Howto: Aluminum to Steel oil pan conversion (in progress)

japerry

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Location
Pacific Northwest
Current Rides
2006 LJ, 2021 JL 392
There were some threads where people were asking if it was possible, and instead of just replying there, I wanted to start a new thread showing how to convert it.
The 392 I bought took a good hit to the aluminum pan and front timing cover. So its a great time to convert to steel! Here is what you need to do it and why.

Why?
As others have noted, the aluminum pan drops down a bit further than the steel version and isn't tolerant to trail damage. It'll shatter more likely than dent.

photo_5_2024-06-23_21-17-13.jpg
photo_2_2024-06-23_21-17-13.jpg


Here you can see the differences between the front covers. Note the distance between the front 3 bolt holes and the side holes, they re different.
photo_14_2024-06-23_21-17-13.jpg


Parts needed:
  • Late 2021 Timing Cover (53011494AG) ('AG' Revision is important as the Aluminum Pan version is the same P/N but different revision!)
    • A new timing cover comes with cover and crankshaft gaskets preinstalled
  • 5.7/6.4L Rear Sump Oil Pan kit. (77072450AB)
    • Note: as of 6/24 kit is currently on back-order. You may have better luck ordering the individual parts, listed below.
    • all of the parts listed below are required! Nothing, not even bolts, will be reused.
1719202024936.png

Removal:

First, start with the structural cover between the transmission and oil pan. This cover is compatible with both pans, so keep it and track of the bolts for installation.
1719203075653.png


Next, remove the transmission cooling line retainer from the aluminum pan. Note, I'm currently working on a solution to this missing bolt on the steel pan, so for now its just 'hanging out':
1719203178369.png


Remove the oil pan:
1719203343146.png

Do not pry on oil pan or oil pan gasket. The gasket is integral to engine windage tray and does not come out with oil pan.

The aluminum pan has an integrated oil pickup tray within it, and must be replaced. The steel pan requires a stud bolt that goes into the main crankshaft bearing. Luckily removing one is fairly easy, as long as you follow the torque specs below.
You will replace bolt #1 with the stud, shown below.
You will not tighten any other bolts. The photo below is just to show which stud to remove.

3​
Main Bearing Cap Bolts
Torque Procedure:
  1. Tighten the main cap bolts to 10 N·m (89 In. Lbs.).
  2. Tighten the main cap bolts to 28 N·m (21 Ft. Lbs.).
  3. Rotate an additional 120°.
Tightening Sequence
GUID-0911139352.png
 
Now move on to removing the timing cover. For those doing this with the engine in the vehicle, its probably easier to pull off the cooling stack and grille since you will need to remove all accessories and drain the coolant.

I won't go into detail on how to do each of these steps, but they're relatively self explanatory.
  • Remove the belt tensioner and idler pulleys
  • Drain the coolant, if not drained already.
  • Remove the alternator
  • Remove the A/C compressor and position aside
    • NOTE: It is not necessary to remove the lines from the A/C compressor.
  • Disconnect the camshaft position sensor wire harness connector.
  • Remove the crankshaft damper / harmonic balancer.
  • Remove the water pump
Remove the timing cover bolts, remembering where each one went:
1719204495762.png


Recommended: If you haven't upgraded your oil pump yet, this is a great time to do it! Melling has a great pump for the 392: P/N 10452HV

Verify your new timing cover has its the cover #2 (53021521AD) and crankshaft gaskets #6 (53021585AD) installed. It should also have the slide bushing #5 (6506697AA) installed. (see diagram below:
1719205040912.png


Re-installation:
Go reverse from disassembly, the torque specs for everything is below:

TORQUE SPECIFICATIONS - FRONT ENGINE

GUID-0903192976.png

CALLOUT
DESCRIPTION
SPECIFICATION
1​
Center Idler Pulley Bolt
29 N·m (21 Ft. Lbs.)
2​
left Idler Pulley Bolt
29 N·m (21 Ft. Lbs.)
3​
left Idler Pulley Bracket Bolts
28 N·m (21 Ft. Lbs.)
4​
Belt Tensioner Bolts
41 N·m (30 Ft. Lbs.)
5​
Timing Chain Cover Bolts​
28 N·m (21 Ft. Lbs.)
6​
Vibration Damper Bolt
185 N·m (136 Ft. Lbs.)
7​
Timing Chain Cover Slide Bushing Bolt
25 N·m (18 Ft. Lbs.)

Water Pump Torque Specs
GUID-0709192981.png

CALLOUT​
DESCRIPTION​
SPECIFICATIONS​
COMMENTS​
1​
Thermostat Housing Bolts
10 N·m (89 In. Lbs.)
–​
2​
Water Pump Stud Bolts
28 N·m (21 Ft. Lbs.)
–​
3​
Coolant Hose Support Bracket Bolts
Tighten Securely
–​
4​
Water Pump Bolts
24 N·m (18 Ft. Lbs.)
–​
–​
Block Heater Bolt
12 N·m (9 Ft. Lbs.)
–​
 
Last edited:
With the front timing cover swapped over, its time to install the new oil pan.

Before installing the windage tray, there are two sections that need to be RTV sealed.
GUID-09-013-019-44843.jpg

1 - RTV T-JOINT APPLICATION
  • Clean the oil pan gasket mating surface of the block and oil pan.
  • Mopar® Engine RTV must be applied to the four T-joints. The bead of RTV should cover the bottom of the gasket. This area is approximately 4.5 mm x 25 mm in each of the four T-joint locations.
  • Install a NEW integral windage tray and gasket.

Next, install the oil pickup tube by using the bolt (06102046AA) to the oil pump, and secure with the nut (06502756) to the crankshaft that should be sticking out of the windage tray.

TORQUE SPECIFICATIONS - LUBRICATION

GUID-0903190129.png

CALLOUT
DESCRIPTION
SPECIFICATION
COMMENTS
1​
Oil Dipstick Tube Nut
10 N·m (89 In. Lbs.)
–​
2​
Oil Pump Bolts
32 N·m (24 Ft. Lbs.)
–​
3​
Oil Pump Pickup Tube Nut
28 N·m (21 Ft. Lbs.)
–​
4​
Oil Pump Pickup Tube Bolt
22 N·m (16 Ft. Lbs.)
–​

Next, install the oil pan.
GUID-0913192975.png

CALLOUT​
DESCRIPTION
SPECIFICATION
COMMENTS
4​
Oil Pan Stud Bolt
12 N·m (9 Ft. Lbs.)
This is for holding the cooling lines, but isn't in the correct position for our application. At this point you can ignore that stud until a solution comes for attaching the transmission cooler lines. The Oil Pan kit does not come with a stud bolt.​
5​
Oil Pan Bolts
12 N·m (9 Ft. Lbs.)
–​
6​
Oil Pan Drain Plug
34 N·m (25 Ft. Lbs.)
–​

Finally, install the structural collar.

GUID-2101190409.png

CALLOUTDESCRIPTIONSPECIFICATION
1
2
3​
Structural Dust Cover to Engine Block Bolts
Structural Dust Cover to Transmission Bolts
Transmission to Structural Dust Cover Bolts
Torque Procedure:
  1. Tighten the structural dust cover to engine block bolts to 9 N·m (80 In. Lbs.)
  2. Tighten the structural dust cover to transmission bolts to 9 N·m (80 In. Lbs.)
  3. Tighten the transmission to structural dust cover bolts to 9 N·m (80 In. Lbs.)
  4. Tighten the structural dust cover to engine block bolts to 54 N⋅m (40 Ft. Lbs.)
  5. Tighten the structural dust cover to transmission bolts to 54 N⋅m (40 Ft. Lbs.)
  6. Tighten the transmission to structural dust cover bolts to 54 N⋅m (40 Ft. Lbs.)

And thats it! You now have a Steel Stamped pan.
 
Last edited:
Would it makes sense to change any other components at the same time? Wear components, depending on miles, or upgrades, like a Hellcat oil pump?
 
With the front timing cover swapped over, its time to install the new oil pan.

Before installing the windage tray, there are two sections that need to be RTV sealed.
GUID-09-013-019-44843.jpg

1 - RTV T-JOINT APPLICATION
  • Clean the oil pan gasket mating surface of the block and oil pan.
  • Mopar® Engine RTV must be applied to the four T-joints. The bead of RTV should cover the bottom of the gasket. This area is approximately 4.5 mm x 25 mm in each of the four T-joint locations.
  • Install a NEW integral windage tray and gasket.

Next, install the oil pickup tube by using the bolt (06102046AA) to the oil pump, and secure with the nut (06502756) to the crankshaft that should be sticking out of the windage tray.

TORQUE SPECIFICATIONS - LUBRICATION

GUID-0903190129.png

CALLOUT
DESCRIPTION
SPECIFICATION
COMMENTS
1​
Oil Dipstick Tube Nut
10 N·m (89 In. Lbs.)
–​
2​
Oil Pump Bolts
32 N·m (24 Ft. Lbs.)
–​
3​
Oil Pump Pickup Tube Nut
28 N·m (21 Ft. Lbs.)
–​
4​
Oil Pump Pickup Tube Bolt
22 N·m (16 Ft. Lbs.)
–​

Next, install the oil pan.
GUID-0913192975.png

CALLOUT​
DESCRIPTION
SPECIFICATION
COMMENTS
4​
Oil Pan Stud Bolt
12 N·m (9 Ft. Lbs.)
This is for holding the cooling lines, but isn't in the correct position for our application. At this point you can ignore that stud until a solution comes for attaching the transmission cooler lines. The Oil Pan kit does not come with a stud bolt.​
5​
Oil Pan Bolts
12 N·m (9 Ft. Lbs.)
–​
6​
Oil Pan Drain Plug
34 N·m (25 Ft. Lbs.)
–​

Finally, install the structural collar.

GUID-2101190409.png

CALLOUTDESCRIPTIONSPECIFICATION
1
2
3​
Structural Dust Cover to Engine Block Bolts
Structural Dust Cover to Transmission Bolts
Transmission to Structural Dust Cover Bolts
Torque Procedure:
  1. Tighten the structural dust cover to engine block bolts to 9 N·m (80 In. Lbs.)
  2. Tighten the structural dust cover to transmission bolts to 9 N·m (80 In. Lbs.)
  3. Tighten the transmission to structural dust cover bolts to 9 N·m (80 In. Lbs.)
  4. Tighten the structural dust cover to engine block bolts to 54 N⋅m (40 Ft. Lbs.)
  5. Tighten the structural dust cover to transmission bolts to 54 N⋅m (40 Ft. Lbs.)
  6. Tighten the transmission to structural dust cover bolts to 54 N⋅m (40 Ft. Lbs.)

And thats it! You now have a Steel Stamped pan.
Really appreciate the post. If I was to just change the oil pump, would it be necessary to remove the pan? Thanks.
 
Would it makes sense to change any other components at the same time? Wear components, depending on miles, or upgrades, like a Hellcat oil pump?
The melling pump noted above is better than the stock 392 pump. The difference between the hellcat an melling is that the melling comes with a pressure reduction spring for the 392 and the hellcat doesn't, requiring you to mess with the wiring, so you don't pop a code for too high of pressure. The melling pump, you just switch springs, which is easy.
 
You do not n
Would it makes sense to change any other components at the same time? Wear components, depending on miles, or upgrades, like a Hellcat oil pump?
If you're doing the swap, I'd at least look to see if you may have lifter failure without looking at the lifters. Both the existing oil pan and and pump will show metallic shards if this is true. See this video to get a glimpse of what an oil pump with failure looks like (linked at the correct time):

Also regardless of lifter failure or not, I'd put in a new oil pump. Its relatively cheap (around $225) and will likely extend the life of your lifters. As said above, put in the included 'blue' spring, which will prevent the computer from throwing a code for too high pressure.

If you do have signs of lifter failure, then you're already 2/3rds of the way to removing the heads and replacing lifters. Won't detail that here, maybe that is for another post.

You may also want to look at the timing chain tensioner and guide.. although this usually isn't a problem until over 150k miles or 10 years.

Really appreciate the post. If I was to just change the oil pump, would it be necessary to remove the pan? Thanks.
If you have an aluminum pan, then yes -- the oil pickup is part of the pan and while it doesn't bolt to the oil pump, you need to slide the pump off the crankshaft, which is perpendicular to the oil pickup.
If you have a steel pan then likely yes because the oil pickup is bolted to the pump as shown in the second photo from post #3 and I don't think there is enough clearance from the pump to the pan to remove the bolt and pull the pickup out of the pump. When I get back to it next week I'll test and see if thats possible though.
 
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