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Old 07-10-2019, 08:07 PM   #1
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Alternatives to Caterpillar 3208N OEM heat exhanger

Does anyone have experience with aftermarket heat exchanger cores for Cat 3208N engines. Cat wants over $2500 for each exhanger. I see a couple of sources (mr. cool, Hardin marine) for up to $1000 less than Cat OEM but am wondering if anyone has used these alternatives in the factory shell?

Alternatively has anyone rebuilt their exhangers i.e. taken to a radiator shop and had cleaned and resoldered? Is that cost effective?

It seems like Cat is jacking the prices for parts on the old 3208 so it tends to force the use of aftermarket suppliers. It isn't like a heat exhanger is rocket science.

It isn't urgent yet, they seem OK so far but I'm preparing for the inevitable.
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:06 PM   #2
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Have you shopped around the Cat part number? There always seems to be a dealer somewhere that's willing to deal. Some of the rebuilders will sell parts for less as it's easy money. I'm guessing on a $2,500 item there is some room to come down.

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Old 07-10-2019, 10:51 PM   #3
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Maybe try www.mrcool.us ?

If they don't have it on their website, try calling them. They seem to be able to get almost anything 3rd party.

I used them to get all of the coolers, etc, for the Perkins in my last boat.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:17 PM   #4
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How bad are they? Mine were 80% clogged and after an aggressive acid clean about 12 years ago, Iíve only had the end caps off twice to gently rod them to keep up. They originals are pretty hardy.

Iíd take them to a radiator shop, get them cleaned and decide how bad you need spares after seeing how they look cleaned up. Iíve a sneaking suspicion they will look better than you think after cleaned.

Iíd have no problem having one fabricated and saving a bit. Might save a few hundred each, but the material and expertise will still add up. I also watch the used market, though you donít see them every day. Saw a pair, great condition I could get for cheap to keep in storage, but it was a days drive and even at almost 40 years old, mine are not anywhere near worrying me, so did not go get them. I just like to have options when things go bad.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:30 PM   #5
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There's a couple tube bundles on eBay for the 3208.


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