Which C4 Tranmission Dipstick Can I trust? - Vintage Mustang Forums
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Which C4 Tranmission Dipstick Can I trust?

1968 Mustang here again with that rebuilt 302 and C4 recently brought back to life. Both running great now. C4 runs Type-F.

Big question is which diplstick length is right? Have one that came w/car NOT sure if this is the original stick....it is 19.5 inches long. Another new dipstick tube & stick I bought has a stainless dipstick that is 20.5 inches! I measure from the rim of the cap down to the tip. So handle is not included in the length.

Anyone out there think they could measure the length of their OEM stick on a 67-68 for me? Pretty please?

Here is a pic of the two sticks and the kit is this one....the one that is 1" longer stick.

Link to the NEW stick that I bought.

https://www.cjponyparts.com/ford-rac...3/p/M6750D303/

The back story: Original stick tube was crushed by the seller & sold with a couple extra sticks and tubes. One definitely incorrect. The tube that went in I measured and verified is same length as the new tube I haven't installed yet...this one just bolts to bellhousing rather than the block that is the only difference.

BUT my C4 was showing signs of being overfilled. Foamyness on the stick when checked hot...so I lowered it yesterday by about 1/2 quart. It's happier now! Almost no foaming after that.

Also if it matters I have this tranmission pan (for the drainplug which has been a life saver) it is slightly deeper looking than the original. Does this affect the dipstick reading? I'd think not. Old pan was bent and dinged up had no plug.

https://www.cjponyparts.com/cj-class...me-c4/p/ATP12/
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 10:35 PM
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You know it doesn't matter that much exactly how long the dipstick physically is. It matters how long the dipstick tube is and then how far down the stick that "full" mark is. If you see what I mean. If someone else has a shorter or longer tube, what dipstick they have won't help you. Bit of a tricky situation.

I've done mismatched ENGINE dipsticks before. In fact I have two in the fleet now. But those are a lot easier. Drain the oil when the engine is hot so you can get most of it out then refill with the proper amount of oil. Run the engine long enough to fill the oil filter and shut it off. The oil is full and you can mark the dipstick some way to override whatever it says on it now.

Unfortunately transmissions aren't that easy. Even though you can drain the converter on old Fords, you still will have fluid in the case, in the drums, even in the valve body. Short of doing a full rebuild you will always have to guess how much residual fluid is still in there. If you are comfortable with factoring that in as guesswork, you could try doing the same as the engine oil method. Drain, guess the fudge factor at maybe a quart, fill to stock spec, and mark your dipstick. If your pan really ius deeper than stock that kind of throws the whole thing unless you can find out what kind of pan it is and what extra capacity it is claimed to add.
"Just short of being foamy" sounds a lot easier and is probably pretty darn close.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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I see what you mean Gypsy R. Good point.....mystery tranny tube appears same exact length as 'stock tube'. You never know though the measuring tape is hard to guage down there. I'll be swapping in that Ford Performance Tube eventually. But I'm with you, by approximation in here....short of foamy will work!

I did more research on this and the lengths of the sticks n' tubes seem to be all over the place. One guy wrote:

"I had a trans guy tell me that on a C-4/5: Start you truck, pull out the vacuum modulator and fill untill fluid comes out of the hole where the VM was. Reinstall VM and mark dipstick as full COLD..."

Only problem I'd say is it goes against checking your level with the thermal expansion factor when hot but at least it's a baseline for the next drain/fill.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 09:02 AM
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My original (AFAIK) C4 dipstick in my '67 with the 200 is right about 19.5" to the lower edge of the cap and just shy of 20" to the top of the cap. Total length to the top of the loop is about 22.5"

There's some wiggle room between the two sets of crimps that are supposed to keep the cap and stopper from moving, so I can see it varying a quarter inch or so either way.

The tube is harder to measure since it bends all over the place, but the top of it ends halfway up the heater motor if that's any help.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Magnus....thanks, especially if you measured it just for this post! So it seems my old style dipstick is the right length. Possibly the mystery tube is an odd length from another vehicle. It probable it came from whatever that rebuilt 74' 302 that's in my car right now was from. Original tube came up near the heater motor to bolt to the block. This one though bolts to the bell housing and ends up closer to the manifold which makes checking it hot a glove-on exercise. When I get around to putting my new Ford racing stick/tube it will be on the block again on the OE location. Then I'll see which dipstick is more correct. I do know that the For Racing dipstick tube is about the stock length because I have a 3rd stock size tube "Scott Drank" brand as I call it. I guess I'll see which is shorter/longer then the current one is out. Had a 4th tube believe it or not but the rubber banding was so off size it would not go in and I had to shave it down....and ultimately it broke! Thank god it's gone and at least the current does not leak. So much trouble from a little but important part. END rant.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 10:15 PM
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Glad to help. Walking out to the garage and laying the dipstick on a tape measure is easy.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Finally replaced my dipstick tube with a stock size and mounting location unit. Fit great Ford Racing tube. As shown here is where my marking shows on the old dipstick tube, the new one and with old stock and ford Racing stick the new tube came with. That Ford racing stick is definitely too long!

While I’m at it what is proper fill in qts for a Pan only drain? Book said 5.5 but there is no way. 2.5 came out and 4 qts overfilled. Had to drain out 1.5 qts.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 01:19 AM
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Take a good look at where the tube enters the transmission. The full mark on the stick should be right at the top of the pan. If you ever take a transmission pan off this is easy to see. Is there a mark above the FULL marking? The old dipstick is probably correct.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 04:11 PM
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In years past I was leaking more trans fluid from the car sitting. When I went to start the car and drive off it sometimes wouldn't go because the fluid was too low. I'd add fluid gradually until the car would drive. Then I'd add another quart and that'd be the sweet spot. Of course a working dipstick is always better.



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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 08:30 AM
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My son works at a lube express oil change place. He told me he had a customer come in driving a new Chevy truck that was not running right, with lots clattering and knocking. The guy wanted to purchase a longer dipstick for his oil because the one in the truck was not long enough to reach the oil! Yikes. They sold him a flush and an oil change. My son said they drained about 2-3 quarts of sludge out of new truck. They topped him off and he left with his clattering truck.....


65 FB 289/3sp Rangoon Red/Red interior
68 Coupe 200/6 T-5 Diamond Blue/Blue interior
68 Coupe 302/C4 Black interior
69 Coupe 250/6 C4, Blue/Black interior
70 Coupe 390/C6 Auto Gold Metallic/Ginger interior
2010 Gold V6/Auto Sunset Gold/Black interior
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like a typical Chevy owner to me 🤣🤣🤣🤣 I worked at a Chevy dealer as a student mechanic when I was desperate as a teenager late 90s. They were jerks and stupid people. A few competent mechanics. Interned at Ford that was a good experience. Later Cadillac that was the best but got into computers after that.
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