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 Engines, Electric, Plumbing, etc.
 Caterpiller 3116 (French block)
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Author Previous Topic: Reco for a starter battery Topic Next Topic: Hailing MSibley...  

PJ

RO# 396

Posted - Jan 21 2010 :  07:37:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We are looking at another Carver 370. The frist one has Cummings engines and I felt good about these engines. The other has the Caterpillar 3116 these are older 1994 engines.
For that age would all of the problems have been resolved on these Cat engines. Is there a serial number range on the French blocks that failed. I am not to the point of checking with the engine surveyor need opinions first.

This is fun looking at boats with the idea to actually buy.

Homeport: Charleston, SC

pdecat

RO# 842



Posted - Jan 21 2010 :  07:52:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
there was some casting information on the block. Google "french block cat" and see what you find. Most of those have probably been replaced but the problem negatively affected the engines reputation despite Cats strong corrective action and the lack of problems with that engine since.


Bruce



Edited by - pdecat on Jan 21 2010 07:54:45

Homeport: Gulf Coast FL Go to Top of Page

KinCal

RO# 15235

Posted - Jan 25 2010 :  19:04:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Generally accepted ny most that even if they are the bad block castings that if they have run with no issues for 500 hours or more than it is unlikely they will go south.

Kerry

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PJ

RO# 396

Posted - Jan 26 2010 :  05:52:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kerry I decided to pass on the Cat's they had about 600 hours. I felt that to many issues with that engine.


Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

SLW

RO# 2186

Posted - Jan 26 2010 :  08:28:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It wasn't a bad engine - unless it had a bad block. The majority of the soft blocks failed with high degree of predictability. The ones I witnessed averaged in the area of 300 hours.

We recently saw one make it to nearly 700 hours before failing, which is certainly an exception, but a chilling one. I can only assume that that particular engine had lead a very sheltered life. At the very least, that exception demonstrates how poorly hour meters measure the life of a marine engine.

Kerry, I agree that it's unlikely for a high-hour 3116 to have a soft block, but at the same time I strongly disagree that a soft block will have a normal lifespan. If there are more soft blocks still out there, their duty cycle is severly limited and I wouldn't take a soft-block 3116 if it were free - yet alone buy one burried deep in a aft-cabin motor yacht.

PJ, chances are that a '94 with 600 hours is healthy, but I understand your fear of the notoriety.



Homeport: Cedar Pt, Oh / Mi / Miami Go to Top of Page

PJ

RO# 396

Posted - Jan 26 2010 :  09:33:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
SlW thanks you for a little more insite. When I did my research i found that the boost to 350 hp was also a problem? Is that true? also they were pulled from the market after 2 years?


Homeport: Charleston, SC Go to Top of Page

pdecat

RO# 842



Posted - Jan 26 2010 :  12:45:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
dont think hp was the problem, bad casting was, hp sounds more like 3208s. two friends have them and after warranty fixes they have been fine. 600 hrs is just broken in if they were run properly.


Bruce



Homeport: Gulf Coast FL Go to Top of Page

SLW

RO# 2186

Posted - Jan 26 2010 :  13:46:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The 350 HP rating isn't to blame for the 3116 issues, nor was the 300 HP edition spared from them. Generally speaking, what gave the 3116's a black-eye was their appetite for valves. The valves would break off, bang up the cylinder and then usually destroy the turbo on their way out. The 3116's bigger brother, the 3126, suffered from more of the soft block issues. These engines shared the problems and I don't have specific numbers of percentages of each engine had a problem, but they're specific enough for me to wonder if people are confusing the two...

Bruce is referring to the general rule that the more HP a given block is asked to produce, the less reliable/long-lasting the engine will be. (and I subscribe to that too)

They were definitely not pulled after two years - they had a very long production run - pretty much through the 90's, at least in pleasure boats. I'm sure someone can narrow that down better than I.

In fact, I think 3126 lives on now, at least at its core, as the Cat C7.



Homeport: Cedar Pt, Oh / Mi / Miami Go to Top of Page

KinCal

RO# 15235

Posted - Jan 26 2010 :  19:04:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thatnks for your insight SLW. All good info. Didn't the later reditions of the 3116/3126 have different valves that the early production? I thought they had sorted that out eventually. IIRC it is important to keep to the factory valve adjustment schedule correct??

Kerry

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