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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    30

    Default Caterpillar 320 8ta common problems

    Hi Guys, what is there to look out for on Cat 320 8ta 435hp lumps please. The one I'm interested in is apparently smoking quiet a bit out of exhaust on startup and through a breather from there on. .... Any help most gratefully received Thanks
    Last edited by Fuzzy1; 21-11-17 at 14:52. Reason: ad info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Stratford on Avon
    Posts
    10,376

    Default Re: Caterpillar 320 8ta common problems

    Any engine that is smoking from the breather needs some major work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Caterpillar 320 8ta common problems

    Thanks Rafiki

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Caterpillar 320 8ta common problems

    Careful, the 3208 is a different piston design to most motors, blow by is normal on these, you need to check the breather loop to make sure it’s not blocked, unless it’s got lots and lots of hours unlikely to be major. Worth getting a CAT dealer to have a look before condemning it. Lots of info on boatdiesel.com re 3208 blow by
    John - North East Scotland
    Azimut 39
    http://new.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/...hips/235095472

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Caterpillar 320 8ta common problems

    Many thanks John.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Boat- SoF
    Posts
    2,962

    Default Re: Caterpillar 320 8ta common problems

    There’s a lot of stuff on the net ,
    No doubt you have read it .?

    What are they in ? I ask this because it’s how they are gonna be used in my book , the application as much as anything that really going to be the greatest influence on “ common problems “

    Head gaskets via overheating ,overloading ( hence what are they in ? ) are the weak point .
    Cooler hygiene plays a part in overheating .

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Caterpillar 320 8ta common problems

    All I need to say is its a sports boat, half of its life will be spent at the higher end of its cruising speed. With quiet lot flat out...I know me !!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    midlands
    Posts
    6,613

    Default Re: Caterpillar 320 8ta common problems

    Now you have had a few replies I’ll chip in.

    Over th3 years I’ve worked on quite a few 3208 lumps.
    My late Father had a pair of 375s in his boat, one was as good as gold over the years, the other was a real pain.

    This motor required a full rebuild which I had to do in situ , a strip down to a bare block with just the crank left in.

    The timing gear advance unit had failed along with cracked exhaust manifolds, the timing unit is deep inside the timing cover , to get at it you have to take the sump off first.
    All this was carried out inside the boat but it was a Hi star so it had a bigger than average engine room.

    I’ve also looked at a442hp version , they named it the silver anniversary engine , turboed and fuelled up to the hilt which didn’t make it last long as the eng8ne base unit dates from the 1950s and doesn’t have any form of piston oil jet cooling so everything ran on the limit.

    Ive removed one of these from a Princess 440 which is now for sale in Scotland, it required a full piston rebuild as it had picked up, this engine did breathe from the crankcase, funny thing is after its rebuild it stil emitted a fair amount of smoke but as it’s an open design like a Volvo it has to go somewhere .

    I wouldn’t be put off by the smoke unless it’s excessive in comparison to the other engine, cold start smoke up is normal on this engine, if it doesn’t accelerate or is lazy on pick up the timing could be out or the advance unit weights breaking up.

    Cat parts are not cheap so as they say buyer beware.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Caterpillar 320 8ta common problems

    Again many thanks for the advice. Much appreciated.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Boat- SoF
    Posts
    2,962

    Default Re: Caterpillar 320 8ta common problems

    425 general consensus is just pushing it a bit and if you are planing on caning it , sounds like you are ?
    Look with old engines imho they need TLC and nursing ,in fact love .
    I,am running a pair of 2003 MAN 2876 , there’s Zero internet traffic of issues .
    WOT is 2200 ,I do it once / year after service. Rest of it’s 80 hrs in a year ,it’s 1780 or 1850 all day , that’s plenty fast enough for me 27 / 30 knots dependant on seatate , weight of fluids etc , —- also 180L / h I,am comfortable with too.
    I can count on my hand how many times it’s seen 2000 rpm , just Nav issues speeding up to clear traffic etc - short term .
    2000 + we are well into mid thirties speed wise , and well N of 200 L / r

    Those CAT s 425 , WOT @ 2800,
    So cos there old If it was me I would figure ideally trundling round @ somewhere in the range of 2200 - 2400 ,Or lower ?
    Obviously don,t know what that equates to speed wise .
    I would be 8hit scared of sitting them on 2600 or N of that all day . “ for there other 1/2 of life “

    http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread...t-3208-vs-3126

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