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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have acquired a 48 buick with a 455 that has been sitting about 10 years, after tearing into the car and checking the underside, someone in the past has plugged the oil dipstick hole with a 1/4 pipe brass plug, im having a difficult time finding the length of dipstick from block deck into pan to try and get an aftermarket, the pan has also been altered, any help is appreciated
 

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Tap the hole
Bit of sealant around the threads
Run a universal flexible dipstick that threads in mounted on head or firewall just keep it away from exhaust.

Better then the push in types and wont leak.
 

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Old(s) Fart
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Whatever dipstick and tube you use, calibrate it with an oil change. Once the tube is in place, change the oil and filter. Fill the pan, run the engine for a few minutes to circulate the new oil, then let it sit for about 15 minutes to drain back into the pan. Now scribe a mark on the dipstick at that level. Done.
 

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With automatics that run in the mud I would plug the hole similar to what you have with a o ring. I just welded a section of rod on the outside of the plug.

Flip it around and push it into the hole to check level, flip it back and screw it in tightening with a wrench to keep water/etc out.
 

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Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
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The oil level should be (depending on oil pan and the engine's internal capacity) about 1.5" higher than the lowest counterweight. You want the oil level to be very near the counterweight while the engine is running (so the crank doesn't whip the oil into a froth). For many old V8s, that means once the oil drains back after shutdown, you have about 1.5" of the crank counterweight submerged.

The oil pan has next to zero effect on the oil level because it is referenced to the crank, not the pan. If you have a stock 5 qt pan on a 455 and swap to an aftermarket 7qt pan, the dipstick remains the same. You added capacity because the pan is either deeper or wider than the stock pan, but the level of the oil remains constant as referenced to the crank. Its just that you now require 7 qts to make the level correct on the factory dipstick.

Buy a dipstick for a 455. Period. It will correctly reference the oil level with where it should be on the crank. The first time you fill it, just write down how much it takes to bring it up to "full" on the dipstick. That is the nominal capacity of your pan.
 

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Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
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Take a look at this stoopidly exaggerated drawing I whipped up. Notice the brown line. This is a perfectly acceptable oil level for all three engines. It doesn't matter if you make the pan wider, deeper, or longer, the correct oil level remains the same. It doesn't matter what the configuration of the pan is, the oil level remains the same as referenced to the crank.

In extreme situations (like the far right example of a deep sump) you could get away with a much lower level since you still have plenty of oil to play with, but my point is... a stock Buick 455 dipstick will get you the correct oil level regardless of what pan is on it.

What I'm saying is.... the oil pan's capacity is completely irrelevant. A 7 qt pan isn't called that because it holds 7 qts, it is called that because if you put about 7 quarts in it, it will indicate the correct level relative to the crank/dipstick after you've put about 7 qts in it.

You can run 5 qts in an 8 qt pan (with the proper pickup) and have no problems, but the point of a bigger pan is to run more oil without interfering with the crank and having it whipped into froth. The point of a bigger pan is to be able to run more oil for temperature reasons without having the oil getting whipped into meringue by the crank. Proper oil level is determined by the factory dipstick. What is under the dipstick means zilch. If you put a factory dipstick (or an aftermarket equivalent), the shape and size of the pan has zero effect on proper oil level.

617167
 
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