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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just purchased my first CRV, a 2001 SE with 220k miles. I got it for $1500. It had a clean Carfax with a decent number of records. I bought the car knowing there was going to be some initial work to clean it up and get it ready for the long Chicago winter.

So, the engine bay is a little rough. It's dirty and rusty and there's dry rot. But I believe there's hope. I'm wondering if anyone has ever replaced hoses and bolts and clips in one fell swoop and might have a list of part numbers handy?



I get it; it's old, it's seen some miles. But the engine works and I'm hoping to elongate its life as long as I possibly can. If there's anyone out there that has taken on a vehicle in this condition and has any pointers on getting it tuned up, I'd be super grateful.

Thanks!
 

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'07 CR-V EX-L AWD
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Yup, looks like it needs a lot of love, but it sounds like you have it to give. I recommend a large dose of patience. It will take a lot of painstaking attention to detail, but it is not as insurmountable as it might appear to be. In my younger days I did some ground-up full show quality car restorations, and I can tell you it takes time and elbow grease. There are some good YouTube videos on engines compartment detailing. You'll need some specific tools and chemicals. But you gotta start somewhere so just pick one thing, and clean it. Make it pretty. Belts and hoses can be cleaned up nicely if they are not cracked and don't need replacement. There are methods and best ways to clean and spiff up every part in there. Some things you'll have to take off to clean (like the valve cover) and paint, others can be done in place. Just don't take apart a bunch of stuff and then not know how it goes back together. Best insurance against that is a camera taking a lot of pictures. Take your time and do it right. Have fun, too! Nothing is quite as satisfying as seeing the result of your hard work looking good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yup, looks like it needs a lot of love, but it sounds like you have it to give. I recommend a large dose of patience. It will take a lot of painstaking attention to detail, but it is not as insurmountable as it might appear to be. In my younger days I did some ground-up full show quality car restorations, and I can tell you it takes time and elbow grease. There are some good YouTube videos on engines compartment detailing. You'll need some specific tools and chemicals. But you gotta start somewhere so just pick one thing, and clean it. Make it pretty. Belts and hoses can be cleaned up nicely if they are not cracked and don't need replacement. There are methods and best ways to clean and spiff up every part in there. Some things you'll have to take off to clean (like the valve cover) and paint, others can be done in place. Just don't take apart a bunch of stuff and then not know how it goes back together. Best insurance against that is a camera taking a lot of pictures. Take your time and do it right. Have fun, too! Nothing is quite as satisfying as seeing the result of your hard work looking good.
Thanks kloker. My first orders of business will be to get the actual mechanical issues addressed, and hopefully I can start replacing all the rusted clips and screws with stainless. I've been informed the engine valves need to be checked/adjusted. I'm going to baseline all fluids. I may also be replacing the front end suspension parts (if my mechanic agrees)—strut assemblies, ball joints ... maybe even control arms. I dunno. Not looking to upgrade, just restore the factory ride. The car needs to be a safe commuter in Chicago winters: dependable, capable in slippage, etc.

Are there any parts anyone knows of that would be especially good to look for at the salvage yard?
 

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Everything in Moderation
2006 CR-V EX, 5MT
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Have you looked at the parts diagrams on the dealers sites? Might be a good source for your 'list'.

If they don't show the listings for a V as old as yours, ask at a dealer. My local dealer parts guy is nice about printing the diagrams.
 

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Having been through something similar I can honestly say with that level of corrosion apparent it's just not worth the work cleaning it up(unless the rest of the car is just in amazing condition), it's an exercise in futility. Keep the vehicle in good running order, spotlessly clean and use it as is, do nothing else. Maybe at the least just spray some kind of lube like WD40 or similar over the engine and bay just to keep the corrosion in check and it'll also look a little better.

If after owning yours for a while you find that these old CRV's are awesome(they are) then rather try find one in good working and cosmetic condition and start from there if you want to own one in great condition.
 

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Everything in Moderation
2006 CR-V EX, 5MT
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Com'on Peanut, folks that care about the cosmetics of the OUTSIDE of their cars also like a good presentation UNDER THE HOOD.
:eek:

Besides that valve cover, the hardware & bracketry is going to take a lot of labor, but it's doable.



Here's some inspiration:

 

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That video shows a perfect restoration candidate - just dirty, good clean and you are back in business and a very rewarding experience. Now the op's engine bay..... all I can say is I have been there done that and pointless unless it's something worth the time and agony, ie something vintage or otherwise desirable that if resold at a later date will recoup your efforts.

The op should definitely clean the engine bay - the video shows some good tips but in my opinion not try restore it by refurbishing, repainting and replacing parts, that to me would be a fools errand. The vehicle has obviously been driven on salted roads or lived next to the ocean, either way it's going to have bad corrosion all over the place and that is an arduous and just about impossible task to remedy.
 

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Star classic-
Start by replacing the power steering fluid and probably all the others. It's dark-Honda fluid is clear.
You are asking about cosmetic items but it's what happens on the inside of the engine that matters.
Engine coolant and heater hoses age so if they are bad, with coolant drained that's the time to replace them.
 

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That blackened power steering fluid likely means there is some internal deterioration of the power steering hoses, So I would replace them, then flush and bleed the system with all new correct fluid. I would also replace any hoses that show external cracking, especially rubber vacuum lines. None of this stuff is expensive. I'd say it would be a satisfying project for weekends when the weather is nice, to tackle one area at a time and gradually bring it up to snuff. In my younger days I restored several cars and enjoyed the work and the outcome on all of them. You might not see a financial return for every detail of your efforts, but you can gain a sense of satisfaction and be more familiar with the workings of it all. On the front end parts I'd go with new - they are not that expensive when you are doing the work yourself. Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the feedback, everyone. I think everyone makes good points. I purchased the car knowing its condition, and I'm not planning to try to restore it—just keep it chugging along and not looking too janky. It actually looks pretty good on the outside.

I hate rust, even though I live in Chicagoland. My other ride is a '99 Toyota Land Cruiser that's in great shape, so I get all my kicks on that rig. Still, I'll probably be doing some restoration to the front end of this CRV over the course of the next year.

I always baseline cars when I get them, even if I have maintenance records. So since I first posted this, I have already done the rear diff, power steering fluid, and brake fluid. I have Honda spec ATF and am also planning to do a flush of the trans fluid. I've also ordered a new radiator since the lines are corroding underneath and I have a small leak. Will be replacing hoses and using Honda spec coolant for that. I'm still deciding whether or not to also replace the thermostat assembly and the radiator/condenser fan assemblies while I'm at it. I've read that some folks choose to bypass or add an external trans cooler but I've ruled that out—not necessary.

I ordered a factory service manual so I'll have those parts diagrams and can start replacing all the corroded bolts, clamps, rubber, etc ... when I have to take things apart.
 

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im with most of the others here, at that mielage its probably not a good idea to put a ton of work into it. i have a 1st gen with similar mielage in the rust belt, and was suprised how much better my engine compartment looked with just a through cleaning. paint the valve cover when its off when your doing the valve adjustments, replace rotted hoses, mabey wire brush and paint a few of the worst rusted brackets and i think youd be suprised at how good it looks.

as far as the suspension definatly not a bad idea to replace stuff if its worn. i would seriously consider the old man emu lift kit (new heavy duty springs, shocks) if your doing some of that stuff anyway, ive heard good things about the ride quality and incresed load capacity from this setup, not to mention leveling the rear which always bothered me that it sits that low stock. my guess is at that mielage your springs are probably sagging just like mine are, and i have been suprised how low my rear end gets when i put in what id consider normal loads.
 
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