Dip Stick Tube: Removing from Engine Block Without Damaging

Here is another one of the tricks I learned over the years and included in our March 2013 Newsletter and will share here:


Removing the Oil Dipstick Tube

by Jason Edge

This might seem like an easy task but removing and installing a dipstick tube in an engine block without damaging the tube is not that easy, but I have a sure fire “trick” that I will share with everyone.   The problem is if you just try to grip the tube with pliers and twist and turn out, or even worse take a hammer and punch out from the bottom, you are guaranteed to damage the tube.  

For removing the tube, the trick is to take a deep set 11mm 12 point socket and slide on the bottom of the tube, and gently tap the socket with hammer, pushing it out.  You will be able to remove the tube up to a point before the lip of the socket hits the bottom of the block.  You can then take an 11mm open end wrench and put around the tube next to the seat ring and tap the wrench head with hammer to drive the tube the remainder of the way out. (Note: if tube is sliding out nice and smooth with deep set socket, you can switch to a short regular 11mm 12 point socket, once you reach the block with deep set socket, to push it through that much farther without switching to the open end wrench).


For inserting the tube, lube the block where tube is inserted with WD40 and set the 11mm open end wrench head against the seat ring and gently tap the tube into the block until the seat ring is against the block.  I have removed and installed at least a dozen dip stick tubes in this manner over the years and works perfectly every time.

Note: 7/16" Socket & Wrench will work but 11mm will give you a tighter fit.

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Comment by Clovis on November 26, 2017 at 10:39am
Also went to caddy daddy looking for a new tube. $210 to get one to my door....unreal for a piece of 7/16" tube.
Comment by Clovis on November 26, 2017 at 10:37am
I still haven't done my oil pan gaskets and dip tube. I'm hoping to get to it this winter. Mine looks like a new tube so it may need to be bent also. Just to clarify, the tube doesn't hit the crank just the dipstick hits.
Comment by Ricky Tee on November 26, 2017 at 9:36am

When I pop the oil pan off I'll take some photos. This is a brand new tube from Caddy Daddy but using the original dipstick 

Comment by Jason Edge on November 26, 2017 at 9:27am

Thanks Ricky and Mark, I have updated my notes to indicate 64 and later 429's need to check clearance when installing the dipstick tube. I went back and re-read the MPB entry and sure reads to me that it was not an issue in 1964... but apparently that is not the case. Here is the MPB entry:

1959; 1960; 1962 thru 1964; 65-75    *147 1858   5 1.05 1

* When used on 1963 see Feb., 1963 issue of The Cadillac Serviceman for installation instructions.

Comment by Mark S Anderson on November 26, 2017 at 9:21am

I had to bend the tube on both of my 66 engines, so no, they didn't get it fixed, even by 67 it was the same at the end of the run for the 429

Comment by Ricky Tee on November 26, 2017 at 9:12am

Luckily I've got the car on the hoist still so it shouldn't be a problem. Pain in the bum, though.

Comment by Jason Edge on November 26, 2017 at 9:09am

....one of those quirks about these engines. When I rebuild my engine in 2012 I think I might have had to bend it back slightly ... but cannot find any notes other than those I have already posted. Regardless, it is a good idea to check clearance when installing the dipstick tube. It's a pain but the oil pan needs to be dropped to check.

Comment by Ricky Tee on November 26, 2017 at 8:37am

Problem was I received the engine back from the builder without the tube installed. I bought a new tube off the shelf and installed it. I think I may have to take the oil pan off and bend the tube. It's the same dipstick that was in the motor before, but there must be something different about the new tube that's causing it to hit.

Comment by Jason Edge on November 26, 2017 at 8:19am

Ricky Tee. Did you see the previous replies on this thread regarding the dipstick tube? Here is a recap:
The Master Parts Book indicates the following regarding dipstick tube installation: "When used on 1963, bend tube 1/2" away from connecting rod bearing cap after installing in crankcase." Also, I have only seen the note about bending the oil indicator tube in the Feb 1963 Serviceman bulletin (page 8), and do not see anything in the 1964 Shop Manual or 1964 Serviceman bulletins.  I believe they corrected the problem for 64 so you can just drive it in but I always check anyway as I put a block together. 
Bottom line --> check that the tube is 1/2' away from the bearing cap. 

It is also assumed that you are using the correct 1963/64 specific dipstick. The original dipstick is approx. 20" from the top of cap down to the tip.  If measuring from the bottom side of the cap you can subtract about 1/8" for a total of approx. 19 7/8".

Comment by Ricky Tee on November 26, 2017 at 4:26am

Re-visiting this thread because I've fired up my 429 recently for the first time after rebuild and my dipstick appears to be hitting (I assume) on the crank. The dipstick tube is brand new from Caddy Daddy as the engine builder broke the old one whilst removing it. 

What's the best way to remedy this? Remove the sump and bend the tube?


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