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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm at the point in my project where I'm replacing perfectly functional parts with shinier, better looking (but equally functional) parts. In this situation it's the master cylinder and brake booster.

As part of that process, I'm also replacing the nearly brand new driver's side header which (after barely 500 miles), developed a hole in one of the welds. Since the only way I can see to get that header out is down and through the back side, I need to pull the dipstick too. You can't see it in the pic below because the booster's already removed, but the dipstick is currently very hard to get at with the booster in the car.

Which leads me to my question: anyone have a recommendation on an engine oil dipstick for a '79 350 chevy block (drivers side)?

I purchased this one: Amazon.com: Assault Racing Products A5002 Small Block Chevy Stainless Braided Oil Pan Dipstick SBC 283 305 307 327 350 400: Automotive But it's way too short and looks like it won't fit the hole in my block anyway.

Any help is appreciated, I'd prefer a flexible dipstick (hold the jokes please) but at this point am just looking for a good quality replacement.

343811
 

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I would recommend you stay away from the flexible dipsticks...they manage to come apart quite often. I was told this and I ignored this and tried one. After about a year mine came apart and dropped enough in the pan that it rubbed the end on the crank. I was lucky enough that it didn't catch anywhere on the crank and wrap around it but it was a total pain having to take it apart to get everything out. I still have the piece and pictures if you would like to see them, but I would highly suggest to stay away from them. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
lostn50s thanks for the info...I had a Lokar flexible dipstick that might have worked but I decided just to use the old tube. It's not optimal but it works and I don't want to take a chance of having the same thing happen to me.
 

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Those dipstick stink. Buy you a flexible stick (Summit) and if your engine has both lt and rt side locations...use the right side! No fighti g anything...if it has a plug in it, its tough to get out, I used a self starting screw then used a pair of visegrips to pull it out. I sprayed carb cleaner in the hole, theb shot air in the hole, put the dipstick in, after putting a little oil on the two o-rings, bolted the tube to the block, then drained the oil and changed it and the filter...just to make sure nothing was floating around. Good luck...

Rods56
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well Julio you had me excited there for a minute, because I went "holy crap could it possibly be as simple as switching the dipstick over to the passenger side in my block?" The answer (for me anyway) is NO...I'm stick w/the drivers side scenario. I ended up just re-installing the original dipstick that came with the engine, which is workable but not optimal.
 

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The flexible dipstick on the left side is about your only option other than a dipstick that is short and uses no tube? I think I've read about that possibility but am uncertain. I first tried a Mr. Gasket flexible tube dipstick, it was totally a piece of junk. The Lokar is better, but still not ideal. I was able to make the Lokar work. Just don't check the oil much, engine needs to be cool. Good luck... I would have looked for a block with the right hand dipstick if I only knew in advance...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All I had to see was one horror story about a flexible dipstick (lostn50s above) and I decided that I definitely don't need to check my oil that often and the setup I had in place was functional if a bit awkward...I will make it work.
 

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Never owned or seen a SBC with dipstick holes on both sides of the block? Didn't even know there were such things? I do know that Chevy made engines with the dipstick on driver's side, or passenger side; just never saw one with both sides?
I'd buy a simple chrome dipstick, and before removing your old one I'd make sure oil is at the full mark. Then once you get the new dipstick you can shorten the tube if needed, and then shorten the end of the dipstick to match. Then simply put the dipstick in, and note where the oil level is and file a new full mark on it. I've done this on numerous SBC engines to shorten the tube and dipsticks.
 

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Never owned or seen a SBC with dipstick holes on both sides of the block? Didn't even know there were such things? I do know that Chevy made engines with the dipstick on driver's side, or passenger side; just never saw one with both sides?
I'd buy a simple chrome dipstick, and before removing your old one I'd make sure oil is at the full mark. Then once you get the new dipstick you can shorten the tube if needed, and then shorten the end of the dipstick to match. Then simply put the dipstick in, and note where the oil level is and file a new full mark on it. I've done this on numerous SBC engines to shorten the tube and dipsticks.
The new GM crate engine I bought from Summit (or Jegs) has holes on both sides. However, the holes are different sizes, so you have to order the correct tube.
 
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