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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't seen much on here, when searching, regarding oil pan removal / replacement. For my 2002, 3.3L, it looks a lot easier than the Haynes Manual would lead me to believe. Haynes Manual talks about removal of starter, driveplate cover and a brace. None of that appears necessary on mine.

A couple things I have noticed from investigation yesterday:
- pan is held on with bolts except possibly at the ends where nuts on studs are used. I suppose the use of studs helps with the alignment when installing the pan.
- there's a foam closure strip at the back, external to the pan, which fills an opening between the pan and driveplate cover. That will likely be dried out and need to be replaced.
- there's an "o" ring with the reusable gasket for the pan. Why?

The reason I am asking is that there is a small leak at the top of the pan somewhere. I suspect it is in the area of the gasket and may be due to corrosion of the pan there. There are areas of corrosion on other parts of the pan which indicate a poor quality of metal. I just changed the oil from 5W-30 to 10W-30 so it will be interesting to see if the leak lessens or stops. I don't believe the leak to be the crank seal as things look dry there as best I can see.

As far as I can see the removal of the oil pan should be straight forward and easy. What's your experience? Any surprises?
 

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Changing my pan gasket on the 3rd gen (and one other) took a whole 30 minutes. I think the most I removed to do it was the torque converter cover plate as I got the pan off with it attached, but putting it back on was interfering. The pans are made from the cheapest junk metal around, like the trans side cover that rusts out. My pan will probably need to be replaced from rust at some point in the near future, for now I just smear it with used oil at every oil change to deter the inevitable.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Changing my pan gasket on the 3rd gen (and one other) took a whole 30 minutes. I think the most I removed to do it was the torque converter cover plate as I got the pan off with it attached, but putting it back on was interfering. The pans are made from the cheapest junk metal around, like the trans side cover that rusts out. My pan will probably need to be replaced from rust at some point in the near future, for now I just smear it with used oil at every oil change to deter the inevitable.
What did you do about the foam strip? Did you bother to use the "o" ring that comes with the gasket?
 

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If you are talking about the seal between the flexplate cover and pan, I left it as it was. Whatever was remaining, that is. Nothing is going to jump into the bell housing and blow things up due to that small foam piece missing. Heck, I don't have a cover at all on the gto's opening.

As for the O-ring, would that be a new seal for the oil pump pickup? I don't remember any o ring when I did mine so I probably discarded it. Was 2 years ago though. I wouldn't bother with the pickup tube unless you took it off to clean the screen due to sludge. The new gasket (felpro, not OEM) is a much superior design that I doubt will ever leak again if the pan is straight, so all should be good after it.
 

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Hi Jeepman,

I replaced my oil pan last summer. Mine is the 3.8L, but as andyg says, I'm pretty sure I didn't have an O ring supplied. (Otherwise, I'm sure I would have fretted about it. :biggrin: )

These things are of metal gauge that is slightly thicker than a beer can. The good news is the replacement is one of the most straightforward repairs possible.

Good luck!

radman
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Still haven't got this job done. It's time for an oil change so it will be tackled next week.
While under the van yesterday, changing the sway bar bushings, I looked the oil pan over. There is a bracket going along the engine and back to the bell housing with a fairly large diameter bolt (based on head size) attaching it to the housing. This, plus two smaller bolts appear to be holding the cover for the bell housing in place. My thinking is I will have to remove these three bolts and the bell housing cover to install the new pan and gasket. Anybody have any problem getting the larger bolt loosened?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've replaced the oil pan gasket on a 2001 Voyager and 2003 T&C. I used a 3/8", 14" long torque wrench and some elbow grease to remove that large bolt. Overall, I didn't find it a hard job for the home mechanic.
Thanks. I was a little concerned about the large bolt being in an aluminum casing. Likely it has anti-seize on it, so it should be okay to use an impact wrench to remove it. Did the cover plate slide out from behind the bracket easily? any gasket there?
 

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None of those bolts have anti seize from Chrysler, but the nice thing about larger bolts is that they are much less likely to snap or strip so you can muscle them. Little bolts in the aluminum are the trouble makers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I replaced the oil pan on Friday. The work went well but not fast, as I did not use an impact wrench for any of the work. All wrenching was by hand.
The 16 bolts and 2 nuts (passenger's side), which hold the pan in place, came out and went back in/on easy enough.
The two small bolts and one large bolt (18 mm) holding the cover to the bell housing removed easily except the large bolt was hard to get at and could only be turned a little bit at a time. Threading the large bolt back in was a bit tricky to get it lined up properly due to interference from the bracket that's there. I did not remove the cover, just rotated it down to get access to the two pan bolts that it restricts access to. I probably only needed to loosen the large bolt and would try that another time.
The pan dropped away from the gasket very easily.
The gasket required a little prying at the 4 locations where RTV was used - timing chain cover to block and the cover for the other end.
The pan went back on easy enough. Once the pan and gasket slide over the two studs (where the nuts are) the gasket, being semi-rigid, is easy to line up for the bolt holes.

I have detected no leaks after several miles of driving. That's real good news because I was thinking the front crank oil seal might be the source of the leak as the leak was in that area. So, the pan apparently was the problem although I haven't yet found the actual leakage spot on the pan itself. I don't suspect the gasket as I tightened up the bolts previously and it made no difference. The pan does have several rust areas on its exterior so I was in favour of replacing it anyway.
 
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You can put a little more in oil if you get the right parts for the earlier 4th gen vans.

The early 4th gen vans (2002-2002) have a smaller pan from Chrysler than the later models.
The aftermarker & superceded pans are the larger size.
oil fill capacity went from 4.5 quarts to 5 quarts
the original part number for my 2001 was 4483733AB
That part number was superseded by part number 4648930aa

Also, putting on a larger oil filter will slightly increase the capacity as well.
 

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How did you get the 18mm bolt loose? Can't get a socket on it because of a flare on a large bracket nearby. Got a box wrench on it, but there's no room for travel because of the underframe. What kind of tool do I need? I have a 3rd gen ('96) 3.8L
 

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I'm glad to hear this is not too bad because I need to change my '03 gasket, Felpro seems the way to go.

I believe that if you have a front seal leak it will flow down through the flex plate cover and have nothing to do with the oil pan. This was the case with my '88 3.0 and all other engines I've ever had with failed front seals.

I assume you mean the crank main seal and not the front cover seal?
 

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Where can I find a pic of the front seal? (Don't have a haynes manual.) I've got oil everywhere, hard to tell where it's coming from. Thinking I should look at the front seal before taking off the oil pan. On the other hand, the pan gasket looks like it's leaking, too, and I've already got the gasket.
 

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That's helpful, thanks.

Now I've got a bigger, or at least different, problem. The Felpro gasket comes with four plastic guides that you screw into the block to guide the gasket and the oil pan on, then you unscrew the guides once you have a few bolts in place. Problem is, one of the plastic guides broke off in the threaded hole in the block. And I put it right next to the big bracket that's in the way, so a standard bit for drilling out isn't long enough. If you use these guides, DON'T USE THE HOLE NEXT TO THE BRACKET.

Now I'm looking for good ideas for getting that plastic threaded piece out of the hole. I really don't want to take the oil pan off again, because I'm assuming the RTV beads will have set up and want to avoid cleaning them off and re-doing.

Off to the hardware store to look for a very long bit to drill the plastic out, while trying to avoid dinging the threads of the hole. Tried a tiny drop of epoxy on the broken part to see if I could make it adhere enough to back it out. No go.

I'm open to better ideas.
 

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No room to get a drill bit on it?
Maybe try using a pick to unscrew it or pick it apart.

FYI-
They are called "Fel-Pro Pan Snap-ups" and come in 3 sizes.
Available at any car parts store.

 

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Long skinny screwdriver. Heat the blade end up with a torch to melt/form a slot in the plastic. :ask_wsign
 
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