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Crawlers, Dozers, Loaders & Backhoes Discussion Forum

cat 3204 vs 3116 engine

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James Raney

02-10-2014 10:03:43

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Just learning about these cat loaders. Needing some help in pointing me in the right direction before I turn loose of my money. Which would be a better purchase? the 943 or 953 or something else? The 3204 or 3116 engine. I read that the 3204 are known for needing more frequent rebuilds?

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02-11-2014 05:51:24

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 Re: cat 3204 vs 3116 engine in reply to James Raney, 02-10-2014 10:03:43  
If it's of the Mitsubishi generation of 3204's... then I wouldn't worry about it. They're a pretty good engine, turbo or not. Where most 3200 series engiens got a bad rep was in tandem axle trucks and other places where the 3208 was run hard under constant heavy load at high speed. In those cases they were well known for coming unglued.
As others have said... I'd be more concerned about the condition of the hydro and undergear. That's not to say you shouldn't get one with a hydro... just make sure you work it up, get it hot and see how it behaves. The same could be said for a power shift unit a you want to know how the torque pulls and how clean it shifts...
The 3116 and other engines in it's family weren't exactly known for their top quality service lives either...


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James Raney

02-11-2014 06:40:14

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 Re: cat 3204 vs 3116 engine in reply to RodInNS, 02-11-2014 05:51:24  
Just want to say thanks for the info on the loaders. Greatly appreciate it. Just needing one on the farm but like seeing my money well spent.

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Stick welding

02-10-2014 22:45:36

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 Re: cat 3204 vs 3116 engine in reply to James Raney, 02-10-2014 10:03:43  
The 3116 is a lot newer. 3204's were a decent engine in non turbo form. A 943 has a turbo but isn't rated as high as a 953. 953's were trying to squeeze every ounce of power out of the engine and rebuilds were more common. Some people call them a throw engine because they don't have sleeves but they can be bored and have 3 ring pistons installed. As was mentioned, these track loaders are hydrostatic drive so if you're looking at one, pay a Cat mechanic to fully inspect the complete machine including doing oil samples. It could save you thousands! Hydrostats are so much faster than a torque converter machine.

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02-10-2014 16:45:25

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 Re: cat 3204 vs 3116 engine in reply to James Raney, 02-10-2014 10:03:43  
I have a 953-C with 12,000 hours on it. I have always used cat oil, motor and hydraulic. Knock on wood, I have had no trouble with the motor or hydraulic system. Like the previous poster, I would be more concerned with the hydrostat than the motor, that is your most expensive replacement. If you are going to buy one of these machines, I would buy from someone I could trust. Trust and know that he changed the hydraulic oil and filters on a regular basis. Good luck.

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02-10-2014 15:47:42

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 Re: cat 3204 vs 3116 engine in reply to James Raney, 02-10-2014 10:03:43  
You probably should worry more about the hydrostatic transmission in either more than the engine. Either engine can be fixed or replace fairly cheap but the hydro transmission will cost more than the machine is worth if it is an old machine.

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James Raney

02-10-2014 18:24:29

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 Re: cat 3204 vs 3116 engine in reply to jm., 02-10-2014 15:47:42  
Would it be better to go with a loader that has a power shift transmission instead of a hydrostatic?

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02-11-2014 07:07:04

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 Re: cat 3204 vs 3116 engine in reply to James Raney, 02-10-2014 18:24:29  
hydrostat is much quicker than powershift---and the rear engine gives you so much more visibility of the bucket---would trade my powershift any day for a good hydrostat

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02-11-2014 07:12:10

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 Re: cat 3204 vs 3116 engine in reply to dpendzic, 02-11-2014 07:07:04  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

By the way i have the Mitsubishi 3204 in my D3B--great reliable engine--only common defect is the plastic valves in the transfer pump

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