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CATEGORY LISTINGS > CATERPILLAR > running at low rpm's and low loads [ REFRESH ]
Thread Title:

running at low rpm's and low loads


Created On Tuesday September 03, 2002 13:14 Diesel Talk
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zanablue
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Note Tuesday September 03, 2002 13:14 View thread in raw text format
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I am the owner of a 35' sportfisherman that is powered by a single Caterpillar 3208T (320 hp) engine. My wife and I spend alot of time cruising and alot of time on a mooring or anchored. Our electrical needs are quite high (average 18 amps per hour of usage running a 12 volt freezer and 2 12 volt refridgerators) and there are many days that I have to run the engine for two to three hours at a fast idle (1000rpm) to charge the batteries (alternator is a 200 amp Balmar) while on my mooring or at anchor.
I have been told that by doing this I am going to shorten the lifespan of the engine due to the fact that the engine does not come up to heat and is so lightly loaded. I am wondering if I were to limit the amount of raw water going through the heat exchanger (by turning the thru hull valve handle) while charging the batteries if I would be doing the engine a favor or would I still have the same problem (shortened engine life).
The engine coolant temperature runs at 180 - 185 while loaded (2400 rpm) and at 160 degrees while charging the batteries at 1000 rpm. My thought is that by limiting the amount of raw water to the heat exchanger I could force the engine to run at a higher temp and hopefully get a better seal with the piston rings and reduce any cylinder wall glazing.
Has anyone had any experience with this? Any ideas (short of buying a generator to charge the batteries) ? Thanks in advance.
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lrtnp
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Note Monday September 09, 2002 15:49 View thread in raw text format
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do you have a generator?If so on my boat i have a battery charger which works off the gen.set.
I personally would not being messing around with the water valve. What is the temp. of the engine when doing this?
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lrtnp
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Note Monday September 09, 2002 15:54 View thread in raw text format
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should have read your whole mesage. How about adding an additional battery & isolate it from the
others.
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bcaptain
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Note Monday September 09, 2002 17:56 View thread in raw text format
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Obstructing the water flow at the intake is a Rube Goldberg solution. It will probably work.....but. You could check with Catepillar and see if there is a higher temp thermostat availble but that's only one step removed from our friend Rube. Even though Fords are supposed to run at 190 to 195 for instance, it just seems to me that you're on the edge of the razor so to speak. Just a slight bump and you have over heated the engine. from the sound of it the thing for you to do is look in any of the sail boat magazines and find a diesel DC generator. The units are quite resonable, quite powerful, small and quiet. Compute your eletrical load and size the battery bank to accomodate. One last thing. Gel cell batteries have been a flop and the REAL jury is out on AGM's. You get the most amp for the buck in 6 VDC golf cart batteries. You can put together a whole gang of them, carry a couple dry and charge one and replace a bad one IF and when one ever does fail in less than three years. It's at least three years if the batteries are kept full and properly charged.

Cap'n Brucesmile
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Dieselhead
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Note Tuesday September 10, 2002 22:44 View thread in raw text format
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Those Tempertures are Normal For The Load you are running. If you cut your water to your engine like that will get your inner engine temp to hot, and your temp guage may say 190 where the temp inside is 220 and this happens is do to lack of water and you temp sensor will give you false readings. the temp you are running can be ok. max temp on that motor is 210, so 180 is ok 160 is nice. any cooler than i would sweat. i drove tractor trailers and worked on them also and i have noticed that when they run in those temp ranges you get better performance. i know you just sit there and idle it can hurt your motor. as it probally says in your owners manual. When people usually idle like that life of a diesel can be 8 years. then usually rebuild time. That is with idleing 24 hours a day 7 day's a week. so it can take quite some abuse. it is a ruged motor.

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craighornbeek
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