I have a 1912 engine pan that appears to be an original in good condition. Inside the pan are reinforcing plates that the 7 arm rivets penetrate. These plates and the rivets have no braze to seal this area, leading me to expect this would leak like a bucket with a hole in it. Should this feature be sealed and how? I would suspect a product like RTV could do this job, but then I'm understanding that the interior of this pan resembles a dishwasher when the car is running, so a more aggressive sealant may be needed here.
If a rivet looks really bad I would test it with acetone or mineral spirits but normally a properly installed rivet is leak proof.
If this were only the rivets coming through the pan I would be less concerned. I have 3 of these 11-12 pans, with no 2 being identical. When the latest was put into service, I brazed around the interior rivets for this same reason, and this dude still shows leakage coming from under the arm mounting surface.
I had a 7 rivet pan that was cracked around the rivets. It leaked oil. I tried brazing on the inside but the braze cracked too. I don't think I got a good clean seal. I then tried JB Weld, the slow variety, on the inside. Seemed to work. I've used JB Weld on the belly of pans that were riddled with pin holes and it help up well. It will hold up to 500 degrees. Much higher than the temperature of engine oil in the most extreme circumstances.
There was a guy in LA who made the reinforcements you see in the inside of the rivet area on some of the 7 rivet and earlier pans. If I were to do a re rivet job, I'd make some myself and use them. Won't necessarily help with leakage but would help prevent cracks.
Have you considered an engine support belly band to lend support to your transmission. It was an aftermarket accessory that served to relieve the stress from the engine pan supports that frequently broke from excessive vibration and weight. I first saw one of these in Floyd Clymer's accessory book in 1970 and always wanted one so it was one of the first things I looked for when I discovered ebay and it was not long before I was able to purchase two of them on ebay. I plan on installing them on each of my '26 T's when I get the time, for I think it is a great idea. Jim Patrick
Hello Richard and Jim:
Recommendations much appreciated. I'm sure these suggestions have potential for practical success, but am looking to have these pans look OEM original when complete. I don't believe I have a structural problem, but then the conditions I'm seeing may well have been Ford's solution to a structural problem? I was comparing my late-11 to my mid-12, and notice the 12 also has smaller head rivets for the arms. Both have 7 per side, where the 11 are 1/2" dia, and the 12 has smaller 3/8" dia. Both look like original construction, where the 12 is known to have had no work done to it. Rivet plates added to the inside looks like an easy enough retrofit, but doesn't look optimised since the plates aren't welded or brazed to the pan. I have a late 12 in a running car, and don't recall that this pan had these plates at all. That pan also had the interior rivets brazed around, so no telling when this work may have been done.
I think the plates are to prevent the rivet area from cracking, a common problem with seven rivet pans. If the rivets are tight, they add structural strength to the pan area that gets the most stress from torque as the engine is trying to move the car. I don't think their primary purpose was to prevent oil leaks.
BTW, I went to a lot of trouble to shore up the rivet area and still have copious amounts of leaking oil. Not from the rivet area but from the pan bolt holes where the hogshead attaches.
I just accept it.
If you want to see some serious oil leakage, buy a Model A, C or F. Period publications talk about gas and oil consumption, by the latter I think they mean oil leakage. It is significant.