Oil pan removal on a jeep cherokee

Written by tim petruccio
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Oil pan removal on a jeep cherokee
The Jeep has been around since World War II and continues to serve as a multifunctional vehicle today. (jeep with circles abstraction image by Maksim Pasko from Fotolia.com)

The Jeep Cherokee was in production from 1984 through 2001. The primary engines through the lifespan of the Jeep Cherokee were the 2.5 litre 4-cylinder and the 4.0 litre straight 6-cylinder. There also was a 2.1 litre turbo diesel made by Renault Car Company. The oil pan removal regardless of the engine size is physically identical. The only factors that change among the engines are the size of the oil pan and the number of bolts that secure the oil pan.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket set with 9-inch extension
  • 2-ton jack or greater capacity
  • 2 jack stands
  • 2 vehicle ramps (replaces jack and jack stands if available)
  • 3-gallon or larger drain pan
  • Small pry bar or flathead screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Lift the front of the Cherokee, using a 2-ton jack. Place jack stands beneath the front lower control arms on the 4X2 model or under the far ends of the axle housing on the 4X4 model. Using vehicle ramps to lift the front of the vehicle will eliminate the need for a jack or jack stands.

  2. 2

    Set a 3-gallon or larger drain pan beneath the rear of the oil pan.

  3. 3

    Remove the oil pan bolts from rear to front, using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet, socket and a 9-inch extension. Using an extension between the ratchet and socket will ease the rotation of the oil pan bolts, as you remove them.

  4. 4

    Pry the rear of the oil pan downward from the engine, when you have removed the bolts up to the middle of the pan. Use a small pry bar, or flat head screwdriver for this step. Breaking the oil pan away from the engine in the rear will direct falling oil into the drain pan, and away from you.

  5. 5

    Remove the remaining oil pan bolts with a 3/8-inch ratchet, socket and extension. Make sure you move the oil pan forward to catch oil that falls from the sides and front of the pan.

  6. 6

    Pry the oil pan completely away from the engine with a small pry bar or flat head screwdriver. Remove the oil pan by lowering it downward and sliding it back toward the rear of the car. Removing the pan this way will ensure that you clear the front steering and suspension parts.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a razor blade or utility knife to scrape residual gasket materials from both the oil pan and the bottom of the engine. Scraping the gasket material with a clean blade will remove all of the remaining gasket materials and leave you with a clean surface on which to mount a new gasket.
  • Never lift a vehicle on a hill or slope or on uneven or soft ground. Lifting a vehicle on uneven or soft ground can cause a jack or jack stands to collapse. Failure to adhere to this warning could cause property damage, personal injury or even death if you are underneath the vehicle when it collapses.
  • Motor oil is a petroleum based substance and is extremely flammable. Keep this project away from open flame, spark, static electric discharge and cigarette smoking. Failure to adhere to this warning could cause property damage, vehicle fire and personal injury.

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