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I just won Ebay auction for a 97 EX (I think because it has only 6 seats) 147k for $2600. Body and interior look clean and only rust is tailgate wiper crap (easily fixed? donor tailgate from south?).

I learned how to fix cars by driving a 2nd gen CRX Si for 10 years. I left Honda for a bit, 3 BMWs later and I'm a proud top bidder of this 1st gen Ody! We need a third vehicle for our new nanny to haul the kids in and this will be perfect! Cheap, reliable and practical were my goals here. With only a $3000 budget, it's gonna have high miles - better stick with Honda! My CRX went to 280k before I sold it (everything worked) for 3 x kbb value! Next owner soon was Tboned by a drunk. She's fine, but car was totalled. Doh!

I'm familiar with Honda automobiles, but is there anything specific to this gen/year Ody to look for during final inspection? Weak areas of the car? I specifically avoided 2nd gen Odys because of the transmission concern but I did not find anything to give me reservations on the 1st gens. Confirm?
 

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confirmed. Mine smoked badly at about that age and still smokes and burns oil, my only sadness regarding the van. Has improved with Auto RX though. Bought w 13x k miles, now 192k miles with only the ignition harness being a real service issue.

Burned about 1 quart per 400 miles, now about 1 quart per 1200-1400 miles using high mileage valvoline.
 

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issues ive had with my 97;

1. timing belt- may damage engine if not replaced as reccomended.
2. oil cooler o-ring failure could cause massive oil leak if not changed periodically
3. check CV boots for tears.
4. check top tank of radiator for leaks.

keep up on top two, to avoid major damage.
 

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Your odyssey is pretty at pretty young mileage..

Bought mine with 230k, and shortly after did:

- All Brake rotors / pads
- All ball joints
- upper control arms
- inner/outer tie rods
- sway bar bushings
- shocks/struts
- tires
- a/c recharge
- new a/c relay and master switch
- timing belt/h20 pump/seals
- oil pan and gasket
- valve adjustment
- battery
- exhaust manifold

at this point, i've decided I am going to pretty much redo the entire van. I will make it better than new, and keep it for a long time...
 
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