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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Came Up Short

Checked the oil today before going for an ice cream run with the grandkids in the GTO. Cancel that. Seems part of my dipstick did not want to see the light of day & stayed in the car. What came out is 21 inches to the cup. Not sure how much is left. Pulled the top of the tube no luck. Small magnet down the tube no luck. Time to change the oil & go fishing I guess. Can't be good to have several inch piece of metal in the pan. Any ideas? Thanks.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 09:30 PM
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Welcome to my world! HaHaHa. I thought that only happened to me. What I learned was that there is a little tube that goes on the other side of your dipstick tube you place the dipstick into. This internal tube (which you can buy aftermarket), which has a bend to it, directs the stick through the windage tray, between the crank throw, and into your oil. Without the tube installed, the dipstick gets hit by the spinning crank, and neatly rips the end off. I am assuming you just had this happen. Did you recently have your engine rebuilt? That's what I did and when I put it together myself, either the engine builder left it off, or the engine which had been rebuilt at some other time, never had it installed. I did not know about the tube inside the engine as I simply assembled the engine like any other engine.

The end of the dipstick on mine snapped off and fell into the pan. I drained the oil and inserted into the oil drain hole one of those telescopic type magnets for retrieving small parts when you drop them in tight spots. Don't go and put in a new dipstick if that tube is missing or has fallen off. You will chew up another one. I don't know if it will damage anything as it probably has already found its way to the bottom of the pan, but I would drain my oil and find that piece before starting it up again. I took my chances and ran my car and later got the broken piece out, but that's me.

I don't know if you can put that tube in since the engine is in the car. I just lived with mine the way it was and was only able to tell when the oil was basically at the "full" mark and a little less. I did not experiment with another dipstick by cutting it down until it cleared the crank throws/rods.

Again, my best guess on your situation based on my goof when I rebuilt my engine.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 11:29 PM
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Stick it...

Add me to that miserable list!!! When I got this "new" 455, They had about a 3' dipstick with an extension bracket sticking above the engine, which I didn't really think anything of at the time, as it was chrome, and looked good. After installing the engine and filling it up with oil, I found the level only came up about a 1/4" on the stick, and there was a weak scribe line there. I was none too thrilled. Pulled the extension off, and stuck the stick from the 326 in there, worked great (kind of-depending on which way you stuck it in. One side read correctly, the other side I scribed a new line in the backside at the full level). Till I started it up and saw the top of the stick moving. Pulled it out, and damned if the tip wasn't broken off! (Changed the brand new oil AGAIN, and did get the piece out.-I had visions of the piece getting pulled into the crevice between the crank and block, scoring and eating the crank counterweights, then having the thing explode internally from the sheered off piece. Call me paranoid!). THEN I read about that inner tube connected to #3 or whatever crank caps. Wasn't about to pull it back out for that. I've rebuilt a couple of engines in my time, but this was a new one me. And I didn't even rebuild the sucker. I now carry the stick in the trunk, and stuck the stub of the other in the tube for show. Just have to figure out a concealed area out of the way to put it back there.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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PontiacJim & gjones,

Things you wouldn't know without the good folks on the forum! Yes, engine was rebuilt before I got it & maybe about 1,500 miles on it. Looks like I'll copy the show dipstick and a working one in the trunk plan.
Awesome guys, thanks!

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