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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 02-21-2020
Bob Horner Bob Horner is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: McLouth
Posts: 600

Originally Posted by DFB052686 View Post
looking to change all fluids on the new Bird. has maintenance history, always used 15w40, from oil change places, looks like Dexron III(or whatever stock is, no notation) on trans.

*92k miles now (300hp 3208/ZF)*

- looking for recommendations between straight 30wt OR 40wt plus STP (this seems to be the magical combo?)

- should I swap the trans over to synthetic ASAP? and if so, stick to name brand fluid? does the ZF use transynd?

the rare bird has been sitting for a decade off/on. tires and records support this. oil pressure is above 60psi on gauge when cold at idle. when warmed up a bit the number drops to about 20-30. when full operating temp at idle the gauge will read ZERO. if I get the rpm's up even say 50rpm. the gauge jumps back to a reading of 20-30 or so... and sometimes the gauge "flickers" up a bit... regardless of the reading. could this be a dirty pressure sensor? failed oil pump? crocodiles in the sump?

I am also contemplating running some Dexron III in with the oil for a few miles before I do the oil/filter change. is that a poor choice?
Today I started my gen for the first time, the gauge was flickering up and down around 20psi, I realized the wire was little loose on the end of the sensor, I crimped it down with some pliers to tighten it up, the pressure went to over 40 and no bouncing of the needle.
Bob Horner
McLouth, KS
1985 PT40
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Old 02-23-2020
kunzelj's Avatar
kunzelj kunzelj is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oakville
Posts: 716

I would not trust the gauge either. I had my oil pressure tested at a shop with a proper gauge and it was different (higher at idle, and about the same at higher RPM). There is an oil pressure sender connected to the oil cooler. I will be replacing this to see if it makes the gauge more accurate.

15/40 Delo or Rotella in the engine, zero additives.

Shell Spirax S6 A295 in the transmission, though Shell also makes a similar product that is certified with ZF... it's the same oil with a different certification I suspect. It's all "TranSynd". The ZF is such a costly transmission, I figure the oil is worth it.
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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3208, engine, oil change, service, transmission

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