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Oil Pan Gasket Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Set of sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Oil filter, engine oil, oil pan RTV sealant

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Repair leak at oil pan

Complementary Modification:

Change engine oil.

The oil pan gasket on MINI R56 models seals the metal oil pan to the aluminum crankcase. It was originally constructed of paper with a metal reinforcement. These gaskets tend to leak, so MINI updated the oil pan to be sealed with a silicone sealant.

The oil pan gasket on MINI R56 models tends to dry out and leak over time. If you find an oil leak down at the side or rear of your engine, inspect the oil pan to see if it is the source. Clean the area around the oil pan and crankcase. Then run your engine and recheck the area for a leak. Now be careful when diagnosing, as the oil filter housing can sometimes look like an oil pan leak or the crankshaft seal. Confirm the leak is not coming from above the oil pan seam. If you determine the oil pan is in fact leaking, you will want to replace it and reseal the bottom of your crankcase.

In this tech article, I will show you how to replace the oil pan gasket on MINI R56 models. I am going to show you how I do this repair.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

The oil pan gasket on MINI R56 models seals the metal oil pan to the aluminum crankcase.
Figure 1

The oil pan gasket on MINI R56 models seals the metal oil pan to the aluminum crankcase. It was originally constructed of paper with a metal reinforcement. These gaskets tend to leak, so MINI updated the oil pan to be sealed with a silicone sealant. The oil pan gasket on MINI R56 models tends to dry out and leak over time. If you find an oil leak (red arrow) down at the side or rear of your engine, inspect the oil pan to see if it is the source. Clean the area around the oil pan and crankcase. Then run your engine and recheck the area for a leak. Now be careful when diagnosing, as the oil filter housing can sometimes look like an oil pan leak or the crankshaft seal. Confirm the leak is not coming from above the oil pan seam (yellow arrow). If you determine the oil pan is in fact leaking, you will want to replace it and reseal the bottom of your crankcase.

Support the exhaust system from below using a hydraulic floor jack or jack stand (green arrow).
Figure 2

Support the exhaust system from below using a hydraulic floor jack or jack stand (green arrow). I like to put the jack under the rear muffler.

Working at the muffler, detach the rubber insulators (red arrow) by levering them off using a pry bar (green arrow).
Figure 3

Working at the muffler, detach the rubber insulators (red arrow) by levering them off using a pry bar (green arrow). The photo shows the left side insulator. Repeat this step for the right side of muffler. If you're replacing the muffler, slightly lower the muffler. Then twist it while pulling the pipes apart. If needed, spray lubricant into the pipe to help with separation.

Working at the center muffler, detach the rubber insulators (red arrow) by levering them off using a pry bar.
Figure 4

Working at the center muffler, detach the rubber insulators (red arrow) by levering them off using a pry bar.

Working at the front of the exhaust system, remove the clamp (red arrow).
Figure 5

Working at the front of the exhaust system, remove the clamp (red arrow). Use a deep 16mm socket to remove the nut. Then open and remove the clamp. You can also slide the clamp off the pipe connection, instead of removing it.

Detach the front exhaust pipe from the exhaust manifold.
Figure 6

Detach the front exhaust pipe from the exhaust manifold.

Slide the exhaust backward about 8 inches (red arrow).
Figure 7

Slide the exhaust backward about 8 inches (red arrow). Allow it to rest on the center support bracket.

With the exhaust moved backward (red arrow), you now have access to the engine oil pan (yellow arrow).
Figure 8

With the exhaust moved backward (red arrow), you now have access to the engine oil pan (yellow arrow).

Drain the engine oil (red arrow).
Figure 9

Drain the engine oil (red arrow). Let it drain for 10 - 15 minutes.

Now it is time to remove the oil pan fasteners.
Figure 10

Now it is time to remove the oil pan fasteners. Now would be a good time to clean the engine block before you remove the oil pan. There are sixteen 8mm fasteners that surround the oil pan. I like to start with the hard to access one above the front exhaust pipe. Use a universal 8mm socket to remove it (red arrow).

Remove the remaining fifteen fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 11

Remove the remaining fifteen fasteners (red arrows). The yellow arrow points to the first one I removed.

With all sixteen of the fasteners removed, lower and remove the oil pan from the engine.
Figure 12

With all sixteen of the fasteners removed, lower and remove the oil pan from the engine. Once the oil pan is removed, clean it thoroughly on the inside and the sealing surface.

Remove the paper gasket, and clean the oil pan gasket sealing groove.
Figure 13

Remove the paper gasket, and clean the oil pan gasket sealing groove.

Thoroughly clean the engine crankcase-sealing surface (red arrow).
Figure 14

Thoroughly clean the engine crankcase-sealing surface (red arrow). Be sure to wipe down the surface (yellow arrow) and remove all engine oil before resealing. The sealant will not adhere properly if oil is present.

Apply the new sealant to the oil pan in the center of the sealing groove (red arrow).
Figure 15

Apply the new sealant to the oil pan in the center of the sealing groove (red arrow). Make a 3mm bead of sealant. Surround the fastener bores. You can evenly spread the sealant. Wear a rubber glove and spread the sealant across the sealing surface. When sealing the crankcase halves, be sure they are free from engine oil. Lift the oil pan into place and install the fasteners to secure it in place. Do not tighten them yet. Install the fasteners finger tight until the oil pan is flush with the crankcase. Once flush, tighten all the fasteners. Reinstall the exhaust. Change the engine oil filter. Fill the engine with oil, and recheck the engine for oil leaks.

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Comments and Suggestions:
oadesign Comments: Is this the same process for the R55 2009 non-S Clubman?
November 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Similar but not exact. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
doug Comments: This is a little off topic. If you were going to install a weld bung for an oil temperature sender, where would you install the bung?

I do not want it on the bottom of the pan. I also feel like it should not be next to the exhaust.
May 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It would have to be near the cylinder head, where temps are warmest. So I am not sure how you could do that. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
OzCop Comments: Thanks for posting this up. I have a friend with a low mileage 2013 JCW that appears to be leaking from the oil pan. I am assuming this procedure would be the same for any R56 engine.
February 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, it should be similar across the R56 models. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
GRUSSAUTO Comments: Correction, 1/4" drive.
February 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
GRUSSAUTO Comments: I tried a 1/2" drive with swivel and still not enough room. I used a 8mm wrench and it came out no problem.
February 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
James Comments: Do you have any tips on how to remove the one pan bolt that is directly above the exhaust pipe? I am having difficulty getting a socket and a swivel onto it.
December 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Just do as shown, You may need a universal socket, not a socket on a swivel adapter. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
James Comments: Why is it a requirement to move the exhaust pipe? it looks like there is enough clearance to removed the pan bolts and then slide the pan down as you show in figure 12.
December 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is not enough room to access the pan, fasteners or get the pan out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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