7.3L Oil Pan - The Truth ? - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 06-18-2012, 05:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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7.3L Oil Pan - The Truth ?

Yes, my oil pans leaking pretty bad, rusted pretty good in several spots (2002 7.3L, just turned over 290k miles). Saving some sheckles to have the motor pulled for the whole replacement project etc...

My question to youz guys way, way more knowledgeable than me is : how and why does this happen ?? Everyone Ive asked has a different answer. Some guys SWEAR that the 99-to early 2000s 7.3's all had a batch of defective oil pans (that Ford somehow damaged or left out in the rain or somehow poorly manufactured or something .....) and that they're rusting FROM THE INSIDE OUT, and some guys say that its just rusting from the outside in and is a design flaw.

[ How the hell could they rust from the inside out when they're coated in oil all the time ??? ]

Does anyone know the real deal?

Thanx ;-)
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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IT'S THE SALT THEY USE ON THE ROADS!!

There's no way they rust from the inside out. It may look like it, but trust me, it's the salt.

Because it's too cold to use salt up here, they use something else. The oil pan I pulled off my engine with the cracked block is in fine shape. There's a couple of tiny blemishes from rust up near the top, but otherwise it's totally sound.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Salt for sure, I'm in NW Jersey also. Plus I'm sure what type of surface you park on regularly can't help. I park on gravel that is covered from above all day by dense trees....after it rains that driveway is damp for days.

Klhansen.....Has anyone ever tried making an oil pan out of some other type of material?
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klhansen View Post
Because it's too cold to use salt up here, they use something else. The oil pan I pulled off my engine with the cracked block is in fine shape.
Too cold for salt? I've never heard of such a thing. Of course where I'm from they don't use any salt on the road either. If it ices here, we just wait until tomorrow and it's all gone. We just stay home for the day.

No rust on my oil pan at 407,000 miles and my 99 didn't have any rust on it's oil pan either when it got wrecked at 100k miles. I agree, it's the salt.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ha ha you Texans are lucky.
In the North East keeping an oil pan and cab corners and rocker panels in stock at home is a must...lol
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Klhansen.....Has anyone ever tried making an oil pan out of some other type of material?
Not for a Diesel that I know of, but a lot of the smaller engines use aluminum. I know that a 2000 Explorer 4.0L has an aluminum pan, because I hauled one to/from the wrecking yard for another TDS member. IIRC my daughter's 94 Mazda PU has one as well.

Aluminum isn't a cure-all for corrosion though, it just takes a bit longer to rot thru because of the thickness.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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In my 35+ years of being under hoods and engines, I can say I have seen very few oil pans that weren't steel. Seems to me it's just too easy for them to stamp 'em out cheap and fast.


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Old 06-18-2012, 10:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The new 6.7 diesel has a composite plastic oil pan...
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The new 6.7 diesel has a composite plastic oil pan...
I did not know that. Makes some sense - at least it won't corrode.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I have to admit, I've spent the last 15 years in the Lone Star state as well but I don't understand how it can ever be too cold for salt. I will tell you, having driven many miles in the cold northern region of this country, I learned quickly that you needed to rinse your truck frequently when traveling through those regions because of the chemicals they started put on the roads to inhibit the formation of ice. Whatever it is that they use nowadays will eat up your vehicle and many times I've had trailer wiring screwed up if I didn't rinse the grime off soon enough.

Ask any big truck driver (tractor trailer driver) who drives in those areas and they'll tell you that the chemicals put on roads today will eat your truck up.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
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oil pan rust

It was simply a cost decision to use a material that was less expensive than say a higher strength than what was chosen. The draw depth may have also been a big factor in the stamping process. Those plus a poor (e-coat) surface prep and the results are what we see on our trucks in the field. Material thickness makes a difference and maybe since Intl was the supplier their testing was not run out to a cycle equivalent to our usage (10+ years). Many test cycles are also run in a lab, which may not emulate our use profile. The around the clock test track never allows the components to go thru heat/cooling like we put them thru in our daily use.
Aluminum is not a solution because it corrodes just differently. Aluminum is used in cars for two reasons neither being corrosion. The first reason is structural to make the engine block stiffer for our front drive vehicle designs. The second reason is to reduce vehicle weight to improve fuel economy. BUT, cost is BIG. And when the cost reductions are demanded by management the customer is forgotten.
In my opinion the BIG mistake made by Ford was the failure to make 'design for service' a first priority.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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When you make a vehicle the size of the F series and put an engine into it the size of the 7.3 Engineers have to make compromises. Get it in and make it work first, engineer for maintenance and service lower on the priority list.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:52 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Red face "Built Ford Tough"

Maybe "Built Ford Tough
means tough to work on!


Another comment on "Serviceability".
Many of the engineers tasked with designing today's products have never gotten their hands dirty or actually removed and replaced a component part for which they had the design responsibility.

I sprayed my oil pan with a product called CORROSION X to abate the rusting. It may help prolong the pan life but maybe I started too late. If your pan is in bad shape I would be careful poking or scraping it, just soak it down with a rust stop product to help slow the corrosion. The dip stick tube is also another part that is susceptible to rotting away. If you look at your dipstick tube and want to change it spray a penetrating "KROIL" or similar around the flange at the pan to loosen it up before you attempt to remove it from the pan. Many times it cannot be removed without damaging the pan, then you are in BIG trouble, and have to have the pan replaced.
The garage where I had some work done was pulling the cab off a F-350 (18 hour job) to replace the oil pan. They lifted the body on the hoist and rolled the chassis back and used a cherry picker to raise the engine high enough to remove the pan. This is no job for the inexperienced! The pan gasket is "Form in Place" and there is a critical time between when you apply the sealant to the part to when you slap it into place. Wait too long and the sealant will skin over and "then probably leak". Big job. Probably good idea to have a helper and use guide pins to place the pan accurately onto the cylinder block.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RopinandRidin View Post
I have to admit, I've spent the last 15 years in the Lone Star state as well but I don't understand how it can ever be too cold for salt.
Consider that the triple point temperature of ice, salt and water is zero F. So if the ambient temperature is below zero (fairly common in Alaska), then the salt won't have any affect on the ice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RopinandRidin View Post
Ask any big truck driver (tractor trailer driver) who drives in those areas and they'll tell you that the chemicals put on roads today will eat your truck up.
Can'd disagree with that. They use some pretty nasty chemicals. Back when I was working for the Air Force, I went to a Corrosion Control course at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, and we estimated the cost of corrosion. Pretty eye opening, for sure. The instructor's favorite comment was about them using the "Free World's supply of salt" on the roads in Ohio. They've since branched out to use other nasty stuff as well.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sd73man44 View Post
It was simply a cost decision to use a material that was less expensive than say a higher strength than what was chosen. The draw depth may have also been a big factor in the stamping process. Those plus a poor (e-coat) surface prep and the results are what we see on our trucks in the field. Material thickness makes a difference and maybe since Intl was the supplier their testing was not run out to a cycle equivalent to our usage (10+ years). Many test cycles are also run in a lab, which may not emulate our use profile. The around the clock test track never allows the components to go thru heat/cooling like we put them thru in our daily use.
Aluminum is not a solution because it corrodes just differently. Aluminum is used in cars for two reasons neither being corrosion. The first reason is structural to make the engine block stiffer for our front drive vehicle designs. The second reason is to reduce vehicle weight to improve fuel economy. BUT, cost is BIG. And when the cost reductions are demanded by management the customer is forgotten.
In my opinion the BIG mistake made by Ford was the failure to make 'design for service' a first priority.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sd73man44 View Post
Maybe "Built Ford Tough
means tough to work on!


Another comment on "Serviceability".
Many of the engineers tasked with designing today's products have never gotten their hands dirty or actually removed and replaced a component part for which they had the design responsibility.

I sprayed my oil pan with a product called CORROSION X to abate the rusting. It may help prolong the pan life but maybe I started too late. If your pan is in bad shape I would be careful poking or scraping it, just soak it down with a rust stop product to help slow the corrosion. The dip stick tube is also another part that is susceptible to rotting away. If you look at your dipstick tube and want to change it spray a penetrating "KROIL" or similar around the flange at the pan to loosen it up before you attempt to remove it from the pan. Many times it cannot be removed without damaging the pan, then you are in BIG trouble, and have to have the pan replaced.
The garage where I had some work done was pulling the cab off a F-350 (18 hour job) to replace the oil pan. They lifted the body on the hoist and rolled the chassis back and used a cherry picker to raise the engine high enough to remove the pan. This is no job for the inexperienced! The pan gasket is "Form in Place" and there is a critical time between when you apply the sealant to the part to when you slap it into place. Wait too long and the sealant will skin over and "then probably leak". Big job. Probably good idea to have a helper and use guide pins to place the pan accurately onto the cylinder block.
Do you folks realize that the guys with the newer trucks would love to have the kind of access under the hood we enjoy? Go look under the hood of a 6.4 and ask yourself if you think you could change the serpentine belt, much less something like glow plugs. The service manual actually calls for removing the cab on those trucks to do work on the engine.
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