NOOOOO!! Crap that sucks. I think you'd have trouble getting the car back to driving order that quickly with the whole interior out too. You're far enough into the project that I think you'd be disappointed to rush things with your 00 too much. How much would a "new" tranny cost? Maybe you could get back more for the van if you fix the tranny... Best of luck whatever you end up doing though!
If the starter comes out of alignment with the flexplate it will make that sound, or if you snap it into multiple pieces like I did with my Z28 awhile back. You should get under it and check, maybe these are two little problems that can be solved easily, hopefully.
Exact same thing happened with our 1984 Plymouth Voyageur. It had 300,000+km'* on it, and a leaking carb so we weren't too sad to see it go. I would sell you my '89, but you would just be buying a burden on wheels. All it has is a good motor/trans.
We just got dumped on here the past few days too, whats it like in MN?