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Mazdaspeed Archive => FAQ and How To(In Progress) => Topic started by: CharlesE on August 07, 2011, 02:44:25 PM



Title: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: CharlesE on August 07, 2011, 02:44:25 PM
The procedure for changing out the stock (black) dipstick to the shinier California spec dipstick is detailed in the PDF file located at the following link.

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B1P63nzyHOkYNmQ1Y2U4MjEtY2QzMS00N2FlLTgyNDctZWE0OTE1ODA4YTFk&hl=en_US (https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B1P63nzyHOkYNmQ1Y2U4MjEtY2QzMS00N2FlLTgyNDctZWE0OTE1ODA4YTFk&hl=en_US)


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: mr_hyde on August 07, 2011, 03:34:37 PM
Great writeup!  I'm thinking about this myself but I saw your post on my phone and couldn't make the link work so I got to my computer.  I've never traveled to the 'other end' of the dipstick tube so I was curious what was involved.  I took the liberty of C&P ing the text here in the body of the thread.  Extracting the photos from the PDF would have been actual work  :buck2: so I skipped them.  Feel free to edit them in if you want.  I do like the PDF as a 'printer friendly' option though.

Text from CharlesE's nice dipstick FAQ:

Oil Dipstick Changeout

Why?

The factory dipstick has two annoyances:
1. The handle is plastic molded onto the steel dipstick, and tends to break off easily.
2. The dipstick is black in the area where the oil level is read. This makes it difficult
to determine the oil level in dim light.
The replacement dipstick corrects both of these issues. It offers a formed steel handle
(with a plastic tube cover) and it has an aluminum end where the oil level readings are
taken. Itís also a Mazda factory dipstick (so thereís no worry about compatibility with
the engine), which was only used on California spec Miatas!

This task is of medium difficulty, mostly because of one nut thatís difficult to work on.
The car will also have to be on jackstands or a lift. Youíll need to be under the car for a
period of time, so safety becomes an issue. I donít trust jackstands with me under them;
theyíre typically made of cast metal which can fail suddenly. Consider also blocking the
car up with firewood, wheels and tires, anything that makes you comfortable working
under the car. Concrete blocks are not a good idea, since they can fail under an impact
load.

Suggestions:

1. Do this when youíre doing a coolant or heater hose change. Ė That will give you
more working room.
2. Consider removing the exhaust manifold heat shield (shiny aluminum part).
3. Consider tilting the car so that the drivers side is slightly higher than the
passenger side, so that the oil in the pan is less likely to leak out.
4. Clean the area youíll be working in with Simple Green and water from a hose
stream. Do it twice!!
5. Verify that you have the new dipstick, the new dipstick tube, and a new Viton O-
ring. Insure that the new parts are clean.
6. Disconnect the battery, youíll have to remove an electrical ground and replace it
during the course of the work.

You donít NEED to remove the heater hoses or the heat shield, it just makes life a lot
easier. I didnít remove the heater hoses and only removed the shield late in the project.
Heed my experience.

Equipment:

Youíll need a 10mm gearwrench or something similar, jackstands (at a minimum), a
good handcleaner (Autozone Fast Orange or similar), thin mechanics gloves (there are
many sharp edges, so medical latex type gloves are likely too thin) and some patience.
A torque wrench would also be useful, if you have one thatíll reach into this space.
Small is good.

Procedure:
Check the oil level on your existing oil dipstick. Either measure it or photograph it, so
that you can use it as a check when you install the new dipstick.

Assuming your draining the coolant, gently remove the radiator drain plug (it is rated for
10 inch pounds of torque Ė inch pounds not foot pounds! Thatís almost no twisting force
at all. Take care not to strip this. Should you strip it, however, a temporary replacement
can be made using the metric bolts and Teflon tape found in any hardware store.

Drain the radiator and remove the heater hoses at both ends. OhÖ..This is best done on a
cold engine, youíll be working around a lot of otherwise hot metal. The factory hose
clamps are difficult to remove and replace, but reliable. You might want to consider
replacing them with worm gear type clamps such as T-Bolts or constant torque. Clean
the hoses thoroughly and twist them slightly to check for cracks. If these hoses fail,
youíre stranded. Replace them if youíre not sure theyíre good. OhÖ.remove the
existing oil dipstick, and plug the dipstick tube with a bit of paper towel or cloth. This
will protect it from damage.

Once this is done, remove the sheet metal aluminum heat shield above the exhaust
manifold. If you have an FM intake, itís necessary to remove one of the intake tubes in
this area. Since its held on by two hose clamps, not too much detail is necessary from
me. You should plug the intake ends (both of them) with clean rags or paper towels. Itís

held on by five 10mm bolts. You do not want to remove any bolts that go into red
painted metal. The right hand top bolt also holds a wire support for a hose.

Once the bolts are removed, the shield can be manipulated so that it can be removed by
tilting it upwards and towards the oil dip stick. It comes out with little to no force
required. Try not to bend it; itís likely an expensive piece to replace.

Now that the heater hoses and the exhaust heat shield are removed, access to the dip stick
tube will be much easier. About half way down the dip stick tube is a metal bracket
which is holds the oil dipstick tube and an electrical ground which runs between the
chassis and the engine block. The ground wire looks like a woven flat strip of bare metal,
with ring connectors on each end. One end is readily accessible on the red painted metal
shelf. Unfortunately, that end need not be disturbed. The ground is there for a reason, if
it is in bad condition, it should be replaced Ė that isnít likely, though.

On the side away from the engine (firewall side) is a 10 mm nut that holds the dip stick
tube and the electrical ground to the bracket. That nut and its bolt (actually a stud, since
its pressed into the bracket) are the only mechanical means of securing the dip stick tube
to the engine. The real work of this project is removing AND not dropping the nut into
the inner reaches of the chassis / engine. Should you drop it, and not be lucky enough to
have it fall through to the ground, youíll likely need a magnet to remove it. Most parts
stores sell magnets on wands just for such purposes, for a few bucks.

Once youíve removed the nut and moved the dipstick tube off the bracket bolt, you
should be able to pull the dipstick tube out of its socket. Itís only held in by an o-ring.

Youíll notice a lot of grime around the hole. Itís exposed to everything that splashes up,
and traps it on the flat surface. Way back on the first page, I recommended cleaning the
work area, this is why. You donít want any of that STUFF getting into the oil pan and
engine internals. This procedure doesnít cover engine replacement.

If yours is dirty, clean it with Simple Green and paper towels. HeckÖclean anything
within reach!

The phrases ĎAssembly is the reverse of disassemblyĒ comes to mind here. Thread the
new dip stick tube down through from the top, once youíve installed the new o-ring on
the end of the tube. Set it into its seat. This would be much easier if you have a buddy to
work from up top, while you guide it into place.

Once itís seated properly, reassemble the metal bracket, dip stick tube, electrical ground,
and the nut. Again, this is likely much easier to reach on the assembly line than in the
field. The workshop manual requires 75 to 95 inch-pounds or 6 to 8 foot-pounds. Thatís
not much torque. Be gentle, this is your cars first dip stick replacement. Make it a good
experience.  Also reinstall the exhaust manifold shield, again 75 to 95 inch-pounds.

Install the new dip stick, in the new tube. Remove it and compare the oil level to that of
the original dipstick. They should be the same or very close.

Reinstall the heater hoses. Replace the radiator drain, Remember it only requires 10 inch
pounds of torque. Youíre dealing with plastic threads in a plastic radiator. Use a large
Philips screwdriver with two fingers, turned very lightly. The drain plug is easily and
inexpensively replaced; the radiator is expensive to replace. Fill the radiator with a mix
of distilled water and coolant. There are procedures in the FAQís to do this.

Replace the intake hose that you likely removed earlier. Remember to take out the plugs
you put into the plumbing ends.

Start the engine, check for both oil and coolant leaks. Place a newspaper under the carís
engine to see if any fluids collect on the paper. If you have a boost gauge, check its
vacuum reading.

Take the car out for a test drive. After returning, again check for leaks and verify the
fluid levels are correct. If youíre wondering why so many checks for leaks and fluid
levels, its FUN to check the oil now. Smile.

Youíre done.


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: MiataRoadster on August 07, 2011, 09:55:33 PM
Thanks for the detailed writeup guys!

I have these dipsticks in stock now.

$37 for both the stick and tube with a complimentary MiataRoadster Viton Quattro seal O-ring.

Here's the page in my store:

http://miataroadster.com/mazda/mazda_oil_dip_sticks/mzbp4y10450abp4y10440a/i-465821.aspx


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: CharlesE on August 09, 2011, 01:25:54 AM
I changed the procedure slightly to allow for reinstalling the exhaust manifold heat shield......OOPS.

The original message is correct.  I also added the additional sentence to Mr. Hyde's text version above.


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: schmoo on August 09, 2011, 04:43:23 PM
The googledocs link isn't working.


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: CharlesE on August 09, 2011, 08:01:36 PM
OOPS II.....I forgot to share it with you guys. :roll:  I like having it all to my self.

It's now shared for anyone who has the link.

Apologies.


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on August 09, 2011, 08:07:26 PM
It worked for me the other day and not today???


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: mr_hyde on August 09, 2011, 08:13:00 PM
It worked for me the other day and not today???
I think it got tweaked when Charles made the edit.  This is why it is handy to have the FAQs inside the confines of the forum with pictures linked from the gallery.  That way everything is controlled by Gary's servers and we don't need to worry about links expiring.  I can appreciate the preference to make a PDF too - it allows the author to publish a finished version and it is easier to print and archive but it will always be at the mercy of the googledoc (or similar) hosting and the account that set it up.
-h


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: brandini on August 09, 2011, 08:54:50 PM
Or export the pdf and host it on miataroadster.com


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on August 09, 2011, 09:00:49 PM
Then it wouldn't actually be available for the members of this forum would it??


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: brandini on August 10, 2011, 11:47:49 AM
An internet link is an internet link.


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on August 10, 2011, 11:55:04 AM
An internet link is an internet link.

Not if you have to be a member of a different forum to access it.  That's why this forums rules indicate no linking to other sites where membership is required.


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: schmoo on August 10, 2011, 02:21:07 PM
Miataroadster is the product vendor, not a forum. Having the how-to there would essentially be like downloading the SSK download instructions.


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: brandini on August 10, 2011, 04:22:23 PM
He sells a product, so how does hosting instructions on install not make sense?


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: schmoo on November 25, 2011, 01:28:08 PM
To those who have installed the new stick, was the new tube wider at the top than the original tube? I've switched my tube, but the new stick won't go in. It gets stuck at the rubber seals on the stick and won't go in any further.


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: CharlesE on November 25, 2011, 02:06:34 PM
Schmoo:

Mine seals with a light press fit as the rubber seals go into the new tube.  The pressure is "normal" for inserting / removing a dipstick.  I think you know that the rubber seals go inside the dip stick tube.  I'll take a picture of the dip stick tube, with the stick inserted and with it just out.  Give me a few minutes.


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: CharlesE on November 25, 2011, 02:24:21 PM
Schmoo:

I hope these help.  The tube does get wider at the top, to accomodate the rubber seals.  Actually, I lied earlier....Both photos show the rubber seals OUT of the dipstick tube.  Normally the bottom of the large rubber "stopper" above the seals sits flush to the dipstick tube top.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/2011_Deals_Gap_Trip/DSC00956.jpg)




(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/2011_Deals_Gap_Trip/DSC00957.jpg)


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: MiataRoadster on November 25, 2011, 05:35:48 PM
Or export the pdf and host it on miataroadster.com

Thanks for the suggestion, I added Charles' instructions to my store:

http://miataroadster.com/mazda/mazda_oil_dip_sticks/mzbp4y10450abp4y10440a/i-465821.aspx


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: NastyNate on November 25, 2011, 08:32:29 PM
Wait just one second. This is completely ludacris. I can not beleive there has ever been a california spec ANYTHING that's an improvement to ours or any other sports car pedigree! ;D

That is a really great idea! Definately gonna give this ago when I get my new fluids in. Amazing write up too!


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: schmoo on November 26, 2011, 12:48:42 AM
Charles,

Are you saying that your pics show the dipstick sticking out, as in out of position? I hope so.

I would expect the big donut before the yellow handle to be the only rubber outside the tube, which is what Joe is describing, I think.

Could you please clarify or post a pic with the disptick in the fully inserted position, if it's different from what is already posted?


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: CharlesE on November 26, 2011, 01:18:18 AM
Schmoo:

You're correct.  i edited my original post to indicate that the dipstick is NOT in it's normal (running) position in the two photos.  I believe your original question was : is the dipstick tube bigger in diameter at the tube's top?  Yes, the dipstick tup does increase in diameter, as both photos show. Also, the large rubber stopper "donut" , above the three smaller seals which fit inside the dipstick tube, is shown above its normal (running) position.  The stopper (donut) normally sits flush to the top of the dipstick tube.

The intent of my photos was to show the relation between the lower tube diameter, the upper tube diameter, the three small tube seals, and the large rubber stopper (donut).

If this doesn't clarify, I'll post another photo, with the dipstick inserted fully into the dipstick tube.  Let me know either way.


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: schmoo on November 26, 2011, 08:26:48 PM
Crystal clear now. Thanks.

I'll have to speak to bill as my tube doesn't seem to flare out that way.


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: CharlesE on November 27, 2011, 02:37:07 PM
Schmoo:

Glad the photos helped.  Let us know the outcome.


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: mr_hyde on December 18, 2011, 03:24:36 PM
Wait just one second. This is completely ludacris. I can not beleive there has ever been a california spec ANYTHING that's an improvement to ours or any other sports car pedigree! ;D

The California NBs had a massive second cat located directly below the header to rescue The Republik's air quality.  That location necessitated a different dipstick/tube design so now the score is 10,000:1 on the practical performance benefits of lower emissions...


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: BrianW on July 05, 2012, 05:51:04 PM
I hear the new dipstick is stainless steel wire with the shiny end for reading.

I was wondering if the dipstick is like the stainless steel "rope" like used for clothes lines etc.  If so, how stiff is the dipstick.  Is it like a like trying to stick a limp noodle into a small hole?  :dink:  I'd like it to be stiff enough so I wouldn't have to not hold the oily end to feed it into the tube.

Also, how is the wire connected at both ends?  Can I feel comfortable that the connections won't separate in a few years time in the greasy vibrating environment of the engine?

Thanks
Brian


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: CharlesE on July 05, 2012, 10:07:59 PM
Brian:  The steel cable is stiff enough that it acts like a "normal" dipstick.  It doesn't wave around in the breeze nor is it difficult to reinsert.  I don't have any data on the competency of the cable connections at either end other than to note that mine has been in use for roughly a year, at approximately 600 miles per week, with no issues, AND it is a Mazda factory part for this engine. 


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: BrianW on July 05, 2012, 11:30:18 PM
Thanks for the quick reply.  It makes me feel better that it's stiff enough to return it to the dipstick tube with just one hand. :mrgreen:

I just ordered the Cali Dipstick. :)


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: mr_hyde on July 06, 2012, 03:24:26 AM
Has anyone with this part noticed that it seems to read a little high compared to what you would think it should read?


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: schmoo on September 05, 2014, 03:58:23 PM
So bummed... I never followed up with Bill on this until today and he tells me that the CA tubes are now discontinued.


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: 2004 msm on July 17, 2015, 09:47:01 PM
Ok, so installed the new dip stick, have 4 fresh quarts of oil and the dip stick only reads half? What gives? If this is a direct replacement you'd think it should read full? Thoughts?


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: sfcarbone on July 17, 2015, 11:23:54 PM
You sure you seated the o-ring all the way?  I've done this and my dipstick read fine.


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: 2004 msm on July 18, 2015, 01:05:15 AM
I guess I should check.....it appears to be.....but it can't hurt to double check


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: 2004 msm on July 21, 2015, 02:07:54 PM
Ok, so the new dip stick is well seated and after 4 quarts of oil and a new filter ( I have the oil filter relocation kit by the way) the dip stick read 1/2 between L and F??? I don't get it ? So half is my new Full? 😒


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on July 21, 2015, 11:26:08 PM
Well have a filter relocation kit causes you to need more oil so it's going to read a little lower.  Where did you get this new dipstick from??  I thought the kit from MiataRoadster that had the correct dipstick wasn't available anymore.  Are you sure it's the correct kit?


Title: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: 2004 msm on July 22, 2015, 12:06:17 AM
Yes it's his! Got like 2.5 yrs ago and it got lost in my move, found it last month in my dads old tool chest!
I'm a little skittish to add to much more oil, I could try another 1/4 of a quart and see what it does.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: upwinger on July 23, 2015, 05:22:18 PM
I just took a 10x1.5 metric die and cut some threads onto the broken plastic end, got some aluminum rod and cut some threads onto the end of the rod, then using JB Weld, took a nut and screwed it down midway. Then put the threaded rod into the top of the nut with more JB Weld. I put some silicone tube over the Al rod bent to shape a handle. Cool to the touch when motor is hot. It's held up for 2 years now, no problem. Easy cheapo fix. No worries about oil levels.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/Steveos-album-2015/P7231553_1.jpg)


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on July 23, 2015, 11:30:04 PM
That wasn't the point of the kit he installed.  It replaced our hard to read dipstick with a dipstick assembly with a different style dipstick which was much easier to read.  There were a finite amount of these available and I do think Miata Roadster had bought them all and when he sold out, and he did, they were gone.


Title: Re: Oil Dipstick Changeout Procedure
Post by: sfcarbone on July 24, 2015, 01:24:04 AM
There were a large number of 1999 - 2000 Miatas sold in California trim.  It is not too hard to find a dipstick and tube here in California.