Author Topic: Lesharo Engine Interchange?  (Read 18426 times)

Offline khantroll

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  • Posts: 241
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  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1972
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain D24CL
  • Chassis: Dodge M375
  • Engine: 413
Lesharo Engine Interchange?
« on: January 23, 2015, 04:57 PM »
Hello! I posting this question here,  as the lesharorv forum isn't particularly active, and I know we have some lesharo users as well as some really creative people here. A friend of mine has an 86 Winnebago Lesharo, with a dubious engine in it. The Renault 2.2 is notoriously weak in this application anyway, and the cheapest replacement engine we've been able to locate is $600 shipped with no guarantees.
 
So, I went looking for alternatives. Most people do the Chrysler or Buick swap, which entails removing the entire front end of either a Chysler LH platform car or FWD buick and putting it under the front of the lesharo. This is also a pricey proposition, as it not only requires an entire donor vehicle, but custom axle shafts. My best guestimate for this option is somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 grand.
 
Some further digging tells me that the successor to the Renault 25/Trafic (the latter of which is the lesharo's base vehicle) is the Renault 30, which utilizes  an engine known as the PRV 3.0 V6. This engine was found in a lot of vehicles, but generally paired with a 4 speed transmission known as the AR4 (as opposed to the 3 speed ML1/MJ3 found in Lesharos). The exception being the DeLorean DMC-12, which featured a transmission only found in that vehicle called a 4141. I found aDelorean restoration page, and the 4141 external casing. input shaft, and etc looks exactly like the one in the Lesharo.
 
I did a search, though, and I found a single post where some one says he considered it, but that it wouldn't fit.
 
So, basically, all the above is so that I can ask the following questions:
 
Is the PVR 3.0 an option? I know I'd have to make motor mounts, and possibly extend the nose, but if it mounts to the transmission then that's okay.
 
Secondly, does anyone have any other possible options?

Offline LJ-TJ

  • 14 year member
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Re: Lesharo Engine Interchange?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2015, 05:27 PM »
Well thank you for opening the discussion on this subject as I've always love the Lesharo. I like many have herd it was junk mainly because of the engine and you see them laying all over the place but if someone could come up with a good conversion I think they'd be a big hit. I hope others will chime in with ideas of a good engine conversion maybe even a diesel conversion. They are the perfect size for a lot of folks and better than a VW van. D:oH!

Offline khantroll

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  • Posts: 241
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1972
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain D24CL
  • Chassis: Dodge M375
  • Engine: 413
Re: Lesharo Engine Interchange?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2015, 06:32 PM »
Absolutely, TJ! They are roomier then a westfalia, and the coach part is one of the best Class B coaches I've seen (especially older ones).  That's the reason my friend bought it,as he loves the coach area.




Offline M & J

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  • Year: 1987
  • Make: Tiffin
  • Model: Allegro
  • Chassis: P-30
  • Engine: 454
Re: Lesharo Engine Interchange?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2015, 07:11 PM »
Hey now... Nothing wrong with VW buses.... Peace.
M & J

Offline khantroll

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  • Posts: 241
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  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1972
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain D24CL
  • Chassis: Dodge M375
  • Engine: 413
Re: Lesharo Engine Interchange?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2015, 07:42 PM »
Don't get me wrong, rockandroller, I love the bus and what it stands for. I saw a beautiful bay window westfalia today on my way home in fact, and smiled as I followed it along. Just seeing it made me happy.


But, they are a little on the small side

Offline khantroll

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  • Posts: 241
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1972
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain D24CL
  • Chassis: Dodge M375
  • Engine: 413
Re: Lesharo Engine Interchange?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2015, 07:59 PM »
Another possible option, although possibly less likely then the PRV V6, is the AMC i4 2.5. The diesel engine variant of the Lesharo utilized the 2.1 Renault J8S, which was also utilized by the Jeep Cherokee of that time. The four cylinder version of the Cherokee packed the AMC 2.5.


The reason it is less possible is that the the Cherokee utilizes Aisin sourced transmissions (AX5 for manual, and AW4 for auto), rather Renault, and the bell housings act like adapters.  The AX5 looks quite similar, but  AW4 is not  even close to compatible. There may be a bellhousing that would adapt it to an auto, but I have no idea what  i??


The AX5 is also used in Toyotas under the names G52, W58 and R151, if that helps.

Offline kattkisson

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  • Year: 1993
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  • Engine: 454
Re: Lesharo Engine Interchange?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2015, 06:57 AM »
Are you referring to the Lesharo yahoo users site when you say it is not very active?  I had a Lesharo for years and this site was my main source of info. All sorts of engine swaps were discussed.  They had a couple of French Canadians on that had European connections  that could find out anything you needed to know. I went to a national rally of their's in Indiana.


The biggest single thing that I saw when I was thinking about a swap was the major 'frame" structures dictated that the engine had to run with the line of the car-- it couldn't set across .


Offline Schmitti

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  • Make: Thor / Four Winds
  • Model: Hurricane
  • Chassis: Workhorse
  • Engine: 453
Re: Lesharo Engine Interchange?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2015, 09:24 AM »
The DeLorean has a (PRV6) Peugeot / Renault / Volvo (B28F) 2.8 liter V6 engine and  has been used in many cars. The transmission all came from Renault. Spare parts for it are also with you in the States / Texas.

 But all this does not answer the original question.

 Maybe it will help you find, when I tell you that was installed the 2.2 liter Renault engine in several other cars. The French manufacturer is a company, called PSA (Peugeot / Citroen / Renault) and block this engine as well.
 I do not know how the cars were bought and sold with you. Just the 2.2l was very common and also installed in the Renault Espace or Volvo 850 for example.

 Maybe you can help in searching information  ;)

Thomas
Understeer is when you see the tree, if you'll take. Oversteer is when you only hear him on impact. W.R�hrl

Offline khantroll

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  • Posts: 241
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  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1972
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain D24CL
  • Chassis: Dodge M375
  • Engine: 413
Re: Lesharo Engine Interchange?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2015, 11:52 AM »
Katkisson,

Actually, I am referring to lesharorv.com, which does index the yahoo users group. The forum seems to average about one new thread a month.

The longitudinal front layout  is a hurdle, but not the biggest one I have found. My biggest problem is not knowing what bolts to what, and the fact that some of these parts (engine/transmissions) have different names depending on the marque they were sold under.

Here is the broad strokes of what I have found (this is for everyone else, and I will probably edit this post and expand it later). The Lesharo is based on the Trafic, which is Renault's answer to a Vanagon. The drive train is shared with the Fuego, 18i speedwagon, and the eagle medallion. 

The engine, paired with a different transmission, is used in the Renault 20, 25, Espace, and the Safrane, as well as the Peugeot 505.

This is where it gets interesting. The Renault 25 was sold here in the United States as the Dodge Monaco and the Eagle Premier, but only with the larger PRV v6 (3.0 due to American rounding). These cars, however, came with the AR4 transmission.

All the above vehicles are longitudinal front wheel drive, as Renault believed this would save production costs should they decide to produce a rear wheel drive car.

Kat and Schmitti, do you think that PRV would bolt up to the Lesharo's MJ3?

P.S., Thanks for the heads up Schmitti! I didn't think to look  at Volvos, even though I knew that was what the V in the PRV stood for!

Offline Schmitti

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  • Year: 2000
  • Make: Thor / Four Winds
  • Model: Hurricane
  • Chassis: Workhorse
  • Engine: 453
Re: Lesharo Engine Interchange?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2015, 02:16 PM »
The French cars are absolutely not my favorite, because even here in the neighboring country, there are spare parts problems. Especially in older vehicles. If there are times parts, they cost accordingly  $@!#@! . That's why I do not know myself too much from the vehicles. i??

 Back to the topic.
 Europeans like to build cars from the "kit". If an identical transmission is tuned, maximum motor holder or other extensions for other models are changed. Only this "modular engines" are unfortunately due to the continuous emission regulations never long resistant. You must then accordingly limit its search to a period.

Thomas
Understeer is when you see the tree, if you'll take. Oversteer is when you only hear him on impact. W.R�hrl

Offline kattkisson

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  • Year: 1993
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  • Model: Warrior 22
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Lesharo Engine Interchange?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2015, 05:08 AM »
go here :https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Lesharo-owners/info   go to their files section on engine conversions.  A lot of what you are discussing has already been documented. 
this is a fairly active site

Offline 4-Paws

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  • Year: 1967
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: F-17
  • Chassis: Ford
  • Engine: 300 six
Re: Lesharo Engine Interchange?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2015, 02:10 PM »
First off...I'm sorry I'm so slow in responding. Sometimes life gets in the way of activities that one would rather be doing. 

  My advice is to repair what you have as the original parts are still available. The transmissions that have been  previously written about in this thread will not handle the torque of a larger, more powerful engine combined with the vehicle weight. The automatic in your H-body (LeSharo, Phasar, Centauri) is a Renault ML1 which is slightly beefier than the guts of a MB and MJ and it's microprocessor is internally programed to the H-body's power to weight ratio. The other problem in fitting a PRV V-6 is that the final drive of their transmission is directly behind the bell housing and the factory automatic and manual 4 & 5 speed are below the central part of the assembly. This would mean that the V-6 engine & transmission from the R25, and the AMC Premier would have to be placed much lower in the frame which would dictate building a custom lowered cross member assembly which would be complicated due to the lower control arms and steering being currently mounted on it. Renault would not sell the automatic (a joint venture between Volkswagen and Renault) from the R25 & Premier to Winnie as they said it wouldn't hold up to the weight of the little motor home. The stock ML 1 is barely enough for the stock gasoline engine. Renault estimated the ML1 was good for about 50,000 miles give or take depending on the driver and conditions so putting more torque through it would be a guaranteed early failure. The DeLorean automatic transaxle from the R-30 is hardly enough for the V-6 as it was originally built and due to the rear engine configuration of the DMC-12, the ring & pinion gears would give your coach 3 speeds of reverse! There was one H-body that was re-powered with the PRV V-6 at the Winnie factory but it was a manual 5 speed as that was the only transmission Renault had that would handle the engine torque and the weight (GVWR) of the vehicle which was 6,670 lbs in it's final 4 cylinder form. Winnie literally searched the world over for an automatic that would work but could only find one at the time who was willing to build them one and that was the German company ZF. The several million dollar price tag stopped this endeavor in it's tracks. Most folks don't realize the expense to the manufacturer when changing drive train configurations. Besides the obvious, the coach would have to be emission re-certified for both Federal and California along with the various FMVSS safety standards which would have dictated re-crash testing the vehicle. It would have also meant that the brakes would have to be re-certified due to the increased weight. All of the emission certifications that Winnie had for their production engines were done for American Motors so Winnie did not have to do them themselves which saved a TON of money on such a low production number product.

  I have seen many of the re-powers out there, some are works of art and some I wouldn't ride in for money. The better conversions I've seen are in the $10,000 and above price range which seems like a lot of money to spend on a vehicle that's probably worth less than $5,000. The other thing to consider is the insureability of a modified coach. Some companies won't cover an altered vehicle if they know it which can be a problem when & if there is a claim or charge more because it's been modified. My advice is to make this inquiry before you start.

  The bottom line here is that just because it will "bolt up" doesn't mean it will work, one has to take into account the safety and soundness of the modification which includes steering and brakes that could impact (pun intended) other drivers on the highways & byways you travel.

P.S. The Jeep's J8S turbo diesel will not bolt up to the factory 4 speed or automatic without modifying the cylinder block to accommodate the H-body's final drive. With the exception just mentioned, the Jeep's engine is only the same from the bottom of the cylinder block up through the valve cover. The Turbo charger (much smaller), exhaust manifold, injection pump, oil pump, oil pan and all emission lines including the oil recovery system are all different from what was used by Winnie. Bolting one of these to an automatic ML1 is possible but it's final drive is not geared for the diesel engine; the gas and diesel H-Body's final drive ratios are different so there's another expense one may or may not have considered.

Offline khantroll

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  • Posts: 241
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1972
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain D24CL
  • Chassis: Dodge M375
  • Engine: 413
Re: Lesharo Engine Interchange?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2015, 04:46 PM »
HI 4-Paws! You have beautifully condensed most of what I have found. Anything other then the original components requires just as much fabrication as any other swap. I do feel the the AR4 setup would hold up just as well/better then the original, but they are just as hard to find, and the weak point is the same: the transmission. that makes the extra money and effort to make it fit pointless.

As for the J8S, it is possible to to come up with a combination of parts that make it fit, but that is cost prohibitive.

At this point, my friend has more or less written the motorhome off. It needs a complete rebuild. The only place within a reasonable distance willing to repair the unit wants a truly ridiculous amount of money for it, and my friend does not have the time or the inclination to attempt the repair himself. He has purchased a travel trailer for the time being, and says that he will keep is eye out for Chevrolet Class B or a small Class C

P.S., it is, apparently, possible to flip the ring gear in DMC-12's 4141 according to Aussiefrogs.

Offline 4-Paws

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  • Posts: 10
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1967
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: F-17
  • Chassis: Ford
  • Engine: 300 six
Re: Lesharo Engine Interchange?
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2015, 12:00 PM »
Not to beat a dead horse as they say, but the DeLorean - Renault type 4141 automatic transaxle (don't know about the 5 speed manual box) can not have it's gears "flipped" to work. The Ring and pinion are machined in mirror image of a standard stock unit.  I've got a N.O.S. DeLorean style ring and pinion set in my collection of junk left over from the DMC-12 I used to have if anyone out there needs a set.

Offline khantroll

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  • Posts: 241
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1972
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain D24CL
  • Chassis: Dodge M375
  • Engine: 413
Re: Lesharo Engine Interchange?
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2015, 02:35 PM »
  Not a problem,  4-Paws. As I said,  I am only going off a couple of recommendations given on the forum. Hence the apparently.  :)

 

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