dip stick location?

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dip stick location?

Post by riddick75 on Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:54 pm

I have a 75 el camino, just had the engine machined and Im going to start putting it together and I want a new oil pan. mine is a right hand dipstick but all the parts stores just show left hand dip stick oil pans. so what im starting to wonder is what year should I buy of pan to have the right hand dip stick bump out?
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by dynchel on Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:02 pm

If i remember correctly '78 and later blocks had right side (pass side) dipstick, pre '78 was left (drivers side). Ok i just googled it an it said 1980 was the switch.


Last edited by dynchel on Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:07 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added details)
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by thatfnthing on Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:10 pm

Damn, I was going to guess '79.
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by riddick75 on Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:15 pm

Ok thanks, I'll see what I can find for a pan. The guy I bought it from it seems Frankensteined this car, the heads are the right year, still looking what year the block and intake are. but Im guessing he pulled this motor from something newer. And while I'm asking what color is your guys motors and what year is it?
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by dynchel on Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:34 pm

Mine is a '74 and is bright chevy orange.  I can't say 100% if it was born that way though.

You can't see the orange, but here's what my engine looks like. GoFast


Last edited by dynchel on Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by thatfnthing on Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:38 pm

My '73 started life as the standard Chevy Orange, but has been black for some time now.
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by 77mali on Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:29 pm

It'll depend on the casting of the block.  Look on the sides of the block near where the spark plug holes are.  There s/b a series of three numbers that will be upside-down between the freeze plugs.  My block is a 638 casting from 1988.  If you have a 5.7 L chances are you can use a stock pan from an 80's Camaro, Corvette or even some trucks.  There is also another number on the rear of the block that will indicate the month & year of casting that will either be opposite the distributor for newer blocks or on the same side for the older castings.  Mine is near where there is a "5.7L" mark- the script is kind of small.

Note these are for 5.7L

http://www.summitracing.com/search/brand/dorman/product-line/dorman-oil-pans/make/chevrolet/engine-type/v8/engine-size/5-7l-350
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by pila on Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:25 pm

Look on the front left side top of the block, just forward of the right head.  There should be an engine code there along with the serial number, stamped into the deck surface. Older engine had three letters & some numbers. Don't know what your may have. You may have to move the alternator to get a look in there.

Bill

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Re: dip stick location?

Post by riddick75 on Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:20 pm

dynchel wrote:Mine is a '74 and is bright chevy orange.  I can't say 100% if it was born that way though.

You can't see the orange, but here's what my engine looks like. GoFast

looks nice and clean. I like it. I've always been partial to these old cars because the engine bay is so open and simple. not like the new cars where everything is stacked and crammed.

77mali wrote:It'll depend on the casting of the block.  Look on the sides of the block near where the spark plug holes are.  There s/b a series of three numbers that will be upside-down between the freeze plugs.  My block is a 638 casting from 1988.  If you have a 5.7 L chances are you can use a stock pan from an 80's Camaro, Corvette or even some trucks.  There is also another number on the rear of the block that will indicate the month & year of casting that will either be opposite the distributor for newer blocks or on the same side for the older castings.  Mine is near where there is a "5.7L" mark- the script is kind of small.

Note these are for 5.7L

http://www.summitracing.com/search/brand/dorman/product-line/dorman-oil-pans/make/chevrolet/engine-type/v8/engine-size/5-7l-350

Got a look at the numbers on the block, and mine is a 5.7. The date stamp is A8 80, so january,8 1980. and the serial number was 14010209 and from what I can find says that's from a 80-81 malibu and camaro. It looks like up to 79 it was a driverside dipstick, and from 80-85 it was on the passenger side. The intake is from a 81 Z28 from the casting numbers on that one, and the heads are from something around 76 from what the machine shop said. So like I said its been frankensteined but at least I know what pan I gotta find. Thanks for the help and input. I figured I'd post my findings so if someone else has questions they might get some answers.
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by 77mali on Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:38 pm

No problem...Were you lucky enough to get a 4 bolt?
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by riddick75 on Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:44 pm

no just a 2 bolt.
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by pila on Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:15 am

4-bolt blocks are over-rated in my opinion. It takes a lot of power to push 2-bolt main caps off, which is more than most folks will ever get from a SBC. And some blocks, like the 400, have thinner webs in the block under the bearings when they are the 4-bolt variety, and many believe that after-market 4-bolt caps on a 2-bolt block are stronger. That's for the folks who are into all-out power & racing etc. ( not this old man ! )

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Re: dip stick location?

Post by riddick75 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:30 am

pila wrote:4-bolt blocks are over-rated in my opinion.  It takes a lot of power to push 2-bolt main caps off,  which is more than most folks will ever get from a SBC.  And some blocks, like the 400, have thinner webs in the block under the bearings when they are the 4-bolt variety, and many believe that after-market 4-bolt caps on a 2-bolt block are stronger.  That's for the folks who are into all-out power & racing etc.  ( not this old man ! )

Yea I figured that with what Im doing with it I don't need a 4 bolt. Not gonna push much power, this way I know I wont wreck it.  Thumbs up 
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by Joe73 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:13 am

pila wrote:4-bolt blocks are over-rated in my opinion.  It takes a lot of power to push 2-bolt main caps off,  which is more than most folks will ever get from a SBC.  And some blocks, like the 400, have thinner webs in the block under the bearings when they are the 4-bolt variety, and many believe that after-market 4-bolt caps on a 2-bolt block are stronger.  That's for the folks who are into all-out power & racing etc.  ( not this old man ! )

I agree 100%. I've seen some real quick cars with 2 bolt blocks. And yes, I think a good 2 bolt block with "splayed" 4 bolt caps if definitely better than a stock 4 bolt block. Splayed caps are aftermarket 4 bolt caps that have the 2 center bolts going in the original block holes and the outside 2 bolts go in on an angle up towards the heads. Yes your block will have to be machined to accept the splayed caps but no big deal.

Here's a look http://www.summitracing.com/parts/mil-11050?seid=srese1&gclid=CPvfy7v0gr0CFU4aOgod2z0AyQ

Some interesting reading about how fast guys are going with 2 bolt blocks (and no splayed caps) if you google "4 bolt splayed caps".
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by 77mali on Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:34 am

I think a stock 4 bolt main is good piece of mind for a rebuild on an small block. I asked b/c those 209 block castings could have come either way, depending on the car. They were also used with GM trucks of the day which were stock 4 bolt main caps. Either way it's a good foundation.
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by bracketchev1221 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:40 am

My 78 and 79 malibus had passenger dipsticks. But also check for the depth of the bend at the front of the pan. I believe around 1980 they changed the pan to require a thicker front seal on the oil pan gasket. And a 2 bolt block can go to 400 hp without a problem.
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by Joe73 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:07 pm

I think thick front seal started in 75. Basically all aftermarkert pans take the thick seal. Ive seen two bolt block builds go in the 11's so i figure more than 400 horse.
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by 77mali on Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:20 pm

I just remembered- there were 2 steel brackets that were on the motor that go along the sides of the pan to give it some rigidity.  If you have them you should reused them as the Dorman pans are prone to warping a bit if the pan bolts get over torqued.  I have a gray felpro oil pan gasket, it's good quality.  Another thing you want to consider is the rear main seal area.  I remember when I picked up the kit that the 1st pan gasket I was given was wrong- seemed like the back of it was too high (maybe for a smaller 2 pc rear seal set up?).
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by dynchel on Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:18 pm

Joe73 wrote:I think thick front seal started in 75.   Basically all aftermarkert pans take the thick seal.  Ive seen two bolt block builds go in the 11's so i figure more than 400 horse.
I found out the hard way, sometime during the '74 model year the switch was made to thick front seals. ie early '74 took thin, late '74 took thick.
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by Joe73 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:21 pm

Felpro one.piece oil pan gasket js the only way to go.  Smack it on.  Put a.dab or.rtv.in the corners and bolt.her up.  The bolt holes are sleeved so you cant overtorque the bolts and the gasket is reuseable.  I have tbe reuseable.tranny pan gasket on my 3800 buick.  Been reused three times and still seals great.  They do make the one piece for.thick or thin front main seals..  the pan dictates the front seal thickness.  Not the timing chain cover. The gasket is also steel sleeved and that helps alot.
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by thatfnthing on Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:24 pm

Joe73 wrote:Felpro one.piece oil pan gasket js the only way to go.  Smack it on.  Put a.dab or.rtv.in the corners and bolt.her up.  The bolt holes are sleeved so you cant overtorque the bolts and the gasket is reuseable.

X2. I switched to that and it's been awesome.
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by bracketchev1221 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:43 pm

I use the 1 piece fel pro on all my motors big or small block.
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by Joe73 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:24 pm

There are some sellers on ebay selling one piece oil pan gaskets for our cars but I'd be leery of the quality of them. Just fyi.

I do also have some re-usealbe valve cover gaskets that have the steel sleeve inside and the bolt sleeves. They'll be going on my my build.

Lots of cool stuff out there to keep our engines leak free. Real shame that alot of companies off shore are making them as well. And even companies who are counterfeiting well known brands as well. I like to buy my gaskets from rockauto or other well known companies. But they too can get a batch of "fake" stuff made with "chineseium". Love that word. LOL>
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by riddick75 on Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:04 pm

I found an aftermarket oil pan that used the thin front seal. and I used a cork gasket and put RTV on both sides to make sure. put the bolts on and hand tightened them (bolt sheered at 8ftlbs and the gasket just came spewing out that tight). after I had it painted I saw the cork split on the front corner, I think Ill be looking into those reusable ones. Also bought new valve covers http://htsmall.elcaminostore.com/assets/elc/images/size/265x265/sku/88-1309-3.jpg but not sure how they should be mounted. fill cap on driver or passenger side, front or back.
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Re: dip stick location?

Post by dynchel on Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:45 pm

All the chevy v8's that I have (had) the oil fill was on the driver side. I would put it toward the rear. With a pcv on the opposite valve cover. Just don't try to run w/o a pcv and open breathers.
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