ATF Dip stick - correct measurement method

stu1765

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hi all, been reading todays thread by denmerc with interest.

the question about how far the ATF dipstick should be pushed in on the 722.6 'box?

I have bought the MB dip stick - I have found that there appears to be a distinct "stop" which requires a further push before the stick can be pushed in another 100mm or so until a definite stop is felt which I presume is the stick touching the base of the box. I have read somewhere that you only should go to the first "stop" point but if thats correct I have no reading!!!!!!!!!!!

is Is this the correct method? (I have an E240 W210) I feel the stick should be pushed beyond the intermediate "stop" and to what feels like the base of the box.

However when I push the stick to the base the reading when the box is warm after a 10 mile drive and idling in Park is higher than the 80 mark by about 20mm!!! Seems the box has been overfilled. Is this going to cause a big problem or should I syphon some off? There is no apparent gearchange problems - still very smooth!

Thanks for any advice - sorry to sound dumb!!
 

television

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Not sounding dumb at all, after the first stop, just gently push it to the next, you can also lightly revolve the stick as you push it in.
When you think that it is right in,lust lift it 40mm and see if you can feel the stop as you push it in again.

See what someone else says
 

djb

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hi all, been reading todays thread by denmerc with interest.


However when I push the stick to the base the reading when the box is warm after a 10 mile drive and idling in Park is higher than the 80 mark by about 20mm!!! Seems the box has been overfilled. Is this going to cause a big problem or should I syphon some off? There is no apparent gearchange problems - still very smooth!

Thanks for any advice - sorry to sound dumb!!

atf expands when warm

on boxes with fitted sticks there is often a hot & cold mark
 

LYNALL

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Mines just under the max mark with a hot box so i would say yours is overfull, was it on the flat?.


Lynall
 

nickcc101

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The workshop tool has a lip on the measuring part of the dipstick that stops it going in too far. As this tool fits all and is longer than the diptube it would hit the bottom of the sump, slide along if forced, and give incorrect readings if the lip (stop) wasn't present.
 

Razoo

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Tricky Dipstickery

The workshop tool has a lip on the measuring part of the dipstick that stops it going in too far. As this tool fits all and is longer than the diptube it would hit the bottom of the sump, slide along if forced, and give incorrect readings if the lip (stop) wasn't present.

Interesting. I was of the opinion that the end of the dipstick hits the bottom of the sump to correctly read the transmission oil level. Maybe that's wrong.

There certainly is a stop that can be felt as the dipstick is fed in. A gentle push overcomes this stop, and then there is a second, more tangible stop, that I assumed was the dipstick bottoming out on the sump pan.

I always thought this level measuring system was flawed because the dipstick has a flexible plastic tip. When you stick this tip into ATF at 80 degrees C, it quickly becomes a very flexible tip. Like a good bank heist, you need to be in and out real fast ;) or the softened plastic tip will flex too much and curl up when it hits the sump, giving you a false oil level reading.

If in fact, the genuine MB dipstick doesn't hit the bottom of the sump, this puts a question mark over the accuracy of the DIY dipstick made from plastic-coated net curtain spring. The DIY dipstick would not have the stop, and would therefore have to hit the bottom of the sump. If the high/low level marks have been copied from a genuine MB dipstick that does have this 'stop' (and therefore doesn't hit the bottom of the sump), then the levels will be wrong.

I think I'm going to have to find some net curtain spring, shove it down the transmission dipstick tube until it hits the sump and then compare lengths with my genuine MB dipstick.

Razoo
 
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stu1765

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Hi,
I retried today using television's suggestion - gently twisting the stick as I inserted ....( if you pardon the pun!!) and there was no "stop" - it slided easily to the base of the sump.

The reading is definitely high - about 20-30mm above the top of the 80 scale.

Ground was definitely flat.

In fact yesterday it definitely pushed out of the filler tube because it had dripped a little on the exhaust manifold and caused some smoking. At this stage there was no cap on the filler tube because a mechanic has at sometime not put the original cap back.......................

I received my replacement filler tube cap today - its got an O ring on it which I presume forms some sort of seal? With the level a bit too high will this cause a problem - is there a separte pressure relief vent on the box or would I be best to syphon some ATF off?
 

Razoo

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Hi,
I retried today using television's suggestion - gently twisting the stick as I inserted ....( if you pardon the pun!!) and there was no "stop" - it slided easily to the base of the sump.

The reading is definitely high - about 20-30mm above the top of the 80 scale.

Are you sure the dipstick hit the base of the sump (i.e there was no 'stop' as mentioned by nickcc101 in his earlier post that arrested the dipstick before it bottomed out on the sump)?

If there was supposed to be a dipstick 'stop' and you went past it, then you would get a high reading.

I think we need to confirm whether there is a dipstick 'stop' position, or whether the tip of the dipstick is supposed to touch the bottom of the sump.

Razoo
 

television

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The home made sticks have been tested out against the real thing and they are identical as near as dam it, if they original does not bottom out, its only a mm of the bottom, so does not matter
 

nickcc101

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The problem you can get if there is no stop is that heavy handed people can force the dipstick along the base of the sump and you end up with incorrect readings. Most other cars auto transmission dipsticks are the correct length and the stop is when they fit fully in the diptube. As both the homemade and the workshop tool are longer than the diptube then you can force them in too far unless they are fitted with some form of stop.
 
T

TEDBEY

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Auto box oil level

My car is 1998 e 280 V6. I got my local dealer to check level for free and the mechanic let me take measurements off the stick for hot and cold. I followed tip for pumping fluid out via the upper cooling pipe, end using clear nylon tube and oild atf 5 litre bottle, which comes off radiator stub (19 mm Spanner). I was warned about the sump bolts seizing on my xj sport Jag (similar box) so just changed fluid. Have struggled to get level just right but finally all is well using 3/16" plastic coted copper wire flattened at the end to avoid stick picking oil up as it goes down the oily tube. The sealed cap tab breaks off easily and cap removes and clicks into place a doddle. I found tips about level being critical true as mine was about 10 mm over and held in gear too long, so drained too much out which made it slip then go into limp home mode (2nd gear only !!). Got level right now all is fine. Went to remove sump and guess what, 1st bolt and spacer snapped like chocolate. Things ain't what they used to be !!! My old 160 k miler 1986 230 CE came off like I'd just put it on !! Good luck all.
 

television

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Hello and welcome to the forum.

Its worse when the casting breaks off on the corner :(;)
 
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TEDBEY

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Get local dealer to check level and measure stick marks after speaking nicely to the mechanic. Get some 3/16" plastic coated copper wire like electrical single core about 4 feet long and push past first notchy bit gently until it stops. Check level against your measurements and that should do nicely. Try hammering end 3" flat to act like a real stick and not pick up residual oil down tube after filling. Good luck.
 

television

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Oh no, on the box body you mean ?

Yes we have had a few on here where the corner of the alli casting has broken off.


We use 5.6cm up the stick as the correct hot level,,I will have a play with some copper wire,I have it in stock.

We have been using curtain wire
 

panason1c

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I can confirm that the MB dipstick is fitted with a 'stop' lug that prevents the tip from contacting the base of the sump............i know this 'cos when i had my sump off i inserted the dipstick to confirm one way or the other.

I would therefore NOT insert the d/stick in any further than the first 'stop'
 

television

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I can confirm that the MB dipstick is fitted with a 'stop' lug that prevents the tip from contacting the base of the sump............i know this 'cos when i had my sump off i inserted the dipstick to confirm one way or the other.

I would therefore NOT insert the d/stick in any further than the first 'stop'

We have tested the home made ones against the factory stick and they came out the same, with the homemade wire version it is 5,6 cm up the wire
 

panason1c

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We have tested the home made ones against the factory stick and they came out the same, with the homemade wire version it is 5,6 cm up the wire


It doesn't make sense to me that for the sake of £20 for the genuine MB dipstick some folk will entrust a critical oil level in their very expensive electronic gearbox to a homemade wire version........:confused:

ps...........a homemade version that will contact the sump pan whereas the genuine one will not........
 

television

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It doesn't make sense to me that for the sake of £20 for the genuine MB dipstick some folk will entrust a critical oil level in their very expensive electronic gearbox to a homemade wire version........:confused:

ps...........a homemade version that will contact the sump pan whereas the genuine one will not........

Well SAM and LuLu did the test. just because the original that i have does not touch the bottom by some 1mm.

As long as the wire measures exactly,,and it does, that is OK and It is not critical
 

Number_Cruncher

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These dipsticks are quite a clever design by MB.

For the gearbox, the important oil level is the distance between the oil pickup and the oil's surface. The oil pickup is mounted to the body of the gearbox, not to the sump. The sump is a loose tolerance pressed part fitted with a flexible seal - it's not a good datum for a measurement.

An old fashioned dipstick needs to have an accurately manufactured dipstick length, and and accurately manufactured disptick tube length. Becasue of the twists in the path of the dipstick tube, and the need to provide some clearance in the size of the dipstick tube to allow the dipstick to pass without sticking, theere is lots of variability - the dipstick can sit in the sloppy tube in many orientations.

The MB dipstick actually measures in a very direct way the distance between a stop on the body of the gearbox and the oil level. It needs only two accurate features, namely the stop on the gearbox body, and the relationship between the stop on the dipstick and the marks.

The length of the tube, and the total length of the dipstick are no longer required to be accurate - in fact, the only requirement is for the dipstick to be longer than the tube - which prevents a dipstick being left in, and hence the cars are supplied without a dipstick in place (MB could have supplied one in the toolkit though!)
 


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