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Cody
Top Member

United States
1628 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2005 :  4:12:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit Cody's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I got a few questions...
When was the CAT 3208 discontinued, and how reliable was this engine?

Also, how reliable is the Ford diesel engines they used to put in buses?

The reason I ask, is because I might be buying a Ford bus soon, and they got two of them. One with a 3208 and one with a Ford diesel engine.

Isellbuses
Top Member

Canada
828 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2005 :  4:16:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It has been awhile since the days of the 3208. As to its reliability, it had serious head problems, but then again what V8 diesel in the early days didn't. The Ford big 6 which was wet sleeved and the smaller 6.6 which was dry sleeved were both great engines. The mileage from the 6.6 is shocking compared by todays standards, but it also would never meet todays emisson control standards. It was refered to as the Brazilian diesel. If you are looking for a used bus stay away from the 3208. The Detroit Diesel 8.2 was a great, but cold, diesel engine with super mileage.
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Mechan1c
Top Member

USA
674 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2005 :  5:51:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maybe it's a westcoast thing, but I operate 45 3208T 250HP Thomas WestCoastER's every day. 1987-1991 vintage. Other than poor fuel mileage, smoke at cold startup, and a little oil usage on the 87's and 88's, there is no more reliable engine on the road of this type. The last of the 3208's in '91 had a better ring package and smoke and oil-use have not been an issue. 40K valve adjustments and 120K bearing roll-ins, decent oil(Delvac1300S)and water service, and these engines are without a doubt great workhorses.
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3298 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2005 :  1:38:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had two turbocharged 3208's in pushers; one in a Thomas and one in a Blue Bird.

They were very reliable, very tough old engines with a heck of a lot of get-up-and-go. We had one throw a rod around 250,000 miles (the driver ran it hot for who know's how long)...I think that is what killed it. We put new rod and main bearings in the other one shortly after and it pushed on nearly 300,000 miles before we got rid of the bus.

Just my thoughts...I loved the Cats!
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Andrew Coleman
New Member

2 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2012 :  1:37:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit Andrew Coleman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hello Mechan1c,

I was just searching for more info on Thomas's WestCoastER buses. I'm in the market for one to convert into an RV. I saw a post of yours from 2005 that you were still operating 45 buses. Any chance your school district might still have a few in service that might be sold at auction? Any with dual rear axles? Just wondering. Thanks for your time!

Andy

quote:
Originally posted by Mechan1c

Maybe it's a westcoast thing, but I operate 45 3208T 250HP Thomas WestCoastER's every day. 1987-1991 vintage. Other than poor fuel mileage, smoke at cold startup, and a little oil usage on the 87's and 88's, there is no more reliable engine on the road of this type. The last of the 3208's in '91 had a better ring package and smoke and oil-use have not been an issue. 40K valve adjustments and 120K bearing roll-ins, decent oil(Delvac1300S)and water service, and these engines are without a doubt great workhorses.

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Mechan1c
Top Member

USA
674 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2012 :  6:05:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Andy,
Those 3208T buses of ours were all sold to other districts in Washington State, or traded in...There are still quite a few out here though.
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C.HARDY
Advanced Member

350 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2012 :  8:00:11 PM  Show Profile  Click to see C.HARDY's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
The Ford 6.6L was one good engine. I'm not crazy about a Ford but those 6.6s were tough. A better engine than the 5.9L in my opinion. The older Fords with the 8.2Ls were also pretty decent buses. Stay away from any Ford with hydraulic brakes.......

"Hardybusman"
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RD9000
Senior Member

72 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2012 :  10:32:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm surpised at the opinions of the 3208 and 8.2. I currently have 2 3208 Cats that do very well, and in my opinion, get fair gas mileage. My motorcoach gets 7.5mpg with a 3 cylinder diesel generator running a/c. It is the 300 horse turbo. My other is in a fire truck- its the 210hp NA. They've required little maintenance and no repair in my ownership. Thomas and Blue Bird were big users of the 3208 in their FC's and RE's.
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RD9000
Senior Member

72 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2012 :  10:38:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
'91 is the last year that I can personally attest to a 3208 being factory installed in a bus. Otherwise, I'm uncertain.
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