Removing an Oil Pan from a KJ Jeep Liberty WITHOUT Removing, or ‘Lifting’ the Engine!

The factory service manual for the KJ Liberty says you have to remove the engine to remove the oil pan.  The other repair manuals have some poppycock about lifting the engine.

NOT ONE BIT OF THAT IS NECESSARY!!!

Here are the steps for removing the oil pan the easy way:

1. Raise the Jeep and drain the oil.

One other tip: carefully tie the transmission cooling lines back out of the way. You can only get about an inch by doing so, but it will make a BIG difference.

2. If you have a 4 wheel drive model, you probably have to remove the front axle assembly

3. Remove the transmission support bracket at the back of the pan

4. Remove the bolts for the pan ( note the locations of the studs if any ).

5. Separate the pan and gasket from the block.

6. There are two nuts and one bolt that have to removed under the oil pan.  They hold the pickup tube and splash pan in place.  The splash pan is attached to the gasket.

The can be seen in these pics here ( relevant parts are circled in red ):

 

Here you can see the pickup tube bolt. Access is easy by just wiggling the pan around.
Here is the pick up tube nuts. They are 13 mm, and you have to reach around the pan to get to them.  A ratcheting wrench works well with them.

Here is a view with the oil pan removed so you can see what is actually going on.

Once the bolts and nuts are off, just let the pickup tube fall into the pan.  You’ll remove all three, the pan, pickup tube, and splash plate/gasket assembly.   They will have to be put back in together as well.

7. Now the tricky bit:  To get it out, turn it so the thin part is facing the passenger side and slide it between the engine and the support beam, now wiggle it forward and it will come out.  It might take some wiggling, but it will come out.

Here is a video showing how it can be done:

See! Easy.

Installation is pretty much the reveres.  But a couple of tips:

When putting it back together, put a few bolts in the gasket to hold it in place, the put the two splash plate tube nuts ( again reaching inside the pan ) on but loosely until you get the pick up tube bolt fully installed.

Just remember to remove the pan bolts from the gasket before putting the pan on.

Also make sure you follow the repair manual on where to put the RTV ( it doesn’t go all the way around ) and the torque specs for all the bolts.  And make sure you put the bolts with the studs back in the correct places.

Hopefully this little guide will save someone a lot of time and/or money.  But having said that, the standard disclaimer applies.  I take no responsibility for you success or failure in this procedure, and if you hurt your self, someone else, or you Jeep, I assume NO responsibility .

Comments 21

  • Can u tell me what the torque spec is for the oil pan bolts and where the rtv goes.i dont have the repair manual..

  • Great tutorial! It worked great for me on the 2.4L engine. Was this for the 3.7? I ask because I didn't need to turn the oil pan much at all to get it out.

  • Thanks! I'm glad it was helpful. Yes, it was a 3.7, rear wheel drive.

  • Well I'd say this just saved my life but I suppose that'd be a slight exaggeration. But you saved me a few hours of labor at least!

    Fred | carrepairvegas.com

  • Thanks! I’m glad it was helpful. 3,7 grand Cherokee wast helpful

  • What if you have 4 wheel drive

  • I refer you to step 2 above which state, ” If you have a 4 wheel drive model, you probably have to remove the front axle assembly”

    Since mine wasn’t a four wheel drive, I don’t know for sure, but it seems to me that the front axle will probably block the access you need to get wiggle the oil pan out.

  • thanks for this tutorial. For the past year i have been seeking out and destroying oil leaks on my 03 liberty rwd. i have replaced pretty much every gasket yet after every repair when i come out in the morning, i find oil drips on the garage floor of my new house. while i have have not eliminated all the leaks, i have reduced them significantly. there are still leaks and only two possible sources, the oil pan and the rear main seal. i’m going for the pan tomorrow using your tutorial in hopes the seal isn’t the problem! wish me luck!

  • What size socket do I need for removing an oil pan on my 2004 limited edition Columbian jeep liberty?

  • If I remember correctly, the bolts were 10 MM, but be careful, if there is ANY rust, I’d replace them. I actually had one break off in the block as I was torquing it back down.

  • I am not able to get enough separation between the pan and the block to access the 2 nuts on the back of the pick up tube. Is there anything I can do to increase the separation in that gap without damaging the pan?

  • Is your Jeep a 4 wheel drive? Did you remove the front suspension bits that may get in the way? Otherwise, it took a little wiggling, but I got in my big hand in there and was able to both remove and re-add them in. My Jeep was a two wheel drive, so I didn’t have any front wheel driver parts in my way.

  • Mine is 2WD as well, but I just cannot get my hand in there. I am going to attempt to break the motor mounts loose and see if I can gain an inch or so more room. I’ll update whether or not that is successful.

  • I was able to lift the engine about 1-2 inches by using a jack directly on the engine mount after loosening the bolt since the engine mount sits in a cradle it lifted easily. I didnt want to risk going any further than that since i wasn’t disconnecting any other mount point or lines/hoses on the engine. I was able to squeeze my hand in and get the pick-up tube nuts off and twist/wiggle the pan off in the direction you showed. Thanks for the help and info you posted. I would have otherwise given up on trying to do this myself.

    …any advice on getting the rod-bearing cap bolts to break loose? Thats my next issue…

  • I cant get the gasket to separate from the pan f oh r removal

  • I just purchased my oil tank and gasket from NAPA – picking it up tomorrow, but being that my undercarriage is rusted to all holy hell – I’m scared shit-less that I’m going to screw up majorly… your tutorial seems so simple, but have you any other detailed tips you can provide before I take this on???

    For instance, the dudes saying they couldn’t get there hands in? What do you suppose they were doing wrong?

  • Number one recommendation if you have rust is REPLACE everything! Pan, nuts, filter. And while you are in there, knock out and replace the crank-shaft sensor. I actually took mine off to replace that sensor. Replaced the rusty pan and gasket, but not the bolts initially and had one break off on me. I ended up drilling out out and re-tapping the whole.

    As far as the guy who couldn’t get his hands in there, well, all you need to do is get a wrench in there for the 13 mm nuts on pick up tube. Once free, the pan should swivel around to allow access to the nut. You may need to beat on it a bit to get it to come free. If you are replacing everything as I suggest, the only thing you need to worry about damaging is the block, so if it wont come free, don’t hold back with the persuader!

    Also remember, mine was a two wheel drive, so I didn’t have to deal with the front drive assembly. That may have to be removed or partially dis-assembled to get access.

    Hopefully that that helps a bit.

  • 2WD – 3.7L 2005 jeep liberty

    I took my time and got it, it was SO FRICKEN EASY!!! Unfortunately, I didnt see your reply until just now and I just re-assembled everything… But considering how easy it was, knowing the trick to replace the cam-sensor will be a breeze in the future.

    The only issue I encountered was getting the pan off the block… After removing all the bolts I lightly hammered, wiggled and pryed the pan to get it loose from the block – then I gorilla slammed that bitch and got it loose. #ThePersuader LOL

    This provided maybe 3 inches to get my hand in. Started freaking thinking there is no way, and worried I would drop my ratchet in the pan (IM CLUMSY LIKE THAT) but then I realized I had seperated the gasket from the block, as opposed to the pan from the gasket.

    Took a putty knife and flat head screw driver to seperate the pan from the gasket, and VIOLA this provided a crazy amount of clearance … I was actually able to remove the pick up tube from the pan before pulling the pan out.

    Wiggled the pan out as you showed in your video, and proceeded to clean everything.

    Assembling back together was simple. Applied the KNR, torqued the bolts as specificed in the repair manual and was done in total of 4 hours – no need to lift the engine, remove mounts or anything crazy.

    Perhaps I overestimated how rusty everything was… It looks freakishly bad, but I was able to wipe the bolts back to its original black state with a shop rag (no wirebrushing)

    Anyways – you have no idea how much I appreciate you for writing this up (and responding !) You are a God amoungst men, keep up the great work !

  • Hello…. II don’t have the service manual so I wonder how much torque should be applied to the screws of the Pan and the ones holding up the tube. Also I want to remove the pan in order to clean the tube filter element off os bad oil debris.. What suggestions are to clean that element myself? what if I don’t have a torque metter… Can I tight them up untill I can’t apply more force or is that a huge risk for me to brake one of the screws. I just have home level ratchet set so I don’t think I can apply too much torque force with it but any suggestions will be appreciated. Also what is the RTV ???

  • I couldn’t get a torque wrench inside the pan to torque those bolts down. So I just tightened them as much as I could.

    I don’t have the Jeep anymore, nor do I have the service manual. I don’t remember the torques, but the ones you really need to be careful with is the ones that hold the pan to the block. I had a rusted one actually break off one me. I had to drill it out and re-tap the whole. A major pain.

    As far as cleaner goes, I’m partial to PB Blaster. It’s good for these kinds of jobs. The RTV is sealant I got from Autozone. There is one for oil/transmission pan gaskets I got. Sorry I don’t remember more than it said it was for them on the container.

  • Thanks so much Derrik, I thought my question got lost due to the date of your posting… Too bad for me I’m not in the states cause I live in Venezuela but your post is helping me a lot to make myself make a decision of doing this job myself at home cause I spoke with a couple of car shops an they claim you can’t remove it without lifting the motor up and one of them even was brave enough to tell me that the motor must be removed completely off the car and the cost was going to be in the thousands so my face turned green and then red of hanger cause he thought I was full ignorant about cars. Back to what I need I did find the RTV (red color) in a hardware store here but I have to check if it can deals with oil. My main goal here is to be able to clean the oil pan and the pickup tube (with what I call the mini shower/filter) cause I have oil pressure problems with possible cause oil paste stucked due to bad use of mineral and synthetic oil mixtures from the previous owner an my car is only 55.000 millages despite that is it 2006. My final question is about the RTV application and I don’t know if I have to apply it to both sides of the gasket or just one side? Thanks so much in advance for your help even though you don’t have your JEEP anymore.

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