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After 22 years of reliable service, I am sending my 1997 Honda CR-V to the scrapyard. The new 2019 CR-V that replaces it has a wealth of electronic gizmos that are a giant leap forward compared to the cassette player in the original gen-1 CR-V. It's a shame to scrap a perfectly working '97 but the book value minus the cracked windshield makes it nearly worthless except for scrap value. The cloth interior still looks good. Body rust above a rear wheel arch is merely cosmetic. More serious is the rust that probably lurks behind the windshield which results in water leaks above the accelerator (it's not the cowl cover, I replaced that; nor is it the seam sealer - replaced that too). I seriously doubt the 2019 will last anywhere near as long.

The gen-1 had a few weird design quirks such as the tailgate glass overlapping the tailgate. Fortunately, we never shattered the glass by closing them in the wrong order. The placement of the power window switches down low by the driver's left knee was another poor choice. The rear suspension adjustment bolts seized in place making rear wheel alignment impossible over the last 10 years. A few years ago the radio volume knob didn't always work. A junkyard replacement had the same issue. In 22 years, the car only let me down once when the ignition switch failed. This was before the recall. I bought a new switch and installed it - no more problems. Visibility is much better in the 1997 than the 2019, but that's probably due to the trend of angled back pillars and more steeply raked front windshields ostensibly for better aerodynamics and rollover strength.

I want to thank hondaautomotiveparts.com for providing parts over the years for all my Hondas. They enabled me to keep the cars running far longer than expected. I also really appreciated having the Helms service manuals. Unfortunately, Honda no longer sells service manuals (since 2012?) but instead offers the very expensive "ServiceExpress" at $350/year. I understand that electronic manuals are probably the way to go as they can be constantly updated/corrected and the vehicles have gotten much more complicated but can't you at least provide some kind of pdf manual for a reasonable fee? I don't need a complete CVT breakdown chapter but having all the torque specs for the usual maintenance and repairs like the old manuals would be useful.

So, with great sadness I say goodbye to the old 1997 CR-V and I hope others can get the sweet B20 engine before the car goes to the crusher.
 

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After 22 years of reliable service, I am sending my 1997 Honda CR-V to the scrapyard.
Great letter!

If you have a few hours to kill you can pay $10 for a day of the online Honda service and download PDFs to your hearts content. Definitely all torque specs, basic maintenance, trim removal, etc. I do not disagree with you with the paper manual though! Welcome to gen5 and I hope you do get another 22 years before getting your gen9!

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Thanks for your post, happy you are here.

We had a '97 as well, 'Lilly' (the '97's name) was a great car.
 

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Tell ya what, my '97 had a lot fewer things go wrong on it than the two '09s we have! And it's the same issues on both '09s, so it's not just a fluke. (They were built only a few weeks apart.) My '97 is still sitting here rusting until I can fix it enough to drive (oil pan rusted out), then it's hasta la vista. It did a good 289k miles for me since August 1997 when we drove to Ohio to pick it up new, and it still has a lot of original parts like the alternator, AC compressor, starter, etc.. Truth be told, if it weren't for the lack of modern safety features, I'd rather have had two more first gen CR-Vs than these later CR-Vs any day of the week. They aren't the most comfortable, but they drove forever without issues.
 
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