4 possible conversions sitting at hand

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4 possible conversions sitting at hand

Unread postby vxracer » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:25 am

Hi! I have an 88 model 2.2 gas with the dreaded overheat and something metal is cracked issue. Not sure if its block, head, or cylinder sleeve. Head gasket was replaced, and problem still present. Cooling system generates extreme gas pressure and then it overheats immediately.
Instead of trying to source stock motor parts for an inherently problematic setup, I'm comparing possible swaps with sources I already own.

4 most likely in order of engine swap complexity:

Volvo b230f from an 87 Volvo 240. 2.3 liter probably as close to original design as any motor to choose, but cast iron and can easily + Turbo it from Volvo stock if needed. Well proven engine with aftermarket support and cheap to maintain. May convert to lesharo 3 speed auto easily. Hopefully the Peugeot Renault Volvo (prv) relationship will help with compatibility

2.3 liter Suzuki aerio. Stout little dohc all aluminum motor with a timing chain no less. Drive by wire, direct ignition, etc. Somewhat of a screamer in a small car. 155 HP I think? Torque a little higher. May have a completely incompatible bolt pattern. No way to tell yet.

Subaru 2.5 ej253 may be a great swap. My available unit only has 50k miles. Barely broken in. But may be tougher to use on stock tranny. 4eat 4 speed auto tranny may prove to be the superior tranny to use in a swap due to solidity of unit, front output to Cv shafts and the awesomeness of possible awd in the future. Yipee.

Further down the road would be a Tacoma (le taco) style sit on frame, but with a late model Isuzu trooper and a stretched frame. Not a bad idea. Gas mileage would be the worst of the 3, but awesomeness factor is a 10. Lol

At least for now its a proven storage shed, and my cats LOVE the sunbeams. :lol:

Is there an available schematic for the motor to tyranny bolts patterns, or similar compatible motored bolt patterns?


Any thoughts?
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Re: 4 possible conversions sitting at hand

Unread postby Ray Charbonneau » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:00 pm

vxracer,
Hmmmm, an interesting thought on doing a conversion.
I opted for horsepower, torque and most of all a proven reliable 3.8 Buick engine/tranny cradle set-up that I could source parts anywhere.
If you tackle any of your choices, please keep us informed, it might prove to be another option.
Ray
Ray Charbonneau
Winter Haven, FL
"WinneBuick"
1988 Winnebago LeSharo w/ Buick 3.8
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Re: 4 possible conversions sitting at hand

Unread postby mloganusda » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:40 pm

There was a person in Manchester, TN that had a Subaru 2.5 engine swap with drive shafts connected to the LS drive shafts. He was thinking of using the 6 cylinder engine to swap out instead of the 4 cylinder. I have photos that I will post later as it seems I have to correct them for some reason. The photos have turn out long and short, not like they were before.
Mike Logan
Formerly 1986 LeSharo 2.2 gas; 04' Rialta
Now 2017 Trend
Smyrna, TN
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Re: 4 possible conversions sitting at hand

Unread postby mloganusda » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:18 pm

Here are photos of the Subaru conversion. The owner sold it to a local shop as he could not pay to have the axel repairs done.
Image
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Smyrna, TN
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Re: 4 possible conversions sitting at hand

Unread postby Ray Charbonneau » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:51 pm

Mike,
I'd like to see more pics of that conversion, it does look interesting. The 5th pic makes me wonder what I'm looking at as the original cracked and so did the welded plate, is the bolt holding it all together?
I guess that's why I decided to use a engine/transmission cradle that came out of a car that had some significant weight to it like the Buick Park Avenue that I used. The LeSharo weighing in at 6000 pounds creates alot of torque pressure on all kind of components; steering, suspension, and transmission just to name a few.
The 4th pic shows some steering connection, but I'd love to see the rest of the steering setup as that was by far the most interesting part of the conversion that I did.
Unless you've been there and done one, it's tough to say what works, why and how. I found that out when I decided to tackle a conversion of my '88 leSharo. I thought "No Problem", YEAH RIGHT!! You don't realize what's involved until you're deep into it.
As I tell anyone inquiring about converting one of these, Think twice!! There's alot more to it besides getting the LeSharo drivable. You have to think about the legalities of it all; insurance, registration, emissions. There's already been a few who've had to deal with insurance companies after problems happened, some are still dealing with them.
Don't get me wrong though, I love my converted LeSharo. With a reliable drivetrain and easily found replacement parts, I can say with much confidence that this LeSharo will be on the road and enjoyed by my wife and I for quite some time.
Ray
Ray Charbonneau
Winter Haven, FL
"WinneBuick"
1988 Winnebago LeSharo w/ Buick 3.8
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Re: 4 possible conversions sitting at hand

Unread postby mloganusda » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:52 pm

Ray, I did not do the conversion, I only looked at it in person as Manchester, TN was only 50 miles from Smyrna, TN. The photos I posted are only a few of the total 36 I have saved from the owner. I have not heard from the owner for over a year and not sure what the shop owner that purchased it from him has done to repair the conversion. When I looked at the LS conversion, it was the second owner after the conversion and then sold (3rd.) to an auto repair shop in Manchester. The second owner needed a reliable LS to transport his sick wife to and from doctor visits, hence selling it because of cost of repairs. 2nd. owner wanted to install the 6 cylinder engine to the same auto transmission as they would bolt up direct. The steering I have no idea of how it was set up but did save another method for connecting. The 2nd owner did say that the 4 cylinder engine did pull okay but would of liked more HP.
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Smyrna, TN
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Re: 4 possible conversions sitting at hand

Unread postby ejeff » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:31 am

I looked into a Subaru swap but under power and concern about a 2WD transmission and how to brace the whole unit. I live in Iowa and looked in the CL Minneapolis lots of Subies but no 2WD, so that really made me think twice. I don't think Subaru produces a 2WD transaxle for their larger vehicles and I was kinda of made fun of at the Subaru forum when they found out what I wanted to do, so I didn't ask if a 4WD could be used in 2WD mode only. The 6 cylinder isn't common and used turbos are expensive with 250? HP tops so 2.2 or 2.5 modification would be needed. The 2.2 is the block to look for and then build from there, if I remember 2.2 mod can get you 185hp, and that's after a bunch of parts and money. Plus there was no Subie convert to copy I could find. With my research I going with the Buick and their engine cradle plus I will have better luck finding an answer to a problem.

Commenting on a pervious post on insurance; I have liability insurance but I have not looked into collision or started my conversion. My friend has two modified cars one a Cobra replica and they are street legal and insured so think you can find some. Ed
Ed Jeffress
1988
Madrid, Iowa
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Re: 4 possible conversions sitting at hand

Unread postby vxracer » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:55 am

OMG I just lost 2 hours of Subaru technical gibberish. Ill retype again later. Needless to say, all subarus went awd in 1995. Probably easier to go auto if its a post 95 donor. Also looks like I have a lot of planning time. Picking up a 98 Volvo s90 for 1000 bucks tomorrow. Gotta go over it some. I plan to gut the Renault stuff a little at a time and try to get a Subaru manual lined up for my donor in the meantime.

FWIW, the Subaru 3.0 H6 is only 1/2 inch longer than the H4, uses a timing chain, and is the absolutely smoothest running engine I have ever experienced. Most people try to start it when its running due to this. Only downside is premium fuel. Some run it on lesser, but its lame probably not ideal.


OK its a day later, and I get it now. The "rare" 6 cylinder referred to earlier is the Subaru SVX 3.3 liter. 3.0 which is entirely different.
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Re: 4 possible conversions sitting at hand

Unread postby ejeff » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:02 am

Don't get me wrong if my camper was a manual I would have gone with a Subaru and good luck on your conversion. My comment about the Subie 6 pertains to what I saw on Craig's List, wasn't much there, and what little I know about the Renault the auto transaxle or final drive do not holdup. My thought on the conversion is to swap out the power plant components and use as much of my donor car's engine bay wiring as possible. The stock Buick 3.8 210hp and success of others convinced me that would be my best route to get the thing done. Plus where I live has a large population of old white guys and the Buick Lesabre is one of their preferred models; I paid $500 for mine. Ed
Ed Jeffress
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Madrid, Iowa
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Re: 4 possible conversions sitting at hand

Unread postby sparkygoat » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:37 pm

I have a working Subaru EJ22 with 5 spd manual swap in my Lesharo, I haven't used it since the month I got it running due to two little kids and life getting busy. It goes okay, but I plan to make some changes to the transmission. If using a manual, I would get one from a later AWD car with 4.11 final drive and weld / spool the center diff to make it front wheel drive. My higher geared FWD manual is pretty useless in 5th. I'm not sure if this is possible with an AWD automatic due to the different type of center differential used. Subaru stuff all bolts together easily and parts are cheap, that is why I went this route.
My engine sits right down on the crossmember, with the exhaust running underneath. I made a larger version of the Lesharo rear transmission mount, which is holding up nicely.
I made it a manual using the clutch pedal from Subaru, which was off an older cable type clutch setup, and
was pretty easy to install, just welded it to the lesharo pedal box. Shift linkage is shortened Subaru, with a lengthened shifter.
Also, VolvoB230 is a great simple engine, but underpowered and heavy, and there are no easy FWD options. I had a couple of these motors around, but it just wouldn't be an easy swap.
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