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Old 05-01-2022, 07:26 PM   #1
alfadoc
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2005 FXT

Default New short block dipstick readings

Found some dipstick threads, but nothing specific to this situation. On my ***8216;05 Forester XT, after installing a new factory short block, the oil does not read correctly on the stick. At oil change, using a factory oil filter, when I put 4.2 qts of oil in (4 liters) the level reads exactly on the bottom dot on the stick. I probably have about 10,000 miles on this engine, and it has consistently been this way since I put the FSB in. I've had some leakage issues on this build since day one, but I've been going ahead and adding that last quart to bring it full. Now I'm wondering if I'm actually overfilling, and causing it to leak.

I also did a FSB on my 2009 Outback XT. No such issues.

What I'm really wondering, is there some change in the block architecture that I don't know about, or an early/late dipstick scenario? Been wrenching cars professionally for 40+ years, but you can never know everything. Appreciate any insight.
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Last edited by alfadoc; 05-01-2022 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 05-01-2022, 08:21 PM   #2
xtremewlr
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The short block should have nothing to do with it if it's a factory replacement (aka, the same as what came out) and the same oil pan you had before. Have you ensured the dipstick housing is fully seated in the pan?
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Old 05-02-2022, 06:16 AM   #3
KillerBMotorsport
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If everything is stock, then it's likely the dipstick tube...

These engines are notorious for having oil level inaccuracy. The dipstick tube goes into the pan at such a steep angle that ANY little change can cause it to ready off... and by a lot.

Say you bent the tube some during removal (not even a noticeable amount) it will read off. Insert the tube too far or not far enough into the pan, it can read off. It really doesn't take much to throw off the accuracy.

My recommendation would be to put in the correct oil amount, and just monitor the level from that point, wherever it is on the dipstick. Maybe add a new hash for 'full'. Or you can replace the tube, and hope that that reinstalling it corrects the issue.
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Old 05-02-2022, 06:19 AM   #4
alfadoc
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Thanks. Makes sense.
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Old 05-02-2022, 12:18 PM   #5
Max Capacity
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Over the 18 years of fighting to get a correct oil level reading, I now park the car on level ground, loosen or remove the oil fill cap, close the hood, come back a few hours later, pull the dipstick, I found that gives me a true reading.
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Old 05-02-2022, 06:15 PM   #6
Heritageauto
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Quote:
Over the 18 years of fighting to get a correct oil level reading, I now park the car on level ground, loosen or remove the oil fill cap, close the hood, come back a few hours later, pull the dipstick, I found that gives me a true reading.
Agree 100%, Indy Subaru mechanic here...there a pita to get an accurate reading on, without sitting...forget it. and they will always show (2) different levels when turned!
I go with the higher, figured it out after countless correct fills.
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Old 05-02-2022, 08:09 PM   #7
shadowsports
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post
Over the 18 years of fighting to get a correct oil level reading, I now park the car on level ground, loosen or remove the oil fill cap, close the hood, come back a few hours later, pull the dipstick, I found that gives me a true reading.
Like Max Capacity, I've been running these cars for so long now, reading the level hot, warm or cold is second nature. I can even read it nose up or down. I often check the oil level on my LGT when its parked on a slight downward slant and I almost always check my STI when its on ramps (nose up). He's right about flat and cold though, you will always get the correct reading there. On one side of the stick anyway


The tube could definitely be a problem. Believe they have a small o-ring that I'd probably replace if I were removing / replacing the tube. It could be bent, sure. Although you'd probably feel binding when putting the stick in or out. If this is a new build, I'd account for some loss due to break in, but once the rings are nicely seated, I'd expect it to remain consistent. 4.2 qts should be right in or just above the middle. Hope you can figure it out.
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