View Full Version : General TR Straightening Oil Pan

06-03-2014, 07:53 AM

I think I need to drop my oil pan and install a new gasket. While I have the pan off any tips on flattening/straightening the mounting face/surface? I hear it can become bent or misshapen if the pan bolts have been over torqued.

Any other tips for a dry oil pan welcome too!



06-03-2014, 06:50 PM
Bob, the previous owner of my TR4 had over torqued the bolts and I had to straighten out the area around most of the holes.

I took a piece of 1 inch thick oak wood and trimmed the end to fit in the space around the outside part of the pan. It was long enough to fit in my wood working style vise, that is flush with the top of my wood working bench, and mounted the oak so the cut end was facing upwards and high enough that I could hold the pan with the lip flat against it. I then used a small ball peen hammer to "gently" tap the holes flat.

I have not driven the car since I began my restoration, but have had the engine running several times for tuning, etc., and have not seen any leaks.

Visit my new and improved personal website at: www.jakegingervila.wix.com/bobs-vintage-cars-


1933 Chevrolet
1962 Triumph TR4
1984 BMW 633 CSi

06-03-2014, 06:57 PM
I did the same as Vila. I then checked with a piece of "MDF" and a feeler gauge to get it as flat as possible. I also think I added some sae washers under the lock washers upon reinstallation. The washers helped me to not repeat the . over-tightening mistake.

Geo Hahn
06-03-2014, 06:58 PM
I used a body hammer and dolly to straighten mine -- as is commonly found, the holes were all dimpled from over-enthusiastic tightening through the years.

I used RTV to seal the gasket to the pan and placed the whole thing upside down on a sheet of glass to set up. That gave the gasket a pretty flat surface to go against the machined surface of the block -- on those faces I used Hylomar for easy removal in the future. Be sure to clean up any 'noodles' of RTV that squeeze out.

If everything is right those oil pan bolts don't need to be really tight... and if not right then no amount of tightening will help much. I think I torqued them to about 8 lbs.

06-03-2014, 07:58 PM
Glass and feeler gages...wow! That sounds precise.

Depending on where I am, I have used the edge of an anvil...body dolly...or another hammer to back the rim of the pan. I then whack the holes with a ball peen so they are slightly dented the opposite way (away from the gasket face. That way when they are tightened, the pan between the holes is sure to have a good tight mating action...and the hole portion will always bend back out of shape.

X2 on the no need for too tight. Also, if you use the RTV (which I frequently do), tighten very lightly...then allow several hours for the RTV to set before going back to torque the bolts. Otherwise, the RTV acts as a lubricant that can split the gasket.

06-03-2014, 10:23 PM
All good info, thanks guys