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Question: 5 Quart Oil Pan Identification


Aug 26, 2014
United States
I have a 327 engine in my 62 Corvette. I have no history on the car, so I have to assume that lots of things have changed on the engine over the years. The block carries a late '61 casting number, and the stamped code shows that the engine was in a standard Chevy with Powerglide. Obviously not a 327/340 HP original engine. The pistons are domed. The heads are double-hump, and it has an 8" balancer and deep groove pulleys. So someone went to some trouble to simulate a 327/340 engine. But the lifters are hydraulic. It has a canister oil filter.

My question is: how can I tell if the oil pan is the 5 quart version as would have been on the 327/340? I think mine is an aftermarket pan because it requires an extra thick seal at the timing cover.

The dipstick tube has been brazed at the flange and the dipstick markings are suspect. When I fill (and run) with 6 quarts oil, the level on the stick shows 3/8" over-full, and when I checked the level with a 5 quart fill after running, the level is halfway between Add and Full.

On a recent oil change I carefully marked the oil levels at the 5 qt and 6 qt positions (after running the engine to fill the filter) and made new marks on the dipstick to correspond.

For comparison, I removed the dipstick and tube from a disassembled '69 350 engine and matched it up with my 327 dipstick and tube, lining up the mounting flanges. The Full marks align. The 350 Full line matches my 327 marked Full line at the 6 quart level. However, the 350 dipstick is a Mr Gasket version. So maybe I can't trust that either. I'm wondering what are the odds that both of these oil pans happen to be 5 quart pans.

Is there a visual indication on the 5 quart pan shape that distinguishes it from a 4 quart pan? I'm trying to avoid running with an extra quart of oil.

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Nov 9, 2000
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
If it uses the thick front seal you don't need to look any further. It's off of a newer engine. Probably a 350. It would be a 4 qt pan. Did you check the casting numbers and dates on the heads? You might still have the original heads with the car.


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