Cat 3208 or 3126

Banshee27

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Hello all, maybe you can help me pick a Cat ?

Im looking at two boats both 35' with Cats, #1 not a Downeaster is powered by twin 1998 Cat 3208's 435HP these units have only 400 hours original. #2 is a Downeast Boat with a 1999 3126 and 4000 hours.I have read some negative things about both
 

5akman

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I bought a dealer rebuilt 435hp last year for my AK gillnetter. It wasn't my first choice but the shop doing the install said they'd only replace a Cat with a Cat due to time constraints. Tony Athens (Seaboardmarine) recommended propping it to 375hp specs and said it should have a long and happy life. I had the Cat mechanic down to do a 200hr valve adjustment and he said the same thing.
 

pugsley

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what hp 3126?
the 3126 will burn a lot less fuel, i believe it has more torque, it is also noisier than a 3208.
 

5akman

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As far as fuel burn, I have the flowscan set up on my boat and the season total was 220hrs and 605 gal burned. A little less than 3 gph for the season and I'm good with that!
 

Powderpro

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My personal experience is limited, so take my advice with a grain of salt. But from what I have personally seen, the 3208 is a real good engine, and the 425hp version is fine as long as it's propped right like Lance suggested. My dad installed a 425hp 3208 in a new boat in 1990, the owner just replaced the engine last year and it had about 5,200hrs on the engine, and it was not underpropped or treated very well. My dad only owned it for about 600 hrs, and it was a powerhouse when he owned. But the next 2 owners did every torture test imaginable on a boat, and the engine lasted over 5,000hrs, so I really can't say anything bad about the 425hp.

The 3126 on the other hand, I don't think it would stand near the abuse or torture of a 3208. The few 3126's I'm aware of do not have an impressive record, actually their record is quite bad. I'm sure there are guys out there that have had some good luck with the 3126, but I have personally seen a ton of problems and down time with the 3126. I would go with the lower hour 3208's if it were me, and make sure they are propped correctly.
 

Powderpro

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For any given hp, the fuel burns should be about the same or close to the same on a 3208 versus a 3126. I've never heard or experienced 3208's as being an overly high fuel consuming engine.
 

pugsley

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the only problems with the 3126 are those stupid fuel cups, other than that they take it pretty good...the lower hp ones that is, 300-350. the 420 not so tough, 450 pretty bad. i have run them both, and i like the 3126 way way better.
 

captainlarry84

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What types of boats are they? Do you really want to feed a pair of 435 HP 3208s? The 3208 was an excellent motor. However they should have stopped @ 375 HP. Under propping is a good idea. The 3208 is so easy to work on, just about any good mechanic with \out a lot of special tools and work on them.
3126 a fine motor however not that easy to work on.
 

riskybusiness

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I have a 3126 with approx. 7500 hrs at 420hp, a lot of guys around here have had really great luck with them, a friend of mine has a 3116 with 12k on it....we keep waiting for it go but it hasn't yet....I love mine, lots of power, mines in a 35 foot five islands (Bruno 35) not really a fast boat but at 1900 its 13.5kts and she loves it....will do 23kts at 2750 Im pretty happy with it and I wouldn't be scared of a 420 as long as you don't run it like one....everythings the same I looked at turning mine down, they said just don't run it like an idiot and it will be fine or just turn it down on the throttle head.... the 3208's are good engines I don't know about how they take that higher rating but if u don't run it like an idiot it will probably be fine....
 

pugsley

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I have a 3126 with approx. 7500 hrs at 420hp, a lot of guys around here have had really great luck with them, a friend of mine has a 3116 with 12k on it....we keep waiting for it go but it hasn't yet....I love mine, lots of power, mines in a 35 foot five islands (Bruno 35) not really a fast boat but at 1900 its 13.5kts and she loves it....will do 23kts at 2750 Im pretty happy with it and I wouldn't be scared of a 420 as long as you don't run it like one....everythings the same I looked at turning mine down, they said just don't run it like an idiot and it will be fine or just turn it down on the throttle head.... the 3208's are good engines I don't know about how they take that higher rating but if u don't run it like an idiot it will probably be fine....


you are probably right about the 420's they put a lot of them in sea rays, and albemarles, those guys start them, and shove them in the corner, not too many engines take that well.
 

riskybusiness

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yah if you take any engine and run it like an idiot it will blow up....theres a reason cat rates all engine longevity in gallons burned not hours.....
 

MASTERENEGADE

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I have the 380t(320hp) Will not trade this engine for anything. Burns very lil and runs the same everytime. I want the 375hp 3208ta, But if it aint broke dont fix. If you baby these engines just a lil bit and listen to where they wanna run, they will go for a very long time. And about 5wrenches will fix anything on the engine

I know nothing about the 3216
 

joelucci33

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For what its worth, we have a 3126 300HP 5500hrs on it. Cruise at 2300 RPM 15KTs 300 gallons of fuel tower pulpit 9cube Vat with ice...9 GPH fuel burn. Runs smooth haven't had any major issues. I change the oil, filters and fuel filters every 100hr.

That red knob rarely will surpass 2400 rpm...all how you treat them my opinion. Especially a diesel...they like to be maintained.
 

james

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james

I have a 3208 that was originally a 210 HP natural engine the person I bought it from put 375 turbo intake and exhaust on it it runs great until you shut it off then it will not start back up I was thinking the pistons needed to be swapped to match the rest of the engine does anyone know of someone who has done this that I could possibly get intouch with to discuss my options
 

MDI45

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Both are fine motors .....I had a 3126 in my 36 Wayne Beal ......never had any major issues......i loved it....she has a wicked turbo whine.....but other then noise and maybe the 3208 being a little smoother...you won't be disappointed with either..........now we gotta know which downeast hull are you looking at
 
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