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mbsprinter
09-15-2013, 08:03 PM
I am trying to change the trans oil for the first time in my '03. I got the aftermarket dipstick from Europarts San Diego. I tried it out today on a cold engine just to see what I was in for. The instructions with the dipstick say that for T1N's there should be "approximately 3 inches" before the handle bottoms out against the tube. Thanks a lot. The dipstick easily goes in all the way, I can't feel any resistance when the tip hits the bottom of the pan or whatever. There are several little bumps as it is pushed in but nothing in the vicinity of 3 inches.

So I really don't have much confidence in this dipstick. I guess I'll warm it up with the old fluid and measure it with the tool exactly 3 inches out and then try to duplicate that reading with the new fluid. That assumes the level was right in the first place.

Any advice?

PS: I posted this as a reply to another dipstick thread but didn't see that thread showing up on the list of active threads so I started this new one hoping for some input. Guess I have a lot to learn about using this forum.

Aqua Puttana
09-15-2013, 08:42 PM
The design of the MB NAG1 transmission dipstick is that the stop ears and a receiving stop tube set the position of the plastic indicating blade. If you have the proper stop ears then I think that you are making a big mistake by planning to check the level based upon the protruding section of the dipstick at the opposite end.

The bends along the dipstick guide tube will cause the dipstick to have resistance in a couple places. That is very normal. :2cents: vic

surlyoldbill
09-15-2013, 10:21 PM
+1
I have an aftermarket dipstick, it doesn't go all the way in to the handle before the ears hit the stops down by the pan, about an inch or so of coil still shows.
SOME OF THE AFTERMARKET DIPSTICKS DO NOT HAVE THE EARS, BEWARE.
It is not designed to stay in place as a stop, it is for checking level only. Re-use the stop that was on the tube.

NelsonSprinter
09-15-2013, 10:23 PM
I just replaced my transmission fluid yesterday, and the same thing happened, went all the way except for 1/2" and was overfilled. Pull it out and turned the handle 180* and it stops at 3+ 1/2" and shows it's underfilled.
I just suggest you try it at different positions, and you will feel it stop at a definite spot. It is a poor design that sometimes it will not work right, but they designed it so you would go to their mechanics for service were the big money is . :2cents:

mbsprinter
09-23-2013, 01:10 AM
I just replaced my transmission fluid yesterday, and the same thing happened, went all the way except for 1/2" and was overfilled. Pull it out and turned the handle 180* and it stops at 3+ 1/2" and shows it's underfilled.
I just suggest you try it at different positions, and you will feel it stop at a definite spot. It is a poor design that sometimes it will not work right, but they designed it so you would go to their mechanics for service were the big money is . :2cents:

Thanks for this, NelsonSprinter. I found that by rotating the dipstick carefully while putting it in I found the place where it stops positively.

Aqua Puttana
09-23-2013, 01:38 AM
That seems odd. I know that the dipstick receiver end is a round stop tube. A different orientation shouldn't make any difference.

Some pictures are here:

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=216125#post216125

I wonder if some dipsticks have slightly undersized stop ears and the direction of entrance can help to make it bind at the stop? vic

shortshort
09-23-2013, 02:04 AM
This is creeping me out too.

Chris Francis
09-23-2013, 02:34 AM
So confused. I want a dipstick I can leave in and use. If I travel and want to check tranny level, I don't want to have to go home to do it. Or store an oily long dipstick in the van. Where do I find such a dipstick?

sailquik
09-23-2013, 02:47 AM
Chris,
A quick wipe with a paper towel will prevent the oily dipstick issue. Place the coiled, wiped down dipstick into a Ziploc bag.
You can buy the OEM transmission dipstick from your nearest Mercedes Benz authorized Sprinter dealer.
You can buy a good aftermarket dipstick here:
http://europarts-sd.com/2002-2009transmissionservicedipstick.asp
Hope this helps,
Roger

surlyoldbill
09-23-2013, 02:53 AM
I bought mine on ebay for $20. Yes, it has ears. It can be coiled up and put in a bag, and said bag can stay in the engine compartment somewhere (I keep quart of oil and Optilube behind the passenger headlight). I don't think there would be any need to check tranny oil very frequently, it's designed to be a change and forget item; unlike my Corvair which has a mystery tranny leak that seems to drip more oil than I put in...
Even checking the tranny fluid level every oil change is probably overkill unless you are having frequent fluid loss.