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After drilling and tapping my block for the oil return line for my future
turbo I reinstalled the upper and lower oil pans. Had a small leak
afterward. Realized I torqued to the wrong spec, 56-66 in-lbs instead of
12-14 ft-lbs (that's 144-168 in-lbs) and only did the pattern in one step
instead of 3-4 steps. So the day before yesterday I start to take it all
apart to do it again and I notice a few of the bolts are LOOSE, so loose I
can unscrew them with my fingers. That 3-4 step sequence IS important (read
over it too fast the last time, I just didn't ignore or anything). So my dad
(pretty expert metalworker) helps me out. We get ALL the surfaces flat and
shiny with a combination of using a finishing file, scotch brite pads, and
carb cleaner. Rinsed everything off with the hose (well, the two pans, not
spraying up under the car :) LOL), cleaned the surfaces extra good again,
used PLENTY of RTV on the correct sides of the bolt holes as shown in the
Haynes manual, touched each pan to it's surface once and never had it
untouch and retouch the surface, torque the upper-pan to block bolts to 14
ft-lbs or 168 in-lbs. Did the lower pan the same cept to 66 in-lbs. Let it
set overnight.

Another side issue that was going on was that one of the two small studs on
the tranny side of the block/pan had stripped out it's threads in the block
from me trying to torque it to 66 in-lbs last time with a swivel (note to
self- never torque with a swivel on a torque wrench- who knows what kind of
torque multiplication or division you are getting). So we put some JB Weld
on the threads of the stud and put it up in the block, and then put the
lower and upper pan on at the same time, but NOT putting the two small 10mm
nuts on the studs to let the JB Weld dry. Guess we could have put on nut on
the still good and solid stud, but we did not. Let the JB Weld and RTV dry
overnight, put the two little nuts on, and reconnected the exhaust,
crossmember, etc.

The only thing I could think of that we did wrong was not let the JB Weld
dry before doing the upper pan and that the RTV dried next to the two small
studs there, and after putting the nuts on the next day that it didn't seal.

Anyone have any other experience with slow leaks after resealing the upper
pan? Mike Jez has had luck in the past applying a bead of RTV around the
outside edge of the upper pan and fixing the leak (albeit it was only on 3
sides). When I get time this Friday I will check and see that everything
stayed torqued to spec, try and torque the 10mm nuts on those small studs
some more, and go around the edge of the pan with a bead of RTV like Mike
Jez suggested. Any other suggestions/experiences?

TIA
Ben Davis
leaky 98 Sentra SE
 
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