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Author Topic: 3208 Cat  (Read 3703 times)
Len Silva
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« on: May 07, 2006, 06:40:59 AM »

I'm looking at a mid eightys Blue Bird with the 3208 NA engine. A search of the web seems to produce a love it or hate it response to this engine.

Any comments from you diesel heads?

Thanks,

Len Silva
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Kristinsgrandpa
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2006, 08:42:05 AM »

   I've got a 3208 NA, in a single axle F-7000 dump truck. They smoke a lot on start-up.  Mine has 90 K on a rebuild, and doesn't burn enough oil to even mention. some people call them disposible engines but there are rebuild parts avaliable to cure the smoking on start-up.

 I think the addition of another ring groove, and ring, on the pistons was the answer.
  I got all my rebuild info from the 2 busnuts bulletin boards, so you might check the archive on the BNO to see if any more info is there.

There are several people with them in their coaches that can tell you more than I can, maybe they will chime in with more specifics.
 I have a lot more respect for them since I bought my truck 2 years ago, but I still dislike the smoke on start-up.

  I've never had to start it in sub-zero weather, but it fires right up wiith the use of a block heater, in any cold weather.


Ed
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TomCat
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2006, 11:17:37 AM »

Hello Len,

I have a factory reman 250hp, Cat 3208 turbo in my 1987 Thomas SaftLiner. And as Ed said, it smokes on start up when cold, but mine has only used a gallon of oil in 12,000 miles over the last 6 months of driving across the US. Geared as I am, 55mph gives me 11mpg and 65 gives me 8-9mpg on the highway.
I know the detractors are out there, but in 3 1/2 years of owning and operating a 3208, I can't find any big downside. One thing I really like about this series of engine is the hand fuel pump. If you run out of fuel, there is a lever on the fuel pump which will pressurize the fuel system for a quick and easy restart.
Would I like to have more power? Hell yes, as a lot of people on this board would. That's why I'm looking for a used or salvage transit bus with a DDSeries 50 and B500 transmission to install when the Cat craps out.
Contact me if you have any specific questions for me.

Jay
87 SaftLiner
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On The High Plains of Colorado
DrDave
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2006, 06:27:40 AM »

I'm looking at a mid eightys Blue Bird with the 3208 NA engine. A search of the web seems to produce a love it or hate it response to this engine.

Any comments from you diesel heads?

Thanks,

Len Silva

Hey Len,

Your turn signal is on..... ( Left Turn Clyde!!) Grin
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pvcces
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2006, 10:00:27 PM »

We have one of these small cat engines in a concrete pump. It was a fresh reman when we picked up the truck.

In the time that we've owned it, the smoke has not changed noticeably. Always bad on start up, it has to idle 15 minutes before it becomes tolerable to look at.

I figured out that it was misfiring; it never used any lube oil to speak of. I talked to one of the mechanics at NC Machinery about the engine, and he said they were timed a litlle late for a clean start up. He said if the smoke was bad, advance the fuel timing by one tooth, and it would mostly come out of it.

The other bad thing about that engine is that the exhaust was really bad to get downwind of. It's the only one I ever had a complaint about from people on the job.

I never did change the timing because we closed the business, but it wouldn't surprise me if that mechanic was right.

FWIW

Tom Caffrey PD4106-2576
Suncatcher
Ketchikan, Alaska
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Tom Caffrey PD4106-2576
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Ketchikan, Alaska
Skykingrob
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2006, 06:56:49 PM »

Hi Len
We had the 3208 turbo in a 93 40' Beaver Marquis. Respectable engine, here are the things I learned as it was the only Cat engine I have owned. Smoke problem fixed with retiming the engine. Coroded wires which prevented the engine from starting on two separate occasions, cost $1500 to find and fix at Cat dealer. Mileage was 8.5 on 3000 mile trips running 70-75 mph. In the mountains, down shift at least 1 or 2 gears to keep engine rpm up, back off accelerator pedal to keep the engine cool, when you lug the engine it overheats very fast, example I-70 west of Denver 3rd gear, 1500 rpm, 35-45 mph, 180-190 degrees in early afternoon. Very little if any oil use. No "blown overboard" oil spots on tow car like DD 8V. Parts most of time cheaper than DD. Some parts available from auto parts store where DD most times not.
All in all, I give it good marks and while I wouldn't go looking for a bus with a Cat, if it had one, I wouldn't run from it.

Rob
91 LeMirageXL
Missouri
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