03 Sonoma 4x4 giving me fits

Hi fellow car people, Im currently trying to help a friend replace timing chain cover on an 03 GMC Sonoma 4x4 with 4,3 Vortec motor, Can anyone tell me of a way to get the new timing cover on without dropping the oil pan? I cant even get to oil pan bolts on driver side cause of the tranfer case & differential,

Cut off the lower lip that fits into the pan and use a litle extra RTV on the pan rail. How did you get it off?

The owner already had it off by the time he called me for help. I assumed he had dropped the front part of the pan but, found out today that the bellhousing has bolts going thru the back of the pan?? Man I miss the simplicity of working on a FORD. I have never been a fan of working on GM vehicles. So you said to file off the lip of the timing cover that sits to the inside of pan right? Have you done this before? I just dont want to ruin the new part. Thanks fpr your help.

The 351m/c/400 fords that were so popular for years also needed the oil pan dropped or the timing cover trimmed and siliconed

That is common practice on just about any modern vehicle

True, but the OP isn’t working on a modern vehicle. He’s working on an 18 year old pickup. Also if I’m not mistaken that era engine has a plastic timing cover? Or that may be only on the V8s.

yes it has a plastic timing cover.