daily driving my old 71 sportsroof. It's often much easier to get things out of the way, than to struggle because you don't want to remove X or Y part.
 
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I am glad you posted this, and mentioned quite clearly how raising the car using a jack under the oil pan can cause some significant issues that may not be evident at first glance. Nobody in their right mind would ever intentionally impede the oil pump input tube/strainer clearance from the inside of the oil pan. For folks who would jack up the front of the vehicle using the oil pan as a pressure point to begin with would be more likely to not be aware of existence of an oil pump pickup tube/strainer to begin with - and would therefore be blissfully unaware of why their engine suddenly stops running a little while after jacking up the car. I hope everyone takes heed before they themselves fall prey to the temptation of using such a convenient location to place a hydraulic jack to life the front end up.
 
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