3.3 Oil Pan Gasket and Front Crank Seal, first timer - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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3.3 Oil Pan Gasket and Front Crank Seal, first timer

I'm getting ready to do the pan gasket and crank seal in the near future. I've been losing oil faster and faster, and hopefully that will take care of it. It definitely looks like its seeping/spraying out of one side of the pan and it is slinging from the crank seal up onto the water pump. Is there a concern that the oil will eat through the water pump gasket?

The way I understand it, by disconnecting the sway bar links from the sway bar, the sway bar can be pushed out of the way of the oil pan. So the sway bar links don't have to be taken off the struts? The transmission support brackets look pretty simple.. what about the driveplate cover, or I think it's also referred to as the inspection cover? Does anyone know if the Felpro oil pan gasket comes with the oil pick-up tube O-ring? Also, I noticed some foam-like material hanging down between the oil pan and the transmission.. at first I thought it was the gasket falling out, but now I'm not sure what it is. Do I need to replace it?

As far as the front crank seal, I see that the FSM says you just have to take out the fan module. But then some of you that have done it say you took the radiator out. I'd rather just take the fan module out, is it actually do-able that way, or is the FSM pulling my leg? I also see that they list 4 special tools for the job. One to hold the crankshaft pulley while you loosen the crank bolt, a puller to take off the pulley, one to take out the crank seal, and one to put in the new crank seal. What special tools are really needed? I'm thinking the puller, and possibly the one to hold the crank pulley while undoing the bolt. Although I've seen the technique of using the starter to loosen that crank bolt, not sure if anyone has any experience with that on one of these cars. The only problem I see with that method is that you still have to find a way to tighten that bolt back down when reinstalling the crank pulley.

That's a lot of questions, I know. If you have any answers I would really appreciate it. Let me know your techniques. I've read as much as I could find, I just really want this to go smoothly.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 06:38 PM
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The oil pan does requires the engine to be lifted up from the cradle, and the sway bar pushed far back. I think I ended up disconnecting it entirely.

MY oil pan gasket did not come with a oil pick up o ring. However I do suggest getting some rtv to use along side the gasket.


I ended up removing the fans and radiator to properly do the front seal. When you put the new one in make sure you lube it up, and seat it in with a large socket evenly or you will be doing it again.
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Funnily enough, after making this thread, I left for school after the car sat for roughly 2 days and it put out a huge blue smoke cloud. It had done that earlier I think in the spring, but mysteriously stopped, wasn't sure if switching to synthetic oil had helped out, or maybe it is the cool temperatures shrinking those valve stem seals while the car sits. Looks like I have to replace those now as well. Any opinions on which would possibly lose the most oil, pan gasket, crank seal, or valve stem seals? I suppose it could be any of them.

I know that the engine can be jacked up by the oil pan, but how do you do it if you need to remove the oil pan?

I've got some RTV that I plan on using on those 4 spots pointed out in the FSM. Or are you suggesting to use it along the entire perimeter?

Thanks
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
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Is there a concern that the oil will eat through the water pump gasket?
There is a little concern but I doubt it. Changing the waterpump on this engine can be done in under an hour

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The way I understand it, by disconnecting the sway bar links from the sway bar, the sway bar can be pushed out of the way of the oil pan. So the sway bar links don't have to be taken off the struts?
You dont need to disconnect the links, just unbolt the two brackets on the frame and push the swaybar back as far as it will go.

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The transmission support brackets look pretty simple.. what about the driveplate cover, or I think it's also referred to as the inspection cover? Also, I noticed some foam-like material hanging down between the oil pan and the transmission.. at first I thought it was the gasket falling out, but now I'm not sure what it is. Do I need to replace it? Does anyone know if the Felpro oil pan gasket comes with the oil pick-up tube O-ring?
Go ahead and remove the inspection cover, its only two more bolts and it gives you alot more wiggle room. The foam was to seal the gap between the inspection cover and the oil pan. I took mine off years ago and have not had any problems because of it. The Felpro gasket should come with the o-ring. The contents are always listed on the box so check before you buy.

You dont have to remove the radiator if you have a small puller that will get the job done. but it gives you so much more room to work its worth the extra time spent. There are various ways to keep the crank from turning, my favorite is a really big screwdriver wedged between the pulley and engine. You can get the puller at your favorite parts store, make sure its a three jaw. I've never done the seal on engine so I'll defer to Devan. Honestly if you have the radiator out and the pan dropped its only a couple of clamps and a few bolts from pulling the timing cover. Then you can inspect the timing chain, oil pump, and replace the seal on the bench. Just make sure not to roll the lip of the seal when putting the cover back on.

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switching to synthetic oil had helped out, or maybe it is the cool temperatures shrinking those valve stem seals while the car sits.
fyi, switching to synthetic on a high mile engine is generally a bad idea.

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Any opinions on which would possibly lose the most oil, pan gasket, crank seal, or valve stem seals?
It sounds like you are loosing oil out of everywhere. Park the car on concrete and see where the spots develop. The big problem is the smoke out the tailpipe. Some smoke after sitting for a long time is normal. A lot of smoke needs to be delt with. You might want to look into a compression check and a coolant pressure test to check for bad piston rings and blown head gaskets.

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I know that the engine can be jacked up by the oil pan, but how do you do it if you need to remove the oil pan?
Unbolt the engine mounts (good time to replace them) and put the jack with a block of wood under the transmission bellhousing.

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Or are you suggesting to use it along the entire perimeter?
I use it on the four spots recommended and all of my pans are dry.

-Dave
"Once you establish yourself as an eccentric, you rarely have to explain your actions."
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 04:06 PM
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I got both my 3.3 and 3.5 pans out with out pulling the motor mounts, but you have a good point - a block of wood under the bell housing and a few nuts on the motor mounts, and out it will come!

Removing the radiator isn't that bad, and you can leave the AC condenser in place while you do it even. But, at the same time, you can probably do it all with the radiator installed - the radiator support is more in the way than the radiator itself is, especially if you consider that the AC condenser is still in the way.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 08:58 PM
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take out the upper brace (four 13mm bolts), unbolt and lean fwd the radiator(2 10mm bolts), remove the fans(four 10mm bolts and clips), and you will have a surprising amount of space. If you need more space than that to clear the puller then the radiator has to come out.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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There is a little concern but I doubt it. Changing the waterpump on this engine can be done in under an hour
Waterpump was changed about a couple years back at dealer, hopefully won't need it for a while. If it does, I would at least hope the bolts won't be seized in there since they aren't original.

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Honestly if you have the radiator out and the pan dropped its only a couple of clamps and a few bolts from pulling the timing cover. Then you can inspect the timing chain, oil pump, and replace the seal on the bench. Just make sure not to roll the lip of the seal when putting the cover back on.
That doesn't sound like a bad idea. Does the power steering pump have to come off? Haynes manual says to unbolt and tie it aside. I'm curious why they say to drain the coolant, but don't mention removing the radiator for timing chain cover removal. Also, Haynes says that if timing chain breaks it could result in severe engine damage, but I thought the 3.3 was non-interference? Don't really trust the Haynes though, they seem to mess up on critical details. For example, their trailing arm procedure is impossible.

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fyi, switching to synthetic on a high mile engine is generally a bad idea.
Is that why I'm losing oil from everywhere? Although it has used oil for a while, just not so bad.

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It sounds like you are loosing oil out of everywhere. Park the car on concrete and see where the spots develop. The big problem is the smoke out the tailpipe. Some smoke after sitting for a long time is normal. A lot of smoke needs to be delt with. You might want to look into a compression check and a coolant pressure test to check for bad piston rings and blown head gaskets.
The weird thing is that the car doesn't drip anything. There's no discoloration in my usual gravel parking spot, and I also park it on level concrete here and there to check fluid levels and just to see if anything drips, and leave it there for a day or so. It seems that oil is only lost while the engine is hot and running mostly, and of course it seems, through the valve stem seals while it sits. Although I could let it run on the concrete for a period of time and see what happens.

After it sat for about 19 hours, when I took off today there was no smoke to be seen.

Head gaskets were replaced several years back when one blew, which lead to overheating the engine at the time. I think that overheating of the valve stem seals has caught up to me.

As far as the compression, if I had any problems there, wouldn't the gas mileage be pretty bad? Surprisingly enough the car gets really good gas mileage I think. The OTIS reads 26.2 mpg and some calculation based on miles and fill-ups gives about 24 mpg. Of course that is mostly highway.

Thanks, everyone.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone know what the noise is in this video here?

http://youtu.be/H1tle7sEB3A

Not my car obviously, but my car makes the same noise when the engine is hot. Almost sounds like a diesel a little bit. Seems fairly common for the 3.3?

If I do the valve seals, I wonder if there's anything I can clean up or look for to address that sound while I'm in there.

Last edited by 94Beater; 11-02-2011 at 01:19 AM. Reason: video link
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 09:39 PM
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I use a bottle jack with a small "top" and jack up the engine in either the left or the right transaxle-to-engine stiffeners that sit alongside the oil pan toward the back. Choose the one (I forget) that is farther away from the oil pan. I also have to take off the flex plate cover and I think I removed the sway links at the top instead of the bottom for some reason, might have been easier to get at or something.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-11-2011, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I think I figured out the reason for the smoke clouds on start-up. I noticed it only happens if the car was previously started and run for a very brief time. For example, if I move it up on the driveway to work on it, then the next time I start it up it will put out smoke. I think its just that residue left in the engine that didn't get burned out because the engine was cold.

I'm about to do the oil pan gasket since that looks like the leakiest point right now. How much more difficult would it be to install the 3.5 L gasket onto my 3.3 L? It looks like it could be a bit awkward in getting the windage tray around the oil pickup. I'm curious what the method is... do you place the gasket/windage tray on the oil pan then put it up to the engine and bolt it up? Or do you somehow stick the gasket/windage tray to the engine then place the oil pan and bolt it up? I was looking at the pics which clearly show the tray and the oil pickup in one of Chewie's 3.3 threads, just not sure of the technique when doing it from underneath.
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-11-2011, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Also, does anyone know if jacking the engine up by the oil pan affects the gasket at all? I picked up some new motor mounts for cheap and am curious if I better put those in first so that I don't have to jack up the engine and potentially damage the new oil pan gasket?
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 02:31 AM
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Put the motor mounts on first for good measure, you will need the extra room afforded by good mounts.

Don't know if you will need to pull the oil pickup or not - I don't honestly think you have to... I seem to remember it slipping past it - if not, now is a good time to pop your pickup off, clean it, and install a new intake o-ring. The bolt is VERY tight, just a warning. Before performing this work though, I'd STRONGLY suggest a very good cleaning of the engine bay and the engine support cradle - the cradle on mine was in VERY ugly shape, and was full of sand - easy to get mixed into your clean oil, bad contamination.
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 04:58 AM
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Also, does anyone know if jacking the engine up by the oil pan affects the gasket at all?
Just put the jack under the transaxle bell housing, or in the channel of the driver's side (I think) engine-to-transaxle-stiffeners (I think, there's two, one on either side of the oil pan, just go with the one that's farther from the pan, the other one might need to come off to allow you to maneuver the pan a bit too).

Oh, and here's a tip for re-aligning the engine mounts when you let it back down, if the studs don't pilot back down through the holes like you'd expect, don't try to move the engine mount with your hand while you lower the jack, you might crush your fingers - I took the plug out of a Bic pen and stuck it up through the subframe engine mount hole and slipped it over the end of the mount stud, then when you let it down it'll go right in. If you're a pen chewer like me, you probably already have one laying around without a plug and with a somewhat flared end - the flare helps because I think the stud might be a little bigger than the pen barrel.
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice guys, I am off to get my gasket and get to work.

If it comes with a oil pickup o-ring then I will take it off, if not, I guess I won't worry about it.

I am lucky to have a warm day today, with a high of 39! Much better than what we've been having here.
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 01:05 PM
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You will need to remove the passenger side stiffener, yes. They are 15mm bolts. Be very careful re-installing this(these) because the bolts go into aluminum. It is easy to gall the threads or cross thread them.
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