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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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  #31  
Old 08-08-2019
ChrisRasman ChrisRasman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Hohnstein View Post
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.
Boats sink. Ask me about how I know. Good luck with your leak and the trip.
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  #32  
Old 08-15-2019
globetrottin globetrottin is offline
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The engine looks clean and beautiful from the bottom... not a drop of oil to be seen. It was a really big job and just north of 5K all said and done. Still, it was a bargain for all that got repaired correctly.. bell housing gasket, rear main seal, new oil and filters, oil pan gasket, fan thermostat repaired, complete drain and refill of ZF transmission and exhaust leak repaired with new section of pipe welded in. There is a fair amount of confidence involved when municipal vehicles, fire trucks, huge farm tractors, cement trucks, and a handful of RV's are on the premises waiting their turn for TLC.
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Chelsea, Michigan
1989 FC35SB Silver Edition
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  #33  
Old 08-15-2019
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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That sounds plenty fair to me.
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  #34  
Old 08-15-2019
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Quite a bit of work. How many hours total?
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  #35  
Old 08-15-2019
globetrottin globetrottin is offline
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Billed for 50 but he confided that this was less than actual. I think it was more like 80. Now the trans is shifting hard again though. A quick check under the keypad shows 13+ volts on the pink wire that I repaired due to low voltage last year. . Will look closer in the morning. Mechanic said they detached and reattached the harness- must be the other end that plugs into the ZF? Maybe it isn’t quite tight or something. It sure seems like the same low voltage problem I had before. I read that the other pink/red wires under the keypad can be getting low voltage via the relay box - seems unlikely that this is the problem though. It was very good before having the trans pulled out and now it’s not right.
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  #36  
Old 08-15-2019
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On mine there is a braided ground strap from the frame to a bell housing bolt, that had broken and it caused computer codes....inconsistent codes...maybe they broke a bolt or had the ground strap off?
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  #37  
Old 08-16-2019
globetrottin globetrottin is offline
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This morning I took the cannon plug off the transmission and cleaned it with contact cleaner. Then I started the Cat and let it idle for a few minutes. Checking the transmission fluid, it was clearly low. I drove directly to the repair shop, a few miles away and they agreed. Not sure how much they added - from a 5 gallon bucket with a hand pump and hose on top, it took 26 strokes to get it to full-hot. I'm guessing that was the better part of a gallon. Anyway, now it shifts buttery-smooth and we're on the road!
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  #38  
Old 08-16-2019
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Good it was shifting hard and got your attention.
ZF does not like a gallon low, maybe a quart low is OK
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  #39  
Old 09-03-2019
globetrottin globetrottin is offline
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Default Very interesting for 3208 Owners?

They really did fix it. Yellow paint with not so much as a drip after a few hundred miles out of the shop.

I finally got a couple minutes with the mechanic (not the shop owner) who did the work. He said the rear main seal was still good but the leak between bell housing and block forced them to disassemble. Turned out the gasket between the block and bell housing was not at fault. It was 2 internal bolts or nuts -I can’t remember-that hold the bell housing tight to the block that were barely finger tight. That caused the oil to start getting by the gasket and it became a waterfall of oil over some period of time. At 100,500 miles, the gaskets and seals were originals and didn’t fail. It was 2 loose bolts inside. So that’s the story he told me. A couple hundred in parts - new gaskets and seals on everything in sight - and a pile of cash for labor.
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