cat 3208

captainlarry84

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KristenFormer Charter Captain
Excellent motor & plenty of life still in it. If you plan on doing a repower, check to see if the head gaskets were ever upgraded. Much easier to replace before an install. 375 Cats were known for that. If the gasket blows the cross fire will scare the engine block which cannot be repaired. 375 HP is well within the range of the motor. They started to get touchy with the 435 & 450 HP models. Also with the motor out pull the heat exchanger bundle and clear it also a much easier before install. Once the exchange is done use only CAT pre-mixed antifreeze.
 

Pitou

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The 3208 up to and including the 375 was and is a great engine. A 30,000 gallon lifespan before a rebuild if she hasn't been overloaded. Parts are still readily available. Try and get a good estmate on fuel usage to know where you stand.
 

captjohn

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Great engines, but a few things to check, around 20 years old, replace head gaskets (not a difficult job) if I remember correctly the thermostats need to be replaced about every 2000 hours, replace the two oil cooler cooling hoses every few years. Transmission coolers clog up over time, clean them out or replace with standard coolers (cheaper than the Cat coolers). Also, pull the riser off the back of the turbo and check clearance between the turbo fins and the exhaust housing, I forget what the maximum clearance is but when it's excessive boost drops off along with power (check www.boat.diesel for the clearance, if I remember correctly it's like .015 max but I could be wrong). If the clearance is excessive you may need the turbo cartrage, exhaust housing, or both (makes a huge difference in power output if it's worn). But don't be afraid, every engine wears out parts. You take care of that engine and it might just outlive you.
 

captainlarry84

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KristenFormer Charter Captain
The 3208 up to and including the 375 was and is a great engine. A 30,000 gallon lifespan before a rebuild if she hasn't been overloaded. Parts are still readily available. Try and get a good estmate on fuel usage to know where you stand.

Good advice the amount of fuel burned is the key not the hours.
 

mtkjohn

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ok you guys say total gallons of fuel burned pitou says 30,000 gallon life span do the math at 10 gal per hr thats only 3000 hrs on the motor or do you mean 300,000 gallons
 

captainlarry84

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OK if the motor has 4300 hours and it burned 30,000 gallons...that means your average fuel burn is 6.98 GPH. At 6.98 GPH a 375 CAT would run at an average of 1600 RPMs. Therefore the life of that motor during those 4300 Hours was fairly light.
 

Pitou

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ok you guys say total gallons of fuel burned pitou says 30,000 gallon life span do the math at 10 gal per hr thats only 3000 hrs on the motor or do you mean 300,000 gallons

Cat recommends a rebuild at 30,000 gallons. It doesn't mean that it won't run after burning more, but that's the recommendation.

Compression Test too - 380 - 400 is optimum / as low as 360 should be okay ... NO Lower than 350. Cylinder 6 & 8 will be the lowest. Pull the valve covers to see if the cam follower clips aren't broken. A good engine survey / evaluation can be key.

I just walked away on a hull with 3700 hours. A sad day as I really loved the hull and build, but at the price the seller and I were at it just could't work for me. I saw a rebuild or a C-9 in my future the way this rec cruiser was run.

There absolutely are some 3208's out there with 10,000 hrs. on the clock and are okay. It just depends how she was run.

All good advice from Capt. Larry & John too.
 

petrel

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Cat is in the business of selling engines, parts, and labor. Keep that in mind. Not saying a compression check and some investigation is a bad idea, but if things look generally OK, replace the head gaskets, do the heads, replace hoses, clean the coolers and let her eat (that is run her with some common sense and the right wheel.) But that's me and I'm a charter boater. Almost 3000 hours over the last two years.
 

james

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if you do change the head gaskets you will also need a degree guage/tool to go with your torque wrench because you torque the engine to specific torque then have to pull it so many degrees past that specified torque
 
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