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Partial gasket replace?

01 Taurus. ohv motor. I changed timing cover gasket but did not drop the front of oil pan so I messed up the gasket there. have a slight oil leak. the exhaust crossover pipe is under the pan. I think u can lower the pan 2-3" but no more. if you lower pan could you cut out the portion of gasket under the timing cover and replace with a new section of gasket and get an ok seal? I would say the gasket is 10" wide and 20" long? I envision a piece about 10" wide and 2" long. kinda like a modified U.

I’d say the answer is No. You will bugger up the gasket on the pan rails. Half will stick to the engine, half to the pan. The rails will leak if you don’t do it all. Murphy’s Law has already affected you on the timing cover, don’t tempt fate with the pan gasket. Drop the exhaust and do the whole thing. Use lots of PB Blaster soaking overnight and expect exhaust stud breakage.


Half-done jobs like this are a band-aid at best. I do not suggest this as there is no good way to clean the mating surfaces and gasket well. The redneck way to solve this is to clean the area where the leak is, EXTERNALLY, then apply generous black RTV to the entire area. It is messy and looks bad but sometimes works. I have taken apart engines where they did this. If you do it, make sure to completely clean the area with carb or brake cleaner first. Do this until you can’t wipe any dirt off with a white paper towel, then let it dry, then apply.

It may not work but at least you haven’t make the problem worse. I would do this before doing what you were asking about.

> have a slight oil leak. the exhaust crossover pipe is under the pan.

I’ve had the same problem on that engine, choosing not to drop the oil pan when changing the timing cover gasket. Then having a very slight, but annoying drip onto the exhaust crossover pipe. The amount of oil lost to dripping never shows up on the dipstick, but does leave an occasional bad smell.

If you don’t want to drop the pan, I have heard of some who cut and bend a small piece of sheet metal, then bolt it to one of the oil pan or timing cover bolts, with the sole purpose being to deflect the drip away from the crossover.

I guess if you didn’t want to bother with the exhaust bolts you still should’ve dropped the pan those 2 inches, right? Not criticizing, just noting for others’ benefit.

But at this point, I guess I would try the RTV patch. That stuff is amazing and I betcha you could make it work.

When I did my front cover I replaced both gaskets (dropping the exhaust). Replaced with thick blue rubber Felpro. What kind of gasket was on your pan?