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Caterpillar 3208 Solutions This sub-forum is hosted by Mike Hohnstein who has been at this kind of thing for 50+ years now, guess I'm addicted. The saga has been all about progressively larger shop space since then. Honestly, never wanted to get into the CAT 3208's that were originally considered to be a throwaway engine but that's all that works in a FC in my world. Same thing with my Ford toter, that came with a NA, too much effort to hang in a 6, so been at it with the CAT V-8 for 20 years now. In reality you can get excellent life out of a CAT 3208 if it's built correctly. Post your questions about the CAT 3208 engines here and Mike will try to help you out.

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Old 09-29-2021
Apollo62 Apollo62 is offline
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Default best rpms for engine

Hi Guys,
Been awhile since I posted. Have taken a number of great trips so far in my first BB. Was hoping for some advice on fine tuning my driving. Feeling pretty comfortable in her but still am learning how to go up big hills while keeping the Pyrometer and boost correct. I have the 3208 with turbo, 300hp.
What is the best rpm's for the best Power, Engine longevity and milage? She has 1800 hours and a bit over 61,000 miles. When is everyone forcing a down shift, upshift and aiming for depending on terrain? I try and keep the Pyro under 9 and have been down shifting up hills at 1800 rpm's. Not getting over 2400.
Does that sound correct? What is the concensus? Have been also trying to stay under 65MPH. Am I doing anything wrong? Have the ZF trannsmission.

Thanks
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Old 09-29-2021
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My bus is happy at 2250-2300 rpms. This equals 64-66 mph. Lock out upper gears when climbing hills to keep the RPMs in the power band. She'll climb at 20 mph all day long.

Keeping her in that range is the difference between topping a hill at 60 mph vs 45. D is actually the overdrive, if I'm on a 45 mph road or doing something like climbing and merging traffic I'll lock out to 3 (which is 3rd and 4th gear) to keep the RPMs higher and keep from going into that overdrive. That high gear can really lug the bus and throw a wrench into your available power (and merging plan).
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Old 09-29-2021
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Maybe apples to oranges here but my Bird cruises at 1500 (and love it - both of them); inclines may require as much as 2000 but that is fairly rare in my experience (~22k miles - Rockies to Maine).

Tony

65 is fine but mine really hits the sweet spot at 62/63 and spot on the 1500 rpm indicator.
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Old 09-29-2021
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Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
Maybe apples to oranges here but my Bird cruises at 1500 (and love it - both of them); inclines may require as much as 2000 but that is fairly rare in my experience (~22k miles - Rockies to Maine).

Tony
Comparing driving the cummins to the cat is apples to brussel sprouts
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Old 09-29-2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kg4rrx View Post
My bus is happy at 2250-2300 rpms. This equals 64-66 mph. Lock out upper gears when climbing hills to keep the RPMs in the power band. She'll climb at 20 mph all day long.

Keeping her in that range is the difference between topping a hill at 60 mph vs 45. D is actually the overdrive, if I'm on a 45 mph road or doing something like climbing and merging traffic I'll lock out to 3 (which is 3rd and 4th gear) to keep the RPMs higher and keep from going into that overdrive. That high gear can really lug the bus and throw a wrench into your available power (and merging plan).
I second this, and if in doubt, rpms up. the 3208 doesn't like to be lugged. the only side effects of running them a bit harder than mentioned here, is economy sinks a tad. and the other side: I just got to NM and the bus was perfectly happy doing 55-60mph on cruise the whole way. kept the heat levels a bit lower to enter the climbs.
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Old 09-29-2021
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Ha! Figured as much...

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Comparing driving the Cummins to the cat is apples to brussel sprouts
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Old 09-29-2021
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When are the Rpm's too low when climbing. I found myself at 1600 a few times before I could force a downshift...is that bad. I had pushed the lower gear lockout and had to hit the acceleration detention before she downshifted... seemed like I was lugging. should I downshift at 1800 or 2000? Or is 1600 ok? Going up pretty steep hill out here in Oregon. I'm never in a hurry. On the freeway I've hit 67mph...2400 rpm a few times...is the consensus that's to high? One more thing...The perimeter should never hit 900 correct?
Thanks guys!
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Old 09-29-2021
Apollo62 Apollo62 is offline
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oops forgot 2 other questions...I've heard going down in the same gear (say a 6% grade for a few miles) how high can I let the rpm's safely go with out load as a restraint?
Is the retarder destroying the transmission fluid or the transmission itself if I use it often decending. Is it better than using the brakes. I've even used it getting off the highway or in town...its a smoother stop or should it only be used occasionally?
thanks for all the help...
kevin
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Old 09-29-2021
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Forced downshifting will not occur until 1800 RPM, 55 mph. As soon as I hit that I'm mashing the pedal. Are you in eco or power mode? I'm always in power.

As far as EGTs go, I try to keep it under 1200, and never sustained above that. I read somewhere Cat says do not exceed 650- it would be impossible to drive like that.

When using the retarder, slow down to what you want at the top of the hill. Lock out down to your desired gear, and use the retarder to maintain that speed. Adjust the as needed to keep temperature acceptable and brake use should be sparingly needed. Retarder is designed to retard. Use it.

Keep RPM under 2500.
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Old 09-29-2021
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Thanks, Chris...what do you mean by forced shifts WILL not occur before 1800? Do you mean that if I'm pushing on the detent at the bottom of the throttle pedal that the transmission computer will prevent it from happening? The ZF has to be managed by me correctly. Meaning that if your heading up a hill and the RPMs started dropping... it's not going to downshift without you forcing it by stomping on the throttle or will it eventually downshift but then it would be lugging by that point?
The ZF transmission is different than an auto that relies on vacuum, instead, this is throttle-managed only ...is that correct?. I shouldn't think it's going to realize when to downshift, right?
Do my ramblings make sense?
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