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Old 03-23-2008, 01:11 PM
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Dipstick Dilemma

I am having the hardest time fitting the upper dipstick tube on my 72' 400 SBC.
I have tried 2 different OEM upper tubes that should work for this application and neither one will fit tightly.
It's almost as if either the block was machined incorrectly or someone opened up the hole at some point. The bore of where the tube fits looks well machined so I have a hard time believing someone did it after the fact.

Unfortunately, the engine was purchased loose and there was no dipstick tube when I received it so I have nothing to compare.

Any suggestions on how I can either modify the tube or fashion some sort of seal so that this tube will fit snugly and not pull out with the dipstick?
Has anyone else ever run into this issue?

Thanks!
Elm

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Old 03-23-2008, 01:13 PM
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It may be worn from a wobbly tube from before you got it. Mine did that recently. I pulled the tube, gave it a light tap to distort it some, put some #2 permatex on it and tapped it in. So far, so good.
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:51 PM
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Are ya sure the lower part of the tube that stays in the block is there?
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Old 03-23-2008, 02:35 PM
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I did the same as Jmark...worked just fine. Just a light tap did it.

Dave
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Old 03-23-2008, 02:53 PM
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I ran into this problem with a SBC before . Nothing I found would fit it .....
I slathered the sides with JB weld and inserted it back in the block. Waited a day before running the engine to give the epoxy time to harden and it held up fine for years. Well ,two for me , and I never heard any complaints for the buyer .
best of luck with it.
Mike
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Old 03-23-2008, 04:04 PM
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Try a long 5/16" bolt that has a smooth part below the head and cut the threaded part off or get a 5/16" solid rod. I just happened to have a long bolt laying around. Tap it into the tube to expand it and pull it out and you're good to go. It helps to use a flaring tool block to hold the tube.
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:28 PM
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make sure you have the lower half of the tube installed in the block first-many people forget this during a rebuild.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:56 PM
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Lower Tube?

I have the lower tube installed- But since they are unrelated, how would the lower tube affect the seating of the upper tube?

One thing I did notice is that the upper tube will go in only about 1/2 before it bottoms out against the lower tube in the hole. Is this normal?
I was expecting the 'flanged' part of the upper tube to contact the face of the block when it's all the way in but that is not the case.
I've driven the lower tube as far as it goes but all I have room for is 1/2 for the upper tube.

Hope this makes sense.
Thanks!
Elm
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Old 03-24-2008, 02:29 AM
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Dip stick tube.

The upper tube should fully seat to the "flange", as you're refering to it. Maybe there's something keeping the "lower" tube from seating; pull it out also and take a look. Otherwise, shorten the upper tube below the "flange" the needed amount, deform it as others have suggested, and install it. Someone has been there before you on that motor, and did something that's created this problem for you. I found a piece of rubber once in the pan of an engine that sure looked like a rubber dental dam dentists use to isolate the tooth they're working on. Never did figure that one out.
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Old 03-24-2008, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezobens
I have the lower tube installed- But since they are unrelated, how would the lower tube affect the seating of the upper tube?

One thing I did notice is that the upper tube will go in only about 1/2 before it bottoms out against the lower tube in the hole. Is this normal?
I was expecting the 'flanged' part of the upper tube to contact the face of the block when it's all the way in but that is not the case.
I've driven the lower tube as far as it goes but all I have room for is 1/2 for the upper tube.

Hope this makes sense.
Thanks!
Elm
Sure they are related if the lower is not there or messed up the upper will not seat correctly.........nuff said
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:42 AM
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dip stick

The lower dipstick is smaller diameter than the upper. My guess is someone before you did'nt have the lower tube, and broke off part of the upper tube; then you (or someone before you) drove the broken off upper tube in when the lower was installed. The lower tube will slip through the upper tube (at least the lowermost part of the upper tube) The hole in the block for the dipstick "tubes" is a stepped hole. That's why I said to pull eveything out and look; to see if there's about a 1/2" lenth of broken off upper tube in there. Make sense?
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:41 AM
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The broken off tube is most likely the most logical scenario here.

The motor had no upper tube when I bought it but it did have a lower tube that I drove out when rebuilding the motor-
If there was a chunk of tube left in the bore, I really wouldn't know since the idea never crossed my mind at the time.

I have a new lower tube in but I really don't recall taking that close of a look at the bore before I drove it in to see if it was hitting something other than the block casting. All I know is that the lower tube won't go in any further than it is now and the upper tube will only go in about 1/2 inch.

Now the $64K question:
Can I remove the lower tube somehow without having to drop the oil pan again? Perhaps if I screw in a small tap into the tube and then screw in a bolt and try to pull it out from the top instead of driving it our from the bottom?

Thanks!
Elm
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:20 PM
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Update:

OK, I was able to get the lower tube out by threading a 5/16" bolt and prying it out.
At first I thought there was a piece of the old tube stuck in the hole because I saw a 'step' about 1/2" down the hole (this is where the lower tube stopped as well- I never had it seated fully).

In an attempt to get the (non-existing) piece of tube out, I tried running a 7/16-20 tap down the hole to thread the piece and pull it out.
Upon closer examination, it doesn't appear to be a piece of tube but rather a step in the hole that I can't seem to get either the upper or lower tube past.

Has anyone run into this? Is there in fact a step 1/2 way down the hole that closes the diameter of the hole?

I have attached pictures. Since the motor is sitting in my 69' Vette, it's hard to get a good straight look at it. The threaded part is actually the lower half of the hole (DuOH!) that I can seem to get either tube past.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
Elm
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Old 03-28-2008, 07:02 AM
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??

Anyone have any insight?
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Old 03-28-2008, 07:38 AM
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That step is so the lower tube does NOT fall into the pan...........
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