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
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
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
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
- 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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