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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As some of you know, there has been a few debates on if the LS1/LS6 engines in 01/02 took 6.5 or 7 qts to fill. All the books and manuals say 6.5 qts, but alot of guys who drain the car with the rear jacked up find it takes 7 to reach the full mark on the dipstick.

I finally got my 2002 factory service manuals the other day and decided to see what exactly it said about it. Here are the findings.

On page 0-39 (Vol 1 of 3) it shows a table entitled "Capacities -- Approximate Fluids" (note the word 'approximate').

The table shows "6.5 qts" for engine with filter change.

Then on page 6-171 (Vol 2 of 3) under "Engine Oil and Oil Filter Replacement", step 6) says:

"Fill the engine with the appropriate amount and type of oil. Refer to "Capacities -- Approximate Fluids" on page 0-39."

This is the table that says approximate capacity is 6.5 qts.

Then after filling the engine and running it for a few minutes to distribute it, and shutting the engine off and checking after it all drains back into the pan, the manual says per page 6-171, step 13:

"Top off the engine oil to the full mark on the oil level indicatior (dipstick), if necessary"

This right here is the clingher IMO. As I've said all along, go by the dipstick, not the 'approximate' capacity called out in the books. I don't think I've found a book yet in the last 25 yrs that was accurate in their capacity call-outs :D.

BTW -- the owner's manual basically says the same thing as the shop manuals. In the 2002 Owner's Manaul, read pages 6-13 and 6-75 to see this also.

It probably doesn't hurt the car to run the oil level at the mid-point on the dipstick, but IMO if you can fill it to the full mark then why not?
 

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I too, was amazed at the way the oil level thing was over-analyzed:cheers:
 

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The final word

Pretty much the same in the 2001 manual(6-75) I think the key word here is approximate .
 

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I did my first oil change about a week+ ago. I put some oil in the filter, and put a total (including what I put in the filter) of 6.5 qts in.

Before doing the change, the dipstick was at the FULL mark from the factory. After firing the car and letting it warm up, I checked the dipstick and it was ~half b/w ADD/FULL. So I added 1/4 qt. It was still a bit below full, but I drove it around for a couple of days. Checked it again, and it was still about 1/4 below FULL, so I finished off the 7th qt. Sits right at the full mark.

I'm going by the dipstick since it read FULL from the factory when I checked it.
 

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I had my oil changed today at the dealership. 6.5 quarts filled it up. I told the mechanic to pour the other half quart in because it is going to burn it anyway. :(
 

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WA,

I found the same thing with mine. When I have the dealer do it, they add 7 Qts and it reads a little over full. When I do it, 7 Qts. puts it at the full line. Either way it takes 7.

I think I do a better drain than the dealer. Rear raised higher than front and long drain time..

2k :cool:
 

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It's 6.5.

Make sure it's all out, put in 6.5.

If it seems confusing I don't know what to tell ya other than

It's 6.5 .

I assure this is on very good authority. As in one of the designers of the engine. I trust him on this one.

The dipstick has an "add" marking, and an operating range and not a "full" notation does it not?


:)
 

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A couple more thoughts.

I watched at the factory as the C5s were started for the first time. The engines were idled for a few minutes then all fluids were topped off.

On the other hand, there is some free HP available by keeping the crank out of the oil splash.

Seems to me that the answer is to check the oil level on a cold motor and keep it in the middle of the ADD area.
 

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Does the factory VHS tape that comes with the car not suggest adding one additional quart if the car will see heavy duty use?

I am sure I watched an MPEG a few months ago converted from a GM production suggesting this as well as modifying suspension height for race use.

This would mean you can safeyly put 8qts in?

Dean
 

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I was told that the oil level on the dip-stick should fall in the middle of the cross hatched section when it has 6.5 qts. In fact that was exactly where it was when we checked it after adding the 6.5 qts for the oil change. That is considered full. Now, you do seem to be able to add an additional 1/2 qt or so to bring it to the top of the cross hatched area, that is not intended to be the normal "full" indicator. That is really the absolute full level. The vette tech I go to, suggests not filling it to that level under normal driving conditions.

I have checked the level immediately after the oil change, still at the dealer. Also after running 10 minutes or so when stopped to fill gas tank and after sitting all night in the garage. The readings were all very close. I run my car with the level in the middle of the cross hatch area. I use very little oil, maybe 1/4 qt per 1000+ miles and I run my car through the gears when ever given the chance.
 

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These are all good thoughts, guys.

The only reason I felt comfortable filling mine to the top of the cross-hatch on the dipstick is b/c that is what it read every time I checked it after purchasing the car.

Do I think it would have hurt it had I left it at 6.5 and halfway in the cross-hatch? Not really.

If you want max power, then in theory (as some have mentioned) you run it a little less than "full"...in the case of the LS6 motor, I'd say 6 qts. This would be recommended only at the drag strip where you'd be blitzing it for a short time and in a straight line. For daily driving this would not be good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
1fastdog said:
It's 6.5.

Make sure it's all out, put in 6.5.

If it seems confusing I don't know what to tell ya other than

It's 6.5 .

I assure this is on very good authority. As in one of the designers of the engine. I trust him on this one.

The dipstick has an "add" marking, and an operating range and not a "full" notation does it not?


:)
Better have your engineer buddy look at page 6-171, step 13 of the 2002 Factory Manual (and recommend the engineering department and tech writers to get together) where it says (exact quote):

"Top off the engine oil to the full mark on the oil level indicatior (dipstick), if necessary"

IMO, the dipstick DOES have a 'Full' indicator -- the top of the hatched area. Just because the hatched area on the stick is called the operating range by some doesn't mean there isn't a "full' point on the stick. As the quote above shows, GM call out a 'full mark' on the dipstick :D.

BTW -- the way I read the "add a qt for competion events" is that you could add 1 qt if the level was already at the full mark on the stick. This means there could essentially be 8 qts in the engine. I don't think GM would even recommend this if that much oil caused the crankshaft to run in the oil. If this was the case, then everyone who added a qt for racing would at some point frouth the oil and loose some oil pressure with not so good results on the engine :eek:.
 

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I'll chime in ... I changed my oil a couple of months ago. I had it sitting butt high, warm oil, and let it drain for over an hour. I filled the filter before installing it, and put the rest of that quart, and 6 additional quarts (a total of 7) to bring it to the top of the crosshatch area .. the same point it was at when I picked up the car with 3 miles on it. I don't care what the book says, or what anyone says. They put in 7 at the factory. Not that I think it's an issue .. I'm certain it would be fine anywhere in the crosshatch area.
 

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I would like to bring up a point about the shape of the oil pan. Unlike the Gen 1 and 2 engines, this oil pan is very wide but not deep. So what am I trying to say, just this: The amount of difference in actual oil contained in the oil pan can be rather substantial with just a small difference in levels. Formerly the inch between "Add" and "Full" was about 1 quart, now in the LS1 and LS6 engines the difference may not be linear. I haven't changed the oil in my 2002 yet, but I'll check the actual volume as it's poured in VS the visible levels on the dip stick.
Has anybody else done this already? I should be changing mine in about a week or so based on the mileage I'm accumulating.

What we real gearheads do with the used oil :guiness:
 

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ZeeOhSix said:


Better have your engineer buddy look at page 6-171, step 13 of the 2002 Factory Manual (and recommend the engineering department and tech writers to get together) where it says (exact quote):

"Top off the engine oil to the full mark on the oil level indicatior (dipstick), if necessary"

IMO, the dipstick DOES have a 'Full' indicator -- the top of the hatched area. Just because the hatched area on the stick is called the operating range by some doesn't mean there isn't a "full' point on the stick. As the quote above shows, GM call out a 'full mark' on the dipstick :D.

BTW -- the way I read the "add a qt for competion events" is that you could add 1 qt if the level was already at the full mark on the stick. This means there could essentially be 8 qts in the engine. I don't think GM would even recommend this if that much oil caused the crankshaft to run in the oil. If this was the case, then everyone who added a qt for racing would at some point frouth the oil and loose some oil pressure with not so good results on the engine :eek:.
Are we here to have fun or what... :D
If I get the chance I'll pass on your sugesstion to the engineer.
I don't know what to tell ya. There's a cross hatched area on the dipstick above the add line...it called the operating range.
We won't get into oil and it's effects on horsepower, I'm a drysump man myself...but that's for another time and thread.

Put 6.5 quarts of oil in the engine if you wish to have the recommended amount.

As for how much to add for competitive driving? Read 2-26 in the manual carefully.... carefully. Depending on the revs and the acuteness of the turns and the driver aggression, lots of oil may find it's way into the top of the motor and away from the lower bearings. YMMV.

I DON"T want get into a semantics contest here, it's your motor and do what you think is best. I wouldn't presume that putting in 7 quarts is a longevity issue.

I want sufficient oin in the motor to do the intended job, not an ounce more, not an ounce too little.

"Full" is a misnomer in the context of engine oil. "Fill" a motor with oil and it isn't going to run.

Thanks for the shop manual quote...This is also from the shop manual for the 2002 Corvette w/ LS6:
I have them on CD ROM, so this is a cut and paste... can't tell ya the page because the electronic versions I use don't have pagination.


Capacities - Approximate Fluid
Application Specification
Metric English
Cooling System 11.9 liters 12.6 quarts
Engine Crankcase
With Filter 6.1 liters 6.5 quarts
Without Filter 5.7 liters 6.0 quarts
Fuel Tanks (Total) 70.0 liters 18.5 gallons
Rear Axle Differential
Lubricant 1.6 liters 1.69 quarts
Limited-Slip Additive 118 milliliters 4.0 ounces
Transmission Fluid
Drain & Fill (Automatic Transmission) 4.7 liters 5.0 quarts
Overhaul (Automatic Transmission) 10.2 liters 10.8 quarts
Overhaul (Manual Transmission) 3.8 liters 4.1 quarts
Power Steering (approximate) 0.81 liters 1.7 pints


This isn't a contest, as I said. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
1fastdog -- I'm not trying to make it a contest either, just pointing out the documented facts as it where :D.

You wrote:
"I want sufficient oil in the motor to do the intended job, not an ounce more, not an ounce too little.

"Full" is a misnomer in the context of engine oil. "Fill" a motor with oil and it isn't going to run."


Guess the way I look at it is if the factory shop manual says I can put the oil level to the top of the 'operating range' on the dipstick (ie, 'full') then I'm going to. And since all the Zs seem to come from the factory with the oil level at the 'full' mark, then obvioulsly it can't be wrong.

I'd rather have my oil level there even for street driving because I'm not always driving straight on level ground. If you run the minimum level, then who knows how close you might be to starving the oil pump when you go blasting around sharp corners, ect.

As far as any risk of the crank running in oil when the dipstick shows 'full' ... I'd say its not going to happen. How could it if GM says 1 qt above the operatiing range (ie, 'full') is OK? Certainly when racing you aren't reving to 6000 RPMs and cornering at 1 g all the time, so if 1 qt over was too high, the oil would get frouthed up when you where driving around in the pits :D.

Here's a quote from another thread in this Forum [ http://www.z06vette.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=10065 ]:
"I ran into a low pressure problem when running hard and hot in Auto X and Solo I on hot days with Mobil 1 10W30. I had to go to a +1 qt. (8 qt.) overfill to keep the pressure up.

As you have said, its up to each person to decided where to run their oil level, but the original point of starting this thread was to show people that having the oil level at the 'full' mark on the dipstick is OK per GM documentaion. If you can't believe the genuine factory shop manual, who do you trust? :D.
 

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6.75 and let's call it even :D

:cheers:
 

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2k Cobra said:
WA,

I think I do a better drain than the dealer. Rear raised higher than front and long drain time..

2k :cool:
You hit the nail on the head - the quickie places and dealerships don't allow enough time for all the old oil to drain and don't raise the back end. I want all the old dirty stuff out, so it is done at home. When it is properly drained, it takes 7 quarts to fill.
 

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I just got my oil changed at a local chevrolet dealer.The technician is a top gun for the vette-set group.I watched him very carefully change the oil.Half a quart went into the filter and 6 quarts went into the engine for a total of 6.5 quarts.When checking the stick cold the level is below the cross hatch area.So i tend to believe Fastdog and the tech on this one!:) PS I believe the oil changed level and the factory level were matched with 6.5.
 

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Torched...

...did your post mean to say that AFTER the oil was changed and 6.5 quarts were added, the level on the dipstick was BELOW the crosshatch marks?? BELOW...not even IN the crosshatch marks:-? :-?

Charlie
 
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