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Help Please (or - I am totally aggravated here...)

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I have been doing some extensive work on a 94 XJ. This vehicle is a 2WD, non-lifted Jeep that I am rehabilitating so it can be used at college (i.e. its far away and I want it to last a while).


Today I started to change the rear main seal. I have faithfully followed all the steps in the various 'how-tos' that are here on this forum and elsewhere and it has gone smoothly up to the actual removal of the oil pan. :help:


I have jacked up and suspended the jeep by stands under the frame, and removed the starter and all the oil pan bolts. The pan is free moving in the space it has but I cannot get the rear lip of the pan to pass below the front of the transmission bellhousing. It needs about another 1-2 inches. In order to drop the axle further I have disconnected the stabilizer links and swivled the stabo bar out of the way and disconnected the lower steering links (but not the steering link to the box). I have also disconnected the upper shock mounts.


I cannot get this damn pan out and need to finish this weekend. Is there any other way to lower the axle besides removing the control arms? I was going to replace them but when I removed a bolt from the passenger side lower control arm apparently the axle is under such tension that I (a) could not get the other bolts out and (B) had to use a 2" strap and a come-along to pull it back into position to put the one bolt back. The only other bar under the front end seems to be a steering stabilizer that is somewhat 's' shaped and runs from lower left to upper right (where is fastens to the frame with a ball joint). I have disconnected the nut for that one but cannot break it free from the mount.


Quick resposes with any ideas here are appreciated.

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I managed to get the pan out of a stock 4.0 XJ once by popping the passenger side motor mount bolt out and jacking up that side of the motor.


I bet you anything the pan is catching on the oil pump pickup.

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Thanks for the responses - I was able to free the pan by putting a floor jack under the transmission and pushing it upward while my son stood on the axle knuckle. The combination of these two caused the pan to be able to slide through.


I was actually pleased as there was no sludge in the pan for a 124K engine (but we've had this thing in the family since it was new).


Now I have to loosen the last 2 or 3 crank caps to allow me to push the top of the rear main seal out.


amsee - yeah I removed that before the initial post as I thought is was holding up the pan.



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Just one more thing....I finished the job and let the sealer I used set for 24 hours...then started it and drove about 1/2 mile. Got out and checked for leaks and found a single drop of new oil on the bottom of the bellhousing (approximately in line with the rear main). I was disappointed and thinking that I had nicked the seal during the install. I wiped it clean and drove on.


Its been almost two days of driving now and there have been no more leaks. None. I even put a piece of cardboard under the car to check. Clean! :D


My question is: could the oil I found leaked out because the seal had to 'seat' itself? (I believed they were sealing the moment they installed). Or, does the initial oil pressure 'move' the new seal into it's final position?



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don't worry bout it til oil starts running off the rear bumper again :chillin:


its probably fine. glad you got it first try man! higher mileage motors (200k and up) usually take 2-3 tries

don't ask me how i know this :cheers:

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