Draining Oil — the first step in “dropping the pan”

Posted: April 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

IMG_2629One of the first things you are told to do when you get a “new to you” Model A is to “drop the oil pan”, clean out the gunk, check bearing clearance, and do what needs to be done to protect the engine and crank shaft.  When I purchased my Phaeton, I had no idea what this meant.  Truth be told, I still don’t really understand it all.  Sure, I can change the oil now… this isn’t a problem.  Dropping a pan is a new concept to me but I am told it isn’t anything too difficult.  As for bearing clearance, I always stay clear of bears so I am hoping that this isn’t a problem (John from J&M in Mass gave me some advice on this when I visited him the other month).   With a big road trip to Ithaca NY planned for June, I figure that I really should remove what will likely be 40 years of gunk from the pan.  You know, before the gunk clogs the entire engine and leaves me stranded on RT 17.

My goal/plan for the next two weekends:

1) Drain the oil from the engine,

2) Remove the side pans,

3) Drop the oil pan without making too much of a mess and soak it with solvent,

4) Clean/inspect the pan, baffle, oil pump and address any problems (and order any parts needed to fix the problem),

5) Prime and paint the exposed side of the oil pan as well as the side pans — giving them ample time to dry,

6) Clear off any old gasket from the engine,

7) Remove the valve cover and clean the value chamber as well as the oil return pipe (I don’t know if this can be done separately from dropping the pan or if it should be done at the same time),

8) Check bearing clearance and crank endplay and make any needed adjustments (I suspect that this is where I really will want some help),

9) Put it all back together correctly including getting the gaskets on properly (I’ll need some help here too), and finally

10) Add oil to the car and a beer to me.

I have received a bunch of parts from A&M in Connecticut (and just realized that I probably also need the gaskets for the value cover and oil return pipe— DANG!).  I’ve also printed out a bunch of “hints” from various Fordbarn.com posts.

Here is a video of me draining the oil… it isn’t so exciting, but hey, I wish I could have watched someone do this before I did it my first time.  I’m going to let the oil drain overnight in hopes that this results in less mess for me to clean later.

The next few posts will follow me (and perhaps some of my friends) as we try to figure it all out.  I’m going to try to document some of the highlights, but will STRONGLY SUGGEST that you don’t try to replicate my methods until we figure out if they work.  The next post will likely show some of the parts I have for this project.

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