It’s common these days for engines to be challenging to work on, and to execute maintenance in a timely fashion. After all, the engines are assembled before they are mated to the body of the vehicle. The problem with a design like this is, there is no easy way to perform the maintenance without removing the engine — which is not a simple task. However, with a little time and effort, you could typically find a workaround to this problem that is a lot less involved.
Terry Willson (coverman66), gives us a good idea about how to tackle this type of problem while changing the oil pump in a Trailblazer SS without removing the engine. It’s a somewhat tedious process, but will ultimately save you time and energy when compared to having to remove the power plant.
At first glance, the task of removing the oil pump looks simple after the accessories and front cover is removed. Only four bolts are holding the pump in place. Upon further inspection, you will notice the oil pickup tube also needs to be unbolted. This job is impossible without some ingenuity. The oil pan covers just enough of the bolt that you can’t get a wrench on the bolt head.
In the video, Terry decides to try and loosed the oil-pan bolts and drop the pan down as far as possible in hopes that he can gain enough clearance to get to the oil pickup tube bolt. Unfortunately, this idea didn’t provide enough room, so he had to get a little more creative. By loosening some of the transmission bolts and unbolting the motor mounts, Terry was able to raise the engine and gained enough room to get the bolt out of the oil pump. He also had a great idea in case he dropped the bolt. By stuffing a rag in the pan, Terry ensured that if he dropped the bolt, it would not fall into the depths of the oil pan. Instead of having to remove the motor to reclaim the lost item, he could use a magnet to retrieve it.
With the old pumped removed, Terry was able to replace it with the new one and then simply bolt everything back together. While this process might have taken some trial and error, it was definitely easier and quicker than removing the entire engine from the vehicle. Just remember, when you are performing maintenance on a car, you might need to get creative to get the job done.