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Thread: 4AGE popping dipstick

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    Senior Member Stain's Avatar
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    Default 4AGE popping dipstick


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    My old, stock, very tired bigport would pop its dipstick out randomly when revving high and I was told it was because it had blowby and there was nothing I could do about it.
    I ended up putting a oil catch can in, which after some time would ooze oil out of its seams, but there was never any oil in it!
    Which said to me the pressure coming out of the head was so great it was pushing the oil through the gaps in the catch can rather than being sucked back into the intake manifold.

    Now I've rebuilt a smallport - completely fresh - everything changed or cleaned...
    I took the catch can out and simply ran the stock hose from the camcover to the intake mani. Took it for a drive and bang, dipstick is out, oil all over the engine bay again!

    And I know another completely stock bigport that pops its distick too.
    Is this common with 4AGEs? What causes it? How the hell do I fix it?

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    Veteran LittleRedSpirit's Avatar
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    Ive owned two 4ages, one which developed shitty rings rather fast, and even when it was really smoky, it never did this. Ive always connected my catch can to the port on the back of the 20v cam cover, and the dipstick tube.

    You do not want whatever oil that gets fired from the motor to go back in. Catch cans can collect moisture and really shitty oil, so you dont want it to ever purge it back. I too had a shitty catch can that was made in three pieces from drift brand or some shit. The leak was fixed by throwing the shitty cheapo useless can in the bin, and buying a bigger better one.

    Did you reinstall the pcv hose in the right place?

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    when it did it to me 2days later a piston went bang
    ae71 parts for sale stripping 3xae71's and a ke70

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    Senior Member Stain's Avatar
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    the pcv hose (on a 16v) just goes from the intake cam cover to the intake manifold, right?

    how do you go about connecting the catch can to the dipstick tube?

    I was always under the impression the catch can, caught the oil/crap, but u plumbed it back into the intake manifold so the pressure was equalized (because venting into the atmo is illegal) so the engine shouldnt be sucking in all that crap again, cos its sitting in the catch can?

    if that made sense

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    Senior Member RolandGTV85's Avatar
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    of topic but your picture looks like the back to the future DMC DeLorean car but instead an 86. Looks like its flying! BOOYAH!

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    my smallport did it... wrapped some electrical tape around the yellow part of the dipstick to make it a tighter fit... never happened again.
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    Veteran LittleRedSpirit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stain View Post
    the pcv hose (on a 16v) just goes from the intake cam cover to the intake manifold, right?

    how do you go about connecting the catch can to the dipstick tube?

    I was always under the impression the catch can, caught the oil/crap, but u plumbed it back into the intake manifold so the pressure was equalized (because venting into the atmo is illegal) so the engine shouldnt be sucking in all that crap again, cos its sitting in the catch can?

    if that made sense
    The PCV, or positive Crankcase Ventilation, is used to let any blow by type gas pressure out of the head and back into the inlet manifold via a one way valve. it will always enter the manifold after the throttle/throttles. In this way it stops excessive oil being forced into funny places like the combustion chamber, for the most part.

    To connect the dipstick tube to the catch can you just remove the dipstick and push the hose over the tube. Keep the dipstick in the car as it will be a defect if its not somewhere in the vehicle, I believe. I cant believe I had to explain that.

    You don't want anything escaping the catch can or its hoses and going back into the motor. I say if its a defect to have the catch can venting to atmosphere, live with it. Most cops wont pick it, and if you seal the system up, you are going to create a system where any positive pressure from combustion that escapes to the head or the sump will result in an expelled dipstick. People seem to carry on like the simple oil catch can is some sort of dry sump tank that needs to be fed back into the motor. Its not so dont go there. The kind of shitty oil that gets fired out there is usually combustion affected or watery, so never ever purge it back into the motor. Also you want the vent on the catch can to be filtered. It will suck air at certain rpm, so you don't want it to suck unfiltered air.

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    Senior Member Stain's Avatar
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    of topic but your picture looks like the back to the future DMC DeLorean car but instead an 86. Looks like its flying! BOOYAH!
    Its up on ramps and jackstands, but you cant see any of em in the pic. Deceiving, but cool.

    To connect the dipstick tube to the catch can you just remove the dipstick and push the hose over the tube. Keep the dipstick in the car as it will be a defect if its not somewhere in the vehicle, I believe. I cant believe I had to explain that.
    Why would you put a hose over the dipstick tube?! Wouldnt a better option be to run a hose from the fitting on the sump up to the cam cover?

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    Veteran LittleRedSpirit's Avatar
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    If that was a good Idea someone would have done it. I dont see any reason to. Remember blow by will pressurize the sump, and if your valve stem seals are shitty then you can pressurize the head, so add pressure to pressure and you get an expelled dipstick ,increased oil consumption, etc.

    There is no merit in any way sealing the system, at certain rpm the head will blow air out, at others it will suck, same goes for the dipstick, same goes for the pcv connection. If it were a racecar you might delete the PCV valve, and plug the connection to the manifold, then connect the pcv port on the top cover to the catch can too. Then its effectively like the other hose from the rear port and is just a vent with no emissions considerations.

    If you have a pcv hose and functioning valve then you shouldn't get pinged by the cops.

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    Just thought i should add my 2c

    A normal "catch can" on its own won't help the dipstick problem, it NEEDS to be ventilated (one of the catch-cans that has a breather filter on it).

    Also worth noting: the last 4/5 4A's i've looked at, the rubber on the dipstick has deteriorated (or hardened) .. either way making a shithouse seal .. a brand-new dipstick from toyota is available for a single red note.

    And one last thing, if your cam-covers are all burnt and reddish coloured on the inside *MAYBE* a lack of oil changes has clogged the baffling/outlet in the cam cover, give it a good spray with carby-cleaner or something equally vicious and clean the shit out.

    So in summary: get a vented catch-can (or run the line down beneath your car), check baffling inside cam cover, then if it still happens your dipstick might need replacing

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