Let me preface this by saying I totally deserved this.
So my car (04 TL) is getting to the point where things are starting to need replacing. Brake calipers are seizing, tie rods are loose, motor mounts are getting thin, etc. What I didn’t plan on
replacing fixing was the oil pan. About 2 weeks ago I ordered new tie rods, got them in the mail and promptly swapped them out over the weekend. In the process, I ripped one of the steering rack boots, so I ordered 2 more and as soon as those got in the mail I thought I’d go in the garage and replace the bad with the good. You know, now that I’m a seasoned tie rod veteran, I thought this would be extremely easy. 20 minutes after dinner, and be back before another lackluster Thursday Night Football game starts. Well 20 minutes turned into 2 hours of stressful panicking. I went in the garage, wheeled over the jack, and slid it under my car. Since this was going to be an easy fix, I just glanced for the first silver thing I saw, put the jack underneath it, and went to town pumping. Once the car got up in the air I heard a big *BANG* and thought to myself “wtf?!” and looked underneath only to find a thin stream of dark fluid dripping onto the concrete. Oh crap. I proceeded to put some jack stands under the pinch welds and get the car in a safe position before I got underneath it to check it out. I let the jack down and looked underneath to find this:
Step 1: Drink a beer and calm down.
Now I’ve never encountered anything like this, so I went inside, found Torch’s post on fixing his oil pan, and decided it was the only thing I could do in order to get to work the next day. So off to Napa I go (in the wife’s car), basically re-assuring the only guy in the store that I’m not a complete redneck, and that I’m a somewhat classy guy because I drive a fancy Honda and please don’t judge me. JB Weld, Blake Cleaner, JB Weld, new oil, JB Weld, more shop rags, JB Weld, and some hope and dreams. Back to the garage where I had slid an oil pan underneath and let whatever was left in the engine drain out. Sprayed it with Brake Cleaner, let it dry, rinse, wash, repeat. After a few minutes to make sure no more oil was seeping from the crack, I was left with this:
The previous day at work, somebody was cleaning out their desk and left out some wire wheels to use with angle grinders, so I took one (never thinking I’d need it right away) and scuffed up the surface to give the JB Weld something to grab to.
Sprayed with more Brake Cleaner, let it dry, and went to town with the JB Weld. First, I used the putty and smeared it thick over the crack, then learning from Torch’s post, I cut up the beer can I just drank from, and rolled the aluminum flat, then trimmed to a size slightly larger than the crack, rolled the rest of my JB Weld putty into a snake, covered the perimeter of the beer can and made a ‘pan’ for any future oil leaks to rest inside of. Redneck status achieved. Now I had gotten a little carried away with how satisfied I was with being a redneck that I forgot to take a picture, so you’ll just have to believe me when I tell you that there’s a Coors Light can holding my car’s life blood inside. For a little more insurance, I used the entire 10oz of my JB Weld 2-part epoxy KwikWeld, and covered the beer can in 2 layers of this goop.
Wait 5 minutes and filled it up. Now I know the cure time is longer than 5 minutes, but when you’re a real redneck you don’t read instructions. Just git’r’dun. Or something to that effect. Now this was last Wednesday, and since I’ve probably put on 200 miles and haven’t seen a drip of stray oil underneath my car, despite friends placing bets on how long it’ll take to fail due to oil loosening the epoxy, loosening due to heat cycling, and failing just because it’s a redneck fix.
So there you go. I hope I didn’t jinx myself, but it worked. This is not a permanent fix, but I don’t have 6 hours to replace the oil pan on my car in 20-30 degree weather, so this is a temporary fix until Spring. If I can make it that long.
There’s a happy ending though, and that’s that I did succeed in swapping out the torn steering rack boot with a new one... so, yeah.