1st Gen CR-V.. Any others?

28.

Adventurer
Well sold the Yukon after years of great service to our family. Just couldn't justify keeping it anymore while also having Our Hundy.. Anyways after havin given my son my 4runner fo college i had been looking for a replacement. Decided on a small platform that got good fuel mileage. Was really looking for a forester but was also considering a CR-V. Well ran into a 98 CR-V with Hondas' RT4WD(fancy way of calling it AWD) and got a great deal. Very smooth,roomy,and versitile little SUVs.. Will be setting up for our fishing trips and random road trips of the beaten path.. Will keep posted..




looking for a mild lift and a good AT tire for starters.. Then replacing shocks, stereo, and getting windows tinted. Will postpics as I make progress..
:wings:
 

stioc

Expedition Leader
Congrats! I've always been a fan of the first gen CRV shape, probably one of my fav cute-ute designs after the Mitsu Endeavor, Sidekick and the boxy Patriots. I'm not sure exactly how good the Real Time AWD system is but I've seen plenty of YouTube videos over the years showing the little CRVs getting flogged around in the mud and snow to assume it works fine. A mild lift, +1/+2 AT tires and some skid plates will make it a fun little explorer.
 

rc51kid

Adventurer
MY GF has 98 with 295,000 miles on it. We have done nothing but timing belts and oil on it. The AC compressor did go and the radiator cracked around a plastic mount. It has been a great little truck. We do have one problem. The transmission does slip from time to time. But that is my fault for not changing the trany oil as directed. So my advice is to keep up with the trany oil as directed and use the expensive Honda oil. I bought a case on Ebay and it is enough for a few changes.
 

28.

Adventurer
Congrats! I've always been a fan of the first gen CRV shape, probably one of my fav cute-ute designs after the Mitsu Endeavor, Sidekick and the boxy Patriots. I'm not sure exactly how good the Real Time AWD system is but I've seen plenty of YouTube videos over the years showing the little CRVs getting flogged around in the mud and snow to assume it works fine. A mild lift, +1/+2 AT tires and some skid plates will make it a fun little explorer.
Thanks stioc.. And yea I do like how they look like a mini SUV. And I did plenty of research on them before buying it. Parts are plentiful and cheap. Although the AWD that Honda used on these is actually very good for snow and wet weather, they are actually decent on dirt roads and mud as well as long as you know what it's limits are.. They are very capable of getting you almost anywhere but the toughest of areas.. Some of the stuff they show them doing on youtube is amazing lol :)

There's a good set of stiffer/longer springs for the CR-V by Ironman. http://store.camel4x4.com/category/pre-2001.html
I actually am considering these and am looking into all my options though there aren't many.. thanks for that link though :)

MY GF has 98 with 295,000 miles on it. We have done nothing but timing belts and oil on it. The AC compressor did go and the radiator cracked around a plastic mount. It has been a great little truck. We do have one problem. The transmission does slip from time to time. But that is my fault for not changing the trany oil as directed. So my advice is to keep up with the trany oil as directed and use the expensive Honda oil. I bought a case on Ebay and it is enough for a few changes.
Yea my brother -in-law has one which just hit over 200K and is one reason I considered it.. Most folks that have them swear by them.. Thanks for the heads up on tranny something to consider for sure..
 

28.

Adventurer
Yep can't beat a 1st gen CRV. My wife's has 190k and runs and drives like new.

The AWD system is simple. Basically it's a front wheel drive with rear assist. There is no electronics involved. The rear diff has a Hydraulic valve and clutch. When the driveshaft spins faster than the axles shafts (front wheel slip) this causes the valve to close the clutch to engage the rear axle. Simple effective and gets good gas mileage.

If you drive easy 30mpg is not hard to get on the road. 25 all around is pretty normal. The suspension is great on the road but a lot of forest service road stuff will wear it quick.

Change the rear diff fluid regularly. If you hear a sound that sounds like a squeal in the front your fluid in the rear needs to be changed. Simple job. Use Honda dual pump fluid only! Just need a pan and a 3/8 ratchet. The drain and fill plugs are designed with a 3/8 square hole. Same for auto trans. Only use Honda fluid in that too. No filters to cahnge on the trans. Just drain the fluid into a pan. Pour it into an old milk jug to measure how much came out and replace with same and then check the dipstick.

Rattle under your feet means you need to change the gasket in the exhaust joint between the down pipe and cat. It's a flex joint. These gaskets wear and then the metal buzzes together.

A front suspension knock you can't find means the sway bar bushings need to be replaced. All simple stuff.

Change the timing belt every 100k! Also adjust the valves at least that often. The 2.0 engine is occasionally known for beating the valves into the seats and if they are not adjusted you can burn a valve because they become too tight.

I have found that in general it's best to use Honda replacement parts. On normal wear stuff they are price competitive with the parts stores. They get you on stuff like power window switches. I've had wretched luck with most parts store brake parts on Honda's. In the rear use Honda and in the front get these. You thank me for it.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/pwr-k704-26/overview/year/1999/make/honda/model/cr-v

We had a small issue of warped rotors with mountain driving. That kit fixed that and stops much better.

I saw your post about fishing. I bought this hitch for ours several years ago. Quick and easy install.
http://search.cartserver.com/search...10&keywords=1999&keywords_2=HONDA+CR-V&GO=GO!

With this hitch I used to tow my 12' jon with outboard on a light trailer or my canoes and yaks on same. Didn't even know they were back there.

But the coolest thing about a CRV is the table under the rear deck! I've bought 2 of these from junk yards for about $10 each to use as camping tables in my Trooper!


Hope this helps. Enjoy your new ride.

By the way this '99 has been the most reliable vehicle with the least upkeep we've ever owned!:)
Great advice and thanks for all those tips.. Will absolutely come in very handy.. And the little table is a great plus because they do come in handy.. I absolutely LOL'd when I found it under there and first thing in my mind was why others didn't do this lol.. You have any pics of your V Squatchout? would love to see your set up.. And thanks again for the tips.. :D
 

borison

Adventurer
Had a 2000 that was awesome in snow....passed many stuck full-sized 4WD "real trucks" the morning after a big dump. Honda has a way a making their rigs bigger on the inside than the outside size would suggest.
 

rc51kid

Adventurer
I did some reading about using them off road. There are some honda forums where people do stupid stuff with them, usually ending in killing them. You need to remember that they are meant for slippery roads not 4 wheeling. The AWD uses a clutch system that transfers drive to the rear when it detects slipping. There was a lot of talk about finding a way to manually engage it to make the rear active with a switch or something. After lots of talk they decided there was not a good way to do it. So it is best to just leave the front/rear "transfer" system stock.

One other thing. It is really meant just to engage the rear for a hew seconds at a time. Picture driving on a cold wet read and at 30MPH and hitting a snowy spot. You might just by in it for 5-10 seconds. If you work the AWD system too hard it will over heat and shut down. I think it gives a warning light and will shut off for a little while. Dont quote me on that. Maybe the guys on the forum had installed a warning light or something so they would know when it was shut off. I cant remember. But the point is it has limits if pushed hard. The best illustration of that was what someone described on a snow covered road/trail. The said it was a long straight uphill. They spun the tires for a good solid 30-60 seconds and got the warning light. So to me if you are assing off it wont hold up. If you are using it to explore and not get stuck it should be fine.
 

28.

Adventurer
I did some reading about using them off road. There are some honda forums where people do stupid stuff with them, usually ending in killing them. You need to remember that they are meant for slippery roads not 4 wheeling. The AWD uses a clutch system that transfers drive to the rear when it detects slipping. There was a lot of talk about finding a way to manually engage it to make the rear active with a switch or something. After lots of talk they decided there was not a good way to do it. So it is best to just leave the front/rear "transfer" system stock.

One other thing. It is really meant just to engage the rear for a hew seconds at a time. Picture driving on a cold wet read and at 30MPH and hitting a snowy spot. You might just by in it for 5-10 seconds. If you work the AWD system too hard it will over heat and shut down. I think it gives a warning light and will shut off for a little while. Dont quote me on that. Maybe the guys on the forum had installed a warning light or something so they would know when it was shut off. I cant remember. But the point is it has limits if pushed hard. The best illustration of that was what someone described on a snow covered road/trail. The said it was a long straight uphill. They spun the tires for a good solid 30-60 seconds and got the warning light. So to me if you are assing off it wont hold up. If you are using it to explore and not get stuck it should be fine.
Agree completely.. The AWD on these cars is more of an assist rather than a full time use set-up.. Great for the slippery stuff like mud and snow.. I wish something would come up to convert it to a more full time AWD like the Subie but oh well. I'll use it for a while and see how I like it. I'm sure for what I plan to use it for it should do just fine.. If not, I'll sell it and continue my search for a Forester..

The V looks good squatchout.. Im contemplating making some 1 inch spacers out of a HDPP sheet.. You can buy a 1"x24"x24" for like 16 bucks.. Stuff is hell for stout and I've actually read on other forums of alot of folks doing this.. Just need to paint my rims and get some nice AT tires that will work better on some of the dirt roads we see on our road trips.
 

Charo

Observer
I ran 215 BFG AT tires on my CRV for a while. Liked the look, hated the noise. Took them off after 20,000 miles. Couldn't hear a conversation inside the car. I was surprised because on all the other BFG AT and MT tires I'd run on real trucks, road noise was never an issue. This was a great little vehicle - you can search the forum for a post on my experience and trip with the CRV. Have fun!
 

borison

Adventurer
I ran 215 BFG AT tires on my CRV for a while. Liked the look, hated the noise. Took them off after 20,000 miles. Couldn't hear a conversation inside the car. I was surprised because on all the other BFG AT and MT tires I'd run on real trucks, road noise was never an issue. This was a great little vehicle - you can search the forum for a post on my experience and trip with the CRV. Have fun!
May be true, but those CR-Vs have horrible insulation to begin with. Ours was noisy always. They could certainly benefit from some added after market noise damping.
 

WagoneerSX4

Adventurer
They basically have the first generation system of computer controlled wet-clutch pack center "differential" for lack of a better term. I have basically the same system in my Suzuki SX4 only I can "lock" the center diff or run full FWD. The only time I've EVER had the clutch pack overheat and shut down on me was when I was being a hooligan and doing donuts in a parking lot for quite a long time period. Of all my time on the trails and putting this poor car and AWD system through things it was never designed for, it's never overheated on me when it counted. Even trudging through mud pits or sand. I think they've come a long way since they were first introlduced. These AWD systems are popping up more and more and have even leaked into more softcore off-roaders like the new cherokee.

Really for an expedition type vehicle they're perfect. They aren't meant for hardcore off-roading but they can still take a beating. The locking ability is a really nice thing to have and it's too bad the CR-V didn't offer it. The ability to have a 50/50 torque split really helps with the technical stuff. It helps to keep momentum. Sometimes in the time it takes your front wheels to spin and the power transfered to the rear it's too late and you're already stuck.

But the fact that you can basically run FWD on the road and AWD on the trails is genius. All these subies are struggling to get 25mpg on the highway with their full-time viscous coupler systems and here I am with 28" AT tires getting easily 30mpg. The only downside is the on/off nature of the system. A viscous coupler is a very smooth engagement and you barely notice it working. With the clutch pack it's a little more abrupt and you can definitely feel when the transfer suddenly gets transfered to the rear. Not a bad thing by any means, but if you're planning on high-speed drifting and want good balance than a mechanical system is better.
 

wallaceg

Observer
All these subies are struggling to get 25mpg on the highway with their full-time viscous coupler systems...
Most of the Subaru automatic transmissions have an electronic clutch pack to engage the rear drive shaft (search for "duty c solenoid" on any Subaru forum). By default the rear driveshaft is mostly disengaged until the front wheels slip, just like the auto mode on the SX4. There is an empty fuse socket under the hood that will lock the car in FWD when using a temporary spare tire. Anecdotal evidence from Subaru message boards indicates that locking the transmission in FWD does little to nothing for fuel economy.

Subaru mpg went up considerably when they switched to a CVT to replace the old 4-speed automatic. The non-turbo 4 cylinder models all get 30+ mpg highway now.

All of the manual transmissions have a full time viscous coupler, along with a few of the turbo+automatic models. No easy mods there.

The STI transmissions have a driver controlled center differential (DCCD) that can be setup any way you want it---front axle bias, rear axle bias, or locked. Very nice!
 

Rot Box

Explorer
Hey I also have a 100 series and a first gen CRV :coffeedrink:

I love my 98 it's been such a pleasure to own. We've put 70k on it which brings it to 190K. Very little in the way of repairs during that time.

Keep an eye on that valve adjustment! I nearly learned the hard way. Got lucky.. very lucky. I check them every 6 months now.

 

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