1986 Winnebago LaSharo Motorhome

May  12  2017

I saw this for sale cheap…  and I was only sorta interested..  sorta !


So I threw it out there on the family page.   I did so because many of them were looking at smaller RV’s.  And this is the same size as a long pickup.  but it has a lot of RV stuff in there.  Including two full beds.  So what to do !  I went and had a good look..  the motor runs but knocks so bad you don’t really want to drive it.  The roof leaked at some time and damaged the ceiling panels..  But that’s not a big deal in this RV cause the frame is all steel.  The rest is in good condition for it’s age.  I paid the few hundred bucks and had it towed to Peter’s shop..  The plan is to explore the motor fix later this summer.  Here’s a video ..

These Motor homes have an endearing following:  Love / Hate kinda

And it’s easy to see why.  The four cylinder motor gets very good gas mileage ..  but is under powered for this size vehicle.  It’s front wheel drive , therefor it’s low to the ground… No steps !  In fact it’s the lowest entry of any RV.  The layout inside works very well.. and makes good use of the space.   Here’s a new video that better shows that..

I made the forward bed down just to see how that went..  great bed.  Also I wanted to see how much of a job the ceiling would be..  and it doesn’t look like that big of a deal.   Looks like the factory ceiling was paneling covered with fuzzy headliner stuff..   Ok .. I get that..  but that headliner did not do well with the constant rubbing of peoples heads on it..   Plus it was glued to the paneling..  30 years of rubbing , heat… cold.. nope . did not do good..  I’m thinking just smooth white finish is best.

Aug 2017:

I found a complete drive train for the LS..  running motor … not working transmission..  33,000 miles on it  AND  it’s here in BC .  just a 7 hr drive away..

Update: Aug 2017

After I sold the Empress motor home ,  I had the money to buy the motor from the fella down at the coast..  And how lucky I was that he was coming to Grand Forks to buy a car..  So he delivered the motor ( complete with transmission and front drive).  What a great deal..  Even though there is a few years difference the motors are identical.

Also as a bit of bonus..  he discovered that the reason for his transmission not working was a broken wire connector.  So I have a spare transmission too.  I will also have both spare ECU’s for the trans & motor.  I could just do a quick swap of the motors.. but I would like to clean up the new motor and replace some of the gaskets..  check the seals and set the valves..  All easier while outside the LS and in the shop.

Aug 10 2017:  The LS is now in my driveway facing the shop door..

Today in the cool morning I have removed the front fascia and bumper..  and sizing things up..   wow there is a lot of hoses to keep track of..  Going to have to lift the front quiet a bit to get under there..  I have the new motor apart from the transmission now…  sure don’t like the right side motor mount..  not enough room to swing a wrench.   Seems every bolt holding the two together is a different length !  curse the French.   And speaking of bolts !  are they metric.. or SAE..  seems a combination of both ?


I was using a 5/8 socket on the motor bolts ..  so I’m confused a bit.  So now to mount the motor to the stand and park the transaxle outside out of the way.

Sept 25 2017:      I had lost the use of the motor hoist for a few weeks and while waiting I got some other things done..  Also needed the new gaskets for the good motor so got them ordered and here.  This week is time to get R done.  The goal was always to get the LaSharo running good before winter sets in.. and then I’ll park it till spring to work on the interior.

My nephew is a mechanic and he will come help with the swap..  He’s done many motor swaps.  My next step is to pull the existing motor out ..  get the two side by side and change over the best parts..   Then I want to power wash the motor compartment.

So after much cursing and sweat..  the motor is out and I washed the whole thing down.  Nicer to work without all the yuck.   Now the good motor needs a bit of work and then in it goes.

The old motor is probably re-buildable …or at least some of the bits are useable..  Need to get it on the motor stand and see…

Here’s the new motor in..  Took 4 hrs and lots of patience.  And that’s just bolting it to the transmission !  now I need to hook up what seams like a hundred things.  It better run… cause this is not an easy in / out sorta thing.

Oct 10 2017:  Thanksgiving !

And I’m thankful that things are moving along with the re- hooking up of motor stuff..  I took a little break and went camping / quading with friends..  But this weekend I’m back at it scratching my head over the hose and wire puzzle.  Got some great help from my Facebook  LeSharo friends..



Yup .. it fired right up..  it’s now the 15 th of Oct.. and I have it all together and the coolant in there too..  I drove it next door and parked it for the winter..  SO will continue with renewed vigor in the spring..   Will start a new page for that..   And now I’ll focus my attention on the boler..

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