Installing timing chain cover while oil pan is on

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Installing timing chain cover while oil pan is on

Post by dhw3971 on Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:36 pm

My hot-rod wagon is getting a fancy chrome timing cover with new gaskets.  I thought it would be an easy project but I see there's the teensy problem of the lower oil seal fitting into the gap at the front of the oil pan. scratch

My research on the WWW shows me plenty of videos and How-Tos for installation of a timing cover on an engine that's not in the car and does not have the oil pan attached...aaaaand I've found a few other sites that hint at having to remove the oil pan (or loosen the front bolts a bit) to install the lower gasket.

What's the best way to get the new cover and the two gaskets installed without removing the oil pan and creating another set of problems?
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Re: Installing timing chain cover while oil pan is on

Post by thatfnthing on Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:59 pm

You're going to have to loosen the pan and drop the front down enough to put the timing chain cover in, since the front of the pan seals to the bottom of the TC cover.  Of course, this might mean all new gaskets on the pan.  Not Chevy's greatest design idea ever. It's always been a PITA, which is why I now use a 2-pc TC cover.
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Re: Installing timing chain cover while oil pan is on

Post by Joe73 on Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:03 pm

First, make sure you have the right seal for the bottom of the cover. They come in "thick" and "thin" styles. Which you have would be dependent on the year of oil pan being used. Search the net on how to tell.

Yes, the oil pan bolts will have to be loosened pretty much all the way to the trans. You need to have the front of the pan drop down to let the old cover out and install the new one. One trick I always do to to nip a piece of tip of the pan gasket flange on the cover itself. Hard to explain but when you go to try to install the cover, you'll notice that a piece of the cover hits the block and wont allow you to swing it on flush. The part that hits you nip off. Unless you have the pan all the way lowered then it doesnt matter.
Either way, clean, clean and clean again. And lots of RTV in the corners.

If you do drop the pan, I'd put in a fel pro one piece gasket with lots of RTV in its corners as well. Again, even with the one piece gasket you have to know if you need the thick or thin gasket.
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Re: Installing timing chain cover while oil pan is on

Post by thatfnthing on Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:10 pm

Joe73 wrote:If you do drop the pan, I'd put in a fel pro one piece gasket with lots of RTV in its corners as well.  Again, even with the one piece gasket you have to know if you need the thick or thin gasket.

Yeah, I did that too -- the one-piece pan gasket is a life sanity saver.  Here's an example of the TC cover I use now (though you may score used one considerably cheaper via CL or ebay):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Summit-Racing-Timing-Cover-2-Piece-Aluminum-Polished-Chevy-Small-Block-Kit-G6312-/390972859099?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item5b07cc62db&vxp=mtr
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Re: Installing timing chain cover while oil pan is on

Post by 77mali on Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:26 pm

x2 or 3



Above is the corner where you need to apply sealant.  Same holds true for the rear seal if you end up dropping the pan & installing a new pan gasket.  Sealant goes on first then the gasket.  Check if you have a 1 or two pc rear main seal.  A two piece rear seal can be tricky.  As already suggested- I would see if you can just loosen the front of the pan up a bit & see if you can make it work that way.  There might be two sizes of bolts up front on the pan.  On some motors the two in the front corners might be 1/2" and the others are either 7/16 or 3/8".

In theory (and depending on the condition of the sealant/gasket) you should be able to drop the pan and the gasket may stay adhered in the corners.  The middle portions will "hang down" as there should be no adhesive used along the engine blocks length but you can hold the gasket on with a few of your pan bolts while you install the timing cover.  The torque specs are 25 ft lbs for the timing cover bolts.

You should also get a gasket for the timing cover for between it & the block.  Felpro makes them if it didn't already come with your kit.
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Re: Installing timing chain cover while oil pan is on

Post by dhw3971 on Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:08 am

ick. Agreed, not Chevy's greatest design idea. I've got a new chrome cover and a 1975 gasket set so I'm assuming the set has the correct type of gaskets (fingers crossed).

Doesn't look like the students will have the car running by the end of next week (end of semester) so it will be the class instructor and me chipping away at it until the job is done.
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Re: Installing timing chain cover while oil pan is on

Post by Joe73 on Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:46 am

Some statements I've found on the web also mentioning what I stated about cutting the tabs for easier installation.

Yes you can install one without dropping the oil
pan. Instead of bending the lip, use shears and a
file to remove about 1/6" at each side of the
timing cover where it mates to the block. Use a
bit of extra sealer when reassembling. This is a
trick that has been used for years on Chevy's.

and

You can remove the timing cover without removing the pan, yust remove the first 5-6 bolts in the front of the pan and wedge a large flat screwdriver or chisel between the pan and block on each side between the first two bolt holes, this will lower the front of the pan approx 1/8" . Then pry the cover forward at the top(easily) pulling forward till the cover clears the lower pan seal. Before you re install the cover ,trim the top corners (on the cover) pan seal rail, at a 45% angle, so it will slip into place with a new rubber sear glued to it, use sealer on the pan gasket and re assemble it.
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Re: Installing timing chain cover while oil pan is on

Post by pila on Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:32 pm

I just trim the rear lip on the timing cover, behind the seal slot, to get it in place without disturbing the pan.

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