Almost impossible to remove the oil pan

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16,150
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Silicon Valley
1995 Toyota Corolla 1.6L 3spd automatic (4AFE engine, A131L transmission). Sounds easy right? 1)The oil pan has a stiffener plate over it, cover half of the oil pan, and connecting to the transmission. 2)A center/cross member connecting the sub frame and the front of the car covers the stiffener plate, and 1 of the screw that hold the stiffener plate to the transmission. 3) The rear transmission mount and the sub frame sandwich the center/cross member with the mount bolt. 4) If you loosen the mount bolts on the bottom that sandwich the cross member, and try to jack the transmission up slightly, the whole car is lifted, not good. 5) If you try to loosen the mount bolts on the front, connecting the transmission, there is one bolt at the bottom that you cannot access. The rubber mount bushing is blocking its access. 6) I'm thinking about dropping the sub frame to get the cross member out instead, but it will mess up the alignment, I assume. 7) In addition, the usual stuff to remove like the front lower exhaust pipe and all that simple stuff. I'm thinking about giving up.
 

PandaBear

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Silicon Valley
Now come to think of it, might as well replace the engine mount. I was told by my mechanic that it was bad and it would cost $200 to replace it, 6 years ago. Now that it is along the way, might as well.
 
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35,998
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ME
That motor/tranny was in the previous generation corolla. Wonder if the bolts lined up and made sense on, say, a 92. Then because all the machining was all paid for they dropped that combo in "as is" in the new body style and nothing is convenient. Keep at it; there are worse vehicles, especially 4 wheel drive trucks, to do this on!
 

PandaBear

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 Originally Posted By: The Critic
Should I drive down to Silicon Valley and help you out?
I'm good. Wife doesn't like stranger lurking around in the middle of the night. It's my getaway and quiet moment despite some kinks along the way.
 Originally Posted By: Eddie
How does the dealer do it? I'd ask. Probablably pull or lift the engine and AT as a unit?
I'd imagine they pull the sub frame from below, then the center cross member, then get access to the stiffener plates. I'd be surprise if they charge less than $500 for the labors. Everywhere online I look (i.e. autozone and haynes) combined instructions among several generations of corollas and therefore none of the steps are correct. Stuff like the lack of a center support mount, the missing info on the rear mount/cross member sandwich, and even the bolt patterns of the stiffener plate.
 Originally Posted By: eljefino
That motor/tranny was in the previous generation corolla. Wonder if the bolts lined up and made sense on, say, a 92. Then because all the machining was all paid for they dropped that combo in "as is" in the new body style and nothing is convenient. Keep at it; there are worse vehicles, especially 4 wheel drive trucks, to do this on!
Indeed. I think they also made stiffness enhancement over the years and therefore it is harder to service. Just by looking at all the 4wd aging problems, I'll never own a 4wd in my life.
 

PandaBear

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I give up. When attempting to remove the sub frame, I read the torque spec and the number of bolts I have to tighten/loosen. 205 NM or 152 lb/ft. There is no way I can have this much torque with my hand tool, and my tiny arm/wrist/hand. More importantly, I don't want my life, or anyone else's life be ruin just because I didn't do the job right and the suspension falls apart in the middle of a corner, or parts started loosen up and cause a sudden failure on the road. I'm not comfortable with touching the engine mounts or the sub frame, but I do feel comfortable cleaning up all the build up under the car. I think I've gotten enough tar/grim to make me feel good. As much as I dislike treating my car like it was now, I'll have to remind myself that this is a 14 year old car, has 180k miles, and has been dinged on every single body panel. With the clean up I did, I can probably say this "chores" is done for at least 6 months to 1 year.
 
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Canada
Can you patch it? Like Tony suggested, if its the gasket, just smear sealant around the whole gasket area, tons of it. It'll look like sh*t, but it may work. If its an actual hole in the pan, drain the oil, wipe it off as much as you can, and use some kind of patch to plug the leak.
 
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minneapolis mn
In the past i have used old plumbing pipes as extenders for my ratchets to get out and to tighten bolts, of course that wasn't the ideal way to handle this, but it worked. Being older and wiser now, and in a different economic situation i do things differently these days.
 
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35,998
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ME
I'm with duane, you can get some amazing leverage with old pipe. It's all good that you stopped at your comfort zone, I got into wrenching saying even if I changed my own oil and farmed out the rest of my work I'd save hundreds of $ a year.
 
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1,048
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Sunny Calif
 Originally Posted By: Eddie
Live with the leak
No don't do that. Either fix it or take the car out of service. He is essentially doing an oil change into the street. Guess where that goes once it starts raining
 

PandaBear

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I have an old pipe and I can use it, but my point is I don't feel comfortable cracking open something at this scale only to fix a leak. I'll live with it for the moment and when the next big repair happens, I'll go ahead and either fix that too or junk the car. Judging by the amount of wet oil coming out after the initial clean up with about 4 cups of simple green, I think most of the oil was power steering fluid leak from before. I'll keep an eye on it so that it won't damage the environment much.
 
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