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catmastertech
catmastertech, Technician
Category: Heavy Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 2305
Experience:  19 years Cat, 3 years Case
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I have a 247B cat skid steer with rubber tracks. It has gone

Customer Question

I have a 247B cat skid steer with rubber tracks. It has gone through 4 turbochargers in the last 6 months. (cat wouldn't warranty any of them) and at 1600 a pop this is nuts. Now the cat techs say the entire engine must be changed because of low oil flow to the Turbo Charger. They want 16k to change the Perkins engine out of my Skid Steer. The engine runs fine when you change the turbo so I wonder why there isn't a way to filter and pump oil out of the oil pan using an external DC powered oil pump. But I don't know where I would find such a pump or what flow rate would be needed. Can you help?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Heavy Equipment
Expert:  catmastertech replied 5 years ago.

Donnie :

Do you have the serial number?

JACUSTOMER-i91d5e0q- :

not right now, the machine is locked up at the Cat Dealership.

JACUSTOMER-i91d5e0q- :

Sorry for the delay in responding, I just came back into the house and saw the answer had come in.

Donnie :

Parts warranty should cover something. Are they saying you damaged all four? This engine has seen an oil line update, but, this should have been changed on you engine. That is why the serial number will help.

Donnie :

Ask them for the regional rep's phone number or email address. If the dealer is not helping you maybe the regional guy might. Ask for Goodwill Policy assistance.

JACUSTOMER-i91d5e0q- :

Thanks, I will get the serial number for you on Monday.

Donnie :

I will look for your reply. Thanks, Donnie

JACUSTOMER-i91d5e0q- :

Hello Donnie, thank you for your time. I looked up the numbers on the machine from an old invoice and the 247B is Serial Number OMTL00718, The hours on the meter are 586. I also seem to need to learn to count, it has only gone through 3 turbos not four. I also had the oil filter removed today and cut it open to find a bunch of metal filings in the filter so the motor is well and truely shot.

JACUSTOMER-i91d5e0q- :

I would very much like to know if the service bulletin you mentioned was inclusive of this machine. I would also like to know if failing to perform the repairs indicated on the service bulletin would likely have caused this kind of turbo failure and if the turbo failure would have caused the oil level to drop and thus cause the damage to the engine, or if it is more likely the other way around and the drop in oil level caused the turbo to blow. Kind of a chicken and egg thing.

JACUSTOMER-i91d5e0q- :

This machine was bought second hand out of Oregon, but it was registered here in Alaska and I would have thought Caterpillar would have sent out service bulletins to registered owners, especially ones that could cause catastrophic engine failure.

JACUSTOMER-i91d5e0q- :

Thanks

JACUSTOMER-i91d5e0q- :

Dan

Donnie :

The new line is only an optional upgrade. It does apply to your serial number. It was not a proirity or required fix because it still related to operator misuse. The turbo would only have a problem if the engine was started AND went to full throttle before the oil pressure could build in the bearings.

Donnie :

Here is the text of the problem.

Donnie :

The 3024C engines as installed in skid steer loaders may suffer failures due to lack of lubrication if the engine is rapidly accelerated before oil has a chance to lubricate the turbo bearings. A change to the oil feed line has been made in production. The new line has a "swan neck" in it that helps hold oil in the line for immediate delivery to the turbo at start.

Donnie :

These types of improvements are only done when an issue is seen during a repeat failure, CAT would assist if it was a machine that was just sold. This expired in 2007. The letter is not sent out to owner as it is only needed if you have repeat problems.

Donnie :

This falls under the "We reserve the right to" category and is a part of the production changes. It is published as a way to improve the older machines.

Donnie :

The root cause of the engine bearing damage is due to the low oil level. This would be related to operator misuse since, operating the engine with low oil level or operating the engine with a failed turbo is not CAT's fault. Operating on steep ramps or slopes would only make the problem worse.

Donnie :

Your best hope is to talk with them and ask if CAT will help since the machine hours are so low and your engine has a history of problems. You won't get it all for free but, anything will help and it nevers hurts to ask.

JACUSTOMER-i91d5e0q- :

Hello Donnie, this machine is used on a very flat 10 acre farm in Anchorage Alaska and is never rapidly accelerated. It operates alongside two other Case skidsteers and a Bobcat skidsteer and is used by the same operators doing the same jobs. None of the other machines have seen this type of thing. Due to the cold weater operations we typicaly see in Anchorage, it is possible that the machine was moved shortly after starting but not accelerated hard ever.

JACUSTOMER-i91d5e0q- :

Can you get me a service bulletin number so I can reference it when I speak to the Cat mechanic at NC Machinery. I am very disapointed in the quality of this Perkins engine and in the Caterpillar company for not informing me about this known defect that could have prevented this failure. I see two other cases on chat boards very similar to mine with this same machine. I think there is ample evidence that Caterpillar shares some blame so I will ask them to share the repair costs. The worst they can say is no but they surely won't say yes unless I ask. This is a really poor performing machine in cold weather. (all the failures have occured in sub zero temperatures) and if they don't offer some relief this 5th piece of caterpillar equipment will be my last one, and I will bellyache and grouse about them on every discussion group on the internet.

JACUSTOMER-i91d5e0q- :

Thanks for your help thus far and please don't think I am angry with you about this issue. I get a bit exciteable when big money is at stake. Please provide me with that service bulletin number.

JACUSTOMER-i91d5e0q- :

Thanks

JACUSTOMER-i91d5e0q- :

Dan

Donnie :

The number is PS41982, this was only an optional update to current production. It is not a warranty repair and cannot be treated as such. They issue these to help with reducing failures, not to eliminate all issues. It won't help much with your claim. The fact you have other brands will also weaken your case. They prefer to help the all CAT customer first.

Donnie :

If the dealer handles quarry equipment, like most do, your concern over cost will not get to far against their million dollar accounts. This is not to say they won't help you at all, just explain your problem with documents and facts and let them know how these failures are not helping your business. The more you have documentation for, the better.

Donnie :

Good luck, Donnie