2 inches of broken dipstick in pontiac 455

big al

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#1
72 Pontiac 455 with 2 inches of broken oil dipstick in the pan. Owner did not start it, i have searched the inside of the pan with a magnet and cannot grab it. The dipstick shows signs of being on a grinder at some point in its life (so its pretty thin already ) it broke off when he tried checking the oil. There are only 2 things that i know i could try
1= a blst of air followed by 2 qts of oil down the dipstick tube ( hoping to wash it down to the sump area
2= remove the motor and pull the pan, removing the motor isnt that big of a deal, the worst part would be the P.I.A. headers he has it.
He doesnt want to risk starting it due to the amount of money and time into this non stock motor.
Anyone have any other brilliant ideas?
 

billr

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#2
Isn't that dip-stick tube just lightly pressed into the block/pan, maybe with an O-ring to seal it? Try just yanking on it firmly.

Why, though, does the stick look "ground down"? If it is hitting the crank, that should be attended to; maybe the pan should come off anyway.
 

big al

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#3
Its a 3 piece design, has a tube that goes down about 1/2 way down in the block itself, then an intermediate tube that that press fits onto the first tube in the rest of the 1/2 block hole,then the upper piece with the dipstick. The upper piece is pretty bent up and has some kinks in hidden areas, dipstick was on a grinder twards the top of the FULL marks/dots ( this is where it broke off, i have changed oil on this motor before and know that the dipstick was not rubbing on the crank, and recommended replacement of the entire tube and stick assembly several months ago, it was scheduled to happen before the car went to storage for winter, but didnt make it that far
Bill, i have all the tubes off but he is concerned about the broken piece in the pan its about a 2 inch piece of yhe dipstick itself not the tube. I know it would never make past the the pump pickup screen . He doesnt want the rods or crank to come in contact with it.
 
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#5
1. Are you sure it has fallen completely out of the tube?

2. For fishing in a situation such as yours, I will put small magnet (from small screwdriver handle) in the end of a length of vacuum hose. To add some rigidity, I sometimes put thin wire inside the vacuum hose also, kinking the end of the wire so that it is too short to dislodge the magnet.

 
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billr

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#6
Okay, I misinterpreted your comment on the "blast of air" into the tube, I thought it was still in place with the stick nubbin in it.

Yeah, this sure sound like a job for a magnet. I still gotta ask, why was the stick ground down (making it so weak)??? Is he going to be able to go back in with a normal stick, or is this going to be a recurring problem?
 
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#7
In all honesty it will not hurt anything to stay in the pan. Your oil pump has a screen on it so it cannot be sucked up into the engine. I have taken many pans down with dropped bolts nuts etc never hurt anything
 

PC

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#8
If you're sure the piece made it to the pan, after the oil is drained, take that big old magnet, move it around the bottom of the pan,hopefully it is strong enough to grab the piece and work it over to the drain plug, then work it out from there. Gonna need a big magnet.
 

Gus

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#9
I would drain the oil,.......I happen to have an inspection camera/borescope(have seen real cheap ones at Walmart for under $50, but you kind of get what you pay for).....would stick that in the drain opening, and see if I can find it....if found in the bottom of the pan, a small flexible magnet(I have one that pulls out of a flash light) can get in there by sending it in the correct direction as seen by the camera.......

But all that being said, the pump is not going to suck it through the strainer, and there is no way it can affect the bearings in the engine, if left in the pan....
 

billr

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#10
My understanding is that this is an expensive high-performance engine. Any chance that the piece of that stick could get kicked up and chewed on a bit is unacceptable. The metal debris may not ever be able to get past the filter to the bearings, but the cylinder walls and cam lobes are all well-exposed to any crap flying around in there. I sure wouldn't count on that piece just laying peacefully down there, engines like this often have special baffling in the pan to keep oil "sorta in the sump" as G-forces try to move it around. My dissenting opinion...
 

big al

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#11
Bill, i am in agreement. I can say from my own high performance builds that its not a good idea to just leave it. Have thought about dropping the pan a measly 2 inches and searching that way, problem with this method is a 72 motor so if not done correctly itll probly leak anyways. At this point im about 96% sure ill be pulling motor. Owner wants to do more trans upgrades , and performance rebuilt the front end,body mounts, and subframe connectors. Itll be a good time to do it. Nothing about the job is too bad except for PIA headers he has ( have ya ever messed with headers and pontiac heads in a car - its a royal pain
 

billr

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#12
Worse than these 2-1/8" tubes near the steering box in my Corvette? Those "boots" on the plugs are the necks of small glass bottles, as no elastomers can take the heat.

Again, I would re-route that dip-stick tube, if necessary, so the stick doesn't have to be skinnied-up to get in there.
 

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nickb2

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#13
Call me crazy, but I would use a work around on this conunmdrum, since you will be pulling the block out anyway, install a flex tube which looks something like this.

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Lokar...ight-Lock-Flexible-Engine-Dipstick,67750.html

I used one of these on my drag eagle talon. When I tried to fit the header and route the stock dip stick and the intercooler and all that was in place, that dipstick kind of got lost, my solution was a flex dip stick.

I also did the same on my 1971 pontiac lemans. That was quite a simple fix compared to the eagle talon.

Anyway, just an idea to prevent future fu$k ups.

On that pontiac engine, should be easy as pie to intall.
 

nickb2

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#14
This is probably a driver side oil pan dip stick. Often what happens, the guy's kink the dip stick because they leave it in place and bolt the pan.

It has happened to me before on more modern engines.

I don't know this block, but if it is stock, I think it is a pass through hole in the block. My old potiac was retro fitted so mine had the dipstick here, like in this picture, and the flex tube was great cuz the headers got so hot, I could check my oil without burning myself. N1001.JPG

A cheap racing oil pan will have an access hole on the side opposite of the oil drain plug.