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Old 07-28-2004, 02:02 PM   #1
Mr. Anderson
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Default How to change the oil pan on your M20B25/B27

Changing the M20B25/B27 Oil Pan

The day I gave the 325i I bought a thorough check-over, the guy I bought it from hit a rock on his way home and tore a 2” x 3” hole in the oil pan. Needless to say, he knocked $400 off the price of the car for parts and labor to get it fixed. So instead of paying $45 to have it towed to the mechanic, $280 for a brand-new oil pan, and about $250 for labor (for a grand total of about $590), I decided to spend about $100 and a day off, get a couple of my friends together, and fix it myself. This job will take about 1-3 hours, depending on your mechanical knowledge.

Tools needed:

- Yourself, and 1-2 mechanically competent friends
- New oil pan
- New oil pan gasket
- New drain plug (optional)
- New oil filter
- 5 quarts of your favorite oil
- Power drill w/ socket attachment bit
- Sharp putty knife or gasket scraper
- Several assorted size metric ratchets, sockets and torx sockets
- Several assorted size metric wrenches
- Ratchet swivel/u-joint
- Assortment of short and long ratchet extensions
- Engine hoist
- Floor jack
- 2 jack stands
- 1 case of beer (optional – age permitting - for afterwards)
- An extensive vocabulary of colorful expletives

- Drain ALL the oil out of your engine. (Unless a hole in your oil pan already did it for you) Remove the oil level sender and the ground strap from the front-top of the oil pan. It doesn’t hurt to disconnect your battery before doing this, either. Remove the hood. Remove the fan shroud from the radiator.

- Jack up the car on the front subframe of the car as high as is safely possible, and position the jack stands under the frame on each side of the car behind the front wheels, then remove the floor jack. Disconnect the oil cooler lines from where they mount to the block, near the oil filter mount. Unbolt the control arms from the car where they mount to the frame, and just let them hang. Move toward the front of the car, and unbolt the motor mounts.

- There is a flywheel cover over the back of the oil pan that covers the back 3-4 inches of it. This must be removed. There are 4 bolts holding it vertically, and 4 torx bolts holding it horizontally. These must all be removed to get the small cover off. Some of them are different lengths, so make sure you remember which ones go where. Once you have all the bolts out, it takes a little reefing to get it off, but just pull down gently on the 2 steel lines running along the tranny to get it out.

- Position the engine hoist at the front of the car, and secure it to the hoist point located at the front of the cylinder head. Lift the engine SLOWLY up, as high as you can safely lift the motor. THis should give you more than enough room to remove the pan and clear the oil pump without having to remove it.

- There are 25 (that’s right, TWENTY-FIVE) 10mm bolts that hold the oil pan to the block. THIS is when the power drill comes in handy, or you will be under there all day. You will be able to get most of them out with the drill, but a few of them are in tight spots, so use your ratchet and extensions to get them out.

- After removing the oil pan, set it aside, get on your back under the engine, get your gasket scraping implement, and remove all the remaining gasket that is still stuck to the block. Trust me, there will be a lot, and you’ll probably end up eating about half of it. Be careful not to gouge the surface of the aluminum while scraping.

- Position the new gasket on the oil pan, making sure that it is on correctly. The shape of the gasket surface is not symmetrical, so be sure than it is on in the right orientation. To make bolting the oil pan and gasket up to the block a little easier, you can dab a tiny amount of gasket sealant every few inches or so under the gasket to make it stick to the pan. This saves you a lot of alignment headaces.

- Replace the 25 oil pan bolts, and make sure they are snug. You don’t want them super-tight, just nice and snug. Replace the oil lever sender and grounding strap. Don’t forget the grounding strap, or the car won’t start. Ask me how I know.

- From here on out, putting everything back together is just the reverse of everything you have done up to this point. As always, be sure to check the car thoroughly for tools, and that you have EVERYTHING bolted back up nice and tight.

Good luck, and be careful. You will be under the car for most of this job.
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thats the greatest honor an e36 could ever have... to be parted out and have its parts used in an e30.
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Old 07-29-2004, 01:17 AM   #2
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Great write-up Thanks for taking the time.
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(not-so)Brilliant-rot 1986 325es
automatic to 5-speed swap, AKG DTM short shifter, stock stroker motor (super eta bottom and i head) with MSI-V3, ridiculously large aluminum radiator, and HX35 with H1C-16cm ex. housing.
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Old 07-29-2004, 01:23 AM   #3
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sooooo much work dammm

sweet right up...ill prob use this post before i die
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Old 08-05-2004, 09:40 AM   #4
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Thanks now I know what to look forward to. :cry:
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Old 11-10-2004, 08:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Remove the 4 bolts holding the subframe to the frame of the car (don’t worry, it won’t fall), and replace them with the four 4” long bolts, only threading them about ¾ of an inch in, so you leave a little over 3” hanging down. Unbolt the control arms from the car where they mount to the frame, and just let them hang.
Is getting four new 4'' bolts a must?
What if I don't use them?

Quote:
- There is a small “bowl” over the back of the oil pan that covers the back 3-4 inches of it. This must be removed. There are 4 bolts holding it vertically, and 4 torx bolts holding it horizontally. These must all be removed to get the small cover off. Some of them are different lengths, so make sure you remember which ones go where. Once you have all the bolts out, it takes a little reefing to get it off, but just pull down gently on the 2 steel lines running along the tranny to get it out.
Josh, I don't see anything like that back there.
I started on it today but only had time to unbolt all the 10mm holding
the pan.

Just to get this crysal clear:

Unbolt the subframe deal (4 bolts)
Unbolt the control arms from the frame rails.
Unbolt the engine mounts while supporting with a cherry picker.
Then lift the engine, and there should be room to slide the pan out???

How about the steering rack?
Does that slide down with the subframe?

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Old 11-12-2004, 01:21 AM   #6
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Ok, nevermind.
There's a plate that covers the bellhousing and overlaps the
oilpan.. You need to take that off to get to the last oilpan bolts.


I don't mean to step on any toes but, you don't need to unbolt the subframe/controle arms or even use a cherrypicker; just undo the motor mounts and use a floor jack with a block of wood to raise up on the bellhousing.. it'll raise the engine so the pan will clear no prob.

Another thing is, I didn't need to use torx wrenches for the bellhouseing/oilpan cover..
I used both standerd and metric, fit like a glove.
8mm, 5/16, 7/16, (I forget the big bolt though)
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Old 11-13-2004, 01:21 PM   #7
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Hold on hold on...

Half of that stuff isn't even necesary. I did this job re/re in an hour and a half... if that.

Jack the car up like he says and put it on jack stands. Don't touch the sub frame or any of that.

Unbolt the two motor mounts, and jack the engine up from the transmission as high as you can. Have someone pop the fan from the shroud as you jack it up so it doesn't get stuck. I didn't do this, but for safety reasons put some shims under the motor mount, or use an engine hoist to secure it from falling and severing a limb on that subframe.

Remove all of the bolts on the oil pan, and remove the flywheel cover on the trans side. Remove oil pan, and remove the sensor on the pan.

Thats all there is to it.
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Old 11-13-2004, 01:22 PM   #8
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Whoops... didn't read that last one.
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Old 01-16-2005, 05:23 PM   #9
Mr. Anderson
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The write-up has been edited, and some steps taken out. Should be a much simpler procedure now, I wish I had talked to Dan first!
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Old 05-24-2005, 12:46 PM   #10
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Still too many steps. You don't need to hoist the engine at all, and only one person is necessary to do this. Here is all you have to do to get it off:

---Drain the oil obviously before doing this, or it will be VERY messy

---First remove the fly cover that connects to the transmission at the very back part of the oil pan. Mine is held by torx head bolts...

---Next...Take out both steering rack bolts, that hold it to the subframe, but don't move it yet.

---Next, remove all of the oil pan bolts. Mine are all 10mm. Then you will probably have to hit it with a mallet to get it to un-seal...but it may just drop down.

---Next...this is very important.....you have to get a flashlight, and look between the gap that the oil pan has made. There is an oil pump connected to the bottom of the block, with 3 13mm bolts i believe. There is also an imput shaft that drives the pump, but you don't really have to worry about that..it will come out with the pump.

---After you get the pump loose....just let it drop into the oil pan.....as you won't be able to remove it through the gap.

---Now with the pan loose, and moved toward the front of the car...you can slide the rack off it's perch, and let it drop below it's perch. This gives you enough room to remove the pan easily.

---Now with the oil pump clear, and steering rack clear... you should be able to wiggle the pan out of position, and completely free, without much of a strugge. The dipstick tube may get in the way if you hadn't removed that already, so be aware that it may snag the pan.

Just no point in finding an engine hoist...when most people dont have one anyways...and it's faster to do it this way. lowing the steering rack takes 2 minutes....and that's the only step i added.
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