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I have a 96 GL and I have an oil leak that seems to be getting worse. I went to the dealer and they told me it was the front oil pan gasket and they want $340 to fix or replace it. I usually do all work on my car myself so I figure I can take a stab at it. I did read other posts and questions about this but none really answered exactly. How hard is it to do this? About how long would it take to do this? Do I just need to replace the gasket, oil, and filter? I also took pictures so maybe somebody with much more experiece than me could help me out somewhat. Thanks for all your help!

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[url=http://www.missouri.edu/~mslgx6/images/Oil%20Leak%2002.jpg][img]http://www.missouri.edu/~mslgx6/images/Oil%20Leak%2002.jpg' alt='' width='600' height='450' class='attach' />[/url]
[url=http://www.missouri.edu/~mslgx6/images/Oil%20Leak%2003.jpg][img]http://www.missouri.edu/~mslgx6/images/Oil%20Leak%2003.jpg' alt='' width='600' height='450' class='attach' />[/url]
 

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I did this very job about 2 months ago, on my '96 GL with the 3.0L Vulcan engine.

Here's the hardest part of the whole job; get past this and the rest is gravy.

To disconnect the exhaust pipe from the rear exhaust manifold, you'll need a 15mm combination wrench, a short 15mm socket and a 3/8 drive and swivel.

For the nut nearest the driver's side, I was just able to break it loose from above, with the wrench. Then, working from underneath, I was able to FINALLY get it off, working it s-l-o-w-l-y down the stud with the wrench. Plan on about 2 or 3 hours for this little job! :angry:

The other nut I was able to get onto with the 15mm socket and swivel. You might have to run one wrap of tape around the swivel, to get it to stay up while you try and work it over the stud and onto the nut. I had a pair of long 3/8" extensions on my ratchet, BTW. That whole mess wanted to do anything other than break the nut loose from the stud - I had to hold it firmly against the side of the exhaust pipe where it went up, in order to transfer any torque to the nut itself.

I'll go out and look at my car, kind of jog my memory for what all else. But this was the absolute, very worst of it.

Edit #1: You might be able to loosen the closest pan bolts and push your gasket back into place, for a temporary repair. When I did mine, I used the gasket from Ford, which is (now) a hard plastic frame that holds the sealing material. Keeps this sort of thing from happening.

Edit #2: Plan on a full weekend, from Friday night to Sunday night. I just drained and changed my oil; I didn't change the filter since the filter and oil weren't all that old.

You'll need to remove the starter motor, too. But getting the exhaust Y-pipe out of the way is the heavy hitter. I didn't remove mine completely - I just worked around it after it was down far enough to be out of the way.
 
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Good writeup!

Also, make sure to check your PCV valve. Make sure it's not clogged, and that it has vaccuum going to it. It's not probable that there's a problem, but it's a good thing to check when repairing a blown out gasket.

Wasn't there a recall on this?
 

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Originally posted by Bob Gervais@Jun 26 2004, 07:51 PM
Also, make sure to check your PCV valve. Make sure it's not clogged, and that it has vaccuum going to it. It's not probable that there's a problem, but it's a good thing to check when repairing a blown out gasket.
Oh yeah.....

Prior to doing my oil pan gasket, I also did both front and rear (%^@#&!!!) valve cover gaskets.

My PCV was clogged shut; my guess is this is why I wound up replacing these 3 gaskets.

Is this one that should be written up for the common problems section?
 

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I had it done my a awesome mechanic in toledo... yes diconnecting the exhaust pipe too him about 3 hours.. because the bolts/studs were frozen... and they have poor access.. he had to head the flange up till it was red hot then loosed the studs...
 

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hi

I always check the PCV valve when I do oil changes.

Wife '99 sable just started having an oil leak problem,
got worse over the last few days.

Checked the PCV valve, it was missing the innards !

Put a new one in place, all metal from Carquest, not a
cheap plastic that was factory installed.

Fixed it right away no more leaks.

regards
 

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I tried replacing my gasket today on a '04 vulcan.

I could not drop the pan all the way because of the exhaust pipe.

I ended up putting it all back together and left it as is.

Now that I did this once. I am thinking of dropping the pan again and just pulling out the old gasket and simply bending the new one into place.

Has anyone tried this approach? I think it might just work.

thanks.
 

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Could someone post a full step-by-step? I'm thinking about replacing the pan and gasket and could use some guidance. I've got a Haynes, but I find this place is better (Pictures would be much appreciated, too)
 

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Not to pimp my post on this subject but on the

Gen IV Vulcan Taurus, there is a way (on California emissions cars - may also apply to non-Californian and other Generation but I have no way of verifying the exhaust layout is the same on both types) to drop the pan with the Y-pipe in place.

Here is link to the post.

Edit: Wiki entry on this is here.
 
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