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Engine Oil Levels

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by FIQ, Oct 20, 2018.

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  1. FIQ

    FIQ Member

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    I have a pair of Volvo 63's that I have a minor irritation with.
    When I check the oil, the level on the dipstick is usually down to the "add" mark. I then wipe it off again and recheck. The level is on a different location on the stick. I can check the level 5 times and the level will be at 5 different locations. I will wipe it off, insert, count to 3, pull it out halfway, reinsert then check. Same thing. different levels. I then just take an average.

    Kinda bugs me to do it this way. Anybody have a method that works?
  2. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    Give it a longer count, I believe there is an air lock that has to work itself out to get the correct oil level. I pull the dipstick out about 2 inches count to 10 then check each engine, same issue on many gensets.
  3. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Make certain you are fully inserting the dip stick
  4. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    Next time you are on the boat, make sure the dip stick is fully in . After a day or longer, pull the stick out and see where you oil level is then, no need to wipe it away and start over as the oil has settled to it's lowest point and you will have an accurate measurement. The oil will run down the stick after a day or two not running and clearly show it's level. It's a bit harder to do the next morning, I'll give you that, you may have to do the wipe method then.
    What was that TV commercial .."think with your dip stick" !:rolleyes:
  5. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Yacht managers, engineers, my self and those that have been around, pulled maintenance and gone back to their bunk;
    Check levels cold or the next morning before any machinery is started back up, pull the dip, the first reading is what to go on.
    With experience, you know what to pour in and get back to your bunk.

    Big engines hold so much oil in the galleries, it's hard without getting tight with the engine to read the dip.
    Also, some dips are harder to read than others. Sealed tops push air down the tube offering un-reliable dip readings. Then, your wetting the inside of the tube on multi attempts to get a read.

    For real readings, pull the dip and read after some down time on the engine, the first read is the best.

    My fave ole song; Get in, get out, don't fuss about,,, YoHo..
  6. FIQ

    FIQ Member

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    Going with the first pull makes sense. I'll do it. Thanks, all!

    I was going to say "going with the first pull on the stick" but my lizard part of the brain thought it was too funny! Someday I'll grow up!
  7. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    We get old but Never Grow Up..
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    MAN common rails are this same way. Take the stick out, wipe it, let it sit out for a full minute or 2, slowly insert it, wait 5 seconds and check it. On MAN's you have to do this even if the engine has been sitting a week.
  9. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Why?
    If the level is static, the first pull is the best.
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The one motor shows the level 1" above the full mark, the other one shows it 1" below the full mark. Then If you pull it out, wipe it and put it right back you get all over the map. You have to pull the sticks out and let them sit a full minute or 2 minutes, then put them back, I wait 10 seconds then pull them. Maybe the full synthetic wicks it's way up the stick, I have no idea. It's not like the dipsticks seal that well, like the QSM11's that have the tension plug you tighten. Basically just like what the OP is seeing.
  11. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Read slower, I'm typing as slow as I can.
    If the engines have been down for hours, the dip tube has drained, any pressure in the dip tube has equalized, all oil in the galleys have drained, The engine is static;
    It's the ultimate dip read..
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I understand what you are saying, but on these engines you will get an incorrect reading. Consistently incorrect. I've tried draining the motors completely and did an oil change, after they sat for a week and everything was in the pan and adding exactly the capacity, ran the motors a few minutes to fill the motors, checked it say 30 mins later, and checked it the next day, and it reads correctly if you leave the sticks out of the tubes for a few minutes, then come back after you run the boat once and it does what's described everytime. I think it has to do with the angle of the tubes, etc. If you leave the dipstick out of the tube an entire hour, and put it ever so slowly in there, wait 10 seconds and check it, you will get exactly the same reading as you did after leaving it out for 2 minutes.

    I'll be passing through your area in a few days. How is the ICW from St. Johns river to Fernandina Beach, is it still extremely shallow (3-4' at low tide)???
  13. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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