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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In the spring of 2010 we bought an '03 ody at auction.
While we got a great price on a nice looking vehicle we anticipated spending a few bucks on it and replaced tires, windshield, O2 sensors, exhaust leak, and all major tunup items.

We were still a few thousand ahead of purchasing the same vehicle from a dealer and had one issue to deal with... a whine coming from the transmission. I suspected a bad bearing. The tranny fluid was quite dark so I also suspected that the clutches were wearing. The ody had 153,000km (95,000mi).

I started researching ody transmission and discovered our vehicles were problem children in this regard until 2003 when fluid flow and cooling was improved. Since our ody did not have the requisite workaround plumbing required by the recall, I brought it to Honda to book an appointment and find out what recalls it was subject to. Surprisingly, Honda advised that there was no work required. I pointed out the transmission recall and they advised this vehicle was fine and did not require work, but didn't explain further.

Based on all this, I decided to rebuild the transmission in the summer. Total cost was $2,000 including a couple special honda tools needed to do the job. (I already had a 12 ton press $200 and a transmission jack $200, both made the job easier but I could have improvised, in addition to the usual tools of a well equipped home garage.)

The rebuild resulted in a few surprises and was incredibly easy compared to my first transmission rebuild which was an '87 audi 5000 3 speed automatic.

I'll detail this job, with a few photos, for the benefit of anyone else trying to decide whether to rebuild themselves, install a rebuilt or used transmission or have someone else do it for them, with updates to this thread over the next few days.

 

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Discussion Starter #2
While doing a rebuild can seem daunting, it's really a series of managable jobs. For me, the toughest part of the job was just getting hold of all the parts I needed in a timely manner.

I ended up sourcing my rebuild kit (with OES friction material) from WIT Transmissions www.wittrans.com and all my hard parts from Honda of Fife outside Seattle Washinton. As you can imagine, being in Calgary, Canada, there were some delays.

The job consists of removal, rebuild, and replacement.

Removal of the transmission involves setting up, disconnecting the electrical, removing the exhaust and sub-frame, and unbolding and lowering the transmission.

Rebuild consists of disassembly of the transaxle, cleaning and more cleaning (I used a gallon of solvent, a case of brake cleaner and the high pressure hose at the car wash), measuring tolerances and careful reassembly of the various components.

Replacement involves, in the words of service manuals everywhere, the reverse of removal.


The metallic silt on the magnetic drain plug was another factor that convinced me a full rebuild was needed.
 

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This is good stuff, pgd...keep the posts and linked photos coming. There are some DIYer's on this forum who'd like to see how you tackled this.

OF
 

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I like to see more photo and detail of your work...pdg... good write up, as I am a DIY guy and try to fix & maintain my van as much as I can.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Set up

I spent a day getting ready.
Mostly this involved welding up a tool to hold the engine up when the sub-frame and transmission are removed. I modeled it after the tool shown in the Honda Factory Manual. In the past, when rebuilding my audi 5000 3sp, I've simply used a 2x4 on edge with a 5/16 eye bolt through it. It would have worked here too, but I wanted to get some practice with my welder... although my welds are embarrassingly ugly.

Home-made bridging the cowel and front cross piece suspends the engine via 3 pieces of steel bolted together and to the cylinder heads.

I also set up a 2' x 8' plywood bench to put all the parts on in a methodical and orderly fashion once I disassembled the transmission. I stored all my bits and pieces, in order, in labelled bags under the table as I removed them and cleaned everything before reassembling them.

The next day the real work started.
Engine covers off, batter removed, I removed the bumper cover for easier access and jacked up the ody to as much as my jackstands would allow. Splash shields off the bottom. I ordered new push pins 8mm and 10mm widths off ebay for a few bucks for a pack of 20 as some were in bad shape.

The transmission fluid was drained.



and the cooler lines disconnected.

Next was the starter and transmission harness connections.
Because of the number of connections, I was careful to take lots of photos of connectors and the brackets and clips.

My first surprise came when I found a broken connector and a couple broken clips. I also found a bracket at the back that was clipped to a harness but not bolted down. At this point I started being suspicious that the tranny had been previously rebuilt.

I noted the broken clips and added them to my list of replacement parts. I found that part numbers were available from various on-line Honda Parts vendors. My favourite is www.hondapartsnow.com.
 

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I'd be interested in more details on the pricing aspect of this job, broken down to the tool and rebuild kit level. $2000 seems pretty expensive for the $300 or so for a rebuild kit.

I guess some of it is the Canada effect.
 

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Extremely interested - keep it coming. I like the cool factor of being able to rebuild your own transmission.
 

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pgf said:
... although my welds are embarrassingly ugly...
All that matters is that the welds do their job and hold things together (that's what I keep telling myself whenever I borrow a gas setup or MIG welder).

Do you have a chop saw for cutting the metal stock? Thinking of getting one for myself.

OF
 

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I am too very interested in watching how this goes, I too will be in near future dismantling the transmission to rebuild it
 

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Please keep the writeup and photos coming. I want to rebuild my 03 Ody transmission also. Did you find better than OEM friction plates? I know you are in the throws of the rebuild, but a parts inventory and vendor source would be extremely helpful.
 
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