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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 05-22-2018
Todd McDonald Todd McDonald is offline
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Default 3208T leaking coolant

First time posting but very appreciative of the wealth of knowledge on these forums. I'll get right into it. Traded for a 1980 FC and trying to get her home and the story goes like this:

Previous owner was driving it down the highway when the radiator fan came off and went through the radiator. He limped it into a shop where they replaced the radiator and put everything back together. After starting it up, they noticed coolant leaking out from under the heads. PO did not want to put any more money into it so it still sits in the parking lot of the shop where the radiator was repaired.

Couple questions: Is this most likely a head gasket issue? If I bring new heads with me and a gasket set and install them, should that fix it? Are the heads from a 3208 NA the same as a 3208T?
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Old 05-22-2018
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Mike Hohnstein Mike Hohnstein is offline
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Heads don't interchange, turbo cam is higher lift, will crush the NA springs, bend valves all kinds of silly s%%t. Not a promising project and the last thing anyone should consider is changing heads in chassis.
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Old 05-22-2018
Todd McDonald Todd McDonald is offline
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Thank you for the quick reply. In your opinion is this motor worth messing with? Replace? Or will heads and gaskets most likely take care of the issue?
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Old 05-22-2018
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Mike Hohnstein Mike Hohnstein is offline
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The 80 came with NA engine. What have you? It's unlikely the result will be very good as the engine was over heated pretty badly.
No way would I do any serious engine work in chassis, fuel injector change or valve adjustment is about it. Anything else, it needs to come out.
That being said, how much do you have invested at this time? What can you do personally compared to what you have to pay for as far as heavy engine repair experience?
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Old 05-22-2018
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No way would I put fresh heads and head gaskets without doing rings, inserts and mains. If the heads warped and pushed the head gaskets out it got hot enough to do serious damage to the rings as well.


This would have to be a nice FC to justify a new engine plus the other upgrades.
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Old 05-22-2018
Todd McDonald Todd McDonald is offline
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Mike and Rick - thanks for the input.

PO had a 3208T put in.

This FC is in very good shape. Its a good candidate for an engine swap/replacement. As far as my skills go, I have extensive experience with light truck V8's including engine rebuilds, swaps and some fabrication. Not so much on the heavy equipment side, but not scared of it.

Sounds like this engine is probably not worth saving. What's the best way to get it home so that it can be worked on. Is there a service available to "tow" them long distance? 800 miles?

As far as investment so far - $0.00. I have an opportunity to trade another vehicle that I have very little invested in for it. Trying to make it work since its such a nice coach. Shame to see it just sit there.
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Old 05-22-2018
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3208 isn't that far from a big gasser, BUT it requires special tools for rear main seal, front crank seal and a couple other things that escape at this moment. Not a huge problem to over come but a fork truck, heavy truck transmission jack, cement surface, a fixture to hold the engine, all things that make the job doable.
Best bet would be to start searching for a used unit, they aren't easy to find but some times you get lucky. I'll tell you this, if you aren't ready to spend 20 grand at the start, don't go there, with luck it won't go that high, but be ready, if that's not in the cards, stay away.
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Old 05-22-2018
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You will be very lucky to have it moved for less than 5 bucks a mile and perhaps more than that.
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Old 05-22-2018
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Might want to locate a poor boy with a 60" stinger or a Landol, do some research, might find someone who will work with you. Cash is king in that world.
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Old 05-22-2018
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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800 miles on a landoll?
$4000 if your lucky.
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