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Dipstick Location

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Dipstick Location

scott-wisc scott-wisc
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 08/13
Posted: 08/31/13
04:37 AM

I am in the process of installing a 290HP 350 GM crate engine in a 1971 chevy truck. There are holes on both sides of the block for the dipstick, each side looks like different elevations. I have two dipsticks laying around that are different lengths. Is there anything I should consider when choosing a side? What's the best way to plug the unused hole?  

waynep712222 waynep712222
User | Posts: 103 | Joined: 03/13
Posted: 08/31/13
09:56 AM

up thru 1979.. the dipstick tubes were on the drivers side..

80 up they were on the passenger side..

which one use use.. almost depends on which exhaust manifolds you might be using..

and... PLEASE verify the OIL level on the dip stick when you have 5 quarts of oil in the pan and have cranked the engine to fill the filter..

you don't want mistakes that have your engine oil dipstick indicating full when there is only 3 or 4 quarts of oil in the pan..

hint if you don't have a oil priming tool...   disable the ignition system... so no spark can be created.. you can bump the engine around a few times with the oil filter off.. until oil starts to come out..  then screw the filter on.. and crank another 10 or 15 seconds until the oil pressure comes up on the gauge..

if you still have the engine oil pan off..  one thing.. drop the pump and change the oil pump drive shaft to an IS-55E from the parts store.. this one is actually in stock in an amazing number of parts stores and has a steel alignment collar rather than the nylon collar.. under 10 bucks.. and most parts store workers don't know they have it... ask for it by part number. IS-55E...

if the pan is on.. leave it alone..

plugging the open drain plug holes.. hmm.. i have always used something like ultra grey silicone.. smeared on a clean bolt.. in a clean paint free  dip stick hole..  no silicone on the end of the bolt where it can get pushed into the oil pan.. and ultra grey cures fairly firm.. sorry.. its expensive also ..but it works better than the blue or black conventional silicone ..

did your motor come with the harmonic damper???   did it come with a timing pointer???   there are differences between the later  motors and early motors in the timing marks....

please also verify the bolt threads for the starter mounting...

some are threaded to 3/8-16... 82 and up blocks are threaded 10MM x 1.5..

if you use the metric bolts in a SAE threaded block.. you will SPLIT the block and ruin it..

if you use the SAE bolts into a metric block.. you can strip the threads out when you attempt to tighten the bolts.. or break the bolts off in the holes..

the starter motor is aligned by the knurled area on the starter bolts..

3510 starters are sized for 3/8 bolts and knurled section.. 0.375"

3510M starters are sized for 10mm bolts and knurled sections.. 0.392"

again.. mixing up stuff will set you back.... and can cost you a small fortune..

i can explain this farther if you like...   if the starter wiggles around when the bolts are loosened one turn each.. you might have the wrong starter..

if the bolts go in TOO TIGHT.. you might split the block..

only the starter mounting bolts are effected with this issue.. sae vs metric  

scott-wisc scott-wisc
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 08/13
Posted: 09/01/13
05:30 AM

Thanks for all the info! I found two short tapered dowel pins in a bag with two different timing indicators. I'm sure they're for plugging the dipstick holes. I'll find a oil priming tool when the time comes. Oil pan is on. Starter bolt hole thread size is 3/8-16. I got an 8 inch harmonic balancer from Summit. So 3510 is the part number for a new starter? I'll have headers, is there a stock replacement starter that is more desirable? -Scott  

waynep712222 waynep712222
User | Posts: 103 | Joined: 03/13
Posted: 09/01/13
09:55 AM

there are a few dozen different starters available for the sbc... depending on the flywheel tooth count...  157 tooth vs 168 tooth i think...

so many ways to go...
must fit the knurls to be held in proper alignment.
there is a tremendous amount of sideways push
if you are running a conventional full size starter on your chevy.. these starter braces are under 10 bucks at most chevy dealers..


when i am going to install these.. i usually use a 1/4" flat washer on the starter stud first.. then the bracket.. another flat washer and then the nut.. this allows the bracket to really stop the movement of the starter end... be sure that the bolt you use into the block has a washer and is NOT TOO LONG that it bottoms out before it tightens on the bracket..

as for the damper.. take a look at these 2... the crank keyway with #1 at TDC is at 45 degrees to the right when standing in front of the motor.. these two are both lined up with the crank... note the differences in the mark on the inertia ring..