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GMC Yukon XL and Yukon XL Denali



  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I don't know the demographics of members here but it's just possible no participants have done those upgrades. It would be nice if we could nudge a few lurkers out of the shadows however! :)

    tidester, host
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    No sporty stuff on my SUV--I reckon sport tube-like side steps would look kind of weird on a Denali...LOL! I don't have a lot of bolt-on stuff on my DXL--the only exterior modifications I did to it was to swap out the glass liftgate and rear vent caps for their Escalade counterparts. ;)
  • tireguytireguy Posts: 200
    No, I don't think the westin tubes would go with the Denali's motif any more than a set of Mud-Terrain T/As. Swapping out the ugly ribbed vent caps with the Esky's smooth OE is something I've thought about doing. I'm assuming you had no choice but to replace the glass for a proper fit. There must be some similar aftermarket vents which fit with the original hatch.

    I guess after owning Jeeps and motorcycles I'm used to an aftermarket which can provide any variation on any component you can imagine. It's not like I'm an accessory junkie. I don't want my truck looking like Ladder No. 1, I just like making improvements where the manufacturer cut corners. The less noticeable and more funcitonal the better. :shades:

    Of course after not seeing my truck (or wife, son or dog) for six months even with the plastic steps and ribbed vents it will be sheer eye candy. It will be nice to be home where idiots aren't launching bottle rockets at our boats. The 122mm rocket of choice that landed about 100 yards from my stateroom today has a range of a couple miles, so it's impossible to be moored anywhere in the middle east or Horn of Africa and safely out of range. Sorry I know this has nothing to do with GMC products. Thinking about ways to waste money on an already expensive vehicle takes my mind off things.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    I'm under 30! Only had my Yukon XL for 2 or 3 weeks now. I got a stainless exhaust tip!... Looks kinda cool, I think. The standard running boards are okay for me. The ones from the Suburban Z71 look cooler, but I can't justify spending money on that kind of thing. Also the standard, flat boards are really easy to scoot along as you attempt to wash the top of the vehicle. I would like some kind of replacement for the cheesy, ribbed plastic D-pillar vent covers - Escalade parts is a great idea. Another thing I am hoping to do is the grille insert (I have a standard Yukon, not Denali). I would feel like a "poseur" with a Denali grille, but I've seen lots of other cool stuff on the internet. I'm torn between a horizontal bar billet aluminum, and a patriotic US flag looking thing I saw. Also saw one that looks like spider webs, which my 3 little boys would absolutely love. What preschool aged boy doesn't want their daddy to drive the Spiderman SUV? My wife insists that whatever I choose retains the GMC logo in the center, so I'll go along with that. I noticed many of them don't even require that you remove the factory grille, it just clips right on top. I wonder if that really looks good up close. Lots of stuff for under $150, but maybe you get what you pay for...

    You're right, there is not a lot of Internet action, that I have seen, for Yukon XL owners. I did come across one very active site for Avalanche owners. They have a lot of stuff on performance mods, and obviously they're the same engines under the hood. Do a google search for that if you're interested.

    Thanks for serving our country, by the way! I hope you return to your family safely. I was out of town this week on business and was missing my family pretty bad - I can't imagine 6 months at a time.
  • Hi,
    I have a 2002 Tahoe and need to replace the oxygen sensor, anyways, is this hard and could you tell me how to do it. Or even give me a website of some sort. I tried to look for a thread but nothing applied.
  • racermdracermd Posts: 3
    Ok, with the complaint of a lack of activity here, I'm going to step up to the request for people with upgrades/mods to their YXL. For the record, I've got an '04 Denali XL in Carbon/Shale.

    1: K&N FIPK, rev.1 (I think). It's the one with the polished aluminum tube, instead of the black poly' one. It definitely adds some grunt to the lower-middle RPM range. Also gives a more throaty sound at moderate throttle, but just roars (but not annoyingly, IMNSHO) at WOT. By itself, the truck feels more responsive under part-throttle at slower speeds.

    2: Hypertech Power Programmer III. Not exactly the perfect match for the Denali, as most of the "tuning" options are geared towards more mechanically modified vehicles (who wants to put 33" tires and new custom axles with non-stock ratios!?). I use it mainly for the 87 Octane engine tuning and the trans shift improvement. $400 retail, but I exchanged the one I had for my '01 Silverado for a total of $200 + shipping. Still a little overpriced, methinks, but I wanted to do *something* with that old PP3 unit.

    3: Touch-screen Nav from the '05+ models. This is something I was able to do, despite everything told to me by everyone at all the Chevy/GMC dealers I visited. It's simple, really. The factory Bose system sounds better than average for a factory system, so all it needs is the navi head and GPS sensor (no, it doesn't use the same one from the OnStar system). Got the kit from JP Customs at this site.

    4: I've got an iPod that I wanted to use with the Navigation system, but there's no line-in or cassette deck, so my only options were to hack into the head-unit or use an FM solution. I didn't want to try re-wiring a $2k head on a $50k truck, so I opted for a less invasive solution. I went with an in-line FM modulator (not to be confused with the 'over-the-air' FM transmitters - those sound like crap). It's not as nice as a real line-in, but it gets the job done. With the windows down, sunroof open, at speed, with the volume up, it's hard to tell it's not really a line-in! Downside? Finding a switched 12v source to power the thing. Ultimately, I had to tap into the ignition wiring, which is complete hack-job. Plus, I don't get R.A.P.

    5: I also had to tap into that switched ignition wire for the Bel RX75 installable radar detector. The hardest part of the install was finding a suitable hole to go from the engine compartment to the cab. I found a great spot between the engine and the steering column where it's only 1 layer of sheet-steel that can be drilled through pretty quickly. Remember to use grommets or something else to seal the two areas off again. I used a combo of a grommet and hot glue.

    6: Here's the only "Me Too!" item - Rims. I didn't go gawdy like 22"+. I went with a set of 17" AR Atlas wheels with the factory tires (Goodyear Wrangler HP), and the factory rims now have Bridgestone Deuler Revos. Since both sets of rims are 17", I can easily swap tires to different rims should I ever find the need to do so. Downside? Aftermarket rims didn't get the TPM sensor installed. D'Oh! The only consequences I see are that I need to keep clearing the "Check Pressure Monitor" message from the message center, and I need to keep a close eye on my tire pressures (no more work than normal, really). I just won't be able to leave the monitoring up to the truck if I start losing pressure in one or more of the aftermarket wheels.

    7: LED "bulbs" went in for all the turn-signals and brake lights. Really, they're just panels of LEDs that mount to the same base as the factory bulbs. They're *bright*, but only in a narrow field. In other words, it's easier to see from directly behind the truck, but more difficult if you're off to the side. I've found that the LED lights cut through fog and road-spray better than the regular bulbs, so I'm leaving them in. If you go this route on the turn signals, you'll need to make sure you get a "load balancer" - a resistor that tricks the signal switch into thinking you don't have a blown bulb (LEDs pull less current than an incandecent bulb, which looks like a blown bulb to the switch). I'll probably go for the APC LED panels that completely replace the rear housings, but I'm waiting to see reviews of them before I spend the $300 or so on them.

    What else do I have planned?

    I'd love to have a light bar on the front, but it's nearly impossible to find anyone that makes one to fit the Denali. This is mainly due to the shape of the front bumper and valence. I'm also waiting until I *really* need it. Right now, I don't really need off-road-type lighting. I do plan on moving out west somewhere to ranch-ish property where extra lighting is a *need*, not just handy.

    I'd also like to have the line-in for my iPod and/or laptop. I checked out JP Customs again while I was writing this, and it seems they might have an option for that (I have all inputs occupied except the overhead DVD, which I'm going to have done with the rest of the audio system in, like, 8 or 10 years).

    How about anyone else?
  • tireguytireguy Posts: 200
    Good stuff Doc,

    I'd like to figure something out to use my iPod as well. I read some good reviews of the line-in setup sold by Crutchfield, but when I checked it out it wasn't compatible with the Bose system.

    A nav system is something I would absolutely love to have, but I couldn't see spending $4,000 for the dealer option just because I'm a tech junkie who's too lazy to read a map. I could almost buy a boat for that price. Pioneer makes a pretty nice setup which receives instant traffic updates from XM Radio. I think I could install that one myself for a little over $2,000. It also has the rear-view camera capability. I'll probably just end up buying a Tom Thumb GPS receiver for my laptop and using that. Much more economical. In the meantime my Rand McNally Road Atlas and Magellan handheld will have to suffice.

    LED tail lights are definitely in my YXL's future. I put them on my 5x8 cargo trailer and am definitely satisfied. They're much brighter and turn on instantly, as opposed to incandescent bulbs, which lag a few milliseconds. That could mean the difference from someone stopping inches from your bumper or inches from your rear seat.
  • racermdracermd Posts: 3
    In my '01 Silverado, I used a laptop and a GPS/Map kit. It worked ok, but was a little too bulky for my taste. I even got a laptop mount for it, but it still got in the way too much. It's generally useless if you leave it on the seat or the center console, because you'd probably want it within easy viewing without taking your eyes too far off the road.

    I also thought about a more portable dash-top model from, say, Garmin or Magellan. It wasn't worth it for a number of reasons. First, the screens are too small. Second, setting the destination is more difficult. Third, having a box on the dash just doesn't look classy for $50k vehicle. I'd put something like this in my wife's Saturn, but not the Denali.

    The "factory" Nav head can be had for about $2200 delivered, which will include everything you'll need to get it installed (even step-by-step instructions). Check out JP Customs. They carry brand-new "virgin" units directly from Delphi, so you won't have to get them cleared of any previous vehicle's VIN (if you purchased a unit from eBay, for example). I was able to get mine installed in about 6 hours. If you've taken your dash apart before and know how everything comes apart, it should take about 4 hours. Of course, I took some extra time to get the rest of the center console apart so I could install the FM Modulator and the radar detector, which accounts for the extra 2 hours.

    Comparing it to the Pioneer unit you mentioned (Avic N1 or N2), the factory setup won't get the real-time traffic updates. But you'll wind up spending closer to $3k-$4k if you decide to go this route. The first issue is that the factory XM reciever will be useless to an aftermarket head, so you'll need to purchase a unit that will work with it - probably the XM TrafficNav unit to go with the Pioneer so you'll get those traffic updates. Second, getting an aftermarket head to work with the factory Bose amp/wiring is difficult at best, and the results usually wind up leaving you wanting more. If you're looking for equal/better results than the factory setup, you'll wind up replacing the speakers, wiring, and amp with aftermarket units. When I priced it out, I figured I'd need to replace the entire setup and get the OnStar/Chime module to retain just those features. The total I came up with was well over $4k (all components were figured to be new retail units). The factory Nav head was a comparative bargain. Eventually, I'll be doing a full aftermarket setup, but not until the resale value for the truck drops significantly - figuring about 6-8 years. I'm not saying you shouldn't do this if it's what you really want to do. I'm just letting you know that my research shows you'll wind up replacing more than you probably think needs to be.

    Anyway - I just had a thought about the LED lights for the rear. Does anyone know if the Escalade housings will fit on a Yukon/Suburban? IIRC, the Escalade has LED panels for tail-lights, and would probably work better off-axis than the LED "bulbs" I'm using now. I know that the Yukon, YXL, Danali, Tahoe, and Suburban all share the same tail-light housing, but I have no idea about the Escalade. What about any other panels/housings for LED? Anyone? Beuller?
  • I have an 05 dxl and have noticed that when driving at highway speed (70) I average about 16.5mpg but when I put the cruise control on it drops to 15.5. Any ideas as to what is behind this?
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    Does it go back up when you turn off the cruise control?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
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  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    Nice list of mods you got there! FWIW--in addition to the Esky rear vent covers and liftglass, I've also added the following:

    1) Westers PCM tuning--now I can get my 6000-lb DXL to do low 7-second 0-60 and low 15-second quarter-miles.

    2) Outlaw air intake; doesn't look as cool as the FIPK or Airaid offerings, but according to my GTech tool, it appears to do the job.

    3) I also did the TNR upgrade...however--my route was simpler, as all I needed to do was swap out my existing INR for the appropriate TNR.

    4) Swapped out the slave 6-CD changer for a Pioneer AVH-P6500DVD unit--motorized screen, plays MP3 discs and DVD movies. I also have the aux audio/video out running to a pair of...

    5) ...Vizualogic 7" headrest monitors. These units will accept an external A/V source, plus play DVD movies via the DVD player built into each headrest.

    6) 22" wheels and tires; gotta have some bling to my truck--LOL!

    7) Baer Alumasport brake kit front and rear; even with the heavier 22" wheel/tires, the Alumasports are rated to stop my truck in a shorter distance than an all-stock brake setup w/ OEM wheels.

    8) LED taillights in a smoked-lens housing--not a bulb-only swap; these are 3 columns of LEDs contained in the tail housing.

    9) 4300K HID headlight retrofit kit; some may argue that the improvement--perceived or otherwise--from switching to such a retrofit kit may not be worth its cost...but I chose to do so because I got a great deal...and even after almost 1 1/2 years, the kit is still functional--IOW it hasn't gone bad already, unlike other cheap HID kits.

    If you do decide to go with the APC LED panel, make sure that your cruise control still works. When I installed my LED tails, I found out that the CC no longer would activate; turns out that the LEDs don't put out enough resistance for the CC unit to pick up. Apparently the CC needs to see this resistance in order to know when to deactivate upon hitting the brake pedal; in any case, the LED tail manufacturer sent me a module which restored the resistance required by the CC.
  • yes the mpg goes back up once the cruise is turned off
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    Interesting. I don't know what that means. Sorry. Maybe someone else does?
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    How about some photos??? Those tail lights sound cool. I don't like the chrome "altezza" style tail lights myself, but something to differentiate it from the million other Yukons, XLs, Tahoes, and Suburbans on the road would be fun.
  • Can anybody tell me if there is supposed to be the 'DENALI' chrome lettering on the drivers side also or if it is only on the right? Thank you!
  • Both front doors should have the Denali emblem.
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    Yeah, I don't know where that came from but FWIW--I notice the same thing too! Unscientifically testing has revealed that, on my DXL with CC on and set at 70 mph, the DIC shows instant fuel economy at a consistent 15 mpg, give or take a few tenths. OTOH, with CC off and "cruising" at the same speed (and more or less under the same road/ambient conditions), intermittent "feathering" (i.e., no sudden accelerations or decelerations) of the gas pedal returns instant fuel economy anywhere between 14 and 18 mpg. Note that I did these tests on flat (i.e., not hilly) roads, so as to reduce the amount of possible variance in the DIC instant fuel economy readings.
  • does anyone know if there is away to modify the rear seats to recline more so my grouchy passenger can be comfortable on long drives
  • Where did you get the camera you posted? I have a factory nav unit and I am planning on getting connector for it. I really like where you placed it.
  • The 2nd row seats do recline - there is a handle to adjust the angle. The 3rd row seats do not recline.
  • We've had our Suburban since Dec. 03 and we've finally determined the sporadic high pitched tone we hear is linked to the AC system (not sure if it's also linked to the system when the heat is on...will test that out over the colder months). We thought it was brakes at first but it happened at very odd times (like when the car is running, in park and I'm outside the vehicle, for one) and over the summer have found if we turn off the AC when the noise is occurring the obnoxious noise stops. Now, we haven't been to dealers since we figured this out but plan on bringing to their attention next time we take it in. Let me know if you guys get the noise to stop by turning off AC...let me know if we are on to something. What the fix will be is now my question. Any ideas (before I talk to service techs)?
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    If you're referring to the trailer hitch camera--I got it at
  • Can anyone help, have a 2001 GMC Yukon XL and I love it. Has 108k and runs great. However, when trying to engage A/C system at start up engine begins to surge, A/C blows warm air, and on occasion causes the engine to stall. Watching the RPMs it seems to surge falling below 500 RPMs if I press the accelerator to 1000 RPM everything returns to normal. A/C starts blowing cold again. Let off the gas and problem persists until the engine is warmed up then everything runs fine. I have taken the Yukon in for service was advised the Yukon was due for spark plug and wires and the A/C compressor needed replaced. Had the work done, Problem(s) still exist!! If anything the problem is worse. Still happening only when the vehicle is at idle, and only at warm up.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    Y'all seen the photos of the new Yukon? Man, I thought the Tahoe looked bland. The Yukon looks like a big Envoy, which is to say weak and BLAH.
  • raulioraulio Posts: 1
    Have you had any luck fixing this yet? I also have an '01 Yukon XL, with 83k and have started to have serious problems with the surging. It has always surged and recently a friend got a yukon that also surged ('01). His dealer told him his manifold needed to be cleaned--it helped. Mine has made my battery die, now the battery gauge drops, and it sounds like it is going to turn off, whenever the RPMs get below 1000. Does this sound familiar to you?
  • This is common on Vortec engine designs. I had this on my Denali and address this on the following Edmunds message
  • gkhangkhan Posts: 1
    Do you still have the captain's chairs? I have a bench for a 2004 Denali.
  • There is a circle with holes in it,kind of like a mini speaker almost, in the headliner right next to the drivers head above drivers door. it has started making a humming noise like a little fan or motor running and when you turn off the car it makes a winding down whirring noise . does anyone know what this is?? thought maybe it had something to do with onstar but seriously doubt it.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    This was addressed in a prior post (see #3862 and associated posts). You may also try searching and asking in the Suburban and Tahoe boards, there are some guys in here that are very knowledgeable and answer almost every question within a day or two.

    The OnStar speaker is on the headliner to the right of the driver, by the overhead console. The thing on the left by your head is some kind of sensor for the automatic climate control. There is a small fan in there, I didn't really understand why, or what they did to resolve the noise. Good luck, let us know what you do about it.
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