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Studebaker Oil Dipstick Recall?

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  • Studebaker Oil Dipstick Recall?

    A good Friend of Mine, and fellow Studebaker collector, mentioned something the other day I had never heard before (and I thought I've heard it all)! Possibly in 1963, Studebaker shipped a
    number of passenger cars to their dealers with the wrong engine oil dipstick installed. Apparently
    there was a factory service bulletin sent out, as well as replacement dipsticks. He clearly remembers
    this 'dipstick recall', as He passed a lot of time at His Father's Studebaker Dealership, and remembers
    His Father talking about this situation, and changing the dipsticks. My Friend's Father owned:
    'Washington Street Motors' in Pembroke, Massachusetts. Has anyone else out there heard about this
    recall?

  • #2
    The Studebaker authorized mechanic that worked on my '63 GT told me following a visit that he had "adjusted" the dipstick to read correctly. I didn't ask at the time as to what exactly he had done. However, I think that was in the late 60's or early '70's. As I recall, I had all of the early lubrication servicing performed at a local service station and only took the car to the Stude mechanic for major mechanical work, so it may have taken that long to realize that there was an error in the dipstick. BTW, my GT was Canadian built. I would be interested in seeing that service bulletin if it exists.

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    • #3
      I never got a recall notice ; )

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      • #4
        I don't claim to have a complete set of Service Letters, but I didn't find anything on that subject in looking through my collection from the 1962-64 period. Maybe somebody else can find documentation on this.
        Skip Lackie

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        • #5
          On a related note, I drained the oil on a '64 Daytona last fall, but didn't change the filter due to it having only 100 miles or so on it. The car sat that way all winter until this past week when I poured in a 5 us quart bottle of oil plus a 4 oz. bottle of zddp. After sitting for 2 days, the oil level on the dipstick was 1/3 way down to the "add" mark. To add oil to the "full" mark on a cold engine would result in an overfilled condition. I suspect that the "correction" made to the dipstick, mentioned above, was in fact a shortening of the dipstick tube.

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          • #6
            To: WCP,---- Your comments are interesting. I think I'll take a closer look at the oil levels in My own cars.

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            • #7
              Not aware of a recall, but I know when I bought my '66 with 283 last year, five quarts in an oil change and the dipstick read half a quart low. I then ordered a new dipstick from S.I., and put it in while yakking with my neighbor. It seemed like it 'stuck' on something going down, so I pushed it further. When I took it out, it was a good five inches longer than the one that had been in the car! Not only did the car have the wrong dipstick when I bought it, the one shipped to me from S.I. was the wrong one! Since it's a 283, I drove out to Summit Racing's retail store about six miles away and bought one that's juuusssssst right.
              Bill Pressler
              Kent, OH
              (formerly Greenville, PA)
              Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
              Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
              1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
              1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
              All are in Australia now

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              • #8
                A few days ago before the spring "dust off" tour I decided to check the engine oil level. When I pulled out the stick a piece about a foot long fell off. We did the tour because I felt safe in assuming the oil level was adequate. I would guess that it was the original engine oil dipstick. It lasted over 49 years. From the dipstick cap it measured all most 24 inches to the tip. The new one just arrived and it is the same measurement. I am thankful the broken piece was not in the crankcase. I decided to get the chrome plated version. It should last far longer than 49 years and I have no expectation of replacing it!
                "Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional." author unknown

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                • #9
                  This may explain something with my '63 Wagonaire that I've had for a little over a year. Five quarts in and it reads one quart low consistently. If I add to "full", it will smoke on start up ( probably valve seals). But if one quart low, it never smokes. No fouling of plugs, good o/p, runs like a top. Comments?
                  Bish
                  sigpic"Somewhere West of Newport Center"
                  1956 2E12 O/D SOLD!
                  1959 4E2 4spd, TT
                  1963 8E28 GSA order
                  1963 8E5 SOLD!
                  1963 Lark Daytona Wagonaire 289,O/D, TT

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                  • #10
                    I had the same concern with my '64 Daytona. I too filled with 5 qts, plus one for the filter, and it read low. I cut my dipstick tube with a tubing cutter to it now reads full when it should.

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                    • #11
                      My 64 Daytona had a dipstick with a stop that had been brazed. I was overfilling it too. I didn't realize it was wrong for a long time.

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                      • #12
                        Funny y'all mentioned that. The current 1964 engine in the 62 GT takes a little over six quarts to refill when changing oil & filter. The previous 1964 engine in the same car (that one this engine replaced) also required six+ quarts. All this time, I thought it was just a "full flow engine" thing, and even seem to recall something about larger oil pans. It never crossed my mind that it may be a problem with the dipstick. It has never caused a problem that I am aware of, but if anyone knows for sure it was a factory goof, I will modify mine.

                        Learn something new everyday.
                        Thanks,
                        Joe

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                        • #13
                          Hmmmmm, dip stick too short?? I think that could be a big problem for several members of this forum!! Couldn't resist that.

                          Now for the serious response see the next post.
                          Richard Quinn
                          Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

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                          • #14


                            I believe the reference was probably for the transmission dip stick as noted in this Service Letter from May 9, 1963.
                            Richard Quinn
                            Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

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                            • #15
                              I just went out and checked both dipsticks on both 1964 engines. They are identical, and both even say, "5 QT. FULL" just above the full mark. They also say, "DO NOT OVERFILL" just above that. However, 5 quarts will NOT bring the oil level to the full line. As mentioned earlier, it takes a little over 6 quarts, with filter change, on both of those (1964) engines. So, I am wondering if the later engines had larger oil pans?
                              Joe

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