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Discussion Starter #1
I just got a 2001 Ram 1500, 5.2L as an errand truck. When I pulled the dipstick at sellers it had just been drove and "oils up" even after wiping. Seller tells me it just had a oil change, should be good for another 3000+ miles.
Later when I got it home I noticed the tip of the dipstick was broke off and it seemed to hit the front of the oil pan with a foot plus still sticking out of the tube. What the hay?
So, I order a new dipstick, sure enough, it's the same length. Hmmm, dipstick must turn 90 degrees and go to the "deep" back part of the oil pan?
Put it in, get no reading on it. Dang! Dang! DanG! Have I been driving this on a couple trips around town with no oil in it! I change the oil and put in 5 quarts. There's no leaks. The dipstick still shows no oil?
What's going on?:Wow1:
 

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it sounds almost like something is broken off down near the bottom of the dip stick tube

On some engines, you can use a pair of vice grips to pull the dip stick tube out of the block
sometimes the broken part of the dipstick will come out & other times it will just fall into the bottom of the pan.
Then you can check out the dip stick tube & if it looks good, just tap it back into place in the block, then insert your dip stick like normal
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hmmm, I don't think anything is broken. And if the tube was pushed in, the level should read high instead of bone dry on the stick.
But you had me thinking that maybe:
1) Somebody put a bigger pan on motor? Doesn't seem likely and pan looks like the one's online for sale.
2) Somebody put a longer dipstick tube on it? It doesn't look it. Looks just like the height of one's I watch on "checking RAM 1500 oil" videos.

I'm stumped :thk: :4-dontknow:

Does everybody's oil stick stick up this high over the hoses?
 

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That is normal height on the dipstick... it looks like mine... last time I changed my oil it took almost 6 quarts... so you are saying there is no oil at all on the dipstick when you check it? The pan must be larger if it is not showing oil on the dipstick... I guess try putting another quart in and checking it again and so on... I cant think of anything else...
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
... so you are saying there is no oil at all on the dipstick when you check it? ...
Yes, the dipstick is bone dry. I was wondering if maybe the dipstick tube is not tapped all the way in? Though it looks it. :4-dontknow:

Are you sure the yellow handle is not right above the hose, instead of a couple inches above like mine?

If I add oil, how can I tell if there's too much, will I see foam on the dipstick?
 

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Well... I know mine took almost 6 quarts and you can check to make sure it is all the way seated, it may not be... when I get a chance, I'll measure the oil pan on mine and let you know so you can determine if you have an oversized pan or not...
 

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Worst case is you have a big block of cooked oil around the tube (blown head gasket watering down the oil can cause the dipstick tube to have oily gunk). If you're able to fully seat the dipstick, something's going on in that pan. I'd pour some Seafoam in the crankcase and see if things don't improve. First red flag is the "just changed the oil" comment. If you have a 6 quart pan, you should still see something on the stick with 5 quarts in.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Added another quart today, there's 6 quarts in it now, and the stick is still bone dry.
Thanks Greene, can you do me a favor and measure the lengh of the tube from the block to the top of the tube when you measure the pan?
The pan is in very good condition for being built in 1999. And it looks like there's a faded white sticker on it. (Could this mean it's aftermarket?).
Should I be looking for a part number on it? Any clues where?
 

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Check your dipstick tube where it meats the block and make sure it is not bent... it may be bent enough to where it is making the dipstick ride along the side of the pan and not go down in the oil. I'll measure my tube and pan for you and let you know the measurements when I get up later... this has been baffling my brain all night...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, will check.
Which makes me realize: I don't even know how the dipstick works. Given its length, it doesn't measure oil in front of the pan, but must turn and run horizontal to the back well/sump of the pan. But once it gets there, what turns it vertical again? I'm imagining some sort of track or something in the pan the stick has to run in?
Like you suggest, should I be "feeling" for this track right when the stick enters the pan? The stick that cam with it had the last inch, that has a 90 degree twist, broke off it, and I couldn't get it to make the horizontal turn at the front of the pan. Could having a blunt edge on that stick have screwed up the "track"?
 

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The dipstick will (supposed to) go straight down into the pan... I took the measurements and the pan is 9 inches from where it bolts to the block to next to the drain plug. The dipstick tube is 15 1/2 inches long from where it goes into the block to the tip. This is what mine looks like. The dipstick itself is 36 inches long.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Eureka! I've struck oil! There must be some guides it enters to get to the back of the pan. When I felt for them when the stick goes through the block, 1/4 times I can get an oil reading.
Could definitely see that extra quart I added.
So now the question is: Is an extra quart too much extra in a 318 cu in ? On the border?
 

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It takes 5.8 quarts so you should be good if all you added is 6 quarts
 
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