3208 Cat Engine Specs (Weight, Oil Pressure, Flywheel)

The engine was a collaborative deal. During its production run, the 3208 CAT engine was very popular. But it was not made by Caterpillar alone. It turns out that this engine was the result of a collaboration between Caterpillar and Ford. The engine had a very good production run

The CAT 3208 came in 3 versions and the major change between all three engine types was the horsepower. One version produced only 210 HP, another 375 HP, and the third version could produce up to 435 HP.

To learn more about this motor and its specs, just continue to read our article. It explores the topic so you have the information you want to know about right in front of you. Take a few minutes to see how this information helps you make a good purchase decision

1977-1985 3208 Cat Engine Specs


Except for the horsepower, the specs for this engine seem to have remained fairly steady. There may have been tweaks done over its 20-year production run but in general, the following specs remained constant throughout.

- Engine- 10.4-litre (636 cubic-inch), four-stroke V8 diesel, with naturally aspirated, turbocharged, and turbocharged-aftercooled variants

- Bore - 4.5 inches

- Stroke - 5 inches

- Compression - 16.5:1 (lower-power versions), or 15.5:1 (high-power 435hp model)

- Alternator- a belt-driven 51A and 12V system with a 12V starter

- Motor oil capacity- 3.2 gallons & 4 gallons depending on engine version

- Cooling capacity- 12.5 gallons; 13.9 gallons; 14.8 gallons, depending on engine version

- Oil change interval- every 250 hours

- Displacement 10.4 Liters

- Rotation- Counterclockwise

3208 Cat engine specs weight:

The weight varied with this engine. The total weight depended on whether you had the naturally aspirated motor, the turbocharged engine, or the turbocharged after-cooled model.

1. naturally aspirated version- 1740 pounds or 789 kg

2. The turbocharged, 375 HP engine- 1880 pounds or 853 kg

3. The turbocharged after-cooled, 435 HP model- 2080 pounds or 943 kg (conversion may be slightly off)

Some websites may report different weights for these engine models. But that is understandable as few people put them on a scale to verify their actual weight.

We have seen as much as a 50 kg difference between these websites but these figures will provide you with an idea of how much each version weighs. Factor in 10 to 20 pounds either way to meet your weight restrictions.

3208 Cat Flywheel Bolt Torque Specs


The following information comes straight from CAT and should apply to most versions of this engine. Check your service or owner’s manuals to see if there is any difference between the versions:

The torque for these bolts is 55 lb-ft. But CAT does say you need to use 5P3413 Sealant or 8H5137 Gasket Sealer on the bolt threads. While you are working on the flywheel, you need to align the dash mark on the flywheel with the dash mark on the crankshaft.

The reason you use those recommended sealants is that the bolt holes are drilled through the crank flange and are exposed to the oil inside the engine. One other tip is that CAT used to use 2 different types of flywheels.

The bolt holes were not the same so you need to purchase the flywheel that has the same number of bolt holes as the crank. Count your bolts or bolt holes before you order the replacement part.

Cat 3208 Oil Pressure Specs

There seems to be a wide range when it comes to normal oil pressure for this engine. Different owners are reporting different levels and all the levels are well within the normal range.

That normal range seems to be between 40 and 90 psi. Anything above or below those marks you may need to do some investigative work to see what is wrong.

In some cases, the marine oil pressure for normal should be roughly 50 psi at start up, 45 psi when cruising, and not below 25 at hot idle. That was a rebuilt motor but before the rebuild, the oil pressure was not much lower than those reported figures.

Applications For The 3208 CAT Motor


The following list was taken from this website and it provides you with a very good idea of the type of action this engine saw throughout its production run and on to today:

- Commercial Vehicles – Garbage trucks, snowplows, delivery trucks, school buses, or semi-trailers.

- Agricultural Machines – Combine harvesters, tractors, sprayers, or heavy-duty forklifts.

- Industrial – Bulldozers, excavators, low-loaders, cranes, mining trucks, or backhoes.

- Energy – Emergency generators, or standby generators for industrial power stations.

- Marine – Yachts, pleasure boats, trawlers, lobster boats, or smaller fishing boats.

- Marine (Auxiliary Engine) – Cruise ships, ferries, container ships, tugboats, or offshore powerboats.

The original 3208 engine was made in about 1973 and that version of this motor lasted until 1981. In that year, CAT gave the engine a thorough overhaul and made the following changes:

- More robust internal rotating components

- Three-ring pistons for optimal operation

- Stronger oil and water pumps

- Bigger heat exchangers for the cooling system

- Seawater pump (for marine-based 3208s) to cool the engine oil

- Modified exhaust manifolds

- Enhanced turbochargers

- Enlarged expansion tank and revised thermostats to keep the cooling in check

- Addition of forged steel crankshafts and steel camshafts (up from cast iron in earlier engines) (information from the same website)

Some Additional Words

The 3208 engine from CAT is a very durable motor that has continued satisfying owners well beyond its production end. With the right maintenance, this engine should still be able to [provide top service and make sure your vehicle or other application runs smoothly for some time to come.

There are plenty of engine-rebuilding companies that have at least one of the three versions for sale today. The only drawback will be its weight and final cost. It is a good motor that has stood the test of time.

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