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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, all.

I own a 2000 Odyssey.

I'm beginning to have transmission problems.

That really isn't the annoying bit.

The annoying bit?

The absolutely spotty coverage, both here and elsewhere, concerning what's actually causing the transmission failures to begin with, and a dedicated response as to how to fix it and be done.

I'm not angry at anyone here, it's simply an oversight; there are dozens of threads here, going all over the map about what the problems are, and what to do about them....a complete lack of organization. I don't mind assembling it into a sticky, or something else....but I do have some questions that I'd like answered, if anyone has the time....

1. Is there an actual repair manual from someone or somewhere as to how to rebuild the transmission, or are the guys here who've torn into them just going at it blind, hoping that they somehow cobble it together correctly?

2. Has anyone bothered to see if someone else has actually figured out how to beef up this transmission, via' shift-kit, or internal mods, or once again, are we just kind of cobbling some fixes together, and calling it 'good'?

3. At this point, I'm kind of stuck with this van. Has anyone else explored the possibility of putting some kind of manual transmission into this vehicle? Or is it as I suspect, the Odyssey is a lumbering, overweight, underpowered Accord and no clutch or transmission from the car line will be suitable to pull one of these 2 1/2 beasts around?

4. Has anyone gone far enough to look at possibly converting one of these vans into a rear-drive setup? This is my preferred method of fixing the problem once and for all.

Once again, this isn't a slap at anyone here, it's just that this rag-tag assemblage of half-questions and half-answers is absolutely freaking annoying, especially when so many here are being done a disservice with the prevalence of transmission failures with these vehicles.
 

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Once you have looked at this forum for awhile you'll see that most here are busy working folk with families and probably don't have alot of time to do the extensive mods and DIY rebuilds as you suggest. An Ody tranny can get rebuilt for $3000 by a shop in a few days so why bother with major mods or weeks of garage tinkering when family and job are taking so much time?
 

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There are a few folks on here who have posted about rebuilding their own transmissions - did you find any of those threads? They are long and get very technical.

I'm with the above poster, most people who own one of these vehicles have it for one reason: to haul the kids around! And as much as I love cars (but not working on them as much as I get older), I'd rather spend the time with my kids.

A few people have done a manual transmission conversion on the previous generation of Odysseys (pre-1999) since they were based upon the Accord platform which did have a manual tranny option, but I'm not aware of anybody who has done one to any of the later models.

And going to rear wheel drive? Seriously? For starters, you'd have to cut the entire center section of the floor out to provide clearance for a driveshaft. Installing a differential in the back would be a real joy as well. This is not even practical given the transverse engine layout in the front.

Do you have a factory shop manual? It has a very comprehensive section on the transmission, how it works, and how to repair it. But as was said above, you can get a rebuilt one for less than $2K (in my area, out the door) and spend a weekend to install it yourself (there are threads on how to do that as well). I'll be helping my sister do this in a few months on her 1999 (thankfully, my brother has a 2-post car hoist at his place which we will use).

I think that you will find most of your answers if you search through a few more transmission-related threads, regarding specifics on the transmission failure. Note that you have a 4-speed automatic (2002-2004s used a 5-speed instead) so you will want to ignore some of the threads that specifically apply to the 5-speeds (anything relating to an "oil jet" for example).
 

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Yea, rear wheel drive conversion, not something a soccer mom or dad could handle??

If you want a rear drive van, sell the Ody and get a Chevy Astro with the indestructable 4.3L engine. They're already rear drive and the drive train is quite reliable for the long haul. And they are cheep used, probably because Consumer Reports (unfairly) bad mouths them. You'll probably have money left over after the trade. They do drive more like small buses though, not "car like" as the Ody does.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yea, rear wheel drive conversion, not something a soccer mom or dad could handle??

If you want a rear drive van, sell the Ody and get a Chevy Astro with the indestructable 4.3L engine. They're already rear drive and the drive train is quite reliable for the long haul. And they are cheep used, probably because Consumer Reports (unfairly) bad mouths them. You'll probably have money left over after the trade. They do drive more like small buses though, not "car like" as the Ody does.
Funny you should mention the Astro.

I have two in the driveway. One is a 1989 Rally Sport I inherited from my uncle; no power options, 4.3 v6, simple vehicle.

I hate driving it. However, it gets better gas mileage than the Honda.

I also have a 1993 Astro AWD, with the Vortec engine. The engine is a bit more snappy than the '89, however, it gets absolutely crappy gas mileage, and with the AWD, it binds up hideously in anything even remotely resembling a corner or turn. It did improve with the removal of the front driveshaft (you can do this with the Astro), it drives much better, and when the snow returns, I'll put the driveshaft back in.

I also owned a low-mileage 2003 Astro AWD, loaded, 4.3....and it was the heaviest, and quite possibly the most hideous-driving minivan I've ever swung a leg over. It was almost frightening to drive anywhere past 50-55 mph, as the chassis was soooo overloaded (the family and I nicknamed it the 'Mini-motorhome'), not even KYB gas-adjust shocks could tame it on curvy roads. The brakes were horrible, the gas mileage was hideous (10-11 around town, and that was after several mods and tweaks to get more mileage out of it), and I sold it to buy the Odyssey.

The word of the day, when it comes to the Astro?

Flimsy. If I hadn't gotten both of my existing DisAstro vans for free....I'd be driving something else.

Moving back to the Honda....

Concerning my locating the rebuilding threads....I found two, I believe. One was a 5-speed rebuild thread, with some rather spotty youtube video tossed in, where someone appeared to be cobbling some new parts together, hoping it would work....and the second, I'm blanking on now.

The issue here is that owners here are continually tossing $2000 and $3000 grand around, repeatedly, and nobody seems to have come up with an actual solution for the problem that represents these underwhelming Odyssey transmissions. Someone will stumble around the edges of solving the problem....and then they never reply back with findings.

"I think I've got it figured out! I'll reply back with what's really wrong!"....and that was three years ago.

Typically, an automotive forum, well put together, usually has some sort of tech threads or pages highlighting common problems with the vehicles that are covered; here, the most prevalent issue with the odysseys are the freaking transmissions, yet nobody seems to have bothered to assemble a decent sticky. Why, they have plenty of time (given that everyone here is supposedly busy with work and families) to post in off-topic sections, but something that is clearly a problem with their vehicles, being potentially a serious problem for their wives and children, should their vehicle die in the middle of traffic, or stranded miles away from home, golly gee, you'd think someone might want to focus on it a bit more, instead of doing some half-ass, incomplete reply, or just simply posting dozens of clearly-useful comments such as 'I just paid a shop to fix it'.

I am not attempting to bust anyone's chops here. A pattern I'm seeing, however, is on some automotive forums, is that there is no effort whatsoever to organize the content, so someone (like me) doesn't have to waste time away from their family attempting to sort through dozens of threads which do nothing to answer any questions, just create new ones. Some people nibble around at the edges of what really causes all of these problems, but once again, nothing ever comes from it, and another frustrated Honda owner screams yet again at another dead end.

Want to get it organized, and in a single thread? Send me any and every thread or post via' PM, and I'll organize it. Other than the stupidly-low-power-output 3.5 V6, and criminally-weak transmission, oh, and don't forget the Geneva-convention-defying torture to my back the uncomfortable seats provide....these aren't a bad-driving vehicle, and I'm stuck with it for a while, anyway, so yeah, I don't mind helping out in this regard, because it looks like I'm going to have to do some repair work to my ody tranny as well, I might as well chip in where I can.

Concerning the rear-drive conversion, and how difficult it is....yeah, I've got an idea as to how much fun it's going to be. However, I've also got a blue-sky project which involves using one of these vans as a mid-engine, rwd hot-rod, using a Honda-derived, custom-built 2-stroke V8. Whether or not it will ever get built....well, if people would quit voting Democrat and allowing the Destroyer-in-Chief (and his minions) to obliterate this nation's economy (on purpose)....well, I might get business up and running again, instead of sitting on any potential investment or project due to not knowing what the hell this guy is going to do next.

But for now, I'm just going to try to get this odyssey back on the road....without sending money to a freaking transmission shop.
 

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I understand your frustration. However, I don't think the solution is to mod the van into something it's not. Better to just get the real thing. Ford and GM make good RWD vans. But they are large and fuel-hungry. Most purchasers want the economy and comfort of FWD. That's why the Aerostar and the Astro/Safari were pulled from production.

I think the problem with older Ody transmissions is that the clutch plate friction material wasn't tough enough to stand the pressure and the heat. So the friction material wore off and plugged up the hydraulic works. That started a downward spiral toward total failure.

IIRC someone posted that there are aftermarket parts that are superior to OEM.

True or not, the best way to get long service is to drive it gently and change the ATF frequently. Even doing that is no guarantee. On the other hand, there are cases where no such precautions were taken and the original transmission is still running fine. Is it any wonder this issue has been discussed from so many angles?!

If it weren't for forums like this one, each of us might have thought our case was unique. Honda knows better - but they aren't talking!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think the problem with older Ody transmissions is that the clutch plate friction material wasn't tough enough to stand the pressure and the heat. So the friction material wore off and plugged up the hydraulic works. That started a downward spiral toward total failure.

IIRC someone posted that there are aftermarket parts that are superior to OEM.
Got a link to anything mentioning the aftermarket parts? If it were any other vehicle, I'd just make a phone call and order better frictions and steels from Alto/Red Eagle or Raybestos, rebuild it and be done with it.

So far as driving it gently....I live in Bend, Oregon. The only flat road is the highway out of town, there are hills everywhere else. Being that the Odyssey is sooo underpowered, and also sooo heavy, you have to almost floor it to pull a mountain pass, otherwise, you sit and bog at around 25-30 mph. On flat roads, it's one of the best vehicles I've ever owned or driven; on hills, one of the worst.

On flat roads, great gas mileage....around town, or on hills, it's horrific. I have to make road trips to Portland quite often; I've switched to driving the old, ratty Astro simply because it gets better gas mileage, even though I'm often ready to drive it off of a cliff due to how gutless it is on the mountain passes (a lot of idiots driving 15-20 mph under the speed limit here, and it only goes to 55 on two-lane roads; it's the South Florida of the northwest due to the amount of clueless Toyota drivers clogging the roads). This Astro has a V8 swap planned for it eventually if I keep it, but I'm ready to sell off the entire fleet and buy something that actually pulls a hill and doesn't sound like it's about to explode into a titanic fireball, unless I can get something done with the Honda....it's going as well.

If I lived it Texas, there wouldn't be a problem, obviously...lol.
 

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First off you have to realize that the folks who originally setup this forum no longer have interest in it. It was in a very sad state for awhile there until a few folks were able to coax access from the original people. They got it upgraded and do their best to keep the SPAM out. From what I see there's little interest in reformatting everything for a tranny issue on a van that's getting pretty old. There's also been many posters who say they will put something together but never do.

Obviously a search will pull up a ton of hits and only a handful are useful. Some have posted that they'd like to put the Ridgeline's powertrain in the van but again never went any farther. All I can say is build a good thread (not on this one) and ask the mods to make it a sticky. I'll see if I can find some of the good tranny posts.

Here's one thread for an 02: http://www.odyclub.com/forums/24-1999-2004-odyssey/136915-rebuilt-my-own-transmission-2002-a.html
Interesting thread on pressures: http://www.odyclub.com/forums/24-1999-2004-odyssey/92641-automatic-transmission-longevity-filters-coolers-more.html
 

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Discussion Starter #9
First off you have to realize that the folks who originally setup this forum no longer have interest in it. It was in a very sad state for awhile there until a few folks were able to coax access from the original people. They got it upgraded and do their best to keep the SPAM out. From what I see there's little interest in reformatting everything for a tranny issue on a van that's getting pretty old. There's also been many posters who say they will put something together but never do.

Obviously a search will pull up a ton of hits and only a handful are useful. Some have posted that they'd like to put the Ridgeline's powertrain in the van but again never went any farther. All I can say is build a good thread (not on this one) and ask the mods to make it a sticky. I'll see if I can find some of the good tranny posts.
Funny you should mention the Ridgeline, lol, I was peeking at the rear suspension clip from one of those....
 

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First off you have to realize that the folks who originally setup this forum no longer have interest in it. It was in a very sad state for awhile there until a few folks were able to coax access from the original people. They got it upgraded and do their best to keep the SPAM out. From what I see there's little interest in reformatting everything for a tranny issue on a van that's getting pretty old. There's also been many posters who say they will put something together but never do.

Obviously a search will pull up a ton of hits and only a handful are useful. Some have posted that they'd like to put the Ridgeline's powertrain in the van but again never went any farther. All I can say is build a good thread (not on this one) and ask the mods to make it a sticky. I'll see if I can find some of the good tranny posts.

Here's one thread for an 02: http://www.odyclub.com/forums/24-1999-2004-odyssey/136915-rebuilt-my-own-transmission-2002-a.html
Interesting thread on pressures: http://www.odyclub.com/forums/24-1999-2004-odyssey/92641-automatic-transmission-longevity-filters-coolers-more.html
This one is new and still being worked on: http://www.odyclub.com/forums/24-1999-2004-odyssey/150219-changing-my-tranny.html
 

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Couple of you said "older transmissions"; has Honda actually fixed this in later models? If so which specific model year? The only impression I have got so far is that later models so far do not have enough mileage on them. Certainly 2005+ i.e. 3rd generation are not immune from trans failure (one blew up on July 4th vacation)

- Vikas
 

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1. Is there an actual repair manual from someone or somewhere as to how to rebuild the transmission, or are the guys here who've torn into them just going at it blind, hoping that they somehow cobble it together correctly?

2. Has anyone bothered to see if someone else has actually figured out how to beef up this transmission, via' shift-kit, or internal mods, or once again, are we just kind of cobbling some fixes together, and calling it 'good'?

3. At this point, I'm kind of stuck with this van. Has anyone else explored the possibility of putting some kind of manual transmission into this vehicle? Or is it as I suspect, the Odyssey is a lumbering, overweight, underpowered Accord and no clutch or transmission from the car line will be suitable to pull one of these 2 1/2 beasts around?

4. Has anyone gone far enough to look at possibly converting one of these vans into a rear-drive setup? This is my preferred method of fixing the problem once and for all.
First of all if you own a 2000, the early 4 speed trannys are crap. It is possible to get the 2001-2004 five speed. It will fit. you may need a newer ECU but I'm not sure. I'm not 100% sure if the main ECU controlls shift points or if the tranny has it's own ECU. Also yes it IS possible to upgrade to the 6 speed manual found in the accord V6 and also to 6 speed in the Acura CL type-s with an LSD however that transmission is quite rare. Also you will need to swap the ECU if you upgrade to a manual. It has been done and IS possible. Of course you will need all the other parts for the swap clutch peddle, slave/master cylinders, shifter, ect. and a know how of how to do some minor custom installation. ...and custom axles.

1. buy the actual honda dealer(not chiltons/haynes) repair guide. You may be able to find a PDF copy of it online somewhere or on ebay. It has EVERYTHING you will need to do a rebuild.

2. Using better fluid like mobile synthetic, or amsoil may help. I always use top quality fluids and it has always seemed to work out better for me. If you live in a hilly/mountain area a tranny cooler kit with inline filter is highly recommended. Our trannys do not have a real filter because the friction material used in it was designed to only wear into tiny particles that did not require a filter, however more often than not larger particles wear off and clog up the little screens used as filters in our tranny --the higher quality fluids can help prevent this.

3. the Ody is not under powered. Maybe you should look up other minivan performance stats. The 2g Ody beat almost everything every year. It is also not overweight. I recommend going to a truck scale and getting the actual weight of your van, you will be surprised. And again compare it to other minivans and you will find that it it beats out almost every other model. Are you comparing it to a civic? And lumbering? In road tests the Ody also outperformed almost everything every year it was produced when it came to handling. A big reason for that is the independant rear suspension, most other minivans use torsion bars and handle like a turd on wheels.
And yes, mentioned above, it is possible to swap to a manual if you have the patience to do the work. I will be doing it if my tranny ever goes out again.

4. That would cost so much money and require so much work that it would not be worth it at all. Unless you are going for a custom show/race setup then go for it! ...but other than that it would be better just to get another van.
 

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...another note. PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE!!!!!!! Change your fluids more than is recommended. You should be changing your transmission fluid every 18months/30k miles MAX. And that is if you live in Kansas. If you live in an area with hills/mountains/city driving or are towing anything you need to change it more often. That is a big mistake people make, not keeping up on maintenance.
 

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...another note. PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE!!!!!!! Change your fluids more than is recommended. You should be changing your transmission fluid every 18months/30k miles MAX. And that is if you live in Kansas. If you live in an area with hills/mountains/city driving or are towing anything you need to change it more often. That is a big mistake people make, not keeping up on maintenance.
No, maintenance does not prevent blowup. Changed only with Honda brand Z1 every 10,000 miles or less. My 2002 trans still crapped out early. Towing never.
The absolutely spotty coverage, both here and elsewhere, concerning what's actually causing the transmission failures to begin with, and a dedicated response as to how to fix it and be done.
This is not a professional repairers forum. I wish there were more professional input. Even Honda dealers replace with reman units more often than repairing broken trans.
The most common cause of failure for the 2002-2004 5 spd failures is the third gear clutch failure. Same as Acura TL, CL, Accord in same yrs. Partly low oil flow. Slightly better with certain internal parts that allowed better oil flow to the third gear clutch.

Not to be confused with the oil jet recall which drops oil on 2nd gear which does not fail very often but may be catastrophic when it does.

Some feel that reducing clutch slipping reduces wear. Some do this by changing to Type F ATF with no friction modifier. Have not done this myself.

Bearing failure cursed the 1999-2001 4 speed. Maybe other causes too.

There are discussions in trade publications about exactly what durability improvements to make when rebuilding various makes and models, but I have only come across bits and pieces for Odyssey such as the case might need to be sleeved or replaced to make sure various bearings are not loose in the case. Or that some aftermarket clutches like Raybestos claim to be more durable. Or the rebuilt TC needs to be welded a certain way. Atra and Transmission Digest are two pubs available free to amateurs but they have other stuff not easily found. You might be able to pay or join Atra and call their tech line and search their publications to get rebuild tips to improve this bad transmission. Companies sell rebuild manuals. Atra has an annual meeting, sometimes with Honda stuff included. Most of ATRA's stuff is not available without joining. There may be other industry sources with what you are asking.

Or make friends with a trans shop that has alot of broken Honda Acuras lined up and learn.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, I've had an interesting couple of weeks.

1. I just tossed $230 down the drain for a replacement linear shift solenoid, on the recommendation of a friend of mine who rebuilds these, however, he said it may not work. It does shift better, however; no more 'slip-bang'.

2. I just contacted a friend of mine who's rebuilt several of these torque convertors, and can supposedly upgrade the lockup clutch material when he's in there rebuilding it, as he says the Honda material is garbage.

3. He also says that there is supposedly a valve-body 'fix' now available, just released in the last couple of months....but you have to crack the tranny open to install it. According to him anyway, this might be the potential reason for the P0740 code being thrown, as there is supposedly a valve that jams/seizes in the VB that hangs (just like mine is doing), allowing the convertor to slip.

4. Since I've gone through the middle 'filter' under the linear solenoid three times, cleaned it out, and found material all three times....it sounds like I'm going to have to drop the transmission. If I am going to have to do this, I'm going to fix the problem once and for all.....and I'll post my results here, whether I succeed or fail.

Anyone got a link to where I can find a tranny manual? I'm currently too lazy to look for one.

Concerning the Honda being underpowered....it runs beautifully on level ground, and pulls rather well on big hills. It is the best-handling minivan I've ever driven, as well.
The problem is that you have to run the piss out of it to keep momentum up, and I'm scared that one day I'm going to grenade the engine while passing some slow idiot, or just trying to keep up with traffic on one of these local mountain passes. In addition, I don't know what idiot was in charge of 'sound deadening', but I'd love to charge this guy with Geneva Convention violations and put him in a prison cell somewhere for a very long time....and make him listen to tapes of Odyssey road noise 24/7 the entire time he's in there.
 

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Should be interesting to see where you end up. As for revving the engine, these guys love being revved. The VTEC doesn't come into play until higher in the RPM's. This thing would be a hoot with a 5 speed manual. I've never heard anyone blowing up their motor revving it too high. I have heard of folks bouncing off the rev limiter. Good luck with your tranny!
 

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I am interested to see where this goes. Good luck with the quest and please keep us posted
 

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Moose,

I'm with you on the tranny issues, but as to the power issue, I don't see where you are coming from at all. I drive our 2001 over Snoqualmie Pass a few times a year and I am amazed each time and how easily the 3.5l motor manages to get over 5000 lbs (gross) over the hill. Sure it has to downshift and unlock the converter on the steepest sections (running around 3500rpm IIRC), but I used to have a 1971 LTD with a 6.6l motor (almost twice as large as the Ody motor) that weighed about the same as the Odyssey, got worse mileage, and had about the same power.

If you want more power, and a slightly better tranny, you should look for a newer Odyssey. Seriously. The 2002-2004s had an additional 30 horsepower, and the 5-speed auto. The 2005-9s had even a better transmission (still some issues as you can read on this forum, but far fewer than with the earlier years like ours). The additional power coupled with another gear in your tranny should make hill-climbing even easier.

I was fully aware of the weak tranny issue when I bought my 2001 (thanks to reading here, I like to do my homework, I don't like cars that I have to work on more than normal maintenance), which is why I limited my potential purchases to only those which had just had it done by the previous owner.

And yes, the lack of sound-deadening in the floorpan is simply inexcusable on a vehicle that originally sold for $25-28K. I've contemplated adding soundproofing mine, but it's a matter of finding the time to do it and talking my wife into driving something else in the mean time.
 

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If you want more power, and a slightly better tranny, you should look for a newer Odyssey. Seriously. The 2002-2004s had an additional 30 horsepower,
Really cannot recommend. Expensive and common transmission problems with more transmission busting power.
The 2005-9s had even a better transmission
Several owners here noted torque converter problems in some years. Consumer reports says the 2007 rates bad on transmission repair for 2007. True Delta rates 2007 worse than some other years.
I don't like cars that I have to work on more than normal maintenance),
Good point. Wasted lots of time and oil changing the transmission fluid every 10,000 miles. Did not prevent failure at 70K miles. Spent lots of time replacing some engine mounts and other things that I did not have to do on my old cars. Never needed engine mount replaced on any other car I owned ever. My Odyssey had more maintenance and more failures than my other old cars.
And yes, the lack of sound-deadening in the floorpan is simply inexcusable on a vehicle that originally sold for $25-28K. I've contemplated adding soundproofing mine, but it's a matter of finding the time to do it and talking my wife into driving something else in the mean time.
That would be an interesting project. Do not know if adding soundproofing to any particular part such as floor, doors, quarter panels, roof is more effective. Noise is rather bad on some roads. Turn up the radio is not the answer. Hearing the radio is why I want less noise. I cannot hear the radio well unless I turn it up and it distorts when I drive I 5. I believe noise cancelling headphones are illegal when driving in some places.
 
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