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Old 11-11-2011, 08:43 AM   #1
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Cat 3208 n.a. coolant leak

I just got back my oil analysis from CAT it says Sodium 61 and Potassium at 58.

It says that These are indicators for coolant.

I'm not sure what this means.

I have coolant in my oil but where is it coming from?

I have been having issues with overheating and loss of coolant. but the coolant I thought was going into the bilge through the blow off tube on top of the heat exchanger.

I tried making a recovery bottle by adding a piece of hose to the little tube right under the radiator cap. and running it into a plastic jug. It would get hot and blow coolant into the bottle but would not suck it back into the exchanger.

Any suggestions?

SD

*



-- Edited by skipperdude on Monday 14th of November 2011 09:47:32 AM


-- Edited by skipperdude on Thursday 9th of February 2012 12:50:26 PM
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:36 AM   #2
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RE: 3208 n.a. coolant leak

Dude

Your overheating - how hot and at what RPM does it begin? Some history would be helpful. Can you reach full rated RPM with the current prop?

Coolant in oil may (or may not) be related to bad gaskets, heads, manifolds (intake or exhaust)or oil HX. Overheating can crack heads and blow gaskets.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:54 AM   #3
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3208 n.a. coolant leak

When the cooolant gets low*the temp guage *pegs out hot 210.

I usually run at about 1800 RPM.

I can only reach max RPM 2800 *in nutral. Max RPM is about 2500. underway blows black smoke at WOT.

someone suggested The oil cooler.


-- Edited by skipperdude on Friday 11th of November 2011 11:55:54 AM
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:39 PM   #4
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RE: 3208 n.a. coolant leak

For one thing sounds as if you are way overpropped. Should get 2800 rpm plus at WOT , unless the engine is really messed up. The overheat may be another problem as well.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:05 PM   #5
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RE: 3208 n.a. coolant leak

SD, the oil cooler is one possibility. Other possibilities are a blown head gasket, a cracked head or possibly even a pinhole leak from the cooling system through a cylinder wall. But let's hope for something much simpler and less expensive. Can you see any indication of coolant in your engine oil? Think of the source of AF in your engine oil as an unwanted passage in your engine that connects your cooling system to another part of your engine. Then consider that it is a defective oil cooler. As your engine runs, your oil pressure is possibly 40-70 psi. At the same time, your cooling system pressure is regulated by your radiator cap, let's say 12 psi. So as your engine is running , the oil pressure wins so you should see an indication of engine oil in your cooling system. When you shut your engine off, you have no oil pressure, but your cooling system still has pressure so it will push AF into the o side of the cooler and ultimately show up in the oil pan. ***Now let's consider that the leak is a head gasket. 12 psi vs 350-400 psi combustion chamber pressure (just a guess). Combustion pressure wins when running, so if your radiator cap is off while running you should see the combustion gas show up as bubbles at the filler neck. What happens with the cap on- is that after the engine is shut off the 12 psi will push coolant on top of the piston and it will usually seep past the rings into the crankcase. IMHO, your approach needs to be scientific before you disassemble anything on the engine. If you can't see any indication of combustion gas bubbles at the filler neck, I would suggest you get a kit from Napa that can test for them in your cooling system. I have the kit and can get the number for you if you want. If this test shows negative also, that's a good thing and then I would pull the engine oil cooler and have it tested. If you see bubbles, or the Napa test shows positive, then let us know and I can give you some ideas of how to narrow this down to the particular cylinder before you pull her down. This gives you a much better shot at finding the specific area where the leak is.
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:14 AM   #6
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3208 n.a. coolant leak

Carl, that is scary stuff. I hope SkipperDude get off much easier than that on this repair!*** , SkipperDude, Cat engines have a Arrangement Number. Do you have that number or can you locate it? I can probably source some specific information to your engine that will help in locating the problem. Also, is there any chance you can post or send me a copy of your oil sample report? I know the guy here that runs the oil lab for Louisiana Machinery Cat and would like to get his ideas on how serious this problem could be. It may not be that bad.

-- Edited by Forkliftt on Saturday 12th of November 2011 11:19:06 AM
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:45 AM   #7
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3208 n.a. coolant leak

The oil analysis from cat.

*"Sodium and potassium are both indicators for coolant. Other analysis readings appear to be acceptable. More sample history needed to establish a normal wear trend. We noticed that the oil and the filter(s) has been changed. Re sample in 100 hours to monitor the compartment."

This is the first time I have had the oil analysis.

A friend of mine told me I was just asking for trouble.

I read the wear metals wrong. In the Parts per million it was.

Potassium 58 and sodium 61.

In the oil condition Particle count (ct/ml) The indication was. No water. No antifreeze. NO fuel.

soot was 1** Oxidation was 20.* Nitration* was 10. Sulfitration was 23.

I was thinking that with the overheating issue a lot of steam was generated in the engine room.* Could that have anything to do with the coolant in the oil?

I have pulled the tube bundle from the heat exchanger to have it cleaned and tested.

I am beginning to think that the coolant leak is my real issue.

She overheats once or twice per season I add coolant and if I don't put to much in everything is fine add to much and it blown out from under the cap into the bilge.

The loop from the coolant runs to my water heater and a red dot heater. Both are mounted above the engine.

I am going to try a check valve in the coolant line*to prevent the coolant from draining back out of the*heaters.

*I may be having an airlock or something.

SD


-- Edited by skipperdude on Monday 14th of November 2011 09:46:32 AM
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Old 11-14-2011, 05:04 PM   #8
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RE: 3208 n.a. coolant leak

Hey SD, you may have something there about the heater mounting. Do I understand that you are not showing AF, fuel or water in the oil? I will forward your info to my guy tomorrow to get his take. Anyway to pull another sample after 50-100 hours on the oil change? This will already help to determine any trends.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:03 PM   #9
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RE: 3208 n.a. coolant leak

SD,
I have not gotten through to the Cat oil lab. Sorry. Will try again tomorrow.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:53 PM   #10
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RE: 3208 n.a. coolant leak

SD, take another sample and send it in. Those sodium and potassium numbers are not the end of the world.

We frequently get high sodium from unknown sources usually related to sampling methods. As far as potassium, do you know what the level is in your new fresh clean oil? You really need to compare old with new to get an accurate idea of what is being added.

If there was no glycol detected then the potassium probably didn't come from a coolant leak and if there was no water in the oil then you probably don't have a heat exchanger leak. You might just have got some perspiration on the sample container.

Very carefully take another sample being hyper careful to avoid contaminating it. Provide a sample of clean unused oil as well.

Call us in the morning.
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:11 PM   #11
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RE: 3208 n.a. coolant leak

Quote:
Forkliftt wrote:
Hey SD, you may have something there about the heater mounting. Do I understand that you are not showing AF, fuel or water in the oil? I will forward your info to my guy tomorrow to get his take. Anyway to pull another sample after 50-100 hours on the oil change? This will already help to determine any trends.
*Thanks Steve. Rick B says it's not that big a deal (yet) I' going to get all things cleamned up replace all the hoses*and install the check valve*and relocate my water heater. Hopefully *I can find the coolant leak. I did the NAPA test thing NO exhaust gasses in the coolant or coolant in the exhaust gas. Still puzzled.

SD
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:46 PM   #12
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3208 n.a. coolant leak

This is sounding better all the time thankfully. As Rick says, another sample would be a great idea and the method needs to be VERY clean. I keep a roll of sample tubing for the Cat sample gun with both ends taped off. Always cut a new section of tubing for each sample. When measuring PPM it doesn't take a lot to contaminate a sample. *Also SD I ran across an old 3208 Industrial/ Marine engine module that covers systems operation, testing and adjusting. Serial numbers 75V1 and up, and 90N1 and up. Would be glad to send it to you if you want it. I still have your address from when you sent my cookies (). Just PM me.


-- Edited by Forkliftt on Tuesday 15th of November 2011 05:52:36 PM
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:57 AM   #13
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RE: 3208 n.a. coolant leak

Well I finaly got the report from the Radiator shop it seems there was a leak in the tube bundle on my heat exchanger.

So that solves the coolant leak.

I was pumping my coolant overboard.

When I get her put back together I will see if it solves any of the other little*problems with my engine heat through my red dot and water heater.

SD*
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:29 PM   #14
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RE: 3208 n.a. coolant leak

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:


Well I finaly got the report from the Radiator shop it seems there was a leak in the tube bundle on my heat exchanger.

So that solves the coolant leak.

I was pumping my coolant overboard.

When I get her put back together I will see if it solves any of the other little*problems with my engine heat through my red dot and water heater.

SD*
I bet it will. Keep us posted.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:26 AM   #15
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RE: 3208 n.a. coolant leak

As to the coolant in the oil.

*Could it be that with the overheating and the engine room full of steam which would be mostly vaporized coolant from said overheating.

Could the engine have taken in the coolant thru the air intake?

Thereby causing the oil analysis to show the coolant in the oil?
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:00 AM   #16
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RE: 3208 n.a. coolant leak

So you now know why you were over heating (no more over heats, correct?), now for the damage assessment, if any.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:18 AM   #17
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RE: 3208 n.a. coolant leak

I think the damage was done to the tube bundle in the exchanger.

*I never let it get to bad and I was always watching my temp guage like a hawk.

At the first signs of high temp I shut her down and added coolant.

The shop said the bundle required extensive repair as the leak was at the flange end and was most likely exacerbated by the overheating.

SD

*
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:38 AM   #18
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RE: 3208 n.a. coolant leak

I got the report from the muffler shop today. Not Good.

I need a new tube bundle for my cat 3208 heat exchanger. The shop said it could not be repaired.

The boat had a short block in 92 but the exchanger was a 74.

38 years. Just to long. It has served it's useful life.

For the first time in 20 years I have a boat in the water that don't go.

Should I go for a new one or will used do.

What do you think?

SD

*
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:04 AM   #19
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RE: 3208 n.a. coolant leak

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:Should I go for a new one or will used do.
What do you think?
Ouch! With new price around $1800 it might be worth looking at used if you can find one.

If you can and the price seems reasonable, see if you can make the buy contingent on getting a satisfactory test report.

Try these guys:

http://www.angelfire.com/mo3/ameritractor/marine.html

3208 Heat Exchanger Core 9Y3333

What failed on the old one? Is it erosion on the tube ends or the tubes thinning?
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:17 AM   #20
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3208 n.a. coolant leak

Quote:
RickB wrote:
*
What failed on the old one? Is it erosion on the tube ends or the tubes thinning?

*He said it was a little of both. It would not take the silver solder.

at first he found it was the flange end. It had erosion and as he began to solder he said it went right through.

so no go.

Cat NC machinery in Seattle has a used one pressure tested and cleaned for $780.00. new for about $1400.00

No guarantee. on the used one.

I think I am going to look around a little first. Thanks for the link I tried it but the number to call can't be reached from Alaska.

SD

*


-- Edited by skipperdude on Friday 9th of December 2011 10:25:28 AM
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