Since purchasing our Jeep Wrangler we have taken a couple of short drives. We kept our trips short because we wanted to find any issues that might begin to show from driving it. The Jeep is used with 137K miles and even though it had a certified CarFax report you never really know how well the previous owner took care of it. The first symptoms began showing after our short drive to Glen Rose, TX.
Inspecting for Leaks
After getting home I crawled around the Jeep looking for potential problems. When checking under the engine I discovered a huge oil leak coming from the oil pan and critical collar. Oil was splattered over the entire bottom of the engine and bell housing. Not a pretty sight. We wanted to give the Jeep an oil change but with the amount of leakage, it would have been for nothing. I made plans throughout the week to begin the repair process during the upcoming weekend. Margaret and I purchased the oil needed to do an oil change after the repair, oil filter, the critical collar gasket, and RTV.
Our son is a diesel mechanic by trade and thankfully said he would help with the repairs. That was a huge relief for me. I can do the work but his help made it much easier and quicker to complete. So on Saturday morning, we began making the repair.
Our goals were lofty for the day. We planned on making the repair, doing a crankcase oil change, a differential oil check and change, a transfer case oil change, and a transmission gearbox oil change. I'm not sure how we got off track because we didn't complete all of our goals and ended up doing other repairs instead. We finished the oil pan and critical collar gasket repair and did the oil change. The oil change was necessary though because of having the oil pan removed. Somehow we ended up replacing the spark plugs and spark plug wires as well. We also completed both differential oil checks and changes.
The process for repairing the oil pan leak and critical collar leak was very simple. There are a lot of bolts to remove but its quite easy. The Jeep has a lot of space underneath and a lot of space around the oil pan area so getting in there to do the work is easy compared to most vehicles. The leak was a lot worse than expected. Once everything was removed we found thick layers of dried oil sticking to all of the parts that had to be scraped clean and scrubbed clean. It took longer to clean the parts than to remove them from the Jeep.
RTV Gasket Maker
There is no oil pan gasket that can be purchased. You have to make the seal with RTV gasket maker. There is however a gasket you can purchase for the critical collar. The gasket kit also comes with a new o-ring for the oil pickup tube that you may as well replace while you've got the bottom of the engine torn apart. Once you remove, clean, and reinstall everything you'll have to add oil back in. At that point go ahead and replace the oil filter as well.
There are other maintenance tasks we still need to do on our Jeep. We'll post about those repairs as we do them. We made a video of the oil pan seal and critical collar gasket repair which shows the process in more detail.