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GM's triplets Venture, Silhouette, and Montana



  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    98 Montana with 106K miles. Clatters for the first couple minutes however if the outside temperature is 60 or less, noise is less pronounced. Plus doesn't do it all the time. Still using 5W-30 Mobile 1 changed at 4K miles and living in Arizona. Occasionally pull a Coleman pop-up weighing 2800lbs. GM rebuilt the engine at 30K per a TSB that was susposed to address the problem. Kind of helped for awhile but over time the noise has returned. If you got GM to extend the warranty I'd drive it and not worry. I'd be more concern over the lower manifold gasket leaking. Keep a frequent check on your coolant level.
  • is it worth it to get hi performance brake pads, I was at Autozone and saw a brochure on EBC brand premium brake pads and rotors, my 2002 silhouette is going to be about due soon for a brake job, these promise "better brakes, less dust", anyone have experience in this brand or other brands of high-performance brake pads and/or rotors?
  • Thank you for your reply n7don.

    Our van exhibits the rapping sound steadily every cold start. In our kind of driving the van gets a lot of cold starts, or at least where the engine has cooled down some.
    I am thinking about running it thru the winter here in the Midwest and then pursuing repairs.
    I have yet to see how it sounds at 10 degrees!

    I am curious how long did your van stay quiet after the rebuild?

    I keep pretty close tabs on our vehicles so hopefully I will be able to catch the intake gasket early if -or should I say when- it starts going.

  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    I have an '03 Silhouette with 37,000 miles. I changed the original factory oil to Mobil 1 at 5,000 miles and have used nothing else since. I get between 8,500 - 10,000 miles per oil change based on the monitoring system.
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    Right after the rebuild there was slight but perceptable noise that most people would overlook. There wasn't a period where it dramatically increased. As a general statement at 70K that is 40K after the rebuild it was consistently evident there was a startup clatter. I'd say the noise level has stabilized over the past 10-15K miles.
    The TSB used on my engine addressed noise caused by wrist-pin fit. If the tolerance of the hole was high and the pin low, the stackup would be a noise source.
  • I have the Highjackers air shocks and the compressor spring upgrade ready to install, but have a question concerning the air lines. Can the stock air lines
    be cut at the shock connectors and then have the connectors for the Gabriels spliced on? The stock lines seems like they're the same size as the lines for thr Gabriels. This would make things so much easier if it's possible. Any comments would be appreciated
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    That's what I did when I replaced a leaking OE air shock on the Montana with Highjackers.
  • Thanks for the reply Don. I changed the connectors as you did. Turned out to be a very simple job. Well, everything except removing the
    air compressor for the spring upgrade. I never did get that thing out. Everything seems ok without the upgraded spring so I'll play it from there. Thanks again for the response.
  • I will need to replace the intake manifold gasket on my 2000 Olds Silhouette 3.4 engine; I will be doing the work myself. I need part numbers for the latest revision of all the gaskets involved in the job. Anyone done a gasket replacement recently?
  • If you are planning on getting the gasket from a dealership, just have the parts department look up the latest TSB with the part numbers and procedures. That way you know you are getting the right gaskets, sealants, and bolts. And the latest torque infomation.
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    Copied from 3/4/2003 bulletin:
    "A new design intake gasket, P/N 89017279, has been released for service on the 3.1 and 3.4 engines and is currently available from GMSPO. The material used in the gasket has been changed in order to improve the sealing qualities of the gasket. The instruction sheet sent with the gaskets advises the technicians to replace the intake bolts with new ones that have a thread locker adhesive added. Currently the new bolts are unavailable from SPO. In the interim, the technicians are to clean the existing bolts and then apply a thread locking adhesive, P/N 12345382, and tighten to a new torque specification.

    The new torque specification is a 2-step process; tighten the vertical lower intake manifold bolts (the four middle ones) to 7 N·m (62 lb in). Tighten the diagonal lower intake manifold bolts (two on each end) to 7 N·m (62 lb in). Tighten the vertical lower intake manifold bolts (the four middle ones) to 13 N·m (115 lb in). Tighten the diagonal lower intake manifold bolts (two on each end) to 25 N·m (18 lb ft)."

    Be sure to mark the push rods as they are removed. Intake is different length from exhaust. When reinstalling torque rocker arm bolt to 14 lb ft plus 30degs.

    A lot of things have to be removed but the job wasn't as bad as it looked. Helps to remove the two top engine mounts and rock the engine forward. Gives you some room to work on the rear bank. Might also consider changing the t-stat. Much easier with the upper manifold off.
    I've read on other ng's the bolts are now available.
  • I am sorry that you had this history with the car. It doesn't sound like fun.
    The questions I have for you is around the serpentine belt. (mine is making noise after 95,000 miles.) From reading your narrative, it sounds like the alignment did the trick. Was there anything else that helped to solve that problem?
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    After an experience this morning with a new Venture, I really hope GM did something about improving the build quality on the new '05s.

    I was a hotel volunteer last night for the Special Olympics. Rode there in the usual big white Ford Econoline. Suprising, as it wasn't as tinny and junky as I expected. Not great either, but a lot less rattly and shaky than I expected.

    Then this morning we got picked up in a relatively new, 2004 I think, white Venture LS. Couldn't see the odometer but it looked fresh in and out, but IT HAD TO BE ONE OF THE BIGGEST PIECES OF JUNK I'VE EVER RIDDEN IN! Thought something was weird at first when the power sliding door was dead and it was really hard to close manually. Started off, and holy crap, sounded like it was about to twist in half even over the smallest expansion joint or turn in the road--both sliding doors buzzed like crazy against the body, the back liftgate was squeaking, something in one of the back quarter panels was making a loud haunted house creaking noise over bumps, the roof creaked, etc.. When an Econoline puts it to shame, that's sad.

    I'm always picky about rattles, but this thing was just insane. I can't imagine what it'd be like after 2 or more years--if it were still in one piece that'd be a good thing. Wasn't 100% bad though, as the engine and transmission were smooth and silk and actually sounded pretty good even though the van was overloaded, it actually seemed well insulated (not much road noise at all), and the dash was actually the one part that made no noise.

    All seemed to pretty much fit with mag reviews I've read though. I just can't imagine why anyone would buy one of these heaps after riding in one!
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397

    We have a Montana and we love it. Zero rattles and no issues so far at all. It sounds like you were mis-using the power door, if you pull it too hard it gets stick like that. No surprise at all.

    You can't judge a rental as being the norm, these vans sell well and it's because they are very good and reliable in general.
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    Don't worry about a little rattle noise at startup. This is "normal" and a "undocumented feature". In order to get max fuel milage, GM has somewhat larger than they used to clearances on the piston to cylinder fit, and until the piston warms up, they will make a little noise. When warm, they expand, and the engine is quiet. It seems odd but that's what it is. I would not have anyone rebuild a factory motor just for this. It was designed that way.

    As a bonus, you get the best fuel milage of any minivan I know of (not counting euro vans with diesel).

    RE; air shock replacment -
    The spring replacment on the air compressor is a bit awkward but not tough. I am not sure if I have ever needed the additional capacity, but I like knowing its there if do.
  • I am leaning toward keeping -instead of trading -our piston slapping 2000 Montana due to not learning about any wide spread failures from the start-up rattle. Might run it toward end of engine warranty period of 6 years and possibly look into repairs then.
    I try to do my own repairs in most cases therefore a good manual is important to have.
    Owner's manual for our van indicates there is a service manual available thru GM for a cool $120.
    While $120 is steep it is worth buying if the manual is good.

    Does anybody out there have this manual and found it to be useful for a DYI person?
    I have the Hanes book but in the past I have benefited from having a factory manual as well.

    Thank You and Happy Thanksgiving !!!

  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    Well, I sprung for the factor manual set and its horrible, IMHO. While it does give decent fault trees and computer code information, most of the basics are terrible. First, the 3 manuals don't say on the splines what catagories they cover, like my Dodge manuals did. You end up spending extra time looking. Then, they refer you to sections you have to find such as "refer to Interior rear panel removel J-437" and while that is normal with these things, the look up the way they do it takes some extra effort. Further, when I replaced my struts it was so lacking in detail. "remove lower mounting nut, remove bolts from strut and hub" - NO MENTION of the fact you have to wail on them with a sledgehammer to get them to come out. I had to eventually call my mechanic buddy to find this out. My father taught me to not pound on things with a hammer unless you know what you are doing! Also, the illustrations are very lacking compared to other factory manuals I have used. There also seems to be omissions, such as if three different type parts are source (such as brake calipers - as in many domestics where they have multiple suppliers) Dodge manuals would show you how to identify them. I can't remember where I ran into this but GM didn't give a clue - at least that I could find.

    There IS a great deal of information in those books, but getting it out and comprehending it is difficult. Perhaps if you are used to GM manuals you will not have any trouble. but...

    I would honestly look at Chilton's or something that might be more user friendly. I have always bought MFG manuals, but I don't like this manual, esp. after using excellent Dodge manuals that would describe the high level overview of whatever, such as the fuel injection or suspension, giving a great insight as to the design and why it was setup like it was. The Dodge manuals were so good I would read them like a book and learn stuff. You certainly don't get that in these manuals.

    98 Olds GLS
  • Thanks for your reply, Dirkwork

    I have read many of your postings on this board about different stuff so I value your input on usefulness of this manual or manuals.
    Me too got used to excellent manuals from Volvo for our old 740 wagon. They were a series of books, very helpful in maintaining and understanding the car.
    Yeah I don't like to beat on stuff either unless it is called out for. I have messed up enough times to know better. That is were a good manual comes in.
    Will look at Chilton and others that I may be able to find.

  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    I've got the CD version of the GM manuals. You need Windows 2000 or XP. They are the same as the paper manual but cover most GM brands, not just the Pontiac. Even have some info and bulletins for older vehicles.
    Here's an ebay link to give an idea of cost & what's covered. - - - &item=4505925107&category=43989 They seem to appear frequently. The CD version has an advantage that it uses Internet Explorer and uses hyperlinks to navigate to the various pages. This avoids what Dirk mentioned about jumping from section to section. Another plus is the TSBs are included. Anyway another option a little cheaper than the paper version.
  • I heard some rear end thunking and after checking seats, the rear wheels, etc. I remembered I had this when I installed shocks and the upper mount was not quite tight enough. Fixed it, then now, after quite some time, it appears to have loosened up again (pass side). I guess I will remove it and put locktite on the threads, then hit it with a torque wrench to make sure I'm getting enough force on it.

    Other than that, 110k on the van, no major problems.

    My intermitent wipers are working intermitently, typically they stop in rest position and stay, you have to turn it to LOW or HIGH to get them back moving again. Anyone else have this problem and what was the solution? Is this a motor problem, or a controller problem? I dread looking this up in the manual....(grin)

    I was lurking in the Honda/Sienna board and its funny, the "top rated" sienna apparently has a auto trans 'kickdown" delay that irks some people used to vehicles that have more responsive drivetrains. The Honda has complaints of torque steer. But overall, folks like them. Both are probably very nice but I really don't want a car payment - and a mushy riding sienna is not my style! I posted how they were nice vans but for my money a used GM was the best value and now we have no car payment at all. I could see the Honda eventually wife who I've also converted to being frugal-ish says we should drive the Olds 5 more years, as we just got new Michelin's for it. (grin)

    We're expecting #2 in Jan, so we'll soon the extra seating...

  • Some months ago, I told someone I would post the PSD diagnostics from the shop manual. Sorry for delay. I hope this helps some folks out there!


    Diagnostic mode #1 sounds Diagnostic Trouble Codes ("DTC's") through the sound of the sliding door alarm. Begin the PDS mode 1 by:

    Turn off PSD on/off switch (on overhead in my van)

    Close sliding door manually. Ensure PSD is latched.

    Press and hold PSD "open/close" switch (on overhead console in my van). While HOLDING this switch, cycle the "on/off" PSD switch (10 cycles or more are required to enter mode 1.

    The power door alarm will sound for 3.2 seconds, this means you are in Diagnostic mode #1.

    After entering the mode, leave the on/off switch "on". Release PSD "open/close" switch.

    DTC's are communicated audibily. Example, number 12 is a "buzz...(pause) buzz buzz". This is one for the first digit and two for the second if you're a bit slow on this.

    A long pause, then the DTC's are repeated - until you stop. To exit diagnostics - turn PSD "on/off" switch to "off" position (at least 10 seconds).


    12 - no DTC's stored - no faults.
    13 - Door position fault
    14 - controller malfunction
    22 - door motion error sensed on actuation
    23 - no latch input
    24 - controller error/speed sensor open
    32 - speed sensor shorted to ground

    Diagnostic mode #2

    Enter Mode #1
    Press and hold the Open/Close button 4 secs
    Alarm sounds for 3.2 seconds, twice, indicating mode #2.

    Mode two is harder to summarize, but basically it tests for switches like on gear selector, the keyless remote, the ignition switch, etc.

    Diagnostic mode #3 is for the Unlatch actuator.

    #1 should tell you if you have a major problem.

    Perhaps N7 Don could post #2 adn #3 instructions from his book, if Steve doesn't mind.

    Good luck,

  • Dirk,

    I am curious to know if your van too exhibits the cold start engine rattle. Due to family finances I am reluctantly starting to concede to keeping it but being somewhat picky about mechanical noises I am polling everybody to see how these rattletraps hold up in the long run.

    If your van rattles with 110K and is still going strong that's pretty good!

    Other than the rattle we feel our 2000 Montana was an excellent value purchased used.


  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    Re; startup rattle

    We get the rattle for a minute or two on cold starts. As I explained in prior posts, I had read where the piston fit is slightly on the loose side, but it expands when it heats up and should pose absolutely no problem to long service life IMHO.

    I've replaced the serpentine belt, 2 batteries and tires, brakes, a tie rod end and various bulbs, fluids and filters but its really been a great purchase. Wife thought I was off my rocker to want to buy it, but now its her preferred vehicle and I use it 90% of my trips as well as it doubles as a SUV/pickup with large storage space. Also, used vehicles usually already have a stain or two, so when your kid pukes all over the seat or something like that, you're not quite as upset as you don't have that "new car" mindset.

    I'm thinking of eventually getting a DVD/Screen system added for long road trips, but we don't need it now (usually fly) and I don't want my kid vegging to videos more than necessary.

    Don't worry so much - everything will be OK!

    Just keep eye on leaking coolant. These 3.4 motors did have a known problem of intake manifold gasket leaking. Some are fine, other leaks are barely noticable like mine, others like a guy in my office with a Venture go in a gush of steam. Its not a huge deal, about $600 and then you're good to go. Use procedure to fix described in earlier posts on the subject.

    Other makes ALL have issues, even Toyota had a engine oil/sludge problem that had them buying a lot of engines for owners in a "silent recall".

  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    We have an 04 Montana and it was superb value in my opinion. Yes the Honda Oddy is a better van BUT it would have been about $8-10K CDN more.

    Like you, with 2 kids you have to watch the wallet and the Montana does everything we ask and more. Zero issues so far and great mileage to boot.
  • I recently did an intake gasket replacement on my 2000 Olds Silo and got everything back together and working good except I think I did not replace a vacuum line on the upper intake. I did notice a vacuum port near the alternator that didn't have a hose attached so I put a plug on it thinking that a nipple had fallen off. The controls to the HVAC vents don't seem to work so I am thinking that a vacuum hose it not connected. I looked for a unconnected hose near the firewall but couldn't find one. Anyone have a idea on where the hose comes through the firewall?
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    I haven't done this repair are one of the few who tackled it. Its a bit of work isn't it? You are on the right track with the hose, I don't have any advice but look around. I'd also look from underneath if that could help, or use one of those mirrors. Let us know about it and how your repair holds up and what gaskets you used.

  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    There's a vacuum port on the RR upper manifold that does have a hose connected to it. I know this much to be true. Unfortunately my van isn't home to look nor does the manual give a clue (that I can find!) at the routing but recalling it seems as if the hose routing off that port takes an abrupt 180 deg. turn toward the front of the engine. I remember leaving it off and had to redo something to put it on. The 180 was a molded connector. Look under the upper manifold area on the right (pass. side) of the engine. This may or may not be of help.
  • Look at another Venture Van and follow the hose from the nipple back to the firewall. You should then be able to find your hose in that location.
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    Just got the Montana back. It's a 98 so the routing may not be the same as the 2000. The hose comes off the port and makes a 180 toward the front of the vehicle. There appears to be a check valve inline right after the 180. About in the middle of the water pump it swings over to the washer bottle and splits into two hoses. Can't see where it goes from there.
  • GM Recalling 717,302 Minivans

    Thu Dec 23, 2004 09:43 AM ET


    DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp. (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) will recall 717,302 minivans because passengers could hurt their arms or wrists when opening a power sliding door, U.S. safety regulators said on Thursday.


    Vehicles affected by the recall are Chevrolet Venture and Pontiac Montana minivans from the 1997-2005 model years, Oldsmobile Silhouette from the 1997-2004 model years, and Pontiac Trans Sport from the 1997-1999 model years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.


    GM is recommending that owners do not use the interior door handle of the minivan to open the door, the agency said. The driver can open and close the door from switches at the driver's position or by using the remote key fob.


    The agency has received 21 complaints from consumers, including 19 cases of arm or wrist injuries. These include 13 cases of broken bones requiring a cast or surgery.


    GM, the world's largest automaker, has recalled more vehicles so far this year than in all of 2003. oryID=7169833&src=rss/businessNews
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