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Engine Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's engine.

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  #1  
Old 06-26-2008
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Default blue smoke

When I first start my 3208 250 turbo and let it idle for a while, I get a build up of blue smoke (burinig oil I assume). It seems to clear up after a short while on the road. The engine has 50k miles or so with , I believe, good maintenance procedures. Could this be a turbo seal? Is the turbo bearing oiled by engine oil pressure similar to the compressor?
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2008
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it could be,but i doubt it.
most cats do smoke if they idle for a while.
i say drive it,and keep an eye on the smoke,i know you will!
Randy
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  #3  
Old 06-27-2008
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Gardner,

My Cat 3208NA, while it is not a TA model, has always done the same things ever since I have owned it. A lot of the older design diesel engines do that, I can remember leaving truck stops with an Oversize Load following me and watching the trail of blue smoke belching from their stacks, especially in the winter months when they had set all night long idling and it was even worse when they had set for the entire weekend idling, while we had to set in a state that had a weekend curfew that didn't allow us to travel.

New Jersey had a law back then that wouldn't legally allow trucks to idle for more than a few hours at a time, the new small diesel engine powered airconditioners and heaters that a lot of the companies like Wal Mart have added to their tractors are small enough displacement to skirt that law and save fuel too, although they are a very expensive option, but for their use they end up paying for themselves in a short time.
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Old 06-27-2008
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I do not think the 3208 Cats have given up smoking.
Try a cold start at about 30 degrees when dry camping.
Last Fall a Lady Camper pounded on our door screaming, I set off her
smoke alarm, and wishing we would leave.

There are three ring pistons available, that will help, Just a little expensive.
But Cat non-smoking patches are not available, Yet!!
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  #5  
Old 06-27-2008
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My old NA didn't seem to do this much, but from the responses I don't have a problem. I was mainly concerned about the state inspection.
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  #6  
Old 12-24-2008
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Back to this old thread. I was watching the exhaust on my trip yesterday. It was 30 degrees or so outside and there was quite a bit of blue smoke when I step on it even after running s couple of hours.

My original question was 'is the turbo bearing oiled by engine oil perssure or is it a permanently lubed bearing'?

The engine has 30 to 50k on a rebuild. I can hear the turbo spool up and down smoothly so it isn't binding. I am just looking for alternate oil sources and hoping the rings are OK.
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  #7  
Old 12-24-2008
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the turbo has a pressurized oiling system,it gets fesh oil all the time,theres a drainback hole that returns the oil to the oil pan.
you can take off the rubber hose going from the turbo to the intake on the engine,inspect the inside of the turbo and the hose for oil,it should be fairly dry,if its real oily or dripping with oil you need a rebuilt turbo.
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  #8  
Old 12-24-2008
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a restricted air filter will make it smoke also,the air filter thats on it is a square metal box,right?
they are very restrictive,and takes very little dirt to hurt your mileage and performance.
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  #9  
Old 12-24-2008
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Randy,
Thanks.

All of the filters including the air filter were new in May, but an inspection is in order. I will look at the intake and see what's up.
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  #10  
Old 12-24-2008
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Gardner
My old 3208, the original in the bus , had approx 220K miles on it. It would blow blue on start up, but would clear up after it was warm. It did continue to burn oil however while driving to the tune of a litre every 150-200 miles. When I replaced the engine the new reman engine has the two compression rings, and an oil ring. The orginal was a single comprssion ring. The bus starts clean, and burns very little oil. I am in LA now, just drove through that heavy snow and mountain passes, towing a jeep Liberty, and burned 1.5 litres after 900 miles, The new engine only has 4000 miles on it so it may not be fully broken in yet.
Bottom line, IMO if it clears up after start, and does not burn excessive oil while driving, I would not worry about it. If It does burn a lot of oil while driving, it is likely the rings. I drove my old Cat for 8 years burning a lot of oil. Oil is cheap. It is nice not having to add oil every time I stop now.

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