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Dollywobbler's Honda S-MX - Still here!

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#61 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 04:18 PM

Home! I'm sure it doesn't help that everyone thinks Hondas are really reliable, so don't service them. At all. Anyway, let's get this Caper up to date!

 

In the beginning, there was a Nippa, and it was small, and simple and quite bouncy.

CsoHTcoW8AApeEl.jpg

 

I arrived at Caersws and sounded like I'd won the jackpot as the ticket machine spewed forth my impressive collection of tickets.

CsoTCdcXEAAzk15.jpg

 

Then there was a train, which was not so good.

CsoU2_9W8AAYZ2Q.jpg

 

However, the legroom was more enjoyable than that in the Nippa.

Csoa4CeWYAAxqRK.jpg

 

After too long, Birmingham was achieved. It was mostly chaotic, with slight demolition around the edges.

CsowXE4WcAAtSMt.jpg


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#62 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 04:22 PM

Then there was a better, faster train, though it was horribly packed, with suitcases overflowing. Quite stressful.

Cso5enFXYAAzP8w.jpg

 

My tickets required me to change seats fairly frequently, which is good. Coach C was like a bloody sauna. I was moved to Coach F for a while, which was better. I hopped off again at Taunton (I think) to change to Coach D and grab this picture.

CspMlFGXEAAgLkY.jpg

 

Coach D had many benefits. Lovely, cool air being one. 10p being another.

CspPCV0WcAAfUX5.jpg

 

I blew my winnings on a cup of tea. Sadly, I needed another £2.20 for this, and was horrified at the lack of proper milk.

 

The South was achieved.

CspdTiIXYAAesjH.jpg

 

Plymouth was reached, the car was checked and I headed off. I had checked it very badly...


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#63 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 04:25 PM

So badly that I only discovered that BOTH headlamps were not working after I'd set off. No petrol station shot, as it had half a tank! Bonus! This shot is close though. It was getting dark, so I thought I'd better investigate the lack of illumination.

CsqkHEPWcAUjsMd.jpg

 

Turns out both headlamp bulb connecters were mildly melted. Fiddling about got things looking better.

CsqD4DRW8AAW8M1.jpg

 

Next, I needed to find somewhere to park up for the night. After a tip-off from a pal, I headed up to St Agnes and found a likely layby. It was dark by this time, so I got the bed set up and hoped for the best.

CsqpFGAWcAE_F2c.jpg

 

I had the best night's kip I've ever had in a car, though that really isn't saying much. The seats fold into a bed which is not bad, but hardly luxurious. Or flat. The lumps all seemed to be in the wrong place, but I got comfortable eventually, and was glad of the privacy glass.

 

I awoke expecting lovely views, but it was grim and misty. Annoying.

CssjdTBW8AAKdlb.jpg

 

Time to find Twosmoke's garage!


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#64 OFFLINE   rainagain

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 04:26 PM

Is it just me or does it remind you of a Mk1 Punto but much bigger?
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#65 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 04:30 PM

At Twosmoke's garage, good things happened.

CssujwUXYAA-rU4.jpg

 

The engine was swiftly in bits.

CssyO9gWcAAt9dr.jpg

 

Lifting the car confirmed that the wheel bearings are fine! Bearing-type noise is just dodgy tyres backed up by dodgy alignment.

Css0yrdXgAAEL2x.jpg

 

Breakfast was enjoyed.*

Css4XjPWgAAJ3nP.jpg

 

The spare wheel was found - under the passenger seat!

Css7cRQWgAABdYV.jpg

 

Some numpty had rounded off the tensioner bolt, and done it up to many torques.

CstAk5TWcAAhKa9.jpg

 

Twosmoke has many useful tools.

CstEZTcWcAAdrF0.jpg

 

The headlights are a-peeling...

CstOaDVXgAAr3MO.jpg

 

We gave the poor thing a service. I think it had been a while. This is the transmission fluid.

CstobbVW8AAf8YX.jpg

 

This is the oil filter, complete with suspiciously Japanese writing... (car imported in 2008)

CstsBrwWIAAw9dY.jpg

 

The air filter was little better...

CstsP-VWAAArKNQ.jpg

 

Sorry Twosmoke. Action shot!

Csts_JPXgAAKS-E.jpg

 

After cramming an awful lot of work into a morning, it was time to depart. I must remember to pay...

CsuCi_7XgAAioG7.jpg


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#66 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 04:38 PM

On the way to Bideford, I had to admit defeat and actually put some fuel in.

CsuvDutWgAA9CMP.jpg

 

I then discovered that the trip reset is broken, so took a photo of the mileage for later calculation purposes. After overnighting with my parents, I set off this morning for Wales. That involved an essential stop at Gloucester Services.

Csy1EkvWcAAGu4B.jpg

 

Wales was achieved.

CszXu3IXEAA1bWF.jpg

 

And home.

CszrtWcWcAAMpoq.jpg

 

Driving impressions. The steering is horribly light, to the point that it feels like the front of the car has been lifted off the ground. They're like this apparently. Annoying given how good the Prelude's steering is. It goes like stink though, even if it is a bit too keen to kick down. There's a huge gap between third and fourth, which is perhaps why. It can lose steam quickly in top on hills. The handling is woeful, though cheap, nasty budget tyres with the insides worn off can't be helping, nor can the alignment that has caused this wear. I don't have a lot of confidence cornering hard in it. 

 

At 70mph, it's doing about 3250rpm, and it seem very happy at this. The high-up driving position is nice, and those shapeless seats are surprisingly comfortable. The gear selector is a bit rubbish, but I think I'm getting used to it. Going from D3 to D4, it's far too easy to end up in neutral by accident. It's a pretty shabby design to be honest. You shouldn't have to use the release function to switch between D positions in my book.

 

There are issues with the transmission, as discussed earlier. Perhaps I'll treat it to another fluid change at some point. We've only replaced 3.2 litres, which is about half the capacity apparently. Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to pull the gearbox apart and clean the filter out, but I don't think that'll be happening soon. I do need to get the stat changed though. Cool runnings are not good.

 

I'm very happy with it though. Despite the flaws, it's nice and effortless to drive and makes me feel like I need to develop a new active lifestyle to go with my lifestyle vehicle.


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#67 OFFLINE   rainagain

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 04:48 PM

Does this have electric or hydraulic power steering?

#68 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 04:49 PM

Does this have electric or hydraulic power steering?

 

Hydraulic.


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#69 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 04:56 PM

The seller of this car is a bloody idiot. I asked him if the timing belt had ever been changed. He said he couldn't find anything in the history. There's a bloody invoice for it after it was changed in 2013. The transmission fluid was changed at the same time, which suggests to me this transmission has been playing up for a while...

 

There are also two bills for wheel alignment in the past two years, which suggests either the wrong figures are being used, or something is quite wrong.


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#70 OFFLINE   twosmoke300

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 05:19 PM

It was good to chuckle at your pronunciation of a Cornish place name - payback for all the Welsh ones ! Also you learnt an important lesson - Porthreath bakery pasties are rubbish
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#71 ONLINE   Honey Badger

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 05:45 PM

From what I understand about Honda Autobox filters you just cant get at them without totally stripping it down, hence lots of Accord coupe owners fit a Magnafine filter.

 

http://www.ebay.com/...sd=222222069508

 

This is the one fitted to my car, it's spliced into the return hose from the ATF cooler, if you just used a Z1 compatable fluid then the Mannol eqivelent is £45 for 20 lts on eaby

 

DSC_0167_zpsroa9bfiw.jpg

 

 


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#72 OFFLINE   cort1977

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 06:00 PM

What year is it?   Some Honda boxes like the one in the wife's Odyssey switched to an accessible filter around 2005.   They made up for this by not including it in the servicing schedule but it is there.


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#73 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 06:02 PM

It was good to chuckle at your pronunciation of a Cornish place name - payback for all the Welsh ones ! Also you learnt an important lesson - Porthreath bakery pasties are rubbish

 

Ha! Well I get the last laugh, as I've just found your small screwdriver in the back. Sorry... I have at least paid my bill now.

 

 

From what I understand about Honda Autobox filters you just cant get at them without totally stripping it down, hence lots of Accord coupe owners fit a Magnafine filter.

 

http://www.ebay.com/...sd=222222069508

 

This is the one fitted to my car, it's spliced into the return hose from the ATF cooler, if you just used a Z1 compatable fluid then the Mannol eqivelent is £45 for 20 lts on eaby

 

 

Good info. Thanks. Fluid is still nice and clean, but I suspect fitting an extra filter is a bit late in the day for this stable door.

 

 

What year is it?   Some Honda boxes like the one in the wife's Odyssey switched to an accessible filter around 2005.   They made up for this by not including it in the servicing schedule but it is there.

 

1997. We had a good look at it, but there's no sign of anything easily accessible.


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#74 ONLINE   Honey Badger

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 07:44 PM

I don't know if the SMXs have a gearbox ECU, sometimes disconnecting the battery after a change can make the TCU relearn it's shift points, mine drove like shit for a a couple of hundred after a ATF change but then smoothed out, no slipping though just hard changes.

 

Looks like the fluid is cooking though, thats usually due to a fooked torque converter heating the fluid.

 

Does it list which ATF was used in the 2013 change, Honda DW1 can be quite harsh on older gearboxes. There have been reports of it killing the torque converters by overheating, might be true, might not.



#75 OFFLINE   twosmoke300

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 08:23 PM

I used whatever comma reccomended for the change I did yesterday . Iirc the Honda stuff is atf z1 but time constraints meant I used comma oil

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#76 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 08:42 PM

Aye, Dexron II I think it was. I did note on a search that DW1 is the recommendation. Not cheap though, and sounds like it might be best avoided anyway.

 

Nowt to do now but keep driving it for a bit and see how it behaves. By the sounds of it, most S-MXs are living with one problem or another in terms of transmission.


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#77 OFFLINE   cort1977

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 09:09 PM

There's a whole debate about Honda transmission fluids on the Odyssey minivan forums (yes that is a thing and it is just as boring as it sounds).   Anyway, consensus seems to be that Honda Z1 and now DW1 may not be that great and any half-decent ATF will be fine.  

 

Fluid in wife's van is looking a little dark due to towing a trailer in 100 degree heat so several changes with Valvoline ATF and changing the filter are on the cards.


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#78 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 09:29 PM

I've done some more transmission research tonight, and my conclusion is that almost every S-MX on the road is f*cked! Lots of people report the same rpm at 70mph as me, but I think that actually means their transmissions are knackered too. One clue is that one other owner admitted that his is also running cool. I have managed to confirm that the ECU does indeed take engine temperature into effect. This is why I have once (just the once!) had the torque converter lock up. I was starting to imagine it, but it was a rapid acceleration to 70mph after sitting and idling for a while, so a rare case of it actually being at full operating temperature.

 

Also lots of talk of 'flaring' on gear changes, but, touch wood, very few reports of complete and utter failure to move. One bloke even lost third gear. For over a year!

 

The lack of torque converter lock-up may explain why it's burning the fluid up. Presumably, it's designed for the converter to be locked up at motorway speeds, not still using the converter. I need to make a thermostat a priority, not just because I want to be cosy. I've now ordered a 'stat, and it should be just a 20 minute job apparently. Handily, there is a drain plug somewhere. I should have paid attention when Twosmoke was draining it! Will be good as there's fresh coolant in there now, and I'm also very wary of dropping coolant due to our cat...


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#79 ONLINE   Eddie Honda

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 09:59 PM

One bloke even lost third gear. For over a year!


Well? Did he get it back?

#80 ONLINE   dodgytom

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 10:12 PM

That was imported into the UK by Worcester Road Motors of Stourport on Severn, but you probably know that anyway if you have all the history  :-D


Why would I give my valuable time to people I would much rather kick in the eye?


#81 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 10:25 PM

Well? Did he get it back?


I doubt it. Haven't found any further posts on he subject.

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#82 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 10:26 PM

That was imported into the UK by Worcester Road Motors of Stourport on Severn, but you probably know that anyway if you have all the history :-D


Not much history, but has that company's number plates still. There are quite a few with this sequence, so I guess they bought quite a few over.

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#83 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 08:52 AM

OMG RATLOOK YO.

Cs3V5zxXYAA4R4q.jpg


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#84 OFFLINE   holbeck

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 09:23 AM

CspdTiIXYAAesjH.jpg

 

Starcross. A couple of weeks ago this pic would have included a Nissan Navara stuck up to its axles in mud.

 

Completely disappeared at High tides mind.



#85 OFFLINE   rainagain

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 10:04 AM

Hydraulic.

this might be of interest:

 

http://www.autospeed...eering&A=110778



#86 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 11:42 AM

Jeepers. Interesting stuff, but a bit beyond me! Getting hold of a manual could be fun for a start...

 

I'll just try to drive less like a twat I think.


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#87 ONLINE   Honey Badger

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 11:58 AM

Jeepers. Interesting stuff, but a bit beyond me! Getting hold of a manual could be fun for a start...

 

I'll just try to drive less like a twat I think.

 

 

See if you can find any information if it's had it's power steering fluid changed, if they dont get Honda PSF they can feel light and it will ruin the pump and/or rack. This might be the reason it feels overly light.



#88 OFFLINE   mouseflakes

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 12:09 PM

I hopped off again at Taunton (I think) to change to Coach D and grab this picture

 

DW, take a rest from all these collection missions - you're exhausting yourself man... :-D 

 

templemeads.jpg


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#89 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 12:39 PM

Ha! Nicely spotted. I changed carriages so often I rather lost track...

 

Thanks for the PAS tip. S-MX owners report that they have the lightest PAS in the world though, so probably situation normal.

 

Anyway, cleaning time!

Cs4Mc4mWAAASgzL.jpg

 

I'm sure this thing changes size depending on what angle you're viewing from.


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#90 OFFLINE   320touring

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 12:42 PM

I suspect " Big fish Wee fish cardboard box" syndrome
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