Modifying the 4.3L Pan
I marked the pan for cutting by using masking tape. I tried to make the bottom line shown just lower than the splash pan that's located inside the pan...
Another shot from a different angle...
Here's the pan after cutting it with a cutoff blade mounted in my Skill saw. A portable cutoff blade is a good way to cut things like pans, exhaust pipes, etc. because it gives you good control. Make sure that you always cut on the side of the line needed to give you exactly the right dimension, as the blade width is almost 1/8".
Here's what it looked like before welding - note that for the most part, the gaps are minimal. It is very desirable to have close fitting parts when mig welding. Also be sure to clean the metal to avoid pits and pockets in the welded area.
Here's the finished product! Not too pretty, but it doesn't leak at all, and the gasket surface isn't warped. I filled the welded pan with water and looked for leaks - there were several leaks. I welded them again and re-tested for leaks until I had a completely watertight seam. Note the sheet metal insert at the front of the re-sectioned area - it is just a piece of flat stock about the same thickness that I cut to the right size and welded in. I also re-welded the splash pan inside the pan so that it wouldn't vibrate, and I had to redo the oil pickup a bit. After moving the oil pickup, I test fitted the pan and pickup, lowering the pickup until it just hit the bottom of the pan, then raised it a tiny bit. This gives maximum oil pickup with low oil, but leaves room for a small amount of sludge buildup.
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