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2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace


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anotherbri
User

Dec 12, 2017, 9:28 PM

Post #1 of 47 (1062 views)
2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

Hi everyone,
I am about to undertake the removal of my Montana's transmission. It started banking gears and the 1811 code came up. Fluid was last changed about 50,000 miles ago. I started out by ordering a Transgo shift kit and I sucked out some fluid through the dipstick tube and added in the some SeaFoam TranFix. I drove it for about 300 miles with the SeaFoam in it. Then I cracked the pan and drained as much fluid as I could without actually fully removing the pan. I drove it some more and drained it again the same way. Then I drove it some more yet and the removed the pan fully and drained completely. Fluid was dark and there was tons of metal all over the pan.....more than the magnet could even hold. While driving and semi-changing the fluid prior to this, I also noticed the transmission starting to slip at times. Also, I don't think it was going into OD, but then at times, it would bang and lock-up hard in OD and it was hard to make it come out. SO back to the fluid drain. I pulled the valve body from above the pan and installed the Transgo kit. There were shavings in the valve body as well. And when I say shavings, I'm talking like very fine metallic dust. I put everything back together with a new filter and gasket. Drove the vehicle and the 1-2 & 2-3 gears didn't shift hard anymore. The 1811 did not come back. But the transmission was really slipping....forward in any gear and also in reverse if goosed hard enough. Engine Light came on. Codes 0730, 0741, & 0742 were now prevalent. Clear codes, they just come back. I've determined this transmission is done. Oh yeah, it has 254,000 miles on it too. So I'm looking to pull it and replace it, either with a reman or a junk yarder with fingers crossed. Would like to just get about 30,000 more miles out of this van. It is really in good shape otherwise and I use it a lot for hauling things inside of it.
I started this process today. I pulled the air box, disconnected battery, pulled the 2 fender braces, the throttle cables, trans wiring harness, shift cable, shift cable box, shift cable bracket and I broke the 5 bell housing bolts each about 1 turn. Also removed the grounds from the 2 front bell housing bolt studs. I have a 4x6 rigged from front to back above the engine with a ratchet strap running over it from the 2 lifting eyes on the engine to support the engine. I believe I have everything covered from the top for now. If you think I'm missing something, please let me know.
Tomorrow, I am going to get the vehicle up high off the floor the best I can with big 10x10 oak blocks. I have to figure out what all I need to take off the sub-frame. I plan on disconnecting the rack from the sub-frame and supporting it with ratchet straps. I read a thread from 5 years ago for a Venture that I think will be helpful in this project. If anyone else can think of anything I need to do, I'm all ears & eyes. I don't have any manuals to help me along or to give me a step by step. Just sort of picked up the best I could from on here and youtube. But nothing is specific for my Montana. Gonna have to play and learn as I go on this one and improvise along the way.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 13, 2017, 1:37 AM

Post #2 of 47 (1052 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

Didn't read and know the site has a transmission expert and shop should be by for any details with your issues. I'll remove the first post you made started by user name "Marine Grunt" did get very involved with asst. trans and gearcase issues super for archives as you found and should stay there that was now years ago to read only so will lock it up. For reference is here > http://autoforums.carjunky.com/...h=-1;t=search_engine <
If you wish to point to one spot of it for your specific questions for suggestions. Good luck, Tom



anotherbri
User

Dec 13, 2017, 8:39 AM

Post #3 of 47 (1040 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

Thanks Tom. Sorry about the other post on the old thread. I just signed up to reply to the MG thread, after which I was redirected to the page of threads and I saw the pinned thread on top with the rules. Read thru them and knew I made a boo-boo. My apologies for my haste.
It is an awesome thread with so much wisdom.
Freezing cold out today. About to go under the van here and see what needs to be done to drop the sub-frame.


anotherbri
User

Dec 13, 2017, 10:51 AM

Post #4 of 47 (1027 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

Here's a question. Before I drop this sub-frame, do I need to mark it really well? I sort of remember a while back when my son & I dropped the sub-frame on his Saturn, that it was critical to mark it and put it back as exact as possible. Maybe for alignment purposes?? I do see different shaped holes on 3 of the sub-frame corners, almost as if a certain type of gauged pin would fit into each of the 3 corners to line it up exact. Any idea on how to rig a tool for this alignment purpose? And how critical is it to put it back "exact"?


anotherbri
User

Dec 13, 2017, 10:52 AM

Post #5 of 47 (1025 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

Btw.....I go by Happy Harry if anyone cares. Lol


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Dec 13, 2017, 3:43 PM

Post #6 of 47 (1006 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

Slight movements in the subframe position can effect alignment but it's not really possible to get it back exactly. Best bet is to get an alignment after you straighten out all your transmission issues.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



anotherbri
User

Dec 13, 2017, 5:24 PM

Post #7 of 47 (1002 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In


In Reply To
Slight movements in the subframe position can effect alignment but it's not really possible to get it back exactly. Best bet is to get an alignment after you straighten out all your transmission issues.


10-4 on that Hammer Time! I spent quite some time today making some reference marks and improvised some tools to use as gauges in the holes. I video'd all my marks and how the gauge tools should fit. I'm now fairly confident I can get it back into place rather close. But definitely, I will get the front end aligned.....again. Lol Long story short, I just got brand new tread and an alignment done on this right before the tranny started acting up.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Dec 13, 2017, 5:54 PM

Post #8 of 47 (996 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

Most of those mountings are "self centering" and it isn't going to have that much effect on it anyway.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Dec 13, 2017, 5:55 PM)


anotherbri
User

Dec 13, 2017, 5:57 PM

Post #9 of 47 (992 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

I ran into the same problem Marine Grunt had with his Venture concerning the rack bolts. I can't get either one out due to the sway bar being in the way. Snapped the one sway bar end bolt and the other is froze in the center piece. Letting Kroil soak on that overnight. Still gonna need to remove the bushing brackets to move it enough to get the rack bolts out. Also, both ends of the sway bar are broken. The bottom half of the flat part that connects to the end link bolt is completely broke from the hollow bar. So I guess I'm gonna need another sway bar or maybe a good weld job as well as all the bushings. Unimpressed

Happy Harry


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Dec 13, 2017, 6:03 PM

Post #10 of 47 (986 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

If the end link bolts are rusted, probably better to cut them off with a cut off wheel. I believe once the end links are off you can rotate the sway bar enough to get the rack bolts out without removing the sway bar bushing brackets.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Dec 13, 2017, 6:04 PM)


anotherbri
User

Dec 13, 2017, 6:14 PM

Post #11 of 47 (978 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In


In Reply To
If the end link bolts are rusted, probably better to cut them off with a cut off wheel. I believe once the end links are off you can rotate the sway bar enough to get the rack bolts out without removing the sway bar bushing brackets.


Yeah I might just do that. I was thinking the same thing. I'm already committed for new end links anyway, so might as well just cut it and be done with it. If I can't get the bolts out with the rotate, I'll proceed to the bushing brackets. Those bushings are shot as well, so it wouldn't hurt to replace them too. What do you think about welding the broken end flats on the bottom? LOL I could probably get another bar from the local U-pull.


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Dec 13, 2017, 7:08 PM

Post #12 of 47 (960 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

Not too sure about welding the sway bar. I believe it's spring steel and it would take a special procedure to weld something like that. You are probably better off getting one from the salvage yard.

It would probably be easier to remove the brackets for the sway bar once you have the subframe off the vehicle if you get the rack bolts out.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Dec 13, 2017, 7:09 PM)


anotherbri
User

Dec 14, 2017, 8:35 AM

Post #13 of 47 (935 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

Here's a question. Maybe I should create a new post for this. But I'm seriously thinking about looking for a replacement transmission from the local U-pull. Problem is, the newer digital odometers. I'd like to be able to view the vehicle mileage. The U-pull place doesn't keep records. I was thinking there has to be a way to jump a drill battery to something to make the odometer light up with the stored mileage. Anyone know how this can be done without pulling half the dash apart? Also, does anyone know what other vehicles (years & models) used the same transmission as the 2001 Montana? As I think I have read that they change from year to year and it has to be specific for each vehicle.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Dec 14, 2017, 9:10 AM

Post #14 of 47 (931 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

I'm used to different even with "u-pull" major parts are already out and a sheet on exact car when they took it in, miles or any info. Then go look at the wreck or what's left of that car for info, why it was salvaged. Stickers for oil changes or inspection sticker last should say miles it had so you get close and general use of the thing. Beat to death or a bad luck something?
My own available will 100% warranty the part (whole units) are good but not any labor up front. This is a 2001 by now wonder if on a second or third trans overhaul you probably wont know.


It has to match exactly no games or excuses they have the software for that with VIN numbers. Also - they are just going to cut the thing out no fussing with what's in the way or do around me.
I can't know how your local place does what. I'd look for another with more information as it's a risk already if everything looked great. The other thing is they may want yours back and hold a deposit for the core. I'd keep it till this is all over working fine for some time and miles then turn in the core so if any silly sensor clips or things about the job at all you have yours still.


Other on this stuff: The "bone yards" I call them are connected to others all over the place know each others inventory if organized at all. It's scary territory to end up doing this twice I'd personally pay more for the information by real junk yard specialist and they are if good. It may be the age they just don't bother with much? It would be hard to find much around me that old now most would have only been kept a month or two and just squish the thing and take the bucks for recycle value and or credits for eliminating an old car/vehicle,


Tom



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Dec 14, 2017, 9:48 AM

Post #15 of 47 (927 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

You can use a jump box for power but without the keys, that would be useless.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



anotherbri
User

Dec 14, 2017, 10:06 AM

Post #16 of 47 (921 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

I hear what you're saying Tom. It is scary territory to be treading, especially after all the time & effort to do the swap. My local pull-it charges 80 for a Trans. 30 extra if I have them pull it. No core charge. I also called a salvage dealer about a month ago who gets parts from all over the country. He could get one with 125,000 miles on it for 600, 720, or 900 depending on which warranty I chose. Not sure what the stipulations were for the warranty (as in....ASE mechanic needs to install it?). Not sure about that part. But if I'm gonna put out that much, then I might as well double down and get a reman. A lot of choices and gears spinning in me head. What is a good source for which Trans and VIN would be compatible with mine?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Dec 14, 2017, 10:09 AM

Post #17 of 47 (919 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

I was thinking of that for a vehicle just in being inventoried is what I see here you don't touch them till all parts #d if great or just let it be plucked but must remove battery, wheels and gas tanks a pest for under car thing they come lift it up if quick or they do it. Keys? A maybe always, T



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Dec 14, 2017, 10:25 AM

Post #18 of 47 (917 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

Back this up: Have you plain priced out fixing this one that would come with a warranty? You might be surprised risk vs costs aren't too far apart,


Tom



anotherbri
User

Dec 14, 2017, 6:54 PM

Post #19 of 47 (905 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

Well the transmission is out!!! Yay!!! I was surprised that it wasn't really that hard. Not much was really attached to the sub-frame, so that was a plus. All in all, I am happy. Now for deciding with what I want to replace it with.
Unsure


Quote
Have you plain priced out fixing this one that would come with a warranty? You might be surprised risk vs costs aren't too far apart,


I'm guessing that is always an option too.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 15, 2017, 1:31 AM

Post #20 of 47 (894 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

You are determined. Check out even now with it out what getting that one redone at a reputable "transmission" specialty shop. Unless YOU screwed it up going back in should be under warranty and a lot less to worry about.


Harry - shops don't all have the space to spread one out to redo (rebuild) nor room to tie up do send out stuff just like this. No harm in asking for prices and terms of the deal. Used is always going to be a mystery. I really suggest asking at least. No joke - the junkyard is going to sell off the cores as the demand out there dictates for rebuilding or hard parts for another to rebuild so why not cut the corner off and send it out directly yourself? Of course you want to save a buck and be "Happy" that you did this part yourself just don't let a few bucks make you do this over and over again for short bucks to do better,


Tom



anotherbri
User

Dec 16, 2017, 11:35 AM

Post #21 of 47 (883 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

Tom, I honestly don't even know where I could take it or send it to for a reliable rebuild. That versus an already rebuilt (reman).


anotherbri
User

Dec 16, 2017, 11:37 AM

Post #22 of 47 (881 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

Now that it's out, I'd like to change the rear main. 6 bolts holding on flywheel. It a puller required to remove flywheel to get to that seal? I'm guessing the oil pan needs to come off as well? I've never done a main seal before.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Dec 16, 2017, 11:51 AM

Post #23 of 47 (879 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

Harry! You don't know diddle about where an exchange one was rebuilt you would with it done locally or even if a drive for you.


About rear main? Is it leaking more than a normal drop there like is there a mess? This is opinion time - if not a problem leave it alone they near always leak from a worn crankshaft and the push thru ones may just be worse. Just think hard about that I say no to doing that unless clearly indicted it's a problem.


Just really needing one at all isn't a great sign IMO either,


Tom



anotherbri
User

Dec 16, 2017, 6:37 PM

Post #24 of 47 (868 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In


In Reply To
Harry! About rear main? Is it leaking more than a normal drop there like is there a mess? This is opinion time - if not a problem leave it alone they near always leak from a worn crankshaft and the push thru ones may just be worse. Just think hard about that I say no to doing that unless clearly indicted it's a problem.

Tom


Yeah ya know Tom, the rear really doesn't look that bad IMO. It's not all over flywheel, just a little seepage behind. But honestly, the front one looks really wet. Unless that's coming from higher up somewhere. Past few years, there has always been oil all over the bottom of the pan. Would leave a few drops under the car overnight. But on the other hand, I never had to add any oil in between oil changes and I would do them on a 4500 mile schedule. I'm wondering if the pan gasket could be leaking a little, but I also think it's coming from higher as well. I haven't really been able to mess with anything the past couple days. I'm pulling 13 hour work days this weekend with 3 hours travel. I'm just happy the trans is on a cart right now. LOL


anotherbri
User

Dec 16, 2017, 6:39 PM

Post #25 of 47 (866 views)
Re: 2001 Pontiac Montana 3.4 Transmission Replace Sign In

And Tom......thank you for your insight.






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