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Old 08-30-2016, 04:59 PM   #1
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Cusser's 2005 Yukon Denali thread

2005 Yukon Denali, 6.0 engine. I finally tracked down a slight cooling leak that was bugging me for a few months, as I had to add coolant regularly. The leak is coming from this plastic Y connector at the plastic crimp hose clamp thing the red arrow is on.


Of course, the replacement part comes with hoses, and one of those attaches to the firewall with a special connector, and apparently the fitting at the firewall is breakable. It looks something like this, and retails for about $40 Gates 22554


So does anyone KNOW if I could simply slit with Dremel tool/cut/break the plastic "hose clamp" part the red arrow points to, break that away/remove that, and then simply use a standard hose clamp on the fitting to seal this?? I'm assuming that there must be some sort of hose barb on that plastic Y, so that the plastic hose clamp thing will hold.

Thanks. I figure this would be a $200 repair at the shop for a new assembly, new coolant, labor etc. If a Y-shaped coolant Y or tee with 3/4 x 3/4 x 1 inch was available for this, that would work if I cut off all the hose ends.

Last edited by Cusser; 09-07-2017 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:20 PM   #2
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Re: 2005 Yukon Denali slight coolant leak at Y connector

OK, I decided that since the heater hoses were original so 11 years old anyway, time to replace the assembly, and the other heater hose as well. So I let my mechanic have the job.

He said the connectors at the firewall almost always break even with the correct tool (he hates those special fittings too), he just wants to put new ones in there as well.

He'll also do leak check and diagnosis first, see if there are any other leaks; I couldn't tell if hose was just leaking at the Y connector, or if there was a little crack in that Y fitting. And being 106F here, and that Mrs. Cusser drives this not me - I decided to get it done right.

If it had been similar on my Mazda truck or Frontier trucks that I drive, I would've tried the Dremel route, there was room to make a cut. I'll autopsy the old assembly when my mechanic returns it.
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:47 AM   #3
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Re: 2005 Yukon Denali slight coolant leak at Y connector

Always appreciate your posts Cusser. :-)
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:20 AM   #4
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Re: 2005 Yukon Denali slight coolant leak at Y connector

Mechanic repaired this a few weeks ago, and I report that not one drop has leaked, a real pleasure to see that the coolant level in the reservoir remained at same level after a few weeks, and a trip 120 miles away towing the horse.

Yesterday, I bought a 1/2-inch click type torque wrench at Harbor freight for $9.99 (had special coupon) to complement my 3/8-inch one I used for the B2200 rebuild back in 2011. So I used that today for the Torx 55 bolts on the brake calipers of the 2005 Yukon as I replaced the front brake pads BEFORE they caused rotor damage or need to regrind/replace. I used Wagner OEX785 from Rock Auto, $41 delivered but $71 + tax at local O'Reilly, so comparable savings to brake pads from Rock as on my daughter's 1998 Pathfinder. I also used the new torque wrench on its lug nuts.

I had read that some have trouble R&R on the Torx 55 caliper bolts, and that there's a replacement kit with hex bolts; but mine removed readily (I assume at 172K that the pads were replaced before we bought it 6 years ago), one good thing about living in Arizona. Torque on those is 74 ft-lbs, and I used blue Loctite. I also used the new torque wrench on the lug nuts.
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Old 12-06-2016, 10:09 AM   #5
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Re: 2005 Yukon Denali slight coolant leak at Y connector

2005 Yukon, Dec. 2016: It's due for emission testing this month and the Check Engine light (the "submarine", according to Mrs. Cusser) appeared. I got this code read, there were three codes P0128 for failure to reach operating temperature fast enough, most likely a bad thermostat. Note that I did NOT replace the thermostat when I replaced the water pump either (on this, it fits into the water pump).

So I bought a new thermostat, one of the ones with the rubber gasket fitted to it, and it fits into the recess of the water outlet. At least repair was straightforward, pretty much just had to remove the black plastic air intake/fan guard thing, then two bolts to remove the water outlet from the water pump to get to the thermostat. I had jacked up the front, saved coolant that spilled out and re-used the coolant (about a gallon came out); coolant was just a few months old, and the check engine light did go off as Mrs. Cusser was driving it later, good.

If it ever gets to something real expensive that is not a driveability/wear/safety issue, Mrs. Cusser can always sell to me and then not have to worry about emissions.

Then over the weekend I noticed some some dried ATF on the metal lines running near the transmission on passenger side, and also noticed some ATF leaking (level was still above "Low"). So since the transmission was overhauled in April and still under warranty, it goes to the transmission shop today.
It's always something.
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:39 AM   #6
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Re: 2005 Yukon Denali slight coolant leak at Y connector

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Then over the weekend I noticed some some dried ATF on the metal lines running near the transmission on passenger side, and also noticed some ATF leaking (level was still above "Low"). So since the transmission was overhauled in April and still under warranty, it goes to the transmission shop today.
It's always something.
Guess what - wasn't ATF, the red leak was Dexron coolant. I saw the red leakage on the transmission housing last weekend after Mrs. Cusser's friend said she "smelled coolant".

Then when transmission shop couldn't look at it Monday, and I then changed that thermostat Monday, never dawned on me that the red Dexron coolant (added by shop at the Y-connector repair) might be the source of the leakage. So I picked up the Yukon at the tranny shop and took it to the mechanic's shop, and one of the brand-new proprietary connectors at the firewall was leaking, so he did a warranty swap of both.

When I asked if "old-school" barbed fittings and hose clamps at the original Y-connector and at the firewall would've prevented all this, he responded "yes".

So no charge from either place.

Where I used to work, I could've captured one drop of the leakage and used a spectrophotometer to identify. At home, I maybe could've added some to water, as coolant would be miscible and ATF not.
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:46 AM   #7
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Re: 2005 Yukon Denali slight coolant leak at Y connector

And passed emissions test !!! Good for 2 years.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:08 AM   #8
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Cusser's 2005 Yukon Denali thread

I replaced the front brake pads Sept. 2016.

I did NOT check the pad thickness on the rear brakes then, as I had replaced the rear pads in 2012. That was a bad decision, rear right brake started making a noise Tuesday, turns out a rear pad had been worn and the steel back was making contact with the rotor. I had been used to fronts wearing out 2 or 2.5 times faster than the rears, but maybe because Mrs. Cusser tows a horse and brakes on Interstate downhills these wore out faster. Turning charge was $15 (the original GM rotors), and O'Reilly upgraded me from Wagner Thermo Quiet to Wagner OEX975 for $3, as the pads were lifetime warranty.

By the way: those rear pads did last 66K miles. Those wheels/tires are so heavy that it's not easy to mount them; also, it had aftermarket/upgraded wheels when we got it (2010) so narrow deep 13/16inch socket required for the lug nuts.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:31 AM   #9
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Re: 2005 Yukon Denali slight coolant leak at Y connector

Update, May 2018: the driver side plastic well of the radiator developed a massive crack while Mrs. Cusser was 75 miles from home, lost all coolant, needed to have Yukon and trailer and horse towed home. Even with AAA Plus, cost $300 because of the horse and trailer. New radiator was installed by me, cost for that and coolant was about $300. Little connections for oil and ATF at the radiator are a minor pain, prefer metal hose barbs and traditional hose clamps.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:48 AM   #10
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Re: 2005 Yukon Denali slight coolant leak at Y connector

Update Sept. 12, 2018: 75 miles from home, again with trailer and horse, Yukon at standstill, almost at same exact place as in May 2018. Got there, diagnosed the issue as cracked heater hose inlet connection at the firewall, coolant was lost. This connector was 2 years old and replaced by mechanic as part of the Y-hose replacement 2 years ago, I was pi$$ed !!! Luckily, I had a too-large 3/4 inch "tee" connector with cap in the Yukon left over from a Prestone radiator flush kit from an earlier vehicle but was able to loosen the hose clamps on the two hoses, break the stub of the broken connector out, and squeeze the 5/8 hoses over the Prestone tee and get the system sealed. Added water and coolant, no engine damage, able to drive home fine. What a poor design, plastic quick connects there !!!


Metal hose barb and traditional hose clamps would be must more robust !!! Thanks, GM.

One of the others on the ride was able to drive 30 miles from opposite direction to pick up Mrs. Cusser and the horse and trailer, for those worried.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:47 PM   #11
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Re: 2005 Yukon Denali slight coolant leak at Y connector

Gotta love plastic - NOT!

One might thing that the trillions of coolant elbows on Buick V-6s which failed for a decade before your Yukon was built would have been enough of a lesson for GM, but alas, the accountants and 90-day wonders apparently won out over the engineers once more.

Glad you got it home intact, but if it continues, your roommate might decide to take the horse and leave the trailer and Yukon at home next time.

I'm guessing there may be some sort of permanent "fix" for the plastic, even if home-grown.
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