7.3L Oil Pan leak - Fix in the truck? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:06 AM
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Unhappy 7.3L Oil Pan leak - Fix in the truck?

Well my 7.3 oil pan seal is leaking - again.

A couple years ago I did the whole engine removal and replaced the pan itself because it had rusted through. I followed all the right steps and used the Ford oil pan sealer in the caulking gun tube, replaced all of the main seals & all that at the same time, etc. But the truck doesn't get driven often, and after sitting most of the winter it has developed a rather significant leak from a back corner of the oil pan seal. Apparently I didn't do it good enough the first time or maybe it just dried out during winter storage.

I know it has been discussed much already, but I'll ask anyway - Has anyone on the forum had any luck with re-sealing a perfectly good oil pan (the pan itself does not need to be replaced) while inside the truck?

I am really tempted to try one of two options to try to save some time:
1. Remove the transmission & flywheel, and use the Ford sealer to caulk in the joint where the pan meets the block, sort of like caulking a bathtub, without separating the pan from the block at all (to avoid breaking the seal where it is not leaking).
2. Weld or bolt some steel between the frame rails to prevent spreading, and torch out the rivets holding the crossmember in under the oil pan and remove it. Then the pan could come out & in and I could bolt or weld the crossmember back in. This would also enable me to do it again when it leaks again next time.

I know it is a relatively easy engine to get in & out, I did do it myself last time with the help of a few friends and a rented engine crane, and it would be well worth it if the oil pan seal would have lasted more than 15 months. I am just trying to avoid that amount of work/time/expense this time, and if it is going to be a recurring issue I want to find a method to make it relatively easy to do again every year or two.

Any suggestions or comments on my ideas above would be appreciated.
Or if anyone knows of a reputable repair place in the Minneapolis area who can seal an oil pan (and guarantee it) for a reasonable price please pass along. The best quote I have so far is $1750 from a Ford dealer.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:34 PM
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950 if you can get it to me lol. No i wouldn't recommend "caulking" the oil pan. I've seen people try to do it and it never stops the leak, just slows it or in some cases makes it worse lol. Now your cross member idea is something if you want to do. Its easier for me just to pull the engine but thats up to you to decide.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:00 PM
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No ideas from anyone??

This has gotten bad enough that it is time for action.
So nobody out there has ever done 7.3 oil pan in the truck??
I have to believe someone has gone through this pain at some point, even if the result was that it does not work.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:09 PM
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I know of a guy who tried doing it without pulling the engine or the cross member. He got so much silicone in it that it fell inside the oil pan and plugged up the pickup tube.

Personally I've never tried doing it without pulling the engine. I have pulled just the rear main seal plate and resealed those successfully in chassis. If the pan is sealed properly it should never leak. The pan will rust out again before it will leak. I would have to assume that you didn't get enough silicone in one area or it was dirty and didn't seal properly.

I always replace the oil pan or reseal it with the engine out. This way you can make sure it's perfectly clean.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:15 PM
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It actually does appear that there is a gap in the oil pan silicone in the corner on the pass side right next to the curve for the rear main. Whether I didn't apply enough or it wasn't clean or it dried up & shrank is kind of moot at this point. That is why I thought I would try to just silicone over the gap from the outside (which I still might just to see if it works, even temporarily).

What I am really after though is anyone who has actually removed the corssmember and pan in the vehicle. I have a hoist in my garage and this would make the pan R & R quite easy if the crossmember and maybe axle was out of the way, both of which appear to be easier to remove than the transfer case, transmission, and engine.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:19 PM
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Sorry, can't help on that question. You can leave the transmission in place though. Just run a ratchet strap underneath it to hold it up. Personally it seems like more work pulling the cross member out then pulling the engine.

Good luck though!

Oops, just saw you have a manual trans. Never mind, it is a pain to pull the engine without removing the trans on a manual.
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:10 PM
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yep i dnt c how it would b any better to take all that out i would worrie about the strength of the frame mabie its just me but i think u gata do what u gata do
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:38 AM
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when my engine was out I didnt realize that you had to use the gray silicone, and instead I used ultra black. there were some places that were leaking, mainly in the back. I got in there with a razor knife and pulled out the silicone that wasnt bonded and got a putty knife and spackled it in there. Its been holding good. I was willing to go through anything to get out of pulling the engine again..... good luck.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:51 AM
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I did take some of the gray Ford silicone and spackled/caulked in using a popsicle stick in that one corner where it was dripping and that actually seems to be working so far, at least for the past couple months since I did it. Keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:01 AM
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i've done three reseals with the motor in the truck. you can lift them high enough and put a couple of pieces of 2by4 ontop of the engine mounts to hold the motor there. doing it this way is a bit tricky when it comes time to put the pickup-tube back in. you have to get the pan kinda in place ond them slip the tube in and up and bolt it up without smearing the rtv.---- that was the first time - after that i removed the core suport and cab mounting bolts and lifted the body and motor enough to get in without any hassle (i think i also disconnected the steering shaft). this worked gr8 and didn't take me long at all. have fun
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in vehicle, leak, oil pan, oil pan rust, stainless oil pan

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