Have a close look at the coolant passages where they meet the engine block. Mine were fairly corroded there..... but, some RTV, and a new gasket took care of it. If they are really bad, new covers are available out there in the world. I have seen them on EBay for under 100 bucks.
Two bolts come up thru the front of the oil pan. Don't forget to take those out, or you can break the cover.
When reinstalling, set cover in place, snug up those two bolts first, (not tight, just snug) torque cover to spec, and then torque the oil pan bolts to spec. No need to drop the pan.
I did my timing cover in my driveway (and replace timing set) in about 2.5 hours, and I was taking my time.