Long story short, 4 months ago on my way to work a section of interstate had popped, it went from 20 degrees one day w/ snow, the next 48, then it dropped to 15 degrees w/ a brisk -2 wind chill. It broke out a big section down to the rebar and killed 13 vehicles that day. It made the news, it got 3 oil pans (mine included) and countless rims and tires.
After lots of fighting the state denied all our claims about a month ago. So i picked up an oil pan new, read alldata and it said it takes either 10.4 or 12.2 hours to accomplish, being as you've got to disassemble the top end, to take the front accessories off, to take the timing cover off to get the oil pan. Basically explaining you should pretty much drop the sub frame w/ engine in order to not want to shoot yourself while doing this. Needless to say being an accomplished land rover and jag tech, having ase and i-car certs and loving to tinker and work on all 11 of my cars and all 8 of my rc's, i tackled it in 2 hours without removing any of it.
Basically you need 15, 13, 10, 8 and a 5mm wrench sockets and a flat blade for 2 odd things.
Removing the exhaust on my 11 3.5L sport is easy as it's stainless, the cats aren't stainless but with 52k miles everything was clean and easy.
Once the front y pipes off, the million bolts holding the pan on, can come out, the 4 thru the timing cover, the 4 into the bell housing, the bracket for the front cat, which reveals a hidden 10 that's extremely long, the dust cover that seals the bell housing from crap, reveals two small short 8's. Undo the 13 nut that the bottom ac bracket gets torqued held on by.
Here's the fun part and was a "mistake" that can be learned from, those all removed, hit said shitty oil pan with a dead blow towards the back of the car, once the RTV seal is broken, you'll be back about 1/2 an inch. Now since you can't swing it down as it's tight against time cover and bell housing, can't go back any further due to hitting the axle shaft, and can't go down b/c of that ac stud you are stuck.
I took a pair of needle nose since none of my 1/4" 5mm sockets were short enough to fit in between the stud end and lower cross rail, and even if they are the minute you back it out it'll jam up against that lower rail, the needle nose fit in the opening between pan and ac mount hole on the smooth surface and didn't damage threads. Slowly and surely i backed it out till the pan was loose and dropped down.
Clean and clean and clean, then put a decent ball of rtv in the corners where the pan meets the timing cover and bottom of the block, rtv bead the other mating surfaces, and reassembly is reversed.
That being said at the time, my wrench sets both normal and ratcheting go down to 7 or 8 only. My dad had a usa craftsman that was a 5mm to fit the hex on the end of the stud for the ac mount and it worked great, b/c once the new pan is sealed and torqued, there's no room for the needle nose like i had used for removal. So make sure you have a 5mm wrench when you attempt it.
Just figured for those that have low cars and kill oil pans, a 2k trip to the dealer, or 10 hours of your life on disassembly, or a big hit on insurance rates to turn in, i can save you some time and money....and this is the first time i can contribute a quick write up for the community. Several days later and many heat cycles no leaks or issues have occured, as that was my concern breaking the lower seal of the timing cover.
Any questions, feel free to ask away.
On an OCD note, after the new pan is pushed up and rtv'd start all the bolts, and i tightened the 4 going thru the timing cover first so it would create the best seal there, as it's the low spot for oil to seep, and then tighten the pan to block, then to bell housing. That seemed to work the best for me.