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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 22 year old 320 hp Cat 3208s. The transmission coolers are plugged with salt causing the engine to run hot (200-210 degF). Is there anything that will dissolve it, pour in, let it soak, flush out to get rid of and dissolve the salt/blockage? To take the coolers out, disassemble and clean is not a small task. Any thoughts will help.

I never took them out but if anyone has do you just take out the four bolts and does the bracket slide out from under the manifold or does the whole manifold need to come off?

Thanks for any advice.
 

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right track

You can pull them out and take to a radiator shop for cleaning, cat also does them, just a little more expensive.
There is a radiator guy back by mays landing, who has done work for me, if you call Dave at Thompson Marine, he can give you the number and name, or dunk them for you.
Cat suggests you do them every 3 to 4 years, look in your serv manual it will tell you, it is one of the coolers that gets salt water, so it is the more likely to plug up first.
Have you ever pulled off the one at the cooling resv., it cools your antifreeze side coolant ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Blackfin,
Did you ever take them out? Does that braket slide out from under the manifold or does the whole manifold need to come out? Thanks for the help. If the bracket comes out from under the manifold then the job won't be that bad. If the maniflod needs to come off then it is a lot of work!!!!
 

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3208 cats

Good Luck any time we had work done on our cats was like having surgery done and not having insurance. Would like to find someone that is reasonable and dont have MD in back of there name.
 

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Not a very difficult job, but an imperative one to do every 3 years or so on 3208's as water sits in there, and that is where most blockage will usually be. The bracket doesn't come off. You need to remove the 12 or so bolts that hold the cooler housing to the bracket, and ofcourse the tranny cooler houses and it will come off. You will need a long skinny box/open to get the bottom bolts out. DO NOT take it to a radiator shop to clean. They are not allowed to use acid and whatever they use in their shake tanks does not remove the crud between the coils and housing. If you do insist on taking to rad shop, be sure to remove the coils from the housing first, or it won't work! If you do remove the coil from the housing, you'll need to get new gaskets for those nuts too (besides the housing gasket and new screen (if bent) you'll need regardless) Instead of the rad shop, get a gallon of muriatic acid and a 5 gallon bucket. Put the housing with coil in bucket, cover it with muriatic acid for 10 minutes. remove from acid and soak in water for a while to rinse, repeat. Then, reinstall and run it to check for leaks. Now, if you want to skip the labor and save yourself some time you can simply close the thru hull intake to the motor, remove the house from intake, start the motor and pour a gallon of muratic acid down the house (you can pour a gallon of water to dilute too, but not necessary) shut the motor off and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. You will hear the muratic acid working in the cooler, if you don't pour more. Reconnect the hose, after 20 minutes open the seacock and give it a good run to rinse everything out. Whalla, you're coolers clean, not to mention you're giving your heat exchanger and aftercooler a bath too and it was as easy as removing a hose and dumping the acid in there. I've had lots of reputable diesel techs tell me to go this route, rather than the labor intensive one of removing the cooler, but removing the cooler is really not that difficult to do. Like Frank Said, paying a tech to work on your diesels is like going for surgery without insurance, so unless you like to burn money away, best to do it yourself, and the only way to learn is to do it. I wouldn't be afraid to take the easy route thru the intake hose either, like i said many reputable diesel techs do it that way with no ill effects. Good luck.
 

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CaptG said:
Not a very difficult job, but an imperative one to do every 3 years or so on 3208's as water sits in there, and that is where most blockage will usually be. The bracket doesn't come off. You need to remove the 12 or so bolts that hold the cooler housing to the bracket, and ofcourse the tranny cooler houses and it will come off. You will need a long skinny box/open to get the bottom bolts out. DO NOT take it to a radiator shop to clean. They are not allowed to use acid and whatever they use in their shake tanks does not remove the crud between the coils and housing. If you do insist on taking to rad shop, be sure to remove the coils from the housing first, or it won't work! If you do remove the coil from the housing, you'll need to get new gaskets for those nuts too (besides the housing gasket and new screen (if bent) you'll need regardless) Instead of the rad shop, get a gallon of muriatic acid and a 5 gallon bucket. Put the housing with coil in bucket, cover it with muriatic acid for 10 minutes. remove from acid and soak in water for a while to rinse, repeat. Then, reinstall and run it to check for leaks. Now, if you want to skip the labor and save yourself some time you can simply close the thru hull intake to the motor, remove the house from intake, start the motor and pour a gallon of muratic acid down the house (you can pour a gallon of water to dilute too, but not necessary) shut the motor off and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. You will hear the muratic acid working in the cooler, if you don't pour more. Reconnect the hose, after 20 minutes open the seacock and give it a good run to rinse everything out. Whalla, you're coolers clean, not to mention you're giving your heat exchanger and aftercooler a bath too and it was as easy as removing a hose and dumping the acid in there. I've had lots of reputable diesel techs tell me to go this route, rather than the labor intensive one of removing the cooler, but removing the cooler is really not that difficult to do. Like Frank Said, paying a tech to work on your diesels is like going for surgery without insurance, so unless you like to burn money away, best to do it yourself, and the only way to learn is to do it. I wouldn't be afraid to take the easy route thru the intake hose either, like i said many reputable diesel techs do it that way with no ill effects. Good luck.
I do my engines every other year using my winterizing hookup. 1/2 gal muriatic and 2 1/2 gal water (5:1). Start the engine & suck it in. Wait 10 min, hook up the raw water cooling side, start & run the engines until warm. IF YOU DO IT THIS WAY TAKE OUT THE ENGINE ZINCS FIRST AND REPLACE THEM WITH SOLID PLUGS. The muriatic acid eats the zincs away fast & leaves a lot of junk in the system. You want the acid to clean out the scale & zinc junk, not add extra junk because you left the zincs in the engine while ruinning acid thru. After you're done flushing the engine replace the zincs as needed for the new season.
 

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Capt Tim said:
I do my engines every other year using my winterizing hookup. 1/2 gal muriatic and 2 1/2 gal water (5:1). Start the engine & suck it in. Wait 10 min, hook up the raw water cooling side, start & run the engines until warm. IF YOU DO IT THIS WAY TAKE OUT THE ENGINE ZINCS FIRST AND REPLACE THEM WITH SOLID PLUGS. The muriatic acid eats the zincs away fast & leaves a lot of junk in the system. You want the acid to clean out the scale & zinc junk, not add extra junk because you left the zincs in the engine while ruinning acid thru. After you're done flushing the engine replace the zincs as needed for the new season.
Good point Capt Tim! I was told the same thing, I now recall...be sure to remove the zincs from the caps and replace with just the caps without the Zincs before you do the muriatic flush, or the acid will eat your good zincs up too. I've allways done it the labor intensive way of removing the coolers to clean them myself, but next time I may well go the easier and much less time consuming route of doing it via the flush route, but with no winterizing hookup i'd have to remove the raw water intake hose from the thruhull and pour the acid in thru the hose. Still easier than removing the cooler, granted the hoses haven't welded themselves on to bad.
 

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Acid...

I agree w/CaptG and Capt.Tim. Go to the pool supply and get some muriatic acid. Cheap and fast. I remove my coils and soak them in the bucket. Works great! If you are going to remove the coils, get some gaskets first from ransome. Good luck!:cool:
 

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Have'nt tried the direct method-

I was going to try it last season, but I really wanted to make sure I got all the crud out. Maybe I'll try that this season as a Preventive maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all. I took the 12 bolts out on one engine, got the cooler off and it is very plugged up. No easy task. You need hands the size of a 5 year old. The other one will be harder, more of the bolts are very rusty. I hope none of them brake. One rounded off on me today and then broke. Need to drill it out of the cooler and re-tap. Just bought the boat last winter, we did not really push the engines during the sea trail nor did I know I should have, lesson learned. The coolers have been plugged for a while. The engines only over heat when I run the boat over 2100 - 2200 rpms and keep it there. Like to stay around 180-190 degF.

Thanks again.
 
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