Oil capacity vs. dipstick reading | FerrariChat

Oil capacity vs. dipstick reading

Discussion in '308/328' started by rjd2, May 25, 2023.

  1. rjd2

    rjd2 Karting

    Jul 28, 2016
    Hi folks, I know the topic of oil capacity and proper dipstick reading has been thoroughly discussed(I have read several threads), however, I haven't seen anyone report a particular experience, so I wanted to ask. Forgive me if this is old hat....

    I have a freshly rebuilt motor in my '78 US spec GTS. one of the condensers failed, and an entire bank went dead, and I believe forced fuel past the rings(smelled fuel at the dipstick), and thus was advised by shop to change oil now. I have been taking dipstick readings with the car hot, 10-15 seconds after shutting off, and it reads almost at the maximum line. My oil pressure gauge reads 85 when cold, and once hot, hovers around 85 when throttling and ~50 or so when idling and oil is hot.

    I went to drain my oil, and wanted to see the capacity; it was just about 1.5 gallons, so around 6 quarts. This seems low. I know some oil will be retained in the motor, but 3- quarts seems unlikely. Is this normal? And what would be the appropriate fill method to avoid overfilling? Thanks for the help!
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  3. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Rossa Subscribed

    May 4, 2001
    Birmingham, AL
    Full Name:
    The recommended way to check oil level is 15 MINUTES, not seconds, after shut down on a fully warmed motor.
  4. Cennzo

    Cennzo Karting

    Jan 29, 2020
    Sausalito CA
    Full Name:
    Vince Dattoli
    Yes, at least 15 minutes or more. When changing my oil & filter I put in 8 liters and when I check it after it’s hot it ends up about halfway between the min/max marks. Also be sure to let it drain completely before you refill it.
  5. Brian Harper

    Brian Harper F1 Rookie
    Owner Silver Subscribed

    Feb 17, 2006
    San Jose area
    Full Name:
    Brian Harper
    But what he's saying is that after 15 seconds it reads full. If he waits 15 minutes it will read even MORE "full". And at this full reading he only drained 6 quarts.

    Something doesn't add up.
  6. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ

    Nov 29, 2001
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    Did you drain it from the Olio Cambio plug?
    mike996 likes this.
  7. rjd2

    rjd2 Karting

    Jul 28, 2016
    Thanks for the help, ya'll. @yelcab no, this was from the block plug, towards the front of the car.

    So here's the blow by blow of what I did this week, hopefully this points towards a possible solution:

    1-leveled car on 4 jack stands of equal height
    2-drained engine oil(not transaxle oil) to a basin. gave it an hour to drain fully, there were no drips left. pulled oil filter. gave it another 20 minutes.
    3-emptied basin into 2 1-gallon jugs. as you see, the contents were somewhere in the 6-7 quarts range.(photos attached).
    4-wiped dipstick. reseated dipstick.
    5-filled car at oil fill point in rear valve cover with precisely 8 quarts of Penn SAE 30 break in oil(still only have ~100-150 miles on fresh motor).
    6-checked dipstick. level was PRECISELY AT MID POINT OF MIN AND MAX!
    7-reseated dipstick, checked immediately again. see photo, oil level shows as well past max.(photo attached)

    I haven't ran the car yet, will do later today or tomorrow. I don't know if I am experiencing some "wicking" at the dipstick, or something I'm not familiar with. I feel like a doofus, in that this is in no way my first classic car, but I have never struggled with a car this much to get accurate oil readings on a regular basis.

    One thing that may help me here would be to get a read on ideal oil pressure gauge readings, at cold start as well as when the oil is at temperature. Would love to hear what you're cars are reading. thanks folks
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  8. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 11, 2001
    30°30'40" N 97°35'41" W (Texas)
    Full Name:
    Steve Magnusson
    Step 6 or 7 (without running) are sort of meaningless, and it takes some time for the oil to run down from the camcover into the sump. I think you worry needlessly as the "full" jug is overfull by a bunch and the oil filter should've held some, too.
    mike996 and Rifledriver like this.
  9. rjd2

    rjd2 Karting

    Jul 28, 2016
    Thanks @Steve Magnusson . In this instance, overworrying is not a problem for me, once I can be confident with the oil level measuring, I can put it to bed. I'll run the car, and see what the dipstick tells me.
  10. kcabpilot

    kcabpilot Formula 3

    Apr 17, 2014
    California SF bay area
    Full Name:
    isn't there about a liter in the filter?
  11. John A. Muller

    John A. Muller Karting

    Apr 16, 2022
    Chesapeake Beach, MD
    Full Name:
    John A. Muller
    Your '78 is the same as a '79 carbed car and the early1980 fuel injected cars (my GTBi is 1 of only 24 coupes to use the '79 body). The manual says the 8 qts include the sump, oil cooler and filter. So, your est 6 qts could mostly be sump (the rest could be in the filter and oil cooler (radiator). Any help?

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