2nd Generation (2002-2006) vehicle added by Lionheart, Sunday 10th Jul, 2016
Lionheart added a new Honda to the garage:
Check the vehicle's full information here.
Adrian, you can add pictures into you Project Log thread (this one) and add text.
For example, you could say "The CR-V when I took out in the Amersham countryside"
Hello I am not sure whether this is the right section to be asking a question in but as part of getting ready to go off road in September I am wondering if it is acceptable to drive the CR-V off road with the rear glass hatch fully open? We will never get above 20mph.
I have other things to add in relation to getting ready and will do so later.
Not unless you have the front windows fully open as well. Exhaust fumes can get sucked into the
car through the rear hatch. I know this from experience. I got away with a bad headache but it
can kill. Please don't do it.
Hello again Allan
Point taken although we will be going so slowly that I would not have thought there would have been sufficient turbulence to have sucked the air back in. My concern was more to do with the mechanical stability of the glass panel ( which dose seem well supported) . However I don't think we will try it.
All the best
OK it is three days before we leave for the Auvergne in France so I thought I would update all the preparations made for the Journey and off roading. Apart from a service and oil change the following has all been addressed.
The recall on the passenger air bag was followed up.
A few weeks ago following a sticking pad I striped down all four of the brake calipers and lubricated the slider pins and generally cleaned them up so pads area free. I used silicone grease. The pins were a bit corroded and sticky on both front calipers but the rubbers were still good so I cleaned them up well and refitted them, all going well. Tip on this one, the bolts that hold the caliper onto the carrier which is fixed to the hub can be hard to get off and round quite easily so have some spares lined up but be warned they are very expensive from Honda. Using a hexagonal socket may help. (the ones that grip the corners and ring spanners are more damaging). I suspect others will know what threads these bolts are, they are not the ordinary metric ones but those from other cars do fit.
New rubber fitted to front ball joint. The joint itself is fine.
One of the links on the rear anti roll bar was replaced as the original was knocking badly, again Honda part used. This was a difficult job for the mechanic as the old one would not come off. The other side seems fine in fact all the various joints on the suspension were checked.
The passenger side drive shaft oil seal has been replaced as the old one was weeping a bit. Honda replacement fitted, seemed a little lose in the journal but appears to be holding back the gear box oil.
There was a knocking coming from the back which turned out to be rear box just knocking on a bolt for the tow bar which comes through the boot floor. Why this hadn't knocked before I don't know maybe it got slightly moved in doing the anti roll bar. Anyway I came up with a solution which involved using a rubber bush off a land rover inserted into the slot in the rubber suspension piece which holds the back box onto the brackets on the car. This holds its self in place but to be certain is secured with a cable tie. Both sides done and while it only makes a couple of millimetres difference it is enough to prevent the knocking.
The fluid in the rear axle has been changed. The old fluid was not too bad a little discoloured. Honda fluid used.
So to make the car more suitable for the rougher stuff (mentioned elsewhere on the site) I have fitted 215/70/R65 All terrain all season tyres Goodyear Wranglers. These add a good inch to the ground clearance.
In case we get stuck I have added a recovery point to the back of the vehicle. This is a modification to the tow bar.
I have also purchased a double ended strop to use on the front of the vehicle in case we need to be pulled out forward; this has hooks which fit perfectly on the front towing points. Rated at 4 tons this is a piece of kit intended for Land Rover use. Also provided are shackles and a long strop for towing. Hopefully we will not need any of it.
So apart from a wash and brush up we are ready to go. The weather is predicted to be very hot with temperatures in the 30's so thank god the air con is in full working order.
Wow, that is a thorough preparation. Looking forwards to hearing your feedback on how the CR-V tackled the terrain and hope you have a safe journey.
We are back and, wow, the CR-V did extremely well over some quite challenging terrain. It surprised everyone and not least me.
Now I am not going to claim it will go everywhere a Defender will go (there were three in the group) and the principal reason for this is that the Honda does not have a low box and so can't go slow enough in first gear without stalling on really steep sections. Secondly, of course, even with the taller tyres fitted the ground clearance is still a bit tight and deep ruts and ridges ( which you cannot avoid) can be a problem.
The roads driven (we would call them tracks) are basically the old access lanes to fields, woods and remote farmsteads and villages. Each day we did about 30 miles on the tracks and about another 12 between them on the metalled roads. These tracks are not really maintained, a farmer my come along with a load of old roofing tiles and tip them into a washout to fill in and then rely on the tractors to pound them into the holes as they go up and down. The tracks vary in width from about 12 feet wide to so narrow the Honda will only just go through with rocks projecting on both sides. The vegetation, principally the brambles, often had to be pushed aside which has left a few scratches on the paintwork. I hope most are going to polish out.
The surface is usually crushed rock mixed with various aggregates and mud (fortunately nearly all were dry while we were there) but these roads are ancient and therefore can be heavily rutted, collapsed in parts, full of quite large stones and rocks and in places large tree roots. Wash outs are one of the biggest problems. These can be 2 feet deep and 4 or 5 feet wide; sometimes they can be 100 yards long. To prevent these from occurring, the forestry people dig run off drains that run across the tracks taking the water from one side to the other. These can be tricky to cross requiring a flick of the steering wheel to one side or the other so you don't hit them head on i.e. you go across diagonally - IF THERE IS ROOM! Sometimes on the less well used lanes there is grass and other tough plants growing in the middle of the track and you have to hope it is not hiding a semi submerged rock.
In other places there may be a lot of loose material used for filling in. This can really get the four wheel drive in action. Streams, while not deep, are usually just rocks and large pebbles which, of course, you can't see so an inspection before tackling these is essential. And then there are the slopes both side to side and of course up and down; the steeper the slope the more likely there will be washouts.
How did the CR-V do?
First off I do have experience of driving off road in a 300tdi Discovery which had low box and diff lock. I would not recommend any one without experience to drive a CR-V or indeed any other 'soft roader' four wheel drive over this type of terrain. You will do damage and could get stuck. We were with other vehicles and someone who knew theses lanes who led the way.
Having set the scene how did the old girl do? Well, I admit to being a bit apprehensive before we started but I soon got the hang of driving the Honda on these lanes. Basically, most time was spent in first with the clutch fully engaged at all times. (except stopping of course). The car will move forward reasonably slowly at about 800 RPM on the flat once underway. Then you use the throttle only to climb up slopes get over obstacles etc. For more severe slopes you need to get a bit of speed up and keep it up to avoid stalling (by the way keep the air con off on difficult sections). Try not not stop on upward slopes as you will need to slip the clutch to get going again. Sometimes it is better to roll back and start again depending on the severity.
Occasionally it is possible to go into second for quite long stretches of less demanding terrain. The only problem I found with this was that you catch the Land Rovers up too quickly as they will be trundling along in their low boxes. So you end up doing a lot of gear changes.
The only way to tackle the wash outs and ruts is to straddle them, some times with one set of wheels on the slope of the washout. Concentration was required to do this as you have to keep swapping from one side of the track to the other as the washouts are not conveniently straight; they go all over the place. The art is not to drop a wheel down a hole and also avoid ending up with a high ridge under the car or the exhaust will hit. I have to say here that the Wranglers AT/SA were absolutely brilliant here. We would not have made it with the standard road tyres. The grip on slopes was excellent and that little bit of extra ground clearance a god send.
The technique for the streams and piles of lose stuff was similar. You have just got to keep going and bounce over the rocks you can see, again relying on the first gear to pull you through. More revs are required of course. You will feel the four wheel drive kick in as you bounce over the obstacles. Apparently we had rear wheels off the ground at times going over ridges.
There was only one steep track, which we did not tackle which had a concrete pipe running across it at the start followed by a steep ridge running up the track, a lot of lose stuff and another concrete pipe at the top. I thought we would ground in the Honda, so left it to the Defenders, one of which I went up in. It just strolled up in first, low box, diff lock on.
We did do other steep and tortuous slopes which the CR-V handled very well. Our Land Rover friends were impressed, especially at one which consisted of a steep slope with a tight left turn on it complete with side slope. After the turn the slope was steeper with a mound of earth stone and some concrete which I mounted with the driver side wheels. Following that was a good deal of loose stuff which really had the four wheel drive kicking in and out.
Throughout all of this, the Honda did not miss a beat, nor did the engine temperature rise at all, even though the external temperature was 33c. No smelly clutch, no problems with the taller tyres fouling the wheel arches and no complaints from the suspension or the steering, no grouching from the back axle and most importantly nothing fell off .
A few of my pictures
First picture shows a typical wash out, difficult to take a picture of, this one is about 18" deep and 5' wide. (sorry about quality of shot)
Second picture entering a rocky steam. Note the blue strops, these are connected to the front towing eyes. To be used if we got stuck.
Third picture on the way, altogether we went down the stream for about 50' it got deeper and the rocks bigger and submerged as we went on. Steep climb out over sand and rocks.
So all in all, thoroughly good fun and an impressive performance. This car would not be suitable for severe off roading but it put up a good performance for us in the mountains of the Auvergne.
I hope I haven't bored you all with this rather long report and apologies to experienced off roaders if my description of technique is too obvious.
There are more pictures but these belong to others as obviously I could not drive and take the pictures. I could ask permission to post them if it would be of interest.
Wow fascinating write up and to be honest I really enjoyed imagining the details.
Well impressed that the CR-V didn't let you down and performed well within its limits .. obviously a lot depends on the driver to make good judgment and place the car well so kudos to you as well.
Do post up more photos please.
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