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Oil stick reading

I recientlly had my 350 chevy engine rebuilt when I got it back I put oil pan on , heads and manafold and was ready to drive. I put new oil filter and 5 quarts of oil. When I pulled out the oil stick I couldnt read any oil??? I even tried by putting in and additional quart of oil to see if it would then register. NO!!! This is the sam,e pan and same oil stick what is going on? Has anyone ever had this happen?

Nope. But I have seen fresh oil in a fresh engine that was so clean and transparent that it was almost impossible to see on the stick. Are you certain that’s not what’s happening?

I second mountainbike’s thought. Since it was just rebuilt, it may be that you’ve just never had the oil quite that clean before. It’s one of the annoying things about having just changed my oil. Its really hard to double check the level. I generally turn the stick horizontal to let whatever oil is on it accumulate on one edge - so it gets thicker and easier to see.

The holes on some dipsticks are actually very handy for helping with things like that. I’ve sometimes thought about adding a couple.

Or, just use your fingers to feel for the oil.

New (different capacity) oil pan, pehaps?

You can look at the oil at a slight angle–the light will reflect off the “wetted” portion of the dipstick and allow you to see the clear oil. I used to check oil on on Pratt and Whitney turboprop engines, and the oil was ALWAYS so clear that this was necessary to make a reading.

I just tilt the dipstick and I see the oil just fine. A flashlight helps. My dad used to paint about 3 inches at the end of the dipstick a very bright white. I’m keeping that tidbit in my memory bank to use when my eyesight starts to go.

Good ideas by @missileman to paint the tip of the dipstick white. And using a bright flashlight when looking at the dipstick. Besides that, since you’ve verified no oil is leaking on the ground presumably, and the oil pan is the same, the only other two things I can think of would be the dipstick is different, or the tube that you place the dipstick in isn’t fully seated in the block.

Try pulling out the dipstick and laying the end of it flat on a piece of paper towel. The oil on the stick will show up as it is absorbed by the paper. Don’t slide the stick or move it until you read the spot on the towel against the marks.