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Thread: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

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    Question TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    Today, I drained my TR3 non-overdrive gearbox. I refilled it with 1.8 pints of oil (approx 3.5 cups). After a short drive I checked the level with the gearbox dipstick and nothing registered. There was no leak. Do I keep it at 1.8 pints or do I fill it until it reads on the dipstick? When I drained it, it did seem like more than 1.8 pints drained out.

    Thanks for the help.

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    I would fill to the mark on the dipstick. Too much is definitely better than too little!

    Don't forget to have the car level, though, and wait a few minutes after a run for it all to run back to the bottom.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    When I changed the oil on my gearbox I found that the oil level was very hard to see on the dipstick. There were no combustion products in the oil to provide a contrasting color to the oil.
    What I did was to careful place the dipstick against a paper towel and look at where the oil left a wet spot.

    Roger
    1957 Triumph TR3 TS21383L "Bettie"

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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    Careful not to overfill. Oil can come out the front seal into the bell housing.
    Bob

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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    Quote Originally Posted by bobhustead View Post
    Careful not to overfill. Oil can come out the front seal into the bell housing.
    Bob
    I had dipstick top put on my 3b syncro first trans so I matched the dipstick to the oil plug level just be sure.Fill until it runs out then check dipstick.
    I had to file a new notch about 3/16 higher on the dipstick.
    Tom

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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    I just filled a dipstick tranny for the first time. I find it much more subjective than filling until it comes back out. The dipstick seems open to interpretation...
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    Seems easy enough to me. Below the bottom mark is "not enough", above the top mark is "too much". Anywhere in between is "OK". Just like an engine dipstick.

    That's interesting though, about the plug location being higher. I'll have to check that someday on my TR6 housing with the dipstick top cover. But it seems to have held up just fine using the dipstick level. Almost 20 years of mostly city driving and while it is showing it's age, it's still going.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    True..."seems" easy enough. With the water clear non detergent oil I am using for the OD, there is no definitve oil line when you pull the stick back out. More of a general area it "likely" is. There is no mis-interpreting the side hole...it's either running out on your floor or it needs more oil.
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    On mine, the finish on the dipstick is matte enough that the oil makes a visible difference. Just hold it so you can see the reflection of the light, then move it so the reflection moves past the two marks. There's a definite change in the reflection from the oily surface.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    Quote Originally Posted by TR3driver View Post
    On mine, the finish on the dipstick is matte enough that the oil makes a visible difference. Just hold it so you can see the reflection of the light, then move it so the reflection moves past the two marks. There's a definite change in the reflection from the oily surface.
    Hey Randall.I remember I didn't file the new notch but used a chisel.The oil holds in the notch when dipped and is pretty easy to read,between notches not so easy.
    I suspect my dipstick sits slightly lower,maybe its an 1/8 ,because the rubber plug/gasket may be compressed a little.My metal dipstick top sits flat on the trans,not sure how a new one would fit.
    Tom

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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    I am glad someone else cannot see the oil line also. I tried different glasses better light, but that shiny oil and metal blend in real good. Last time I took a black marker pin and colored the tip of the stick and that helped some, but still hard to see. Plus with my car dropping little spots, I am always wondering what the heck-- where did that spot come from --the breather tube or the trans bell housing or the rear seal of the trans or what. Right now I thinking a slow leak in the rear trans seal. Which makes me think anyone ever replace that seal with the trans in the car?

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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    Quote Originally Posted by TFB View Post
    My metal dipstick top sits flat on the trans,not sure how a new one would fit.
    Tom
    Mine does too. I see there is a "washer, felt, on dipstick" listed in the SPC, but have no idea what it should look like. The rubber (?) gasket doesn't look like it would be replaceable separately.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Darth Vader Don Elliott's Avatar
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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    To see the oil level on the dip-stick in my early 1958 TR3A with 4-speed + overdrive, I have the filler hole and dip-stick on the right side of the gearbox tunnel. I remove the carpet, then the rubber bung plug and then I pull up the dip-stick.

    To make it easier to read the oil level, I drilled two tiny holes in the dipstick about 30 years ago. These are about 1/32" diameter and I chamfered the corners off a bit. When I pull the dip-stick out, I can see the oil held by capillary action in the lower hole. If there is oil in the top cross-drilled hole as well, then I know the oil level is up to there. It's a bit like the oil you see in the "V" notch of the dip-stick but easier to see.
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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    Good idea, Don. Any comment on the felt washer?

    BTW, it's good to hear from you. I hope all is well on the home front.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    My felt washer is still the original one (59 years old) and it's still in good shape. It is ordinary felt about 1/16" thich and it's cut with a spiral shape (if I remember correctly). It must have been glued on flat all around the fat part of the plug closure. Perhaps with the same dark brown gasket goo we use on the head gasket. I can't say for sure because it has always stayed on place.

    It in soaked in oil (just a natural fact) and no oil ever comes out the filler area.


    Thanks Randall for your sentiments. All is very fine with me here. And getting better now that the snow is almost gone.

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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    Sorry for the delay, somehow I missed seeing your reply. So, does your felt hold the dipstick up at all? Or does the metal top on the dipstick still rest directly against the top cover.

    PS Glad to hear all is well with you.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    Always good stuff Don, thank you
    Steve

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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    The bottom of the "flower edged" top plate of the dipstick fits right down in the hole - metal on metal.
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    Re: TR3 Gearbox Dipstick Question on oil level

    Thanks, Don. I guess that mess on mine is still the original felt, then.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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