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Oil Leak, Need Advise!?

swhite005

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91 Eddie Bauer
I took my 1991 Explorer 4X4 Eddie Bauer to Ford the other day for an oil change (I just bought the truck several days ago.) The dealership said they cant change the oil because the plug head is so stripped it can't be removed. Also, they said I need to have the Oil Pan Gasket replaced due to it leaking, as well as replacing the Oil Pan in order to get a new plug in there. If I have this performed, they have to remove the entire engine to remove the pan. It's gonna cost over $1,000 through the dealership. If I go through with it, should I also have the Head Gasket replaced as well as the Valve Cover Gaskets since the engine is gonna be out (don't wanna have to remove the engine again when these gaskets fail)? The truck has a lot of visible oil on the pan and frame, but doesn't drip a lot. What do you guys/girls suggest I do? Thanks...Shawn
 



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jgilbs

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92 Eddie Bauer
sounds like they are taking you for a ride. this is why i never goto the dealer for big issues, yet alone for something as simple as an oil change. If the plug is stripped, it is very soft metal and easy to remove, and a new plug is $1.99 at autozone(i would know, just got one today - you can even set "oversize" ones for people who have stripped the threads on the pan so it still seals tight) so thats what sets a red flag in my mind. Today I found that my truck had visible oil on the pan and frame, but that was due to the fact that I cracked the plastic washer on the drain bolt last time I changed the oil. I washed the bottom with soap and water today and replaced the plug - no more dripping. If I were you, I'd invest in a new drain plug, a pair of vice grips and a cheater bar(long piece of pipe to slip over the vicegrips for more leverage) and just replace the plug and see if that fixes your problem. Just use the vice grips to get a good FIRM grip on the bolt and try to break it free. If it still leaks, then you didnt waste a lot of money, but if it works you just saved yourself $1,000.

Now that you have found this site, you will be able to start tackling repairs by youself. I know before I found this site I didnt do things as simple as changing my oil, but now I refuse to ever pay someone else to fix something on my car. I started off small, with things like the oil, then moved on to brakes, then the waterpump, radiator, and basically the entire cooling system. The great thing about this site is that you can attempt anything yourself, and you have a great source, with many knowledgable individuals to refer to when youre stumped. My advice is to invest in a jack, some jackstands and a creeper(I got all 3, rated for 3 ton vehicles in a package from Husky (Home Depot's store brand) for only $50 and they work great and are really high quality) and an oil pan for used oil and try to do it yourself. If you start working on your own car, youll save tons of money (since oct 2002 when i found this site, i have saved at least $2,500 - a very conservative estimate - by doing it all myself)
 






aldive

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Mistake one - going to a dealer. Dealer= thief.

The oil drain plug can be removed; you do not have to get a new pan. The gasket may indeed need to be

Good luck ........
 






Ford_Racing_Guy

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do they know for sure if the threads in the pan are stripped? or is it the plug itself.


if you do think that you should have the pan gasket replaced..(such an old vehicle i would think about it) i would not have it done at a dealer. There are many other mediocre shops out there that could do it for less.

i myself have an oil leak on my 92 (not serious) so i just check/add oil every week.
i haven't narrowed it down for it isn't to serious and i figure i will fix it if i ever have to pull the tranny cause i suspect pan gasket or rear main seal.

now i would do some preventitive maintenance while the motor is out if you plan on doing this. however i wouldn't do the head gaskets unless they absolutely need to be done. Run a compression test to get an idea. Chances are if you pull the heads you may see other problems and may spend more money to fix things then you anticipated, which isn't a bad thing but you may stick alot of money into a vehicle that is over 10 years old.

Then again they do make plugs that go into oil pans that seal without threads, you may want to check your local auto store for these if you want to wait it out without having to suffer not changing the oil and not replacing the pan.


edit i see that i read that wrong and i thought that the threads were stripped.
if it is just the head of the plug....you can get those out..i work at a Maintenance shop and as suggested above a vice grips works or a 6 point socket works if you can pound it on. A chisel and hammer will also do the trick.
 






jgilbs

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to add another method of getting the bolt out - if you have a dremel tool, you can grind a slot in the bolt and then turn it like a slotted screw (works 50% of the time)- but be VERY careful not to cut all the way down to the pan, otherwise even if you do get it out, it will probably leak.

Also, as was suggested, a 91 is a very old vehicle and can be expensive(in terms of repairs, but also gas - believe me, i go through $40/week) you might consider just leaving it if its a slow leak. Just check your oil often, and carry an extra bottle in your truck. I would never even consider spending $1,000 on my 92 explorer, but then again I do love my truck and if it didnt have as much rust on it, I might if I really needed too :)
 






swhite005

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91 Eddie Bauer
Great Advise, thank you very much. I am familiar with working on cars, I had a 1998 F150 that I did all the maintenace on. But when the dealer said the engine had to be removed to replace the gasket, I knew I couldnt handle that. I'm gonna get the plug out, I already bought another one. I'll just monitor the leak and make sure to add oil as neccessary. Thanks again!
 






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