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Old 08-27-2019, 11:35 AM   #1
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CAT 3208TA overhaul time?

Quick question,
I'm looking at a boat with twin 3208TAs with 6000 hrs. The broker said they have been well maintained (of course) but never overhauled. I know a diesel should go 10K hrs. if taken good care of, but how long between OHs?

Thanks
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Old 08-27-2019, 11:51 AM   #2
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The 10000 hours IS between overhauls. As to whether these particular engines are on track for 10000 hours, that’s why we hire engine surveyors before buying......
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Old 08-27-2019, 12:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dixie Life View Post
Quick question,
I'm looking at a boat with twin 3208TAs with 6000 hrs. The broker said they have been well maintained (of course) but never overhauled. I know a diesel should go 10K hrs. if taken good care of, but how long between OHs?

Thanks
375 or 425hp? Or maybe 435? How old is the boat? What type of boat?
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:06 PM   #4
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375TA, 1988, in 53'.
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:09 PM   #5
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixie Life View Post
Quick question,
I'm looking at a boat with twin 3208TAs with 6000 hrs. The broker said they have been well maintained (of course) but never overhauled. I know a diesel should go 10K hrs. if taken good care of, but how long between OHs?

Thanks
IMHO, it's worth it to pay to have oil samples done on every engine, not just the mains. Gennys too.
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:41 PM   #7
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Agreed. You should get an engine survey, including oil sample on everything. Ask for the maintenance records. If properly maintained and run at reasonable (hull) speeds, the 375 hp 3208s have a decent reputation for lasting a long time. 10k hours wouldn't be unreasonable. An engine survey by someone with a lot of Cat experience would be crucial.
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:54 PM   #8
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The 375hp TA is well regarded. 6000 hrs is up there, but might be in better condition than a boat that old with 1000 hrs on it that has sat around corroding. If they havenít been done, youíll likely be on the hook for head gaskets, which are good for about 25 yrs. Mine were done 3 yrs before I bought the boat. As said in posts above, get an engine survey done by a 3208-knowledgeable mechanic with oil samples. Be aware that the 3208 is an unsleeved engine. I have heard (third or fourth or fifth hand) of guys rebuilding in the boat, but more likely theyíll come out, which adds substantially to the bill. A short list of owners and a big stack of maintenance receipts (or logbook) would be good.
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Old 08-27-2019, 02:34 PM   #9
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It all depends on how they were maintained and run. If they werenít maintained and run at 90% then no they will not last. If they were maintained and run reasonably then they will probably last quite a bit more. Crapshoot when you buy a used boat. Look at the overall boat maintenance. If they didnít maintain the boat it is unlikely they maintained the engines. Good luck.
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Old 08-27-2019, 02:45 PM   #10
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Did some refit on a GB46 with those engines, I seem to recall somewhere in the low 3,000 hr. range- they had been sitting for almost 5 yrs. unattended. They turned over, they started. One turbo was locked up, required a rebuild kit, around $1500 plus labor (in 2012). AFAIK, those engines are still running. Guess they're robust enough. But I'll echo the others- oil reports, get a Cat guy to assess them, maintenance records would be high on the list of things I'd want to see.
Good luck.
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:38 PM   #11
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6000 hours is a long life for a non-sleeved, turbo engine. The manufacturer made it as a one time engine for the recreational market. Metal alloys used in non heavy duty engines is less durable. Whatever an oil test shows will probably be the result of a recent oil change. They are easy to overhaul, but out of the boat. Otherwise in the boat, a boring bar (not as accurate as shop boring machines) will have to be brought to the boat, bored to fit sleeves, all done in a probably tight environment. My guess about $10g/engine in labor alone.

I think 8-10,000 hours is probably when oil use and smoke will start. All depending on how clean the oil was kept and how hard the engine was run. Unless you know the previous owners, 2 things impossible to know.



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Old 08-27-2019, 10:24 PM   #12
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I believe cat rated them for 30k gallons of fuel, which helps normalize the difference between an engine run at higher rpm vs a low one. My workbooks are up at the boat, so this is from memory. If the boat was run gently, this might not worry me terribly. Most owners are putting on a 100 hours a year, per specs, your not even close at that rate. A high hour boat was run and maintained to get there, that beats the 500 hour engine every time.
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Old 08-28-2019, 01:53 AM   #13
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It's a bit like how long is a piece of string. With the 3208 and most other marine diesels it all depends on how they have been treated as in run and maintained. I had a commercial boat with twin 3208T's and the engines where worn out at 5000 hrs when we bought her so we had them overhauled.


I've also seen 3208TA's go for more than 15000hrs between overhauls when they have be run for long periods at lower power setting and very well maintained.


As others have said there is no substitute for a thorough engine survey including oil tests to determine the state of the engines.



There is some good information on this on Tony Athens web site at Seaboard marine about Marine Age.
https://www.sbmar.com/featured-artic...diesel-engine/
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Old 08-28-2019, 03:04 PM   #14
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Jetstream pretty much hit what I would say, with that said, IF you need to replace them, how easy is it to remove them or does it take a major job to do, just play what if's to help with decisions.
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Old 08-30-2019, 06:23 AM   #15
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" Unless you know the previous owners, 2 things impossible to know.

Yes ,but some owners keep a good log book and a bit of noodling might reveal weather the boat cruised at 5 GPH or 20 GPH.

Just as a good look below might show cases of good diesel rated oil, or a milk crate of cheap car oil.
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