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Discussion Starter #1
When initially looking at the 2002 Ody, I asked the salesperson if it was on a frame and she said yes. I gave a quick glance underneath, and it looked like a frame. Other vans gave me an impression very promptly that they were unitized bodies. The Ody 'looked' to me to have the side of the ladder going from the front to rear that looked distinctly separate from the body.

But the brocure and web site call it a "unit-body"

Even the hitch installation guide, http://www.handa-accessories.com/odyssey/odytrailerhitch.pdf, called something a "rear frame."

I just signed a deal to buy this and I have much more confidence in a framed large, heavy vehicle.

Is it frame or unibody?

Thanks
 

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BobN,

I'm not sure of the exact terminology that Honda uses for the Odyssey, but is it definitely more like a uni-body consruction than a frame construction. I believe that GM's Astro is the only minivan currently sold with a frame construction.

Regards,
Bob
 

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The Ody is considered a "unitized" body. Which basically means that all substructure is welded together as one.
The Astro van is not a full frame vehicle either!! It has a front cradle or lower subframe, other than that it is a unitized body as well and a rolling Death Trap!!
FWIW
John
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Jeez, I'm kinda disappointed. I was told it was a frame based vehicle and it looked like it. Frog! Arrr! It get dark too early these days!

Am I making much ado about nothing?

Are there any other frame based mini-vans?
 

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Except for trucks, there are very few (if any) full-framed passenger vehicles being built today. What you usually see are front and rear subframes connected with a unitized body.

I like the idea of a full-framed vehicle but their time has come and gone. unitized body vehicles are lighter and cheaper to produce.

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Considering the Ody's 5-star crash rating, I wouldn't worry myself about whether it is riding on a frame or not.

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I believe you're making much ado about nothing. Technology is grand. Would a frame-based vehicle be more rigid? Probably. Would it be safer? Not necessarily! The Ody has the best crash test scores out there... and I assume that's the only reason why you're even worried about a frame-based vehicle. They also didn't want the Ody to "drive like a truck" so they've incorporated "flex" into the body design (some complain too much
).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, the capability to haul 3500 Ibs (or was it 3800) sort of lead me to think frame, and the installation instructions for the trailer kit said to attach to "the frame", so I thought there was a frame.

I hope to get a boat or camper in a few years, and I buy vehicles for keeps (my youngest is a '94 Trooper which this van will be replacing).

I have an understanding that campers (non-popups)and boats usually weigh well over a ton.

I fear that the slush and salt belt of Columbus, Ohio would compromise the stength of a unitized body after 5 years.

I'm no structural engineer, I just have concerns...

Thanks all.
 

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I think if you look underneath it looks like a frame welded to the body, so it's sort of both. I was just reading an article in Pop Sci on crash scores. Frame cars usually do better on a full frontal crash as both frame rails take the blow of the crash. In an offset crash where one corner is hit, unit bodies do better. The reason is that the frame car takes the full crash on only one frame rail while the unit body distributes the crash to the whole car structure.
 
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