Here is a topic that I have covered before, and it is covered in some depth in the 2014 conversion manual. The part number we assign to the dipstick is #2206, in the #2200 oil pan group.
The dipstick itself is an after market model for a 289-302 Ford V-8. You can get it in the Mr. Gasket brand from most auto parts stores or SummitRacing .com. Discard the stock mounting clamp that comes with it.
Before I put the two case halves together, I run a .375″ drill down through the hole in the case. This makes it from a hard drive fit to a light tap in place item. The bottom part of the dip stick tube below the shoulder is 1″ long. If you rough this part up with 40 grit paper, you can then bond the dip stick tube in the case with Ultra Gray Permatex RTV. This is a better sealed installation than a dry driven in tube in the stock case hole size.
The stock overall length of the tube is about 12″. Use a tubing cutter to neatly reduce the overall length to 8″. This is 1″ below the shoulder and 7″ above it. After using the cutter, run a Unibit stepped hole saw into the tube to clean out the crimping left from the tubing cutter. Test fit the dip stick.
Put the tube in the case, with the RTV smeared over the last 1″. Put it in the case so the bend in the tube brings the tube closest to the top cover on the case. It should be about 1/2″ away. Later if you wish to make a small tab to stabilize the tube to the top cover bolt, you can, and it will be short and neat. We call this part #2207, it is just a light tab with a 3/8′ hole on one side and a 5/16″ on the other.
Before putting the oil pan on, after the lifters are adjusted and the oil pick up #2202 is in place, test the dip stick in the engine. YES, it is aligned with the top of the pick up, so the dip stick must be trimmed off not to strike the top of the pick up.
YES, this will preclude having the dip stick long enough to tell when the engine is down to the last quart in the pan. Have a cup of coffee and think this through: When will you need to know the difference between having one quart or two in the pan? Never. The only thing you will need to know is when the engine has 5 quarts in it and when it has four. That is the operating range. A well built engine will use none between 25 hour oil changes. No one needs to know when their engine is down to 3 quarts. Having the pick up where it is better for oil suction to the pump. Dip stick location to tell when the oil is down to one quart does not take design precedence over having the pickup in the best location.
Do not mark the dip stick! Test run your engine with 4-5 quarts in it. If you are on a level test stand and have no cooler for the test run, use 4 quarts. If you are running it with a cooler or on a tail wheel airframe, use 5 quarts.
After the test run, drain the oil. With the airframe in the position it will sit in on the ramp, ie tail wheel on the ground, or tri gear normally loaded, pour in 4 quarts of oil. put the dip stick in, note the oil level and mark it. I generally drill a 3/64″ hole. Then, add one more quart, recheck, and make the top mark. This defines the operating range of the engine.
Number of running engines that I have personally done this to, and had it work perfectly with no leaks; About 80.
The total length of time to cut the stick, de-bur the end, sand, drill the case hole, bond it in, cut the stick and later mark it: About 10 minutes.
Total expense involved for this system: About $13
Alternatives: People can go on the internet, pose the question to discussion groups, get 8 ideas, all of which take longer, cost more, and have not flown. One can then read 26 responses in favor of/ totally against the 8 ideas, all written by people who have never built a flying Corvair engine. Spend a week fretting over which idea is the best. Pick the one that involves driving the oversized tube in place on the assembled motor. This pulls off a tiny sliver that falls in the pan. It fits through the screen size, gets drawn into the pump, stuck to the tooth, and gouges the walls of the WW-2000HV oil pump housing, causing low idling oil pressure. Get back on same discussion group and ask about the low pressure. Same guy named “Flyboy26”, who suggested driving in the dip stick tube like it was The Golden Spike at Promontory Point comes back and has a long diatribe about how ww sells defective oil pump housings, and he learned a much better way when he was a factory-trained, Renault Le-car lug nut service specialist in Canada the 1970s. (complete with a side bar on why wheels only need 3 lug nuts.) This starts a long discussion on why 1969-73 4WD Ford F-250s has left handed threads on the right front hub only. Guy chimes in to say this isn’t true, and BTW, Elvis is alive, Oswald was acting on orders from Hoover, men never landed on the moon and orange marmalade cures cancer. Two people write back to say that is preposterous, it is actually raspberry jam that cures cancer. Guy from Ghana writes into say that trucks built by Holden in Australia had left handed lug nuts on every hub except the right front, because they were used in the southern hemisphere. Another guy writes in to say that the safety shaft threads should be left handed. Ghana guy writes back to say Yes, but only in the northern hemisphere. Third guy writes in to agree, but points out that some engines will be used in pushers. Fourth guy offers to write a giant Excel spread sheet covering all the possibilities. Guy from Equador writes in, but it takes a day for someone to translate it: Says that when he drives is car over the equator, he has noticed the lug nuts get looser going north, tighter headed south. At which point it turn out that he is actually driving the last Renault Le-Car in south America. He should be great friends with guy in Canada, but they have an argument because guy in Equador innocently asks why the queen of England is on Canadian money. Last post on the story is about using an MGA carb on a Corvair, but the heading on the post is still “Dip stick tube alternatives.”
12 Replies to “All about Dipsticks, Part #2206”
OK, the Alternatives description is the funniest thing I’ve read this month. Thanks William.
PS – There’s gotta be a cheaper way than spending $13…
Sounds like there are a lot of dip s_ _ ts out there, dan-o
Love the alternative path, I can’t tell you how many rabbit holes like that I have read.
William, you left out the guy from California who insists that the problem is caused by chem trails, but doesn’t understand what contrails are, or why they filled the air during WWII, when no chemicals were being introduced into the air.
A sign, painted on the side of a pickup truck about 30 years ago: Le Truck.
Lug nuts cure cancer!!
I will have to go back and look…but
i don’t remember there being a car in that picture…..
Hilarious. But the real problem is that what those good ol’ boys meant was flug nuts, not lug nuts…let’s try for some accuracy here, guys! Then again, the internet for ’ems are the perfect place to get your threads mixed up.
William, the title of your article is “All About Dipsticks, Part #2206”. The funny thing is you begin the article talking about a device to check the oil in an engine and then, at the end, get to talking about the “real” dipsticks!!
What’s your point?
It’s grape juice that cures cancer. 1 to 2 gallons a day should do you
…there were several dozen three-nutted Le-Cars came through the dealership I was at back in ’79…