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Old 08-16-2013, 07:01 PM   #1
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How can I get more HP from 3208 Cat engine

I have a 1990 hawkins pusher with a 3208 cat, it seems to be a dog but it's my dog and I need some help trainning her LOL.
The coach GVWR is 23,370#, the cat 3208T is 250 hp, I plan on removing the muffler to relieve some back pressure on the turbo and possibly adding more air intake area to the huge baldwin filter canister, there is currently only one intake 5" in diameter, and it looks undersized to me.
Is there any other mods that might help with my problem, I run in the mountains most of the time for hunting/fishing trips, usually pulling a flatbed with toys or my boat which weighs approx 4,000 Max.

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Old 08-16-2013, 07:27 PM   #2
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250 HP for 24,000 lbs is within the rule of thumb of 10 hp per 1,000 lbs. Pretty much any mods to that engine can create issues. More fuel means more air, more heat. You could melt a piston unless you've got a pyrometer on the exhaust manifold so you know when to back off. Under the valve cover is an adjustment screw to increase fuel, and you could put in larger injectors. Does it have an inner-cooler to reduce heat of boost air? They get real expensive real fast. Also, what transmission do you have? How much torque can it handle if you start boosting power? Lots to consider. What ever you do it will cost $$ and you stress everything between the fuel tank and the wheels on the ground.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:39 PM   #3
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X2, on Bob's advice, you could spend $$$on more power and double or triple that on repairing what you broke. Take it easy, get out and enjoy your rig , and sock the $$$ away for a unit upgrade a few years down the road. JMHO. That's what I'm doing.
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:16 AM   #4
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Are you anticipating trouble, or experiencing it?

You might want to make sure what you've got now is right? Have you replaced the fuel and air filters? No telling how old they are otherwise, and either are capable of slowing you down? Make darn sure your radiator is clear of crud/debris. Nothing worse than baby sitting a rig that overheats easily on grades!

Our coach is about the same weight (without toad) and we have no trouble making any of the hills we've found to date with our 275 hp 3126 Cat. We run right in the middle of the pack compared with the trucks we're generally running with. We pass some, some pass us. Life is good! If I get in a hurry, I can always leave an your earlier?
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Old 08-17-2013, 02:36 PM   #5
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I am aware of costs and have done diesel mods before, just a general question, not making any engine or after cooler mods, thinking more air into the air box and removing the muffler, which i did this morning, retired and in no hurry, just looking to see what might be best for the engine.
Thanks Muledeer2
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:17 PM   #6
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I have a 1990 hawkins pusher with a 3208 cat, it seems to be a dog but it's my dog and I need some help trainning her LOL.
The coach GVWR is 23,370#, the cat 3208T is 250 hp, I plan on removing the muffler to relieve some back pressure on the turbo and possibly adding more air intake area to the huge baldwin filter canister, there is currently only one intake 5" in diameter, and it looks undersized to me.
Is there any other mods that might help with my problem, I run in the mountains most of the time for hunting/fishing trips, usually pulling a flatbed with toys or my boat which weighs approx 4,000 Max.

Muledeer2
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:21 PM   #7
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As said before, you need to have a pyrometer to keep tabs on the heat. Adjusting the fuel on these engines is really easy. I have done a few 3208s, and they respond pretty well. There's either a screw to adjust, or a stack of shims to rearrange(wont know until you take off the cover). Upping the rpm limit will allow it to fuel a little harder right up to the shift point. The adjustments are on the top of the pump, and at the rear of it. Almost under the air cleaner housing. Adding marine injectors will give a huge power gain, but also intense heat. A second turbo would be required.....but that's another story all together.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:09 PM   #8
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Ok Guys & Gals, fuel and air filters have been changed, engine runs very cool when climbing, and yes I just added an EGT and yep it's before the turbo actually in the exaust manifold near the rear exaust valve and it has instant response, my next step is to increase the fuel it has ZERO Black Smoke right now, then i will increase the rpm limit to about 3,200, valves will float at about 3,400 to 3,500 and that will be the extent of modifications, and it does have a hi temp alarm on the EGT set at 1,250 F.............Does this sound reasonable.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:38 PM   #9
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3208's are finicky engines..be careful. They will run forever when they are happy but they aren't like a 5.9 cummins or similar...you treat that 3208 wrong and it will come apart in a hurry..be careful.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:50 PM   #10
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Adding marine injectors will give a huge power gain, but also intense heat. A second turbo would be required.....but that's another story all together.
The 3126 in marine use (unlimited cooling) can be run up to 450 hp. In an RV you're limited on cooling.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:21 PM   #11
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The 3126 in marine use (unlimited cooling) can be run up to 450 hp. In an RV you're limited on cooling.
That was the "whole other story" I was talking about. The 3208 marine was rated to 475hp. Yes, cooling is severely limited on RV's.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:30 PM   #12
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Ok Guys & Gals, fuel and air filters have been changed, engine runs very cool when climbing, and yes I just added an EGT and yep it's before the turbo actually in the exhaust manifold near the rear exhaust valve and it has instant response, my next step is to increase the fuel it has ZERO Black Smoke right now, then i will increase the rpm limit to about 3,200, valves will float at about 3,400 to 3,500 and that will be the extent of modifications, and it does have a hi temp alarm on the EGT set at 1,250 F.............Does this sound reasonable.
You dont have to run it to 3200, but it will fuel harder up until the shift point. Unless you adjust the timing, it wont make any power past 3k. I think you will be pretty happy with those next 2 mods(fuel & rpm).
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:32 PM   #13
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Thanks for the help hardest part was, getting under the bed to the engine, then i dropped one of the 1/4" bolts down in the valley and never found it, it seems to be run much better will try it out end of the month on a 1,000 trip through the mountains, egt is set to alarm at 1,250F tach is a bit funky so i only increased the high rpm limit screw 1 1/2 turns and I did not touch the pre boost, do you think I should add a bit more fuel at pre boost or leave it alone. The Egt seems to work very well and is directly into the exaust maniflod just before the turbo. as for mileage well we will see what happens should not change much if i keep my foot out of it and my speeds reasonable 60-62 in my favorite speed, towing my trailer or toad.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:11 PM   #14
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Sounds great so far. The rpm probably wont go up too high with 1.5 turns, but it will still help. Adjust the pre-boost later, after you dial in the first 2. If you want it to launch harder off the line, then adjust it. Otherwise, leave it. It will still get to full fuel.
MPG will go up a little if you get the timing adjusted by 4* from stock. Not a user friendly adjustment, so a Cat mechanic should do it. Not required, but one more option.
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