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Big Block Oil Capacity

B

BBB454

Guest
When you change the oil & filter on a 1971 454 Corvette, do you use 5 quarts or 6 quarts of oil?

My owners manual & the service manual I bought both say 5 quarts, but the shop says their manuals say 6 for a Corvette. :confused

The last thing they did before I picked up the car last week was an oil change. I've only driven it once since, and I noticed that the oil pressure gage was at 70 while idling and then was completely pegged off the scale (high) while driving. When I checked the oil level, it is between the "U" and the "L" on the word FULL, which is higher than I keep it. So I just talked to them about it and found out they put 6 quarts in. Oh and they're also saying that the oil level doesn't affect the oil pressure - is that true?

The good news is that my lifter tick that has been there since I bought her is gone now :L.

;help
Barb :w
 
R

RalleyRed

Guest
Barb,

I'm sure that someone with more knowlege will speak up soon.

I believe they put too much oil in her. Your oil pressure should never be that high.

If it were me, I'd drain her and start over filling it as you always have. Watch the oil pressure come down where is belongs.

All your losing is the cost of an oil change.

I'd hate to hear you lost your motor after so much work.

At the very least try not to drive it til you hear from one of our guru's.

Rick

BTW the only gauge that should ever be pegged in a Vette is the speedo
 
B

BBB454

Guest
BTW the only gauge that should ever be pegged in a Vette is the speedo

I agree Rick! :L

I just went and looked at the oil level in the daylight and I was wrong - it's higher than I originally thought (above the word FULL). I'm guessing this is bad :(.

Barb :w
 

Tom73

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2001
Messages
1,427
Location
Round Rock, TX
Corvette
73 LS4 Coupe - 04 CE Conv
My 73 LS4 has a 5 qt pan, plus 1/2 or 1 qt depending upon filter used. So would be 5.5 or 6 qt.

tom...
 
6

69Crazy

Guest
Pump not accurate

Many of the pumps that are used in shops (to deliver oil) are far from accurate. Assuming that they did not fill the crankcase from quarts, that might be the case. Some people have been known to loose count of the quarts and all they have is a trash can full of empties to try to reconcile. Best bet is to do a partial drain of the oil and get the level down to about 1/2 way between the full and add mark. It is a little messy to replace the plug while the oil is draining out. You don't have to waste the whole oil change. If the oil pressure is still high, you might want to repeat the whole oil change and make sure the viscosity is correct. I just spoke with an engine builder friend in and it was his opinion that you:
1) probably got high viscosity oil
2) did not hurt your engine (most likely consequence would be some oil consumption due to oil in the crankcase being in contact with the crank and getting aggitated. The aggitation results in more oil being thrown up against the underside of the piston skirt. That excess of oil might exceed the capacity of the rings and some would end up in combustion chamber)
3) should change the oil and filter (if pressure remains high, it would have to be a blockage in the oil flow or guage problems)

My friend has seen racing engines (with high capacity oil pumps) split oil filters open or blow out the ring seal without damage to the engine.

I didn't know for sure about most of these issues....just passing along opinions of someone who deals with this daily.
 
B

BBB454

Guest
Viscosity

I know they used 20w50 Valvoline. We've run it on both 10w30 and 20w50 before so I know the extreme pressure isn't only from the thicker oil...

I also have a receipt from the engine rebuild in '89 where they put in a high volume pump but it doesn't have a part # or any other information about it.

Barb :w
 
6

69Crazy

Guest
Always the skeptic

Unless you watched them open the cans and put the oil in the engine, it would be hard to be certain of the oil viscosity.

That is why I change my own oil. I don't really like to spend the time and trouble; but, nobody is as motivated as I am to get the job done right.
 
B

BBB454

Guest
I know, hubby does all of our oil changes too. Matter of fact, I had just picked up 2 oil filters for each of our vehicles the day before, anticipating an oil change for the beginning of the driving season. I didn't ask them to do the oil change, I guess they were trying to be nice and have the car ready for me to drive. As I've mentioned before, they are very enthusiastic about their jobs, that's why I chose them for the paintjob...

Barb :w
 
B

Bullitt

Guest
The topic of "too much oil" reminds me of my sister's friend's husband. His name is Anthony and he had never changed his own oil before, even at the age of 26. So he'd thought he would save a couple of bucks and do it himself, all the while learning something. I should say that this guy knows more about the bottom of a beer can than anyone I currently know of. Considering the drunks I know, that's saying a lot. :(

Well, he had no problems draining it or getting the filter off. New filter on and now was the time of truth. Unfortunately, he faltered. I suppose he had never been taught how to check the dipstick or how much oil was needed for his car. He put in a few quarts and began to wonder why he could not see the oil from the oil filler hole. A few more quarts (he bought a case) and still nothing. Perhaps he was too embarassed or too proud to ask for advice. He borrowed his wife's car and got another case of oil to solve his problem.

"Glug, glug, glug," the oil went into his car. I can't recall how many quarts I was told that he put into the car, as eyewitness accounts are scketchy. Finally, he could see the oil in the valve cover hole. "Eurekea!" he must've thought. Until he went to start it. He must've been cranking the engine for quite sometime, before he went back under the hood. Allegdely, his wife said that the car did start, albeit with much drama. Perhaps the fumes had tipped him off or maybe the oil slick forming under the car was suspect. He turned the car off and pooped the hood.

A passerby was heard as saying, "It's the Exxon Valdez!" Well, maybe that was an exaggeration. Anyways, oil was everywhere. The cranking pressure had caused some gaskets to give up the ghost. Oil was spewing like a spigot flowing forth Texas Tea. "Far she blows!" roared Ahab. Men, women and children came from the high hills to see what too many beers and not enough brain cells are really capable of. Last I heard, Anthony ran off into the plains out of embarassment, never to be heard from again.

Maybe that's an exaggeration too, but it sounds fitting. :L

--Bullitt
 
6

69Crazy

Guest
Great Story

That was funny!

It can happen to really good mechanics, too! My next door neighbors, who have forgotten more about cars than most of us could ever hope to know, were trying to find the capacity of an old Mercedes that they had just bought. They determined that the best course of action was to add a quart at a time, check the dipstick, and go from there. I walked over from my house next door to make a sarcastic inquiry about whether "The Clampitts" would be moving to Beverly Hills, since they obviously had struck oil on the property. Then I finally had to point to this amber river flowing down their driveway with the headwater suspiciously under the Mercedes. :eek Oh S____, forgot to put in the drainplug! For the preservation of their dignity, I shouldn't mention the eight empty oil cans in the trash.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
Corvette
'67 Marina Blue Convertible
Get the oil down to the "Full" mark - if it's way overfilled, it'll get whipped up by the crank and rods and "aerated"; the last thing you want in the oil going to the bearings is air bubbles - they make a lousy oil film in the .0025" clearance in the main and rod bearings.
 

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