dipstick reading overfilled with correct amount of oil


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Old 09-12-08, 07:09 PM
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dipstick reading overfilled with correct amount of oil

A few months ago, I had a re-manufactured 2.9 V6 engine installed in my Ford Ranger. Shortly after the mechanic did the initial 500 mile oil change, I checked the dipstick. It indicated that the crankcase was significantly overfilled. The mechanic drained out some oil and the dipstick indicated normal.

Well, I changed the oil again a couple days ago. I know I put in exactly five quarts as specified by the owner manual. I checked the dipstick. It indicated overfilled again.

I called the mechanic again and said something strange was going on with the engine. He told me that it is normal practice to use the old oil filler tube and dipstick with the new engine. He also said the re-manufactured engine could have a casting that doesn't match the oil filler tube and dipstick. So the dipstick does not give an accurate oil level indication.

If this is true, then he drained some oil thinking it was overfilled when it was not. As a result, I might have been driving in triple digit temperatures (Arizona) with not enough oil.

I want to check with the engine manufacturer on this. How can the manufacturer and a mechanic with 30 years experience allow someone to drive with a new engine (that cost over $4600.00 with labor) with an inaccurate oil dipstick and filler tube? This just sounds absurd to me.

And how the hell do I obtain a filler tube and dipstick that will give me an accurate reading? I wonder if I did some damage to the engine that won't appear till after the warranty expires. I am upset about this. But before I lose my temper with someone, I want to get your opinions on this.

Thanks,
Dave
 
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Old 09-12-08, 07:43 PM
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This has to be almost a no-brainer: Either wrong dipstick set- up, or too small of oil filter put in.

Lesser possibity is fill amt. instructions wrong, or wrong oil pan put on engine.
 
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Old 09-12-08, 09:40 PM
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I agree Ecman. Sounds like a no brainer. The oil level is reading about 3/4" above the FULL line. Seems a bit too high to attribute to casting being slightly out of spec.

During this time oil pressure gauge indicated normal. I am going to call the manufacturer Monday.

It's not the oil filter, because I bought the correct size at the auto parts store.
 
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Old 09-13-08, 06:27 AM
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it indicated overfill after a brief run time to fill the oil filter correct? at that time mark your dipstick with a file and don't sweat it. I would have checked that when doing the engine swap but a lot wouldn't I am supprised that a reman engine didn't come with a dipstick all of the ones i have installed came with a dipstick, now a short block would not come with a dipstick as they would expect yours to be installed.

Murphy was an optimist
 
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Old 09-13-08, 11:41 AM
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speedwrench is on the right track(as usual) just change the oil, put in the proper amount, run for a minute or two, and remark the dipstick. As far as damage to the engine, how much oil did the mechanic drain out? If he drained out a quart or less you are probably okay, any more than that I would not want to bet on in triple digit temps.
 
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Old 09-13-08, 12:33 PM
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Just so I am clear about this: You guys are thinking that the poster is a novice oil changer and never heard that the filter has to fill up with oil first by running the engine?

I just reread both your posts and now feel that what you are probably getting at is to run the engine to make sure the oil is in the filter, first off - and then to carve a new line on the dipstick because the dipstick is the wrong one.
 

Last edited by ecman51; 09-13-08 at 12:42 PM. Reason: added a retraction
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Old 09-13-08, 12:35 PM
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I am guessing the mechanic drained a quart at the most. Hopefully less to give me a margin of error. He gave me the free oil change at 500 miles because he said wanted to make sure the engine was doing ok.

With all his experience installing new engines, you would think he would look for a misread on the dipstick. This engine is a short block, and the dipstick looks like the old one from the previous engine.

I drove the new engine about 2500 miles with possible lower oil level.

When I checked the oil, I followed the owner manual procedure and shut off the engine after driving it for some time.

I think I got the casting number and the number from the dipstick. I am going to call Ford to see if these can be compared to make sure the correct oil pan is installed.

I am to watch this engine closely. If I have any problems, someone will be installing a new engine free of charge.
 
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Old 09-13-08, 03:23 PM
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if it was a short block why did he not use your old oil pan? that should not have changed any thing on the oil level castings are not usually that different. or they won't fit your accessories. did he use your dipstick? are you sure that you have the correct oil filter, did your vehicle have a oil cooler that it now doesn't? just because you bought your oil filter at a parts house doesn't mean it is correct, check with at least two to make sure it is being looked up correctly.

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Old 09-13-08, 03:51 PM
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Well, from my limited knowlege, consider this as well.

Did you get any bad pressure readings and or warning lights while driving?

From what I know, overfilling some engines can be as bad (or worse) than underfilling. Once the oil gets whipped up, you'd be sucking froth instead of liquid.

Absolutely, figure out where the problem is, but I wouldn't be worrying too much. I've driven cars a qt down for weeks, and pretty sure I've driven a few that were overfilled as well. A qt isn't that much, unless it's of your favorite blended Irish.
 
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Old 09-13-08, 10:00 PM
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In answer to your questions. A brand new oil pan was included with this re-manufactured engine. I noticed a yellow sticker on the pan warning the installer to make sure the oil pan was correct size.

My truck engine did not have an oil cooler and does not now.

The dipstick from the old engine was transferred from the new engine.

The installation included an engine kit, and I don't think the kit included a new dipstick.

I am sure I am using the correct oil filter. While in the auto parts store I cross-referenced make/model, model year, and engine size in the store parts manual.

The oil pressure reading was constant at correct and incorrect oil level. About 50 PSI when oil has heated up.

It's a new oil pressure gauge too.

One thing that makes me curious. When I did the oil change a few days ago, I also replaced the drain plug. The drain plug had a larger nut size than the previous drain plug. And it seemed to take a long time to screw it in tight. I know I bought the right drain plug because I watched the parts store guy put my make/model specs in the computer. Maybe this is an indication that the oil pan is wrong?
 
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Old 09-14-08, 05:44 AM
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I am sure I am using the correct oil filter. While in the auto parts store I cross-referenced make/model, model year, and engine size in the store parts manual.
Year make and model for which...the vehicle or the engine?????

Technically , what you have now is just a 2.9 ford engine. It may have been a Ranger, a bronco 2, and any year from 89 to mid 90's...
Looking up the year make and model for your truck may no longer suffice.

As has beeen mentioned....Fill the engine with the correct amount of oil, and Mark the dipstick to correspond.....Not a big deal. Dont lose any sleep over it.
 
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Old 09-14-08, 10:32 AM
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In answer to Unclediesel's question. When I buy an oil filter, drain plug, or whatever, in the auto parts store, I use the make model and year of the vehicle (and 2.9 liter engine)to get the correct part. This is the only way I know of to buy auto parts.

What, do I have to buy auto parts now based on numbers from the engine block. I don't think this can even be done.

I am thinking that a 2.9 engine would use the same oil filter for all Ford makes: Bronco/Mountaineer/Explorer. At least I hope so.

I have to call the manufacturer and Ford to get to the bottom of this anyway.

You buy a new engine, and the dipstick should give you an accurate reading. Simple as that. Maybe they shipped an oil pan for a Bronco. Who knows? That's what I have to find out.
If I found out I had the wrong oil pan, I would just flat out demand a new engine anyway.
 
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Old 09-14-08, 10:58 AM
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hey blues,
Regarding the drain plug, I don't work at a parts counter, but lots of times a new part may be slightly different from the original. Things may change over time, or a company finds that they can make one part for 2 different applications with just a minor change, and it works fine for both.

I think the only way to know if it's the right pan, is to see if an original stock pan looks the same. Or see if there is a part number stamped into it somewhere.
 
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Old 09-14-08, 11:40 AM
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Good point, Gunguy. I crawled underneath the truck and wrote down three numbers; one from the engine block, manifold, and dipstick. I didn't see a number on the oil pan, but I'll check again.
 
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Old 09-15-08, 08:42 AM
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dipstick

Ford seems to have problems with dip sticks. I bought a new ford car that if you put in the amount of oil called for it showed a quart over. You have gotten a different block,or oil pan than your dipstick matches.As stated before fill it up and mark the dipstick. If you had constant oil pressure the engine was not harmed. Forget calling ford they wont know anything.Hope this puts your mind at ease. RW
 
 

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