CRVAlaska Official Build/Adventure Journal of our 2001 Honda CR-V

This is a small introduction to our(my wife Gosia, my dog Mylee and Me) lifestyle, overland adventures and build up of our 2001 Honda CR-V we have dubbed CRVAlaska. I'm a commercial fisherman in Alaska from Up State NY and made the decision to move my wife and dog up to Kodiak, Alaska to pursue my career up here. I came back after being away for 4 months fishing and we had already made the plan to do a road trip when I got back home. I use to drive,fix,build Hondas back in the day so i figured a Honda CR-V would be a good choice for a reliable long range vehicle for the trip. Took a while finding the rite one but i did find a 2001 originally from Colorado from a 2nd owner that had moved back to his home country and had not sold his CRV yet. His family was selling it for him and I found it 1st day it was put online on Craigslist and drove 2 hours to take a look at it. I was everything i was looking for, a 2001, LX, manual, No ABS, AC, dark interior option, w/o sun roof, taffeta white, less then 3 owners, no rust, clean, maintenance records all the way back from when it was bought from Honda. Came back the next day with buddy, went to DMV, the whole deal and drove it home and started tarting apart a perfectly good stock car. Poor car was so clean, so mint, kind of a shame it had to go "under the knife". Found a rare Mexico domestic market ProComp grill guard bumper off a Toyota pickup in the junkyard rusting away. Cleaned it up painted it, and installed it instantly giving the car a much more aggressive look up front. Bought 5x 31" General Grabber AT2 on Cragar Soft 8s with 1 inch wheel spacers and trimmed and cleared the wheel wheel for 31s and managed to be able to drive in on 31s without a lift. They rubbed pretty bad tho on the tops of the fender arches and at full lock the tire would rub on the frame rail, no good. I finished building lift spacers for the shocks but found out when me and a buddy where installing them that the axles didn't like the lift spacers by themselves alone. The spacer where gonna give me around 2 or 3 inches in the rear and 2 inches up front, but like i said the axles wanted no part of that. Didn't wanna mess with it anymore we had to leave in a few days for Alaska so I returned the cars suspension back to stock and ordered a new set of AT2s in 225/70r15 and put them on the stock wheels with the one inch wheel spacers for a lil poke. After that fiasco I got to installing the OEM roof rails, cross bars, roof basket, jerry can holder, emergency fuel can, undercoating, HIDs, 100w spotlights, full tune up, the car was ready for the trip after A LOT OF WORK!!! The reason for going to Alaska was because my Cpt. called me up and asked if I wanted to lease his house in Kodiak,AK. We were down and it gave us a direction for our road trip. Everything after leaving NY was the "Adventure". I'll get into all that and the "Build" and mod list in following posts.

Special thank go out to my Wife, Mother & Father, Nick, Stacy & Cody, Brain, Scott, Charley, Angel, Brandon, Justin.

***Vehicle Shakedown***
2001 Honda CR-V LX manual non-abs (221K+)

**Mods/Parts List**

-Swapped 2001 spec B20Z w/88K at 221k due to doing bad things without a snorkel.
-Modified stock intake system w/ a hidden snorkel set up plumbed into the air vent location w/ a K&N drop in filter, no resonators or stock snorkel in the bumper that isn't there anymore, kept torque box on top of the intake manifold.
-Yonaka Polyurethane Motor Mounts(Deleted engine/transmission torque mounts with this upgrade)
-Full Tune up; NGK V-Power plugs, NGK wires, rebuild distributor, Mobil1 full syn 5w30 oil , OEM Honda Blue oil filter, OEM fuel filter, Honda type 2 coolant, cleaned fuel system and tank, top end combustion chamber/intake manifold/throttle body decarbonization/Sea Foam cleaning, valve lash adjustments to minimum factory settings, OEM valve cover gasket, OEM oil pan gasket, power steering flush/refilled w/Honda power steering fluid, pressure washed engines/trans, OEM Honda MTF tranny oil, OEM Honda duel pump in the rear diff, OEM exhaust gasket, OEM oil pick up gasket(had to swap oil pick up and oil pan from the old engine to the new engine), New Exedy clutch master cylinder, New OEM IACV, ECU Reset/Idle Relearn.
-Relocated coolant reserve to the firewall on driver side to lessen the chance of cross contamination during water crossings to my coolant
-Added longer breather tubes to tranny, rear diff
-Relocated windshield fluid reserve to behind passenger headlight, trimmed goose neck, caped w/ rubber plumbing cap and pool strap with blue turn key

-Modified fenders and wheels wells for larger diameter tires and more clearance( hammering, cut wheeling, more hammering, re-sealed the rears w/ Loctite PL 8X Fast Grab Premium)
-Herculiner Truck Bed Liner Undercoating in wheel wells, under body, behind rear bumper, rear bumper, back side of front fenders, front fender chassis rails, front bumper, inside rear door areas, side door trim.
-Pro Comp Tri-Hoop Grill Guard Pre-Runner Front Bumper from a Toyota Pickup Truck from Mexico I found in the junk yard
-2x 10 ton tow hooks mounted to the front bumper, painted OSHA Safety Red
-Custom Aluminum Front Skid Plate
-Custom Aluminum Under Engine Skid Plate
-Modified stock recovery/tow points and painted red -6 Ton Anchor Shackles with custom cut Energy Suspension Isolator Bushings, 2 up front, one out back
-Trimmed Rear Bumper behind wheels
-Removed plastic side skirts
-Relocated rear license trim plate over the spare tire, w/ LED plate lights wired on a plug
-Mounted Land Rover 20L Jerry can holder to rear door
-AVS Hood Deflector
-AVS Window Visors
-Discontinued Manik Tail Light Guards
-OEM Roof Rails
-Apontus Universal 48" Roof Rack Crossbars
-ARKSEN 64" Universal Black Roof Rack Cargo with Extension
-Mounted Kolpin Fuel Pack Jr. w/ Kolpin mount to rear of roof basket
-ERICKSON 01018 Cargo Net w/Adj Bungee 72"x60"
-White/Red reflectors all over for safety
-Varies Stickers all over
-NAPA rear bumper replacement hardware (better quality then the oem plastic hardware)
-Added oem front rocker plugs to rear rocker plug hole locations (stock plastic rocker covers cover the open holes, I no loger use them so they needed to be plugged)
-Monstaliner Paint Job, White. Used a 2 Gallon Kit

-1984 Honda Civic CR-X Si Shift Knob
-Be-On-Road (FREE offline GPS navigation app for Android and iPhone.) Used on old smart phone
-Fire extinguisher mounted in cargo area
-Ratchet Straps/Bungee Cords for cargo
-Camo blanket over rear seat for K-9 protection
-Tool box under driver seat
- TSI Products Clutter Catcher OEM Look Minivan Console (deleted tray table between front seats)
-Painted emergency/4way light switch OSHA Safety Red
-Heavy Duty Rubber Mud Floor Mats
-Removed rear head rests usually(They were getting in the way of my dog view)
-Show Chrome Digital 5-Function Volt/Clock/Temp Meter
-2 Seats Universal Heated Seat Kit, 3 Setting HI-OFF-LO Round Switches
-OEM EX/SE chrome door handles
-LED interior lights
-OEM Full Fold Down Rear Seat Mounts from EX/SE
-SiriusXM Satellite Radio Onyx Plus with Vehicle Kit (Black)
-SiriusXM FMDA25 Direct Adapter
-TRAM 7743 Satellite Radio Mirror-Mount Antenna
-Multi-Use Vehicle Charger with Dual USB Ports and Dual 12 Volt Sockets
-Alpatronix [MX100] Universal 3-in-1 Charging Dock Station/Car Mount Holder with FM Transmitter

-Ebay 50W HID 6000k headlights kit
-Road Shock Off-Road Long-Range Truck Light System 100W spot lights kit w/ sweet grill over the lens(needed spotties ASAP for the trip to AK) W/100w yellow bulbs.
-CREE 42" curved 240W LED light bar kit(birthday gift from the wife)
-Optronics Off Road Lights/ Rear 50W Spot lights w/ more sweet grills over the lens(needed something ASAP)
-LED front parking lights replacing the dull pink in color almost bulbs
-LED reverse lights
-Installed 6" LED oval trailer lights from you guessed it Walmart in the rear bumper
-iJDMTOY 2.5" Bullet Shape Projector Lens Fog Light Lamps w/ 35W HID 3000K (yellow)
-LED motorcycle license plate lights mounting in the trim.

-Stock everything except...
-Rear camber kit washers
-Removed Front/Rear sway bars (reinstall when traveling long distances)
-Removed rear differential vibration dampener
-1" Superior Coil Spring Helpers in the rear
-Energy Suspension rear trailing arm bushing(need to be installed)
-SPC Front Camber Kit Adjustable 3.0 Degree Ball Joint(will install with lift)
-KYB GR-2 Shocks Front & Rear

-1" CNC aluminum wheel spacers Front/Rear
-OEM steel wheels
-2nd set of 5x General Grabber AT2 tires (225/70R15) (had 31s before the trip for a lil)
-modified oem lug nuts

*Recovery Gear*
-mini shovel on the rack
-2X stock high-lift jacks
-3x 6 ton anchor shackles
-20' Tow Strap
-20' Snatch Strap I build

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Nice looking Build. I have been thinking of something like this for a while. I really like Honda, but have wondered if the CRV is up to it. How has it been working out for you? I am planning a trip in 3 years from Key west Fl to Prudhoe Bay AK and MPG is a big factor. What kind of MPG are you getting with this set up?
Thank you. I've always been into Hondas and use to drive and auto 1st gen crv and it was great. It could stop in a snowy parking lot up to the doors and move like there was nothing there. It was a nice change from your normal front wheel drive experience with hondas. I no longer had to drive like a rally car driver. Coming from up state NY you ether learn how to drive in snow or you don't drive in snow. But gearing in the auto wasn't great for off roading. the manuals have really short gearing to mingle near the light duty truck class but with out a real 4wd system in can't compete in that class. Nun the les it was still desginged for on-off road use. Google "2001 honda cr v design goals" and theres great info on all the things they did to coup with off roading and extra load capacity. The roof rack not loaded will let me cruse on the highways near 80mph but when loaded like how it was coming to AK 65-70mph is as far as you want to push a stock crv. The owners manual even recommends this. So Mpgs tend to stay in the green zone for my liking. I'm building a Garrett GT2554R ball bearing turbo kit for extra low end and mid range power for climbing hill, entering highways, generally to be able to getting out of the way. I don't like not having the power it needs to haul heavy loads, Hondas in Japan were able to get supercharges installed by a company that would keep your honda warranty intact. And I've turbo'd many honda with great results before, so it should be a good combination.
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Turbo would be nice. I am also looking at 2nd gen as they have the 2.4 but I like the style of the first gen better. Do you have any experience with the 2nd gen? Still in the research stage but I think either will fit the bill. The trip I am planning is 11000 miles and mpg is a concern. Not looking to do rock climbing but will want to get to some out of the way places to camp along the way. I feel the cr v is underrated as far as what it can accomplish.
Anything after the 1st gen is a whole different car and design concept. I'm a B-series engine kinda guy any have worked on them for many years. I needed something I knew by heart for the road trip in case anything happened which it did. I blew a rear engine mount in Mo and had to replace my polyurethane unit with and oem replacement from O'reilly's in a motel 6 parking lot at 12am in sub zero temp. Both my waters froze up lol. The mount wasn't reinforced enough. I fixed it when we got here in Kodiak and replaced the oem replacement one i bought. Fount out u blew out that oem unit as well, i heard it thumping around but thought it was just the stock mount. I drive a little aggressive I guess. Yea the car is very under rated. It has super short gearing for steep climbs, toughened up suspension, good ground clearance, good mpgs. You really just need to put work into it like any other vehicle. There drive shaft upgrades, any performance part you could every want for the engine. you just have to make the hard parts. I drove 300 mile though Canada through 2 national parks in Dec w no road service or prep and it was like driving over a glacier. Car did great.
Roger that, not into the cookie cutter image most people assimilate with most things. I like Hondas, Love there racing heritage, I knew the V had much more potential then most people give it. Honda has been designing there cars for race use ever since they started. The CRV was developed to be used in Baja class type racing, overland point to point. But was never really utilized, but it doesn't mean they haven't left the car set up for easy future modifications. I could even made an enclosed driveshaft skid plate, there threaded hole that look meant for that down the length of the shaft. Building the skit plates couldn't be easier. If I wanted a bullet proof trany with custom hard cut dog gears, I can do that also. Lots of companies make trany parts for the B-series engine. Theres turbo'd hondas out there that make 28-30 mpgs hwy making 400hp at red line. INSANE #s!
Modified Tow/Recovery points painted OSHI safety red, 6,000 ton anchor shackles, modified Energy Suspension bushings made into shackle isolators and the snatch strap made.
The front skid plate i made from aluminum all bent up.

And under engine skid plate I made from aluminum all bent up. Heavy duty stuff, not much gonna hurt this thing any more
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I have a 2014 and it has certainly lost the rugged edge the 1st gens had

Having said that it is still amazing with snow tires

I wish the CR-V had the same support as the Rav 4 or the Forester, I would love some underbody protection on my rig for hunting
Me and the wife did some Herculiner Undercoating on rig the other day. gave me a good chance to really go over the under body and wheel wells after the trip and off roading. It came out great, rolled and brushed 2 coats everywhere and 3 coats in where there was more rock damage from travailing down unpaved roads at speeds.
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Thought I'd show a few pix of myself at work in Alaska and in travel.

Here with my Bristol Bay Salmon Captain in Ugashik River
In the Badlands,SD.
Me in a feature article in National Fisherman Journal.
And the view from our last set in Ugashik, Bristol Bay,AK 2015