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Dipstick Tube Replacement


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I have a 94 Echelon with a Merc 454. Ever since I have owned the boat I have had issues with the oil dipstick. It comes right out and will go back in 90% of the way, then it gets hung up. I attributed this to the design of the tube, with 3 or 4 bends, and usually after a couple attemps it would go in. Last fall when I winterized the boat it took forever to get the dipstick back in. I felt like this was a really dumb problem to have when changing the oil. Finally I got it, but now it is spring and time to fix it. I don't think anything is wrong with the actual dipstick. It looks just fine. There are no nicks, sharp edges, or anything else I can see.

I have found a replacement tube online: http://bpi.ebasicpower.com/pc/MER818631A6/DIPSTICK

2 questions:

First, other than a corroded/failing tube, what else could be causing the hang-up?

Second, how does the tube attach to the oil pan and how difficult is the replacement?

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The tube could be bent inside the block or slightly kinked at one of the bends causing the dipstick to hang up. I believe the dipstick tube is pressed in to the pan with a slight swedge, most are.

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As a follow-up, I had time to look at this more last night. I ended up pulling the tube out of the pan. There is a flange and short swedged tube attached to the pan and then the dipstick tube is just pressed into that. It looked like it may have been sealed with some sort of liquid gasket type material. It was easy to pull out once I moved a few hoses. Once it was out, I tried to put the dipstick in from the other end, and there is definitely something bent or cinked in the tube, near the end. It looks like a new tube is the best fix. Since I have access to the pan, I may try to put a much shorter tube on so it doesnt have all the bends needed to bring it up top and near the front.

Woodski - Thanks for the response. It was attached just like you said.

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As a follow-up, I had time to look at this more last night. I ended up pulling the tube out of the pan. There is a flange and short swedged tube attached to the pan and then the dipstick tube is just pressed into that. It looked like it may have been sealed with some sort of liquid gasket type material. It was easy to pull out once I moved a few hoses. Once it was out, I tried to put the dipstick in from the other end, and there is definitely something bent or cinked in the tube, near the end. It looks like a new tube is the best fix. Since I have access to the pan, I may try to put a much shorter tube on so it doesnt have all the bends needed to bring it up top and near the front.

Woodski - Thanks for the response. It was attached just like you said.

You will need a shorter dip stick then, which may make it difficult to determine if your oil level is correct.

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You will need a shorter dip stick then, which may make it difficult to determine if your oil level is correct.

Yes, I thought about that. I am looking at a flexible tube that comes with a new dipstick. I plan on using the collar of the old and new tubes (part that seats into the pan) as a reference point and then measure how long the old dipstick is from that point to the oli marks. The collar should be a fixed point on both and make mesauring consistent. I also know that I put the correct amount of oil in last fall. So I can mark the new stick correctly.

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