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Oil Pan Rust


Hound Dog

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
207
Location
Virginia
My 2002 Tj 4.0 has a bad oil leak. It's not a daily driver and has seen much abuse over the years. I have been ignoring the leak since I don't drive it much and it is in a gravel driveway. I just assumed that the rear main seal was shot. I changed the oil in it not long ago and see that the oil pan has a lot of rust on it but it is soaked in oil so it was hard to tell what was going on.

The guys that did my yearly state inspection (yes, that's a thing in Virginia) said he thinks it is leaking through the pan itself from the rust on it. I have never had a vehicle rust out an oil pan before. Then again, I have never had a vehicle rust as bad as a TJ either.

Have you guys ever heard of an oil pan rusting through?
 

Goatman

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
Messages
4,135
Location
Upstate NY
Had a Ford Ranger twist off a piece of oil pan about 4"×4" when I went to remove the drain plug. The plug wasn't that tight. I had thought the drainplug O-ring was the problem. Was my brother's DD. He was up for a holiday weekend. He ended up staying a bit longer than planned waiting to get a replacement.
 
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Hound Dog

Hound Dog

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
207
Location
Virginia
Thanks for the input. I have lived in Northern VA all my life. I have never had a vehicle rust as much as this jeep. Guess I need to replace that pan.
 

Irun

Jeep Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2019
Messages
872
Location
Virginia
Thanks for the input. I have lived in Northern VA all my life. I have never had a vehicle rust as much as this jeep. Guess I need to replace that pan.
I'm in Va also and had to put a new oil pan on a '99 I was restoring. In my case it was weird, because the Jeep was relatively rust free, but the pan developed a pinhole rust leak. It's not a terrible job, especially once the exhaust is out of the way.
 
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Hound Dog

Hound Dog

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
207
Location
Virginia
I'm in Va also and had to put a new oil pan on a '99 I was restoring. In my case it was weird, because the Jeep was relatively rust free, but the pan developed a pinhole rust leak. It's not a terrible job, especially once the exhaust is out of the way.
Hmmm. Does the exhaust have to come off? That's another rusty mess I would rather not deal with.
 

Irun

Jeep Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2019
Messages
872
Location
Virginia
Hmmm. Does the exhaust have to come off? That's another rusty mess I would rather not deal with.
Sometimes you can get with just disconnecting it from the manifold and dropping it down, but even then it can be a hassle. Better just to remove it.
 

Drippy

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
Messages
137
Location
VA
You would have to drop the exhaust, starter motor, and skid plate.

Not a hard job. Just have to remove a few parts to actually get to the oil pan. Mine was developing rust spots around the "hump" area of the oil pan. Caught it while doing the rear main seal. I replaced it with a Spectra Premium one.

Also a good idea to check the timing chain while you have the oil pan off.
 
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Hound Dog

Hound Dog

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
207
Location
Virginia
Thanks guys. Yea, disconnecting from the manifold is the rusty mess part I didn't want to deal with. The skid is in good shape as I had it off recently.
 

g.hayduke

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 19, 2019
Messages
420
Location
New Mexico
You would have to drop the exhaust, starter motor, and skid plate.
The manual says to remove the starter but in my case ('05 4.0) there was no problem leaving the starter in place. You do have to unbolt the exhaust from the manifold though. The hardware, bolts and nuts, are all replaceable and available.

My oil pan was also rusty and seeping oil. I could not find an actual hole but it was definitely seeping though somewhere.
 

Drippy

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
Messages
137
Location
VA
The manual says to remove the starter but in my case ('05 4.0) there was no problem leaving the starter in place. You do have to unbolt the exhaust from the manifold though. The hardware, bolts and nuts, are all replaceable and available.

My oil pan was also rusty and seeping oil. I could not find an actual hole but it was definitely seeping though somewhere.
I cheated and didn't feel like dropping the transfercase skid plate. Thus the exhaust was hitting the starter. So I took it off. Not a bad job. Just remember to apply antisieze to every exhaust bolts.