The Shuttlecraft Logs

In the Shop at Matt's Automotive, Making Ready for our First Phoenix Trip

  • 10/12/09: Took the Shuttlecraft to Matt's Automotive shop and left her there today with a long list of things to be replaced/repaired or just given a good going over. New timing belt, water pump and exhaust manifold have arrived from Mobility RV. Matt says it will take about three days, if all goes well.

  • 10/13/09: Shuttlecraft update: Took the radiator to the radiator shop today - Matt found a leak when he was pulling it out so he could take the front of the engine apart. By now, the new timing belt and water pump are in... if the Shuttlecraft cooperated. He says "she doesn't like being worked on."

  • 10/15/09: The radiator is unrepairable. Leaks at the seam on both ends. The radiator shop was unable to locate one from any of their suppliers, so I had to call Mobility RV and ordered a new one. Pricy.  Meanwhile, Matt has replaced the timing belt, water pump, serpentine belt and a couple of hoses. He has replaced the exhaust manifold after truing the ends of the exhaust pipe flange.

  • 10/20/09: Thinking of accepting PayPal donations to restore the Shuttlecraft.

  • 10/21/09: The new radiator is in and Matt has adjusted the valves. They weren't too far out. The engine runs much quieter with the new exhaust manifold. Quite a bit of the work has been done ... but now we've found that the front brakes are "beyond shot." Wonder why the brake pad warning light isn't on. We're talking metal-to-metal here!

  • 10/22/09: Ordered the front brake pads and rotors from Mobility RV.

  • 10/28/09: Brake rotors and pads arrived this afternoon. Will be installed tomorrow. I will be going to the shop to begin removing my "mobile office: desk/counter" so that I can replace the rear seat/dinette table for the trip.

  • 10/29/09: Matt had to build a special tool to remove the front axle hub assemblies during the brake job. Works so well he is thinking of patenting it and marketing it to LeSharo owners. It pushes on the axle while pulling the hub bearing off, or something like that. Wheel bearings have now been checked and repacked, brake rotors and pads replaced. A test drive is made, and the Shuttlecraft is running - and stopping - GREAT! Tomorrow will focus on remedying the faulty cruise control system. Hope to get that working so I can turn it on and go back into the galley and make myself a sandwich while we toodle down the highway.

  • 10/30/09: The new cruise control is in and working! After almost three hours of diagnostication, Matt was unable to revive the factory cruise control and declared it DOA. So we have replaced it with a new Audiovox universal aftermarket unit. I went along with him for the test run and it works great, although not very strong acceleration when pressing the Accel button. That being said, the engine does seem to have more pep than it did when it went into the shop.

As we returned to the shop after the successful road test, Matt looked at me and said we ought to think about repowering with a Buick 3.8 when this engine bites the dust. He said he'd love to tackle that project. Which kind of surprised me.

So, as of this writing, almost all of my list has been completed in the mechanical repair realm and tomorrow after Matt's final buttoning up and fluid check she should be good to come home from the shop. Matt is worth every penny.

I still need to replace a marker light bulb when I get her home. We never were able to get the instrument panel lights to stay on - the dimmer potentiometer is shot - so I picked up a low-powered LED map light with a flexible neck that plugs into the cigarette lighter so I can see the gauges at night, as our plans have us departing late Sunday night.

I ran into a snag reinstalling the right rear dinette seat. When I had removed it, the screws holding the angle bracket to the wall had already pulled out from the wall so I had not had to unscrew them; putting the seat back in without disassembling the angle bracket does not provide any room to get behind the seat and put oversize screws or lag bolts into the wall to hold the bracket.

So, it looks like I'll have to take the four nuts off the inboard bracket again tomorrow and re-remove the seat and try again to separate the angle bracket from the seat bracket. Unfortunately, one of the two screws holding them together is frozen and the head is stripped. I've tried to remove it from the threaded side with a pair of vice grips but all I've succeeded in doing there is stripping the threads.

  • 10/31/09: I was not satisfied with the coverage of the original equipment sunvisors - no way to pivot them to the side and those door windows are tall. So I went to a local heavy truck wrecking yard and for $10.00 I got a side visor out of a 2005 Volvo semi-tractor conventional cab and installed it above the door. It fits perfectly.  Although I had to move two curtain snaps down a little, it still allows the curtain to snap on, and there is an open space in the visor that allows the air through from the overhead a/c vent when the visor is folded up. The really nice thing about it is it is adjustable by sliding it forward or back, so it can cover the width of the whole door window easily.

It appears that the passenger's side wiper arm or the shaft it pushes onto is stripped. With wipers on, each wipe brings it a little lower on the windshield and before you know it it is coming down onto the cowling below the windshield.

I am reasonably sure I'm not the only one who has faced this situation, but I can't seem to find anything in the files of the Lesharo groups about how to resolve this issue.

Bottom line is the "teeth" inside the wiper arm socket and on the shaft are worn/stripped. I took the wiper arm off and slathered Loctite Red in there and put it back on.  It has held fantastically.


* (Note about my attempts to bleed the system. Until July 2010, I never got it right because I didn't know where the proper bleeder valve was on the heater core yet. Didn't find that until reading someone's notes that it was located near the hood hinge. All the time before I had been looking for it on the wrong side of the heater core!)

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