Removing front crossmember to drop oil pan

tomsmith

Original poster
Member
Mar 12, 2013
30
Hello all,

I'm attempting to drop the oil pan and have managed to get it loose (no feat itself). I have read a lot of posts that describe the procedure and they all mention removing the 'front cross member which is held in by 4 bolts'. The problem is, I can see 3 cross members getting in the way of the oil pan, and none of them have only four bolts.

They are:

1. Cross member attached to the steering system. This is made up of two separate pieces, one is flat (blue) and the other is vertical (green). The horizontal piece is connected to the front cross member by way of 6 15mm bolts (4 each side).

2. Cross member approximately half way across the oil pan (red) . Held in (from what I can see) 4 24mm bolts and 2 15mm bolts (the 2 bolts are right next to the 24mm's).

I have removed the 24mm bolts and the two 15mm bolts close to them but I can't get the front cross member free (colored red below). I've hit it with a 3lb hammer from both sides and it's not budging slightly. Is there another bolt(s) I have to loosen? I can't really see anything but I'm also lying on my back on a creeper so visibility is poor.

View attachment 26845

View attachment 26846

The red cross member is the one I think I have to remove. It seems that's the one that's really getting in the way. The blue and green cross members don't appear to be in the way, but I could be wrong. It looks like I should be able to remove the red cross member and then wiggle the pan and the front diff out.
 

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mrphoenix80

Member
Jan 1, 2013
251
Anytime I have removed the oil pan I have removed all 3 crossmembers and the rack. Soory for the bad news .
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
I'm very curious to the procedure as well, as I assume it's documented elsewhere.. I will follow this thread. For whatever reason I ever need to pull my pan I'm going to be replacing components inside the pan like the oil pump if I can get to it.

Best of luck on your journey....wish I could add something.
 

tomsmith

Original poster
Member
Mar 12, 2013
30
hey mrphoenix80, you were right. I undid the 4x24mm bolts, the 2x15 mm bolts at the bottom and the 6x15mm bolts on the vertical (green) piece. When I was down to my last 2 bolts, the cross member almost fell off so I braced it with a jack stand. Once all the bolts are out, it will fall easily off - something to be aware off if you are working directly underneath it.

gmcman, it's a grueling process but you'll learn more than you expected once you get started.

I've also loosened the drivers side steering rack and completely removed the passenger side (21mm bolt). These were a pain to get off .. they had rusted pretty good and my corded electric impact had a hard time breaking them loose. Chattered for almost 10 seconds before it spun them off and I've never had that problem, even with lug nuts that were seemingly tightened by Thor himself.

I'm now at the point where the oil pan is ready to drop. The only obstruction is the transmission cooler lines. On the passenger side, the oil pan has a piece of metal that sticks out to the side, marked here with a white circle:

View attachment 26856
Thanks to LMMJ for the pic.

The cooler lines are unclipped from the engine block (I just removed the bolt and bracket entirely) and I've tried pushing them out of the way but they are up against the exhaust and I still don't have enough room to wiggle the oil pan past the lines. The front diff is pulled right up against the frame but there's still not enough room.

The A/C compressor is still attached .. I have a feeling if I remove that, I'll be able to shift the pan a bit more towards the driver side and then clear the lines but I haven't ready anywhere where someone has had to do that. Help!
 

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tomsmith

Original poster
Member
Mar 12, 2013
30
Disconnected the A/C compressor and dropped the steering rack but still can't seem to get the oil pan to clear the transmission cooler lines. I've tried fiddling with the diff but it's pulled as tight against the frame as I can get it but still not enough clearance for the oil plan to clear the cooler lines.

I've zip tied the cooler lines against the exhaust as tight as possible but there's still around 0.5 inch clearance that is causing a problem.

At this point, I'm tempted to cut the trans cooler line and patch it up with rubber hose afterwards..
 

tomsmith

Original poster
Member
Mar 12, 2013
30
I thought I'd try taking the diff apart while it's still up against the frame to see if I can remove it in two halves .. no such luck. After removing 6 or 7 bolts, it split in two pretty easy but the pinion gear (the large circular gear) is somehow stopping both pieces from coming apart completely so that's a no-go.

I put two bolts back in to keep it together and bungeed it to the frame again

View attachment 27118

Here's another shot of the diff up against the frame.

View attachment 27119

Another shot. Does this look like it's pushed far back enough? I couldn't get it any further away from the oil pan. The service manual says to push it again the frame, but directly above where it is now is the engine mount and there's no room up there. This is a pic from the other side. As you can see, it's right up next to the frame part.

View attachment 27120

Here's the gap between the diff and and the oil pan. It looks like it should be enough for me to maneuver the oil pan:

View attachment 27121

However, I still can't clear the transmission lines. Part highlighted in black is the piece that cant clear the line to drop the pan:

View attachment 27122

Anyone have any thoughts or advice?
 

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tomsmith

Original poster
Member
Mar 12, 2013
30
Woohoo!! GOT IT!

I finally got the front diff out :smile: I did it by wiggling the two halves around until the inner half loosened enough that I could drop it out the bottom and them getting the other half out was easy. That's probably not the best way to do it, but it was actually rather easy


Now onto removing the steering rack so I can get the oil pan out. I tried dropping the passenger side of the rack only and letting it fall but there's not enough room for the oil pan to come off. I'm leaving that for tomorrow :wootwoot:
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
Any follow ups to this? I am seriously contemplating pulling the pan and replacing the oil pump, and rod bearings just for preventative maintenance. I'm not looking forward to it but this seems to be a good thread for anyone removing the pan.
 

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