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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 03-27-2019
Strayhound Strayhound is offline
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Default Possible oil leak from front accessory plate

Greetings, My 1978 31FC 3208NA developed a major oil leak on my last long trip from Phoenix to Houston and back. The oil appears to be covering the block, but not the heads. It's leaking at about 1 quart per 150 miles. It's on both sides of the block. Before the trip my mechanic replaced the valve cover gaskets and PVC gasket. I suspect the added pressure from better gaskets on top may have blown the front accessory plate gasket based on this photo:

https://www.google.com/search?q=cat+...V_W9jRc03dNgM:

What's the best way to determine that it is indeed the front accessory plate gasket? After pulling the radiator, how much time is involved in removing the rest of the accessories to get to the gasket? What else should be replaced while doing this repair?

Thanks to everyone for the help over the years.

John Dougherty
Stayhound
1978 31FC 3208NA
Phoenix, AZ
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2019
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Mike Hohnstein Mike Hohnstein is offline
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Only effective fix is pull the engine/transmission, remove transmission, flywheel, bell housing, remove harmonic balancer, remove air compressor, remove front engine plate, scrape and clean all gasket surfaces, replace with genuine Cat gaskets, reassemble and replace power unit in coach chassis.
Sounds like about 5 grand to start, if you find a better deal, all good on you.
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FMCA 97824
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Old 03-27-2019
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Mike is right,again.
To explain it a little better,the accessory housing is the start of building a 3208,everything bolts to the housing,oil pump,block and all the rest of what Mike named off.
front motor mount,everything.
Injector pump too..
Its not like a 350 chevy motor,to build a 3208 you bolt the block to the housing,and go from there.
Its a huge job.
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Randy Dupree
2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Port St Joe Fl.
www.buybyebluebird.com

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Old 03-27-2019
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susanmarycamilleri susanmarycamilleri is offline
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https://www.reviva.com/diesel-engine...-diesel-engine

When I replaced my 3208 it was cheaper to buy a reman from Reviva. I swapped it in my driveway.
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Peter Haggins
Courtenay, BC
Canada
96wb42
Mid Door
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Old 03-27-2019
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Mike Hohnstein Mike Hohnstein is offline
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This^^^, NA's aren't as pricey as turbo's, if you go reman, make sure they use 3 ring piston kits, I abide Interstate-McBee.
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'83FC35rb
Germantown, WI
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Old 03-28-2019
Strayhound Strayhound is offline
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Thanks for the information, sad as it is to hear.
The rear oil seal was leaking a few years ago and Cat used epoxy to seal it up. I don't know the condition of the pistons/cylinders and whether its worth going through this huge rebuild on an old engine.

Not sure what to do at this point. What are the best options? Get a 3208NA reman, a turbo 3208reman, a different type of engine or look for a new bus? I love the birds.

Thanks again. Bummed in Phoenix.
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1978 31 FC
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Phoenix, AZ
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Old 03-28-2019
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Mike Hohnstein Mike Hohnstein is offline
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Finn paid me 4500 for the turbo engine we installed in his bus that was NA, low hour used Cat reman. The change over, the exhaust is all different with a turbo, close fitting, can't be hacked, new air compressor, water pump all new hoses belts new Horton seems he spent around 20k.
A reman N/A is the most cost effective direction, to get the advantage of more power, you need to change the rear gear ratio, more money.
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Old 03-28-2019
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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I would search high and low for the oil leak,it may not be where you think it is.
steam clean the engine and use baby powder to find the leak.
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  #9  
Old 04-01-2019
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kunzelj kunzelj is offline
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I am sympathetic to anyone faced with such a decision, as one day it's a decision I will make. Fix or scrap. If the engine has to come out, best just rebuild/replace. 31' is not bad with a 210hp? Is the condition of the rest of the bus good? Were you planning to keep it for another 20 years? (rhetorical questions)
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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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Old 04-01-2019
Strayhound Strayhound is offline
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The bus is in good condition and I have traveled all over the US, across Canada twice and many trips to Baja. I want to keep going another 10 years. So it seems a reman from a reputable builder is the way to go. I would love to find a lower polluting engine if possible.
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1978 31 FC
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Phoenix, AZ
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