Oil level on dipstick?

Messages
4,973
Is it safe to assume that as long as the engine oil level is within the hashmarks on the dipstick, that there's sufficient oil to keep the engine lubricated? On my F150, there is an oil pan gasket leak that will require too much time/money to fix. If I fill the oil level to MAX on the dipstick, I'll slowly lose about a quart due to the bad pan gasket. With the truck parked on a level surface, it is my understanding that the pan gasket can only leak until the oil level is below the top edge of the pan. From my testing so far, it seems like that oil level (where it's below the top of the oil pan, and no longer leaking) is about a quarter inch above the MIN hash mark on the dipstick. I'm trying to figure out if I can stop the leak by keeping the level right below where it leaks. However, I do not want to put the engine at risk if the oil level should be near MAX. (I know the best solution here is to fix the pan gasket, but to do so would require removal of the engine at a cost of roughly half the KBB value of the truck)
 

SZR48207

Thread starter
Messages
4,973
Originally Posted By: jk_636
You have to pull the engine just to change an oil pan gasket? OUCH! Kudos to the egineers at ford huh?
It happens to be the case ONLY on the 2WD V6. The cross member isn't removable, and the V6 engine has a deep sump pan so you can't jimmy it out. Had I gotten a 4WD or V8 it would be a simple job.
 
Messages
15,386
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Originally Posted By: Skid
You may have to left the engine off the mounts, but I seriously doubt you have to remove the engine. Not even a BMW would require that.
There are a lot of engines from Ford where you have to do it.
 
Messages
4,052
Location
Chicago, IL
I think its possible to still have a leak - as long as oil runs down the pan - but its only a theory. and your engine should certainly have enuf oil between the marks. (unless you are off-roading)
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,445
Location
Dana Point, CA
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
With the truck parked on a level surface, it is my understanding that the pan gasket can only leak until the oil level is below the top edge of the pan.
Does it leak from the faulty gasket when it’s running?
 
Messages
1,847
Location
Laramie, WY
Originally Posted By: Skid
Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
There are a lot of engines from Ford where you have to do it.
That's really unfortunate.
thats Genius, brilliant engineering
 

pbm

Messages
8,889
Location
New York
Originally Posted By: 01_celica_gt
Originally Posted By: Skid
Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
There are a lot of engines from Ford where you have to do it.
That's really unfortunate.
thats Genius, brilliant engineering
I've seen 'brilliant engineering' from almost every manufacturer....VW 2.5 that must remove the engine to change the A/T...GM intake gaskets that leak in several models...GMs Vega engines... Cadillac oil burners, Chrysler, Fiat, BMW, Mercedes etc...
 
Messages
22,446
Location
Apple Valley, California
Originally Posted By: pbm
Originally Posted By: 01_celica_gt
Originally Posted By: Skid
Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
There are a lot of engines from Ford where you have to do it.
That's really unfortunate.
thats Genius, brilliant engineering
I've seen 'brilliant engineering' from almost every manufacturer....VW 2.5 that must remove the engine to change the A/T...GM intake gaskets that leak in several models...GMs Vega engines... Cadillac oil burners, Chrysler, Fiat, BMW, Mercedes etc...
maybe its that brilliant engineering that kept ford guys busy so they didnt have to go bankrupt a few years back smile
 
Messages
2,408
Location
CA
as the first person to give an opinion on your actual question: yes my opinion is the engine still remains properly lubricated if the level is above min.
 
Messages
1,427
Location
NY
my neighbor is a ford master tech and diesel and a/t specialist. On some of the trucks they have to lift the whole cab off the frame to do some stuff. My ford ranger oil pan i rotting out. In order to replace it the engine has to be jacked up and a bunch of the front suspension dropped like axle and what not. Maybe you can drain all the oil, lower the pan a little,put on some black rtv, wait for it to set up and then re tighten.
 
Messages
367
Location
Ct., USA
And I'm the second person to actually answer your question. As long as the oil is btwn the two hash marks on the dipstick, you're golden. The top mark is the 'Max' level of oil, and the bottom is the "Min" level. Anything in btwn is considered OK.
 
Messages
496
Location
Australia
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
Is it safe to assume that as long as the engine oil level is within the hashmarks on the dipstick, that there's sufficient oil to keep the engine lubricated? On my F150, there is an oil pan gasket leak that will require too much time/money to fix. If I fill the oil level to MAX on the dipstick, I'll slowly lose about a quart due to the bad pan gasket. With the truck parked on a level surface, it is my understanding that the pan gasket can only leak until the oil level is below the top edge of the pan. From my testing so far, it seems like that oil level (where it's below the top of the oil pan, and no longer leaking) is about a quarter inch above the MIN hash mark on the dipstick. I'm trying to figure out if I can stop the leak by keeping the level right below where it leaks. However, I do not want to put the engine at risk if the oil level should be near MAX. (I know the best solution here is to fix the pan gasket, but to do so would require removal of the engine at a cost of roughly half the KBB value of the truck)
You won't stop the leak by keeping it at or about the minimum mark on the dipstick. But running it low will reduce the leaking condition. Oil is splashed/sprayed all around inside of the engine as it's thrown off the crank when it's spinning and it will find it's way out regardless of the oil level. Regarding the actual oil level. If you run it anywhere above the bottom mark on the dipstick or even just below the mark, there will be plenty of oil in the engine when the vehicle is driven normally not to cause a problem at all. As far as active measures you could take. Try nipping up the sump bolts all around the sump. If they're a bit loose it may help to varying degrees, or it may even fix the leak entirely. Alternately and in conjunction with the above. Provided you can get reasonable access to the site of the leak. Another thing to do which is a bit dodgy, but it's been known to help in cases like yours. You could degrease the area really well around and along the joint where the sump joins onto the block in the vicinity of the leak. You probably need to degrease the thing to start with anyway, regardless of the course of action taken. Then get some Threebond sealant(grey) and apply it along the joint, then smooth it out with your finger and push it into the gaps along the joint. Reapply some more sealer over the top and smooth it out. leaving a uniform thickness of sealer to cure over the top of the joint. It will look a bit messy, but this type of thing has worked in a pinch in the past. Sometimes it's even a permanent fix when you get it right. As a motorcyclist. All I can say is, please try to do something about it ASAP. Oil leaks from cars and trucks are a major contributor to motorcycle accidents, at and around intersections.
 

SZR48207

Thread starter
Messages
4,973
Originally Posted By: raytseng
as the first person to give an opinion on your actual question: yes my opinion is the engine still remains properly lubricated if the level is above min.
Thanks.
Originally Posted By: Ducman
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
Is it safe to assume that as long as the engine oil level is within the hashmarks on the dipstick, that there's sufficient oil to keep the engine lubricated? On my F150, there is an oil pan gasket leak that will require too much time/money to fix. If I fill the oil level to MAX on the dipstick, I'll slowly lose about a quart due to the bad pan gasket. With the truck parked on a level surface, it is my understanding that the pan gasket can only leak until the oil level is below the top edge of the pan. From my testing so far, it seems like that oil level (where it's below the top of the oil pan, and no longer leaking) is about a quarter inch above the MIN hash mark on the dipstick. I'm trying to figure out if I can stop the leak by keeping the level right below where it leaks. However, I do not want to put the engine at risk if the oil level should be near MAX. (I know the best solution here is to fix the pan gasket, but to do so would require removal of the engine at a cost of roughly half the KBB value of the truck)
You won't stop the leak by keeping it at or about the minimum mark on the dipstick. But running it low will reduce the leaking condition. Oil is splashed/sprayed all around inside of the engine as it's thrown off the crank when it's spinning and it will find it's way out regardless of the oil level. Regarding the actual oil level. If you run it anywhere above the bottom mark on the dipstick or even just below the mark, there will be plenty of oil in the engine when the vehicle is driven normally not to cause a problem at all. As far as active measures you could take. Try nipping up the sump bolts all around the sump. If they're a bit loose it may help to varying degrees, or it may even fix the leak entirely. Alternately and in conjunction with the above. Provided you can get reasonable access to the site of the leak. Another thing to do which is a bit dodgy, but it's been known to help in cases like yours. You could degrease the area really well around and along the joint where the sump joins onto the block in the vicinity of the leak. You probably need to degrease the thing to start with anyway, regardless of the course of action taken. Then get some Threebond sealant(grey) and apply it along the joint, then smooth it out with your finger and push it into the gaps along the joint. Reapply some more sealer over the top and smooth it out. leaving a uniform thickness of sealer to cure over the top of the joint. It will look a bit messy, but this type of thing has worked in a pinch in the past. Sometimes it's even a permanent fix when you get it right. As a motorcyclist. All I can say is, please try to do something about it ASAP. Oil leaks from cars and trucks are a major contributor to motorcycle accidents, at and around intersections.
I've gone under the engine and torqued the pan bolts to Haynes spec. Unfortunately, none were loose. As far as attempting to put RTV where the leak is, I would have to drop the transmission in order to do so. The pan is DEEP and there is literally half an inch of space between the rear of the pan and the trans bellhousing. I can barely fit a finger between let alone reach far in enough to competently apply a bead of sealant. As a motorcyclist myself, I'm very aware of the dangers of oil leaks, particularly at stop signs and traffic lights. One benefit of me starting riding, though, is that the truck stays home most days and I don't leave my "mark" all over the city.
 
Messages
496
Location
Australia
Oh, so your leak is at the rear of the engine. It may be worse than the sump gasket. If the sump bolts were all to spec as you say, then it may well actually be the rear main that's leaking? If so, then if you have a manual transmission it's better done sooner than later as you don't want the clutch ruined from motor oil contamination if it turns out to be the rear main. I wonder if there's a threaded blanking plug at the back of the block? Perhaps there's one at the end of an oil gallery where it's leaking at the thread because it has come loose? It's also a possibility. Then either way the engine has to come out for a better look/fix anyway. Can you do the work yourself? Psych yourself up. Good luck. Keep the rubber side down.
 
Last edited:
Top