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Discussion Starter #1
That's pretty much where my old '97 is at. Well, that and the oil pan is rusted through, and the alternator no longer spins. I'm at that point where I'm ready to shove it down to the end of the driveway and have the car crusher guys come pick it up.

Except...something came up, where I might get to take the old CR-V on one last wild ride halfway across the country. The fact that it's old and tired kind of plays into the entire theme of what this event is about. I could throw a minimum in parts at it and get 'er running again. I won't give away anything just yet, in case it doesn't work out. But, I do want to look into getting it up and running again if we decide to go ahead with this craziness.

I can sort the alternator and the A/C (which needs an evacuation and recharge, along with a dryer), replace the windshield, redo the back brakes and, since it's been sitting, it will need fuel system work. But here are two major issues I need to address.

I quit using it as a daily driver due to the transmission. The shifter would get stuck in park. The lockout is already bypassed--I have to park it in neutral so it doesn't get stuck in park. And I've already stretched the cable a bit from trying to tug it out of park. I have a feeling the parking pawl (or the gear it settles into) has some sort of burr on it that is causing it to stick. Or the parking pawl has a weak spring, or perhaps it is not pivoting freely as it should, both of which would prevent it from disengaging from the gear.

Upon looking at the transmission illustrations a few times, the parking pawl is behind the end cover of the transmission, and it looks as though I should be able to remove that cover and work on it there. The transmission shifts fine otherwise, so there is no need to pull the whole thing and have it torn down for one possibly simple problem. Can anyone who's familiar with this transmission confirm that the end cover should not be too difficult to remove? Do I have to worry about anything else coming undone or falling out when I do this?

The other problem, I suspect will require tearing part of the engine down. When I was driving it daily, it was using some oil, but nothing too alarming for having 290k miles on it. But once it sat, it would burn a lot of oil, to the point where it would leave a cloud of smoke behind me if I revved it or drove it around the block. Am I right in thinking the oil rings on the pistons will need to be cleaned up or replaced? And/or could this be the valve stem seals? They're relatively inexpensive to replace and, since I'll already have the oil pan off, pulling the cylinder head isn't that much more work.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@Wildcat , are you looking for a recommendation for a therapist? :LOL: o_O
I probably am, in a roundabout way! 🤣

This is actually something fun, and a little dangerous (only due to distance, and the areas we'd be driving in...not speed or anything like that). The whole concept of this is to be budget-minded. No limits, but the cheaper and older, the better. I figure I can buy some inexpensive but good quality parts to get it going. (Not like the premium parts I put in my daily drivers.) It's not going to last forever, so if I could get a couple of long rides out of it and pass it along, I'd be happy.

And this isn't cast in stone. If my inspection this spring shows that it's too far gone, I'll forgo the work, the cheap parts and the therapist and just have the scrap metal guys pick it up.
 

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It could easily be the valve stem seals. Have you checked the PCV valve or cleaned it recently?
If you take the head off, don't forget to do a valve lash adjustment.
If you don't rebuild your alternator, you can buy one from autozone, etc for a lot cheaper, esp since you might not be putting that many miles on your CRV anymore. Rebuilding it would probably be cheaper and you would end up with a higher quality alternator, it it is rebuildable.
Course, a new distributor cap, rotor, wires and spark plugs. if needed.
Enjoy your old CRV.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've had burning oil issues in Civics--one was a bad valve stem seal (I could actually hear it "popping" in the exhaust note), and the other I just replaced the cylinder head on with new valve stem seals, so that one I'm certain is coked-up oil rings. I did keep the valves adjusted, so there should be no valve issues.

My main worry is rust. The alternator won't turn, so I'm thinking the internals are probably rusted together. If I break it loose, I may be able to clean it up. If not, I may just see if a salvage yard has a working alternator if that's the case. I have a feeling I may be at the pick-and-pull a few times. 😁

I figure I have a better chance in the old CR-V than finding some old beater of unknown history.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The project is still a big "what if", but anyways...

For a lot of the work, I chose some of the better cheaper brands and put them into a cart at Rock Auto and came up around $215. This is replacing all belts, timing belt/tensioner/water pump, upper and lower radiator hoses, rear brake shoes/drums/cylinders/hardware (they're kinda crunchy from rust). Plus a complete gasket kit with head gasket, head cover gasket and spark plug tube seals, cam and crank seals, intake/exhaust manifold gaskets, etc.. A lot of work but fortunately not much in parts. I have also budgeted in a new right front axle, since the left was replaced a few years ago--having had an axle break in half from rust in our Acura years ago, I wouldn't want to chance this one breaking.

But if I start getting into struts, then the price tag climbs by $250. These are complete struts with the springs (Gabriel this time). One of my front springs had the end broken off, so I suspect the other springs might be near failure (23 years old). I just don't want the struts taking a puke or a spring breaking while on the road.

I'll disassemble the alternator and clean it up, seeing if I can reuse it.

The transmission is still the big issue though. Hoping someone can provide feedback on removing the end cover to get to the parking pawl, so I don't have to pull it and completely disassemble it (which I have no room for).
 
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