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Old 07-30-2019, 11:54 AM   #1
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Old Caterpillars "330T"

Straight up, I'm mildly interested in a DeFever 54 that's for sale in Washington state. It's a 1972, wood, built in Japan.

I'm open to opinions about wooden hulls, etc. but that's NOT the purpose of my post.

The question is, "What's a Caterpillar 330T?" I don't find anything online.
A broker tells me they were often used as generators, even in submarines and other commercial applications. Hours are stated as "unknown". The turbos were both replaced in the last few years...the engines are both operational.

I'm a skeptic by nature but I'm still interested in any thoughts about these engines. Clearly at 47 years old they are either capable of continued service, or they're junk. If indeed they were essentially a commercial engine, they may be ok.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:47 PM   #2
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Probably a typo. Cat in that era did make a 3306T.
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:00 PM   #3
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CDreamer:
My previous boat was a 54 Defever, not the same one you are talking about, but same engines. They are heavy duty industrial engines designed for heavy equipment and were used for generators. Glad to hear the turbos have already been replaced as I had to replace both on that boat.

Parts are still available from Cat. We never had a problem finding parts. There are still a few older mechanics working at the Cat dealerships that have experience working on them. One odd thing about that engine: the oil should be checked with the engine running. Overall I was happy with them.
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:03 PM   #4
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Might try researching a 3304 or 3304T . The 3304 is the 4 cylinder and the 3306 is the 6 cylinder. These boats have the 4 cylinder engines.
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Clifton View Post
CDreamer:

My previous boat was a 54 Defever, not the same one you are talking about, but same engines. They are heavy duty industrial engines designed for heavy equipment and were used for generators. Glad to hear the turbos have already been replaced as I had to replace both on that boat.



Parts are still available from Cat. We never had a problem finding parts. There are still a few older mechanics working at the Cat dealerships that have experience working on them. One odd thing about that engine: the oil should be checked with the engine running. Overall I was happy with them.


Great info!
Since you know the 54, how did you like it? Any info appreciated.
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:09 PM   #6
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The engine id is wrong. You need someone to read the engine serial number or better a photo of the engine id plate. If the boat is about the same year as the engine, parts, manuals, etc., are available. Cat engines in larger boats are usually heavy duty and reliable. Parts aren't cheap, but you don't need new ones often. Engine kit, crank, and other parts are available. I've been able to get engine kits for Cat diesels made in the 1940s. And Cat made so many engines, tons of used parts are available.
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:26 PM   #7
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CDreamer:
....


One odd thing about that engine: the oil should be checked with the engine running. Overall I was happy with them.
Running at idle. That's pretty typical on older Cats. Learn your dipstick level with the engine shut down and you can make a rough check before startup. I ran an older Cat for over 30 yrs in a work boat and developed the habit of checking lube oil level at shutdown, add any make up oil required at that time.

A lot of heavier trannys are the same way, check while running at idle in neutral. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the tranny in the boat you are looking at is the same way.
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:31 PM   #8
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Great info!
Since you know the 54, how did you like it? Any info appreciated.
We loved the boat. Had to sell and move back ashore to take care of a sick parent. Really a good ride in rough water and a little faster cruise speed because it was longer than our 49 Defever. Wooden boats are also warmer than fiberglass. Since I have done a lot of wood working over the years I was comfortable with doing many things myself. With that wide beam , lot's of room.

When we first bought it I removed the settee in the salon so we could have reclining chairs. Also built in a flat screen TV. Later we installed a diesel heater in the salon that worked out well.

Having said that, it was still a wooden boat and very hard to sell. Here are a few pictures after we did some renovations.
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:45 PM   #9
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Running at idle. That's pretty typical on older Cats. Learn your dipstick level with the engine shut down and you can make a rough check before startup. I ran an older Cat for over 30 yrs in a work boat and developed the habit of checking lube oil level at shutdown, add any make up oil required at that time.

A lot of heavier trannys are the same way, check while running at idle in neutral. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the tranny in the boat you are looking at is the same way.
It cost me several thousand dollars to learn this. These engines will cut out and miss just like a gasoline engine with a bad spark plug wire. The governor will cut back the RPM because of the low oil level. The dip stick can read full when shut down but will actually be almost a gallon low when checked at idle. The CAT mechanics did not even know this ( so they said). Fill it up and the miss goes away.
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:14 PM   #10
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Great looking vessel you had there Russell.
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