Winnebago LeSharo Wanderer

This forum is to ask and questions or concerns in converting your Le'Sharo over to Dodge.

Winnebago LeSharo Wanderer

Unread postby Wanderer » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:10 am

My name is Lou and some of you on this forum know me as Trafic from my previous LeSharo project http://www.lesharorv.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=97. I have changed my forum name from Trafic to Wanderer as I begin this new project.

This is my new project: A 1990 Winnebago LeSharo with a 3.3L Chrysler conversion. I found the unit For Sale on this forum only days before leaving on my trip, the former owner was from Luxembourg and has a vacation home in Florida just about a mile or so from us (small world). When I bought the unit I felt it was too nice for a complete remodel and gave it to my brother, he found it had a noisy front bearing and that the stub axle carrier had some stripped bolts. I was away on my trip at the time and since on these units the bearing has to be pressed out and the rotor has to be removed in the process, I felt that if I got a good used assembly my brother could replace it himself and be able to use the RV. I called and ordered a used unit from Greg at Sworks RV Inc. , Greg assured me that it was in usable condition with a good bearing and rotor; however when the unit arrived and my brother sent pictures it was evident that the bearing had visible play and that the rotor was also shot. I called SV works and left four messages in the span of two weeks but I never heard from them. This prompted my brother's decision not to keep the LeSharo as he was convinced that the parts would be too hard to get if he broke down so it was put in storage and would become my new project after our return. To this day I have not heard from Greg or anyone at Sworks....

The unit runs and drives well and other than the noisy right front axle bearing and the stripped bolts on the axle carrier, it would be a usable LeSharo. it has no generator, no rear wiper or rear defrost but everything else. With the exception of some minor surface rust in the area by the black water tank it is rust and accident free. The chassis is completely rust free and in excellent condition, I have seen few this nice. The interior is in good condition and the plastic panels have no cracks or damage, which is unusual, overall a very nice unit. The Chrysler conversion has messy wiring and needs to be cleaned up here and there but drives solid and quiet with no trouble codes and smooth shifts. The previous owner said the power train came from a 1994 low mileage intrepid with severe rear collision damage and the odometer shows 14309 miles. The original K member was left in this unit, it and the struts were dropped 2.5 inches to accommodate the drive train while keeping the stock suspension travel, the transmission oil pan was modified to clear the power steering lines and has enough clearance that it can be dropped for filter changes. I will evaluate the conversion as I progress and then decide what changes need to be made, I hope to be able to consult with Silkear on the conversion as I have seen his work first hand and consider him to be the authority on Chrysler conversions for our units.

The Plan:
I plan to extend the top, add a dash A/C unit, remodel the front and back, replace the front seats and steering column, remodel the kitchen area, make various improvements and post my progress here.

Here is the unit;
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To be continued.
Last edited by Wanderer on Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:10 am, edited 8 times in total.
Lou
Life is hard by the yard; but by the inch it’s a cinch.
1990 Winnebago LeSharo "Wanderer"
Chrysler 3.3L Extended roof
Delray Beach Fl
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Wanderer
 
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Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:25 pm
Location: Delray Beach


Re: Winnebago LeSharo Wanderer

Unread postby silkear » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:32 am

Lou, glad to have ya back! i was wondering how long it would be before your love for these little beasties would go before you got another one... i am here to help as much as i can, from 2.5K miles away... who knows, it will probably justify me driving down there again! as for the bad hub/rotor assembly, get hold of the folks at Mobility & get a set of the sealed bearings... that will fix most of the problems with the hub... i have a press blind somewhere in the garage to change out the bearings, and if i remember right, you have a 10 or 20 ton press in your garage(buried?)...
let me know how i can help...
John W.
Albuq., NM
'84LS/Chry3.8 "Silkear"
'89LS/Chry3.3
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Re: Winnebago LeSharo Wanderer

Unread postby Wanderer » Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:36 am

silkear wrote:Lou, glad to have ya back! i was wondering how long it would be before your love for these little beasties would go before you got another one... i am here to help as much as i can, from 2.5K miles away... who knows, it will probably justify me driving down there again! as for the bad hub/rotor assembly, get hold of the folks at Mobility & get a set of the sealed bearings... that will fix most of the problems with the hub... i have a press blind somewhere in the garage to change out the bearings, and if i remember right, you have a 10 or 20 ton press in your garage(buried?)...
let me know how i can help...

Thanks, John. I appreciate the help I will email questions as they arise. My goal is to get this conversion to as close to yours as possible.
Lou
Life is hard by the yard; but by the inch it’s a cinch.
1990 Winnebago LeSharo "Wanderer"
Chrysler 3.3L Extended roof
Delray Beach Fl
User avatar
Wanderer
 
Posts: 327
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:25 pm
Location: Delray Beach

The Wanderer gets a GM steering column.

Unread postby Wanderer » Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:47 pm

Today I started installing a GM steering column from a 1990 Cadillac Eldorado. I find that the LeSharo steering column and steering wheel are at an uncomfortable angle so I will replacing it with a tilt telescopic unit and use the integral GM wiper, turn, high beam, cruise and emergency flasher switches in the column to replace the corresponding Renault switches.

Difficulty:
This is a very difficult task, it involves some fabrication, cutting, welding, wiring, a comprehension of steering, a good memory and patience. Since this is a key steering and safety component I do not recommend that you alter your steering in any form: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Benefits:
The benefits include more comfort, with the GM column you eliminate the need for the taillight adapter behind the dash, the integral switches and key lock are very reliable and readily available, you can use a wide assortment of aftermarket and GM steering wheels.

Availability:
These Tilt /Telescopic columns are readily available and used in most Cadillacs prior to 1991, they do not use airbags.

Modifications:
I did not want to move the pedal position so I will use the base of the original column and graft it on to the GM column.

This is the GM column after I modified it to fit the Renault column base, the mount has been moved up to fit the Renault steering column bracket, the collapsible shaft and sleeve remain in working order for safety.

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This is the base of the Renault column after modification:

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While I was here i decided to remove the original engine harness and condense the Chrysler harness by weeding out the unnecessary wires (not for the faint of heart)

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I will be adding the in dash A/C unit in this area:

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This is as far as I got today, tomorrow I will blend the two columns together and take down the overhead A/C to install a new Evaporator , expansion valve and hoses.
Last edited by Wanderer on Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Lou
Life is hard by the yard; but by the inch it’s a cinch.
1990 Winnebago LeSharo "Wanderer"
Chrysler 3.3L Extended roof
Delray Beach Fl
User avatar
Wanderer
 
Posts: 327
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:25 pm
Location: Delray Beach

Re: Winnebago LeSharo Wanderer

Unread postby Ray Charbonneau » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:55 pm

Lou,
My innards look alot like those last few pics. I'm having some electrical issues I'm working on as well as the O/H evaporator.
I am really interested in your dash a/c plans. I've already gotten with the local auto a/c supply house and was inquiring into different evap units.
Please kep us informed. As a fellow Floridian, we know the importance of good A/C.
Thanks, Ray
Ray Charbonneau
Winter Haven, FL
"WinneBuick"
1988 Winnebago LeSharo w/ Buick 3.8
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Ray Charbonneau
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Re: Winnebago LeSharo Wanderer

Unread postby Wanderer » Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:19 am

Ray Charbonneau wrote:Lou,
My innards look alot like those last few pics. I'm having some electrical issues I'm working on as well as the O/H evaporator.
I am really interested in your dash a/c plans. I've already gotten with the local auto a/c supply house and was inquiring into different evap units.
Please kep us informed. As a fellow Floridian, we know the importance of good A/C.
Thanks, Ray

Ray, you need to use the rear A/C - HEAT unit from a conversion van, just go to a local u-pull junkyard and look to see what is available. I will have to modify the dash board but as you know it is worth the trouble to have A/C coming from the dash on these units in Florida as the overhead unit is not enough.
Lou
Life is hard by the yard; but by the inch it’s a cinch.
1990 Winnebago LeSharo "Wanderer"
Chrysler 3.3L Extended roof
Delray Beach Fl
User avatar
Wanderer
 
Posts: 327
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:25 pm
Location: Delray Beach


Re: Winnebago LeSharo Wanderer

Unread postby silkear » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:01 am

Lou, you have the dash off, so your into it deep now! while you are there, and have the experience(saw your last LS) gut all the LS wiring and go from scratch... not really as bad as it sounds, and will clean up 60% of the LS stuff... Greg's folks are good about leaving the PDC intact, and there are enough relays &(almost) enough fuses in it to drive all the circuits in the LS... 75% of the coach stuff is in the ribbon cable under the drivers seat, and if you are going to keep the original tail light & running light assemblies, i have found a site that makes LED's that will work very nicely in all of them(oznium.com)... the reason why my install looked so clean was the wiring cleanup.... made one hell of a difference and only added about a week to the project... also since the Chry dash is in your unit, it means that the BCM is also there... use the intrepid a/c controls to run the dash a/c & gut the LS a/c relays & switches.... i have the details in my wiring diagram for doing that... also with the Chry install, you have enough room to rotate the brake booster so that is is inline and not at an angle.... just remove the elbow assembly and remake the actuator rod(needs to be 1/2" longer) and everything else works as is. this will give you more room up front, i mounted my battery there, keeps the starter & PDC cables to a minimum...
got more tips if you want them!
John W.
Albuq., NM
'84LS/Chry3.8 "Silkear"
'89LS/Chry3.3
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Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:58 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Winnebago LeSharo Wanderer

Unread postby Wanderer » Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:01 pm

silkear wrote:Lou, you have the dash off, so your into it deep now! while you are there, and have the experience(saw your last LS) gut all the LS wiring and go from scratch... not really as bad as it sounds, and will clean up 60% of the LS stuff... Greg's folks are good about leaving the PDC intact, and there are enough relays &(almost) enough fuses in it to drive all the circuits in the LS... 75% of the coach stuff is in the ribbon cable under the drivers seat, and if you are going to keep the original tail light & running light assemblies, i have found a site that makes LED's that will work very nicely in all of them(oznium.com)... the reason why my install looked so clean was the wiring cleanup.... made one hell of a difference and only added about a week to the project... also since the Chry dash is in your unit, it means that the BCM is also there... use the intrepid a/c controls to run the dash a/c & gut the LS a/c relays & switches.... i have the details in my wiring diagram for doing that... also with the Chry install, you have enough room to rotate the brake booster so that is is inline and not at an angle.... just remove the elbow assembly and remake the actuator rod(needs to be 1/2" longer) and everything else works as is. this will give you more room up front, i mounted my battery there, keeps the starter & PDC cables to a minimum...
got more tips if you want them!

John after reading your post smoke is coming out of my ears! I will read it again line by line and try to follow your advise but take it easy on me I don't have your experience on these conversions. Just hop in that LeSharo and come on over so you explain it to me s l o w l y . Better yet lets swap cradles and wire harnesses while you are here! Keep it coming i welcome your expertise.

My progress report for Today:

Today I finished blending and installing the steering column, I painted it black, removed the Cadillac steering wheel and installed a 15.5” GMC van Steering Wheel . I adapted the GMC horn cap to take a Dodge Emblem. I took down the overhead A/C unit and replaced the evaporator, expansion valve, dryer and hoses to insure that there will be no leaks or issues for years to come.
Image

I decided to replace the hoses because these A/C units have aluminum hose fittings that go into the copper evaporators they often show the effects of electrolysis due to dissimilar metals as shown below:
Image

Here is the expansion valve and assembled unit installed on the newly insulated ceiling :
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I also installed the power window motors and the power mirror wiring harness.
Image

That is all for today and believe me I am tired. Tomorrow I will remove the factory heater, install the dash A/C – Heat unit, insulate the dash and add sound barrier (Dynamat).
Last edited by Wanderer on Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:01 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Lou
Life is hard by the yard; but by the inch it’s a cinch.
1990 Winnebago LeSharo "Wanderer"
Chrysler 3.3L Extended roof
Delray Beach Fl
User avatar
Wanderer
 
Posts: 327
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:25 pm
Location: Delray Beach

Re: Winnebago LeSharo Wanderer

Unread postby Alan Bergman » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:59 pm

Oh Man! Lou,
I think I once made the statement that I would like to live next to you or in your neighborhood.
Now I am not sure, Man you scare me! I am pretty sure I would not be able to sleep nights trying to keep up with you.
Al
My "Cottage Car" is a 1985 Lesharo with a 3.8 Buick V6
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Re: Winnebago LeSharo Wanderer

Unread postby oscar » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:14 pm

Lou's an animal. :mrgreen: Took me a week just to come up a ramair for my N/A and thats still a work in progress.

John Hoover
'83 N/A
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