New Yukon XL Owner

Disclaimer: Links on this page pointing to Amazon, eBay and other sites may include affiliate code. If you click them and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission.

tooleyondeck

Full Access Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2022
Posts
302
Reaction score
601
Location
Northwest FL
Good morning everyone,

I recently acquired a 2003 Yukon XL Denali with 188K in excellent mechanical condition. I purchased it from a good friend of mine who owned it for the last 13 years and I'm very familiar with the vehicle's maintenance history. That being said there are a few things that need to be tended to, which are common for this old of a vehicle.

Front End Suspension:

I was informed it needed new inner tie rods and upper control arms, so my question is: Would it be more beneficial to go ahead and change out the majority of the front end suspension (ie:Upper, Lower, Control Arm, Ball Joint, Inner Outer Tie Rod, Sway Bar End Link, Idler arm, Pitman arm) or just replace those two parts?

The kits seem to be readily available online for cheap, I'm just on the fence about the eBay parts kits vs going OEM, so any advice or shared experience will be appreciated!

Electrical:

It's a Denali, so it's loaded. All of the windows, AC controls, and heated seats function properly, but as is common, a lot of the buttons stick and have excessive wear (thanks for the cheap paint GM). My plan is to just replace the driver door control panels as well as the steering wheel controls. Have any of you ran into issues swapping these out? It looks as simple as swapping out the old ones for new ones and it should be good to go.

Aftermarket DVD players/monitors:

The vehicle has 2 7" screens in the front headrests and a fold down 17" DVD player (Pyle brand... I know lol) which are all inoperable thanks to KIDS. All of the units have power they just don't turn on. I'm looking for recommendations for replacements. What do you have or what have you had experience with? The options are endless online so I figured I would consult the forums first to gauge what the community opinion is.

I'm sure there is a lot more to learn about this platform but I'll save it as far as this introduction.

Thanks for your time and I'm excited about this vehicle journey!

PS: my other vehicles are a 2015 Camaro SS, currently in the process of LS3 conversion and cam install (it's an L99) and a 2016 Silverado Z92 (American Luxury Coach Edition)
 

Attachments

  • IMG_8603.jpg
    IMG_8603.jpg
    436.5 KB · Views: 15
  • IMG_1112.jpg
    IMG_1112.jpg
    289 KB · Views: 15
  • IMG_1115.jpg
    IMG_1115.jpg
    285.1 KB · Views: 15

Joseph Garcia

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Posts
6,743
Reaction score
8,896
Welcome to the Forum from NH.

Lots of knowledgeable folks here who freely share their knowledge, experiences, and perspectives. Knowledge is power.

I hope that you will become a participating member in the Forum's discussions.

First Recommendation: Do not go on the cheap for replacement parts for your truck. Any deal that looks too good to be true, probably is. Many folks here use genuine GM or ACDelco replacement parts for their trucks. If your budget requires you to use cheaper replacement parts, be sure to do your homework and look at many customer reviews of these alternate replacement parts.

Second Recommendation: If you plan to do a lot of the work on the truck, get yourself a Tech 2 bi-directional scanner/programmer for your truck. Chinese knockoffs run about $300, and many of us on the Forum have purchased and used them without issue. This tool will pay for itself many times over, in the remaining life of your truck.

Suspension: At your truck's mileage, most parts of the front suspension are worn, and should probably be replaced. This becomes a budget decision, as many of those parts are not particularly cheap. Replace those parts that you can afford to replace.

Electrical: If you replace your driver's side door button cluster, you may need to program it to your truck's VIN. (This is where the Tech 2 tool comes in.) Regarding faded or rubbed off button writing, you can purchase stick-ons that go over those faded buttons, and they look reasonable, and much less work than replacing properly working buttons, just for faded writing. I got mine off Amazon.

Aftermarket DVD players/monitors: I cannot help you with the rear audio/visual controls, as I have never touched them, but other members on this Forum that are much more knowledgeable than me on this item will chime in.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
tooleyondeck

tooleyondeck

Full Access Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2022
Posts
302
Reaction score
601
Location
Northwest FL
Welcome to the Forum from NH.

Lots of knowledgeable folks here who freely share their knowledge, experiences, and perspectives. Knowledge is power.

I hope that you will become a participating member in the Forum's discussions.
Solid info! I will look into the Tech 2 today. I found a good deal on a genuine AC Delco Advantage front suspension kit that I will be ordering today as well. My Yukon is AWD, so assuming the 4WD parts are the same? I'll likely call the vendor to verify before ordering.

I was unaware of control clusters possibly needing programming, thanks for that info as well. I absolutely plan on being present on this forum as I have with other forums for different platforms I've owned.
 

Joseph Garcia

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Posts
6,743
Reaction score
8,896
Solid info! I will look into the Tech 2 today. I found a good deal on a genuine AC Delco Advantage front suspension kit that I will be ordering today as well. My Yukon is AWD, so assuming the 4WD parts are the same? I'll likely call the vendor to verify before ordering.

I was unaware of control clusters possibly needing programming, thanks for that info as well. I absolutely plan on being present on this forum as I have with other forums for different platforms I've owned.
If you want exact replacement part numbers, post the last 8 digits of your VIN, thoroughly describe the parts that you want to replace, and @915_Tahoe may be able to provide the exact part numbers for your truck.

When looking for best prices for GM parts, include RockAuto.com, GMPartsDirect.com, and GMPartsGiant.com in your search, as their prices are much lower than dealers for the exact same part.

AliExpress.com is a good place to look for a Tech 2 tool (I bought mine there). Just make sure to purchase one with the GM memory card installed (not Opel, Saab, or any other non-GM vehicle), and in the English language.

Tech 2 - AliExpress.jpg
 
Last edited:

swathdiver

Full Access Member
Joined
May 18, 2017
Posts
19,261
Reaction score
25,487
Location
Treasure Coast, Florida
I found a good deal on a genuine AC Delco Advantage front suspension kit that I will be ordering today as well.

That's the low end for GM, it'll last a couple of years maybe. GM OE lasts far longer, it's the stuff from the factory and ACDelco Gold/Professional is just under that, suspension components in this line usually last around 100K miles give or take.
 
OP
OP
tooleyondeck

tooleyondeck

Full Access Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2022
Posts
302
Reaction score
601
Location
Northwest FL
That's the low end for GM, it'll last a couple of years maybe. GM OE lasts far longer, it's the stuff from the factory and ACDelco Gold/Professional is just under that, suspension components in this line usually last around 100K miles give or take.
I’m considering either those or Timken after searching the forums about aftermarket options. There seems to be some pretty good reviews in here on Timken.
 

adventurenali92

Full Access Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Posts
7,279
Reaction score
8,435
Location
Big Bear Lake, ca
Welcome from another GMT800 Denali XL owner. Love these rigs! I replaced inner and outer tie rods, upper and lower control arms as well as the upper and lower ball joints about a year ago on my 2006. I figured it’s gonna be up on the rack and all of those sorts will all be part. So may as well replace them all in one shot. Front steering and suspension has been great since. I believe I went with moot parts for the control arms and ball joints, and ACDelco OEM parts for tie rods and nothing has had any issues since.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
130,112
Posts
1,826,530
Members
93,581
Latest member
TS1234
Top