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I am a owner of a local performance shop and 3 time 1st gen crv owner as daily drivers up here in Wisconsin, all have been RT4wd 5 speeds. Most recently picked up a 2000 with 205k miles on it for a good deal and im bringing it back to life one part at a time.

Well, i can spin the front tires all day long and the rear never engages. I put it up in the air and tested and again rear did not engage at all. Assuming the fluid has been neglected by the previous owner (had it for 10 years+ from the date i saw on the title) i went out and bought some dual pump II fluid. Drained the fluid and it was pure black! It had some grey to the color as well when i played around with it telling me i had some material in the fluid :/. Well i put fresh 1.1QT in and went out and did 10 full lock circles in my parking lot both ways and proceeded to the nearest rock parking lot to test out if it would lock and it did not. The rear end itself makes zero noise even while under full lock.

At this point given the miles and the way the fluid came out is it safe to say this is not a salvageable rear end? Ive personally never seen a CRV diff go bad in a 1st gen considering the way they operate, and cannot find any instances of failures posted online anywhere besides noises and or sounds which this makes none of so im a bit stumped as to what to do next. I can get a new rear from the local junkyard for $80 (pick and pull 102k miles) or i can go back to honda and buy a few more qts of dual pump ii and try the whole process again a couple times and find it to either work or be totally dead and have wasted half the price of a whole new diff on fluid for a bad unit.
 

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Have you looked to make sure the driveshaft and both CV axles are still installed? Sometimes people remove them because the bearings go bad.
 

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Yes everything is there, just not functioning. Funny, offtopic story for another time but several that i test drove before i got this one were missing the driveshaft but retained the rear end etc and the owners had no idea.
 

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im going to pick up 2 more qts in a little bit and flush it out again and come back to post the results tonight. If this fails i believe i will just buy the used differential and start over with that.
 

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I believe that Honda spec'd CVT fluid for the rear diffy in their 2000 CRV owner's manual. Perhaps you could try a cheaper fluid to use to flush the rear diffy and then put in the newer, more expensive, DP2 fluid.
I believe there is also a thermal switch in the rear diffy that will cancel the 4 wheel operation. You can dl a Service Manual for that vehicle from https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCMQFjAAahUKEwjXwd_RsaHIAhWKWYgKHf0mAng&url=http://downloads.hondatech.info/Auto/Manuals/CR-V/1997-2000-HONDA-CRV-SERVICE-MANUAL.pdf&usg=AFQjCNFPUdDVGMuzTxNHmdcWemcsVomoUQ&cad=rja .
Buffalo4
 

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To classify, its a tuner shop. So we build and fabricate exhaust, intake, turbo and piping systems as well as do full reflash/tuning accross all brands on our dynojet just to name a couple of larger things we do.
 

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I believe that Honda spec'd CVT fluid for the rear diffy in their 2000 CRV owner's manual. Perhaps you could try a cheaper fluid to use to flush the rear diffy and then put in the newer, more expensive, DP2 fluid.
I believe there is also a thermal switch in the rear diffy that will cancel the 4 wheel operation. You can dl a service manual for that vehicle from
Buffalo4
yes, i noted in my manual that it showed me CVT fluid as well and i was looking around for a generic i could maybe find for cheaper but none of my parts stores accounts said they had anything but the Valvoline synthetic in stock and it shows its suited for "chain and belt driven CVT trans" so i dont think that's an appropriate replacement sadly. I could get the honda CVT fluid but at that point im at the dealership anyway i may as well get the DPII stuff and bite the bullet.
 

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yes, i noted in my manual that it showed me CVT fluid as well and i was looking around for a generic i could maybe find for cheaper but none of my parts stores accounts said they had anything but the Valvoline synthetic in stock and it shows its suited for "chain and belt driven CVT trans" so i dont think that's an appropriate replacement sadly. I could get the honda CVT fluid but at that point im at the dealership anyway i may as well get the DPII stuff and bite the bullet.
Yep, probably the correct thing to do. I don't know why you couldn't use a cheap ATF just to flush it out, but I have no knowlede or experience in doing that.
Did you try the link I posted earlier to dl a Honda Service Manual? It can be very helpful and it is Free, I believe.
Buffalo4
 

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So to update the thread i did not have the time to get more fluid however i did get a chance to get it back up on the lift and retest. If you'll recall previously i had zero movement from the rear. This time while in gear the rears spun, and appeared normal. I did the stick shift test and applied the ebrake slowly which is to stall the engine out. This resulted in bringing the idle low down to about 400rpm it chugged, the rear wheels locked up from the ebrake and then the fronts started spinning again freely and the "coast" resumed as normal. Sense this was a change from last time and im actually seeing results maybe it was just really low and dirty fluid and it needs to be cleaned out more and retested.

Today i plan on putting fresh fluid in again and performing the same tests and following the procedure in the TSB found here: http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/tsb/crv/x00-901e.pdf .
That will be my final attempt at bringing it back to life if it does not respond i will be replacing the differential with another used unit from my local junkyard.

-To outline what im doing for future searchers references i will be putting it on the lift (or jack stands if you have the proper set in the garage)
-getting it up to operating temp
-putting it in 1st gear, letting the clutch out and then slowly applying the ebrake until it almost stalls and then it will continue to run for 5 minutes.
-I will then release the parking brake and shift to 3rd or 4th gear and let it run like that for 5 minutes spinning all 4
-drain the fluid
-refill
**REPEAT steps 2 more times** What this is doing is making both pumps work and circulate fluid through the system essentially rinsing it out so to speak to clean out the old crud.
I will then road test the vehicle in some rocks to see if it works. If not i will replace the unit with a used one.

**Note the automatic and manual rear diff ( differential ) are exactly the same. Most people ask when calling around for a used one and i discovered the part numbers and internals are identical so there is many out there under $100 if you're willing to put in the time and effort to install.**
 

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Before you change the fluid again do around 6 or more wheel-lock slow speed turns in both directions to help 'burnish' the clutches. Then do a drain and fill and do them again.
Then do your tests on the hoist.
Buffalo4
PS: Just read the pdf and it also says to do those wheel lock turns, just like you already did.
 
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