Showing posts from September, 2008

2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali - The Search for Winter Wheels and Tires

One thing that I've learned over the years is that nothing performs better in the winter than a dedicated winter tire. Since I've always believed that tires are critical to vehicle safety, it was no question that I would be buying a set of winter rims and tires for our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali. Even thought the Denali has full-time AWD, winter tires would make sure that we would be able to stop as well as we could go. The only question was the type of rims I would on the Denali. Ours came with 20" wheels. The standard Yukon comes with 17" so those were the two options that were available on I looked at 17" rims at first because I figured that they would be lighter, give us the most options for tires, and allow me to install chains if I encountered anything really serious. Plus, I was sure that 17" wheels would be much cheaper than 20" ones. The Hankook Ice Bear W300 performance winter tires I bought for our previous two vehicles (a 2006 Su

2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali - 11500 km: DENALI badge added

There are quite a few extras that that differentiate a "Denali" from a regular GMC Yukon. One of the most obvious from the outside (in case you miss the over-sized chrome grille and 20" chrome wheels) is the "DENALI" badge on the driver's and passenger's doors. However, from the rear, there is no way of telling if you are following a Denali with a 6.2 L - 380 HP engine or regular Yukon with only 5.3 L and 310 HP. After seeing a lot of other Denali owners customize the looks of their trucks, I decided to do the same thing and put a Denali badge on the back hatch, too. I've debadged many a vehicle in my time and am past that phase of my modding career so simply swapping one for another was a good compromise. After checking prices on Ebay (and seeing excessive shipping costs), I ordered the badge from a local GM dealer on Thursday and picked it up the next day. I wanted to take advantage of the warm weather while it was still here, so I put it on yeste

2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali - 11440 km: Chrome Mirror Covers

I knew it couldn't last long before I started getting the itch to personalize our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali. I bought some chrome mirror covers from Ebay last week. There are a lot of different styles, but I liked this style with just the lower part of the mirror chromed mostly because that's what I noticed the Escalades had when we were test driving them :0) Plus, I think it's a bit more subtle than a full-out chrome mirror that a lot of vehicles have. In the picture below, I'm half-way through my work and you can see that the passenger mirror is chrome, but the driver's side is not. Look below to see more pictures.

Bye, Bye, Chevron! It's not me, it's you.

Dear Chevron, There comes a time in our lives when things change. It's not always possible to stay fit and trim after you've had a child, or two, or three, or four, or five, and while you were always my first choice in terms of high-octane fun, your intolerance of size-challenged vehicles has forced me to end our long-standing relationship. It's not me. It's you. With my middle-finger standing tall, I salute you, A former loyal customer. Well, tonight was the last straw. I knew when we bought our GMC Yukon XL Denali that we would probably be getting a lot more intimate with the local gas stations. A few weeks ago I went into our neighborhood Chevron station to fill up The Beast and was surprised when the gas pump stopped at $100. The BC government implemented a new law awhile ago to make all gas stations pre-pay only. It's fine by me because I would much rather stick my credit card in the pump, get my gas and be on my way. It's how I've always gotten my gas.

Hey, this Craigslist thing is neat!

Lunar eclipse Originally uploaded by istargazer . When I sold my first-loved car, a 1999 Volkswagen Passat GLX, it was to a fellow VW enthusiast who knew the details and history of the vehicle. It was good for me because I didn't have to remove any of the mods I had done to it. So when I sold our 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI and 2006 Honda Odyssey Touring last month, removing and uninstalling everything was a new experience for me. Advertising the parts and mods I had for sale was also something I had never done before--happily, it's been a good experience. I've always believed that if something is priced properly be it a car or a house or a set of rubber mats, it will sell even if the market is slow. I've never been one for delayed gratification and I figured that since I already got my enjoyment from the modifications I did, there was no reason for me to try to re-coup all the money that I already spent. I priced my items for a quick sale and I wasn't disa

Intec Cooling Station for Wii: Thumbs Down

I've been meaning to give an update on the Intec cooling fan I bought for our Wii. This is the original post . It didn't last too long. The fan stayed on even when the Wii was turned off and the noise was quite loud when nothing else in the room was on. But within a week or two, I noticed that it had gotten much quieter. I figured that the thing had just died. However, I just did a check right now and it's still alive, but quietly wheezing as if it was on its death bed. I think I'm going to remove it and toss it in the garbage because I don't want the Intec cooling fan to make the Wii any warmer than it should be. The vents are more blocked with the Intec fan mounted and if the fan isn't working, well then, what's the point? Maybe I'll try plugging it into the computer so I can get a better look at what the fan is actually doing now. I wonder when I'll learn my lesson? I've already bought two other cheap (under $10) accessories for my PSP (a powe

I Hate Tire Shine

I hate shiny tires. I really do. I've always been a person who put function ahead of form and tire shine never appealed to me. If something did not improve performance, I did not want it. Don't even get me started on heavy chrome wheels! However, our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali came with the 20" chrome wheel option, so who am I to complain, especially when there's 380 hp and 417 lb. ft. of torque to help haul it around? The sun came out on Saturday and I didn't even wash the Denali--well, except for the wheels. And that was only because... ...the tire shine that the dealership had put on just before we picked up the truck washed off in the rain and made the tires look faded and streaked, like runny mascara--hardly fitting of "The Beast." I used the wheel cleaner on the tires to scrub the accumulated brake dust off the rubber carcass. Then I figured that since I was in that area anyway, I might as well spray and clean the chrome, too. And it worked pretty wel


When I went down to Point Roberts, WA, last Thursday, I got there quite early. Actually, I arrived at 1 PM exactly when I planned--I even saw the FedEx truck pull away from the shipping dock. But when I went inside I found out that FedEx Ground wouldn't be arriving for another hour. Luckily, I was able to use that time by finishing a movie that I had started the week before: The French Connection (1971) , starring Gene Hackman. One of the features that I really like about the rear entertainment/navigation system on our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali is the ability to watch a DVD on the front navigation screen when the vehicle is parked. I simply sat in the driver's seat and reclined it like a comfy leather arm chair and enjoyed the movie in Dolby Surround Sound. It made the hour pass by so quickly that the next thing I knew, the movie finished, I looked up and saw the FedEx Ground truck arrive and a fellow Vancouver Impreza Club member, Spore, in the parking lot. The only thing that - Fake Magazine Covers with your Photo! Novelty Magazines and Gifts!

Image - Fake Magazine Covers with your Photo! I found this really neat site that allows you to put your own pictures on fake magazine covers. What do you think? :biggrin:

GMC Yukon XL Denali 9900 km: Weathertech Floor Liner

On Thursday I went down to Point Roberts to pick up some Weathertech Floor Liners for our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali. For years I've read about how good they were, but I was always to lazy to order them. I usually ended up buying all-weather mats from the dealership instead. This time, I thought I would break tradition and go ahead and order them online. I choose the floor liners (vs the mats) because the liners have a lip which I think is going to give better protection when the weather turns really muddy and slushy. I am so... ...glad that I bought them. The fit is perfect and the entire passenger compartment is now protected, including the area under the 2nd row bench. In fact, they offer so much protection in the front row that they partially cover the "Denali" door sills. Oh well, I don't mind because I don't look down there that much anyway :0)