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Old 27-06-2010, 14:53   #1
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Epoxy Repair for Oil Pan / Sump

Has anyone had success repairing a hole in an engine oil pan/sump using an epoxy such as JB Weld Marine Weld? I have a rusty spot on my oil pan that, when wire-brushed, developed in to a several drop-per-minute oil leak. I am now weighing oil pan replacement versus epoxy repair. For more details see my post titled Westerbeke 30B Three Oil Sump Replacement. (I figured that the general question of epoxy on oil pans would result in a separate discussion, so I started a new thread.)

Many thanks,
Zoof98
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Old 27-06-2010, 16:16   #2
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We have a timing chain cover on a Westebeke 40 (4-107) that was like swiss cheese due to the ground being attached to one of the bolts. When the zincs wore out, it was next. This all happened before we bought the boat. We used a whole package of JB Weld after buffing the thing absolutely clean, then soap and water. Thing 10-12 holes in it, but we did not remove it before repairing it, we did it in place. We're still going to pull the engine later and do a permanent fix.
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Old 27-06-2010, 16:30   #3
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Once the pan is clean (you can boil the grease out, then go for detergents / agents) if the hole is in the bottom and very close to the wall, you can pour in the epoxy and leave it to set. I would do just this, as fine a layer as conditions allow, then a layer of woven glass to be laminated on top and completely sealed with more epoxy.

The glass to avoid cracking and leaks in the future.

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Old 27-06-2010, 16:36   #4
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I have patched numerous oil pans and they have held for years and still counting. After cleaning the pan with solvent, I use either stick epoxy or Jb weld and push it into the larger holes, press around the area. This alone will usually not last, it will eventually fall off. Then I use west system epoxy and mat to cover the entire bad area of the pan. This combination has not failed me yet, as long as the area is cleaned properly. I have also patched a crack in a diesel fuel tank, aluminium, the same way. It is 4 years and still leak free.
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Old 27-06-2010, 16:51   #5
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Good to know. I think I would replace a patched oil pan before "years" went by ... but sometimes one stays out there a while, no?
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Old 27-06-2010, 17:05   #6
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Sorry, to clarify, the oil pans that I have left patched for years are on ford diesel engines on snow plow and salt trucks. They seem to rust out before marine oil pans. I have also patched them on marine engines for friends, mine are aluminum, but usually replaced them, usually with aluminum pans, or coated them with epoxy if they were steel. The process does work and as we all know too well sometimes you are not in a place where the best repair is possible or economical.
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Old 28-06-2010, 07:44   #7
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I soldered my pin holes with rosin core solder and a propane torch. Volvo MD2020.
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Old 28-06-2010, 08:28   #8
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I'm trying to imagine the result of a failed epoxy and fiberglass weave patch mixing it up with a crankshaft at about 3,00rpm bathed in lube oil, makes me shudder.
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Old 28-06-2010, 09:36   #9
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Incredibly, this exact same topic came up about a week ago, here or in a very similar place.

Solder, epoxy...many solutions.
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Old 28-06-2010, 09:57   #10
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Thanks everyone for the helpful suggestions. The main factor driving my preference for an epoxy repair is the fact that I probably have to lift the engine to get the oil pan off and I would like to avoid that right now. At some later date, when I have another reason to lift the engine (and more time), I will probably swap out the oil sump with a new one or do a weld repair.

Attached is a picture of the area that I am talking about.
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Old 28-06-2010, 11:09   #11
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I think most epoxy gets soft around 160 degrees. I'd go with solder. My dad used to do it on all kinds of sheet metal.
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Old 28-06-2010, 11:51   #12
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I used JB Weld to repair an exhaust manifold crack on a Fiat Spider Convertible. Was still holding when I sold it about 4 years later so it will handle the heat. Not sure what effect the oil will have on JB Weld, but hot exhaust gases did not hurt it.
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Old 28-06-2010, 12:58   #13
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From JB's website. I was Wr Wr Wrrrr Wr wrong!

Properties (psi) Tensile Strength: 3960 Adhesion: 1800 Flex Strength: 7320 Tensile Lap Shear: 1040 Shrinkage: 0.0% Resistant to: 500 F Mechanics -- you can use J-B WELD with confidence. It is designed for safe, reliable, permanent repairs in engine compartments and heated environments up to 500 F. It's strong as steel and impervious to water, gasoline, chemicals, and acids. Working with J-B WELD is quick, easy, and convenient -- and saves you time, work, and money!
Not recommended for use on manifolds, exhaust systems, and other engine components which normally operate at temperatures above 500 F.
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Old 28-06-2010, 16:07   #14
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Denise-
JBWeld isn't just epoxy. IIRC it is metal filled, there's a lot of metal dust in it. Remember that even plain paper can withstand over 400F (read Fahrenheit 451 lately? <G>) and all epoxies aren't the same.
You can also take a lot of the heat stress out of an epoxy or even silicone seal pathc, by using a "curly kate" type pot scrubber, or coarse steel wool, and saturating that with epoxy (or silicone seal). The metal carries the heat out, much the same way that the glass (or graphite or kevlar) allows your "epoxy" boat to carry heavier loads than epoxy alone could carry.
Plus, it can be (ouch!) tricky to solder upside down under an oil pan. Don't ask me why I know that.<G>
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Old 28-06-2010, 20:34   #15
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yup I fixed a leaky gas tank with it and held great for a couple years til it died. Oh it'll hold if done right, but it's gotta be clean for any longevity. Next time you pull the engine, do it up right. Weld it.
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