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Showing posts from November, 2008

ATX Thug on a GMC Yukon XL Denali

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2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali
Originally uploaded by istargazer. I was able to wash our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali yesterday and take some new pictures of the 17" ATX Thug winter rims I installed last week.

Now I can explain why it ended up taking me two days to complete the install. Everything was going fine that afternoon and I was on schedule. I had all the wheels installed, nuts properly torqued, and TPMS sensors successfully reprogrammed. In fact, I had already inflated two of the Firestone WinterForce tires to the proper PSI when I noticed the directional arrows on the sidewalls were pointing the wrong way. I discovered that had installed all four tires on the wrong side of the vehicle. So I had to remove and swap them around--that was eight tire changes!

But that wasn't the end of it. I had to reprogram the TPMS sensors again. The procedure to get the car to relearn the sensor position is to let air out of the tire. When I let air out of the first tire, I was a bit hurried an…

GM Navigation: I take it back... Again!

Well, I think I spoke too soon. I tested out the new navigation disc on our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali with the "limitations" off and it's not what I thought it was. The capabilities of the nav don't change much with the limitations on or off.

First of all, with the limitations "ON" you are only allowed to choose a previous destination or the address book or one of your favorites when the vehicle is moving. (With the old system, I believe you could only choose from your favorites or one that had been voice tagged.) When you slow down or stop--full function returns.

I didn't find any other differences or additional functions with the new update.

With the limitations "OFF" you get the additional option of picking your destination from the map. To me this is useless because it doesn't help my wife find where the closest McDonald's is to the hotel we are staying at when we are still 3 hours away from the hotel. You could probably come up with …

GM Navigation System: I take it back!

In a previous post I complained about the factory navigation system in our 2006 GMC Yukon XL Denali. The data was old and software was excessively restrictive, not allowing even the passenger to enter any destinations while the vehicle was in motion.

I take it all back. With the latest disc update I received last week, (GM p/n 25974486U) all those deficiencies have been removed. It now has updated roads and POIs and the restrictions for using the nav system are now optional. There is a setting on the Radio Menu that allows you to turn off the limitations. No nag screen (that's better than Honda!) and full function while driving? Whoo, hoo!

The only thing that could make it better is if someone found a hack to modify the splash screen :biggrin:

2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali - Winter Tire Swap: 13565 km

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I installed the winter tires I bought from Tire Rick on to our Yukon XL Denali today--and what an ordeal that was! I'm too tired to tell the whole story right now, but I'll just let you know that I swapped tires 9 times and I'm still not done! Tomorrow I'll have to get one of the tire valves repaired before I'll be finished. I'll spill the beans later. For now, I'm riding on one spare.

The ATX Thug wheels do look pretty good, though, and I'm looking forward to taking some pictures. The weather has been pretty mild and is predicted to stay like that for at least next week, but with my wife due with our 5th child in 3 weeks, I didn't want to leave it too late.

Here's some data from Tire Rack:
Firestone Winterforce 265/70R17 = 41 lbs.ATX Thug Black w/Teflon Coating 17x8.5 = 28 lbs.When I weighed 2 of the rims I got 70 lbs. each for both of them so it looks like Tire Rack's numbers are pretty accurate.

Click below to read about the weight of the sto…

GM Nav Disc p/n 25974486U

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It finally arrived. The updated GM Navigation Disc version 4.0c arrived in the mail almost 3 months after I ordered it. The wait was so long and the nav disc I had (version 1.10) was so old that I got frustrated enough to buy a Garmin Nuvi 750 in the meantime. But I'm not complaining. The actual ordering process was very efficient and I received this disc update for free as part of a special program offered by GM.

Updating the nav system was very easy. It was just a matter of swapping discs and the software installed automatically in under 5 minutes. After the install, my address book and favorites were deleted and my location showed up as Washington, DC while the system tried to acquire the GPS signal.

The disc that came with our 2007 GMC Yukonc XL Denali had data from 2004. Many roads in our area were missing and it could find almost none of the points of interests we were looking for. The new disc has 2007 data and includes the roads that were missing and a lot more POIs. It eve…

GMC Yukon XL Denali: Locking Fuel Cap Removed - 13600km

I decided to remove the locking fuel cap that I installed on my 2006 GMC Yukon XL Denali a while back. There were rumors that the Yukon had an anti-siphoning device but I could not find confirmation myself until today.

I bought a Flo 'N Go gas pump to use in the garage so that I could fill up the Burgman without having to make a special trip down the mountain. After I put it together I tested it to see if I could siphon some gas out of the Denali....

I couldn't. There was no way to get the tube far enough down the fuel neck to reach the gas because of obstructions. I shoved and shoved the tube and then it got stuck between 12-18 inches down. So I feel confident enough that siphoning gas out of that 119L tank would not be an easy task. (Of course, drilling holes is a completely different issue!)

The locking cap was not all that convenient. With it, I would always forget to take the keys with me and would have to run back to get them out of the ignition. That of course turned of…

2006 STI - Ken Block: Gymkhana Practice

Ken Block in a 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI specially prepared by Crawford Racing. Absolutely amazing!




Always and Forever

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VW R32: Bumper side markers

While I was having my city lights wired like DRLs I learned that one of my bumper side markers had partially melted. Eh... what!? These particular clear side markers were from 42 Draft Designs.

Anywhoo, upon learning of this I immediately ordered new clear bumper side markers -- from a different company! -- as well as yellow LEDs to reduce heat output.

Bumper side markers are easy to replace. Push in towards the front part of the side marker (there’s a spring behind it). Slide side marker slightly to the right and then remove by angling it out to the left. Bulb pulls straight out from bulb holder.

For some reason pictures I upload are all over-sized, so here are the links:

Melted side marker (jpg) from 42 Draft Designs.

ECS Tuning Diamond Clear bumper side marker with yellow LED (jpg).

Additional details.

Type rest of the post here.

New Toy: Garmin Nuvi 750

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My first experience with in-car navigation was during our 2005 road trip from Thunder Bay to Washington, DC. I had a Magellan Roadmate 760. It was large and clunky and could not easily be carried in your pocket, but I quickly learned how valuable portable GPS could be. We made sure that the 2006 Honda Odyssey we bought had a factory navigation system and did another road trip in 2007, going from Vancouver to Washington, DC. In town, there might not be a great need for GPS but it sure helped us get across North America without fumbling with maps that can lead to car accidents or getting lost.

So it was no surprise that we wanted navigation in the Denali and we got it.

Despite that, I recently bought myself a little gift for my birthday: a Garmin Nuvi 750. Yes, I know it’s indulgent since we already have a factory navigation system built-in to our 2006 GMC Yukon XL Denali. But Costco Canada Online had it on sale at such a great price ($270) that I could not resist. Besides, I was tired o…

VW R32: City lights as DRLs

I previously posted that in the near future I'll be heading up to Canada for my next job. To meet Canadian safety requirements I need to have daytime running lights on my R. Stock, the 2004 R32 does have DRLs but stock the R doesn't have HIDs. I disabled my DRLs to prevent damage to my OEM HIDs caused by running them at partial power.

I'm not getting rid of the HIDs, so I needed to look for a way to have DRLs at the same time. I considered a few options:

Install fog lights and wire them up as DRLs. For a time this option was leading the group but cost and time eventually ruled it out.Some R owners have wired up string LEDs in their front vents, a much different looking and cheaper alternative to real fogs. When the LEDs are on they look pretty good, when off they look a little chintzy if you notice them. I didn't see a problem with wiring them up like DRLs. But... what if down the road I have to replace the LEDs? When I talk about wiring things to DRLs ple…