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3100 Oil Pan Removal in a W-Body

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  • Question : 3100 Oil Pan Removal in a W-Body

    On a whim yesterday, I decided to start taking the oil pan off in my '01 Grand Prix. I got the obvious bolts out, got frustrated that it didn't budge, searched the web for how to take it off, found out there were six side bolts (thanks to a thread on this site!), got those off (the ones between the engine and transmission were buckets of fun), and it's finally loose...

    However, it doesn't seem to want to drop out from the bottom. I've lifted the engine as much as it'll go without disconnecting the exhaust, removed the engine mount below the crankshaft pulley and the transmission-side mount, the starter is removed, and the AC compressor is disconnected.

    Is there any way of making this happen without pulling the engine completely out?
    - Stephen Brand

  • #2
    It should drop straight off unless you have something in the way allowing you to go down... I know on a L-body you need to completely remove the passenger side frame rail so the pan will drop down without hitting it... But in your case it would be the whole cradle since you can't remove just one side of it.

    Got Lope?
    3500 Build, Comp XFI Cam 218/230 .050 dur .570/.568 lift 113LSA
    Fully Balanced, Ported, 3 Angle Valve Job, 65mm TCE TB, S&S Headers.
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    • #3
      I know on 1.5 gen W-body cars your only option is to pull the engine out, I think I remember 2 bolts being non accessible with the engine in. There should be 12 vertical bolts(6 on each side) and 6 horizontal bolts(3 on each side) that go to the mains, are you sure you've removed all the bolts?

      I asked a few shops a couple years ago about removing my oil pan and they all told me it couldn't be done in the car as 2 bolts are hidden. I ended up lifting the engine out to replace a few things along with the oil pan gasket. Make sure you buy new horizontal bolts when you put the pan back on as there are seals on those bolts and torque down the vertical bolts first, then the horizontal bolts.
      1997 Chevy Lumina LS- SOLD
      Mods:3400 cylinder heads, 01 upper & lower intake, 56mm throttle body, 22.5lbs injectors w/ 55psi regulator, 1' 3/8" thick radiator, tuned with lower fan temps by wot-tech

      2010 Chevy Impala LT
      Mods: LGD swap, 3.29 standard duty differential, 33 37 drive sprockets, Don Rome brackets, front and rear GMPP strut tower braces, GMPP 22mm front sway bar, GMPP 19mm rear sway bar and tune from Over Kill Motorsports

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      • #4
        I think I know which bolts those two were. I got them out (it takes a swivel-head ratchet that isn't too big to pull this off) and the oil pan was loose, it was just not coming out of the bottom because of a combination of internal components being in the way, and the chassis mounting point for the passenger side engine mount being in the way coming down.

        After giving up on taking it off, I put gasket sealant wherever I could reach and put it back on, but now I've got a bad leak (4.5 quarts in 10-15 minutes, only while running) on the U portion of the gasket on the transmission side. Next time I get another three days off in a row, I'll have to get back on that, but for now I'll be driving my brother's '07 VW Rabbit (Golf) to work.
        - Stephen Brand

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        • #5
          Sounds like you messed up the seating of the rear main seal somehow...at least to loose that much oil that's all I can think of but that's quite hard to do without removing the trans/flex plate so I'm not sure honestly.

          Honestly I NEVER use RTV except in specified locations by rebuild guides... if there is a gasket that's all I use in that area... I've always put my Oil pan gaskets on dry, only spots that get some RTV is where the main cap meets the block and on the corner of the cap... Also just over where the block and timing cover seal is just to make that surface level, its spread on thin, no beads...

          Got Lope?
          3500 Build, Comp XFI Cam 218/230 .050 dur .570/.568 lift 113LSA
          Fully Balanced, Ported, 3 Angle Valve Job, 65mm TCE TB, S&S Headers.
          Stage-1 Raybestos/Alto 4t60e-HD, EP LSD, 3.69FDR
          12.61@105 Epping NH Oct 2015 Nitrous 100shot (melted plugs) 13.58@98.8 N/A 3200LBS

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          • #6
            Originally posted by fat rabbit View Post
            I know on 1.5 gen W-body cars your only option is to pull the engine out, I think I remember 2 bolts being non accessible with the engine in. There should be 12 vertical bolts(6 on each side) and 6 horizontal bolts(3 on each side) that go to the mains, are you sure you've removed all the bolts?

            I asked a few shops a couple years ago about removing my oil pan and they all told me it couldn't be done in the car as 2 bolts are hidden. I ended up lifting the engine out to replace a few things along with the oil pan gasket. Make sure you buy new horizontal bolts when you put the pan back on as there are seals on those bolts and torque down the vertical bolts first, then the horizontal bolts.
            You referring to the two bolts being the ones horizontal I assume?

            They are possible to get to with engine in, but the bolts will be even harder come installation of the pan.
            Lifting my front wheels, one jack at a time.

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            • #7
              You can rent/buy/or make a rig that will support the engine from the top. It basically goes across the fenders and the engine is supported by that... Then you can pull the cradle and whatever else you choose.. You should have enough room to get at the bolts... There are pictures of these engine supports on the site,,, somewhere.. Any Auto Parts store should be able to rent/loan/sell you one... Or you could get some two by fours and make one pretty easy,,, I've done it in the past.. Use a come-along to hook up the engine just like you were pulling it out of the car... For the front suspension, I pull the pivots where the A-Frame bolts to the cradle and let everything hang from the top strut mount... If you use your head it really isn't too bad of a job....
              Good Luck,,,,
              Tom....

              Here are a couple listed on Advance Auto::::
              http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/web...043%7CL3*16218

              http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/web...043%7CL3*16218


              The second is pricey but shows a good view of what you need.....
              Last edited by walterdude; 12-27-2013, 03:44 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 3400-95-Modified View Post
                Honestly I NEVER use RTV except in specified locations by rebuild guides... if there is a gasket that's all I use in that area... I've always put my Oil pan gaskets on dry, only spots that get some RTV is where the main cap meets the block and on the corner of the cap... Also just over where the block and timing cover seal is just to make that surface level, its spread on thin, no beads...
                This.

                Also the engine support Walter is talking about can be bought at Harbor Freight. Just make sure to find a 20% off coupon before heading out there. I bought one and it does what I need it to just fine.

                Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk
                -60v6's 2nd Jon M.
                91 Black Lumina Z34-5 speed
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                Originally posted by Jay Leno
                Tires are cheap clutches...

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