Tappets issue on Cat 3508B-DITA
The other day we were carrying out some inspections on a client’s Caterpillar 3508B-DITA engine when we came across the following. (Recognise them?)
The item at the bottom of the picture is the push rod from the engine we were working on, and the other is a serviceable part.
Clearly there’s a bit of a difference between them, with significant wear on the client’s push rod.
With these particular push rods (like most push rods), they are hardened on the surface, but beneath it, the material is softer.
So now they’ve worn through like this, the wear will rapidly increase and can cause significant issues.
And the cause was something that should be checked routinely as part of any maintenance schedule.
If the tappets had been inspected within the normal maintenance schedule, there would not have been enough movement to cause this extent of wear. If it had continued, it could have resulted in problems with performance and efficiency; and more seriously, part seizures and failures, leading to major engine damage.