View Full Version : Godson - 2001 GMC Yukon Denali

May 20th, 2014, 02:03 PM
Welp, I bought my first AWD vehicle. It is a big, V8 powered, gas drinking machine.


212,000 mile, 2nd owner.
2 kids.
Headrest DVD with ability to have AUX gaming system hooked up. I am thinking of grabbing an AC/DC inverter and a used SNES, because I can and Super Mario Brothers with Super Mario Kart are about as good as a game as you can get.
Only option this one didn't get was the block heater.
It has some serious torque and power for a 5500lb boat.

I can pull pretty much whatever the fuck I want with it too, which is another new feeling to me.

It needs a decent amount of TLC, but for 4300 you can imagine that.

Immediate Needs
Tires, like yesterday. There is enough dry rot that you can fit a dime in in some places between the tread.
Front Brakes. Squeaking, and 'Warped' rotors. Likely too thin to machine. More importantly not really worth the turn fee of $8 when new ones are only 30 ea.

Needed soon
A serious cleaning. It was vacuumed and washed by the PO, but it really needs a thorough steam clean and detail.
Oil, Plugs, injector flush, fuel filter. (I do this habitually with all new purchases)
Valve cover gaskets look like they are seeping.
Front Shocks, alignment.

Little Niggly things to bitch about till fixed
Drivers seat leather is torn on seat back and bottom.
Padding is broken down on drivers seat
Steering wheel needs to be recovered. The leather is broken down a fair amount and not worth a re-dye.

It had a CEL on. I wrote them down and have since lost the paper. Cleared the codes, put 50 miles on it and haven't seen them since. Fine by me.

May 22nd, 2014, 11:31 AM
Just picked up some cheap ceramic pads for the beast. Need to measure rotor thickness before I splurge on new rotor.

CEL came back on last night. Catalyst below standard or some such. I need to call a buddy to see if I can hook up this this to see what the scanner can read downstream.

Push comes to shove I'll just get some sparkplug spacers so it reads leaner downstream until I can shell out the money on cats if that is the case.

May 22nd, 2014, 11:36 AM
:up: :up:

May 22nd, 2014, 12:53 PM
As long as they're not working, just gut 'em and get a chip to turn off the light.

Wait, do you have to smog this thing?

May 22nd, 2014, 07:10 PM
Nope. But I believe in having a vehicle that isn't a complete environment destroyer.

May 22nd, 2014, 08:04 PM
I know the feeling, which is why my Mazdaspeed3's turbo-back exhaust has a high flow cat, which is still a little louder than I'd prefer.

If I want to smell like uncatalyzed exhaust, I'll ride my motorcycle ;)

May 24th, 2014, 10:09 PM
Did the first workings on The Beast today.

@ 212,371 miles it received:
new valve cover gasket
new front rotors
new front pads
new cabin filters
new to me drivers side auto-dimming and heated mirror (old one was 'funky')
oil changed
greased front end

I was shocked when the caliper slides were greased and were not "he manned" on. Driver side had more wear than passenger, along with the inside pads on both sides showing more wear. No big deal to me. Everything was cleaned up and torqued to spec.

Valve Cover gasket was grey in material and still very pliable, I would guess that it could the the originals as the bolts and nuts didn't show any sign of being turned before. That is purely subjective data though. New ones in and no sign of leakage, which the same could not be said for the old ones. There was enough grease and grime that we took the valve covers to a car wash right down the street and let high pressure and heated degreaser do its thing. Much more effective than using brake cleaner, and likely better for the environment than mixing that nasty shit into the air.

While working on the engine it was very evident how simple it is. The impressive thing is the ease at which wiring harnesses are removable in sections. The same can not be said for many other manufacturers. I am speaking on the IGN coil brackets and wiring. 4 or 5 studs, one electrical connector, disconnect the coils, 2 bolts per coil, and the wiring harness isn't dangling over the rocker arms and other internal engine components. The same cannot be said for the S50 and S52.

It looks like the passenger side outer tie rod end boot is shot. I will likely need to replace that in the future also.

Next on the list is tires. Which are needed BAD. Currently perusing cl in search of used tires to get me by until I can start getting a good paycheck (or until the M3 sells).

June 13th, 2014, 08:25 AM
If the planets align, I might be netting some lightly used Michelin LTX M/S (they might be A/T) in 265/70r17 for the cost of mounting and balancing...More on this later.

Driver side heated seat is INOP, pass side works. I'll dig into that when it starts cooling off. First tank of fuel was 16.3 in the city. Gauge read 17.3... As long as i am above 15, i will not complain.

Valve cover appears to be leak free. Always a good feeling when the work you do is successful

June 13th, 2014, 11:52 AM
Can't decide whether to congratulate you on 16mpg, or wonder how you can tolerate that. :lol:

June 13th, 2014, 12:22 PM
*looks at one of the gas receipts for the work truck*


June 13th, 2014, 03:21 PM
Shit, I don't think my father ever broke 15 mpg when he was driving full size pickups in Chicago.

June 13th, 2014, 03:40 PM
Yeah, but this is one of those cute little 5300s.

June 13th, 2014, 04:15 PM
He had 2 I-6 F-150s followed by a Vortec 4300 Silverado (whose 4L60 shit out below 50k). It's really just a Chicago traffic thing.

June 14th, 2014, 04:28 PM
Trucks (and by extension, SUVs) have woeful fuel economy. I would seriously hypermile my brothers Navigator (5.4 liter, 300hp) to and from work and eke out 17mpg over several days.

Then I looked at its official fuel economy (13/ 18) and told myself 17 wasn't so bad. I reset its fuel economy after every stop, and watching the economy (5.9 mpg) while accelerating gently away from the gas station was very humbling. That's one vehicle that definitely benefits from not having to stop. I once left a ski resort and reset the fuel economy gauge and for several miles it read 99.99 (coasting downhill all the way) then drove 100 freeway miles home to a final 18.4. That shocked me, as, at about 30 miles when I stopped at my cousins in San Bernadino, I was still in the 30s. That was eye opening. I stopped thinking about a Grand Cherokee right then.

Only thing is, my car (95 E320, 3.2 liter. 18/ 24) I can consistently get 24- 25mpg with a little attention. With an antiquated (non lockup) 4 speed transmission. Mass and aero really play a huge role.

June 14th, 2014, 08:51 PM
Can't decide whether to congratulate you on 16mpg, or wonder how you can tolerate that. :lol:

Yeah. double edge sword. City is supposed to be 12mpg. And most of that was 35-40mph.

Yeah, but this is one of those cute little 5300s.

This is the 6.0. The Denali's only came with the 6.0 along with the AWD and the 4l60E HD. Regular GMC SLE Yukon had the 4.8 standard, could not get AWD or the 4l60E HD.

I scored a set of LT265/70R17 Michelin LTX A/T2 load range E tires for cost of mounting and balancing. Tires have 14/32nds tread depth on them. The truck they came off is going to the scrapper at a buddies work. I needed tires and the size was right. Yes they weigh 9lbs more than the tires they replaced which will hurt fuel mileage, but a free set of 900 USD tires that still have ~80% of tread. I couldn't be luckier. Installed at 212,987 miles.

In other news, I parked the truck at a buddies house and saw something hanging down on the back. Crawled under the back end as it looked like a stick had gotten caught under it. Not a stick, the rear tubular sway bar BROKE. The endlink didn't fail, the bar did. GMPartsDirect has a new one for $145. Needless to say that's on the list.

June 15th, 2014, 10:40 AM
Those tires are a steal. That gift horse has nice teeth.

June 15th, 2014, 03:17 PM
Yeah. I take care of that horse.

June 29th, 2014, 03:24 PM
I noticed a puddle underneath the beast today.

Did the sniff and taste test fearing it was dex-cool, suspicions confirmed. I crawled under and started glancing around. Seems I have a leaking water pump. I can get a cheap ass one for 60, or I can get one from gmpartsdirect that has been redesigned for 148, that will also need a new thermostat housing at $30. Costing me around ~$230 after shipping and coolant is factored.


Edit: Any thoughts/opinions on just replacing the gasket? I ask because that is where the failure seems to be.

June 29th, 2014, 03:45 PM
If you're taking it apart to replace the gasket, you might as well replace the pump, particularly if it's a known-bad design.

June 29th, 2014, 03:53 PM
Yeah, I know. Money is just super tight until I get my first paycheck, which I don't start work until next monday. I likely won't get paid until middle of July...

June 30th, 2014, 09:49 AM
Unless you plan on keeping it forever I'd just do the cheap pump. Buying a pump that will last 10 years is a waste if you're only going to have it for three. Even a cheap pump will do three. It's not like the original design failed to do its basic job.

June 30th, 2014, 01:07 PM
I plan on keeping this thing for longer than my current average of 2 years. Mainly because it can do so much.

I just bought the redesigned GM water pump, this thing is going to be my winter beater when I get called in to work and it can't miss a beat.

July 2nd, 2014, 08:04 PM
By no small feat, I was able to eliminate all of the worthless dexcool, replace the water pump, thermostat, and belts @ 213,281 miles

Ill post up the whole BS story tomorrow. I'm going to bed.

March 5th, 2015, 08:50 PM
And I have taken deposit to sell the beast. Vehicle will be the second shortest I have owned a vehicle...

March 5th, 2015, 09:20 PM
I plan on keeping this thing for longer than my current average of 2 years. Mainly because it can do so much.


March 6th, 2015, 09:25 AM
I know......I know......

Sue me.

March 6th, 2015, 09:37 AM
It's tough owning/repairing/investing in an appliance when you're used to a much more visceral driving experience. #feelyourpain

March 6th, 2015, 09:48 AM
Now that you're flush with cash, that's a good idea! :up:

March 6th, 2015, 11:15 AM

March 6th, 2015, 04:00 PM
annnnnnnnnd headrest screens do not work. FML. Do I discount the price or replace them at my cost.

March 6th, 2015, 04:02 PM
Leave them as a negotiation point.

March 6th, 2015, 05:03 PM
Can't imagine why you'd spend a single dime fixing something on a car you don't want that isn't worth all that much in the first place. How much is it worth with them broken? How much is it worth with them fixed? That's the answer.

March 6th, 2015, 05:49 PM
That's what I am going to do tomorrow. I know the DVD player works well (tested with a monitor I had around). I'll show them it works, and see if they are willing to buy it as is and what a fair discounted price is, vs fixed and money out of my pocket. Whichever benefits me more I will do. More on this later.