Marine Engine Oil Pan Corrosion

A Step-by-Step Repair Guide

Steve Wheeler from HHB Marine in Hampton, New Hampshire shares a method of making a repair to a leaking marine oil pan using J-B Weld, an old can and some other basic tools. This repair is intended to serve only until you can "get home" and get the oil pan replaced. So that we could actually show the steps, instead of just write about them, Steve hung an engine on a lift and performed an actual repair for this sequence of photos.
An inspection mirror allows you to better see what is going on.
Savvy boaters use a small screwdriver or awl to probe their oil pans. Solid metal can’t be punctured this way but if you did produce a hole at the dock, you would have likely saved yourself from a leak (and possible engine damage) out on the water.
After finding the leak, clean the pan of as much rust and loose paint as possible using a wire brush or sandpaper.
A wire cup brush, chucked into a drill motor, is an excellent tool for removing rust and loose paint.
Apply a degreasing agent or parts cleaner. Lacquer thinner or even soap and water can be used.
To stop the leak, we mixed up a bit of J-B Weld's SteelStik epoxy putty.
When we shoved the J-B Weld SteelStik putty into the hole, the oil drip stopped. Smooth out the edges and wait five minutes for the Steel Stick to set.
Next, cut a patch from a beverage can that’s larger than the hole. Metal from an aluminum can works for small holes; sheet metal, such as roof flashing or ducting can be used for larger repairs.
Abrade the patch with sandpaper to give it “tooth.”
Next we mixed up J-B Weld Original epoxy, squeezing out equal amounts of black and white.
We mixed the J-B Weld Original epoxy to get a consistent grey color using a section of paint stir stick on a scrap of plywood.
We applied the mixed J-B Weld Original to the patch and to area to be patched on the oil pan using the same stick we stirred it with. The repair held.
This repair utilized two J-B Weld products, the first is this SteelStik, which cures underwater and sets in five minutes. It fully cures in one hour. (Click next to learn about the second product)
This repair also utilized J-B Weld Original, which sets in 30 minutes and fully cures in 16-24 hours. Both J-B Weld Original and J-B Weld SteelStik are sandable and paintable once cured.