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Old 07-30-2005, 10:57 AM
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How much oil to put in chev 350?

I just bought a '86 firebird; the previous owner swapped in a 350 out of a truck. The dipstick is sort of home made, I don't trust its accuracy. Its on the drivers side near the back of the engine. I drained out what appeared to be around 7 quarts, changed the filter, and I put in 5 quarts of new oil. The dipstrick now reads low, but since the dipstick is not original I don't really know how to judge how much oil belongs in there.

Did trucks come with deeper pans? is it bad to run only 5 quarts in a pan that was designed to hold more?

Russel

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Last edited by fiscus; 07-30-2005 at 11:14 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-30-2005, 11:46 AM
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Some 4 wheel drive versions came with 6 quart capacity oil pans but in you case, the type of pan is questionable. You need to find out what you have and go from there (part number, signs of modifications, or what ever. To my knowledge most were 5 quarts. Also, did you do the obvious and ask the previous owner what the capacity was and what the markings on the dip stick mean?

Trees
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Old 07-30-2005, 12:12 PM
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The engine is completely stock, with truck manifolds and everything. The dipstick he made up had two holes drilled at the end, one for max and one for min. It would take probably at least 6 quarts to fill it up to the dipstick, which I guess would be right if I had a 6 quart pan. My problem is that I just don't trust that the guy I bought the car from knew what he was doing. Is there any visual clues to help me identify the pan, and will running one quart low cause me any problems?
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Old 07-30-2005, 12:49 PM
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Dipsticks beware!!!!!!

I would recommend getting a new pan and the proper dipstick to go with it. Wondering, if you dont trust the guy, then why did you buy the car in the first place.
Dipsticks commonly have hi/low holes drilled in them for oil checks.
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Old 07-30-2005, 03:27 PM
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MY 85 SUBURBAN 350 4bbl holds 6 Qts /w filter



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Old 07-30-2005, 06:48 PM
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Ok, from what you have said you most likely have a 4 bolt main 350 circa 74-76. The dip stick tube is between the # 6 and 8 plugs either in the side of the block or into the side of the oil pan . You need to get yourself a long dip stick that you can reach the bottom of the pan and mark it at the top of the tube. Now raise the dipstick about 1/2 inch. Remove the dip stick. Put a new filter in, add 5 qts of oil, run the motor to make sure the filter is full and wait a couple of hours for the remaining oil to drain to the pan. Insert the newly marked dip stick to the lowest mark on the filler tube and remove it. Check to see how far up the dip stick the oil is indicated and make a mark. If it is about 1 and 3/4" up, then add another quart and make another mark which will be the full mark (6 qts). If it were up to about 2 3/4"with the 5 quarts, then make a mark 7/8' inch down and this will become you add mark. Now you can go to the salvage yard to find a dip stick that will match closely with this one. I would look in trucks, station wagons and Suburbans with a dip stick on the right like yours.

Trees
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