Today, we will show you how to replace the oil pan gasket in your 1979-1993 V8 Fox Body Mustang. The steps will also work for a 1994-1995 SN95 Pushrod V8 Mustang.
Before you begin working on anything, we recommend pressure washing underneath to clear a path for the installation. Grime and buildup will slow down the installation process, so cleaning beforehand will make life much easier.
We highly recommend dropping the K-member when replacing the oil pan gasket. Although this is not 100% necessary, removing the K-member will allow more working room and space. It seems like a lot of extra work, but it is worth the hassle. This will enable you to replace and install any suspension components, like control arms and lowering springs. We also have the removal steps for a K-Member or installation of control arms and lowering springs on our YouTube channel.
Tools & Materials Needed
- Support Brace (For dropping the K-Member)
- Socket and Wrench Set
- Power Ratchet or Hand Ratchet
- Flat Head Screw Driver and Gasket Scraping Tool
- Oil Pan Gasket Tools
- Spray Paint (For Pan Rails)
- Brake Cleaner
- Scuffing Pad
- Bungee Cords & Zip Ties
While you’re replacing the gasket, we also recommend replacing some of the oil system components:
- To get started, disconnect the negative battery cable and remove the K-member from the car.
- Position the drain pan underneath the oil pan. Loosen and remove the drain plug. Once the oil slows to a drip, reinstall the drain plug.
- On cars with automatic transmission cooler lines, loosen and remove the bolts securing the bracket to the engine block with a 9/16 socket.
- If equipped, remove the low oil sensor electrical connection. (Make a note of any harness clips attached to the oil pan hardware.)
- At the rear of the pan, loosen and remove the two bolts closest to the center of the engine with a half-inch socket. Do the same for the front two bolts as well.
- Loosen and remove the remaining fasteners with a 7/16 socket.
- Use a gasket scraping tool and separate the pan from the engine block. Work around the pan until it's completely separated from the block.
- Position the transmission cooler lines out of the way, and then the pan can be removed from the car.
- Use an assortment of flat head screwdrivers, picks, and gasket scraping tools to remove all leftover gasket material.
- Ensure all mating surfaces are nice and clean. Wipe the bolt holes with the towel and brake clean, and then blow them out with a shot of compressed air.
- To replace the oil pickup tube, loosen and remove the 9/16 nut securing the pickup tube to the main cap.
- Loosen and remove the (2) half-inch bolts securing the pickup tube to the oil pump. Then the tube can be removed from the car.
- Clean the mating surface on the oil pump with everything removed from the car.
- Take this opportunity to thoroughly clean all the hardware that will be reused. This includes the oil pan and low oil level sensor (if you're reusing these old parts). If you need to remove the sensor from the pan, use the appropriate size socket, which is typically a 1-1/16 socket.
- If you’re adding a set of pan rails, take this time to prep and paint. Allow adequate drying time.
- Wipe down the new pickup tube and flush it with some compressed air. Position the new pickup tube into place and loosely install the nut. Slide a new gasket into place and loosely install the bolts. Torque the bolts to 12-18 pound-feet and the nut to 23-31 pound-feet.
- To install the oil pan, insert the gasket holders into the correct locations; two bolt holes are closest to the rear main and front main seal.
- Clean the new gasket to make sure it is free of foreign material. (Make a note of the orientation)
- Apply 3/8 bead of RTV to the two corners on the timing cover, the two corners on the rear main cap, and the engine block to the timing cover mating joint.
- Position the new gasket into place and slide it over the ledges, on the installer tools.
- Apply another bead of silicone to the four corners of the gasket.
- Position the oil pan into place and slide it over the ledges.
- Identify the size-specific pan rails and install them into place.
- Install all (18) quarter-inch bolts and washers with a 5/16 socket. Leave these loose.
- Remove the (4) installer tools with a flathead screwdriver and install the (4) 5/16 bolts and washers with a 3/8 socket. Run all the bolts down by hand.
- Torque the quarter-inch bolts to 132 in-lbs and the 5/16 bolts to 180 in-lbs. Start from the middle and move out. Work in a crisscross pattern.
- Apply a thin film of fresh engine oil to both sides of the new oil level sensor gasket. Slide it over the sensor and install the sensor into the oil pan using the correct socket and socket wrench.
- Carefully snug down the sensor and don't over-tighten. Clean the electrical connector and reinstall it.
- Verify there are drain plug gaskets installed and that the plugs are tight.
Remove the oil filter and wipe the mating surface clean. Fill the new filter with oil, lubricate the o-ring, and reinstall it.
- Reposition the bracket for the transmission cooler lines and reinstall the bolt.
- Check over your work, and then reinstall any previously removed components. Now you can add the correct weight and proper quantity of oil to the engine.
We hope this step-by-step article has provided a better understanding of replacing the oil pan gasket in your Fox Body Mustang or 94-95 SN95 Mustang with a Pushrod V8. And while you're working on the oil system, take the opporitunity to inspect and replace other related items like the motor mounts, oil pump, and oil pump driveshaft.
This is one of those maintenance items that folks don't want to do simply because of the work involved. But hey, if you're like us, you like turning wrenches, and you like fixing the cars, then that's what it's all about, and you'll have it done in no time.
As always, make sure to keep it here with the real Mustang Enthusiasts at LMR.com.