3208TA rebuild cost (Ballpark)

Discussion in 'Downeast Engine Room' started by El Mar, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. El Mar

    El Mar Captain

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    Been looking at a lot of used boats lately online, plenty of older (affordable) :D downeast and sportfish boats have the good old 3208's in them.

    I was raised on Detroit 671s, not real familiar with the 3208.

    Good? Bad? what would be an approx rebuild cost for one of these?

    Wasn't there a bad year, run? French blocks or something?

    Any help appreciated.
     
  2. Field Tester

    Field Tester Senior Member

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    The bad blocks were the 3116s , not the 3208. The 3208s are good motors. I would say a rebuild would cost somewhere between $15-$17k.
     
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  3. Pedlyr

    Pedlyr Senior Member

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  4. pugsley

    pugsley Captain

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    my buddy put a new long block in last year, $12,500 on a 435 3208.
     
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  5. November Rain

    November Rain Senior Member

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    I would give T&S marine in MD a call. They are very good with Cats and can be trusted, they just rebuilt my buddy's 3126 who docks next to us. We just sent them a 10% deposit to rebuild a 3406 for us. Good luck !
     
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  6. chortle

    chortle Captain

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    I happened to speak to Tim at T&S the other day to inquire about a repower. He was quoting off the cuff, $14k for a rebuilt 3208T not including modifications for exhaust and a rebuild on the transmission. I have heard nothing but good things about the 3208's with some reservations at the high horsepower end of the spectrum (435hp.) A common story with most engines, they start out at a relatively conservative rating, like 210 hp, and then gradually up the ante until there is no more capacity, like 435 hp, at which time you really have to keep up with maintenance and expect a lower lifetime from the components. Plenty of parts and rebuilds available for 3208's so a drop in replacement is still easy to come by.

    My 3160 is the precursor to the 3208, a 210 hp natural, 42 years old, likely less than 6000 hours of pleasure boat use. It is louder and has more vibration than a modern electronic engine. I will likely spend more to get that lower noise, less vibration and better fuel economy when I repower.

    No experience with any of these but gives you some idea of what's available.

    ENGINES & GEARS
    NationWide Parts Distributors
     
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  7. MASTERENEGADE

    MASTERENEGADE Captain

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    As a current owner of a 3208t. I have nothign but good things to say about this engine. Simple to maintain, easy to work on and parts have never been a problem to find. I have 3200hrs on mine I feel like she just keeps getting better w age.
    I am no mechanic but am a hands on type of guy and even I have been able to do the work on the 3208.
    If the day ever comes where I need a rebuild, I will be calling T&S as well. I know two motors that have gone down there and both have come up and have made the owners very happy for not alot of $$ in comparison to a total repower.

    FPT please dont think im knocking on the newer technology. By no means am I. I just stink with computers, so the newer motors would throw me a major learning curve.
     
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  8. pugsley

    pugsley Captain

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    If you go with t&s be careful, they do a lot of spray paint rebuilds. If they go through the whole motor it should be good, but they have been know to do some patchwork and pass it off as rebuilt.
     
  9. petrel

    petrel Captain

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    Nice people there, but that assessment seems spot on from my observations around here. They have a lot of used parts to work with, so it would be a good idea to ask exactly what is new on a rebuild.
     
  10. Kodiakan

    Kodiakan Senior Member

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    We have plenty of boats in my neck of the woods that have 3208's. As others have said, a great motor that comes in many power ratings though the higher power ratings are somewhat misleading. search for past posts and they will explain why. another drawback, at least here, is that some of the smaller boats that they put them in do not handle the weight well. They are Heavy. All in all though a great workhorse.
     
  11. Toolate

    Toolate Captain

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    Someone posted recently about not being able to get a simple part for one. I think it was an exhaust elbow? Cat said that there wasnt one in the country. He did get it but had to wait.

    Are parts still in production for them? I just remember thinking it was surprising that a common part like that would not even be on the continent.
     
  12. gmac

    gmac Senior Member

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    Parts have been easily available for me. Any part I have needed has been in stock or got it next day (without additional cost to me).
    I have been very impressed with CAT and there parts. Prices seem reasonable to.
    I have bought ALL hoses, thermostats, probably 20+ gaskets, turbo housing, etc. Never needed a part they didn't have, hope it stays that way!!

    Mines a 3208T (320 hp)
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
    gmac,
  13. FPTMarineDiesel

    FPTMarineDiesel Captain

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    No worries, I don't take it personal at all. I have worked on many 3208's in the past, they are simple beyond the Sleeve metered fuel injection system, that part is a bit complex to setup and time the sleeves, but again not something the regular individual will get into. As long as you don't get them hot, you are pretty good to go.
     
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  14. gettes

    gettes Member

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    I think the turbo exhaust elbows are made by another company. I found them somewhere online when I looked a couple years ago. I just wanted to see the price($800ish IIRC) because I have 2 new ones in a parts stash I bought off a guy who used to be a dealer.
     
  15. snowstorm

    snowstorm Senior Member

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    didnt the 3208 have a single compression ring? did cat every upgrade to 2? i know know the aftermarket did. or IPD did i have used IPD parts before they were well made. a couple weeks ago i was talking to a guy i know that runs a truck junkyard. i asked about the 8.2 detriot. his answer was it wastnt much worse than a 3208. parts are priced higher and harder to find. for the cat. if milton cat dosent stock it they have it the next day. and plenty of aftermarket parts for them. this guy has sold 100's of used 3208's and 8.2 so he should know a little bit about them. this i was told years ago. in the late 60's ford wanted a mid range diesel and asked cat to build them one. out came the 1150 that became the 1160 and then the 3208 then the 3208 turbo. cat also sort cut the motor in half and had a 3204 that was used in a d3 and a 215 excavator
     
  16. captjohn

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    I just sold a boat with twin 3208's, had the boat for 10 years, and loved the engines, but they have a few things to watch out for just like every other engine ever built. First off, the oil cooler hoses, if they let go under way you're probably screwed by the time you figure it out. Change those hoses (cheap) every few years and you will never have a problem. Turbo's, I haven't seen too many so called "tired" 3208's that just needed turbo housings. Around 2500 hours in a twin engine high output sport fishing boat, and it's time, not sure about a single application, but if the boats slowing down, engine smoking some, you've due. But most owners are simply in denial. Worst case the housing is $1000 from Cat, if the rest of the turbo is good you'll be back at the prop shop getting pitch added to the wheel, I picked up 3 knots after changing both. And last but not least, head gaskets, somewhere between 15 to 20 years old, and your gaskets are just about gone. Blow that gasket, and keep running the engine, and the flash over from cylinder to cylinder will wear a groove in the deck and if it's bad enough you'll need a block. Don't get me wrong, they are great engines, anyone that complains about gaskets after 20 just shouldn't own a boat. Very easy to maintain, very few special tools, and the Cat manuals are fantastic, anyone could work on them. I'd buy another boat with a 3208 in it in a heart beat.
    John
     
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  17. El Mar

    El Mar Captain

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    What did you sell John?

    All good info guys, keep it coming.
     
  18. tuna_fan

    tuna_fan Captain

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    Had a 3208TA for about 6 years. Blew 3 head gaskets in that time...no major damage, just time to pull it apart to replace the gaskets. The engine never got hot, so not sure why the gaskets blew...MIGHT have been the engine block heater that we used...maybe it dried out the gaskets? Only thing I could think of. Otherwise, loved the engine. I bought from a crook and had to do an in boat rebuild after about 30min run time...head gasket, but due to the fact the guy epoxied one of the head bolts in before he sold it to me (it broke at some point and he was too lazy to fix it, so he epoxied it just to dump it). Anyway, the rebuild cost about $9000 with ME tearing it down to the block and a qualified mechanic putting it all back together after head x-rays, and some injector and fuel pump work. Replaced the starter once, and regular raw water pump issues (impeller replacements and 1 pump rebuild) from time to time, but nothing unusual. My boat actually did better with the weight. Overall though, minus the initial rebuild, was happy with it. They said run it at 2300...but 1850 seemed much easier on it and less problems cropped up.
     
  19. captjohn

    captjohn Captain

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    I had a 37 Topaz with 375 Cats. I really didn't need a boat like that anymore, most of my fishing on it was by myself for Stripers (I used to refer to my Marlin tower as a bunker tower). When Tuna time comes around my buddy has a repowered Runaway that he always wants to take, best boat to run to the canyon is someone else's! Boat ran very well, 23 knots at 26 gallons per hour, and yes, the boat ran better with a lot of weight (full tote with about 1000 pounds of ice, food, bait, gear and 6 fat guys). But it was getting kind of expensive fishing for Stripers on a 37 foot boat! Decided to downsize, bought a 28 Henriques with twin 200 Hp Volvos, really happy with the boat, 23 knots at 13 to 14 gallons per hour, big difference when I fill it up, and a really nice boat. When the fish are 15 to 20 miles away, no thought at all about the fuel anymore. But I do miss the Topaz now and then. If you do get a boat with 3208's, be prepared to work on the turbo, but it's a really easy job. When I replaced the housings and cartridge's (they couldn't be rebuilt, too worn) the first run was an eye opener, the boat felt like I had repowered the boat, just jumped up on plane, cruised 3 knots faster (who wouldn't kill for 3 knots) and burned less fuel. Most so called tired 3208's, all they need is the aftercooler cleaned out and a turbo, that's it.
     
  20. El Mar

    El Mar Captain

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    Bumping this back up for more discussion.

    Any opinion on the 435 hp high output version of the 3208?

    Are they really that bad?
     

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