Author Topic: TH350 Dipstick Woes  (Read 926 times)

Offline 1980K20

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TH350 Dipstick Woes
« on: September 02, 2021, 09:39:40 PM »
On my 1980 K20 w/TH350 and SBC350.

During the rebuild, with the cab off, i got a nice stainless braided dipstick that mounted to the back of the engine.  Everything is cool.

While the truck was at the painters (was it really 6 months???), the trans fluid from the torque converter slowly leaked out from somewhere.  Maybe dipstick, maybe detent, really hard to figure out.  I didn't figure it out yet.

With the cab on, i went to check the fluid to see how much was lost and couldn't reach the short dipstick until i got a ladder.  Even then it was so hard to pull out that I decided to just replace it.  I've got long arms and if I can barely reach, that's trouble.

I got a hard tube with two o-rings, figured one o-ring style would leak.  But what the hey, i couldn't figure out how to get it into place from inside the cab or from engine compartment, or the side...  There's a lot of length after the o-rings, maybe I cut that off and it might actually fit in.  After all, the sticks with the grommets only insert an inch.  Naah, it shouldn't be that hard and i'm always leery of unintended consequences.  It was suggested that I loosen the cab and core support bolts and just lift the cab.  NO. NO. NO.

I left the truck be for a day, put tape over the hole to prevent anything from getting in.  Sigh, i should've been thinking about things getting out.  No pan underneath.  Barn floor is now stained.  Not enough cardboard to catch the fluid seep.

So I ordered another nice stainless braided, but 36" long intended to mount on the firewall. I should be able to get a good mounting position.  Instead of the double o-ring, it has what people seem to favor is the large rubber grommet.  But the stinking thing doesn't fit tight.  You push it in, but if you put any sort of pressure on it, it looks like it's flexing out.  Disaster in the making.

Two very expensive braided cables.  Maybe I'll put the original braided stainless with double o-ring back in and have a friend weld a bar onto the top so i can get enough grip to pull it out.

Suggestions and wisdom from the collective brain trust?  Whatever the answer, I'll have some dipsticks for the taking (you have to pick them up)...

Thanks,
Mark
--------------------------------------
1952 International L112 - waiting for EV conversion
1967 Camaro - 250 six cyl, 200-4R
1980 K20 4x4 Fleetside - 350 SBC roller Cam, TH350

Offline Shifty

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Re: TH350 Dipstick Woes
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2021, 09:25:28 AM »
I see a lot of unhappiness with the braided tubes, FWIW.
87 V20 Standard Cab Longbed (current)

87 R30 3+3 Longbed (days of yore)

Offline VileZambonie

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Re: TH350 Dipstick Woes
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2021, 06:23:41 PM »
Sounds like you need to install a dipstick tube and dipstick. There is no need for any other method.
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74 GMC, 75 K5, 84 GMC, 85 K20, 86 k20, 79 K10

Offline 1980K20

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Re: TH350 Dipstick Woes
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2021, 08:53:00 AM »
Yeah, thanks shifty and VileZambonie. Based on your recommendations, that's what I'm doing. Place is great and said to just send it back. Spent a lot of time reading the reviews of all sorts of dipsticks, think I found one I will like. Many of the ones that appear high quality mount to the top bell housing bolt directly behind the distributor, which I do not like. The one I found should mount to the side bolt.

I'll follow up next weekend after I get a chance to install.

Mark

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--------------------------------------
1952 International L112 - waiting for EV conversion
1967 Camaro - 250 six cyl, 200-4R
1980 K20 4x4 Fleetside - 350 SBC roller Cam, TH350

Offline 1980K20

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Re: TH350 Dipstick Woes
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2021, 11:31:31 PM »
Got the new dipstick, fits well!  It's got the nice grommet and is an inch shorter than the original style allowing for just enough space to fit. I did have to disconnect the exhaust to get it in place.

Unfortunately it's universal and requires a bracket to adapt. I didn't know if the bracket went forward or back, so thought I'd wait and put the bracket on later. Bad decision. Now I can't get the dipstick out to install the bracket. Looks like if I remove the kick down cable maybe I can get it out. Sheesh.called it a night.

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--------------------------------------
1952 International L112 - waiting for EV conversion
1967 Camaro - 250 six cyl, 200-4R
1980 K20 4x4 Fleetside - 350 SBC roller Cam, TH350

Offline 1980K20

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Re: TH350 Dipstick Woes
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2021, 01:36:15 PM »
Ok, disconnected the kick down cable from the carb and it went on straight forward. Had to remove a few times to get the adapter set correctly. Here's the one that worked for me. TCI Auto 743860

I can't imagine installing the dip stick with the interior cover on, would have had to resort to doing the rear of the transmission. So all this has to be done and done.

The lock down cable is braided stainless. The ferrule had slid all the way down to the transmission. In my efforts to get the failure back up to the top, I accidently pulled the ferrule off. Can't get it back on. No real space to cut it shorter. Sigh, seems hard to finish any task. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Mark

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--------------------------------------
1952 International L112 - waiting for EV conversion
1967 Camaro - 250 six cyl, 200-4R
1980 K20 4x4 Fleetside - 350 SBC roller Cam, TH350

Offline VileZambonie

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Re: TH350 Dipstick Woes
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2021, 07:02:04 AM »
There's no need for a mickey mouse detent cable. Just get a direct replacement and get rid of that thing. CA1951 should be what you need.
,                           ___ 
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              ⌠ŻŻŻŻŻ'   [☼===☼]
              `()_);-;()_)--o--)_)

74 GMC, 75 K5, 84 GMC, 85 K20, 86 k20, 79 K10

Offline 1980K20

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Re: TH350 Dipstick Woes
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2021, 10:45:50 AM »
There's no need for a mickey mouse detent cable. Just get a direct replacement and get rid of that thing. CA1951 should be what you need.
Sigh, I was crossing my fingers for a different answer. The cable you pointed to looks awfully long, but I never know if the length is the cable or the casing. I'll probably go with tci cable, since I had good luck with their dip stick.

<edited to remove question on dropping the pan. Yes, the pan needs to be dropped to replace. >

Thanks

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« Last Edit: September 12, 2021, 04:56:23 PM by 1980K20 »
--------------------------------------
1952 International L112 - waiting for EV conversion
1967 Camaro - 250 six cyl, 200-4R
1980 K20 4x4 Fleetside - 350 SBC roller Cam, TH350

Offline VileZambonie

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Re: TH350 Dipstick Woes
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2021, 06:51:48 PM »
You don't need to drop the pan. Just remove the cable at the bracket & the one bolt and it's out. If the seal is good, just hook in the new one, install the bolt, connect at the throttle and adjust the cable.
,                           ___ 
                         /  _ _ _\_
              ⌠ŻŻŻŻŻ'   [☼===☼]
              `()_);-;()_)--o--)_)

74 GMC, 75 K5, 84 GMC, 85 K20, 86 k20, 79 K10

Offline Stewart G Griffin

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Re: TH350 Dipstick Woes
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2021, 08:40:25 PM »
If you're still running the stock throttle cable bracket (didn't catch which carb you are using?), then i feel the stock GM kickdown cable may be the best bet.

Even if you're not running the stock throttle cable bracket and an aftermarket carb, the stock GM kickdown cable is still the best move, IMO.

Offline 1980K20

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Re: TH350 Dipstick Woes
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2021, 09:54:14 PM »
Thanks Vilezombonie and Stewart,

I finally got back to installing these. Everything for me takes too much time. My new, shorter accelerator cable, 19.5", is too long, but working okay. I switched back to a stock GM bracket, it had a tab sticking down, but that doesn't work on the sniper EFI, so I bent it straight. Hopeful it won't move.

I had to shorten the snap tabs on the kick down cable to snap into the bracket and the tabs on the accelerator cable to snap into the firewall. Supposed to be simple.

How is your throttle cable connected to the carb? I need to do something different.

Please see pictures.

Thanks,
Mark


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--------------------------------------
1952 International L112 - waiting for EV conversion
1967 Camaro - 250 six cyl, 200-4R
1980 K20 4x4 Fleetside - 350 SBC roller Cam, TH350

Offline bd

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Re: TH350 Dipstick Woes
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2021, 07:44:54 AM »
If by too long, you are referring to the loop between the bracket and the firewall, the extra length is necessary to allow for engine movement.  Otherwise, since the engine rests on flexible mounts, engine lifting due to torque would tug the cable and accelerate the engine uncontrollably.
Rich
It's difficult to know just how much you don't know until you know it.
In other words... if people learn by making mistakes, by now I should know just about everything!!!
87 R10 Silverado Fleetside 355 MPFI 700R4 3.42 Locker (aka Rusty, aka Mater)

Offline 1980K20

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Re: TH350 Dipstick Woes
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2021, 08:38:32 PM »
Hi BD, thanks for the input. it's hard to see, but there's at least two inches too much cable, much more that what is needed to deal with the rocking back and forth. It bends nearly a right angle coming off the firewall.

I wonder if the original carb was rotated. I was thinking maybe I use my longer cable and put a nice loop into it to reduce the bend radius.  Eh, only if I have issues.

Mark

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--------------------------------------
1952 International L112 - waiting for EV conversion
1967 Camaro - 250 six cyl, 200-4R
1980 K20 4x4 Fleetside - 350 SBC roller Cam, TH350

Offline bd

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Re: TH350 Dipstick Woes
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2021, 10:20:19 AM »



Well, for what it's worth and for peace of mind, the cable fitment appears to be quite normal.

It's coming along nicely!

Rich
It's difficult to know just how much you don't know until you know it.
In other words... if people learn by making mistakes, by now I should know just about everything!!!
87 R10 Silverado Fleetside 355 MPFI 700R4 3.42 Locker (aka Rusty, aka Mater)

Offline 1980K20

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Re: TH350 Dipstick Woes
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2021, 07:45:07 PM »
Thanks BD!

Turns out I needed to replace the bracket after all. Ones on order, so did other work instead which I'll post to the build thread.

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--------------------------------------
1952 International L112 - waiting for EV conversion
1967 Camaro - 250 six cyl, 200-4R
1980 K20 4x4 Fleetside - 350 SBC roller Cam, TH350