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Discussion Starter #1
I have the dilemma of deciding whether buy a 97 Odyssey EX or a 98 Odyssey LX-7, both with less than 60,000 miles. I was planning to buy the '98 (stronger engine) but want to be able to sleep sometimes while at rest areas or campsites. I can't get to either of the Odysseys for a week so I'm posting my question here now. On www.autostv.com, referring to the '96 Odyssey LX the writer says "you can use the Odyssey as a camper--the middle and rear seats fold down to make a day bed." Is this true? Wouldn't it make a rather uncomfortable day bed? I had hoped to make a 6' mattress to fit in the van with the middle seats taken out, but I read that in the LX model the middle seats merely fold forward and can't be taken out. Anyone out there have experience with sleeping in a '95 to '98 Odyssey LX? Or with removing the middle bench-style seats with tools? Thanks, Steven Johnson in S. Calif.
 
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I noticed that no one has answered your question yet.

My grandpa has a '95 Odyssey LX, and the stuff about the day bed is kind of odd. I'm not aware of that possibility. I'm sure the middle row can be folded back, but it doesn't sound too comfortable.

The back seat folds into the floor, and the middle seats tumble forward. I don't know if they can be removed or not. Given the situation, I think you should just make your own mattress and stuff it in the back with everything folded away. If I remember correctly, it's nice and big back there in this setup.

If you're searching for stuff to make a mattress out of, there's a great upholstery outlet down here in Oceanside. They have boatloads of foam.

Sorry I couldn't completely answer your question.

Michelle

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  • 2002 RRP EXL-RES
  • 1995 Honda Civic DX Coupe
  • 1990 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible
  • 1987 Honda Civic Sedan
  • 1986 Toyota LE Van
  • 1967 Honda Dream
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Michelle: I appreciate your reply. Next week I'll look in the glove box of the '98 Odyssey I am buying for the owner's manual to see if it describes different ways to configure the seats in an LX, and I'll play with the middle bench seat, to see if I can create the "day bed" referred to on a Website. If not, I'll take your suggestion and make my own creation. Thanks, Steve Johnson in Torrance
 
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One more thought just popped into my mind...in order to make that bed (assuming it's possible) you'll have to keep the back seat up. There will also be space in front of the middle seats. I doubt the back seat will fold open like a taco, I don't think even our 2002 will do that.

My concern is that I don't think this will leave you a whole lot of room to sleep. I'm estimating there will be about 5 feet of linear "bed space" from rear seat cushion to the edge of the middle seats should you fold them down.

I'm a hair over 5 feet tall, and I know this is not enough room for even me.

I'm voting again to make your own mattress. People would be able to see you pretty easily if you're up on the seats. I know I wouldn't want people peering in on me!

I also forgot to mention in my last post that I think you should go for the '98 w/ the better engine. According to my dad, my grandpa's van is quite pitiful in the power department.

Good luck w/ whatever method you choose!

Michelle

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  • 2002 RRP EXL-RES
  • 1995 Honda Civic DX Coupe
  • 1990 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible
  • 1987 Honda Civic Sedan
  • 1986 Toyota LE Van
  • 1967 Honda Dream
[This message has been edited by poodleluvr (edited 11-23-2001).]
 

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Hi Steve/Michelle:
I've also just bought a '98 Odyssey and will see if I can create a bed in it. With the bench seat in the 7-passenger model, you can't (easily) remove the middle row of seats. My understanding is that the front seats and the middle row seats both recline far enough back to make a bed. At some point, (it may have been for the '98s, if memory serves correct) the recline angle was made even flatter for the front seats to make them more comfortable.

I bought a '98 with buckets in the middle row because I wanted the ability to take the seats right out for carrying cargo. When the bench is folded up against the back of the front seats, it still takes up a lot of space. I haven't checked yet whether the middle row buckets will also fold flat, but will check as soon as I can.

I've driven both the 2.2 '95-'97 model, as well as the 2.3 VTEC '98 model, and believe me, there's a real difference in feel beyond the 10hp/7 (I think) ft-lbs difference. The 2.2s feel overworked, whereas the 2.3 has a much stronger torque curve across the RPM band, not just at higher or lower RPMs. Apparently, with more optimum breathing, the '98s also get better gas mileage too.

I love my "Junior Ody" and hope we can set up a 1st Gen section at Odyclub

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1998 Odyssey, 2.3 VTEC, HM
 

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Here's the best summary of information on changes to the '98 Odyssey that I've ever been able to find. It is an Australian website, but I believe the specifications are essentially the same as the ones in the USA.

In addition to the VTEC, '98s have a tachometer, anti-theft immobiliser (i.e. expensive replacement keys), body color paint on the top of the hatch (that the '99+ Odys don't have either), better auto trans. programming, and flatter folding seats!


http://www.autoweb.com.au/id_HON/doc_hnd9801051/article.html

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1998 Odyssey, 2.3 VTEC, HM
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Odman: I really appreciate your reply. I hate to have caused you and Michelle a bit of trouble, because my own research is now bearing fruit and I am no longer in a quandry. Your information just about fills in all the gaps! I got access to the '98 Odyssey this morning (my auto loan is being processed so I can't yet take possession of the car) and actually folded the middle and 3rd seat flat as instructed to do so in the manual. It makes into something resembling a day bed, though it is probably uncomfortable for serious sleeping. At least I can stretch out to my full lenghth (I am 6 ft tall). In the meantime, I received a reply from someone at a Honda parts web site who said the middle seats of the LX-7 can be taken out with two bolts each. Voila! Conclusion: I am definitely going to buy the '98 LX-7 as I have heard from others,too, that the difference in performance compared with the earlier ones is greater than one would attribute to a mere increase of 10 horsepower over the earlier models. My work buddy who knows Hondas backwards and forwards and even races a 1986 CRX says the cheapest first step to take to increase power and performance is to purchase a K&N air filter for around $40. It doesn't void the Honda warranty, etc., but breathes twice as much air as a paper filter, and does produce as much as 5% more horsepower, as well as get 1 or 2 miles more per gallon. It'll be my first "performance" purchase. Thanks very much. Steve Johnson
 

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Hi Steve:

No worries -- we're all here to help one another. I actually went out at 6:00am today before I left for work to see if I could fold the seats in our van (the rear buckets don't recline very well because of the rear wheel well, but the fronts do). I'm 6'5", so it's probably too short for me anyway.

One thing to look for is front legroom. I've got long legs, and the front console comes in too close, so my leg is always against it. I've learned to live with it, but it is annoying. Also, while there's lots of seat travel, the steering wheel doesn't have a telescoping function (like the Ford Focus of all things does), so it's always a compromise between leg and arm comfort.

On the subject of height, one reason I bought a 1st Gen Ody rather than a Caravan was that with the front seat set almost all the way back, I still had enough leg room in the middle row to sit comfortably. You can't do this at all in a short wheelbase Caravan.

Let me know how the K&N goes. I've only looked superficially into this and heard that the performance gains aren't always that great, and that mileage may even drop. I'd be pleased to hear otherwise though.

Good luck with your '98! What colour is it? Mine's Heather Mist, a gold color, which seems to be a common color for them, along with Fern Green.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Odman: I brought the '98 Odyssey home last night. My wife says "it's rather BIG, and do we need 7 seats?" We are in our early sixties so we don't fit any of the stereotype of Soccer Mom. I like it; it will be our car for trips after we retire. I will test the gas mileage for a month or more before I switch to the K&N filter. After a like amount of similar travel during a similar amount of time and number of miles travelled, I will compare the gas mileage results and report back to you. The color you ask? I don't know its official name, it's like a very pale blue with a hint of purple. I already have a question for anyone: What is the best product for removing various carpet stains (might be oil, I'm not sure) and a few tiny seat stains. Nothing major, but I want to clean them up with the right product that won't harm the fabric. Thanks, Steve Johnson in S.Calif.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by OdMan:
Hi Steve:

No worries -- we're all here to help one another. I actually went out at 6:00am today before I left for work to see if I could fold the seats in our van (the rear buckets don't recline very well because of the rear wheel well, but the fronts do). I'm 6'5", so it's probably too short for me anyway.

One thing to look for is front legroom. I've got long legs, and the front console comes in too close, so my leg is always against it. I've learned to live with it, but it is annoying. Also, while there's lots of seat travel, the steering wheel doesn't have a telescoping function (like the Ford Focus of all things does), so it's always a compromise between leg and arm comfort.

On the subject of height, one reason I bought a 1st Gen Ody rather than a Caravan was that with the front seat set almost all the way back, I still had enough leg room in the middle row to sit comfortably. You can't do this at all in a short wheelbase Caravan.

Let me know how the K&N goes. I've only looked superficially into this and heard that the performance gains aren't always that great, and that mileage may even drop. I'd be pleased to hear otherwise though.

Good luck with your '98! What colour is it? Mine's Heather Mist, a gold color, which seems to be a common color for them, along with Fern Green.
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Hi Steve:

What were you driving before? I'd think that most on this board would find it amusing to think that the 1st Gen Ody is big, but we were in the same boat. My wife was coming from a '91 Toyota Tercel, and was uncomfortable getting a "big" minivan.

Even though we have 2 kids (a 2 year old and a 4 month old), a house in the 'burbs and a cottage up north, the smaller Ody is plenty big for us. At least for now. I haven't seen what my wife will do during garage sale season.

I've used brake part cleaner, of all things, on carpets to get grease out. My mechanic once told me it is the same stuff used in dry cleaning. I don't know if this is true or not, but it did get the marks out of the carpet in an old Dodge I had. I've also used an STP Citrus Cleaner in a spray bottle too. What ever you use, test it in an inconspicuous spot first and always make sure you let it dry thoroughly before putting mats, etc., back on top.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Odman: This morning I used a spray bottle of "Goof Off" on the carpet grease spots and they look like new now. Just to be safe, I wiped the carpets with clean water afterwards, and dried them with a clean towel so there would be no remaining citrus residue. What was I driving before? I work at Honda R&D in Torrance, and was driving a '78 Mercury Zephyr station wagon for the past 6 years, but decided I'd better get more "with the program" since I think my clattery Ford product mildly embarrassed my Japanese boss, who hesitated to criticize my choice of vehicle directly. My wife drives an '88 Legend, which we both love. It has lots of power, very nice. So far, I have no complaints about the Odyssey, which is the first really NEW car I've owned ('98 is new for me) though perhaps the back of the driver's seat is angled incorrectly for someone like myself who is a tad over 6 feet. It is a little uncomfortable. I will shop for cushions and pads this weekend. Otherwise, it's great. My co-worker who races his Honda CRX says I will get slightly better mileage and horsepower if I use synthetic oil. Any opinion? Thanks for all your feedback, Steve
 

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Hi Steve:
Sorry for the delay responding -- been busy lately.

Glad to hear that the Goof-Off worked. The STP cleaner I have must be similar, since it is also a citrus one. I forgot to tell you that the mechanic who told me the brake part cleaner idea warned me not to let it spray onto the plastic trim, since it might disolve it a bit.

Your last car was a classic beater. Square and tough, no doubt. My '69 Plymouth Valiant lasted a long time, but eventually became an eyesore.

Synthetics are good, especially for close-tolerance engines like Honda's. The main benefit is in extreme cold conditions, like we have here in Canada, in which the oil will still flow at sub-freezing temperatures. Conventional oils (aka Dino Oil) don't flow, making start-up harder, idling rougher, and wear greater. They also stand up better under extreme heat. Finally, synthetics don't break down as quickly as conventional oils, meaning that theoretically, you can go longer between oil changes. Don't do this, however, since it will void your warranty. Since you are in California, I believe, I'm not sure that you'd notice much benefit from switching to synthetics. Gas mileage and performance will improve a bit, but not hugely.

Cheers, David

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1998 Odyssey, 2.3 VTEC, HM
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Odman (David): I am already settling into my '98 ODY and loving it! The color (you asked) is crystal blue metallic. This weekend I added my first accessory (and perhaps the last for a few months while I monitor my budget). It is a cargo cover in grey. It took only about 1 hour to install the brackets. I am thinking of making my own "mod" already. The cargo cover is held in place by the third seat headrests, which obscure the view out the rear window. I hope to bend into a U-shape a pair of metal rods so as to exactly match the headrest posts, notch them, and dip the horizontal sections in some grey- or black-colored rubbery plastic used for covering tool handles. Got to run. Love my ODY already. STeve
 

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stevenj said:
... On www.autostv.com, referring to the '96 Odyssey LX the writer says "you can use the Odyssey as a camper--the middle and rear seats fold down to make a day bed." Is this true?
This is true. When I was buying my 97 Odyssey I asked lots of salepeople about this feature and NONE of them knew about it! There is a release lever under the middle bench that allow the bench to slide forward a bit so that you can fold the middle bench seats flat and the top of the middle bench ends up adjacent to the bottom of the back bench which can also be laid flat.

Caveat: It's not really flat but close. Probably good for children or small adults only. Still it's an nice feature of th e LX models.

The other feature no salesperson knew about is that every seat's seatbelt (except the driver) can be put into locking mode for securing a car seat. Just pull the seatbelt all the way out and then it only retracts, it can not be pulled out until it is fully retracted again.
 
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