'86 420 SEL
Dip stick should not be bent; at least, mine is not, and none were on my other Benzes.
This might affect the level reading. If the others agree with me, then I think you should make certain you have the right dipstick. Check it out; then trust the reading. Good luck, again, bro!!! I'm planning my own 800-900 mile road trip for August-to go from Miami to the Outer Banks.
Getting the SEL set-up for the trip is more than half the fun!!!