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 Jason Edge on November 28, 2015 at 10:15pm

It's a 64 429 and engine has already been installed. I can't find any literature indicating that for the 64 429 it has to be bent but do not want to mislead anyone. I would assume that since the bulletin came out in Feb 1963 it was addressed with the slight changes made with the 429 block but again not 100% sure. I am pretty sure I installed mine and it was at the correct position when I rebuilt mine but didn't take any notes.

Comment by Russ Austin on November 28, 2015 at 9:39pm

Not sure on the 64, but the dip stick will clear the crank.  If you have access to the rotating assembly, just measure the dip stick per the Feb 63 bulletin. 

If the oil pan is installed, just add 5 quarts, run the engine, and see where the oil level is.  If its reading low, then the tube needs to be bent down.

Comment by Jason Edge on November 28, 2015 at 12:41pm

Just had a question about installing the oil indicator tube (dipstick tube) and was going through my notes and have the following:

"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."

I sort of remember not having to bend my tube when I rebuilt my 1964 429 engine in 2012, but memory is fuzzy on this one. Does anyone have any additional info on the 1964 oil indicator tube installation or references to having to also bend the tube in 1964?

Comment by Kevin Kennedy on March 11, 2014 at 9:32pm

does anyone have a dipstick tube for sale? 390 engine

Comment by don Mackenzie on March 3, 2014 at 7:34am
very nice trick Jason!
Comment by Jason Edge on March 3, 2014 at 7:22am

Kevin, I do not know of a way to grasp and pull from the top. If your tube is toast anyway you can give it a shot with penetrating oil/lube and a vice grips but you can write the tube off.  This pushing it out with a tight snug socket contacting multi points from below is the only way I have found that always works.  If you can get a small vice grip on the seat ring and work out enough to get the 11mm open wrench end underneath you might can work it out but you still need room to get a good lock with a hammer on the bottom side of the wrench head.

Comment by Russ Austin on March 2, 2014 at 11:07pm

You will need to remove the oil pan anyways.  The bottom of the tube has to be bent to a specific measurement on install.

Comment by Kevin Kennedy on March 2, 2014 at 9:56pm


What would be a good way to get the dipstick tube out of an engine still in the car and intact?

Kevin Kennedy


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