Oil level too high?

Brody133

Cadet
Joined
Aug 23, 2022
Messages
15
Ok, so I have a 98 Four Winns Horizon with the 5.0GL engine. First off, I need to get myself back to the basics and ask how do I check the oil? Do I check it with the dipstick all the way in or do I put it down to where the waves start? The reason I’m asking this is because I went to change my oil and vacuumed out the oil with a manual pump until it started sucking air. Naturally, I assumed all the oil was out so I put in around 4 quarts, (plus I added around a quart in the filter) started the engine and let it run for 5 minutes or so to get everything cycled through. I turned the engine off and let it sit for about 30 minutes and checked it again. The oil was all the way up on the dipstick so I pumped all the oil out again until the pump started sucking air. I let it sit for another 30 minutes and it’s still reading about halfway up on the dipstick. What’s going on here? Is there something I’m not doing?
 

QBhoy

Admiral
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
7,176
Some later 5.0 will only take just over 4 litres (with empty filter) to show full on dipstick. Not saying this is absolutely your issue. But that’s a fact for sure. That’s the case on my 2003 5.0.
 

Brody133

Cadet
Joined
Aug 23, 2022
Messages
15
Some later 5.0 will only take just over 4 litres (with empty filter) to show full on dipstick. Not saying this is absolutely your issue. But that’s a fact for sure. That’s the case on my 2003 5.0.
That’s understandable, but mine is one of the earlier models. Plus, I vacuumed the oil out to where I was pulling out mainly air and it was still reading halfway up on the dipstick.
 

QBhoy

Admiral
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
7,176
That’s understandable, but mine is one of the earlier models. Plus, I vacuumed the oil out to where I was pulling out mainly air and it was still reading halfway up on the dipstick.
Ok. So is there a chance that the vacuum tube may have hit bottom and then been allowed to bend upwards, meaning it wasn’t actually taking from the lowest level perhaps ?
 

Brody133

Cadet
Joined
Aug 23, 2022
Messages
15
If it makes a difference at all, the way my driveway is slanted, the port side sits a little higher than the starboard side, but nothing crazy. I’d say including filling the filter with oil I probably put around 6 quarts in it which was probably a little overboard, but my plan was to put in more than needed anyways to vacuum some out to get some of the residual old oil out. I know what I put in wouldn’t have made it come halfway up the dipstick. That’d be like overfilling by at least a gallon.
 

Brody133

Cadet
Joined
Aug 23, 2022
Messages
15
Ok. So is there a chance that the vacuum tube may have hit bottom and then been allowed to bend upwards, meaning it wasn’t actually taking from the lowest level perhaps ?
Well, it’s one of those manual pull pumps that just screws on to the end of the dipstick tube.
 

QBhoy

Admiral
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
7,176
Well, it’s one of those manual pull pumps that just screws on to the end of the dipstick tube.
Got you. Not sure how clever they are. I only use one that has a tube that goes right down the dipstick into the bottom of the sump.
 

Horigan

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
526
I have the same situation on my boat. It doesn't take the listed amount of oil to get to the full mark. Four quarts is slightly over full, whereas the manual says five quarts. When you check the oil, look at both sides of the dip stick. Mine will also show way over full on one side, but I can see signs of the actual level on the other side. It's also better if the engine is warm and you let it drain a while.
 

Brody133

Cadet
Joined
Aug 23, 2022
Messages
15
I have the same situation on my boat. It doesn't take the listed amount of oil to get to the full mark. Four quarts is slightly over full, whereas the manual says five quarts. When you check the oil, look at both sides of the dip stick. Mine will also show way over full on one side, but I can see signs of the actual level on the other side. It's also better if the engine is warm and you let it drain a while.
It’s almost like the dipstick is too long. Even if that was the case, where I supposedly drained all the oil out it still shows halfway up on the dipstick which is crazy to me.
 

Rustychain

Cadet
Joined
Jun 4, 2009
Messages
25
It’s almost like the dipstick is too long. Even if that was the case, where I supposedly drained all the oil out it still shows halfway up on the dipstick which is crazy to me.
I've been noticing similar thing on my 4.3L. Dipstick has threaded hose coupling at top, and I connect a drill-powered pump to it to drain. Dipstick always reads high.
Dipstick connects to oilpan drain port through a "banjo" fitting at bottom of stick. Next time I am going to crawl down there and remove the banjo fitting and catch the oil in pan and measure amount. If more than 5 qts come out, it will prove how much oil that the dipstick-pump method is leaving in the oilpan.
 

Brody133

Cadet
Joined
Aug 23, 2022
Messages
15
I've been noticing similar thing on my 4.3L. Dipstick has threaded hose coupling at top, and I connect a drill-powered pump to it to drain. Dipstick always reads high.
Dipstick connects to oilpan drain port through a "banjo" fitting at bottom of stick. Next time I am going to crawl down there and remove the banjo fitting and catch the oil in pan and measure amount. If more than 5 qts come out, it will prove how much oil that the dipstick-pump method is leaving in the oilpan.
That is probably gonna be my next option to do this weekend; find some sort of drain plug in the oil pan and see how much comes out. If it’s quite a bit then I’ll know that dipstick pump is garbage. Like I’ve said, I’ve pumped to the point where it just sucks air and it’s still reading halfway up on the dipstick which would be like two gallons over the recommended amount. If I would’ve thought, I would’ve marked measurements on a jug and seen how much actually came out when I went to change it. It’s almost like it only took out a quart and then I piled about 6 more quarts on top of what was still left.
 

Scott Danforth

Grumpy old guy who plays with boats
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
42,470
Measure your dipstick tube to the pan rail.

Add 3.75" to 4" to that length and mark the dipstick

Fill to that line

Your oil level should be between 3.75 and 4" under crank centerline

Crank centerline is 0.12" above the pan rail
 

flashback

Commander
Joined
Jun 28, 2002
Messages
2,414
Put recommended amount of oil in, the dip stick is a joke , if you don't have oil in the bilge and the motor is not pumping it out on the water your good.
 

Brody133

Cadet
Joined
Aug 23, 2022
Messages
15
Measure your dipstick tube to the pan rail.

Add 3.75" to 4" to that length and mark the dipstick

Fill to that line

Your oil level should be between 3.75 and 4" under crank centerline

Crank centerline is 0.12" above the pan rail
I’m not sure I’m picking up what you’re putting down. So hypothetically let’s just say the dipstick tube to where the lip of the pan is, is 20 inches, so I add 4 inches from the bottom end of the actual dipstick to make it 24 inches which should make it 4 inches below the center line of the crank?
 

Brody133

Cadet
Joined
Aug 23, 2022
Messages
15
Put recommended amount of oil in, the dip stick is a joke , if you don't have oil in the bilge and the motor is not pumping it out on the water your good.
This crossed my mind, but what freaks me out now is I’m wondering if that manual pump just didn’t pull all of the oil out, then I’d essentially be almost doubling the amount of recommended oil.
 

dypcdiver

Ensign
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
997
Th dip stick tube goes to the base of the sump where there is a banjo bolt fitted into the drain hole. If you suck air then it is empty as you said. However some times the oil in the dip stick tube takes a while to drain out which might be a bit confusing. When I drain mine I usually leave it for an hour or so before refilling.
 

Brody133

Cadet
Joined
Aug 23, 2022
Messages
15
Th dip stick tube goes to the base of the sump where there is a banjo bolt fitted into the drain hole. If you suck air then it is empty as you said. However some times the oil in the dip stick tube takes a while to drain out which might be a bit confusing. When I drain mine I usually leave it for an hour or so before refilling.
True, but I’ve waited 24 hours after I’ve “emptied” it and for some reason it’s still showing that it’s way overfilled.
 

Lou C

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
10,502
Mine has always taken a bit less than the book says, usually 1/2 qt to 1 qt depending on the angle of the boat, I always recheck when its in the water. The dipstick tube that connect to the bottom of the oil pan depend on the oil level equalizing between the pan and the tube and this causes a lot of confusion. If its correct when the engine is cold, it can be low when its hot. So what I've done is get it close, put it in the water, run it till warm, shut it off and let it sit 5 minutes so the level equalizes. Then check and re-adjust. I go more by the hot after being run and waiting 5 min for it to drain back method, than checking it cold before its been run reading.
 
Last edited:

Brody133

Cadet
Joined
Aug 23, 2022
Messages
15
Mine has always taken a bit less than the book says, usually 1/2 qt to 1 qt depending on the angle of the boat, I always recheck when its in the water. The dipstick tube that connect to the bottom of the oil pan depend on the oil level equalizing between the pan and the tube and this causes a lot of confusion. If its correct when the engine is cold, it can be low when its hot. So what I've done is get it close, put it in the water, run it till warm, shut it off and let it sit 5 minutes so the level equalizes. Then check and re-adjust. I go more by the hot after being run and waiting 5 min for it to drain back method, than checking it cold before its been run reading.
Yeah, I thought about taking it out on the water this weekend and bringing all the tools needed to either add or remove oil and just go from there.
 

Lou C

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
10,502
I think you'll get a better outcome that way. Just checked mine today for a data point:
Checked cold before running: about 1/2 a qt high on the dipstick
Checked hot after running on plane for a while, then letting it sit 5-10 min: right at the full line.
 
Top