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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I pulled the oil pan to replace the silicone gasket, because it was leaking at the rear main seal after I replaced the rear main. It's a super tight fit between the bellhousing and timing cover. Like, I have to tap it in with a mallet, because it's so tight.

It's going to be nearly impossible for me to install the pan without smearing the new silicone all over. Any tips?

EDIT: Update, there was a bunch of gunk on the bellhousing side that didn't come off with brake clean. I sanded (with sand paper, by hand) the oil pan where it meets the bellhousing. This isn't a sealing surface, so it should be fine. Just a little bit of sanding made it fit very smoothly.
 

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2006 ZX5 2.0, 2004 ZX3 SVT EE. 2004 ZX3 SVT
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I pulled the oil pan to replace the silicone gasket, because it was leaking at the rear main seal after I replaced the rear main. It's a super tight fit between the bellhousing and timing cover. Like, I have to tap it in with a mallet, because it's so tight.

It's going to be nearly impossible for me to install the pan without smearing the new silicone all over. Any tips?
Use very little silicone. I used the permatex black on mine and had no leaks.
 

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Also. Clean both surfaces with brake parts cleaner to remove all of the old oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also. Clean both surfaces with brake parts cleaner to remove all of the old oil.
Thanks. Still barely fits. Can't get it in without tapping with a mallet. Which means I can't get it on straight, so I'm going to smear :/
 

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Thanks. Still barely fits. Can't get it in without tapping with a mallet. Which means I can't get it on straight, so I'm going to smear :/
Give it a try. The alternative is to loosen the transmission. Mine was a tight fit and doesn't leak.
 

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Luck it sealed and not skill. Correct method is to loosen at least one of the pinching surfaces. I'd pick trans too, loosen but not too much to maybe undo the various registers there, that can cause major issues. Loosen just enough to drop the pinch pressure to nothing. Add corner bolts to get the pan registered in and maybe even all bolts but do NOT tighten them fully until the pinch you backed off on is mostly re-established. The pinch established the pan front to rear distancing then you tighten pan to block the rest of the way. Correct is you sneak gradually on both to have both final tight about the same time. If you tighten one fully before the other you can break or crack parts.

If you simply knock pan in with mallet you MIGHT luck out but chaosian odds may scar the aluminum from the skidding to make positive leak tracks from the seizing up as aluminum does not skid well at all and then you have leaks that will not stop.
 

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Thanks. Still barely fits. Can't get it in without tapping with a mallet. Which means I can't get it on straight, so I'm going to smear :/
How did it go? Did you end up loosening the trans?
 

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Also. Clean both surfaces with brake parts cleaner to remove all of the old oil.
i agree. sounds like it wont fit due to old oil. there is also a video tutorial online where you can watch and find tips on how to properly put it back properly. i had mine fixed by just following advices i found online.
 

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The part doesn't fit because there is a slight planned in interference fit there and intentional. You clean the old oil to stop any sealer from not sealing, it will not seal in the presence of oil. If you tap the part back in place it scrubs any sealer off to leak too, same as leaving the oil on it. Some may luck out doing that but you don't want luck to fix your leaks, you want them GUARANTEED to not happen. Unless you like doing work over more than once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
How did it go? Did you end up loosening the trans?
No, I don't think loosening the trans would help much. I ended up sanding on the oil pan where it meets the bell housing. No RTV gets applied to this surface. Wasn't trying to remove a lot of material, just clean up some of the gunk and marring. Just a little bit of sanding made it fit quite a bit easier on a dry fitment, so we sanded just a little more and it went it much more smoothly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i agree. sounds like it wont fit due to old oil. there is also a video tutorial online where you can watch and find tips on how to properly put it back properly. i had mine fixed by just following advices i found online.
I looked all over, no one had this problem that I could see. I was even watching videos of the mazda3s
 
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