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Oil Pan Gasket Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

8-12 hours

Tab:

$50 to $120

Talent:

****

Tools:

All of them including an engine support bracket or hoist, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench, large drain pan

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 (1983-89)
Porsche 944 S2 (1989-91)
Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)
Porsche 944S (1987-88)

Parts Required:

Oil pan gasket, oil, new injectors O-rings, white Lithium grease, intake manifold gaskets

Hot Tip:

Do not be in a rush

Performance Gain:

No oil leaks

Complementary Modification:

Change transmission fluid

While on most cars a leaking oil pan gasket is not that big of a job to repair, on the Porsche 944 and especially on the 951 it is a very time consuming job. There are a lot of components that need to be moved or removed to allow you to get access to the gasket, and you will need a proper support for the engine. The job is certainly doable for the weekend mechanic but be prepared that it may take you the whole weekend to perform the work.

You will need to safely raise and support the vehicle and disconnect the battery. Please see our article on safely jacking up and supporting your Porsche 944 as well as battery connections for additional information. Make sure to properly dispose of your used motor oil. Most oil change shops will accept your used motor oil at no charge.

Place a large catch pan or bucket below the drain plug on the lower right side of the engine.
Figure 1

Place a large catch pan or bucket below the drain plug on the lower right side of the engine. Use a 15mm socket or wrench and remove the drain plug (red arrow). This plug should not be on overly tight. The torque specs are 37 ft.-lbs. but for some reason people like to really crank these on.

Use care.
Figure 2

Use care. The flow of oil out from the pan will change as the level gets lower (red arrow). Do not just remove the plug and place a bucket under it and walk away or you may come back to a big mess.

Remove the fuel rail and injectors (red arrow).
Figure 3

Remove the fuel rail and injectors (red arrow). Please see our article on fuel rail and injector removal for further steps.

Remove the intake manifold (red arrow).
Figure 4

Remove the intake manifold (red arrow). Please see our article on intake manifold removal for further steps.

Next, you will need to remove the turbo crossover pipe; the pipe attaches to the turbo (red arrow), the waste gate (yellow arrow) and the exhaust manifolds (green arrow).
Figure 5

Next, you will need to remove the turbo crossover pipe; the pipe attaches to the turbo (red arrow), the waste gate (yellow arrow) and the exhaust manifolds (green arrow).

You will need to remove the turbo water pump (red arrow) to get access to where the cross over pipe joins the turbo.
Figure 6

You will need to remove the turbo water pump (red arrow) to get access to where the cross over pipe joins the turbo. Please see our article on turbo water pump replacement for the steps on disconnecting the electrical connection (green arrow) and the coolant hoses (yellow arrow).

For the top and front lower three nuts and bolts you will need to counter hold the 13mm nut while removing the 13mm bolt (red arrows).
Figure 7

For the top and front lower three nuts and bolts you will need to counter hold the 13mm nut while removing the 13mm bolt (red arrows).

The bottom bolt is very difficult to get at.
Figure 8

The bottom bolt is very difficult to get at. You will need to try a bunch of different approaches to find what works best for you. I removed a few small things around the turbo (heat shield, etc.) and attacked the bolt from above with a series of universal joints and extensions (red arrow).

Remove the O-2 sensor (red arrow) using a craw foot or 22mm wrench.
Figure 9

Remove the O-2 sensor (red arrow) using a craw foot or 22mm wrench.

The only good thing about this bolt is that the nut is welded to the flange so at least you do not need to hold a wrench on the nut (red arrow).
Figure 10

The only good thing about this bolt is that the nut is welded to the flange so at least you do not need to hold a wrench on the nut (red arrow).

Use a 12mm socket from below (red arrows) and a 13mm wrench from above (yellow arrows) and remove the nuts and bolts from the manifolds to the cross over pipe.
Figure 11

Use a 12mm socket from below (red arrows) and a 13mm wrench from above (yellow arrows) and remove the nuts and bolts from the manifolds to the cross over pipe. These bolts can be a pain to remove, and you should be prepared to have a few of the bolts break. Penetrating oil is your friend.

Separate the waste gate pipe from the cross over pipe at either the pipe (yellow arrow) or the waste gate (red arrow), which ever looks like fewer nuts will break.
Figure 12

Separate the waste gate pipe from the cross over pipe at either the pipe (yellow arrow) or the waste gate (red arrow), which ever looks like fewer nuts will break.

Remove the front control sway arm from the chassis and the control arms (green arrows).
Figure 13

Remove the front control sway arm from the chassis and the control arms (green arrows). Please see our article on sway bar removal for additional assistance.

Separate the tie rods ends from the steering knuckles (red arrow).
Figure 14

Separate the tie rods ends from the steering knuckles (red arrow). Please see our article on tie rod replacement for further instructions.

Place alignment marks on the splined input shaft on the steering rack and the universal joint on the steering shaft so they can be assembled in the same orientation on installation (red arrow).
Figure 15

Place alignment marks on the splined input shaft on the steering rack and the universal joint on the steering shaft so they can be assembled in the same orientation on installation (red arrow).

Remove the steering rack (red arrow) from the car; please see our article on steering rack replacement for additional assistance.
Figure 16

Remove the steering rack (red arrow) from the car; please see our article on steering rack replacement for additional assistance.

Remove the bolts connecting the lower control arm to the chassis (red arrows).
Figure 17

Remove the bolts connecting the lower control arm to the chassis (red arrows). Please see our article on control arm replacement for further help.

Remove the bolts on the top of the motor mounts (red arrow).
Figure 18

Remove the bolts on the top of the motor mounts (red arrow). Please see our article on engine mount replacement for additional assistance.

Support the engine from above using either an engine brace or hoist.
Figure 19

Support the engine from above using either an engine brace or hoist. While there are lots of homemade ways to do this on the Internet, make sure however you support the engine in a safe fashion. You are going to be working directly under it, and you want to make sure everything is safe!

On the 951 there is an oil return line (red arrow) from the turbo to the pan.
Figure 20

On the 951 there is an oil return line (red arrow) from the turbo to the pan. Use either a 10mm socket and remove it from the top (yellow arrow) or a large adjustable wrench and remove it from the pan (green arrow). Note: you will need to replace the crush washers or gasket depending on where you remove the line.

With the engine safely supported, remove the four cross member to body bolts (red arrows, two on each side).
Figure 21

With the engine safely supported, remove the four cross member to body bolts (red arrows, two on each side).

Some of the bolts are difficult to reach (red arrows) so have a series of extensions and a universal joint ready.
Figure 22

Some of the bolts are difficult to reach (red arrows) so have a series of extensions and a universal joint ready.

Remove all 22 10mm oil pan bolts in the order shown in the diagram.
Figure 23

Remove all 22 10mm oil pan bolts in the order shown in the diagram.

Even though all the bolts are removed, the oil pan will probably not fall off the vehicle.
Figure 24

Even though all the bolts are removed, the oil pan will probably not fall off the vehicle. As a matter of fact you may need to use a small pry tool or rubber hammer to get it to separate from the motor. Never pry anything metal between the pan and the block. Clean and inspect the oil pan. Remove any debris from the pan and determine if the debris in the pan indicates damage to the engine or bearings. A small amount of metal sludge is to be expected, but there should be no pieces or shavings. Remove the old oil pan gasket from the pan and install the new gasket.

You should inspect the inside of the crankcase for obvious signs of damage.
Figure 25

You should inspect the inside of the crankcase for obvious signs of damage. Check the oil pickup tube to make sure it is completely intact (no cracks in the tubes), that it is firmly mounted, and clean any debris from the screen at the bottom of the tube (red arrow). Installation is the reverse of removal. To ensure a proper seal on the oil pan gasket, it is imperative that the torque specs and sequence for the oil pan bolts shown in Figure 20 be strictly adhered to. Do NOT over torque the oil pan bolts.


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Comments and Suggestions:
Bill Comments: I had trouble keeping the gasket in place while putting the pan back in. To make it easier I put a piece of old fuel injection line or tubing in the 4 corner holes and taped it to the pan. Then pull it out when you get to the corner holes.
August 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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