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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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  #1  
Old 10-22-2019
bsherman bsherman is offline
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Default 3208 rebuild

I'm working on rebuilding my 3208T 250HP out of our 82 FC33. One of the exhaust valves stuck and the push rod fell out and got beat up by the camshaft on its way down, then got caught up between the crankshaft and the bottom of the # 8 piston and beat up the bottom of the piston before ending up into the oil pan.

So decided to remove the engine and do a rebuild so we know we have a good dependable motor. where I'm at right now are the heads were rebuilt by a local machine shop, new valves, replaced valve guides with knurled ones and resurfaced each head. The rest of the engine is apart and inspected, needs to be bored .020" over, the crank is good and so are the camshaft and lifters. this is what I'm planning to do so far:

Bore the block .020 over
New 3 ring pistons .020" over
deck the block
Have the engine balanced
new bearings: Crank,rods, cam, piston pin.
new oil pump bearing, maybe gears if needed
new injectors

I have a few questions to make sure it is done right.

Who is a good source for parts: pistons, gasket set, and the rest of the stuff what is a good aftermarket brand??

What compression ratio of piston could be used, it looks like there is a 16 to 1, 17 to 1, and 18 to 1, available??

should I replace head bolts, rod bolts??

Should I use genuine Cat head gaskets or are some of the aftermarket head gaskets just as good??

What choice of injectors would I have to improve performance, would the 7000 series injectors work, is there any advantage to use them??

I'm interested to hear if there is anything else I should do while it is apart to make it dependable and any tips and tricks to make sure it runs well.

I'm looking forward to your advice (especially Mike's)

Thanks
Bob
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Bob Sherman
1982 FC 33'
Homedale, ID
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2019
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Mike Hohnstein Mike Hohnstein is offline
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https://www.google.com/search?q=inte...hrome&ie=UTF-8
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Germantown, WI/Myrtle ID
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Old 10-22-2019
B.Nyhof B.Nyhof is offline
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Awful lot of work not to use CAT parts- in my opinion . I would use CAT head gaskets and new head bolts for sure. New exhaust manifold bolts from CAT is a good idea too.
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1989 SP 36
1982 FC35 SB-----SOLD.
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Old 10-22-2019
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Crit Bliss Crit Bliss is offline
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Why not use a CAT rebuild kit?
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Old 10-22-2019
bsherman bsherman is offline
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Thanks Mike for the recommendation for good aftermarket parts. The main reason for not using Cat parts is the cost, but I haven't priced ether one yet, i will be working on that today, let you know.

What do you all think about compression ratios. I'm not sure what the original compression ratio was, but could you go with the 18 to 1 to help out with the performance? The Engine serial # is 02Z02246 if that helps know the original compression ratio
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1982 FC 33'
Homedale, ID
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Old 10-22-2019
B.Nyhof B.Nyhof is offline
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If you go to the CAT house with the arraignment numbers and serial numbers they will tell you what the compression ratio is. I would stay with that.
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1989 SP 36
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Old 10-23-2019
flyingjunebugs flyingjunebugs is offline
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Default 3208 parts.

Hi, the big issue is the piston rings. The rumor is that CAT wanted to use the three ring pistons. Ford bean counters want to save pennies, and wanted two ring pistons. So this change really reduced the engine life and not by a small amount!!!
So the CAT, parts could be two ring pistons kit!!! Dusty on the shelf, not something they would sell to their steady customers. But now you show up, they sell the two ring kit to you!!! They will tell you it is just how it came new!!
Suggest going with Mike,s ideas.
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Old 12-11-2019
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MRPutz MRPutz is offline
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How's it going Bob? My 3208na 210hp broke a valve spring so the valve dropped into the cylinder at 2600 rpms. I have a used 3208T I'm checking out now to replace it. Curious to see what your research finds, I may play with the old na just for fun and learn more about CATs.
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Old 12-15-2019
bsherman bsherman is offline
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I ended up getting a rebuild kit from Interstate Mcbee with three ring pistons it cost about $1200. all the machine shop work is done, also had it balanced. right now the pistons are in it, I don't get a lot of time to work on it so it might be a month or two before I get it back together. I'm also looking for the gear that has the advance mechanism in it that mounts to the cam shaft and drives the injection pump. Cat has a new one at $400, trying to find a used one at a better price. do you have your engine apart to see how much damage there is? do you want to sell some parts off of i?
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Old 12-15-2019
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Mike Hohnstein Mike Hohnstein is offline
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You noticed the cylinder head dowels are hollow, right? Solid dowels would be bad on the curb side rear. I wouldn't recommend cheaping out on the advance assembly, way critical component.
There's a mint 64 Galaxy convertible in the shop, from Maine, 390 tri-carb, adapting a GM OD trans, owner paid 16k to some monkey to over haul the engine. Safe to say there were basic problems that required new push rods and other parts to cure. Point is, compared to many other mechanical situations, Cat part prices aren't out of line, I've come to understand.
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