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  1. #46
    Super Swamper
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    Nice, I wish I sprung for the Twin ARB instead of the single unit!
    2009 Hummer H3T Alpha
    4 Rancho Lift, 37x12.5x17 BFG A/Ts, Method "The Standard" rims, Magnuson Supercharger, Magnaflow exhaust, 40" LED light bar, 9'' round LED spot lights, SnugTop, Thor Parts bumper w/ swing out for full sized spare, Hidden 9,500 lb Superwinch, Custom Sliders, UCP w/ Thor Parts skids, Custom bed cage

    www.ministryofadventure.ca

  2. #47
    Baja
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    I've made more progress, both in actual work as well as ordering a ton of stuff for the Alpha. We'll see if I can get it all installed before Moab (unlikely, but possible).

    Last night I decided to start working on mounting the bumper pods to the Thor Parts winch bumper which was originally on my base H3. It was either work on this or tear apart the front end to get the outboard differential brackets swapped between the two. Priorities...


    Here some pics of my test fitting process. I obtained the measurements from CJ (ThorParts) for the bolt hole pattern for the pods, since they simply bolt onto the main winch bumper. The first gen had some light pods that bolted onto the nose of the truck, but they are light gauge steel and I already bent one up whilst demolishing some little car. Unfortunately there wasn't a simple template I could print out and tape down to drill with, so I had to make my own. No worries, since I was able to eventually figure it all out and pushed the pods further forward than designed. Eventually I want to build a brush guard that bolts on and ties the whole thing together.











    2008 H3 Alpha
    2008 Victory Red H3

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  3. #48
    Baja
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    Here's some pics of the process I went through today with actually installing it. I pulled off the stock bumper, grille, and removed the hidden winch mount SuperBuick installed, then I pulled the winch off the Thor bumper so that I could properly measure everything out. Blue tape FTW.

    I first measured out the center point on the bumper based off the holes for the winch.




    Next was figuring out the initial spacing for the pods. My testing the night before yielded a separation of 29.25" for the first bolt holes for the pods. This distance ensures that the grille that bolts between the two pods will fit right. There is some wiggle room with the grille since it has slotted mounting holes. Not that it matters right now for me, as you'll find out in a bit.



    Once I had that in place, I then needed to test fit everything on the Alpha so that I could make sure I was spacing the pods forward enough. I was pretty close with my initial forward spacing to what it needed to be, but I was not happy with the stock location of them, so I moved them forward and generated a new baseline for the rest of the bolt hole measurements.
    2008 H3 Alpha
    2008 Victory Red H3

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  4. #49
    Baja
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    Here is what I ended up with. The baseline ended up being 29.25" center to center, and 6" from the front of the bumper to the center of the first hole. Then the rest of it I was able to line up using the measurements CJ provided me.



    I test fit it all again to make sure everything lined up the way I wanted it to and that I had in fact measured right. I did one side first and verified it was all good and then simply replicated the measurements to the other side. I had to redo the first attempt after changing the battery in my digital calipers because a couple of the measurements were off just enough to cause the three bolt holes to not align with each other correctly.

    Once that was all done then it was time to drill the holes. I did this in four steps, first using a 1/8" bit to get the hole started in the right place, then stepped up using slightly larger bits until I got to the final 1/2" bit to finish off the holes. Never start with a bit that large unless you don't care at all about alignment, because you're holes WILL wander and quite a bit at that. Fortunately I was close enough that I only had to slightly coax the third bolt on each side in, but all that took was using my ratchet to thread it in.

    Here it is after drilling and removing the tape:




    And then all bolted up:



    2008 H3 Alpha
    2008 Victory Red H3

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  5. #50
    Baja
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    Last steps are to actually install it on the Alpha. Seeing how the whole thing is made with 3/16" steel it now weighs a fair bit. I'm glad I pulled the winch off, because just the bumper and the winch alone were barely light enough for me to handle on my own. I would not have been able to lift it by myself with the pods and the winch attached.

    Ready to go on:



    And bolted in place:




    Winch mounted, cover put on the winch, grille installed, and license plate mounted to the clip on bracket I made the first go around using a few old plates as backing and Maglite clips to attach it to the fairleade rollers. This time around I finally added the license plate protector I bought ages ago to help keep the plate nice. Since these are my callsign plates, I'm going to be a bit pickier about keeping them in good shape. The winch is a 12K pound Badlands winch I picked up shortly after I first got my red H3, I snagged it for just $200 during a Harbor Freight parking lot sale, it was an open box item they had discounted by $100, and since they were selling brand new ones for $300, they knocked this one down to $200.



    A shot of it outside:




    If the truck looks lopsided, that's because it was. I had messed around with the torsion bars when I first got it and had to change out the axle. Somehow the front had ended up at about 26" from center of wheel to bottom of the fender. It really should have only been about 23.5" at most. Not sure how it happened, but I think that is what lead to the failure of the CV boot. At any rate, once I had the bumper and winch all on there I went ahead and re-leveled it. Now it's sitting right at 23.5" center of wheel to fender which is about perfect.


    The winch isn't fully hooked up yet, I just need to attach the cables to the battery, but I have some military terminals sitting here that I just got from Amazon to replace the stock ones. The stock terminals on these are known for causing issues, and I had already replaced the ones on my red H3 with some brass terminals I had on hand. I've also wondered if on the Alpha they are causing weird issues because my Ultragauge has intermittently been showing the voltage at around 12.9 volts instead of 14 volts or so while driving. I'm hoping the new terminals will correct that. No codes or anything have been thrown because of it yet at least.
    2008 H3 Alpha
    2008 Victory Red H3

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  6. #51
    Baja
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    After dinner and getting the girls in bed I spent some more time on the Alpha, this time installing the Tekonsha P3 brake controller I picked up. At first I mounted it on the left of the steering wheel, but that ended up being a bad location because my knee would hit it while getting in and out of the truck.



    So the next step was moving it over to the right side, but I put it up fairly high and then discovered that it was in the way of the ignition. Oops.

    So I moved it down lower which worked out better anyway because I could see the screen a lot better through the steering wheel, and I can rest my hand on my knee and be able to manipulate the controls as well as the manual brake lever.





    It's a good thing I went with the P3, because right off the bat after getting the wires crimped together with the OEM pigtail, it started complaining about the brake line being shorted to ground. I noticed that it wouldn't always do it and would clear after a random period of time, but then come back up with that warning. I wracked my brain trying to think of what could possibly be causing an intermittent short to ground for the trailer brake wire, then finally remembered and issue others have had with the harness at the rear bumper rubbing against the body and shorting out.

    Opening up the gate and looking down at the harness and sure enough, it was rubbing through. Bummer. I didn't have this issue on my red H3, it cleared it just enough to not be a problem, and I added some insulation to it in order to prevent it from happening later. Guess it's too late on the Alpha. The brake wire is rubbed through enough that it really should be repaired or replaced.

    2008 H3 Alpha
    2008 Victory Red H3

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  7. #52
    Baja
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    Since the popup tent trailer I'm taking down to Moab has brakes, I have to get that fixed pretty soon. I need to see if I can just get a new harness or if I should just repair the line. Honestly with where it is at it wouldn't be too bad a job to cut the wire and crimp it back together, or just crimp a ferrule right over it to restore the effective gauge of the wire.

    Another issue I discovered is that the transmission lines running into the cooler in the radiator are leaking at the quick connect fitting where the lines enter into the fittings. It's a brand new radiator so I'm pretty surprised at that. Right now my options are to either try pulling the lines out and seeing what's causing the leak and if it's possible to fix it (unlikely), replacing the radiator (which is stupid seeing how it's basically new), or bypassing the in-tank cooler completely and adding an external stacked plate cooler. Honestly the latter is probably going to be the route I take. I've thought about doing that for the red H3 for a while now, and since I'm definitely going to be hauling a trailer around now when going camping, I'm probably just going to be better off with the external cooler.


    On a happier note, I moved the majority of my stuff I keep in the back of the H3 (my recovery gear, some tools, straps, rope, etc) from the red H3 and the bags they were (mostly) all in to the MTM crates I bought and have them all in the Alpha now. I still need to go through them and re-evaluate what I really need/want to keep in there, but at least now I have most of my stuff in the Alpha.




    I still need to move the ARB fridge over, but I'm probably going to wait a while longer until I see if I can get the rear power all installed. I have a 2/0 15' cable coming on Tuesday for the main supply to go from the battery in the engine bay all the way back to the rear pillar on the driver side. I also have a couple 2/0 cables coming to provide the ground path, I'll have a cable up at the battery going to the frame, and the other will be at the back pillar down to the frame. I have a Blue Sea SafetyHub 150 on the way as well to provide power distribution for the rear. This way I can wire in my ARB twin compressor in the rear, as well as my 750W inverter and my ARB fridge. My Icom 706MkIIG is probably going to go back there as well, I have the remote cable and bracket for the head so I can have that up front. The only place I could think of up front for the Icom's body was under my seat, and I just don't like the idea of having something like that low down where it runs the risk of getting wet (in case of a deep water crossing or something, like the sunroof leaking).

    I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what kind of power I wanted in the rear, and ultimately determined I wanted to be able to have a minimum of 150 amps supplied with no more than roughly 3% voltage drop, and theoretically the 2/0 cable will provide that. Even if it's more like 4% I'll be happy with that. Then all my accessories in the back will have plenty of power and can run as efficiently as possible. With the cables, fuseblock, fuses and other items I'm only spending about $250 for the whole setup thanks to some good deals I landed.
    2008 H3 Alpha
    2008 Victory Red H3

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  8. #53
    Baja
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    So I got the 15' cable in today, and wouldn't you know it, the seller apparently doesn't know the difference between 2/0 gauge cable and 2 gauge cable, even when 2 gauge is all that is printed on the cable jacket...

    I messaged them though and they gave me a call about it. They are going to send me a 3/0 gauge cable that is 18' long instead and let me keep the 2 gauge cable as well. So that's pretty good service right there. Now my current capacity will be even better with almost no voltage drop. I also might be running the cable on the outside now along the frame rails instead of through the body. We'll see how it all really fits. I'm a little bummed though because now I want to get some 3/0 ground cables to match it instead of the 2/0 I bought, but that's going to have to wait until later, if I even decide to really change that part of it.
    2008 H3 Alpha
    2008 Victory Red H3

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  9. #54
    Baja
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    This past week I have received a bunch of goodies that I've ordered for the Alpha with still some more on the way.













    2008 H3 Alpha
    2008 Victory Red H3

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  10. #55
    Baja
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    So Saturday was spent fixing the two major issues that have come up that needed to be addressed before my trip to Moab at the end of the month.

    First up was the trailer brake wire that had rubbed through. I had to pull the bumper off to make this easy, and after that it really wasn't too bad a job other than having to run out to find some Deoxit. (Guitar Center ended up having some, interestingly enough)

    Here's a better shot showing the damage:



    Fortunately the two wires next to it ended up being OK, I thought they had also been rubbed through the insulation.

    This is supposed to be 12 gauge I think...




    Apparently I expected too much from Deoxit, I was expecting it to actually remove the blackening on the copper wire (which occurred from the copper being exposed to the elements after the insulation was rubbed through), but it didn't really seem to do anything. So I fanned out the wires and used a bronze fine bristle wire brush and scrubbed them clean:







    The Deoxit probably helped, and should help protect the wire as well now.
    2008 H3 Alpha
    2008 Victory Red H3

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  11. #56
    Baja
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    Once the wire was cleaned I spliced it together using a crimp that has adhesive lined heat shrink. This will make it a permanent fix and seal out the elements.






    Then I wrapped it using some 3M self vulcanizing rubber tape. Frankly it's all I had on hand, I have no idea where my regular electrical tape is and didn't want to waste more time looking for it, but I think this is better anyway as it adds quite a bit of buffer between the wires and the body now.




    And here it is back in place. It still rubs against the body, and while I could have left it loose instead of clipping it back onto the bumper I was concerned about it ending up rubbing against some other edge later on. I modified the mounting clip though so that it allows the connectors to angle down, now it still rests against the body but it isn't exerting very much pressure at all against it, so it should last quite a while. I'm going to make sure to inspect it periodically to make sure it's not still an issue.



    2008 H3 Alpha
    2008 Victory Red H3

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  12. #57
    Baja
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    I also took a quick moment to finish hooking up the brake controller, now that the wiring was fixed. It's much happier now.





    2008 H3 Alpha
    2008 Victory Red H3

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  13. #58
    Baja
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    Something I thought I'd take a shot of and share, the H3 has a great spot for a flashlight right next to the seat. I don't even use clips since I've never had this one roll anywhere. It's a worklight from Lowes (their Kobalt brand) that uses Lithium Ion batteries and has the charger built into it (including the plug that goes into a 110v outlet), and it came with a AA battery box as well so I can have that spare. I use this light for all my work on the truck, through honestly I really should by a proper worklight, while this does last all day, it'd be a lot nicer to have one that just plugs into the wall.

    2008 H3 Alpha
    2008 Victory Red H3

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  14. #59
    Baja
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    On to the next fix, the transmission cooler. When I crawled under the Alpha again yesterday to start on this, I noticed that even though I had wiped the bottom of the radiator clean the weekend before, it was already sopping wet with lots of drips forming of transmission fluid. I was able to determine that it was in fact coming from the passenger side cooler line where it entered the radiator. I think it had actually gotten worse since the week before.

    So to start, I made some measurements to see how the Long transmission cooler would fit, and determined I needed to move the AC line again. This time I put it back out in front of the nose and zip tied it along the bottom. That will keep it out of the way of the winch.




    After a fair bit of test fitting, determining where to attach the brackets, how to run the cooler lines, etc, I finally landed on this location. Fortunately there ended up being pre-existing holes I could use on the body for all four brackets.



    You'll notice I also pulled off the winch control box from it's previous location, partly to facilitate the installation, and partly because I decided with the addition of the transmission cooler and a bigger engine so it's going to go on top of the winch instead. I did a test fit and found that the grille just barely fit with the control box on top of the winch.
    2008 H3 Alpha
    2008 Victory Red H3

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA

  15. #60
    Baja
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    At this point I went ahead and redid the routing of the winch power cables and mounted the controller. Previously I was passing the power cables up at the uppr right through the same hole the AC line ran through, but then I noticed a second hole on that same side lower down. This was more favorable since then I didn't have to worry about the power cables rubbing against the AC line. A few cuts with my knife and the cables routed perfectly.












    They still aren't hooked up yet, I want to swap out the batter terminals first. That should happen this week sometime.
    2008 H3 Alpha
    2008 Victory Red H3

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark

    N1JPA


 

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