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Old 03-19-2019, 03:55 PM   #21
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3208NA Going Strong

Avalon's 3208NA's are approaching 4000 hrs and we have had no real issues over the last 8 years and 1650 hrs. This will be their 29th season and I expect many more. We routinely run them in the 1500 RPM range for hours on end with no issues with carbon build up or smoke. However, we do run for 5 minutes at 2200 RPM after a long day to keep things clean.

They do take more space than a straight six . We've found parts easy to come by including aftermarket dry stainless steel risers which have eliminated the earlier mentioned replacement issue and water ingestion concern with the CAT wet jacket cast iron risers.

Don't believe you can go wrong with either make.
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:30 PM   #22
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Please remember that the Cat 3208 are NOT “sleeved” cylinders. Must yank the whole motor out of the boat for a rebuild.
That said, my last boat (DeFever) had 3208 T with 5100 hours are still going very strong! All depends on how they’re cared for.
The lehmans are not sleeved Motors either.. neither is any car you have ever driven
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:32 PM   #23
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Greetings,
Mr. 30. I'm pretty sure my '62 Triumph TR-3 had sleeves...
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:35 PM   #24
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Really? An mgb did not
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:47 PM   #25
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The Cat is a lot more displacement (10.6 liter) compared to the Ford (6.3-odd liters). 210 vs 120hp. Both good machines. If the boat needs the bigger engine, I'd favor the Cat. If it does not need the power, then favor the Ford. I'm a big fan of straight sixes, so there is that too.
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:47 PM   #26
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Greetings,
Mr. 30. Yup, pretty sure. Hah! I'd rather push a Triumph than drive an MG....


Early MG...


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Old 03-19-2019, 05:24 PM   #27
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The good points and well founded opinions keep pouring in! Thank you all!

As long as we're happy with either boat, as yet to be determined, I'm favoring the Lehmans. I've always preferred inline to V engines as long as the engine(s) in question have the guts to do the job.

That said the 3208 NA are well enough thought of that I won't run away from that boat if it's "the boat" for our use.
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:15 PM   #28
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Both are good engines but I prefer inline engines because they are simpler and have fewer parts
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:55 PM   #29
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Pretend you have to change the oil, fuel filters, raw water impeller and zinks. Then decided if you still like the Cat.

I have a walk around engine room so these jobs are a no brainer in my case. Not always the case for others.
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:10 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delfin View Post
The last 3208 I had was in a Ford tractor, pulling a 50' trailer. It had about 9,000 hours on it and when we sold the truck, it wasn't even close to needing any major work.
Flashback...we ran the 3208s on land in the Ford Louisville tractors as well and they were bulletproof. We have run and still run 3204,3206, and 3208 in NA and T in construction equipment and trucks. The last of the great mechanical engines and we will miss them dearly when they are finally gone. It is not uncommon for us to get them to 25,000 hours without a failure in the block. We have usually rebuilt the injection pump by then.
They are 'throw away' engines in that they are not sleeved but I think our experience with engines in general might leave me to conclude that a long block dropped in is a more lasting and efficient remedy than an in frame anyway. The old Cat long blocks are not expensive and save labor for sure in an on land application over a rebuild of a blown engine.
Not sure any of this helps Portage, but if I was looking at two equal boats and one of them had a pair of these Cats, it would be the one I would own. Good engine for sure and if you are anywhere near the West Coast, NC will have you parts in a matter of hours.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:11 AM   #31
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ejdakins.
You are right on the money with the Gardner's.
There is a company that specializes in Gardner's, keep an eye on this post, if I track them down I'll post it.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:17 AM   #32
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Here you go guys. The daddy of all diesels bar none.

www.gardnermarine.com or for NZ and Australia Diesel Engine Sales, Service, Parts & Repairs | Shaw Diesels
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:37 AM   #33
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Gardner's are i believe the nicest looking engines ever made bar none, Love to have a pair of 8LXB's to replace a pair of 12V71 DD's waiting on the lottery
Did talk to Gardner some time ago they will rebuild a pair with drives $80,000 each, in that neighbor hood.
They were real popular on the east cost Canada years past not so much now, lost there popularity when the 4 stroke arrived more horse power and Zune Zune got to go faster ,
sad end to a great engine
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Old 03-20-2019, 03:36 AM   #34
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Beautifully hand crafted engines, absolute beauty's just the distinctive noise of their start up evokes wonderful memories.
The 8LXB though needed a modified water pump as the original was a bit too weak to service the 7&8 cylinders but that's an easy mod to make. All Gardner's are 4 stroke and they smoke a bit on start up but gently load them up to working temp they'll happily run all day every day.
My brother has a 1947 4 cylinder which is still running like a wee mouse chawing tissue paper. Simple straight forward and serviced by the book they will very nearly outlast your lifespan.
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Old 03-20-2019, 05:53 AM   #35
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"Both are good engines but I prefer inline engines because they are simpler and have fewer parts."

The key to me is not weather the configuration is inline or a V , but weather the engine is smooth.

3 cyl , or (2) 3 cyl together as a 6 cyl is easiest to be balanced , and therefore smoothest .

Noise and vibration may be fine for commercial or military use , but on a pleasure boat should be avoided when possible.

The abundance of inline 6 cyl engines makes it easy.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:11 AM   #36
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A v8 like 3208 has good dynamic balance like a straight six, but is even smoother at idle than a six because of more firing pulses per rev.

3cyl does have a first order imbalance (waddle) that is not present in the 6 or V8. But usually not objectionable.

My gripe with the V8 in marine is having two heads, two exh manifolds and the thing is WIDE. Also the firing is not balanced from side to side so exhaust note can be noisy and if turbo'd, pulses at turbine inlet(s) are irregular.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:22 AM   #37
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For CAT folks that are in love with the 3208 , but want a in frame rebuildable engine the CAT 1160 is the daddy of the 3208.

Many of the CAT in that size went into skool buses and waste removal trucks.

The skools were 90% funded so maint was never big in the program, a new bus could be had cheaply.

CAT changed from sleeved 1160 to the 3208 to lower the engines cost to make it more competitive in skool bus sales. Where rebuildability would never be missed.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:32 PM   #38
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I can't speak to the Lehman but I know I feel pretty manly when I fire up my Cat 3208 NA. When in the engine room I think what a machine. And when I go by a construction site I feel like one of the guys. Plus when I ride on my friend's picnic boat with a Yanmar with twice the HP in half the displacement I feel like the tortoise vs the hare...
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:36 PM   #39
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I have the Lehmans on a 1981 Banks 42 and over 7000 Hours with no problems and no oil burn.
Narrow Lehmans leave much more room in the engine room.
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:12 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
Cat 3208’s need to run at a minimum 1500 rpms according to Cat. So if your goal is to go slow and save fuel you will be better off with the Lehman’s. If you want to have the option of going Seattle Friday Harbor in 3 hours or going through Deception Pass against the current then you want the Cat’s.

You will get better PNW service out of NC Machinery for the Cat’s than you will be able to get out of Lehman. NC knows how to use Kenmore to get parts flown to your boat.

Those hours are a non concern for either engine. Past maintenance will be far more important.
Agreed....I have a Defever 53 POC and have 3208's and the guys at NC are great and have been a huge help.
Just a quick note on my CAT's. I just went from Annapolis to Miami and then barged the boat to Mexico and went Ensenada to Seattle/Everett and my CAT's were great. I was terrified of something going wrong in the Pacific and they ran great and we also got excellent fuel economy. In Puget sound I run 1500 rpm and the boat purrs. I don't have any comments on the Lehman's but most love them. In Puget Sound, speed can be an asset with the current's sometimes.
Good luck on your purchase.
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