I am seeing a lot of oil accumulating on the entire rear side of the oil pan and a growing spotting area on the concrete in my parking space. I figure the original gasket needs replacing. Going underside with the car on jack stands I was surprised I can't even see all of the small 10mm bolts toward the transmission end of the pan because there is some metal bracket in the way. That got me a bit discouraged but before I give up I wanted to see if anyone might have remembered some of the details in getting the oil pan off.

I looked in the factory manual and it just mentions a couple of items after draining the oil:

1. Remove Flywheel inspection cover. Could this be the metal bracket that looked intimidating? If so I probably just need to clean it up in order to locate any bolts that are holding it in place and maybe if I get that out I'll have a clear shot at that end of the pan.

The other items seem straight forward:

2. Remove right front tire and wheel assembly.
3. Remove the splash shield.
4. Remove oil filter.

There was no mention of removing any other items at all.

Also it looks like some of the after market oil pan gaskets (Fel-Pro PermaDry Plus) comes with a new gasket for the oil pickup screen assembly. I wasn't planning on taking the oil pickup out. Should one go ahead and pull it out to clean since you are right there with the pan off - or just spray some brake clean on the end and leave it all alone? (This will be my first time to remove an oil pan so I don't want to lose the prime to the oil pump, etc.)

I did search the older threads but didn't find any on this topic with the 3300. Here is one talking about the 3.8; I'll link to in case others come along in the future.