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Thread: Hole in oil pan

  1. #1
    President Member Bullet's Avatar
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    Hole in oil pan

    After getting my engine rebuilt I decided the next thing I needed to do was to get an alignment. The engine was rebuilt and a new 700r tranny was installed. I took the car to an alignment shop in town that I had always taken my brand x to. I gave the shop the information from the shop manual and paid for the work. About 6 weeks later I was driving, this is a 1964 Cruiser that I drive everyday to work, to the Clovis Zone meet and after I pulled into the motel parking lot noticed a huge oil slick that some one had left in the driveway. Yes that someone was me. Long story short, I was able to get a local chapter member who runs a body shop in Clovis to look at my problem. Turned out that the alignment guy had tightened the tie rod bolt with the bolt facing the oil pan. My driving the 150 miles from LA to Clovis plus the daily driving had allowed the bolt to rip a hole 5 inches wide and 1/8” tall in the front of my oil pan. The local chapter member was able to do a repair by emptying the oil and cleaning the oil off of the front of the oil pan and then welding the hole, allowing me to drive home.

    Now many months later the temporary weld is leaking. I have been looking for a replacement oil pan or thinking of removing the oil pan and having the hole welded with a patch.

    It was suggested to me by a Studebaker vendor that I could clean the weld/ oil pan clean and then Epoxy over the welded hole. I would like your opinion. Replacement oil pan would be the best, I am sure, but the pans are getting very hard to find. Would the epoxy idea work or is it really just a short term solution?

    Thanks in advance for you input.

  2. #2
    President Member Jeff_H's Avatar
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    Surely someone has a good used pan and will chime in. Folks make custom welded pans from scratch with flat stock so no doubt it can be fixed too. Need a welder with the skills (not me!!!).

    Not on a Stude but years ago the oil pan on my 1979 Mustang started weeping oil. I discovered that years prior when a re-manufactured short block was installed by a dealer, the original pan was reused. The original engine had tossed a rod and the broken rod had hit a baffle in the pan and broken loose one corner. The other 3 spot welds eventually from vibration had cracked through the pan and that is where the oil was leaking from. A mechanic I took this to tried brazing the cracks and could not stop it from oozing (he used kerosene or something to check it) and told me I needed to get another pan. Fortunately, at that time not difficult.

    Jeff in ND

  3. #3
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    I would be VERY careful about that Front portion of your Oil Pan.

    We found out the hard way that on a '57 GH there is less than a 1/4 Inch clearance between the #1 & #2 Rod PalNuts and the Pan.
    I think someone contributed to that issue by using some New kind of Best Gasket (replacement for FelPro) THINNER Pan Gaskets.
    I would definitely replace the Pan and make SURE the forward part is well rounded, the one we replaced was too flat in that area from prior "Straightening" and the pointed corner of the PalNut was hitting and making a tapping Rod Knock sound and Pan damage.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  4. #4
    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    I would specify JB Weld as superior to any generic epoxy, provided it is applied to a pan meticulously cleaned of any oil residue.

  5. #5
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    Personally, I've used JB Weld and other epoxies for a number of repairs over the years but if there is oil or fuel present, I won't use it. I know there are a number of successful uses of it but if there is anyway that fluid can began to seep into the interface between the epoxy and metal, it will slowly permeate and reduce adhesion. Just way to much downside when a simple weld or pan replacement is straight forward.

    For an emergency repair, not an issue but not for a permanent fix.

    Bob
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  6. #6
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    Since you still have the old pan, you could take that to a welder and either have them fix it or create a whole new pan, right? You are in LA, there has to be someone who can do that. Of course, a repair or a replacement would probably be much cheaper than a one-off.

  7. #7
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    I would start by calling SI and asking if they have a NOS one in stock (as their catalog says to do).

    EDIT: It seems like the alignment shop should pay for the repair or at least the new pan.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  8. #8
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    When I installed a Studebaker V8 in my 54 Champion that same bolt was touching the pan and I turned it around to face away from the pan. There was a mention that all the bolts should face to the front, however in this case that one must face to the rear or it could hit the pan.

  9. #9
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    If it's leaking from a specific spot you can use a punch to make a very small hole then "epoxy in" a short sheet metal screw. Once the epoxy sets you should be just fine unless you're looking for the original look??? It would probably help to drain the oil and let it sit for a day or two before installing the screw?? I would also spray Electroclean (brake cleaner) into the punched hole to make sure it's oil free before using the epoxy, a little sandpaper around the hole wouldn't hurt either (adhesion)??. I've successfully done this with a gas tank leak and since oil is thicker than gasoline it should work. treblig
    Last edited by Treblig; 09-14-2018 at 11:51 AM.

  10. #10
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    Mark,
    Difficult/Expensive: You most likely will have to remove the engine to replace the oil pan. So, it is a major repair/replacement.

    Intermediate: Perhaps you just need someone to do the weld repair better?

    Least expensive/fastest. I'd use JB Weld over Epoxy. It is absolutely critical to make sure the area is scuffed and CLEAN. Brake parts cleaner works very well for this. FYI, I used JB Weld to re-seal a fuel sender. That being the bolt/screw that goes internal/external to transfer the float reading. And on the car I did this the sender is on the side so it sits in the fuel almost all the time. 7+ years later there is still no leak. So, my experience with JB weld is that it does survive fuels, even modern fuels.
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

  11. #11
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    Nothing to do with repairing the oil pan but I do remember a conversation I had with Jon Myer before he moved to Ohio. He recommended switching the tie rods so that the adjustment sleeve was to the outside. Being the tie rod assembly length was not changed this could be easily be done without needing to get the vehicle re-aligned & there is no chance for the oil pan to receive any future damage from a mechanic unfamiliar with the potential problem.
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  12. #12
    President Member E. Davis's Avatar
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    I have used JBWeld for years on all kinds of projects. If properly applied it is impervious to gas and oil. It has sealed the pin on my airtex fuel pump for 10 years without a drip. The secret is proper preparation of the surface. It must be clean of any oil or dirt (I use lacquer thinner to clean the surface and be sure to thoroughly rough up the surface with coarse sandpaper. On areas where oil or gas is going to be present I usually let the repair set for 48 hours before using.

  13. #13
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    Take the pan off. Hammer and dolly it back in shape. Then tig weld a patch over the damaged area. The weld area must be clean. Meticulously clean the inside of the pan then reinstall it. It should be good as new. Many racing pans are welded fabrications. They are fine. A proper tig weld is required though.
    james r pepper

  14. #14
    Speedster Member bison's Avatar
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    just be careful if you go the route of cleaning and welding ,DONT use brake cleaner and then weld as it can cause serious health issues , search welding and brake cleaner
    i havent read all of the replys but maybe try putting a magnetic oil drain plug in the oil pan and use a small self tapping screw with some epoxy/jb weld around it ?, maybe that will help, good luck with your repair
    although living in Ca. brake cleaner is probably just simple green mixed with water with all of the regulations and EPA standards

  15. #15
    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
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    When I bought my Hawk, with a 289, it appeared that the car had been run off the road, into a pile of rocks. ( probably its final drive) The oil pan was smashed up far enough to hit the crank, and folded over in one spot. i started looking for a replacement, or a new SBC pan that I could graft onto the original flange. In the meantime, I decided to give the old pan a shot. With a little heat. and some gentle "massaging" with a hammer, it came out almost perfect. Where the metal was folded over, it tore a bit with straightening, so some welding was required, but it came out, good as new. You will likely have to remove it to get a good repair done, but I believe that it is a viable option. Good Luck.

  16. #16
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    I had the exact same thing happen after getting alignment, but caught it before it wore through. I would not trust ANY kind of glue on my oil pan. If you take the pan off and clean inside and outside with brake cleaner or other solvent that will penetrate and sand/grind area to be welded, the weld will be a lifetime and beyond fix. I believe I would braze it instead of mig/tig, because the heat from torch will get rid of oil residue from pores of the metal and the brass will flow better and be less likely to leak than mig/tig. Will last forever and beyond.
    Last edited by rbigcal; 09-16-2018 at 02:52 PM.

  17. #17
    President Member Jerry Forrester's Avatar
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    I consider PC7 and JBWeld permanent repairs. But what do I know? I'm just an Aladambama escapee. A back woods red neck. One of those good ole boys stuck in the deep South. And proud of all those titles.
    Jerry Forrester
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wittsend View Post
    I'd use JB Weld over Epoxy.
    Ummmm. JB Weld is epoxy. Except JB Quick which is polyester.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbigcal View Post
    I had the exact same thing happen after getting alignment, but caught it before it wore through. I would not trust ANY kind of glue on my oil pan. If you take the pan off and clean inside and outside with brake cleaner or other solvent that will penetrate and sand/grind area to be welded, the weld will be a lifetime and beyond fix. I believe I would braze it instead of mig/tig, because the heat from torch will get rid of oil residue from pores of the metal and the brass will flow better and be less likely to leak than mig/tig. Will last forever and beyond.
    I would braze it as well. Unless you have JT or JTS, replacement pans are plentiful.

  20. #20
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    Braze it or replace it. I love JB Weld but I wouldn't use it on the oil pan.

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