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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, new to Odyclub but not new to Hondas. I'm currently in search of a 1st gen EX in mint condition. Thought I'd drop in to ask what are some of the common things to look out for. Also how have your 1st gens held up throughout the years? Any of you selling one in or near Socal? Thanks. :D
 

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The most common problem is finding one for sale. They are damn near bullet-proof. Oil seals leak over time. And, umm, well, there is the, ummm, well, nothing.
I have 188,000km on mine and only fixed the common oil leaks. Original starter, alternator, cv boots, trans, etc...
 

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You'll want to make sure that the cambelt has been changed if it has done over 100,000 or be prepared to change it if it is getting close to that mileage. Replace the waterpump and rocker cover gasket / spark plug seals while you are in there. Balance shaft belt is optional (ie: non-destructive to engine if it fails), but I would do it for peace of mind.

Also, you might expect the nylon top tank on the radiator to crack and start weeping coolant at the face opposite to the radiator hose discharge spigot anywhere from the 80-110K mile point (caused by the relentless hot-cold cycling of the coolant, made worse when the vehicle has done a lot of short trips in its life). Not a bad idea to use genuine Honda when you replace your coolant (is silicate free and designed without the common OAT plasticisers - your waterpump seals and coolant hoses will thank you going forward)

Occasionally, if the odyssey has sat undriven for more than a couple of months (particularly in a humid location) carbon deposits in the Idle Air Control valve can pull in ambient moisture and swell, closing up the fine tolerances in the rotary vane and rendering the valve sticky, resulting in fluctuating and erratic idle problems. Some have had luck removing the IAC valve and cleaning off the carbon/oil deposits (search threads here for how-to), others just opt for a new one from their friendly Honda dealer.

The 95-98 gearboxes are a LOT more dependable than on the later models, however they are not without their occasional gremlins. The '98 model with 'Grade Logic' digital shift control (rather than a 'kick-down' cable) is a wonderful box to drive when working well, but a number of us have had issues with it nonetheless. A few have reported diff carrier bearings going bad, shift solenoid faults and/or contamination leading to clutch-pack wear (which is 'cause' and which is 'effect'?? I'm unsure...it seems a bit of a chicken or egg scenario). ATF and solenoid screens need periodic changing/cleaning and also the alloy accumulator bore can wear grooves at the point where the secondary shaft 2 teflon oil seals run, leading to some loss of line pressure and attendant flaring or 'slip' between 1st and 2nd gear when the box is cold.

Oh, and unless the previous owner was fastidious, check the front engine mount down by the radiator bottom, it will most likely be torn!

Not to put you off, these things really are a great and generally reliable vehicle. Just a few things to keep an eye out for or to know in advance when it comes time to negotiate the deal!

Good luck with your purchase...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the heads up. I have been searching older threads and from what I've reading the 1st gens are basically bigger versions of the Accords. Problems mentioned are spot on of what I had to deal with on my old 5th gen Accord. I sorta feel right at home now. :D

Still looking. Missed a good deal on CL. $3500 for a blue EX with ~100k in Tuscon. Sold by the time we could get a call back from the owner. Oh well, try some more.
 
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