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You are here: Home Tech Articles & Tutorials Engine/Transmission FE/FT Oil Pan, Dipstick & Tube Data
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FE/FT Oil Pan, Dipstick & Tube Data

 

NOTE: Most of the information on this page was provided by the users of the FordFE.com forums and the FORDification.com forums and has been consolidated here for easy reference.

 

FE Dipsticks and Tubes

     The dipstick tube for any FE is dependent on the application, not the engine displacement. While a dipstick/tube from a 1965 Galaxie 352 might physically fit a 1972 F100 390, they are different. All '67-newer dipstick tubes are the same length except for 4X4's. The 428 dipsticks may be marked differently for the larger volume but they should all be interchangeable (more info below). As long as you have a matched tube and stick it will work all the way back to '58. The only dipsticks that had a different level were the later CJ's and of course the rear-sump pans. They may have varied where the tube mounted or what kind of handle but the level indicator always ends up in the same spot.

     As an odd matter of interest, the '65 and '66 T-birds each used a specific dipstick and tube that was not used on anything else. The '65 T-bird dipstick is 23.22" long from the shield to the tip and the '66 is 23.70. From the full mark to the shield is 20.06" on a '65 and 21.56" on a '66. While both are oddballs, the '66 (part number C6SZ-6750-B) is more sought-after.

     Early FE dipstick tubes bolted to the front of the head (using the outermost coil bracket mount hole) so they will work for any year, but later tubes bolted to the forward #5 cylinder exhaust manifold bolt. If you are running an 8-bolt head you need a dipstick tube from an 8-bolt head. If you are running a 14- or 16-bolt head, you need a tube from either of those. The reason for this is the bolt hole indexes the tube as to how far it enters the block, and the mounting brackets are in different spots for each. If you use the wrong one it could install too high or low and give you bad readings. Not all dipstick tubes are the same, so you need to be sure you have the correct dipstick for the tube you have. For example, what reads correct on a '69 won't be accurate on a '70, due to different tube lengths. If you have to, you can just pour in the right amount of oil and make your own mark. Park your vehicle on a level surface, drain the oil, replace the filter, add 7 quarts, run the engine till hot, shut off and let cool, mark your stick accordingly.

     There was also a Service Letter from Ford in April 1969, stating that early April production 1969 Ford's with 390's built at the Wayne assembly plant used the wrong dipstick. The service letter states that a 302 dipstick was used by mistake, and it includes the length of the correct 390 dipstick.

 

     Here are a couple sources for FE dipsticks:

     If all else fails when trying to find the correct dipstick for your FE, just make one. There are lots of aftermarket handles for dipsticks available in the aftermarket. With a fresh load of oil to establish how long it should be, use a dipstick from anything and then cut it right and fasten on the handle. They are usually held on with a set-screw. And you have a new chrome (or whatever) 'pretty' for your engine.

     If you're after a more semi-'factory-correct' look but are still on a budget, try the following.  Dean at FordFE.com broke his dipstick tube off in the block and decided to build his own:

     "To make mine, I simply removed the flare from one end of a 3/8" steel tube, and put a slight chamfer to it. Using my broken one as a guide I put the correct bends in it (by hand, carefully) and cut it to the correct height. Then I used a Dremel to grind the bracket off the old unit and smooth the inside of it. There were only 3 spots where it was attached to the tube. I slipped the new tube into the block, and located the bracket. I used a Sharpie to mark the bracket location, and [had] it tack welded at my local exhaust shop. The whole thing could be fabricated if you don't have the original bracket, just eyeball it. And if you are unsure of the length, change the oil and filter, run the engine, and cut down the pipe (with a tubing cutter) until the full mark lines up with your stick. One coat of Ford blue (or black, if you have an oldie) and you're ready to roll."

 

Part numbers for the FE 4x4 rear-sump oil pan's dipstick and tube:

     The pans were the same from 67-76 but there was a range of dipsticks and tubes for some reason. There was also a 65/6 pans C5TZ-6675-F and C6TZ-6675-E. There is tube C6TZ-6754-D with dipstick C6TZ-6750-D used with C6TZ-6675-E pan used up to serial number A70,001 in 67), C7TZ-6754-A and dipstick C7TZ-6750-B (they are a set), D5TZ-6754-D which uses dipstick D5TZ-6750-A, and tube C4TZ-6754-C with dipstick C6TZ-6750-C. The C7TZ-6754-A tube was superseded with the C4TZ-6754-C in 12/85.

     It is definitely very confusing but it does appear that any mid-'67 to '76 dip stick and tube set will work with any mid '67-'76 pan. Also note that '65 F100 4X4, '65/'66 F250 4X4, and '65-'66 F350 2X4 used a C5AZ-6750-D dipstick and a C5TZ-6675-F pan but I do not have a number for the matching dipstick tube (I will keep looking).

428CJ Dipsticks and Tubes

     As noted above, some 428CJ's used a revised level on the dipstick, so if you replace it with another tube and dipstick you won't be running as much oil. Here's the scoop:

     Up through early-1969, the 428CJ pan was 5 quarts. When Ford found that the Boss 302's, 428CJ's and 429CJ/SCJ's were running out of oil at higher RPM's, they issued a Technical Service Bulletin in mid-1969 changing it to 6 quarts with new pan, windage tray, and dipstick. (And you must have the new oil pan and windage tray for the recall. Simply adding two quarts to an early CJ is a formula for trouble. The revised pan and windage tray are mandatory with that recalibrated dipstick.) In 1970 there was a new TSB (pictured here, click to enlarge) and D0 dipstick that increased the capacity from five quarts to seven quarts for an oil change with a new filter (six quarts in the pan, one in the filter). Same pan, different dipstick. It's generally believed that Ford started seeing oil-capacity "warrantee" issues with CJ engines because of the stock pan. The front-sump pan would dump some oil to the rear of the engine on hard acceleration, and oil would not return to the front sump until the throttle is released. Ford decided that a recalibrated dipstick would be a cheaper "warrantee fix" and "production fix" than replacing oil pans and oil pickups on all the previously built and sold 428CJ motors.

     Here is a photo (courtesy of RDave, click to enlarge) of both FE dipsticks lined up equally at the hub. The original CJ dipstick (casting no. C7OE6750-A, available from CarlsFordParts.com) is on the top. The recalibrated CJ dipstick (D0OE-6750-C) is on the bottom. If you were interested, and didn't want to spend $200.00 on a NOS dipstick, you could use this photo as a reference as to approximate where the new markings on the recalibrated dipstick would fall on the original dipstick, and mark it. It looks like if you were at the "E" in the word "SAFE" on the old dipstick, you would be 2 quarts down according to the TSB recommendation, and you would be topped off is you were at the second letter "A" in the word "WARRANTY". You would be down 1 quart if you were half way in between.

     In this photo, the one on top is an original from a 428CJ (casting number C7OE-6750-A), the second one is the NOS recalibrated CJ dipstick (casting number D0OE-6750-C), the one in the bottom is the one from Carl's (also casting number C7OE-6750-A), the markings are indexed exactly the same as the top dipstick. The "advantage" or difference between the top and bottom dipsticks which explains the length discrepancy (all 3 dipsticks are even at the hub for the photo) is that the one on the bottom lets you know when you are 2 quarts "gulp" down (which you may already be if you are only filling to the full mark on either the top or bottom dipsticks!, on the recalibrated dipstick, it would read 4 quarts down "double gulp"!)

     Nowadays, I'd advise buying a $99.00 Milodon oil pan from Jegs or Summit to get the functional equivalent of a CJ pan (factory oil pickup is fine), buy a new CJ-type windage tray from any of many places, then replace the oil filter and add 7 quarts of oil. Start the engine to get the oil warmed and flowing, move the car to level concrete, turn it off, and then check the original dipstick. Where the oil now sits is the new and correct level. Just install a scratch line on the dipstick, and you're set.

     Note that if you bend the dipstick even a little, it is no longer properly calibrated. If it's slightly bent or if the tube is slightly mis-positioned, the tip is likely to hit the pump and deflect away from the oil bath altogether.

     When increasing the volume of oil in the pan as described above, use of a windage tray is recommended to keep the oil out of the rotating assembly. However, most aftermarket windage trays do not have the necessary hole drilled in it to allow the dipstick and tube to extend through it, so an appropriately-located 1/2" hole must be marked and drilled.

Installing/Removing Dipstick Tubes

     The dipstick tube doesn't go into the block very far...maybe 1/4"-3/8". The mounting tab on the upper end will bolt into the forward exhaust manifold bolt (if you're using standard 8-bolt cylinder heads) and leave about a 1/4"-1/2" from the tube rib to the block. (The rib does NOT go all the way to the block!) While it's sometimes possible to jam the  tube all the way in down to the rib, this will extend the tube and dipstick too far into the block, giving you an incorrect (low) oil level reading.

     In the interests of maintaining a cleaner engine compartment, a good seal at the bottom of the tube is desirable. However, most folks are not partial to introducing silicone sealant anywhere in the oiling system, or where it can end up there...so here's what you should do:

     Using a Q-tip, apply a light coating of Permatex #2 gasket cement to the inside of the tube hole in the block. Apply another coating on the bottom end of the tube itself. Insert the tube into the block hole, using hand pressure and aligning things as best you can. Then drop a short #2 Phillips screwdriver (with a plastic handle) into the top end of the tube, so the handle rests against the tube itself. Give it one or two good raps with a hammer, to seat the tube fully.

     If the retaining bracket's hole doesn't align correctly with the front exhaust manifold bolt hole on #5 cylinder, do any of the following to correct that:

  • Straighten or re-bend the tube slightly, using hand pressure

  • Bend the bracket up or down to suit, using a pair of pliers

  • File the bracket's bolt hole slightly until it aligns

     Then install your dipstick and check for binding as it's inserted. Also check for the lower end hitting on any of the crank/rods/windage tray/oil pickup/sump baffles.

     Then you need to check the calibration of the dipstick by draining the oil, replacing the filter, and filling as specified. Circulate the oil, move to level ground, and mark a new 'full' line on the dipstick.

     When installing headers, it's common to have them touching the dipstick tube. However, you shouldn't bend the tube for clearance. This will simply recalibrate the dipstick, as it will enter the engine at a different angle. This is a problem which typically ends up in horrid dipstick action, since it also becomes tough to install and remove. Installing a spacer washer and using a unique-length bolt will likely be the best solution.

     Removing a dipstick tube: Normally, as long as you ensure it's not still bolted in, you can simply twist and pull to remove the tube. However, if its stuck in the block, put a bolt in the top of the tube to prevent crushing, and then use ViceGrips to twist the tube back and forth until it slips out.

FE/FT Oil Pans

     A full-sump FT (361/391) oil pan (as used on the Louisville and cab-over Ford trucks) will bolt up to an FE engine and is a very popular swap on pickup trucks and works fine.  The factory-rated capacity of the pan is 8 quarts, although it will hold up to about 13 quarts. However, the trick is to baffle it and run seven quarts of oil. It has a pan-mounted dipstick, located on the right side.  However, if you bolt one of these onto your FE with a block-mounted dipstick, you'll notice that the block dipstick shows a little more oil than the pan dipstick. You can use either the block or the pan dipstick...just be sure and plug the hole you don't use. Then put in seven quarts of oil and remark the dipstick. (NOTE: the FE rear-sump pan-mounted dipstick tube setup is not interchangeable with the FT full-sump dipstick tube assembly.)

NOTE: The 'full' level of an oil pan is always measured from the pan rail. Therefore, the depth of the oil pan has no effect on the accuracy of the dipstick.

     The dipstick tube hole in the block is sealed with a small plug, basically a very small press-fit freeze plug. The hole is double-stepped, permitting a .375" diameter soft plug to be punched 0.80" into the hole until it seats firmly against the .313" diameter step at the base of the .373"-.374" diameter portion of the hole.

     Other tricks to plugging the hole in the block include:

  • A 9mm Luger cartridge case is a good fit (use the nickel-plated ones). Leave the expired primer in it and use a Q-tip to smear some RTV in the top of the block hole before you tap it into place.

  • Thread the hole in the block and screw in a readily-available Allen-head plug.

  • Use a small length of wooden dowel. The oil it soaks up will cause the dowel to swell up and seal the hole.

     Conversely, if you're installing a 4WD FE engine in your truck but are using a 2WD front-sump pan, you'll have to knock the factory plug out. If the oil pan is off, you can drive it up from the bottom. Otherwise, use a small punch to poke a hole in the plug and pull it out with a slide hammer. (DON'T attempt to drill it out, as that will drop metal shavings down into the oil pan!)

     When swapping on an FT pan, you'll also need the matching pickup tube, as well as the special main cap bolt, which has a threaded extension to attach the pickup tube.

     FE 4x4 and FT oil pans have the dipstick mounted on the side of the pan, as opposed to through the block in car and 2WD truck applications.

  • The stock oil pan for 428CJ is a 5-qt. pan, part # is C9ZZ-D, the 7qt "deep-sump" pan is part # C8AX-A.

 

Misc. Notes
  • Looking for a rear-sump oil pan for your small-block? The '66-'77 Broncos and vans use a rear-sump pan with a pan-mounted dipstick. Another possible donor is the early Fox Mustang 302 pan. From '79 to about '82 they used a dual-sump pan that had the dipstick in the pan. I think '83 was when the dipstick was moved to the block.
 

 
You are here: Home Tech Articles & Tutorials Engine/Transmission FE/FT Oil Pan, Dipstick & Tube Data


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