Replacing Oil Pan in 4.0 AJ16

(Veekay) #1

The oil pan in the 96 XJS has a crack at the bottom. (It was stolen, damaged, and I am working on repairing it)

It needs to be replaced. After reading other posts, it seems that I need to get the bottom suspension out of the way? Does that sound right? I was hoping I could lift the engine with a support bar and get to all the bolts that way. Has anyone done this before? I’m looking for someone who might be familiar.

If I do have to get the bottom suspension out of the way…the age old question comes up, what else should I get done while I’m in there? Is the steering rack removed too? Sounds like a ton of work for a simple pan.


(Kirbert - author of the Book, former owner of an '83 XJ-S H.E.) #2

On the V12 the pan comes out easily, but the sandwich plate is a bear that essentially will not come out without at least lowering the front subframe or raising the engine. Presuming the 4.0 oil pan is one-piece rather than having that sandwich plate assembly and presuming it’s actually longer than the V12, I’d say it’s quite probable you are correct, front subframe needs to be at least lowered if not removed.

What you might try: Unbolt the subframe mounts at the rear of the front subframe and disconnect the front shock absorbers at the top. Disconnect the steering column from the rack. Support the engine from above and unbolt the motor mounts. With the forward subframe mounts still connected – possibly with the bolts loosened – just swing the subframe down a bit.

(motorcarman) #3

The front suspension can SWING on the front mounts if the chassis is high enough.
I replaced dozens of oil pans on the 1969-1987 XJ Sedans and XJ-S by simply using a cross-brace to hold the engine and swinging the subframe forward on the mounts.

Leave the front bolts but loosen and the subframe will swing out of the way after all the other components are disconnected or removed. (engine mounts, calipers, hoses, steering etc.)

Not hard but a little labor intensive.


(Veekay) #4

Not hard but labor intensive? I might take this on myself after all!

I’m not exactly following what you’re saying. If I support the engine with a Harbor Freight engine support, then remove the bolt connecting the steering column to the rack, and another bolt connecting the rack to the crossmember, will the rack drop enough to get me access to the pan?

Will I have to disconnect any ball joints at the wheels?


(Kirbert - author of the Book, former owner of an '83 XJ-S H.E.) #5

We’re not talking about lowering the rack. We’re talking about lowering the entire front subframe, front suspension and all. It’s primarily attached to the chassis at four places, two round mounts under the radiator and two V-shaped mounts under the firewall. The motor mounts are attached to the subframe which is why you must support the engine and disconnect the motor mounts to lower the subframe. The top end of the front shocks are NOT connected to the subframe, they attach to the chassis itself, which is why you must disconnect them to lower the front suspension. And you’ve got to disconnect the steering column from the rack because the rack will be lowering with the subframe. There’s also a ground strap under there somewhere that might need to be disconnected; make sure that when done, it is securely connected to the engine, subframe and chassis.

What we’re proposing is leaving those two forward attachments attached, although possibly loosening the center bolts so they can rotate as the subframe swings downward. It might not be too much harder to go ahead and remove the front subframe entirely, but it’s probably not really necessary if all you need to do is R&R the oil pan.

(Veekay) #6

Thank you for that clarification. I appreciate that, I think I got caught up with the steering rack portion of the job and forgot there was more to it.