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I installed a remanufactured engine into my Ford Transit a few weeks ago and asked the company to remove the harmonic balancer shaft on it as it can cause problems (the engine is a Ford/Mazda Duratec 2.3 petrol). They have done this, and made a modification to the sump to stop the oil moving around too much when cornering etc. I'm not sure exactly what this involved.

Based on this, can you be sure that the oil dipstick readings are still an accurate gauge of the ideal oil level, or in theory could this have been put out of whack by the balance-shaft delete/subsequent modifications?

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They likely installed baffles in the oil sump. All this does is limits the amount of oil flow in one direction and thus also the slosh. If your Ford Transit is a tranverse engine, this should prevent the oil from sloshing away from the pickup during hard left or right turns.

The baffles should have no impact on the markings of the dipstick. They only limit the rate of flow around the sump, as soon as the engine is off the level should equalize between all the regions of the sump. You should always wait a minute before checking your dipstick level after running the engine however. It can take a small amount of time for oil to drain from the cylinder head back down to the sump.

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