3.5 minus 2.0 = 1.5


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Nov 29, 2014
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La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico
The '96 Dodge Dakota 3.9L owner's manual lists oil capacity at 3.5 quarts, always thought that was a little sparse (but maybe necessitated when they cut off the front two cylinders of the 318 V-8 to make this V-6 version).

Anyway, with 290,000 plus miles on the odometer, it is not unusual to add a quart between the 3,000 mile oil/filter change schedule I follow. So I was alarmed when checking the oil the other day when there was no oil showing on the dipstick! Referring to the last oil change mileage record, I found it was a few hundred miles overdue, so I changed the oil and filter right away (20W-50 Castrol).

The amount of oil that I drained out from the oil pan amounted to about 1 1/2 quarts. It was black and rather thick, but I did not notice any metallic sheen (it was drained without warming the engine). The instrument panel includes both an idiot light and a gauge that monitor oil pressure. I have never noticed any signs of a lower than normal oil pressure by way of the gauge or idiot light. I don't really "hot rod" the old truck (has a 5-speed manual transmission).

I just hope I can make it to the 300,000 mile club before we need a re-build (I found recently the club has been discontinued).

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Henchman #2
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Aug 11, 2010
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It should be 4.5 with filter although the medium length filter that ist calls for is not a full quart like the Wix 51515 is . I don't think I can get one of those in and out of there.