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Stubborn oil pan


Dave Ahlers
Never had to take mine off. BUT:
Is the engine in the boat? If yes, can you get a short length of 2x4 (or 1x2) on the edges of three exposed pan sides? Maybe from down through the laz & access panel where you have room to swing. Hit 2x4 with hammer along seam. (keep away from the front seal area)
Good practice NOT to pry the seam with a screw driver.
Sometime banging on the pan with a dead blow hammer can break the sealant loose. But I'm sure access is an issue.
My last desperate measure would be to take a beveled paint scraper and drive it in parallel with the pan/block seam along the sides. No going back on the project then, however.

Also, it'd be worth looking at a service manual to be sure there are no "tricks" with pan removal. I think there's one copied on this site as reference. Maybe check a parts list to make sure you got all the bolts out!
That's all I have for you
Thanks for your response, Dave.
The engine is installed, and as you suspect, access is minimal.
The manual by Perkins leaves a lot to be desired, as it says, "loosen the setscrews and remove the sump." It doesn't show any exploded drawings, or mention the two aft bolts either. Luckily I discovered them before trying anything (been there!). There's not really any room for a hammer swing other than a constricted light tap. I tried a Stanley box cutter with new blade, but can't get the blade into the seal/gasket seam more than about 1/8". This thing is well bonded. The other attempt involved making a couple of wood wedges that I horizontally lined up between the fwd lower corner of the sump and a 2-by, then forced together with a long cabinet clamp. I could see movement of the resilient mount bolts, so had some decent force acting. No budge! I thought a few god hammer taps thru a wood block might help, but things just ring, instead of thudding. Telltale that it's securely fixed. If the gasket were thicker than it is, there might be a chance to get the putty knife in without planing off any aluminum, but I'm in doubt. Maybe I'll just leave it on there. All I wanted to do was check the main and thrust bearings, and clean out the sump anyway.


Dave Ahlers
Well the day I busted of an injector pump bleed screw I re-learned one of Murphy's Laws: "If it aint broke don't fix it".
Is your oil pressure good on the gauge? If more than 10psi per 1000rpm the rule of thumb is its ok.
The good news is it hard to make a Perkins leak MORE oil :rolleyes:
Haha! Oil pressure is good, so not worried too much! Mainly wanted to clean the sump out. The last owner might have done it back in '98 or so. He said that he changed filter every 100 hrs, but didn't mention the sump.
Engine only has 1900hrs (indicated), but the boat has spent long stints on the hard in her life. Runs well, but vibrates a lot. Today I found three of the injectors only had one strongback nut tightened down. Maybe that influenced things! Oddly no unusual sounds last time she ran. Biggest thing right now is the rear main seal leak. Hopefully I'll get that fixed this week.
Found that the trans input shaft splines are worn in the forward direction. Almost a mm of cog missing in the contact zone of the drive damper plate, whose cogs are like new.
The damper looks good, with no broken springs, but it's hard to tell whether or not it is deflecting under load without a test of some kind. Any ideas on that one?


Terence Thatcher
My mechanic lifted the engine in order to get to the rear seal. Don't think you can replace it without the lift. I think that may be true of the pan, as well, but I don't remember. The oil pump sits in the bottom of the pan, if I recall correctly.
Terry, you are right. The engine has to rise back there to get the rear mounting tabs out of the way. I have the jack on board, with a lot of wood blocking. I was wondering if there are any alignment dowels in the trans adapter ring. I found one or two in the bell housing. I'm getting set up to dial indicate for runout of the ring before removing it and the bell housing. Have you any "watch outs" for me?
Thought a pic of the trans input shaft might be interesting. Anybody know what is causing this? First pic shows wear on the spline sides and outer periphery of the shaft. Second pic shows shaft rotated about 120 degrees and same edge wear, but little or no wear on the outer periphery. Seems like this indicates radial runout between the trans and engine/damper plate. Trans shaft has no apparent bearing wear, as it isn't loose radially or longitudinally.so probably the thrust bearing is OK too. Taking readings soon.



Dave Ahlers
Dry splines are never good thing. Since there is no clutch plate, grease will not hurt anything.
Honda motorcycle dealers sell an extreme pressure lube for splines, worth a google. I'll bet there is an automotive product beyond just grease.
Some years of BMW motorcycles are know to wear trans splines completely off due to misaligned locating bolt holes & dowels between engine and trans. By that standard you have minor wear!

If I might suggest, get your injectors rebuilt, change the fuel filter, and use a diesel fuel biocide (Standyne or Biobor).
If your fuel is old it might be worthwhile contacting a fuel tank cleaning service. There can be an amazing amount of sludge and debris in a fuel tank.
Get your engine running smoothly will reduce the shaking power pulses and lessen the spline wear. Adjust the valves to spec as well. That made a big difference in how well my Perkins ran and started. Old axiom: clean fuel, and oil, a diesel will run forever.
Thanks for the pointers. Greatly appreciated.
The injectors and injection pump were rebuilt about 20 engine hours ago and fuel tank was cleaned, with all fresh fuel treated with Biobor. One thing that might play a role is that I didn't use a degree wheel when adjusting the pump timing. Only used the crank flange pin for TDC. It doesn't seem likely that the pin hole could be off enough to raise an issue. I did a compression check and all cylinders were 430psig +/- 5 with very little leak down.
The boat went into about 7 mos. of storage then 8 mos. of refit during which time the engine was only run shortly for a cooling system flush, oil change, and after valve clearance adjustment. Before launch in July, the fuel filters were changed, but fuel looked clean and the filters had no particles within. I think those injector hold-down strongbacks have been loose for some time, as I adjusted the valve clearances during the refit and loosened them up to ease turning over the engine. I think I forgot to tighten them all at that time.
Engine starts well, but has vibrated for some time and really doesn't seem much different from when I purchased the boat. Fuel polishing couldn't hurt, given the infrequent use, and the recent short trip to a different marina that might have stirred things up. I haven't added any more Biobor since refit. Does it lose effectiveness over that kind of time span?


Dave Ahlers
I think your ok fuel wise. I didnt know what you had done. If your filters are clean I'd guess your ok.
Make sure your engine mounts haven't perished. That might explain vibs, but it is a diesel, a lot of mass moving inside.
Vibration is in the eye of the beholder. You need an experienced owner or mechanic to tell what's normal (or not). I don't remember mine bouncing around at all. So maybe the injector timing is the culprit. It's always a basic fundamental that bites you. Chase this chase that. Go back to basics when things don't make sense. This from a guy who never touched his injector timing Rich, so take it with a grain.
Managed to remove the oil pan using single edged razor blades tapped into the joint with light hammering. Followed the razors with Stanley utility blades snapped in two, to reduce their length. The utility blade halves are easy to tap in next to the razor blades which open up the seam a bit first. Squirting some Goo Gone along the seam helped a lot. I was able to wedge four Stanley blade pieces into the same location at the corners, or nearby, which opened up the gap entirely, and the pan almost fell off by itself.
I used the same technique on the trans adapter, bell housing, and rear cover. This takes some time, but it eliminates marring the mating surfaces.. Gotta take it slowly around the dowel pins!
I noticed that all of the flanges had paper gaskets. But I don't see any of these for sale on the internet, except for lots of front cover gaskets. None of the lower end gasket kits I saw looked like they had any for these rear joints. Does anyone know if these are still available, or can I eliminate them by using only silicone gasket maker? Dick Grimshaw didn't mention any gaskets in his article, and the silicone works fine on automotive manifolds and differential covers.
Also, thanks for the TAD recommendation, Terry. I will give them a call.
It dawned on me that the gaskets may not be as necessary for a seal, as they are for an easier disassembly later on. All of the flange mating surfaces are in very good condition and probably would seal fine with only silicone gasket maker. The resultant gap between flanges would be almost zero in most areas of the seam, however, making it difficult to get even an 0.010" thick razor blade started without cutting into the aluminum and/or breaking blades!
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I have heard, (for what it's worth), that these MAY be there to isolate the trans from the engine "electrically" to inhibit corrosion. BUT it's only hearsay. It also may just be an old wives tale...
TAD says that several of the gaskets are no longer available. They say that the silicone gasket maker stuff works fine.
So, that simplifies things some. I installed the rear main bearing seal today. That had a gasket in the kit from Parts4engines.com. They also had gaskets for the oil sump, but the local Perkins Power shop had a better price.
Cork/rubber strips for the curved ends of the sump are a little oversized in the kit that Perkins supplied. The groove in the main bearing both front and rear is .300" wide and the cork is .415" wide. The diameter of the groove at the bearing is 5-3/8", and the diameter at the top of the sump is 5-11/16", so the gap there is 5/32", or .156". The height of the cork is ~.215". Looks like there is a fair amount of crush to occur when taking up the flange bolts. Does anybody know the best method of pushing the cork into the bearing groove without chewing it up? I'm wondering whether or not the cork strips will evenly reach the ends of the grooves if one end touches and the other doesn't. In other words, Will the compression force on the strip tend to increase the length of the strip and close up the ends too? Is it possible to coax the gap out with a tool, or do you just glop some silicone in there!?
I experimented with one of the cork strips today. From the results. I gather that the width of .415" is too much. The strip was smeared with a thin coat of Permatex blue silicone, and pushed into the bearing groove, but there is so much material that it slides out after a short time.
I used a flat screwdriver to try and jam the strip into the groove. The strip will stay part of the way in if there is no silicone on it, but I wasn't able to fully compress it on one edge without the opposite edge popping out. I fitted up the sump on the strip without silicone, and tightened up the pan bolts as evenly as I could. The pan top corners dug into the cork at about an inch from the top, and left a divot at the end of the strip that wasn't seated as well as the other end. This was the forward joint, which is lots more accessible than the after one. I think it would be almost impossible to seat a strip of full width into that aft main bearing groove.
Tomorrow I'm going to try with narrower strips. I'm guessing a strip width of about .350" might stay in the groove long enough to butter up the pan flange and the thin flange gaskets, then button her up. The cork strips are pretty robust, and have good compressibility. The test specimen came out in one piece after being crushed during the dry fit up and was 1/16" longer than when it went in.
It seems like the strip ends could be seated up against the engine block (but only after the thin side gaskets are tacked to the block as they have a tab at the ends that lies over the ends of the strips) then the pan can be buttered and carefully snugged up. The forward cork strip will need to be monitored to make sure it doesn't buckle out, but the aft strip should, hopefully, stay put between the engine back plate and the main bearing face. The ends of the strips should behave, because the pan touches there first. Famous last words?
I made a jig to cut down the width of the cork strips to .350". I angled the cut about 5 degrees and created a trapezoidal cross section. The narrow width ended up about .330" with the top width about .350". I set the strips up such that the narrower strip face entered the groove first, and the wider acute angled edge wedged into the bearing housing. When I stuffed them up into the main bearing housing grooves, I found that between the housing bolts, the strips were a snug fit and the ends of the strips beyond the housing bolts nestled into the groove pretty well. I had to adjust their position a couple of times to make sure that the strip was centered along the groove and just butted the engine block at the ends. The last inch or so of the strip ends wouldn't stay in the groove, but they still lined up with it. So theoretically, if the pan was lined up directly beneath the bearing housing grooves - fore and aft and port to stbd - the strips should be guided right into the grooves at the ends. Additionally, the lubricating qualities of the silicone gasket maker would aid the alignment of the strips. This is theoretical only because you can't see what is going on in there while you are closing up all of the gaps. It seemed to.make sense anyway!
To avoid having the pan cut the strips, I filed a small, probably .020" radius at the top corners of both semicircular mating surfaces (where the horizontal pan joint meets the edge of the semicircle). This eliminates the sharp edge of the corners, and reduces possible damage to the strip ends as they are being compressed and pushed upward during assembly.
I made four 5/16"x24 tpi. studs by removing the heads of 1-1/2" bolts and inserted one into the block adjacent each corner bolt hole.
With the strips smeared up with silicone on the top, ends, and sides, and pushed into position, with the ends a bit outside the grooves, the bottom flange of the block was beaded with Permatex, with an extra dab up in the corner at the strip ends. The side gaskets were slipped over the studs and stuck to the silicone beads. Then the pan flanges and semicircular joints were beaded with silicone. I put the pan under the engine and used some wood blocks to hold it when I pushed it up over the studs leaving about a 1/2" gap between the side flanges. Then I grabbed the floor jack and some more wood and slowly raised the pan up to about a 1/4" gap and inserted the long corner bolts finger tight. Lastly, I pulled the jack out, added all but 4 of the bolts and took everything up evenly. The studs served to guide the pan up nicely and keep the pan from shifting. When silicone started coming out of the joints I took out the studs and put the rest of the bolts in. After about a half hour I closed up the joints and torqued all the bolts.
Hopefully it won't leak. Haha!
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Well, I ran the engine for about 45 minutes today, and everything is dry as a bone!
I know, it's too soon to claim victory, but I'm encouraged.
The only issue looks to be the damper plate. The spline is not running true - a few thousandths radially out. I wonder if this is contributing to the trans input spline wear, or did I just not mount it exactly on center? The ZF specs require less than .004" runout. I noticed a little radial play so maybe it can be better aligned. Anyone have experience with this?
No, Dave, I don't think that the damper is defective. It looks almost new. But then again, I don't have a good way to test it. I found that the spline can be as much as .012" eccentric, which might cause some significant wear. I indicated the machined spline cylindrical OD. I was able to set it to .0039" max.
The crank is about .0015" eccentric, so no issue there.