Jump to content

Oil pan tiny leak


Recommended Posts

I have a 1947 Buick Super. I have replaced the oil pan gasket and the timing chain cover gaskets. I have a small drip, drip at the left front corner of the pan. It took me forever to locate it and now I need some patch product to form a seal. I will try to offer a pic. If there is anyone who can help, I would really appreciate it!

thanks, RogerIMG_0826.thumb.JPG.a425c4048105931bcb9c8c17a67a96d3.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Silicone is your best bet, but you cannot just butter it on, you need to open up the crack which may include loosening some bolts, prying the crack open and squirting the sealant in the opening.

Of course all surfaces MUST be clean and free of oil for the silicone to work.

Brake cleaner is the best product to dry off the surfaces.


Been here, done this.

Good luck


Mike in Colorado


PS; Did you straighten your pan prior to install ?

       There was a whole thread on why you should do this.

        Flatten down the holes and the gasket works better.



Link to post
Share on other sites

You can poke and hope or do it right. Remove the pan, clean thoroughly to bright metal, seal leak with metal (lead or braze), reinstall. No further worries..............Bob

Link to post
Share on other sites

"The level of perfection one can achieve it directly proportional to their willingness to do the job over." Just drop it and do it again.


I used to teach an apprenticeship program and had a great test example. There is a 10 step process for making a pot of coffee. If one forgets the step to put in water and does the other 9 steps correctly; do you get a 90% on the test?


You will be happier in the end.


Link to post
Share on other sites

IF the engine is still "in chassis", that might have its own set of issues. On an engine stand, a different set, to me.


Considering that the picture appears to make it look as if the oil is above and/or below the gasket, that could mean the gasket is already "oil soaked". If that is the case, no choice but to replace it.  NOW, depending upon how long it's been that way, might indicate a "flat rate" fix . . . AND this might be a little "generational".


IF the oil drip situation is due to an additional gap between the oil pan and engine block, then loosening the bolts and physically separating the pan from the block, then spraying it down with a good spray brake cleaner (after the engine oil has been drained from the pan itself!), letting it dry a good while, then a second application.  Once everything is good and dry, apply a thin bead of black hi-heat silicone sealer on top and bottom of the gasket, all around.  After it sets for a while, then begin slowly retorqueing the pan bolts, little by little, starting in the middle and working outward as you'd torque head bolts, in a circular manner . . . middle to the end., in varying degrees of torque.  When the necessary torque has been reached, then let that sit and set.  If any squished-out along the pan rail, then you can smooth that with your damp fingertip.  If any physical gaps still exist between the pan and block, you can use some of the excess sealer to fill them in.  You want a thin bead on both sides of the gasket . . . "less is better".


IF the gasket has been oil-soaked for a good while, the odds are the brake cleaner can't get the oil completely out of the gasket.  If you try to reuse it, the motor oil will continue to "wick" through the rubberized cork material.  Once that starts, no way to stop it.  Gasket replacement time.  This "wicking" is common to rubberized cork gasket material, sooner or later AND depending upon how readily the oil likes to get into nooks and crannies itself.  This can differ with brand and viscosity, by observation.


If you decide to replace the whole gasket, my recommendation would be to take the new gasket and lay it on the work bench, on a piece of board or similar.  Take the hi-temp black silicone and put a bead on one side of the gasket.  Smooth it out with your damp finger to form a "skin" on the gasket and edges thereof.  When that side Is dry, do the other side of it.  Make sure the skin completely covers the gasket material, including inside of the bolt holes.


After the skin has dried for a day or so, install the gasket and ensure the oil pan's gasket surface is clean and flat (as pictured above).  Doing the torque sequence I mentioned above.  What "the skin" does is seal the gasket to prevent the oil wicking I mentioned.   End result should be a clean and dry, long-term, sealing situation.


The reason I mention the hi-heat black silicone sealer specifically is that it is generally a more viscous variation of silicone sealer, rather than the "waterier" and thinner variations we used to see. 


Of course, ensure the pan end seals, if any, are in good condition, too.  If the pan should have a mechanical hole in it, near the gasket surface, some clean and silicone action might take care of that.


Just some thoughts,


Link to post
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...