1968 Catalina oil pan hits crossmember

Chip

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Picked up a 1968 Catalina convertible in pieces. It is suppose to be a 400 ci with a 3 speed manual transmission that came out of the car. Missing a few parts I will list later. Problem is I installed the rebuilt engine (professionally done) and the transmission with the rear cross-member. The oil pan rests on the main front cross-member. I purchased 2 new engine mounts thinking the old ones were compressed. Installing them only made matters worse as now there is a 1/8" gap in one mount.

Are there different oil pans? I was thinking of adding a 1/4" shim on each side but if I do that the bolt holes at the frame aren't even close to lining up. This is the first vintage Pontiac I have worked on, (had a 64 and a 66 many years ago) to this extent.

Any help would be appreciated. Chip
 

melsg5

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Did you check the engine code to confirm it is the original 1968 engine? If it is not you have to know what year it is since mounts changed.
was the engine in the car when you bought it and was the pan hitting the cross member?
what manufacturer and part number are the mounts?
 

Chip

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I know what I was told, but again am not versed in Pontiac's as of yet. The engine and chassis were supposed to be original, the mounts on the car were of two different makes. I picked up a set of aftermarket mounts and they didn't help.

The casting near the distributor is 6067 D N, my guess is, it's a June 1967 Casting. The numbers stamped beside the water pump is 015903 XZ. If this helps identify the engine I would appreciate the info. I will keep looking as well. Thanks for all your help. Chip
 

Chip

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Just did a Google search and found this link How to identify your Pontiac engine it only covers a narrow range of engines but is was very helpful with mine for the 68.

The casting near the distributor is 6067 D N, confirming it is a June1967 Casting. The numbers stamped beside the water pump is 015903 XZ. it didn't explain these . It did show me the block casting number below the right cylinder head near the transmission. 9790071, this is a 400 ci block. Then he pointed out the machined area beside the timing cover on the RH side, there is a series of stamped numbers corresponding to the VIN. This number confirms this block came from the car we are restoring.

The problem is without modification the oil pan still hits the front cross member.

Chip.
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melsg5

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So you are confirming when you got the car the oil pan was already hitting the cross member?
you did not provide the manufacturer and part numbers of the mounts in order to check if they are correct.
there are no indications that the cross member was hit or that any welding has been done as a result of an accident?
the XZ code for 1968 is a 350HP engine with a manual transmission, nice find.
any chance the transmission mount is too high pushing the front of the engine down?
 

Chip

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Thank you for your time.

When I received 'the car' the engine was out of the chassis. It had a set of motor mounts on it and when I set the engine and transmission in the car the pan hit from the beginning. Again I bought this car in pieces as is. The engine was professionally built by the previous owner (by a company I have done other business with for over 20 years) and it appears to be the original oil pan. I have the original trans cross member and for now the original used trans mount.

I then purchased two new motor mounts from the local parts store #2254. When I swapped them out one of the mounts on the engine has a tag with the # 2254 as well. They both looked brand new, confirming what the previous owner claimed.

The car was a running and driving car at the time of disassembly, the frame appears to be fine. The front and rear suspension was gone through before the start of the restoration, and have not been changed, suggesting there was no serious damage before disassembly of the body. As far as I can see the only thing done to the frame is a fresh coat of paint.

I do have a question about the cross-member at the back of the transmission. It has large flat ends that fit into rubber cushions held in place by steel retainers. They bolt it to brackets welded flush to the bottom of the frame rail, inside the frame. It would make sense that this cross-member rests on top of the brackets welded to the frame. Is it possible it hangs below the frame and the weight is supported by the steel retainers instead? This would help the engine to a small degree as the brackets for the front motor mounts are behind the main cross-member.

Again any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

Chip
 

Chip

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Wow, Perfect.

This is how I have been assembling the rear cross member, this at least eliminates one variable.

I guess I will now need to focus on the motor mounts and see if there are different options that I have not considered.

Thanks you so much.

Chip
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cammerjeff

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Belleville MI
It is possible the frame brackets the Motor mounts sit on are in the wrong location, I do not know if the Large B body cars are like the smaller A body cars, If they are the Engine cradle will have at least 3 different set of holes for the different divisions engines. I know on A bodies the Chevy engine mounts sit lower than the Pontiac or Olds Mounts. This may be the issue.
 
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