Mercruiser 4.3 engine oil level??

Discussion in 'Sport Boats' started by Searayguy185, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Searayguy185

    Searayguy185 Member

    75
    Jul 17, 2017
    Wisconsin
    2004 Sea Ray 185 Sport 4.3 V6,

    2008 Toyota Highlander Sport
    Mercruiser 4.3 V6, Alpha 1 Generation 2
    I know this probably sounds kind of silly asking this, however in my owners manual it says to add 4.5 quarts of oil in after draining out the old. When I put 4.5 quarts in it barely registered on the dipstick. I put just under 5 quarts in to get just over the add mark. I even raised the front end a little to replicate the angle of it sitting in the water. I guess my question is to others out there who have the same engine are you putting 5ish quarts in? Any advice would be great. Thanks
     
  2. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    How much drained out? I pump mine out and usually takes somewhere between 4 and 4.5 quarts.
     
  3. Searayguy185

    Searayguy185 Member

    75
    Jul 17, 2017
    Wisconsin
    2004 Sea Ray 185 Sport 4.3 V6,

    2008 Toyota Highlander Sport
    Mercruiser 4.3 V6, Alpha 1 Generation 2
    Are you checking yours on the trailer while on a level surface? Or in the water?. On my boat I notice a pretty big difference in oil level based on where I’d check
     
  4. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    Usually in the water - it reads correct, ie if I put in 4.5qts it will read full on the dipstick. If I put in 4.5qts on the trailer (in my case on a wash rack) where the boat is level, it will read almost full at 4qts. I realized this once when I changed the oil on the washrack, put in 4qts and it read full. A week later I checked it in the water and it was 1/2 quart low. I know it doesn't use oil, so usually I just make sure I pump 4.5qts out and put 4.5 back it. You don't necessarily want to be high or low, but 1/2 quart one way or the other isn't going to matter much - but if you are like most of us boaters you will obsess over it being exact.
     
  5. Searayguy185

    Searayguy185 Member

    75
    Jul 17, 2017
    Wisconsin
    2004 Sea Ray 185 Sport 4.3 V6,

    2008 Toyota Highlander Sport
    Mercruiser 4.3 V6, Alpha 1 Generation 2
    I wonder if mine takes about 5 because I have a hose that connects to the oil pan therefore allowing it to drain out every drop???
     
  6. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    I don't know, all of the GM V6's I have seen take 4 or 4.5qts. You could have a short dipstick for some reason, are you the original owner? Could it have been replaced with the wrong size? Here is a link to a document that shows the different motors and oil capacity.

    http://www.mercruiserparts.com/mercruiser-gas-engine-oil-capacity
     
  7. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    I've never put 5 quarts into a V6 that I can remember. Draining it out the remote oil drain hose doesn't get much more out - not enough to be significant in this case, anyways. I've done a lot of V6's with that remote drain, as well.

    The possibly shorter dipstick is an interesting thought. Other than that, I really wouldn't worry about it. It's not enough extra to be of any concern.
     
  8. Searayguy185

    Searayguy185 Member

    75
    Jul 17, 2017
    Wisconsin
    2004 Sea Ray 185 Sport 4.3 V6,

    2008 Toyota Highlander Sport
    Mercruiser 4.3 V6, Alpha 1 Generation 2
    Thanks for the reply. How long is your dipstick to compare to mine?
     
  9. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    I'm going to skip right over the obvious joke here... ;)

    I don't currently own a V6 to tell you. Have in the past... but have also worked on A LOT of them.
     
    Fin and mjoplin like this.
  10. Searayguy185

    Searayguy185 Member

    75
    Jul 17, 2017
    Wisconsin
    2004 Sea Ray 185 Sport 4.3 V6,

    2008 Toyota Highlander Sport
    Mercruiser 4.3 V6, Alpha 1 Generation 2
    I wasn't joking. Someone mentioned the possibility of having the incorrect dip stick. I still don't understand how after putting just under 5 quarts in on the trailer it reading full, but the Mercury support guy said my specific engine is suppose to be only 4. There is clearly a disconnect between their information and the dipstick in the engine.
     
  11. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    No, you either misunderstood my attempt at humor or I'm just not very good at telling jokes over the interweb thing....... Comparing "our" dipstick lengths as opposed to comparing our "engine's" dipstick lengths :)

    I'm in agreement that checking the length of the dipstick is a good idea. If Bill has access to his engine, maybe he can check. BUT... you should also check part numbers for the dipstick for his engine compared to yours to see if they are the same.

    You might want to check with Merc, as well. Contact them with your engine serial number and ask them for the proper length.
     
  12. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    I'm guessing your dipstick is short - haha. Might be next weekend before I get back to the boat, but would be happy to measure mine.
     
  13. Searayguy185

    Searayguy185 Member

    75
    Jul 17, 2017
    Wisconsin
    2004 Sea Ray 185 Sport 4.3 V6,

    2008 Toyota Highlander Sport
    Mercruiser 4.3 V6, Alpha 1 Generation 2
    does anyone think this issue has to do with the engine not sitting level when at rest in the water. The front of the engine where the dipstick is sits higher than the rear on the engine. Does anyone think that the oil capacity can fluctuate depending the the model of the boat it's going into? I've read that some had to crank up the tongue jack to get their engine level, as where I have to lower mine quite a bit to level the engine.
     
  14. dieselsmoke

    dieselsmoke Member

    52
    Aug 21, 2016
    nj
    2007 185 sport
    4.3 mercruiser
    My 2007 185 with the 4.3 v6 takes 4.5 quarts to be full. And my dipstick measures 20 5/16
     
  15. dieselsmoke

    dieselsmoke Member

    52
    Aug 21, 2016
    nj
    2007 185 sport
    4.3 mercruiser
    i just looked at the book and it says all model 4.3 require 4.5 quarts but it also says to use the dipstick to get the exact amount required
     
  16. Searayguy185

    Searayguy185 Member

    75
    Jul 17, 2017
    Wisconsin
    2004 Sea Ray 185 Sport 4.3 V6,

    2008 Toyota Highlander Sport
    Mercruiser 4.3 V6, Alpha 1 Generation 2
    Thanks for the reply. The 4.5 quarts your putting, are you checking the level in the water or on the trailer?
    I'm racking my brain on why after 5 quarts in on my level trailer it's reading in-between add and full. Once in the water and the engine is on more of a angle the dip stick say's "add"
     
  17. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Are you making the TRAILER level, or the boat level? The boat's floor sits SLIGHTLY bow high when in the water - but just a little bit.

    Having the bow high or low could certainly affect the level you read on the dipstick, but by how much will depend on how high or low the bow is. If you're putting the BOAT to about the same attitude as it is while in the water, the reading will be exactly the same as it would in the water. If you've got the boat different, then sure, that could cause the issue.
     
  18. dieselsmoke

    dieselsmoke Member

    52
    Aug 21, 2016
    nj
    2007 185 sport
    4.3 mercruiser
    I do mine on the trailer. Once the trailer is off the truck I leave it at that height. Its not exact but close enough. I always run the engine up to operating temperature before I drain the oil out. That gets the oil warm and thin and picks up any dirt laying in the pan. I put 4.5 quarts in when I winterize and then add any if necessary in the spring. Thats just my routine but not sure everyone will agree.
     
  19. Searayguy185

    Searayguy185 Member

    75
    Jul 17, 2017
    Wisconsin
    2004 Sea Ray 185 Sport 4.3 V6,

    2008 Toyota Highlander Sport
    Mercruiser 4.3 V6, Alpha 1 Generation 2
    Do you have a 185 as well? Do you check your oil level in the water in the spring?
     
  20. dieselsmoke

    dieselsmoke Member

    52
    Aug 21, 2016
    nj
    2007 185 sport
    4.3 mercruiser
    yes, I do have a 185 and in the spring, once in the water i will make sure the oil level is spot on
     

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