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Old 01-07-2006, 06:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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3208 - to ring or not to ring.....

I have a 3208 in a 1975 dump. She smokes like mad when cold....I mean really smokes. Once warm, which takes awhile, it seems to settle down.

I use the truck 3-4 times a month to haul constuction debris to the dump, move a backhoe, that sort of thing.

I realize this is supposedly the 'throw away' motor. If I could get 10,000 or 15,000 miles of reduced smoke, this would be all i really want.

Think it would be worth new rings, and what do out figure this would set me back for $

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Old 01-07-2006, 11:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 3208 - to ring or not to ring.....

The 3208 was originally intended to be a throw away motor. However, fleets and other users learned that it could be rebuilt/over hauled economcally for extended use. If it is cost effective for you, I'd recommend rings and bearings at a minimum. Lots of life left in that big yellow anchor!
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Old 01-07-2006, 11:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 3208 - to ring or not to ring.....

How much oil does it use? I ask that because I have had a few over the years, and they are TERRIBLE for wet stacking and not warming up, and they smoke like crazy then. You might make sure you have a good thermostat, and put a hand throttle on it. Mine warmed up WAY faster at about 1200 rpm.
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Old 01-07-2006, 04:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 3208 - to ring or not to ring.....

Well it originally had a reputation as a throwaway because of the non-kittable cylinders but it is a good solid medium duty motor. There are a lot of things that can make them smoke, as stated, the primary reason is wet stacking...the simple fix for this is to turn it off instead of idling. I know mine will wet stack something terrible even if idling at 1500 on a warm day. Basically it has to be either loaded or off. Also the injectors they used on some of these were not the greatest so take a look at them as well.

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Old 01-07-2006, 04:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 3208 - to ring or not to ring.....

Ok...I have to ask....What is wet stacking?

I don't think it uses very much oil, ( the truck hardly gets any hours, and it probably leaks more than it burns) and once under load for a few miles, it seems to be "fairly" smoke free.

When started cold, it makes thick, thick white smoke, which i figured was unburned diesel. This lasts for about 5 mintues, then slowly gets to a level where you can at least find the truck. After running on the road, it is good, but does tend to get back to a light smoke if left to idle. I'm not sure about the thermostat...the sender is broken, and I've been hesitant to replace, as I think it will break and need to be drilled, and tapped. Seems to run cool if anything, based on the old fashion hand on the coolant in, and out lines.
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Old 01-07-2006, 05:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 3208 - to ring or not to ring.....

I'm assuming this is a NA engine 210 horsepower or less?
The newer pistons make the world of difference in this engine.
Get the 18.2:1 compression ratio with 3 rings, yours probably has 2.
Put in the later roller cam and play with the fuel a little and you get 240HP and NO smoke.
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 3208 - to ring or not to ring.....

You are right to be leary of replacing the sender...mine was bad, but I fix everything...but that SOB would not come out for the life of me, I eventually wound up drilling it out. Before that happened the wrench slipped and I smashed my left index finger so badly against the air compressor or something that to this day my fingernail isn't right.

Wet stacking is when the truck is left to idle for very long, the upper cylinder gets cool and the fuel doesn't burn completely and accumulates on the cylinder walls and piston, washes the lubricant off somewhat, and some winds up in the fuel oil. It will smoke pretty bad when driven after idling a long while. The 3208 is particularly prone to it especially with its inferior ring configuration. What doesn't add up in my mind though is that it does it when cold. Unless you are leaving it to idle a long time before driving off. I always get into a truck and go and the only time a 3208 seems to smoke for me is as I said after it has idled for 20 minutes or so. Also they will lay down a pretty solid black smoke if lugged below 1600 or so.

But aside from these shortcomings, a nice, torquey, wide range, reliable, and QUIET engine. As opposed to the Cumminses from the late 90s/early 00s that are jackhammer loud, that is one reason I really like the 3208.

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Old 01-07-2006, 09:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 3208 - to ring or not to ring.....

For 10-15,000 more miles, there's not much case to tear it down.
How about plugging it in for the cold starts, and take the plunge and replace the thermostat (even if some bolts fail, repairing will be far cheaper)
You might get your compression rings (one compression, one oil scraper) to seat better with a "bonami" dusting. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smokin.gif[/img]
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Old 01-08-2006, 06:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 3208 - to ring or not to ring.....

I'm not talking black fuel smoke. It is a thick, white smoke when the truck is first started. The rest of the smoke, I can deal with. It seems fine when warmed, and loaded. It might wet stack a bit, but not too badly. I do get a bit of black fuel smoke, when lugging under load, but I have turned the pump up a bit.

I was thinking/guessing this white smoke screen was unburned diesel, due to poor compression when cold. Plugging it in helps, but it is still pretty bad. I need to let it it idel for awhile before I can drive it up the hill without smoking out every house here. I do need to fix the fast idle, which will help, I'm sure.

Thanks for all the help so far....you guys have provided more info in the past then afew of the local diesel mechanic around here have been able to.

pm
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 3208 - to ring or not to ring.....

[ QUOTE ]
I'm not talking black fuel smoke. It is a thick, white smoke when the truck is first started. The rest of the smoke, I can deal with. It seems fine when warmed, and loaded. It might wet stack a bit, but not too badly. I do get a bit of black fuel smoke, when lugging under load, but I have turned the pump up a bit.

I was thinking/guessing this white smoke screen was unburned diesel, due to poor compression when cold. Plugging it in helps, but it is still pretty bad. I need to let it it idel for awhile before I can drive it up the hill without smoking out every house here. I do need to fix the fast idle, which will help, I'm sure.

Thanks for all the help so far....you guys have provided more info in the past then afew of the local diesel mechanic around here have been able to.

pm

[/ QUOTE ]

White smoke? Is it using a lot of oil or not? 3208's are a long lasting med-duty engine as long as they are not overheated. Overheated they warp heads easily and then leak water when cold. A head job (been there done that) is not that expensive. Are you adding water/coolant?
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:55 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 3208 - to ring or not to ring.....

[ QUOTE ]
I'm not talking black fuel smoke. It is a thick, white smoke when the truck is first started. The rest of the smoke, I can deal with. It seems fine when warmed, and loaded. It might wet stack a bit, but not too badly. I do get a bit of black fuel smoke, when lugging under load, but I have turned the pump up a bit.

I was thinking/guessing this white smoke screen was unburned diesel, due to poor compression when cold. Plugging it in helps, but it is still pretty bad. I need to let it it idel for awhile before I can drive it up the hill without smoking out every house here. I do need to fix the fast idle, which will help, I'm sure.

Thanks for all the help so far....you guys have provided more info in the past then afew of the local diesel mechanic around here have been able to.

pm

[/ QUOTE ]

Check your PM's
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:59 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: 3208 - to ring or not to ring.....

I've hade plenty of gassers that have had bad heads, and this does not seem like it. The smoke stinks like oil/diesel until it quits. It doesn't seem to use alot of oil, but as I seaid, it's had to tell. The truck might only see 5000 miles per year, and it leaks a fair bit of oil....
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Old 01-08-2006, 12:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: 3208 - to ring or not to ring.....

As a few have indicated, the problem is most likely low compression (or possibly pencil injectors that are cracking to low/ dribbling). The original pistons are of a "two" ring design, and the top lonely compression ring relies on pressure between itself and piston ring land to fully seat in the bore, pressure from combustion. Under load, cylinder pressure seats the ring(s) more fully and hence cleaner combustions (and breakin if freshly O.H.). Anything you could do to load the engine while warming up would help there (PTO engaged for pump back pressure, electrical functions on to load alternator, with an auto putting her into gear/ brakes on, etc.)
As Birken mentioned, if the pencil injectors (throw away design, but excedingly high price) are tired, lower cracking pressure could lead to poor, ragged spray pattern and retarded timing which causes smoke. The successful rebuild rate on these is probably about 50% or less, specially if yours are high hours. If you've never touched them though, that might be the best place to start in reducing (not eliminating) your smoke. As well, not sure if you mentioned but keeping it above bare idle during the initial warm up would be good.
Lorne
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Old 01-08-2006, 02:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: 3208 - to ring or not to ring.....

unless you have symptons other than white smoke I would suggest you leave it alone...the 3208 uses eliptically ground piston bodies that do not make full compression until at operating temperature...this makes for easy starting. If the fuel is heavy(less tham 35API)the smoke can be worse, adding some no1 diesel or K1 kerosene will raise the fuel API and reduce smoke at startup...CAT recommends minimal idle time and to start off in the low side of the trans and work the engine to warm it up, once warmed up you can apply full throttle/load as needed.
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: 3208 - to ring or not to ring.....

Roofeditor's comment about head warpage induced leaking lights a bulb because of something I've observed recently. My dad owns a 300 hp turbo variant from 88 in a 30,000 gvwr RV application with an Allison 4 speed. It has roughly 3000 hours on it. Last I checked it was averaging about 40-45 miles per engine hour., so mostly highway cruising. It consumes, no drips, about one quart of conventional 15-40 in close to 700 miles every time. It gets 9-10 mpg on the flat @2000 rpm and 65 mph. It is somewhat susceptible to high coolant temps with moderate load or more in ambient temps above 85 or so. It has a hydraulic radiator fan that breathes from the side of the rear of a diesel pusher. This placement is probably the main problem, but not much can be done in this type of vehicle. Once the warning light comes on at about 195-200 if you stop or worse shut it down (as the Vogue operator manual says) it makes it worse as you might guess, and it has steamed off and dropped coolant once in this way. The best method is to keep moving but at reduced power until things can cool down.

Under any conditions it loses a bit of coolant and has been seen intermitently dripping when cold from the area of the front of the right head. It might be a hose, but I suspect not. Strangely it will hold vacuum in the coolant resevoir when the cap is pulled stone cold days after having run. If the coolant passages have been breached there may be some other explanation for holding vacuum?

Anyhow, that's the background, realizing it's not a permanent solution, can you think of any way it would hurt to use KW block seal or similar since the leak is minimal and if it's determined to not be a hose?

I used it once on a factory stock GM 350 used for road racing. It developed a steam hole from a head gasket. After treatment it was road raced (road course tracks) probably 5-10 hours since and never a sign of coolant loss. I was impressed, but not sure it wouldn't hinder in a 3208 for my example???

PS .. it smokes a bit when cold and less so when at running temp, but it seems to be largely fuel oil related as opposed to lube and hasn't changed at a noticable rate in 70K miles, and neither has the lube oil, fuel consumption.
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