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Philzy3985 02-24-2014 07:46 PM

Replacing Oil Pan
I wanted to title the thread "things my mechanic tells me" but though I should get straight to my point.

After a 2-hour quoted job required 4 days of trips, some work was done on my 1985 Catalina 30, M25 Diesel. I'm losing faith in the highest reputed mechanics that will service my area without charging trip fees :( . Then, it seems like they find a new problem every time they see the boat - they told me that the oil pan is rusted badly and needs to be replaced.

In my head, I'm thinking about car engine oil pans and figure it can't be that big of a deal and don't want to pay more labor $$$, I tell them okay let me think about it.

I'm researching, and I keep seeing that it requires removing the entire engine!?

Is this true? Any other options?

Semi-sarcastic: Can I just spray "Flex-Seal" on the bottom of the pan?:rolleyes:

Any help is appreciated so I can wrap my head around this.

desert rat 02-24-2014 08:23 PM

Re: Replacing Oil Pan
With a super mechanic's magic tools you might get it off where it sits. Can you see all the bolts for the pan can you get a socket on them. Probably not even with a miror and all sorts of universals on the socket drive. I wish you luck, if it isn't leaking start planning how to get it off, later.

dabnis 02-24-2014 08:30 PM

Re: Replacing Oil Pan
Whole lot of variables. How was it determined it is rusting through, and from the inside or the outside? I would think it would be very unusual from the inside? If it is leaking, maybe a seal or gasket joint?

1. If the pan is rusting through from the outside, you may be able to patch it from the outside, if you can get to it.

2. Maybe the engine could be separated from the transmission and blocked up enough to drop the pan, head room permitting?

3. If not, you might consider having it rebuilt while out, depending on the amount of hours on it? Or maybe just leave it alone? :D

Interesting situation, let us know how it comes out

Paul T

Faster 02-24-2014 09:09 PM

Re: Replacing Oil Pan
As Paul says, interesting conundrum...

I've spent some time tinkering on a C30 engine and while the access is pretty good, I can't imagine you'd be able to pull and change the oil pan without lifting the engine so far that you may as well just remove it, flip it over and do it right. Especially since the install precludes being able to lift it very far (isn't the back third under the settee back?) And it's not as if the pan will 'slide out'.. it needs to be dropped far enough to clear the journals, bearing caps and crank lobes.

If it's truly rusting it may be a disaster waiting to happen.. do you want to come to a standing stopstill with a bilge full of oil somewhere off a tight harbour entrance in a gale and deal with it then?? Sorry to sound melodramatic, but you want to be sure about what to do with this.

If it's just surface rust that's one thing, but determining that is not so easy. Even scraping and repainting isn't really going to be fully effective in place, you just won't be able to see what you're doing or have total access.

As a note of interest, I've had the same engine in my last two boats and in both cases the oil pan had been fiberglassed on the outside.. something to consider even if you do replace it.

Minnewaska 02-25-2014 06:33 AM

Re: Replacing Oil Pan
Maybe a second opinion on the pan condition before you proceed? If you are really suffering from a highly corroded pan, it makes me wonder what the rest of the motor is like. That wouldn't feel too safe.

If it's just some isolated surface corrosion, a patch should be fine until you are in a position to pull her out. If I were to guess, pulling her is in your future.

jameswilson29 02-25-2014 08:10 AM

Re: Replacing Oil Pan

Originally Posted by Philzy3985 (Post 1455778)

Is this true? Any other options?

Semi-sarcastic: Can I just spray "Flex-Seal" on the bottom of the pan?:rolleyes:

Any help is appreciated so I can wrap my head around this.

"After a two hour quoted job required four days of trips"??????

Taking a step back to look at the whole picture, your dilemma is a good illustration of why you should learn how to work on your own boat:

1. There are no real time constraints;
2. It is fairly simple (not necessarily easy, but simple);
3. One day, you may need to know how to fix your engine with no one else around; and,
4. You can never fully trust someone, no matter how reputable, who stands to profit from your ignorance. You never know what someone is going through in his or her personal life, or what he or she will do when the chips are down.

You may be better off replacing the whole engine yourself, if you plan to remove it from the boat. Or just buying a brand new one, professionally installed.

Ditch the mechanic and start doing your own work. Buy Don Casey's "Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual", Don Casey's "This Old Boat", Peter Compton's "Troubleshooting Marine Diesels", and Nigel Calder's "Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual".

Buy the necessary tools and do your research on the internet, with the appropriate amount of skepticism. You will find working on your own boat rewarding and a valuable addition to your boating skill sets.

Minnewaska 02-25-2014 08:16 AM

Re: Replacing Oil Pan
One of these days, I'm taking a diesel course. I can do all the basics. I'm pretty handy and fully subscribe to James point that we should all know how to fix things in a pinch. However, I find myself paying for knowledge I would prefer to have myself from time to time.

We've all heard the fable of the electrician/plumber/etc that shows up at a homeowners house, tweaks something for 5 mins and then hands the homeowner a $100 invoice. Upon objection from the homeowner that it only took 5 mins, the contractor rewrites the bill.... Cost to fix $5, knowing how to fix $95.

eherlihy 02-25-2014 01:01 PM

Re: Replacing Oil Pan
I have the same engine (M25) in my boat, and know that Maine Sail had the same in his Catalina.

I too have an issue with surface rust, and have been putting it off. Here is a pic;

...and here is an older pic showing the rust with the old motor mounts in place;

When I get up the courage to tackle this job, my plan is to disconnect the exhaust and the driveline (at the coupling), then remove the top nuts of the motor mounts. I will then raise the engine using the scissors jack from a Honda Civic (<2" high when collapsed). Once raised, I will also try to support the engine with a chain. My hope is that I will have room to squeeze my hand in between the oil pan, and that pan that supports the motor mounts.

There are 18 bolts and lock washers that hold the pan to the block (the four between the bell housing scare me the most), and then the dipstick assembly bolts onto the pan as well.

The rust was caused by a leaking raw water pump.

Faster 02-25-2014 01:43 PM

Re: Replacing Oil Pan
Not the M25 but just a generic cross section of an engine.. Note that the oil pickup drops down to the pan floor.. In most cases you'll need to lift the engine enough to have the clearance to drop the pan to clear the pickup.

I suspect relatively few installations will give you that much lift while essentially 'in place'.

eherlihy 02-25-2014 02:17 PM

Re: Replacing Oil Pan
In my research I also came across this great post from a guy who rebuilt his M25-XP in situ on a Catalina 34; M25-XP Rebuild

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