GM Corvette 1963-1982 Repair Guide

Fluid Level Checks

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ENGINE OIL



See Figures 1 and 2

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Fig. Fig. 1: Locate the engine oil dipstick, pull it out of the engine ...



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Fig. Fig. 2: ... then check to make sure the oil level is between the ADD and FULL marks on the dipstick

The engine oil level is checked with the dipstick, which is located either on the left side of the engine (small-blocks) or the right side of the engine (big-blocks).

The oil should be checked before the engine is started or five minutes after the engine has been shut off. This gives the oil time to drain back to the oil pan and prevents an inaccurate oil level reading.

Remove the dipstick from its tube, wipe it clean, and insert it back into the tube. Remove it again and observe the oil level. It should be maintained between the "full" and "add" marks without going above "full" or below "add."


CAUTION
Do not overfill the crankcase. It may result in oil-fouled spark plugs, oil leaks caused by oil seal failure, or engine damage due to foaming of the oil.

MANUAL TRANSMISSION FLUID



Remove the filler plug from the side of the transmission (the upper plug if the transmission has two plugs). The oil should be level with the bottom edge of the filler hole. This should be checked at least once every 6,000 miles and more often if any leakage or seepage is observed. Fill with SAE 80 or 90 multipurpose gear lubricant.

The 4-speed overdrive transmission uses two types of fluid. See "Lubrication" for details.

AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID



1 / 4 inch below "full" mark.

Replace the dipstick making sure that it is pushed fully into the filler tube.

See Figures 3 and 4

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Fig. Fig. 3: View of the automatic transmission dipstick marks



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Fig. Fig. 4: When checking the automatic transmission fluid, always make sure the engine is running, warmed, and parked on a level surface

Run the engine until it reaches normal operating temperature. Park the car on a level surface. With the transmission in Park and the engine idling, the fluid level on the dipstick should be between the "full" mark and


CAUTION
Do not overfill the automatic transmission. Use Type A automatic transmission fluid or any other equivalent fluid. One pint raises the level from "add" to "full."

BRAKE MASTER CYLINDER



1 / 4 inch below the top edge. Use only heavy-duty brake fluid (DOT 3 or 4), which is recommended for disc brake applications. See "Brakes" for details.

See Figures 5, 6, 7 and 8

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Fig. Fig. 5: The master cylinder fluid level in each reservoir must be kept 1/4 in. below the top edge



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Fig. Fig. 6: Carefully pry open the retaining bail on the master cylinder, using a suitable tool



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Fig. Fig. 7: Remove the master cylinder reservoir lid ...



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Fig. Fig. 8: ... then add brake fluid from a fresh, sealed container, if necessary

Once every 6,000 miles or four months, check the brake fluid level in the master cylinder. The master cylinder is mounted on the firewall and is divided into two reservoirs and the fluid level in each reservoir must be maintained at

COOLANT



Check the coolant level when the engine is cold. The level of coolant should be maintained 2 in. below the bottom of the filler neck, or the line on expansion tank-equipped models.


CAUTION
Allow the engine to cool considerably and then add water while the engine is running.

STANDARD REAR AXLE



See Figure 9

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Fig. Fig. 9: Make sure to use the correct lubricant, depending upon your rear axle

The rear axle oil level should be checked when the chassis is lubricated. Remove the plug from the side of the housing. The lubricant level should be maintained at the bottom of the filler plug hole. When replacing oil, use SAE 80 or 90 multipurpose hypoid gear lubricant.

POSITRACTION REAR AXLE



Lubricant level should be checked at each chassis lubrication and maintained at the bottom of the filler plug hole. Special Positraction oil must be used in this differential.


CAUTION
Never use standard differential lubricant in a Positraction differential.

MANUAL STEERING GEAR



Check the lubricant by removing the center bolt on the side cover of the steering gear. Grease must be up to the level of this bolt hole.

POWER STEERING RESERVOIR



See Figure 10

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Fig. Fig. 10: Check the power steering fluid against the marks on the dipstick, and add fluid if necessary

Maintain the proper fluid level as indicated on the cap of the reservoir. Check this level with the engine off and warm. Use GM power steering fluid or its equivalent.

Avoid using automatic transmission fluid in power steering units except in an emergency.

 
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