Big Block Dipstick Info needed. - Team Camaro Tech
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  #1  
Old Jan 16th, 13, 07:52 AM
Powergridman Powergridman is offline

Brian
 
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Default Big Block Dipstick Info needed.

Hey all, new user here. Great site as I can say I have viewed for a few years now. Now I can participate as I just brought home a '69 Camaro vert with a 396. When I got it home and off the trailer I noticed the oil was about an 1.5" above the full mark on the dipstick. I called the guy and he said his guys always used 6 quarts of oil. It's an aftermarket dipstick (chrome). So now I'm freakin on what the dipstick measurements should be and even better but what oil to use. I've read several other posts that seems the majority uses 10w40. Non roller motor (has the lower height valve covers) with a stock pan. Also wanted to verify what year, etc. the engine is. Is there a way to do that without pulling the engine? I think it's located on a pad on the back side of engine, drivers side? I'm assuming the engine is close to year correct as it has a winters intake (snowflake) which I think means rectangle port heads. The guy I got it from was pretty hands off so NOT a good turnover on the car.

Thanks all for such a great site. Really enjoy all your previous posts.

Brad in Carmel, IN
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  #2  
Old Jan 16th, 13, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: Big Block Dipstick Info needed.

Check the pad on the block located behind the alternator (pass side), oil .... 6 quarts. Unless the oil pan was changed, 5 quarts is the norm. Here is a link: http://camaros.org/drivetrain.shtml#PadStamps
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  #3  
Old Jan 16th, 13, 08:32 AM
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Wink Re: Big Block Dipstick Info needed.

Info was just a search away

http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=215518

Welcome to Team CAMARO Brad
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  #4  
Old Jan 16th, 13, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: Big Block Dipstick Info needed.

Welcome, Brad.
Warning, you're probably going to get gigged from other members for pictures, then you will get an answer.....J/K.

Aftermarket dipstick - always needs calibrating, drain oil, and pour in the required volume, then check dipstick. If off, then remark dipstick.

Pass side deck under alternator, should be the engine code. Post here and it will be decoded, meaning, HP, date built, and where built. Drvr side side top of bellhousing is the casting number of the block. This would tell the availabilty of the future of the block.

Winters snowflake on the intake does not necessarily mean rect port heads. Removing the rocker covers and getting the casting number and date code, will tell the original intent of the heads and build date.
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  #5  
Old Jan 16th, 13, 10:50 AM
Powergridman Powergridman is offline

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Default Re: Big Block Dipstick Info needed.

Thanks guys! I will certainly go check right now and report back ASAP! Still a bit confused on the oil capacity. Is that 5 quarts + 1 for oil filter = 6, or 5 total? Any general info on weight? Just too much info out there on if oil has zinc, etc. as supposedly oil isn'y made the same today for newer cars.

Allright Everett, don't gig me for a dirty car! I just brought it home. : )
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  #6  
Old Jan 16th, 13, 11:03 AM
Powergridman Powergridman is offline

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Default Re: Big Block Dipstick Info needed.

Hopefully this works (new flickr user as well).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/92269236@N05/



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  #7  
Old Jan 16th, 13, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: Big Block Dipstick Info needed.

Welcome Brad. Pics so far look good.

If you did not follow the link that John posted...here is the information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage 68 View Post
Dang near all passenger installed BBC oil pans were 4 quarts (5 with filter) capacity as listed in the service documents.
There were obvious exceptions for some HP Corvette and HD truck applications which could be 5~7 quart.

They were/are all around the same depth (+/- 1/2"), again with a few exceptions for HD/Industrial application, with the main variable being the legth/design of the main sump area.
I commonly refer to them as;
3-step = most 4-quart 'passenger' pans
2-step = many 5-quart 'Vette HP applications
1-step = some 6~7-quart HD/Industrial applications
(If you look at the pan you can see that they 'step' up from the front seal area as described about)

So ... I would figure it is a 4-quart pan if it is 'stock' to your application and proceed as such.
You could check by draining sump - filling with 4-quarts of fresh oil and checking level on dipstick - if it still looks 'low', then check you dip-stick against a stock offering or if it's exactly 1-quart 'low' then add that last quart and figure someone replaced the pan along the way with a high cap. unit ...
Post some pics of your oil pan. That may help determine what you have. It might have a Corvette pan on it.

And as stated, the stamped information on the front pad of the block, in front of the passenger side cylinder head will help determine what the engine is.
See this link..
http://www.camaros.org/drivetrain.shtml#PadStamps

The casting number and date from the back would be helpful too. Sometimes the casting date is on the passenger side of the block near the engine mount area.
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  #8  
Old Jan 16th, 13, 11:37 AM
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Wink Re: Big Block Dipstick Info needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Powergridman View Post
... Still a bit confused on the oil capacity. Is that 5 quarts + 1 for oil filter = 6, or 5 total? Any general info on weight? Just too much info out there on if oil has zinc, etc. as supposedly oil isn'y made the same today for newer cars.

Allright Everett, don't gig me for a dirty car! I just brought it home. : )
It should be 4 quarts + 1 for Filter change = 5 Total - as long as it's the common 'stock' passenger oil pan ...

As far as oil - would need to know more about engine, cam, driving conditions and other info before we could accurately answer.
But as a general rule - if the engine is built to 'stock' spec.s and has a 'flat' tappet cam, then a 10w40 oil with a can of EOS (or a higher ZDDP spec.) would be the normal recommendation ...
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1968 Convertible
Some trucks
Other V8 things - some of which float
Other V6 things - none of which float
Oh yeah, and 1 "Straight-Six" ...

If a man says something in the garage - and his wife can't hear him - is he still wrong !!!
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  #9  
Old Jan 16th, 13, 12:09 PM
Powergridman Powergridman is offline

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Default Re: Big Block Dipstick Info needed.

Thanks guys. The engine stamp by the alt is T08IIIV followed by the VIN: 18S146374. On the back of engine reads (can only determine 6 of possible 7 #'s) 39_6323. The only thing that makes sense would be 3916323. The first digit, and last three digits are clean. Just not 100% sure on the rest. Had to break out the krud cutter! The intake has #3885069. Well,hopefully this isn't a truck engine?
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  #10  
Old Jan 16th, 13, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: Big Block Dipstick Info needed.

396/325 hp engine used with TH400 transmission, originally installed in 1968 full size Chevy (probably Impala) assembled at the St. Louis Missouri plant.

Do you have a pic of the stamps? I will let Warren know and he can add it to the Impala database.
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Last edited by bcm66; Jan 16th, 13 at 01:57 PM.
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  #11  
Old Jan 16th, 13, 02:05 PM
Powergridman Powergridman is offline

Brian
 
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Default Re: Big Block Dipstick Info needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcm66 View Post
Welcome Brad. Pics so far look good.

If you did not follow the link that John posted...here is the information.



Post some pics of your oil pan. That may help determine what you have. It might have a Corvette pan on it.

And as stated, the stamped information on the front pad of the block, in front of the passenger side cylinder head will help determine what the engine is.
See this link..
http://www.camaros.org/drivetrain.shtml#PadStamps

The casting number and date from the back would be helpful too. Sometimes the casting date is on the passenger side of the block near the engine mount area.
Thanks Bryon, here is a link to a photo of the oil pan. It looks as though from the description it may be a 2 step pan?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9226923...in/photostream
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  #12  
Old Jan 16th, 13, 02:24 PM
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Wink Re: Big Block Dipstick Info needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Powergridman View Post
Thanks Bryon, here is a link to a photo of the oil pan. It looks as though from the description it may be a 2 step pan?
...
Click image for larger version

Name:	Powergridmans oil pan.jpg
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ID:	31843

It's actually a 3-step
(count stamp transitions from the front seal)

I'd still do the oil change, add 4-quarts and then check the dip-stick mark (prior to starting the engine.
If it's anywhere near the 'Full' mark then it's the right stick and is a 4-quart pan - if not then you got some figurin' to do ... can you get it to 'full' by adding another quart, or , is the stick to short ...
You could also just order a 'repopped' dip-stick (NPD #C-1516-4 @$20) for your engine and see what kind of reading you get doing the above check - that should help you rule out the stick ...
__________________
1968 Convertible
Some trucks
Other V8 things - some of which float
Other V6 things - none of which float
Oh yeah, and 1 "Straight-Six" ...

If a man says something in the garage - and his wife can't hear him - is he still wrong !!!
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  #13  
Old Jan 16th, 13, 02:25 PM
Powergridman Powergridman is offline

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Default Re: Big Block Dipstick Info needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcm66 View Post
396/325 hp engine used with TH400 transmission, originally installed in 1968 full size Chevy (probably Impala) assembled at the St. Louis Missouri plant.

Do you have a pic of the stamps? I will let Warren know and he can add it to the Impala database.
Here ya go Bryon. Curious as to how one can tell if 325/350 or 375hp?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9226923...in/photostream
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/92269236@N05/
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  #14  
Old Jan 16th, 13, 02:30 PM
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Cool Re: Big Block Dipstick Info needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Powergridman View Post
... Curious as to how one can tell if 325/350 or 375hp?
...
Truthfully, at this point you can't as numerous changes may have taken place inside and out
But ... the application Suffix (the series of numbers that start with the "T") gives the 'state-of-tune' that GM originally assembled that particular engine to back in 1968.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Powergridmans Suffix.jpg
Views:	27
Size:	43.8 KB
ID:	31844

The "IV" denotes the state-of-tune (or HP) as being an RPO-L35 325HP 396CI with a TH400 trans used in an Impala/Full Size
The '8' in the Partial VIN (the 18S146874) sequence denotes it was a 1968 model engine application.
The 'S' in that Partial denotes it was assembled in St. Louis final assembly plant assigned sequence #146874.
__________________
1968 Convertible
Some trucks
Other V8 things - some of which float
Other V6 things - none of which float
Oh yeah, and 1 "Straight-Six" ...

If a man says something in the garage - and his wife can't hear him - is he still wrong !!!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old Jan 16th, 13, 02:38 PM
Powergridman Powergridman is offline

Brian
 
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Default Re: Big Block Dipstick Info needed.

That makes sense. Thanks John. Would the length of the dipstick housing make a difference? It's probably an aftermarket one considering it's chrome.

You guys are great. Hopefully one day I can return the favor for someone on here.
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/92269236@N05/
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