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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, new to the forum.

I have a 99 CRV AWD that has been in the family since new.

It had 203k miles on it and needed a new converter due to shudder.

I slapped a new one in and it works great, but now I'm having an issue with the awd system binding horribly. So much so that it squats the front suspension on the bump stops. It did not have this issue at all before replacement.

All sensors are installed correctly and I have not lights or codes.

I'm not sure how this system works but I thought it was all hydraulic with the rear dif being a clutch driven pump.

I did rotate the drive shaft with the front tires off the ground and rear on the ground. Not sure if this is an issue on these because it's a clutch driven rear axel.

The other issue that I'm having is the trans does not lock in park now, I'm guessing this is a linkage issue, but it's raining and muddy here so I cant check it yet. All gear selections work properly.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

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Everything in Moderation
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Why do you think its the AWD system?

Could it be a torque converter lock-up clutch? (Wrong wiring for your car, or a short)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Engine turns the TC that turns the transmission. The trans then splits the power from there to the front and rear wheels.

There is no wiring on the converter. Im pretty sure it is behaving as intended.

If I drive it 800 feet it will squat the front suspension on the bump stops when I stop and put it in park I can see the tension release indicating is a front wheel rear wheel binding issue, which is going to be after the torque converter.

I will look at the wiring connectors though, that could be an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ya, I dont understand it either.

Can driving without the shaft cause damage? I thought about it, but not sure how the awd system works.

Edit: just read up on it and seems like a pretty common thing some people do and no damage.

Thanks a lot for the suggestion!
 

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The propeller shaft that runs the length of the CR-V can be removed and you can safely drive without it.
The only caveat is that there is a joint in the middle that you have to support when you remove the propeller shaft. If that joint is flexed too far you will damage it, and then have to replace the entire propeller shaft.
Probably the easiest way is take a couple of short pieces of board and nail them into an "L" shape, and then strap the center of the propeller shaft in the "L" to keep it from flexing.
 

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Everything in Moderation
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I would think that if the rear end was binding, the tires would just stop and skid. (As if you engaged the emergency brake.) That would not make the front end squat.

STILL THINKING OUT OF THE BOX...could you have a binding front brake caliper? Or a brake hose that is swollen on the inside and not releasing brake pressure?🥺

++++++

ANOTHER SHOT: one of the external control solenoids on the trans?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
One thing didn't mention is, I can push the car with ease while it's in park or neutral. Immediately after shutting it off I can also roll it with ease.

While backing up I can hear the awd system groaning like it did when the fluid was bad years ago.

I'm so confused as to what would make the front end squat all the way to the bump stops while driving. This is all on dirt road so I agree that it would drag, unless the rear wheels are pushing the fronts?

I might try reseating the axles and see if I goofed something up there maybe.

I will double and triple check all the solenoids tomorrow, make sure I didnt damage one or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Well I found out why the awd system was binding so badly. The passenger side axel was not fully seated. That was also the reason the parking pawl was not functional.

I removed the drive shaft anyways after fixing the axle. After a short drive the suspension squatted again!!!

I jacked up the front and let the drive wheels hang. Forward and reverse are smooth and dont bind a bit.

I'm leaning towards the struts being the culprit now. They are original and were knocking pretty bad before all of this. When it squatted, I jacked up the front and you could see the strut slowly extending when the tire was off the ground.

Not sure why this has to happen all at once!!!
 

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Its not the shock portion of the struts - those control rebound/dampening, the springs are what actually support the weight.


It is almost like the rear is over driving the front, something is happening but this one has me stumped.
The drive train is getting into a serious bind - the brake caliper comment was a good suggestion that makes sense.

With the front wheels off the ground do the front and rear tires rotate freely?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The Rear over driving the front is what I thought at first. However.

My passenger side axle was not fully installed causing issues. I fixed that.

I removed my driveshaft so the rear wheels won't get any power now.

All wheels spin easily by hand when off the ground. When the front end is bound up I can easily push the vehicle around, that leaves me to believe its not actually a drivetrain binding issue.

The front struts have been knocking pretty bad for a couple years now. I think they have failed internally. I think the have failed in a way that allows fluid to flow when being compressed, but the internal orifices are blocked on the rebound not allowing the fluid to properly flow.

I drove it to compressed them jacked the car up and was able the spin the wheels without issue while it was still bottomed out.

While it slowly extended you could hear the fluid in the shocks moving a little, and it didn't sound happy.

I compressed the front suspension without driving it, just putting my Jack under it and some weight on it and it did not rebound.

I will be ordering new struts soon and will post back.
 

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I was puzzled by the symptoms until I saw your last post about the struts not rebounding after compressing them while you had it up in the air. What might have happened was that when you had the CR-V raised for a while when working on the transmission, the worn struts finally failed internally from being extended for that amount of time. In other words, it only took raising the CR-V to finish them off.

Beyond that, it seems as though you've covered everything else in terms of troubleshooting.

Make sure your front springs aren't broken. My passenger's side spring broke in my '97, oddly just an inch or so off of the bottom end of it. I found it in the driveway. It won't cause this problem you've had but is something to check before you order the struts.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Well I finally installed new struts on the CRV. The issue has been fixed and it no longer stays compressed. They are working as intended.

I'm a more than a little annoyed that the Autozone converter I put in it is much looser than the factory one. I absolutely hate parts store crap tastic parts, but that's what my Dad got. . .

Thank you everyone for all of the ideas and help!
 

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I'm a more than a little annoyed that the Autozone converter I put in it is much looser than the factory one. I absolutely hate parts store crap tastic parts, but that's what my Dad got. . .
Their parts can be a crap shoot. Some of the more mundane parts are good enough (like sway bar links, when I need some in a pinch). Others, like the brake pads, would wear within 15,000 miles and I'd be buying another ill-fitting set. (I would have to grind down the ears on the pads so they would not bind in the caliper; when I finally bought another brand, they fit the calipers perfectly!)

But at least your struts are freshened up and ready to ride!
 
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