It is much more common to find the oil pan rusted through. Replacing them on Ford trucks and rear-wheel-drive cars is not a do-it-yourselfer project, and most mechanics don't like that job either. It can take an entire day because the engine has to be lifted a lot so the pan can clear the oil pump pickup screen, and things like the wiper motor have to be removed so they don't get damaged. Often you have to reach in and remove the pickup screen because the engine can't be lifted high enough for the pan to clear it.
To do just the gasket is not as bad but you're still going to have to clean off the old gasket material from both surfaces. To do that you have to lower the pan, and you're going to find the cross member is in the way. I'm pretty sure you're going to need an engine hoist to raise the engine at least a few inches. Once you get all the old gasket scraped off, the new one is available two ways. The more common is a set of four separate gaskets. There's one long flat one on each side, and two curved rubber ones for the front and back. You'll need to add a drop of silicone gasket sealer at the joints between each gasket.
There is also a one-piece gasket available. You'll need to reach deep into the oil pan to pass part of it under the oil pump pickup screen so that requires draining the oil first. Using gasket sealer at the four corners, meaning each end of both rounded sections, helps the sharp corners slide in to form a good seal.
Remember too that chunks of old gasket are going to break off and fall into the oil. If you can get in there with an air tool and scuff pad, the old gasket will turn to powder that will drain out with the oil following the service. (Did I mention you'll want to drain the oil when you're done to get that debris out)? The larger chunks will be too big to drain out. They won't exactly harm anything but if enough of that kind of debris is in there, it can clog the screen on the end of the oil pickup tube. That will result in oil starvation and low oil pressure, which could be intermittent.
The only way an experienced mechanic will do this job is by totally removing the oil pan so he can clean the sealing surfaces properly with an air tool and scuff pad, and to insure no chunks are left inside the pan. Knowing that rusted-through oil pans are so very common on Fords when they use stamped steel pans, he is going to push for you to let him replace the pan right away too. He knows it's in your best interest because it will rust through eventually, then you'll be paying for the same job a second time. Also, while you'll be paying more for parts, you'll save a little on labor since he doesn't have to take the time to clean the old pan's gasket surface.
There's 22 pan bolts, 11 on each side.
Saturday, November 8th, 2014 AT 11:47 PM