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I'm a new owner to a 1949 Chieftain that the previous owner of 50 years took very good care of. How would I tell if I need to pull the oil pan to clean the sludge from the bottom of the oil pan and the pump screen?  Unfortunately the previous owner passed and I don't have any idea when or if the sludge has ever been cleaned......and, can the oil pan from a straight 6 be dropped with the engine still in the car?

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Howdy - yes you can drop the oil pan from the block with the engine in situ, as I have done on previous occasions. You may want to try draining the oil from the pan first then pour a ltr of diesel down the oil filler and see what comes out of the oil pan drain hole. Just be aware that early Pontiacs have the oil cleaner inside the oil pan  on the intake to the oil pump so dont start the engine to circulate the "flushing oil"otherwise you may well stir up and deposit a heap of unwanted debris in the oil cleaner. For what its worth for an oil pan gasket  and a few hours labor, its good insurance  to pull the oil pan and the oil cleaner and clean out the 50 odd years of accumulated gunge, as from what I have seen most of these era vehicles havent used detergent oils and  the gunge build up can be extensive. 

 

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  • 2 years later...

Good day everyone, I to am wanting to drop my oil pan with engine in the car but I have a 1954 Pontiac laurentian flathead 6 and am Leary on the clearence from pan to cross post to drop and pull the on out. Anyone done this on the same car?

cheers

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  • 10 months later...

I was wondering if anyone has removed the pan from a 1936 Pontiac 8 and replaced bearings? I have a rod knock and need to replace the bearings. If anyone has done this would like to see some pictures and some instructions on what wold be the best way to go about it.

 

 

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I see no reason why it couldn't be done but I would want to pull the head and remove every piston and rod assembly so I could check the rod for alignment.  Maybe you could take the ridge off the top of the cylinder and check the bore for taper.  I would also do a compression check before disassembling anything.  Also you need to mic the

crankshaft to tell what bearing size you need.  You can do it cheap now and overhaul the engine later or you can fix what is needed and be done in one trip inside the engine.

If you have multiple rods knocking there is probably other things that need to be repaired, replaced, or otherwise corrected such as valve grind and/or rebore.

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I dropped the oil pan in my '54 Pontiac straight 8 engine still in the car. I remember having to be quite creative with a jack and blocks. It was a tight fit but doable. It was nice to change out the gasket and give the pan a fresh coat of paint at the same time. My filter was fairly clean but I did have a good layer of sludge at the bottom. 

 

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