I can't get my oil pan off. Triple checked that all the bolts were out, tried pounding on it with a plastic hammer, wooden block on the (very small) lip, pried with tire irons, etc.... Won't budge. I put the bolts back in, changed the filter
& oil - will try again next oil change.
Is there a trick to this?

Sure is...

Take out the oil and bolts again. Using a heat gun on high, or a little bernzomatic torch, heat one corner of the oil pan, about 10 sq. in. or so, moving the heat around a bit. Then take a steel 12 oz (or so) hammer, and a block of HARD wood, and using the block, give the pan a SHARP rap on the heated corner, in the horizontal direction, i.e. parallel to the floor and oil pan gasket. This will shear the gasket off very cleanly in most cases. If there are remnants of gasket left, use a razor scraper held 30degrees from the gasket surface and shave off the remnants carefully and completely. This part is a pain in the ass. The newer blue, shiny gaskets don't seem to weld themselves to the surface as much. I recommend using a stock BMW gasket, installed dry, without sealant of any type, for best results.

Heating the pan on one corner will warp the pan which will pull it away from the block. When it cools off, it will return to it's original flatness OK.

-Tom Cutter

(Originally posted to the Airheads list)