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Ugh. What a day. I started out (perhaps too ambitously for such an amateur as myself /forums/images/icons/smile.gif) with the intention of resealing my oil pan, as it's been leaking for, well, as long as I've owned the car. While I was at it, I decided to change out the original pan for a nice shiny chrome Ford Motorsport pan, and as long as I was going to have the pan off, I thought I'd check the tolerances on the main bearings, inspect the timing chain, and bolt a windage tray to the underside.

All in one day.

Yah. As if.

Okay, so I got the car up on ramps, drained the oil, and tried to unbolt the crossmember running under the oilpan. This was obstacle number 1. Stuck. Sprayed it with some de-solve knowing full well it would never make it up into the threads in the frame. Let it sit. Still stuck.

Okay, off to Orchard Supply for a bigger breaker bar, as my wussy 10" 3/8" drive bar was, how shall I say, woefully inadequate. I am ever so slightly ashamed to admit that not only did I not own a larger breaker bar, I didn't own a single piece of 1/2" drive socketry.

Approximately $50 later, I returned home with an 18" 1/2" drive breaker bar, a 7/8" socket (yes, just the one, thank you) and an extender bar.

Again, put some muscle into the bolts. Not giving, even with the new breaker bar. SWMBO made me a sandwhich (I was about to collapse at this point) which I promptly devoured. Feeling reinvigorated, I went out and really pushed on that #%&* bolt, and it finally gave. I now understand why they call it a breaker bar -- I honestly thought that with the noise it made and the suddenness with which it made it that I had snapped the head off the bolt. Silly me. Second bolt fell to my sandwhich-fueled mite as well. Ha. Victory will be mine.

Okay, obstacle number 2: The starter was blocking some of the bolts on the oil pan. No big deal, just remove the terminal screw and the two screws holding it in, and that was out of the way. Simple, but still eating into my time.

Got all the bolts off the oil pan, and came across obstacle number 3: the transmission cooling lines were running across the front flange of the oil pan, and preventing me from liberating the pan from it's resting place. A push here, a push there, and the pan is out. Ha, take that, you filthy pan! Our neighbor across the street was washing her car as all of this was going on, and saw that I had finally wrested the pan from the car, and cheered. I responded by holding the pan above my head in a victory stance and grunting, as residual oil dribbled into my hair. Ah, who cares. I'm halfway there.

Yah, right.

Decided at this point to pull all of the spark plugs. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but I ended up not being able to move the crank anyway, so it was for moot. While I was removing the plugs, though, I bashed my hand into a very long and sharp edge protruding from a spot weld on the shock tower, putting a large gouge on the meaty part of my hand below the thumb. SWMBO patched me up ("It's but a flesh wound" I told her, as I was buckled over with pain), and I spent the rest of the day discovering just how much we all use that muscle while doing any kind of finger-dextrous-type activity.

Went to unbolt one of the mains. Hmmm. 3/4" bolt, and my single 7/8" socket on my manly 1/2" drive breaker bar. $%&*. Back to Orchard Supply.

Approximately $50 later, I returned home with a nice selection of 1/2" drive sockets, definitely on the larger side, a nice selection of different sized extender bars, and a clippy-dealy-thingy to hold the sockets while not in use.

Okay, got the number 2 and 4 mains unbolted and checked with Plastigage -- both completely reasonable at .002. Yes, in fact, I do own a torque wrench, thank you very much. It only goes up to 75 ft/pounds, and has a 3/8" drive, but it was enough to do this part of the job. Anyway, there was a slight gouge from the center to the end of one of the bearings, but not terribly deep -- just a scratch, really. Something must have gotten in there. Got the bolts for #3 main loose, but couldn't get the main itself wiggled out. Bolted it back together and moved on -- daylight was, well, it was still damn bright out, but I was running out of steam. Pushed and poked at the connecting rods -- all seemed reasonably tight, although all could be moved front-to-back slightly. I think this is okay -- I know someone will jump in at this point and tell me if it is not. Checked the timing chain as well. Hmmm, pretty loose. Probly need to address that, but as I'm feeling like my car has just beat me up at this point, I reason that it's not going to happen today.

So I put in the special windage tray bolts in the #2 and #4 mains, bolted up the windage tray, and started to feel like I might actually make it. I sealed and bolted the pickup back to the oil pump (did I mention I removed that along the way?) and did a test fit of the new oil pan.

This would be obstacle, what, 4, or was it 5? While the oil pan appeared to fit just fine, I couldn't actually get it all the way seated because, well, between the windage tray and the steering arm, there's just no way to get the pan in there. In fact, I thought for awhile there that I wasn't going to be able to get it out either, regardless of the mathematical and geometrical improbability of that. Visions of Dirk Gently's Chesterfield flashed in my head, as I stared at the steering arm for about 1/2 an hour.

Finally, I talked myself into removing the windage tray instead of dropping the steering arm. The car was on ramps, not jackstands, and there was no way to get enough wiggle in the steering to get anything apart. I also just couldn't fathom mustering the energy necessary to walk back to the shed and get the jackstands and the floor jack.

Okay, did another test fit of the new oil pan, and found that it was still too tight a fit to get it in there. Hmmm. Old oil pan slides right in, and the new oil pan is actually ever so slightly shorter than the old one.

Ah, #&*@ it. At this point, I bolted the old oil pan in with two screws to keep any errant moisture or dirt out, and called it a day. I was dirty, I had a sunburn across the bottom of my belly from where my shirt kept riding up while I was under the car, and my tools were scattered everywhere. The gouge in my hand hurt exquisitely, and I was hungry. I pushed the car down off the ramps, cleaned up my tools, and went inside. Tomorrow, I'll try to drop the steering arm out of the way, and maybe then I'll get to keep the windage tray.

Right now, I need a nice long bath. With bubbles. No, that's not sissy, bubbles are very manly. I swear. I read it in Cosmo or something.
 

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Okay..now ..look at the bright side..the car didn't roll off the ramps and crush you..*LOL*..tomorrow is another day..for tonight..enjoy the manly bubbles
 

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Somthing about your story seems to resemble me, everytime I go and work on any car.
 

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Just some guy
67 coupe, 69 Sportsroof, 86 hatchback
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Hmm.
Started mechanical exercise in garage.
Found excuse to buy new tools.
Impressed neighbor with technical skills.
Got a new scar and gave SWMBO an excuse to exercise nursing skills.
Got good and dirty (including hair).
Found excuse to buy MORE new tools.
Measured stuff down to thousandths.
After such a successfully manly day, we'll assumed you maintained your manliness in the tub and made your own bubbles. ; )
Sounds like an excellent day. Stuff never fits right the first time. Gives you an excuse for another full day in "man central".
SWMBO is having some girly baby shower thing tomorrow and I am effectively banned from the house all day. I can't wait. Garage, here I come.
 

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Gosh, for a minute, I thought I was reading 1 of my old posts. Seems like we all have those days - every day we think something will go pretty easy.

Tom
 

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You will be pleasantly surprised that when you disconnect the idler arm ( just two bolts! ) how easily the new pan will go on. Actually I can't believe you got the old one off with out loosening it! You da man!

With the steering arm out of the way it will be easy. Well easier than your effort today!
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Um...How are you going to get the car up the ramps tomorrow?

I was having a similar day today. I couldn't find any of my d*** tools. Ended up spending the day cleaning the garage.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
After such a successfully manly day

You know, since you put it like that, it does sound like a pretty successful day. Or maybe with the benefit of dinner and a night's sleep, it all just seems more successful. In any case, thanks for the positive spin!
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Um...How are you going to get the car up the ramps tomorrow?

You know, that's an incredibly astute observation. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

I actually did consider this, briefly, as I was pushing the car down off the ramps (with SWMBO manning the brakes). I decided that since I was going to have to deal with steering components the next day (which is today, BTW, and boy am I sore) I would use the floor jack and jackstands.
 

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GypsyR was right on the money - you had a great (if typical) day. You definitely should use the jack stands and drop the idler arm - it will make things alot easier. Did you scrub the idea of pulling the timing cover and checking the timing chain? If you are going to do it you had best do it before bolting up the new pan. Congratulations!
 
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