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GM's triplets Venture, Silhouette, and Montana



  • rylesryles Posts: 19
    Does anyone know if you can purchase the integrated child seats for the two outboard positions in an 8 seat setup? If so, about what would the cost be? Source?
  • bob550kbob550k Posts: 148
    Funny, I chose the quad seating so the three stooges couldn't get close enough to beat each other like bongo drums. I did use a Previa for a while with 8 passenger seating it was convienient.
  • rylesryles Posts: 19
    Does anyone know if you can purchase the integrated child seats for the two outboard positions in an 8 seat setup? If so, about what would the cost be? Source?
  • "intergrated" means that the seats are built into the factory seats. Not available seperately. Only way would be to find them through a salvage yard. I have a Voyager with the dual intergrated seats in the center row, and have always used car seats or booster seats. In fact to keep the girls (now 8 & 5) from fighting and always in the seats, have the same pair in my wife's car. I prefer the car seat setup with a top teather strap to any built in seat I have seen. Just me. I think you will still be able to put three seats side-by-side-by-side when the time comes.
  • rylesryles Posts: 19
    Does your 8 passenger have the fold flat bench or the 50/50 tumble forward seats in the "way back"? Any opinions from anyone out there on which is better? More space with the fold flat, more flexibility with the 50/50. Decisions decisions.
  • bcd99bcd99 Posts: 45
    I have 2001 Silo with the 50/50 rear seats. I prefer these for the flexability of removing one or both. Plus I think the fact that an open space underneath when the seat is up would provide for more road noise to echo and magnify.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Personally the 50/50 offers more options. You can have one seat in full upright position and have the other one completely out, tumbled forward or just have the back down as a tray table.

    With the fold flat it is essentially up or down.
  • dlubindlubin Posts: 66
    Our 99 (7 passeneger) had the split, our new one (8 passenger) has the folding bench.

    There is no 'road noise' as the third seat mounts IN the passenger compartment, and folds forward, not into a well like the odyssey. The whole seat is removable if you needed the extra couple of inches of space it takes up when folded.

    I haven't decided which I like more .... folding the row flat is nice and frees up more room than the split seats..

  • bob550kbob550k Posts: 148
    There are a number of meanings associated with "Program Car".

    It was used by an executive
    It was in the loaner fleet
    It was in the Rental fleet (yes GM has an
    interest in a big rental company as does
    Ford or Chrysler, those cars usually have
    18,000 to 28,000 miles on them and are
    mostly light colors)
    It was used in a Golf tournament is possible

    Be carefull, program cars are not always a good thing. Program cars are usually not loaded, the car you describe sounds well equipt, but not loaded. Sounds like you've got a rental on your hands, but why are they selling it with such low mileage? Have a body shop look at that one and call GM warranty center (the dealer can provide the 800 number) with the VIN number and get a detailed report of the cars warranty history.

    Good luck
  • rylesryles Posts: 19
    As I briefly mentioned in the post above, this van was used as a shuttle vehicle for the Pepsi 400 Nascar race. It has PONTIAC in big white letters across the top of the windshield and a small "Pepsi 400" sticker in the bottom corner of the windshield. Thus I believe it was used for this purpose. I can't think of any options the van doesn't have other than video system, thus I would call it loaded.

    Anyway, I'm probably going to make an offer on the used vehicle with 15k miles. Anyone know the advisability of light towing without the "tow package"? Can it be added later if necessary?
  • redsox5redsox5 Posts: 22
    Besides the popular coolant leak, our Silo is experiencing some electrical problems. It started with the tail lights, which I thought just needed bulb replacement. That was followed by the clock radio flashing every time I pressed the brake pedal. After taking a closer look at the tail light assemblies, I found that the middle prong on each wire harness had overheated and has started to melt. All fuses and relays seem fine. Anyone experience a similar problem. Before changing out each harness, I' would like to know what is causing this.
  • funny you should ask. I had a similar problem with the drivers side tailight assembly. The middle connection, the black wire which is the ground was burnt. Between the brake light,turn signal and tailights on at the same time, I think the ground connection overloaded causing the lights blink wierd and then the abs and traction control dash lights would come on. I took strands of copper wire and put them in the black plug to make the connection tight. No more problem for now but if it happened to you and me, it sounds like over time it could happen to others. If the problem comes back it will go back to the dealer for repairs. Mine is a 98 olds with 46k miles
  • redsox5redsox5 Posts: 22
    We also get the abs and traction control lights coming on every now and then. Ours is a 99 with 55k miles, so like you, we are without a warranty, unless you have an extended one. What is the long term solution? I know the dealer will want to sell us new tailight assemblies, but what will prevent them from burning out again? I'm just trying to become as educated as possible before going to the dealer. On an unrelated topic, do you know if there is a way to disable the air compressor, which seems to run more than it should? I'm assuming there is a leak in the system somewhere, and I'd rather just turn the darn thing off, before it burns out too.
  • You can probably just order the plug connector if the male prong on the taillight assembly is still good. It could be that it was a bad connection from day one and over time corrosion builds up and thats when the problem starts. You can disable the air compressor by removing the fuse from the passenger side of the dashboard.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    The vehicle height sensor is very senstive, it will bleed and then refill air depending on if you are sitting in the center seat or not for instance. Just get used to it. The ability to haul 7 with the van level is not equaled by imports, I think its a great feature on my Silo.

    I noticed during a brake check that my rear air shock was leaking fluid. Looks like I'll get to see if those aftermarket shocks/struts will do anything for the floppyish handling. Availability is limited, but I was considering trying the Gabriel HI jackers (LOL, the same brand from 25 years ago when guys would use them to put wide tires on their cars by jacking up the rear!). Stock shocks on most cars/trucks are pretty cheap and most replacements are a distinct improvement in my experience. Wish there was a "sport" air shock/strut combo available.


    Also I posted this on a related triplet forum:

    I was concerned about a nasty sounding scraping noise from the rear drums every morning when we first apply the brakes out of the driveway. After a few stops, it went away.

    I know enough about brakes to realize if it was really worn the thing would scrape all the time, but it still got my curious nature. Over the weekend I removed both drums and checked the brakes. Both sides were fine, with over 1/4" of lining left all around (drum linings don't wear evenly, so check all parts).

    Just FYI, if you are experiencing some scrape brake noises in the morning, ignore them. But do check your brakes at recommended intervals.

    FWIW - I find the brakes on the Van to be pretty darn good, realizing the mass we have to slow down. The assist is perfect (as in most GM cars), pedal firm, Front/Rear balance very good and the antilock is perfectly calibrated to only kick on when needed and not before (unlike a ford explorer I rented where it would come on too early and probably extended braking distances IMHO).

    I don't know what GM is thinking deleting ABS on cars as a standard, I have used the ABS on van twice in a year and both times it really helped keep in under control in wet high speed near-maximum stopping (ignoramus avoidance). I guess the imports make you pay for it, so GM is doing the same and getting an extra $500 discount if you don't want it.

    Oh yea, on lights, My running light holder looked like it was burnt for some reason. I figured there was a electrical "arc" or spark from a poor contact. That's about theonly thing I can think of besides a LOT of current that would cause the thing to get that hot. But I replaced the bulb I was in doing anyway, it seems to work. THe wires were not melted or fuse blown as a high current/short would have done, so we'll see.

  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    I recently took our 01 Venture on a 1500 mi. round trip to Disneyland. We drove the 700 mi each way stopping only for gas and food, took roughly 10.5 to 11 hours each way. The trip was great. I have the 8 pass seating, and 3 kids. I took the center modular seat out for the trip and in its place I put a cooler full of drinks, and a 13" TV/VCR combo. I don't think my kids fought once in the car the whole trip between Gameboy playing and movie watching. This is the only way to travel.

    Quick question about the cabin air filters, has anyone tried just removing them altogether. I t seems to me that this would be an easy solution, I personally don't need a Hepa filter in my van, none of my other cars ever had one.
  • Have the scraping noise from the rear brakes also. I tried getting the drums off but couldn't. the wheels spin free so I don't think the self adjusters have the brakes too tight. Any tricks to getting the drum off? Also the passenger side rear shock is leaking. I would guess you should be able to get Hyjackers.
  • kkollwitzkkollwitz Posts: 268
    This is not uncommon with drums brakes, and is weather-sensitive. Overnight a thin layer of rust can develop on braking surfaces. The first couple of times you use the brakes, they make the scraping sound until the rust is worn off.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    RE: stuck rear drum

    Well, mine come off like a greased pig, but I've had some cars that were tough.

    Make sure the retainer from the assembly line (round lock washer looking thing attached to a wheel stud) isn't hold the drum on. If its there, you can get some plyers and break it off.

    If that's ok and wheel spins free, its probably not that you have the emergency brake on (doh!). It might be rust between the hub and drum, or in some cases slightly grooved drums. Either way, you can first try to remove with a good sized rubber hammer, beating around the outer edge (the open side toward the center of van). You can up the ante by using a mini-sledge and a board to protect the drum. That failing, you can try to adjust the adjuster back, moving the shoes in so that if your drum is grooved really bad it will let it come off. There is usually a hole in teh backing plate (sometimes with a rubber filler) where you can insert a adjusting tool (screwdriver) to move the adjuster.

    Good luck, I've had a hard time with the adjuster but done it.

    My pops has a 82 F250 where the rear drums were so rusted on he about broke a puller getting them off and used a whole can of liquid wrench. Oh yea, you can get a puller or rent one (or free from autozone etc) but you really shouldn't need it. Drums have about 1/16" inch or so clearance on the studs, they normally about fall off.

    Good luck

  • D.D. Thanks for the info. I'll take a look at them again when I rotate the tires. I'm thinking its probably rusted to the studs. I don't feel like messing with the adjuster. like I said the wheels spin free so there is hardly any friction on them. I didn't see the retainers, I'll look again.
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