I have been trying to track down some more info and photos for Gil's v8 Lesharo conversion so I could highlight it here. This is all that I have been able to collect to date:
1986 Lesharo TD chassis
1982 Buick Riviera front wheel drive donor car
Buick 307 cu.in. V-8 (upgraded to a 403 short block)
All the Buick engine and dash wiring
Buick instrument panel
Buick steering wheel
Buick master brake with pedal
Home-made dog-house covering the engine protrusion through the firewall
"My son is now re-building a '77 Buick 403 cu.in. engine which we will use to replace the "weaker" 307 cu. In. engine. "
Hi Terry. My conversion is based on a 1982 Buick Riviera. This vehicle had the 307 cubic inch General Motors short block engine. When I finally determined that the overall design was going to work okay, I decided to not rebuild the 307 engine. The 350 engine was much more powerful and is very dependable, so I began the search for one but was unsuccessful. My son then later found a 403 short block General Motors engine in a 1978 Buick Roadmaster vehicle located in the junkyard in Richland, Washington. Of course all three sizes were the same short block design and would fit the transmission, frame, etc. They actually got that junk yard vehicle drivable using gas and a battery. He purchased it and then he and his hot Rod mechanic friend proceeded to dismantle the entire engine and confirm that everything was in good shape. They replaced the heads with some other design that had larger valves than the original standard. That was the only supercharging they did as far as the engine design. They then simply packed it up for semi-trailer shipping and delivered it to me here Ohio. That is the engine that is now in operation under by 86 Lesharo with over 20,000 miles on it. The gas mileage has ranged from 11 to 17 miles per gallon. It will cruise in overdrive at 75 mph with less than 2000 rpm. And while climbing the mountain heading up to Flagstaff, Arizona the 75 mph in will gradually drop back to around 60 and when the semi-trailer behind starts catching up I simply downshift out of overdrive into third gear and the cruise control will accelerate back up to the 75 mph.
I have attached a few pictures and there are quite a few more but I have not bothered to post them in any webpage anywhere. This procedure really works but it does have a very definite disadvantage-simply too old a vehicle for parts etc. Therefore I can't recommend that you follow this procedure.
I suggest that you research a bit of the later model pickup truck engines for instance. In fact there could be some complete framework and the suspension that would work similarly and be attached similarly to the underneath part of the motorhome framework just like I did with this old system. This whole idea came from a Lesharo that was done several years prior out in Phoenix, Arizona as I remember.
'86 LeRiviera (always under construction)
1994: In tow