Rear Main and pan gasket repacement - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-28-2017, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
00Cherokee1558
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Rear Main and pan gasket repacement

Please wish me luck! I've decided to save the $$ and do the job myself. I'm a fairly good wrencher but the ole back isn't as good as it used to be.

Any suggestions, help recommendations to help make this job go smoothly are greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 19 Old 09-28-2017, 06:35 AM
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Yes. Verify it is indeed the leak.

I’d be looking up ABOVE first, and VERIFYING the source of the oil leak YOURSELF.

Everybody, who doesn’t own or have to pay for or perform your vehicle repairs, loves to poke their noggin UNDER the Jeep and come out bearing the false bad news that your RMS is leaking. Many mechanics, friends, and good old Uncle Bob seem to enjoy telling you it’s the rear main seal. Has a catastrophic ring to it, doesn’t it?

A simple leak at the back of the valve cover or other source could produce the same symptoms. You don’t need to be a mechanic to figure this out. If you have good eyesight and a dim flashlight, you’re good to go on your own. Don’t jump on the RMS/oil pan gasket bandwagon right off the bat.

Almost any oil leak on your 4.0 is gonna drip from the RMS area for two simple reasons:

First off, the engine sits nose-up and any oil will run back to the RMS area.

Secondly, the RMS area is also the lowest point on the engine. Simple physics and the old plumber’s adage apply here: “Crap flows downhill”.

Valve cover gasket, oil pressure sending unit, oil filter adapter seals and distributor gasket, in that order, have to be eliminated as possibilities first.
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-28-2017, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by 00Cherokee1558 View Post
Please wish me luck! I've decided to save the $$ and do the job myself. I'm a fairly good wrencher but the ole back isn't as good as it used to be.

Any suggestions, help recommendations to help make this job go smoothly are greatly appreciated.

Verify as cruiser said first.

Once you actually go to do the job (if needed) there's a pretty good bleepinjeep video on youtube EXCEPT they have the front axle completely out for another project when they start.

The easiest way to wrestle the pan in and out with the axle still on is to use 2 jack points. 1st, jack up the front frame away from the axle. Generally if you have 3" or more of lift you can skip that part.
2nd, and this is the part most of the threads didn't tell me, disconnect the trans mount from the crossmember and jack up the rear of the drive train an inch or two. I spent a lot of time trying to wrestle the pan off with just the front end jacked with no success. Let the front back down (3" lift) and jacked the rear of the drivetrain instead and the pan came down with a minute or less of twisting to find the right angle.

To reiterate: valve cover and oil filter adapter gaskets are VERY common on these and drip down to look like RMS leaks. It's completely worth trying those, first because they're much easier, especially for someone with a rough back since both are best handled from the top

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post #4 of 19 Old 09-28-2017, 12:35 PM
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If you do end up having to do the RMS, have a decent hand sledge (single jack) on hand. The upper half of mine required a fair amount of "brute strength & ignorance" to get it to move. Having a second pair of hands who can be turning the crank while you try to get the old seal out is helpful. Having a second pair of hands to turn the crank as you feed the new upper seal in place is damn near a necessity.

Working with cars is a little like a really awesome date: you start out expecting this to be something simple and straightforward; four hours later you're laying under her, panting and cursing, and things are a lot more complicated than you thought.

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post #5 of 19 Old 09-28-2017, 08:31 PM
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Having done this on my '99, I would say you definitely want to verify it is actually the RMS. If you determine it is the RMS, these are my tips that I have not seen mentioned yet.

To get the pan off, jack up the body and put it on jack stands on the frame rails. Once you get all the pan bolts off (and marked where the studs are), you will want to use a jack to raise the front axle. Completely counter intuitive, but it actually will move the axle forward and out of the way so you can drop the pan. If you are having trouble with the oil pump, you can get a socket in there and remove the two bolts holding it to the block.

There are plenty of writeups on the actual RMS replacement and I don't have anything to add there.

For pan replacement, I used dental floss to tie the gasket to the pan since I could not find those little clips to hold it in place. Pack the oil pump with vaseline and put it in the pan. Once you get the pan mostly in place, you can then bolt the oil pump back in. Then the pan goes on.

I followed the procedure to the letter and still seem to have an RMS leak. If it's not leaking like a sieve, it's hard for me to recommend touching it.
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-30-2017, 08:16 AM
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For future reference
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oil pan bolts diagram.jpg  

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post #7 of 19 Old 09-30-2017, 04:46 PM
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For future reference
alright, someone take this and add notes for all the wire and line clips and it'll be one of thr best XJ thing online.

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post #8 of 19 Old 09-30-2017, 05:04 PM
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Take a piece of cardboard and draw an outline of the oil pan (or valve cover) as you pull the bolts put them in their place.

I believe the four corners are different sizes. I did this job this year and can help.

Getting the oil pan out can be an SOB if your jeep isn't lifted.

pushing the old gasket out can be scary because once you start hitting it there is no turning back. To push the top half out: I used a Kobalt nail set punch. My 18" 3/8 socket extension fit over the top of it nice and snug. I could easily reach the gasket and wack it with a small sledge. Once it moves up grab it with a pair of pliers and pull it out the other side following the curve. It sounds simple because it is simple. Simple NOT EASY..
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post #9 of 19 Old 09-30-2017, 05:39 PM
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Take a piece of cardboard and draw an outline of the oil pan (or valve cover) as you pull the bolts put them in their place.
this works great. just don't kick the cardboard like i did lol

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post #10 of 19 Old 10-12-2017, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I started to tear into it and realized my previously torn rotator cuff wasn't going to cooperate with this job so.... I took it to my trusted indy....

He replaced the RM, valve cover gasket, and oil pan gasket (all at my request) and guess what....it's still freaking leaking......He's going to tear into it again......

I should have followed cruiser54's recommendation and I will check all of those before I take it back.

Thanks for the help fellas.

2000 Cherokee Sport
220K miles as of 9-28-17

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post #11 of 19 Old 10-12-2017, 06:56 AM
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It saddens me to see this stuff happen........

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post #12 of 19 Old 10-12-2017, 08:35 AM
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The pan and RMS are touchy gaskets BUT you might also check your oil filter adapter. the o-rings in those tend to start leaking over time and it drips down and back the side of the block, tends to look like a pan or RMS problem.

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post #13 of 19 Old 10-12-2017, 11:10 AM
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What Bluejunior said. I did that one.
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post #14 of 19 Old 10-12-2017, 02:08 PM
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Oil filter adapters are not supposed to leak. They are on their pretty tight, BUT. It's a simple cheap fix. A little tricky to do, but I can tell you how if you need.
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post #15 of 19 Old 10-13-2017, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
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Oil filter adapters are not supposed to leak. They are on their pretty tight, BUT. It's a simple cheap fix. A little tricky to do, but I can tell you how if you need.
Yup. That was advised in Post 2 but apparently unheeded.....

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