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Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

hhua1hhua1 Posts: 41
edited March 2014 in Lincoln
I am tempted to replace the oil pan gasket for our 92' Cont. this weekend. Has anyone done this before, or have the information describes the steps/procedure that could be of help? TIA


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Are you quite sure you have a pan leak and not a front or rear seal or a leak from further up top?

    It's very unusual that a bit of tightening wouldn't cure an oil pan leak.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    For a filthy, nasty job better left to a professional with a hoist and the right tools.

    Our host gives good advise. Often the oil is leaking from something higher in the engine making it look like it's the pan.

    Shops hate fixing oil leaks.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    1990 ranger, 2.3L four-popper. turns out there was a little issue with the design of the oil pan, which allowed the crank spray to erode the pan gasket, and the glop went into the sump, and then the pump filter. a TSB and a service kit with a redesigned pan exist. it was an $1100 job as of 1995. the TSB included checking all the lower bearings to insure you didn't have excess wear due to oil starvation. yes, you have to hoist the engine for this job.

    and you're unhappy with just a drip? cars leak, man.

    if it's a serious leak, it's worth chasing... but do so by cleaning the engine compartment up first and then use a black light to trace the dye in the oil back to where it's coming from. fix the right thing if you absolutely have to.
  • Actually, Mr_Shiftright HOST gave you the best hint there is for a starting point. Get under there with appropriate tools and tighten the pan bolts (as needed). I have done this more than once, and have cured a problem or two. I'll admit it's been many years since I dropped a pan off an engine. I only do what MY vehicles need, and I "manage" to stay away from such nasty stuff! (:o]
  • hhua1hhua1 Posts: 41
    Actually I am not sure where are the leaks originated. I did try to tight the bolts, but it still leaks, half a dozen drops per day. For now I will try to live with the leaks, and checking the oil more often. :-(

    Anyway, to get to all the oil pan bolts, I have to take off the starter and the fly wheel cover. That is not too bad. But to drop the oil pan, I will have to drop the down pipes and the catalyst converter. It very hard, almost impossible, to reach the nuts at the down pipe and the exhaust manifold, especially the rear one, and I also afraid to strip the nuts since they look rusty and already a bit round.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    under there, then buy a bottle of flourescent engine oil dye (dealers have them) and put it in. About a week later, find a black light and check it out. Good luck.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    you may THINK it's easy to pull the bolts and slide the pan aside. there is a big ol' iron crankshaft with piston rods and bearing caps that comes down to within maybe an inch or so of the bottom of the pan, and that ain't gonna be moved aside to allow you to tip up the pan. if you don't have the freedom on your vehicle to drop it down its entire depth and then slide it out, you are going to have to hoist the engine, at least a little bit. the piston rods don't come straight down, either, they are all over the place at all kinds of fun angles.

    at that point, "in for a dime, in for a dollar..." might as well hoist it all the way out, put the engine on a stand, and rotate it 180 degrees so you can scrape, degrease, clean, and stickum down the new gasket real good on both sides, torque it to 70% all the way around in criss-crosses, let it sit a little, and then torque it down all the way in criss-crosses.

    or, just tighten up what you can using all your flex joints and extentions while it's in place, and call that good enough. before putting in the extra dye (oil has one kind of fluorescent dye already in it, tranny fluid usually a different color,) use some degreaser and a wand car wash and get the engine clean enough to eat off of, then run it a while and use the black light to look for where the leaks REALLY come from.
  • Don't forget the ability to reach hard access nuts and bolts that is provided by special wrenches/tools. I'm thinking of crow's foot open end wrench attachments for socket sets, as well as curved, short, long, otherwise bent box end wrenches. There are other good things out there, too. Get a tool catalog and let your imagination pair up your needs with the available alternatives. You can reach some pan bolts that at first look very formidable, I'll bet.
  • I am REALLY convinced now, that you should either live with the 6 drops per day, or dump the car! I did.
  • Which?(:oÞ
  • hhua1hhua1 Posts: 41
    I was able to tighten all the oil pan bolts, but it still leaks. For now, I will learn to live with the leaks, and keep monitoring the oil level. Too much money already put in this HIGH maintenance car. :-(
  • I dumped the car. And yes, HHUA, it is a very high-maintenance car. I had had enough of my 92 in 96. I can only imagine the fun you're having after 10 years. Continentals got respectable in about 98 I think..... But the 88-94 series were a beautiful design.....and a horrible execution. They were essentially a stretched Taurus, with all the pitfalls of the Taurus of the period, which meant they were pretty good for a couple of years. Dump the car - get a Town Car. Much Much better vehicle. Hell, I'd be thrilled with 6 drops per day out of that one!
  • Cars, trucks, and motorcycles have gotten so good that we forget about the days when we just about expected a motor vehicle to leak at least a little. It was part a of management that we had to learn-- when to say how much was too much, and split cases for resealing. Remember changing tires and exhaust systems every 20-25K? The good old days were pretty bad. What's six drops a day? Don't worry, be happy!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    If it's 6 drops a day of oil that's going to take a long long time to equal one quart.

    The time and expense is out of proportion to the problem I think.
  • We have begun to expect perfection out of these extremely complex, portable machines, and it's not totally realistic -- although, some have nearly achieved it. And that's what makes us angry when one doesn't. I don't even mind that so much, but when a person expects perfection from a 10 year old car, that's not reasonable. No offense intended. Just my opinion. Yes, I do expect, and usually get near perfection from my new cars, for a while. But as they age, I expect less, and if I get more than that, then it's a really great car. My 99 Navigator fits that category. 61,000 miles, still no repairs needed, no issues of apparent aging. My 90 & 92 Continentals were never this good, even new, although they were ok for about 2 years, then started being garage queens. I maintain, it's a miracle they work so well as it is.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    until we are left in the boonies in a snowstorm on christmas eve by one.

    the good news is that all the computerized yee-hah that costs a ton to repair is much more reliable and trouble-free than the whistling old carburators, vacuum-dashpot adjustment links, spark-advance levers, relay-type voltage regulators, and scummy rubber-cased batteries of just a few years ago.

    there is still plenty to go wrong on a ride, though. and they all wear out.
  • hhua1hhua1 Posts: 41
    on the oil dripping. I thought it is comparable easy to fix it by replacing the gasket, but once I found out the it is much more involved, it not worth the time and money. Also as mentioned in some replies, there could be leaks from somewhere else. I am sure it may leak more then half a dozen drops while driving, It not too bad to monitoring the oil level. I sorta feel bad when drive or park on other's drive way, hence always try to stop or park on the street. You can see a streak of oil drops on our drive way into the garage, of course I do have cardboard under the car when park.

    The high maintenance items are the 3.8 head gasket, the weak transmission, the suspension air bags, electrical things like intergrated signal switch, head lights switch, brake light switch,...

    I also have a 91 3000 GT VR4, one year older then the Lincoln, so far has no leaks anywhere, knock on wood.
  • How many miles are on this honey? I'm just curious because having traded my 92 off in 96, I'm wondering how far you could take one without committing a felony. I had the head gasket problem, never had a tranny issue though. It was the head gasket that drove me over the edge.....Hey! Maybe you have mine!!!!!
  • hhua1hhua1 Posts: 41
    We purchased the car 4 years ago from an auction, the odometer was ~34K miles, when we went to sign the papers and was told that the digital console was replaced, hence, the mileage is not actual. We were so naive and didn't know to back out the deal. Wish that we had backed out from the deal. We put in additional ~35K miles so far, but have put alot in to keep it running. The thing running fairly reliable now, but can never predict when the next thing need to be fixed. Just hope to keep it for another year or two without major problems. She will be going to the salvage yard when the next major problem comes.
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    You're right, swschrad. But I'm afraid your reference to 'Spark Advance Levers' may not register with a very large audience..... But thanks anyway.
  • Don't feel too bad, they are a beautiful design. I still stare at them going down the street, and who knew, they just don't age well. Now, the Town Car is a totally different story, as is very well evidenced on these boards. It does amaze me how one company can put out two such radically different cars at the same time, but they did, and do. The auction is a good place for it, next time it breaks.
  • hhua1hhua1 Posts: 41
    It was the look that got us into it. We would be happy if it lasts another year or two, then it can be a parts donor. Not too sure want to pass on the problems or anyone would want it, also doubt that we will get much out of it at that time.
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