3208 INDUSTRIAL AND GENERATOR SET ENGINES – Operating the Engine

Warm-up
1. Run the engine at low idle for three to five minutes, or until the jacket water temperature starts to rise.
2. Check all gauges during the warm up period.
3. Make another walk-around inspection. Check the engine for fluid and air leaks. Measure the crankcase oil level on the LOW IDLE side of the dipstick. Maintain the oil level between the ADD and FULL marks.
4. Increase the rpm to 1/2 rated speed. Check for fluid and air leaks. The engine may be operated at full rated speed and full load when the jacket water temperature reaches 66°C (150°F).

Applying the Load
To engage driven equipment before applying the load:

1. Operate the engine at 1/2 rated speed.
2. Engage the driven equipment without a load on the equipment.
Interrupted starts put excessive stress on the drive train and waste fuel. To get the driven equipment in motion, engage the clutch smoothly, with no load on the equipment. This should result in a smooth, easy start without increasing the engine speed or slipping the clutch.

To apply the load:

1. Make sure the engine gauges register in normal ranges with the engine operating at 1/2 rated speed. If the driven equipment is already engaged without load, make sure any equipment gauges register in normal ranges.
2. Increase the engine rpm to rated speed. Always increase engine speed to rated speed before applying the load.
3. Apply the load. Begin operating the engine at low load. Check the gauges and equipment for proper operation. After normal oil pressure is reached and the temperature gauge begins to move, the engine may be operated at full load.
If the load varies, or is cyclic, the governor will adjust the engine speed as required.

Extended operation at low idle or reduced load may cause increased oil consumption and carbon build-up in the cylinders. This carbon build-up results in loss of power and/or poor performance. When operating at reduced load, the engine should be fully loaded to burn excess carbon from the cylinders at least every four hours. Check the gauges and equipment frequently while operating under load.

Engine Operation
Proper operation and maintenance are key factors in obtaining the maximum life and economy of the engine. Following the directions in this manual will lower operating costs.

The time needed for the engine to reach the normal mode of operation is usually less than the time taken for a walk-around-inspection of the engine.

After the engine is started and the warm-up is completed, the engine can be operated at rated speed and low power. The engine will reach normal operating temperature faster when operated at rated speed and low power demand than when idled at no load. Typically the engine should be up to operating temperature in a few minutes.

Gauges readings should be observed and the data recorded frequently while the engine is operating. Comparing the data over time will help determine normal readings for each gauge, and help detect abnormal operating developments. Significant changes in the readings should be investigated.

Fuel Conservation Practices
The efficiency of your engine can affect the fuel economy. Caterpillar’s state-of-the-art design and manufacturing technology provides maximum fuel efficiency in all applications. Follow the recommended operating and maintenance procedures to attain optimum performance for the life of your engine.

* Avoid fuel spillage. Fuel expands when warmed, and may overflow from a too-full fuel tank. Inspect fuel lines for leaks, and repair immediately.
* Be aware of the heat values of different fuels. Use only recommended fuels.
* Avoid unnecessary idling. Shut the engine off rather than idle for long periods of time (unless the temperature is extremely cold).
* Observe the air service indicator frequently, and keep the air cleaner elements clean.
* Make sure that turbochargers are operating correctly so that the proper air/fuel ratio is maintained. Clean exhaust indicates proper functioning.
* Maintain a good electrical system. One bad battery cell will overwork the alternator, consuming excess power and fuel.
* Make sure that belts are properly adjusted and in good condition.
* Make sure that all air hose connections are tight and do not leak.
* Cold engines consume excess fuel. Utilize jacket water and exhaust system heat when possible. Keep radiator fins and water pumps clean and in good repair. Never operate without thermostats. All of these items will help maintain operating temperatures.
* Fuel system settings and altitude limits are stamped on the engine Information Film. If an engine is moved to a higher altitude, settings must be changed by a Caterpillar dealer in order to prevent turbocharger damage and provide maximum engine efficiency. Engines can be operated safely at higher altitudes, but will deliver less horsepower. The fuel settings should be changed by a Caterpillar dealer in order to obtain the engine’s rated horsepower.

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