View Full Version : Oil quantity/dipstick issue - '69 472

06-12-04, 09:00 PM
I have an unusual problem - Upon changing the oil and filter, I add 5 quarts of oil, as dictated by the owner's manual. Before even starting the car (and thus filling the oil filter) the oil barely registers on the dipstick. I can let the car sit for 30 minutes, an hour, overnight- same thing. The first time this happened, I just added oil until the level reached the 'full' mark on the dipstick. It took eight quarts total. Each time I've changed it since, I just put in five quarts, and go with that.

Has someone put in a larger oil pan? I don't know.

Is the dipstick tube pulled out of the crankcase an inch or so? It does not appear to be.

Has someone replaced the dipstick with the wrong one? I don't know, but I figure this is the most likely problem - could one of you with the same engine measure the dipstick from the bottom of the collar to the end so I'll have something to compare it to?

Any other sugguestions?

I also get noisy lifters OCCASIONALLY at highway speeds. If I turn the car off and let it sit for a few minutes and restart, the noise goes away. Could the crankcase be overfilled and the oil gets churned to foam at high speeds?



lux hauler
06-13-04, 02:04 AM
I have three guesses. The dip stick is short, the dip stick tube is short or the tube has been pulled out of the block some.
Do you happen to know if the engine was re-built at some point? The tubes on these engines are a one piece deal that goes through the block into the pan area. They are very hard to remove without breaking and are sometimes replaced with a section to brake tubing. If the tubing is not installed at the correct height or the length is not right, the reading will be off. I have a '75 or '76 500 out of a Deville. It should have the same dipstick and tube. I'll get a measurment of both and post them tomorrow.

06-13-04, 11:43 AM
I was told it was rebuilt at some point. There are no reciepts. This is one of those little old lady cars. It belonged to the aunt of the guy my brother in law bought a business from. It was used as an airport courtesy car after the aunt died, and when we bought the business, no one wanted the car ('69 Calais coupe w/climate control, six-way power seats and tilt/telescope - not a stripper by any means), so I got it for free.

I suppose my real question is - what are the chances this particular car requires more than 5 quarts of oil with an oil/filter change? The only reason that would be is if someone put in a deeper oil pan. That seems highly unlikely to me. If the tube and/or dipstick are incorrect lengths, I have no problem making a new mark on the dipstick when I know the crankcase contains the correct (5 qts) amount of oil, and going with that. I guess I'm looking for reassurance...


Angela Desmond
06-13-04, 06:57 PM
As Lux said, the length of the dipstick tube could be different than originally installed, but it could also be that they bent it slightly differently upon re-installing it than it was originally bent. It's bent slightly to clear the crankshaft, and if they bent it just slightly more than it was, that could show up as at least a half quart difference. They had to straighten it out to get it out of there, so their rebending could be a bit off.

06-14-04, 01:23 AM
Yeah, I understand what you mean. I took a look back in the shop manual at the 'engine tranverse section' illustration. The dipstick tube is clearly shown as it goes into the oil pan. If it was replaced with a 'homemade' version that was not bent at the correct angle, I can see how that could cause the error (I do hope the angle is at least enough that the dipstick isn't rubbing on the crankshaft!). For the time being, I think I'll just make a new mark on the dipstick, and go with that. At some point, I'll get industrious, drop the oil pan and check the tube.

Thanks to all,


Angela Desmond
06-14-04, 05:39 AM
you'll know right away if it's hitting the crank when you start it :crying:( bing-ba-da-bing-ba-da-bing-ba-da-bing...)

lux hauler
06-16-04, 06:34 PM
I forgot to get back with the measurment.....sorry. The dipstick in my late (75-76) Deville engine (500) is 19.75" long. I measured the dipstick only. I did not include the part of the handle that goes around the dipstick tube. Also, the dipstick reads "4 quart capacity". I believe the Eldorado (500) 'sticks are marked 5 quart.