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GM's triplets Venture, Silhouette, and Montana



  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    If I push the e-brake down a click or two before turning on the ignition, my 98 Montana lights don't come on.
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    Bulletin 03-06-01-010 was first issued in March 2003 however there isn't any production info. The bulletin detailed the new gasket p/n and fastener specs. The way it was written it appears to apply to all 2003 Montana's without regard to VIN.

    Not aware of any "additive" to slow the deterioration. The new gasket design has reinforced edges at the water passages and the new bolts have thread-lock applied. The later suggests the OE bolts may have loosened over time.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I don't know but I do know that they were modified / fixed at some point.

    Does the 2003 have a 5 year powertrain or a purchased extended warranty?
  • redly_oneredly_one Posts: 122
    ok, I went to check out the 03 Montana tonight. it's in outstanding condition, just like new...and it hasn't even been detailed yet. very sharp looking white on grey with alloy wheels

    build date is 10/02. According to carfax, the warranty is 3/36. Interestingly enough, the van originated in Quebec for it's first 17k miles and then was imported to the US. Very strange since they were telling me it was a one owner vehicle....and from what I can tell this guy has lived in my town all his life. more on this later.

    The dealer is about 30 miles away from my home. For whatever reason, they were like "take it home to show your wife, make sure she approves" and I don't have to take it back till Saturday. Nice extended test drive.

    My concern is that I smelled coolant when I arrived at home. with 30000 miles on the vehicle, I'm wondering if I can make this work to my advantage. I'm going to take it to my local Pontiac dealer and see if they can diagnose (or probably mis diagnose) the source of the smell. If it turns out to be the gasket, and they will cover it under warranty then Yeah!! And, since the price isn't set in stone yet, I can spin it with the selling dealer to get another 5-800 bucks off the price. Any thoughts on how to approach this?

    Back to the van originating in there anything difference between a van sold in Canada and one that is sold in the states?? (emissions, anything?)

    the deal
    I'm trading a 93 silhouette. It's pretty rough around the edges. tranny is on it's last leg, AC doesn't work (110psi on the low side of the compressor), rotors are warped, dr side front wheel bearing needs replaced, air compressor is gone, mysterious disappearing coolant, leaks oil. 112K miles paid $1900 2 years ago, they offered my $1500

    they're asking $13800 for the Montana. Not great, but seems to be consistent with private sellers prices and about anything I've seen on the net for one of the triplets (actually wanted another Silo, but they seem to fetch premium prices)

    any advice on how to get them down on their price? I haven't negotiated or even discussed price much yet.
  • redly_oneredly_one Posts: 122
    took the 03 montana to my local dealer today.

    easy cheesy, they looked it over and said they'd replace the lower intake gasket and water pump under warranty, no cost.

    took it on a 150 mile trek tonight, filled the back up with 4x8 peices of fencing and posts for the back yard. I filled up the gas tank before I left, added a little Lucus fuel system cleaner, and the needle didn't even budge off F(ull).

    I had an 02 Odyssey, then an 03 Silhouette, then the [non-permissible content removed] fell out of our personal economy, so we bought the 93 Silhouette for cash. I always relate vehicle discussions back to the Honda, though, as it is perceived as the "ultimate". Loved that van too, don't get me wrong. sure it had 240HP, but you had to rev the hell out of it to really feel it, and it was noisy as hell at 75MPH. Can't say it really was a memorable difference relavtive to the 03 Silo, which we also loved. I really think, if you buy used, maybe even new if you hit the incentives right, you come out ahead by buying a GM (at least the pre 05 non "truck looking vans").

    anyway, we'll be signing the papers today (sat)
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    FYI, I am fixing my broken plastic rear hatch handle bracket. A lot of people have had trouble with them breaking, as I guess ozone and a poorly designed part both contributed to them breaking. Not wanting to plunk down $ on a replacement that will likely break again, I was inspired by N7don's home-make bracket he told me about, so I went out in the shop and got to work. This is the result, made from mild steel, the top part where the strap attaches us made from 1" square steel tubing, which is slightly smaller than the strap, but I used a belt sander to narrow it down a little bit to fit. Thought about sectioning the thing to make it wider but it wasn't worth that much work. Come to think about, I don't know why I bothered to do this anyway, wife and I always grab the door itself usually, except for when she broke the handle. Anyway, if you are looking for a solution and don't mind it looking a little bit utilitarian, you might give this a shot. Thanks to N7don for the link to the picture. I am going to paint this and install. Also, although I drilled a big hole so that the attaching screw would be installed on the bottom part of the bracket, it was unnecessary as the screw is probably long enough if you decide to try this at home. Provide enough $ and maybe I'll make y'all some.

  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    I got my Ebay headlights recently, and they were double boxed and pretty large when shipped, so I guess the $15 each to ship was partially explainable.

    They are so shiney and new its amazing, I have not yet installed but holy cow, my wife was really impressed compared to our sandblasted and sun yellowed old water filled lights this really ought to be a big improvement!

    If you have an older van like my '98 and are thinking of replacing the lights, I am ashamed I waited this long, they are that much different and I haven't even installed them yet!

  • indrgbindrgb Posts: 115
    DD - Let us know how the new headlights work. Are they GM or aftermarket?

    Has anyone had trouble with the front power windows? For the last year the drivers window on my 2000 silo wants to go up crooked. It goes down fine, but it needs help going up. My wife drives the van so I kind of put if off since it was not a serious problem. I finally stopped by a Olds dealer to have them look at it and to my surprise they wanted $600 to fix it!!!!!! They said it needs a new regulator, which is basically the whole inside of the door (not including the inside trim). They said more than likely the only thing wrong is one of the brackets that raises the window is bent, but it could not be repaired. I then stopped by an independent shop that I have used before and they said the same thing, and also there was no aftermarket part for the Olds, however there is one for the Venture and Montana. I have looked on gmpartsdirect and found p/n 10315961 for $271. The olds dealer said this is the wrong part. The p/n I got from the dealer is 16639553, which is $325 on gmpartsdirect. Has anyone had this replaced and have a p/n?
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    Do an ebay search on "window regulator montana" I got a couple hits. This one may be of interest as it says most of the time it's bent arms
    Regular Arms Only
    Of interest the items suggest the only difference between the vehicles is a plug. You can read the first ad with this info.
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    Note the link should have read "Regulator Arms Only" I just returned from a higher altitude and the brain functions are catching up.
  • peegopeego Posts: 1
    hello there. i have a 99 venture and the rear wiper is not working i don't know if the relay or the wiper motor is bad.... i check the fuse and the fuse is good. but anyway. could you tell me where i could buy the wiper motor at please. thank.
  • indrgbindrgb Posts: 115
    Thanks for the help. After checking out the parts on ebay, I'm a little concerned about the quality and the negative feedback on the guy selling just the arms. I can't believe there's not a big aftermarket guy out there selling these window arms. My local shop said they called three different companies they have bought window arms from and all said they can't get one for this van. I will have to do something however. I just refuse to pay $600 for this.
  • billwbillw Posts: 11
    I noticed my temperature computer above your head does not read right. It was 82 degrees yesterday and it was reading 53 degrees. I already did the adjusting to make sure that I was in the right sector of the U.S. Did it again and it still reads wrong. i did put small bubble mirrors on the outside mirrors. Does anybody know if that is where the sensors are. Maybe by putting on the mirrors I covered up the sensor. Looking for ideals.
  • just4fun2just4fun2 Posts: 461
    The temperature sensor is located on the left side by the radiator. I believe that needs to be replaced. You can only select the compass setting number depending on what part of the country you are in. Looks like an easy fix.
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    I mounted the new head lights and they were mostly a drop-in. The tab for the turn signal light had the a steel threaded tab that needed to be reversed, but otherwise it fit well. I need to adjust them now. the drivers side must be at full "down" from the factory for "safety". Only used to drive about 2 miles. Will adjust.

    My issue with the GM lights on my '98 is the hokey way the front side/signal lights are attached. Could they have designed worse system? The little clip that is supposed to hold the bottom to the headlight bracket inevitably comes off with the head inside the bracket and then you have to pry it out and when you get it all reattached, its so loose and floppy you wonder if you have it right, but you actually do, its just GM thinks you only need one nut and little clip to hold the light in position. You won't see Honda doing it this way....maybe it saved $.25 on the assembly line.

    They are built in some far-east country, have to look at the box again. Since the GM ones fell apart, this might be a good thing. I had both lenses fall off and the reflective material inside lost its luster from time - even after I had cleaned it out and reglued the lenses. These look like something from a new vehicle, they are so shiney looking.

    The guy I got them from however charged $15 each for shipping, which is a fairly large fee but I knew it going in. They were shipped very well, double boxed and foamed into large boxes. He also sent me a 3rd light for a Chevy by accident that I offered to return if he pays MY shipping cost, see what happens there.

  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    My '98 Olds broke today.

    Short story, going to festival tomorrow. Almost didn't get to take van although friend flew into town with his son and we'd have 6 of us, 3 in car seats. I had planned this event for about 3 months.

    Wife drove home from store today, parked in driveway (some luck there as you're about to discover) and then the transmission lever became totally limp and did not shift the van out of D into any other selection. Well, short and sweet, my van's transmission gear selector cable broke at the attachment point where it goes around the little ball on the transmission selector lever. It would work fine if you held it down on top of the ball, but would come off otherwise. Weird!

    Local dealers did not have it "on hand" and we were planning on leaving early in AM to secure a good festival camping spot. Looked at the factory manual at the section for replacing the cable and while it wasn't bad, I didn't want to delay our trip spending 2 hours wrestling with the cable. So, I jury rigged the thing, which is pretty hard to describe but it involved some U channel steel, a bit of welding, a 1.5" screw and two nuts.

    I basically sandwiched the ball socket thing on the cable and the transmission lever ball. Sort of like two custom made steel parts from iron fence scraps - that clamped together with a screw, and it had a slot in the middle for the shift cable to go through. It was limited by a steering shaft in the rear and a transmission electrical plug. I whipped something up in about 2.5 hours of futzing around with it, but it will be secure and I can take vacation on time and replace the cable at my leisure.

    I am not sure why this broke, perhaps I was a bit rough with it at times. Was made to go together fast on assembly line but no hold up after a few years. I was not happy to have this break, I didn't plan on doing this work tonight!

  • consmattconsmatt Posts: 1
    How about replacing the water pump in a 99 Olds Sil. Looks easy. Has anyone tried it? I have the telltale dexcool being splattered in the plane of the belt with slight noise.
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    I have changed mine and don't recall any special problem(s). After changing, I had to tighten the bolts along the bottom to clear up a slight seepage.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    Fixed the transmission cable, followed shop manual, no problems, fixed problem with cable coming off the transmission shift lever.

  • greasergreaser Posts: 2
    I have an 01 montana that is overheating, think it may be a head gasket. It is putting pressure back in the recovery tank, and it won't circulate. How can I be sure it's the head gasket or just the intake? Can the heads be removed with the engine in the van?
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    First of all -

    Check the oil. HG problems usually, although not always, result in water in the oil. If the oil is milky or odd looking, don't drive it, get it towed to shop and repaired.

    It does sound like a head gasket problem. I had a Shadow turbo that went through two HG's, and the first one looked like I had smoke pouring out the exhaust (but it was steam) and it would overheat really bad, took me while to nurse it home the 3 miles.

    A shop can put a sniffer into the coolant to see if there are traces of exhaust in the coolant tank, another sure sign.

    Also, usually the car with a blown HG will run a bit off, while a failed intake gasket will run pretty normally.

    I have not heard of anyone having HG's failure on this motor before, but I'm sure it happens.

    Also, check to see if your coolant level is up, and the air bubbles are purged from the system.

    Post back when you find out what the problem is.

  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    I forgot to mention, but I think the engine can be rotated enough to allow the heads to be removed, although don't quote me on it. Its pretty dang tight in there. I think they can also drop the engine cradle a bit and make room w/o totally removing the engine.
  • kdetkdet Posts: 1
    Getting ready to tackle the gasket replacement on my 2000 Montana. Would appreciate the photo of the chain setup (+ any other tips!)

  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    I used a load strap with the ratchet type system to hook the engine and pull it over when I changed the plugs. Worked for me. Good luck, that's a real project you are contemplating.

  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    A racheting cargo strap should work fine, per Dirk's message. I didn't have one at the time of the job so here's what I did with a piece of chain:


    Front attachment:
    Chain Front

    Rear attachment:
    Chain Rear

    Block rear wheels, transmission in neutral and I used bar to rotate engine forward. Once forward, I put the screwdriver thru a chainlink to hold at that position. Watch for anything that can poke a hole in the radiator as you rotate the engine.
  • greasergreaser Posts: 2
    It was the head gasket,and I was able to change both sides with the engine in the van. It was a full days job believe me, and I have been doing mechanical work for 35+ years but never did do a Montana, thats because this was my own. The complete head set cost $105.00 at Car Quest. Only the rear gasket was bad but I changed both.
  • fierodoughfierodough Posts: 8
    I have a 98 Trans Sport with power locks.

    when i get the van USED, it came with no remotes. I assume that since it has power locks, it must have keyless.

    if it does, how do I program them? I have some keyless fobs from a 00 Sunfire GT, will they work? I do not have a power sliding door.
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    Often you can find remotes on ebay. My 98 Montana's info is:
    GM 102459451
    CANADA 218 101 487
    MODEL/FCC ID: ABO0204T note the first 3 characters are alpha ABO

    If the Sunfire remotes don't have this info, they probably won't work.
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    Found these instructions for programming:

    "Transmitter Programming
    If you lose a transmitter, program the old and new transmitter(s) into the remote control door lock receiver's memory. Up to 4 transmitters may be programmed.

    Once the remote control door lock receiver enters the programming/diagnostic mode, the programming of the first transmitter erases all previous transmitter programming information, requiring the programming of all transmitters.

    Program only 1 vehicle remote control door lock receiver at a time. If more than 1 receiver is being programmed at the same time, it is possible that the same transmitter could be programmed to more than 1 remote control door lock receiver

    Perform the following steps in order to program the transmitter:

    Remove the ignition key from the ignition lock cylinder.
    Remove the BCM PRGRM fuse from the fuse panel. Refer to Electrical Center Identification Views in Wiring Systems.
    Close all of the doors.
    Close the liftgate.
    Turn the ignition lock cylinder to ACC.
    Turn the ignition lock cylinder to OFF, and then back to ACC within 1 second.
    Open and close any vehicle door. A chime will be heard when the system enters the BCM programming/diagnostic mode.

    After 7 seconds, a chime may be heard confirming successful synchronization. It is necessary to wait approximately 14 seconds for a second chime that will confirm successful programming.

    Press and hold the transmitter LOCK and UNLOCK buttons simultaneously for 14 seconds.
    Repeat the previous step on each additional transmitter to be programmed.
    Remove the ignition key from the ignition lock cylinder.
    Install the BCM PRGRM fuse back into the fuse panel. Refer to Electrical Center Identification Views in Wiring Systems."
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 613
    Having power locks does not equal having keyless entry. Your van may or may not be equipped to handle a remote. You need to check the option label, should be in the glove box. I think there is another label in the rear end somewhere.
    You're looking for option code AU0. If you can't find the label, post the last 8 digits of your VIN and I'll look it up. :)

    p.s. I don't believe the Sunfire remote will work for your van.
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