Benchmark Designs Jeep JK Wrangler 3.8L
Rockcrawler Oil Pan Installation Write-Up

When it came to designing the all new Jeep JK Wrangler, Chrysler did an outstanding job of including a tough set of skid plates to protect just about everything sensitive underneath except for the oil pan. The question of why is beyond me but one of the best answers to addressing this deficiency is to replace the factory pan with an all new Benchmark Designs Rockcrawler Oil Pan.

Affordable and easy to install, the Benchmark Designs Rockcrawler Oil Pan is constructed from 3/16? thick high-strength steel (verses the less than a 60 thousandths of an inch thick factory pan) and offers superior protection and without sacrificing any ground clearance. This is by far one of the best upgrades I have made on my Jeep JK Wrangler and it’s one that I highly recommend.

What you will need

• 10,13mm Socket
• 5mm Allen Socket
• Ratchet
• Inch Pound Torque Wrench
• 6" Ratchet Extension
• Flat Razor Blade
• Dead Blow Hammer
• RTV Gasket Maker
• Oil Filter Wrench
• Oil Catch Pan
• Floor Jack
• Brake Cleaner
• Funnel
• Oil Filter
• 6 Quarts 5W20 Oil
• Empty Milk Jug

What you will get

(1) Rockcrawler Oil Pan
(16) Socket Head Cap Screws

Where you can get your Benchmark Designs Rockcrawler Oil Pan

You can purchase your Rockcrawler Oil Pan directly from Benchmark Designs.

What type of RTV should I use?

When it comes to making gaskets, there really is nothing better out there than the Right Stuff by Permatex. It’s a little pricey but, it’s super easy to use and makes the strongest bonding gaskets I have seen and it sets up in about 1 minute. You can find the Right Stuff at most any autoparts store.



  Here’s a shot of everything you will get with your new Benchmark Designs Rockcrawler Oil Pan. Essentially, you will get the heavy duty oil pan and 16 new socket head cap screws.
1. Place a catch pan on the ground directly under the oil pan and then, using a 13mm socket, loosen but do not remove the drain bolt. 2. Finish removing the drain bolt by hand so that you don’t loose it in the catch pan below. Allow the oil drain completely. Once drained reinstall the drain bolt. 3. Using a 10mm socket, remove the 16 bolts securing your Jeep JK Wrangler’s oil pan to the engine.
4. Loosely reinstall 2 of the bolts on one side of the oil pan to prevent it from falling once you’ve separated it from the engine. 5. Using a dead blow hammer, give the oil pan a couple of solid whacks to break the gasket seal. 6. Remove the 2 bolts holding the oil pan in place and then carefully remove it entirely off your Jeep JK Wrangler’s engine.
7. Using some brake cleaner and a clean rag, wipe down the inside of your new Benchmark Designs Rockcrawler Oil Pan and make sure it is free of any metal debris or powder coating left over from the manufacturing process. 8. Use a flat razor blade to clean off any remaining gasket material left on your Jeep JK Wrangler’s engine. A clean mating surface is important to have to ensure a good bond with the new oil pan. 9. Apply a bead of high quality RTV gasket maker to the mating surface of your new Benchmark Designs Rockcrawler Oil Pan as shown.
10. Use a floor jack to help raise and position your new Benchmark Designs Rockcrawler Oil Pan onto the bottom of your Jeep JK Wrangler’s engine.
11. Use the 16 new socket head cap screws provided to secure your new Benchmark Designs Rockcrawler Oil Pan in place. A 5mm allen socket will be needed for this job. Tighten these screws evenly to 105 in. lbs. of torque.
12. Install your factory oil pan drain bolt onto your new Benchmark Designs Rockcrawler Oil Pan and secure it in place using a 13mm socket. Allow your RTV to cure for the recommended amount of time listed on the package before proceeding to step #14 (typically 3-4 hours for most basic RTV).
13. Move the oil catch pan so that it is sitting under the the oil filter which is located on the front of your Jeep JK Wrangler’s engine. Then, use a filter wrench or strap wrench to remove the oil filter. 14. Open up your new oil filter and apply a light coat of used engine oil on to the rubber gasket as shown. 15. Install the new oil filter onto your Jeep JK Wrangler’s engine and tighten it on by hand.
16. Pop open the hood of your Jeep JK Wrangler and remove the oil fill cap which is located on the passenger side of the engine.
17. Place a funnel into the fill hole on your Jeep JK Wrangler’s engine and proceed to refill it back up with 6 quarts of 5W20 oil. When finished, reinstall the fill cap.

That’s all there is to it. You now have a super beefy Benchmark Designs Rockcrawler Oil Pan installed on your Jeep JK Wrangler and you no longer have to worry about menacing rocks damaging it.

Please let me know if you have any questions.



  1. Did this on my Jeep this weekend! I had John himself help me out (as I live in the area) and I love it! This is a great write up!

  2. Did the factory use a regular gasket or something similar to the RTV gasket? Just wondering if purchasing a factory gasket will be better.

  3. Someone on a forum said that using a heavy pan like this one could damage an engine block. Their quote was “something would have to give.” They recommended a skid plate. Was wondering what your thoughts were on the subject.

  4. Placed an order for this oil pan on April 4th 2010 and have not heard anything from Benchmark in the way of order confirmation or estimated shipping arrival. I was wondering if anyone else has a similar experience in ordering from them? Starting to worry they’re out of business.

  5. I got mine, it took awhile to get my axle sleeves, they finally show shipped and are arriving on the 15th. I ordered my oil pan on the 2nd and received it on the 8th. Did you get a tracking number in your e-mail or try calling them?

  6. Just talked with John late last week. I guess he has more oil pans coming in very soon. They [Benchmark] are still around.

  7. My dealer just quoted 3.4 hours and over $320 to install my user-supplied oil pan. I already have my BD oil pan. I just needed to know how much money I was saving by doing it myself!

  8. I purchased the oil pan, evap skid plate and dual battery system a couple weeks ago. Other than taking my money and getting a PayPal receipt I have not heard from Benchmark Designs again. I have emailed and called several times with absolutely no response. Benchmark Designs has been one of the worst customer experiences of my life. I would never attempt to buy another item from them. I hope someone else offers similar products so they can be eliminated frmo the marketplace. They could learn a lot from Northridge 4X4 about customer service.

  9. After Posting an inquiry in one of the threads as to the customer service experience with Benchmark, I got a prompt reply(via thread) and later that day received an email and tracking numbers for my oil pan. It took almost a month to receive the pan with no initial confirmation of order receipt until the 12th of April.
    Product is excellent and worth the customer service discrepancy. Be advised when thinking about this oil pan it will add a little weight onto your motor. You will feel it through the shifter on bumps if you’ve got a manual transmission.

  10. I received the same broadcast email to all those waiting for their oil pans on April 29 stating, “All orders with Oil Pans will ship complete by early next week.” I have had zero communication since the broadcast email and I am still waiting for all the items from my order.

  11. Still no product, just an email about shipping my purchases, but they were not shipped. John Carruthers, of Benchmark Designs, sent the following message on May 20, “We’ll have your battery kit and skid plate shipping out tomorrow. I’m still pushing on the powdercoaters for oil pans. I should have a ship date on those early next week.” Two weeks later, I am still waiting. This is the second communication of any kind I have received. The first was the broadcast email to everyone waiting for parts. At this point, I am seriously thinking about contacting PayPal, since they guarantee the purchase through them. I may just get my money back from PayPal and let PayPal go after John Carruthers.

  12. After reading this article in April I ordered the oil pan, it seemed like a great product but I have had few responses and none of them factual. He blames suppliers – perhaps he doesn’t pay his bills – suppliers have a way of not shipping without payment. I have filed a dispute with PayPal just to protect myself. It may be a Ponzi scheme and we are on the end and he has run out of investors – who knows?

    Good luck and regards to all.

    Darryl Schaumburg

  13. More in the saga. John sent billing information to UPS, but did not ship anything until one week later. Still one item is missing in the shipment, but as usual he gives absolutely no explanation. I am guessing the missing item is the oil pan, but I won’t know until June 18. If anyone buys anything from Benchmark Designs they must be crazy. Don’t make this mistake. In the end, I believe he will not send the product I ordered and steal my money. If Benchmark does send my product, I will certainly let you know. I also plan to post this saga on all Jeep forums I know if I don’t receive my order by July 1st.

  14. This for Joseph:

    PayPal informed me today that Benchmark refunded my money – needs 5 days to clear. He is definitely a liar and incompetent for sure but perhaps doesn’t want to loose credibility at PayPal.

    By all means post away Joseph. The entire family of Jeep folks should be notified that there is a rat in the wood pile. John at Benchmark can always make an attempt to change his ways by taking some remedial integrity courses for the culturally deprived.

    Shame as well because I had bought a Fel-Pro Perma-Dry molded rubber silicone gasket for the oil pan. These gaskets are great.

    Regards, Darryl

  15. Hello again,
    The nightmare with Benchmark Designs continues. I finally received a partial shipment, the oil pan without the 16 installation bolts and part of the KISS dual battery system, but no evap skid. I found 16 bolts at my local home improvement store to replace the ones the thieves at Benchmark Designs should have sent and was finally ready to install the oil pan.
    After following the wonderful installation instructions here on the Project JK site, I was shocked to see a puddle of oil under my Jeep the following morning. I crawled under my Jeep and was shocked to see the oil pan dripping, not from the drain pug or the seal, but through a faulty weld. See the leak for yourself here:
    As usual, it is impossible to contact anyone from Benchmark Designs.
    Not only is John Caruthers of Benchmark Designs a liar and a thief (I have documents to prove it in court), but their product is complete garbage and their workmanship is absolutely untrustworthy. Protect your Jeep and save yourself aggravation and money; keep far away from Benchmark Designs.

  16. They no longer sell this version of the oil pan. The new model required removal of the aluminium spacer that is between the pan and the block. Once removed there are 4 sections that need to be flattened with an angle grinder. It adds a significant amount of work and I’m not sure I’d recommend it for the less gutsy.

    The model I ordered from the website is the version in this walk-thru. I have to echo the customer service issues of some above.

  17. Stay the hell away from Benchmark Designs. This is a fraud ridden company that will take your money and deliver NOTHING!

    This writeup should be removed ASAP considering their site is completely down and their past customer service record.

  18. REMOVE — Seriously, I also got ripped off by them. The website is down! That’s a huge red flag. For the past 6 months its been one excuse after another, and no delivery. Always saying will ship this week, will ship next week, will ship tomorrow. Then no contact at all for many emails, no phone calls answered, just a bunch of B.S.

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