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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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  #1  
Old 05-17-2010, 10:32 PM
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ray.martinjr
'97 F250 Oil Pan Replacement In-truck...Yes or No?

I've got a leaky oil pan in my '97 F250 HD, 5.8 automatic, 4x4. I know I have seen threads on this in the past but despite a search haven't found a definitive answer to the age-old question.....

Can the oil pan be changed without pulling the engine? If so, what needs to be done. It looks pretty tight under there. I don't think I can patch it too many more times.

Thanks all.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:50 PM
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Are we talking about changing the actual oil pan or the gasket? If it's the gasket, yes it can be done. It's not fun and you won't have a lot of room to manuver but it can certainly be done. You can change the oil pump without pulling the motor, too, but it's not exactly easy. The oil pan though, you'll have to pull the motor, to my knowledge. Unless you can drop the exhuast, angle the motor up in the front, or push the tranny back... Those are problems I ran into when I was trying to change out my oil pump without pulling the motor. There's a lot of things in the way down there. I'd say save yourself the headache and just pull the motor out.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:34 PM
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ray.martinjr
Thanks for the info. I have to change the pan eventually since it is rusting out and leaking. My epoxy patches last a while but each one last a little less time than the one before. It is leaking fairly substantially now, especially when I leave it parked for a while.

Pulling the motor on this truck scares me due to the amount of rusty fasteners. But, I may bite the bullet later this year and give it a try. If I knew I could get the pan down enough I'd try to patch it from the inside.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:44 AM
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I hear ya. I just replaced the tranny on my newest truck and I don't think a single bolt or nut has ever been removed since the day it came off the line. When I pulled my running boards off the bolts would not unthread. They just broke.

I'm not sure if it's for sale yet anywhere but Eastern Washington, but a guy who bought a tranny from me a couple months ago gave me a penetrant that wasn't out on the market yet. It's a WD40 product called Blue Works (or something like that). I've never, ever, ever used anything so wonderful. Doesn't matter who old the bolt is, how rusty it seems to be, let that stuff set in there an hour and it almost slides right out. There's a degreaser too that made the dirtiest tranny and t-case look brand new. I'm still in shock about it. Last I heard it wasn't out on the market save a couple select dealers around this area.

Industrial Grade Silicone, Multi Purpose Lubricants & PTFE Dry Lube

Pick some of this up, or a similar industrial strength penetrant, and I'm sure pulling your motor will be an ease.
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:13 AM
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Fun job, here are the steps for a 96 per Chilton, not sure if 97 is different, anyway good luck

1-drain coolant
2-remove fan shroud bolts, put shroud over fan
3-remove engine mounting nuts
4-disconnect tran cooler lines at rad
5-remove exhaust system
6-raise the engine, put wood blocks under engine supports
7-drain oil
8-support trans with a floor jack
9-remove trans cross member
10-remove oil pan
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:17 AM
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PB Blaster works great for those rusty bolts... I sprayed my OEM cast iron headers with it for a couple days to let it soak in and they came out with out to much trouble. I know it seems silly but for the stubborn bolts try tightening and loosening them... Working them back and forth will help break the rust up and let them come out easier... I only know this trick after breaking quite a few myself (I live in the middle of the rust belt!). once you do have them off you may want to consider using some anti seeze when reinstalling them...

You can pull the pan without the entire engine being pulled. I had to change the pan on my buddies 93 5.8 4x4. We used a engine hoist to lift the engine off the motor mounts and had to disconnect some wired to give us enough room to go up but he had a lift kit that might have made it a bit easier.

Another solution I have heard of is to put your truck up on stands and dissasemble the i-beams and suspension arms to get at it... I know this sounds like just as much work but you can also use this time to go through the suspension and replace the OEM rubber suspension bushings with Urethane ones that last longer and tighten up the suspension feel.

Last note it to be very careful with that epoxy on the oil pan. If some of that breaks off into the oil pan it can clog your oil screen/pick-up tube and starve your engine of oil... Then you'll have more problems than you do now!!!! I know this because my buddy's truck had low oil pressure and and half clogged screen (epoxy) when we swapped his pan.
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  #7  
Old 05-18-2010, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nstueve View Post
You can pull the pan without the entire engine being pulled.
I was gonna say, I didn't think you had to pull the engine completely, just lift it up about 6 inches or so to clear the crankshaft and pull the pan out. Maybe not even that much.

I'm getting prepared to change the oil pan gasket in my 91 F150- but after the headache w/ the intake gasket I'm just going to wait a few more weeks before I tackle that job.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:32 AM
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well the only reason I said maybe on pulling the engine up is that with the tranny attached you might only get a couple more inches... That may not be enough to get the pan clear... I guess if it were me and I didn't want to do all the engine pulling I would try the tear down on the lower suspension that I suggested earlier. I have heard it's been done but don't know the extent you'd have to go to. IF you do try it you should do a write up for the rest of us and tell us how it went!!!
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nstueve View Post
well the only reason I said maybe on pulling the engine up is that with the tranny attached you might only get a couple more inches... That may not be enough to get the pan clear... I guess if it were me and I didn't want to do all the engine pulling I would try the tear down on the lower suspension that I suggested earlier. I have heard it's been done but don't know the extent you'd have to go to. IF you do try it you should do a write up for the rest of us and tell us how it went!!!
This is something I considered doing as well. It's fun to think that would be easier than pulling up the motor, but as you said you never know the extent you need to go to.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:50 AM
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Thanks for the advice so far everyone. I am pretty sure that this project is going to s*ck but I have to do it eventually. I don't drive the truck too often so I could probably do without it for a time but I hate to do a project a little at a time - I'd love to be able to expect to get it done in a couple days but that is sounding less possible now. Oh well....

A couple things - the epoxy I am using is pretty flexible and doesn't tend to break up so I am not too worried about it getting into the pan yet. Especially since the pan is more seeping slowly through the rust - there is no actual hole in the pan that I have found. I kind of wish there was...

As for loosening up rusty bolts, nothing beats Kroil in my book. I use either the liquid or the Aero. ALthough I keep hearing about the Acetone/ATF mixture that is supposedly the best thing out there - I just haven't tried it yet. But please, don't let this thread become a penetrating oil debate....I need help with the oil pan.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slip ford man View Post
Fun job, here are the steps for a 96 per Chilton, not sure if 97 is different, anyway good luck

1-drain coolant
2-remove fan shroud bolts, put shroud over fan
3-remove engine mounting nuts
4-disconnect tran cooler lines at rad
5-remove exhaust system
6-raise the engine, put wood blocks under engine supports
7-drain oil
8-support trans with a floor jack
9-remove trans cross member
10-remove oil pan
LOL, gotta love Chilton's. Let me guess: "Installation is the reverse of removal".
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mprice View Post
LOL, gotta love Chilton's. Let me guess: "Installation is the reverse of removal".
I haven't looked at my Haynes manual yet but I wonder if they elaborate on the "remove exhaust system". Does this mean manifolds or does it mean separate the exhaust system from the manifolds?

Also wondering about removal of the transfer case, driveshaft, tranny wiring and so forth. The 10 steps sound a "slight bit" oversimplified.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:11 PM
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I did the job on my 93 F150, your 250 should be similar. Its an ugly job. By the time I finally got the pan free, I had the engine/trans jacked up tight against the firewall cowling and floorboard. I didn't remove the air intake plenum and it kept the engine from coming up any higher. The pan barely slides out after you remove the oil pump which is kind of inside the pan. I made a special "tool" from a piece of 1x12 oak that I postioned under the front of the oil pan that I used as a jacking point to raise the front of the engine, then jacked the trans/transfer case up from the back. Be real, real careful when the engine is raised, as its totally free of the mounts and just sitting there, blocked up with whatever you jammed in between the mounts. You don't want that thing falling while your hands are in there!!Also, be careful when jacking that you don't break anything by moving the engine so far. You need to keep the motor pushed as far back as possible, as the pinch point for getting the pan out occurs between the front crossmember and the trans bell housing. If you use a lift, push back hard to gain clearance. I may be wrong, but dropping the front axle makes no difference, as the crossmember is the problem.

Chilton's makes it sound easy! Ford factory manual is more helpful. Let me know if you want me to copy the pages and email them to you.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitramjr View Post
I haven't looked at my Haynes manual yet but I wonder if they elaborate on the "remove exhaust system". Does this mean manifolds or does it mean separate the exhaust system from the manifolds?

Also wondering about removal of the transfer case, driveshaft, tranny wiring and so forth. The 10 steps sound a "slight bit" oversimplified.

I think they mean at the manifolds only, disconnecting the pipe each side...for the 460 f.i. the list is about 30 long, for example the drive shafts, upper intake, and a lot more has to be removed. Chilton is only reproducing tech that they bought from Ford to make a buck and sell their book. It should be good advice from Ford, I've not stumbled from using their claims yet. Nasty job! be sure to be careful
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:07 PM
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Yeah, haynes and chiltons tend to give you stupidly general directions like "remove everything in the way of the spark plugs"...and you gotta love the "assembly is reverse of removal"....oh and Kano Kroil is the best thing i've found for removing rusty nuts.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:07 PM
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