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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 10-30-2019
jfrold jfrold is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Whitehorse
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Default Blown head gasket!?!

Hi all,
Drove to the grocery store this morning after leaving the campground we spent the night at. All was normal. Stopped in the parking lot. Unhitched the van and when I fired it up again, big cloud of white smoke... coolant smell.

I let it cool down, fired it up for a minute to check the coolant level while running and I can see a lot of air bubbles popping at the surface...

All is pointing to a blown head gasket right?
We are in Asheville, NC, about 2.5 miles from the Cat house. Haven't called them yet, but they will likely be super expensive and super busy.

Thing is, this bird has been our house for 5.5 years now, we have 3 teenagers and a dog. I can't just leave it somewhere for weeks while I go back home. We are stuck here.

Any help or tips is appreciated.
Thanks
JF
84 FC35 SB with 3208t
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Old 10-30-2019
Ssmarinediesel Ssmarinediesel is offline
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Unfortunately it most definitely sounds like a blown head gasket.
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Marcelino Abalos
1979 FC35XV
Dania Beach, Florida
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  #3  
Old 10-30-2019
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Mike Hohnstein Mike Hohnstein is offline
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Sounds that way. On our return to WI after a one year absence, learned the hydronic heat loop under the sun room addition on our house is dumping 30 gallons a day into the ground, always something.
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Mike Hohnstein
FMCA 97824
'83FC35rb
Germantown, WI/Myrtle ID
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Old 10-30-2019
B.Nyhof B.Nyhof is online now
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Bummer. Been there done that. Going to tackle it yourself? Find a place to stay so you can work on it and live in it. Not the ideal situation, but doable. Good luck.
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Brian Nyhof
Hamilton, MI
1989 SP 36
1982 FC35 SB-----SOLD.
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Old 10-30-2019
photoadjuster photoadjuster is offline
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If have seen liquid glass, poured into the radiator, used to stop a head gasket from leaking. Never knew how long it actually lasted, but it did enable the truck to drive to town and to the repair shop.
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Mike Stephenson
Lubbock, TX
1978 FC35 (deceased)
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Old 10-30-2019
jfrold jfrold is offline
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I don't have the knowledge or time to tackle such a job with working full time...
We are supposed to be in Arkansas in just less than two weeks, grrrr
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JF
Yukon, Can
1984 FC35 SB
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  #7  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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kunzelj kunzelj is offline
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This is the scenario I play over in my mind while considering long trips in my Wanderlodge. It's 31 years old and in good shape. The engine will blow one day and I won't take it on a long trip without standby resources to get it fixed. The dilemma is one has fewer choices when on the road... or fix it at home proactively anticipating what might cause trouble on the road. Like everything, there is a balance.
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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 4 Weeks Ago
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Crit Bliss Crit Bliss is offline
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Jeff, you are correct. This is why I replaced my engine when I found a suitable candidate, the time and place of MY choice.
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Crit Bliss
'80FC33
250T
Cape Cod,ma
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
jfrold jfrold is offline
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Well, we made it to AR, but I think our rad is giving us some issues again.
We have to do some work on it to go further... but at least we are close to where we wanted to go this week.
We were able to drive from Asheville to Little Rock in normal conditions until this rad issue...
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JF
Yukon, Can
1984 FC35 SB
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
ChrisRasman ChrisRasman is offline
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Can't win. Jeff, what did you find out about the head gasket? You obviously got moving to find the issue with the radiator. Is it a swing out? I am ignorant of the FCs. You might get lucky with a mobile mechanic. A little cleaning, flux, solder and a good hand on the right torch you could be fixed.
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Christopher Rasmussen
USN Ret
Fort Myers, FLORIDA
2003 Wanderlodge 40LX
Body# F133835
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