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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 07-10-2019
globetrottin globetrottin is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Chelsea
Posts: 211
Default 3208 Oil Leaking Fast

Our 89 FC hasn't been on the road this year due to complicated schedules. Finally ready to take the kids on 2 trips - this week and next week - and we're stuck. There was a "small drip" oil leak last year - a few spots on the road when we parked. It hadn't ever happened till last year. Yesterday after 40 miles driving to refuel, empty and top off tanks, etc., got home and it made a puddle of oil on the road in front of the house. A friend of a friend is a retired firefighter who had 3208 fire engines and he showed up at sunset. We took off the oil pan cover and wiped clean everything we could. Then started the engine and watched the dripping start- about 3 drops per second, whatever that rate might be. Traced it clearly to a spot just behind the starter where the block meets the next part - (housing?)... and buddy tells me "rear main seal most likely." So now I'm waiting till Michigan Cat opens and I'll call and see if they can get it in and wrench on it. Plan B for this weekend's long trip is a hotel. We're glad the leak didn't show itself while we were away on the road someplace. Options might be other mechanics but my buddy says Michigan Cat is probably fastest and best, even if it ends up costing a few thousand dollars... so this story will continue one way or another...
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Bob G
Chelsea, Michigan
1989 FC35SB Silver Edition
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2019
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giderich giderich is offline
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Location: Rolla
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Sounds like a major leak and the engine / transmission likely will have to be pulled.

Be sure to read post #11 by John McGinnis

https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.c...ad.php?t=10510


Another WOG link that may be useful.

https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.c...ad.php?t=33544

Bob, suggest you contact Mike Hohenstein for further advice...
Good luck with the repair.
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Dick & Patsy Gideon
1999 43 LXI Single Slide Body # F124510
2005 JEEP Liberty Limited CRD (diesel Toad)
SOLD 89 FC in 2012; SOLD 88 WB in 2016
Rolla, MO 65401
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  #3  
Old 07-10-2019
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kunzelj kunzelj is offline
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Location: Oakville
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Sounds like what happened to my 3208TA:

https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.c...ad.php?t=29720


The main housing gasket leaks - it's a small gasket and the bolts were even loose on mine. The leak was enough to make a big mess and I wasn't going to wait for it to get worse.

PM me with a phone number if you want to hear all about it and costs.
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Jeff Kunzelman
Oakville, Manitoba, Canada
1988 FC-35SB 300HP/ZF (2016-current)
1978 GMC Royale 26' (2015-2016)
1982 FC-33SB 250HP (2007-2009)
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2019
globetrottin globetrottin is offline
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There is a local diesel mechanic whose business is expanding due to his terrific skill and reputation. He has worked on my bird in the past. I managed to get it to him today and the comment was "how long has it been parked here? That's a lot of oil leaking." And it had been there for 5 minutes. They hope call with news of some sort later today. The guy assigned to it has years of Bluebird front engine 3208 experience (not Wanderlodges) and seemed a little worried about what he saw under there...
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Bob G
Chelsea, Michigan
1989 FC35SB Silver Edition
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2019
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Mike Hohnstein Mike Hohnstein is offline
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When elevated, remove front axle from hard points swing counter clockwise, drag link can stay attached. Remove transmission and oil pan, now this gets sketchy to some.....support engine with wood blocks on crank shaft as rear engine mounts and bell housing need to be removed IF one is going to change the paper gasket between block and bell housing, if not, remove rear main, special Cat tool called a 'distorter' is required, use special installer to place new seal and carry on with putting things back as they were.
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Mike Hohnstein
FMCA 97824
'83FC35rb
Germantown, WI/Myrtle ID
www.AutoTransDesign.com

http://s767.photobucket.com/user/mhohnstein/library/
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  #6  
Old 07-12-2019
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kunzelj kunzelj is offline
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This sounds about right from what was done to my FC. The transmission was left under the bus while the repairs were done, but it was sitting on a transmission jack with the driveshaft and hoses disconnected.

It's good to remove your front axle from time to time, right?
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Jeff Kunzelman
Oakville, Manitoba, Canada
1988 FC-35SB 300HP/ZF (2016-current)
1978 GMC Royale 26' (2015-2016)
1982 FC-33SB 250HP (2007-2009)
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  #7  
Old 07-12-2019
globetrottin globetrottin is offline
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Default Update

I shared Mike’s info with the shop and they were glad for the suggestions. They used dye to find the leak but it didn’t reveal precise source- it’s too high up and hidden behind things. They plan to drop the axle and push back the trans on Monday to find our exact problem and source of leak. Then they will be able to estimate the extent of the repairs. Nothing to do now but sit around and think about all the things we will have to cancel in order to pay for this unexpected adventure.
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Chelsea, Michigan
1989 FC35SB Silver Edition
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  #8  
Old 07-12-2019
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Mike Hohnstein Mike Hohnstein is offline
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Vintage vehicle, but still a rich mans toy. Could be worse, work on a motor yacht once. My Cat guy in Milwaukee made his bones servicing big boats/3208s for rich guys Lake Michigan. Had some sad stories.
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FMCA 97824
'83FC35rb
Germantown, WI/Myrtle ID
www.AutoTransDesign.com

http://s767.photobucket.com/user/mhohnstein/library/
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2019
globetrottin globetrottin is offline
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Default Update with no real news

The highly recommended diesel mechanic got the bus on Wednesday. When I spoke to them on Thursday afternoon, they had run out of dye to try and trace the leak but had more on the way. When I talked to them on Friday, they had looked again and couldn't figure out the source of the leak but planned to look again on Monday. Then on Monday they called to say they don't have the equipment to lift the bus and do the work, so I could come and pick it up. No diagnosis.

Yesterday, I got a ride down there and the girl at the desk just handed me my keys while the mechanics watched through a doorway from a back room. "You're all set - no charge!"

The dipstick showed almost nothing so I put 2 gallons of oil in and the dipstick read just above full. It started and ran perfectly, other than the oil dripping out the bottom. I drove it to a different mechanic, who did the valve lash adjustment last year, and he has it now. He confirmed that he knows the procedures to test and fix whatever we have. Local municipal fire trucks, huge dump trucks and construction machinery are in his lot waiting for a fix. His reputation is not cheap but "the best" according to my buddy who is a recently retired SnapOn tools rep that knows all the shops around here. He will try to work it in over the next couple weeks, knowing that we want to salvage some August for a few trips in the bus.
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Chelsea, Michigan
1989 FC35SB Silver Edition
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2019
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sailor7cs sailor7cs is offline
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Bob,
Just an FYI, on my 84 3208T if I filled it to the top line of the dipstick, I could drive fifty miles and find that the deep stick would read halfway between full
and add... So I left it at halfway between full and add and never had to add oil unless I changed it!!! This maybe be an issue you might want to look at... I know you have a 300hp and not a 250hp... But you never know!!!
HTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrottin View Post
The highly recommended diesel mechanic got the bus on Wednesday. When I spoke to them on Thursday afternoon, they had run out of dye to try and trace the leak but had more on the way. When I talked to them on Friday, they had looked again and couldn't figure out the source of the leak but planned to look again on Monday. Then on Monday they called to say they don't have the equipment to lift the bus and do the work, so I could come and pick it up. No diagnosis.

Yesterday, I got a ride down there and the girl at the desk just handed me my keys while the mechanics watched through a doorway from a back room. "You're all set - no charge!"

The dipstick showed almost nothing so I put 2 gallons of oil in and the dipstick read just above full. It started and ran perfectly, other than the oil dripping out the bottom. I drove it to a different mechanic, who did the valve lash adjustment last year, and he has it now. He confirmed that he knows the procedures to test and fix whatever we have. Local municipal fire trucks, huge dump trucks and construction machinery are in his lot waiting for a fix. His reputation is not cheap but "the best" according to my buddy who is a recently retired SnapOn tools rep that knows all the shops around here. He will try to work it in over the next couple weeks, knowing that we want to salvage some August for a few trips in the bus.
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'95 37' BMC 'Pura Vida'
'84 35' FCSB SOLD
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