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Old 02-03-2005, 02:14 PM   #1
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So, I have a few DP MH to go look at. I have ran and worked on farm equipment with Cat 3208s. Is there any reason I should be leary of this engine in a Motor Home? I kind of prefer Cummins, but I have found a few cat powered machines, although this one is the only 3208 powered rig I have found.

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Old 02-03-2005, 02:14 PM   #2
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So, I have a few DP MH to go look at. I have ran and worked on farm equipment with Cat 3208s. Is there any reason I should be leary of this engine in a Motor Home? I kind of prefer Cummins, but I have found a few cat powered machines, although this one is the only 3208 powered rig I have found.

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Old 02-03-2005, 04:23 PM   #3
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dsnook;

About 10 years ago I had a 3208 Cat in a fuel delivery truck. I believe it is a throw-away engine when time for rebuilding. It required a lot of maintenance. I would personally not want to own and maintain another one.

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Old 02-07-2005, 07:40 PM   #4
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Talk to people who have a 3208 in a DP. Most love them for reliability. They also comment that they are not speed demons. They are old technology, low tech mechanical engines that serve well in Motorhomes. The purists say that any diesel engine without removeable, wet liners is a "throwaway". They are probably ready to throw away after 300,ooo miles in a motorhome.
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Old 02-07-2005, 07:57 PM   #5
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......." 300,000" miles on a motorhome?.....No way-all you will have left is the driveline.....everything else reverts back to match sticks-styrofoam cups and tin foil.....any diesel that is taken care of will last a lifetime of the motorhome easy!....geof kaye
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:26 AM   #6
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Not if you have a Foretravel or Prevost or Newell or Bluebird.
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Old 02-08-2005, 08:18 PM   #7
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....Prevost and Bluebird are buses, and are considered conversions.....then again they are $4-600+k so they aren't considered even in the same realm as a "Motorhome"....they are coaches or land yachets and alike.....the others-I have never even looked at or considered as they are "Motorhomes"[sorta like Dixie cups, as it were, when your are tired of them you just throw them away]....geof kaye
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Old 02-09-2005, 03:51 AM   #8
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Newell is also a bus conversion, $1 to $2M, and Foretravel is the first "Motorhome" with a "bus style" monocoque chassis. Since Foretravels are from $450K to $740K, I don't consider them to be "Dixie Cups"
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Old 02-12-2005, 09:46 PM   #9
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Many Barths had the 3208 on a Gillig chassis, and were built very well. All aluminum frame and rivited aluminum skin.
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Old 02-13-2005, 06:53 PM   #10
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Bob in Dallas, In all due respect, the Newell is not a bus conversion. We toured the Newell plant in Miami Oklahoma last October, and I can assure the Newell is build from the ground up at the plant. The have jigs set up where they assemble the chassis. They use German ZF suspension components along with a steerable tag axle. On their latest unit they have mated the ZF10 10-speed transmission to the CAT 625hp engine. Oh would I love have the wherewithall to own one, but instead I just dream about it--LOL.

Best Regards, Jim
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Old 02-17-2005, 02:10 PM   #11
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Cactus Jim, thanks for the correction.
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Old 02-23-2005, 01:20 PM   #12
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I have the 3208 engine in my 89 Foretravel and really like it. Its got 128,000 miles on it and has had 1 starter solinoid and 2 seals put on the fuel controler. Other than that just oil and filter changes. I guess if thats high maintenance I'm all for it. Its not a powerhouse at 250hp but I can run on cruse control from coast to coast ok. They do call it the play engine down at my cat dealer, but it is rebuildable. It gets bored like a gas engine would if needed. But you can find complete drop in motors for about $5000.00 if needed.
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Old 07-07-2005, 08:28 PM   #13
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Unfortunately, I blew a radiator/heater hose in my 3208 Cat last fall and ended up with a blown head gasket, warped heads and minor scoring on 2 pistons. I replaced the 2 ring pistons with 3 ring pistons ($700), had the heads machined ($400) and was lucky enough to find a $300 gasket kit on eBay for $50. I found a mechanic who let me park in his driveway (with free electric) while he did the in frame rebuild.
He charged me 2,000 so the total cost was $3,150.
The Caterpillar dealer in Blythe, CA quoted me $3,000 for a new set of heads alone PLUS an unspecified amount of labor @ $89 an hour.
They gave me an alternative quote if 15K for a remanufactured engine + FORTY HOURS @ $89/hour.
Just so you know, Caterpillar recommends a major overhaul of 3208's at anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 hours. This is probably because of the 2 ring pistons. My Foretravel was at 4,400 hours and 144,000 miles.
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