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oil dipstick broke off

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by meborder, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    So ... no idea how this could have happend, but... :confused:

    my the tip of my oil dipstick seems to have broken off inside the oil pan. I'm guessing about an inch or so of it broke off.:realmad:

    it was a Mr. Gasket piece, but still it was brand new.

    so, now what?

    I'm thinking i might try to find a big magnet of some type to stick to the bottom of the oil pan just to keep the piece from floating around or getting sucked up.

    i'm NOT pulling the oil pan if it requires pulling the engine.

    open to any ideas ... this one totally caught me off guard!
    :confused:
     
  2. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Don't worry about the end of the dipstick lying in the pan, it's not going anywhere. Just install a new dipstick and tube.
     
  3. zr900

    zr900 Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Drain oil, use flex magnet to fish around the pan and see if it will catch the end of the dip stick.
     
  4. oneoldsap

    oneoldsap Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    No Problem

    Your oil pump isn't going to suck up that piece of dipstick . I'd advise an OEM replacment though !
     
  5. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,977

    what engine? year?
     
  6. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    it is an 83 k20 pickup,

    not the origional engine, but i'm assuming it is a 350. small block of some kind, for sure.

    I guess it really cant go anywhere ..... just never seen that happen before. how the frick does a dipstick break off?!!? it was fine about a week ago when i last used it .... odd.
     
  7. buddymanzpop

    buddymanzpop Senior Member
    Messages: 601

    There is a magnet at the bottom of the oil pan that will contain the broken piece, I would't worry about it, but I'd replace it with an OEM.
     
  8. oneoldsap

    oneoldsap Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    Cheap junk

    I'll bet dollars to donuts that that Mr. Gasket dipstick was made in China ! Look at the package , if it's made in China , just say , NO THANKS I BUY AMERICAN MADE !!! Thumbs Up
     
  9. buddymanzpop

    buddymanzpop Senior Member
    Messages: 601

    The oldsap is right on here, people go for price on a lot of parts and the made in China stuff is usually half the price but the duration is about one tenth. So, in short, buying made in China comes down to being a total waste of labor because the part won't last and your going back there to repair it again. Do yourself a favor, if your going to keep it or work it always buy a high quality part.
     
  10. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    no arguements ....

    I had actually tried to get one from a dealer, but they couldn't/wouldn't help me. They could sell me the correct dipstick for the truck, but unless i knew exactly what the engine was out of they didn't know which one i needed.

    junk yard were the same way, but almost all the small blocks are gone, some didn't even have any left or weren't willing to let me go look/didn't want to mess with it.

    so i got one listed for "driver's side" at the part's store.

    if someone knows how to tell which one i need, i'd rather have an OEM.

    to be honest, i was just happy as a lark to *have* a dipstick..... long story, but it was better than not having one.

    any ideas on how to get an OEM?
     
  11. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Casting number on the block should tell you what the engine is. Back of the block, right up by the firewall. Pretty sure it's on the pass side.
     
  12. oneoldsap

    oneoldsap Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    Since it's in a truck and running , Id just give them the info on the truck . It's the oil pan that determines which dipstick fits . I would think that small blocks in 4X4s of that year (truck) would be the same . JMHO
     
  13. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    the origional engine had the dipstick on the pass. side. mine is now on the driver's side. which created a whole slew of problems for me (required headers to clear the dipstick, headers required full exhaust, money i really didn't want to spend because the exhaust that was on there was fine, but worked out well in the end ... very much recommend flowtech headers and dual exhaust for fitment)

    i might try to find that casting number ... just hard to get back there and see it.
     
  14. oneoldsap

    oneoldsap Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    Fabrication

    I know hindsight is 20-20 , but I'd have changed the oilpan . Or was the change done before you got the truck ? I don't think which side the stick is on makes any difference as far as the dipstick length . Back in 76 , my BIL and I put a 427 Big Block into a 69 Chevy 1/2 ton short wheelbase Van . Needless to say , there was much fabricating done . Steve worked with a guy that had a 427 Vette . He had bought a set of headers for it and for some reason never put them on . They fit like they were made for that Van . There is a huge Van meet in Laconia NH every summer , or there was back then anyway . They had a Drag Race competition at Epping DragWay . We built this monster to win that race . It was no contest , we mopped the field ! The BIL drove it on the street for a while . He got so many tickets with it he had to park it . Then he sold the engine and put a smallblock in it and swapped it for a Camaro .
     
  15. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,412

    The pans are not interchangeable from the two generation small blocks which he has. The dipstick tube goes into the block on both engines... Pre 1980, it's on the drivers side and the tube goes into the block at the cylinder head deck. 1980 and newer, the tube is on the passenger's side, and goes into the block at the pan rail.

    If the dipstick is on the driver's side, then the engine is a 1979 or earlier... that's what tube and stick will be needed for replacement.

    And, like has already been stated, don't sweat the piece... it'll do no harm laying in the pan.
     
  16. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    yeah, the motor was changed at least 2 owners ago. no way of knowing when, really.

    i'm sure this is another case of "it's a small block, and they're all the same" ... untill they realized far too late that the dipstick tube was directly under the driver's side manifold.

    knowing that the date break was indeed 1979, i should be able to get the right dipstick from GM, yes?
     
  17. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,412

    If you've got a decent dealer, they should still be able to get you the correct stick... even if it's NOS.

    Is the tube on the driver's side still intact? The manifolds are different from LH to RH dipstick engines. The driver's side tube isn't usually real comfortable with the later manifolds, which were intended for passenger's side dipstick.
     
  18. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    That was the original problem. inorder to get the manifold on they kinked the dipstick tube so there was no way to check the oil.

    i replace the manifolds with headers, and purchased a new chrome dipsick and tube from Mr. Gasket. was happy as punch until i found the end broken off above the oil level.

    I'll check with the dealer here today. NOS would be awesome, if they have or can get one.
     
  19. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Just buy a another Mr Gasket and use the dipstick.
     
  20. meborder

    meborder Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    There's a guy at work who does a lot of circle track racing, so i'm going to see if he might have one.

    short of that, i'm back to Mr. Gasket.

    I checked with the GM dealer, and the one for the driver's side is discontinued, and he couldn't find any NOS anywhere in his system. (althought it was like pulling teeth to get him to try, and that was after he tried to sell me one for the passenger's side)

    I did find some online at a restorer's sight, it was about 25 for the tube and 25 for the bayonette. I'm not real excited about payin 50 bucks for an oil dipstick.

    so, i guess i'll just have to learn some chineese ....