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UTC quote
I read of people breaking the tip off the dipstick in HPE 300 engines.

I say, "it will never happen to me"

Then I saw the CNC metal versions for about $15 and bought one because I like red.

It is exactly the same length as the OEM version and threads in very smoothly.

The only problem: the CNC finish is a bit glossy and I can't see clearly the edge of the oil film against the CNC finish. Lighting doesn't seem to make a difference. On the original, you can see it's a flat non glossy finish.

What can I do?

1. Very Fine sandpaper on the tip to remove the glossy surface.
2. Light spray with flat black paint. (It might peel or scratch)
3. Even scratch remover paste to take the gloss off.

Other ideas?

Thanks
CNC 2022 HPE DIPSTICK
CNC 2022 HPE DIPSTICK
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UTC quote
I suggest trying steel wool to create a more matte sheen to the anodized finish on the dip stick.
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UTC quote
Take a file to it.
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UTC quote
Been thinking about getting one of these to replace the stock plastic stick. Been wondering also (new Vespa owner here)... when checking the oil level... should the dipstick be screwed in, then screwed out to check? Or screwed out, then just rested on the opening? When I check the oil with the dipstick screwed in it is way above the MAX level, so I really hope it is the latter. Hope I was clear enough.
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UTC quote
Dreamer70 wrote:
should the dipstick be screwed in, then screwed out to check?
Yes. It's a PITA, but that's the drill.
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UTC quote
In the meantime, I have searched for this topic in the forum, and I am still in the dark.

Downloaded the manual, and from what I understood, for the crankcase oil the reading should be taken with the dipstick UNSCREWED; while for the hub oil the stick should be SCREWED IN.

Attached screen grabs.

Do you agree?

It's a 2023 GTS 300 by the way. Piaggio seem to make sure to create confusion by using different levels and sticks on their models.
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
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One word: Sight Glass.....OK, two words!
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If it wasn't such a complicated (and expensive) affair to replace the stock oil pan with a version with the glass.....
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UTC quote
For crankcase the manual clearly instructs you to tighten the dipstick fully in to check the level. Be sure to do that or it will read low and you would end up overfilling the sump.
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In the manual I downloaded - "after completely unscrewing the oil cap/dipstick the oil level should be somewhere between the max and min index marks on the level rod." Seems pretty clear to me.

Not excluding that it might be different on earlier model Vespas.
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UTC quote
It says completely unscrew because it needs to be completely screwed in at the start.

Here's the completely unambiguous primavera instructions.
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
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Ok.. that is for a 10-year old Primavera. And it is unambiguous as you state. We're talking about a 2023 GTS here, and it says to take the measurement with the cap unscrewed. Who am I to argue.
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UTC quote
Dreamer70 wrote:
If it wasn't such a complicated (and expensive) affair to replace the stock oil pan with a version with the glass.....
Is it expensive to install an Buchsenfuchs oil pan with a sight glass? Possibly, as this depends on your frame of reference.

Is it difficult? Not really. A basic tool set and a very moderate skill set is all it takes. That is also something any shop will be able to do.
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UTC quote
Billrush wrote:
The only problem: the CNC finish is a bit glossy and I can't see clearly the edge of the oil film against the CNC finish. Lighting doesn't seem to make a difference.

What can I do?
Press the dipstick on a piece of paper/tissue to see where the oil is.
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UTC quote
McRuss wrote:
One word: Sight Glass.....OK, two words!
I have one of those on my bench in the garage, just waiting for some decent temperatures out there to install it. I bought it last fall from Scooterwest.

If I recall, 'Robot' from Scooterwest has an installation video on YouTube for this.
New stuff for the GTS
New stuff for the GTS
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UTC quote
Dreamer70 wrote:
Ok.. that is for a 10-year old Primavera. And it is unambiguous as you state. We're talking about a 2023 GTS here, and it says to take the measurement with the cap unscrewed. Who am I to argue.
It's just poor Italian to English - as always. For ALL Vespa GTS models (and most other Piaggio models), the crankcase oil is measured by the level shown on a fully screwed in dipstick - of course you have to unscrew it to see...

Yours is hugely overfilled - this is NOT good. Remove some until the level is below the MAX line when you unscrew the previously FULLY SCREWED IN dipstick.
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UTC quote
Dreamer70 wrote:
Downloaded the manual
that's the 2023 gts manual? can you please make it available to us? jimc can upload it to a public location (wotmeworry)

(i'm interested for reasons other than the oil)
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UTC quote
SteelBytes wrote:
that's the 2023 gts manual? can you please make it available to us? jimc can upload it to a public location (wotmeworry)

(i'm interested for reasons other than the oil)
The email address below my sig works - no size limit.
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UTC quote
giallo wrote:
Is it expensive to install an Buchsenfuchs oil pan with a sight glass? Possibly, as this depends on your frame of reference.

Is it difficult? Not really. A basic tool set and a very moderate skill set is all it takes. That is also something any shop will be able to do.
After the trouble I had with the dip stick on my 2023 the sight glass oil pan went on with the first service. Seriously it was worth the price to avoid the frustration I had getting the damned plastic one to seat correctly.
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UTC quote
jimc wrote:
It's just poor Italian to English - as always. For ALL Vespa GTS models (and most other Piaggio models), the crankcase oil is measured by the level shown on a fully screwed in dipstick - of course you have to unscrew it to see...

Yours is hugely overfilled - this is NOT good. Remove some until the level is below the MAX line when you unscrew the previously FULLY SCREWED IN dipstick.
Hi jimc,

It could be poor translation, but why only in this paragraph? The explanation for the hub oil check is very clear, and it emphasizes that the stick needs to be fully screwed in for a correct reading. I assume the text was put down by the same person. The fact that it is obvious that the dipstick HAS to be fully screwed out to check the oil makes it even stranger that they even mentioned it - leading me to believe that they mean that it has to be screwed out to read the level.

Anyway, I think I will pop over to my dealer and ask to check the level on a brand new GTS while a take note of the level IN or OUT (he has a couple at the moment)... that will put my mind at rest. Maybe. LOL.

Also, I will download a version of the manual in Italian to see if it is more clearly explained there.
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UTC quote
jimc wrote:
The email address below my sig works - no size limit.
Sure thing. Will put it on my OneDrive and send you a link later today. Downloaded a couple of months ago, so fresh.
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UTC quote
If it's any help, the same passage is completely unambiguous in German:
dazu den vollständig festgeschraubten Deckel mit Ölmessstab abschrauben
Unscrew the stick that has been fully tightened
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UTC quote
Der Blechfahrer wrote:
If it's any help, the same passage is completely unambiguous in German:
dazu den vollständig festgeschraubten Deckel mit Ölmessstab abschrauben
Unscrew the stick that has been fully tightened
Thank you Der Blechfahrer.. I am now leaning towards "tighten, unscrew, than check the level."
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UTC quote
jimc wrote:
Yours is hugely overfilled - this is NOT good. Remove some until the level is below the MAX line when you unscrew the previously FULLY SCREWED IN dipstick.
Just out of interest - why exactly is it BAD to overfill? This is a genuine question.
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UTC quote
Normaly, an oil pump will suck oil from the pan or sump. On a wet sump engine, some of the oil can splash a bit, since the engine is moving around, but not too much. Someone invented the dry sump to tackle the splashing around, but that's for engines with a ton more oil than a Vespa.

If you overfill, oil from the sump will be reaching moving parts inside the engine, mostly the crank. This is not good, because oil is made out of long string-like molecules. These can break under strain and they will lose their chemical and physical properties. It is essentially what causes old oil to become black. Also, the oil will foam up and eventually, this foam will be running inside the oil conduits. This can reduce lubrication and heat transport in some critical parts of an engine, leading to premature wear and tear.

That's what I remember from college days. It's been a while.
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UTC quote
Ok guys. First of all I apologise for sowing doubt in your minds about this.

Just back from my dealer and can confirm that the correct level is obtained with the dipstick fully screwed in. Thanks to all those who put in a reply. Removed some oil until level was correct.

Glad I discovered this not too long after the 1,000km first inspection (done at same shop). They service so many scooters. Just an oversight.
OP
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Back to regularly scheduled programming.

I used steel wool and then 800 grit sandpaper and to my eyes it's still hard to see when compared to the OEM dipstick.

To me, simple on OEM and you have to look carefully on the CNC version.

Notice how the OEM version has the flat area just above the full mark. I might take a file ( as someone suggested) and create a similar flat area.

Oh the big problems we have to solve.
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UTC quote
Billrush wrote:
Back to regularly scheduled programming.

I used steel wool and then 800 grit sandpaper and to my eyes it's still hard to see when compared to the OEM dipstick.

To me, simple on OEM and you have to look carefully on the CNC version.

Notice how the OEM version has the flat area just above the full mark. I might take a file ( as someone suggested) and create a similar flat area.

Oh the big problems we have to solve.
Sand the tip to bare silver aluminum with some 220 then go over with smoother grit

and or take easy-off oven cleaner to strip the anodized tip first

And file some vvvvs into the oil reading area
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UTC quote
A similar situation occurred with recent moto guzzi (also now a Piaggio product). Over filling due to misreading the dipstick fills the airbox with oil.

The translation to English was flawed in the early manuals.
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UTC quote
There's a fraction of an inch between screwed in, and set in, in my 155cc 3V Piaggio engine.
I unscrew, wipe, stick it in then read. If I have some at the bottom of the stick -I'm good to go.

I do a proper drain and fill. Check my level is perfect with the screw-in technique - then do a "stick and pull" to read. Remember what you see.
Now I know what is proper - for all my next quick checks.

O.S.
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I had ordered the Silver and the Black. Same issue. I used a grinder and filed a flat section from full to bottom of stick on Black one. Still can't see it clear enough. Completely silver. Used sand paper on both to scuff up so not so shiny.
Have a slight tint of oil on the stick but not defined enough to know for sure the level of the oil. Need some way to make the stick a flat color. Have wondered about a heat paint that is flat black. Don't want something that will come off of course.

As Old Schooot says, put the stick in, shows 2 diamonds between the oil and top means it is full if you don't screw it back down. That would be 100ml from full if screwed in.
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UTC quote
How hot is the engine oil in a running Vespa HPE or similar?
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On a fully warmed up engine, it should be about the same as (or slightly less than) the coolant - just over 100C (212F).
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UTC quote
Thus the high temperature paint. Glad I didn't spend a fortune on this CNC dip stick. It sucks so far!
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UTC quote
"If it wasn't such a complicated (and expensive) affair to replace the stock oil pan with a version with the glass....."

Expensive is in the wallet of the beholder. After fighting with the dipstick in my HPE, I did the first oil change along with the oil pan change. Was not complicated at all (see Robot's video) and well worth the cost and the labor. The issue is what to do with the old pan! It is not heavy enough for a boat anchor.....
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UTC quote
Why not take it to the local machine shop and have them cut some knurling on the shaft? The guys who have the right tools and experience in working with metals probably could help.

Chris from CLE
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UTC quote
Qapla'!!!!!! (Klingon for success).

I used rough sandpaper to scuff up the bottom of the stick. Went around 2 times and up/down 3 times which was enough to make it slightly more visible.

Started searching on various car forums and found it was a popular problem.
One guy got his dremel tool and cut some noches and voila, the oil clung on like a magnet. So out came my dremel tool with the smallest cut off tool.

This is how it looks, I cut matching notches on opposite sides. I cut the notches at the criss/cross section on the indicator and one at the full mark.

No need to get the light just right. No need to get a white towel to lay it on.
I cut 4. With a tiny cutoff wheel, you could double that if you want more precision. This should result in about 50ml increments depending on how accurate you are when you cut the notches. My bottom notch is about 5ml too high, but sufficient for knowing I'd need to add almost 200ml if it is that low.
Dipstick mod
Dipstick mod
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UTC quote
Clampett got it right I think.

I had just painted the tip of mine with Rustoleum 2X Ultra which is rated to handle the necessary heat but who knows.

After it dries fully I'll test it and then likely sand it off and try the notch system Clampett proposes above.

THANKS EVERYONE,!
Tip painted with Rust-Oleum 2X ultra flat black
Tip painted with Rust-Oleum 2X ultra flat black
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UTC quote
Funny as I watch myself try to solve a non-problem. The OEM dipstick works fine but the red one is beautiful!

Clampett, I used the Dremel to cut the notches but it's still not easy to see the oil line for me. Are my notches too small? It's hard to photograph clearly.

At about 800 miles on my HPE, it has used zero oil BTW. I check it and replaced it at the 600 mile service anyway as required.

And the black paint survived an hour ride yesterday at highway speeds.
CNC red one with paint and notches.
CNC red one with paint and notches.
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UTC quote
Bill,
I'm out/about today. I'll try to get closeup photos from side tomorrow. I'll try to take with clean and again with oil for better comparison.
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