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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2002, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Damaged oil pan mystery........

Hello folks,
A strange thing happened to me this weekend, and I though I'd pass it along to see if anybody has heard of such a strange event. While on the way back from some very mild 4 wheelin' on the mountain with my stock '95 YJ, driving down a smooth gravel road, the 4 cylinder started making an awful racket, and when I looked at the oil pressure gauge, it was already at zero. Now this is a residential road, so its graded regularily and there are no bumps or holes to speak of. So in the dark and the rain, I lay under the Jeep and can see that my oil pan is all caved in and that the oil is long gone. The next day, I jack it up and find out the damage is much more severe than I thought, besides the new valley down the center of the oil pan, there were two 3/4" holes, one on each side of the sump. Here's the catch, the holes were perfect hexagons, both of them, and the small little hexes were still there bent up in the pan....this is very strange and they were perfect just like the head of a bolt. Anyhow, the pan was like new and still very strong, I don't know how in the heck this could happen without feeling or hearing any bangs underneath??? Since I couldn't find a pan anywhere and I was 135 miles from home, I decide to fix my own. So I bent the little hexes back down into their holes and with a steel punch and a hammer, pounded the bottom of the pan back out flat again, this was quite a task as it was bent pretty good. After I got it all back close to normal, I brazed over the holes and gave it a new coat of black paint before reinstalling it. I also pulled all the main bearing caps off to inspect them, but they seemed OK. Filled her back up with oil and made the journey home, no problem, Jeep is working fine. We took a drive back out to where it happened and walked around for a half an hour but could find nothing that would have caused such damage, nothing. And you could see exactly where the oil came out as there was a black trail about 100 feet long, and with two holes that big, it drained pretty quickly. I'm still baffled....two approximately 3/4" hexagonal holes, about 3.5" on center driven through my oil pan, without hearing a thing. What in the heck could have been on the road that could fly up like that? And what luck to only hit the oil pan!!! Oh well, at least I didn't damage the engine, it could have been much worse. BTW, how come this thing doesn't have any oil pan protection? My '90 Toyota 4x4 has a shield over the pan, that would have protected it from such damage. Any thoughts anybody??
thanks.
rembrant
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2002, 06:49 PM
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Re: Damaged oil pan mystery........

<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

Now this is a residential road, so its graded regularily and there are no bumps or holes to speak of. So in the dark and the rain, I lay under the Jeep and can see that my oil pan is all caved in and that the oil is long gone.

<hr></blockquote>

This is a puzzler... however I think you've found the answer already. My guess is that you hit a piece of 2X4 or 2X6 partially burried in the road bed that had a couple of lag screws screwed into the wood. If it was dark and raining you may never have seen or felt the lumber.

1. Your tire hits the lumber just right
2. The wood lifts.
3. The tire helps toss the wood with more force.
4. The wood jumps up and hits the oil pan.
5. The lag screw heads puncture the oil pan.
6. The lumber was tossed aside by the rear tires, or
7. Dragged severl more feet down the road till it let go.
8. The rear tire hit the lumber.
9. The rear tire flipped the lumper to the side of the road, or
10. Someone came along and removed the debris.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2002, 08:13 PM
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Re: Damaged oil pan mystery........

<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

3/4" hexagonal holes, about 3.5" on center

<hr></blockquote>Hmm, almost sounds like a piece of a lug pattern.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2002, 11:10 PM
 
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Re: Damaged oil pan mystery........

was there any water crossings on this sojourn it almost sounds like the pan got cooled off too quick in some cold water and tried to collapse in on its self
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-02-2002, 07:28 AM
 
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Re: Damaged oil pan mystery........

I wouldn't think that the oil pan gets so hot that a quick cooloff would collapse the pan. I'd agree with LEVE that he drove over debris unnoticed, and it took out the pan.
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