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  1. #1
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    Endeavored H3 Build

    This is something that I have been meaning to do for a while now, so lets get into it.

    I have been lurking around this forum for a couple years now ever since I started driving my H3(backstory to come). I am the type of guy that typically figures out stuff on his own, but this forum has laid every simple and complicated procedure out for me. Even though occasionally I have to go to another forum sometimes to get the information I need . And plus Im going to college at NAU so I need to procrastinate in some ways right?

    Buckle up, here is the backstory:
    It all started with my father buying the 06' 3.5L H3, he enjoyed it while wanting some more power but never really thought twice on it. We would always drive up to the Christopher creek area to fish and camp along the white mountains. All was well until my mother drove it home from Payson to Gilbert Az on 4HI locked. Fearing mechanical woes, my father went to get an "oil change" (Mother didn't need to know, and he pretty much broke even with payments anyway) and came back with a 07' 3.7L H3 Lux "unintentionally". This is where I come in.

    After putting 130,000 miles on the H3, My father passed the torch down to me to take care of the thing. He drives to scottsdale everyday for work so he needs a more reliable car with better gas mileage. This was a very nice car to learn on, had a simple enough powertrain, general maintenance wasn't too bad, and more importantly this forum helped me figure out some issues I had. Anyways here it is pretty much stock with a leveling kit ( -Leveled- Torsion bolt spacer and extended shackles):
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    Before I added the kit, there has been on 2 issues that caused an engine light to come on and one that my father caught at 75,000. One for the thermostat failed open at around 120,000 and another for not enough electrical load at around the same time (alternator) The one my father caught was a slight noise coming from the top part of the motor, he took it in to the dealer and a technician yelled at him to shut it off when he arrived. Apparently a valve came loose and was rattling around inside the cylinder. Luckily it didn't cause much damage and they replaced the entire cylinder head since the early ones were known to warp under the heat these engines produce. After the kit was added, on the cv boot on the passenger side tore and the torque convertor couldn't keep up so it was fail and open up, causing an engine light. However ever since I removed the kit the torque convertor has been happy.

    Now I am sitting pretty while nearing 160,000 miles with a partially rebuilt motor and factory transmission. Besides some normal parts wearing out I have had no big issues. knock on wood. But enough of the history, let me dive in to what I want to do with this rig. Ill start out with the little I have done thus far, Ive added OEM style roof bars, a small light bar with factory lighting switches, ScanGuage 2 and of course the daystar dash insert.
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    On the way is a Rola roof rack I ordered from amazon along with the extension piece (Picture to come when installed). My plan is to fabricate a Fly Rod holder so I don't have to disassemble my fishing rods when creek hopping. Another reason is to get some more light on this rig, an area where this truck is lacking besides engine power. Going for this style of lighting:
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    Once I get this roof rack installed and plugged in, Im pretty much done with the looks I want besides leveling it with the torsion bar lift. Unless a front brush guard comes around at a decent price. (Remember Im in college so that = no money until summer).

    Okay so now I want to cover the performance/cooling part of my rig. The temperature of the coolant has always concerned me. The temp gauge from what I read is a dummy light with a gauge, so this motivated me to get a scan gauge. I read in the service manual that the expected values are in-between 198-225 degrees F. Over the past couple summers and the heatwaves that have come to Gilbert az, I ran 222 F with A/C going 70 MPH on the loop 202 for a few miles. And then when going up the mountain grades to go to Payson I hit 232 F and stayed there until the next down hill grade. Before this coming summer some things have to change. As far as I know the only thing that has been replaced in the cooling system has been the radiator that cracked up top from rubbing against the rail. Plan is to install a heavy duty fan clutch so that it engaged a little sooner and more viciously. I may go down the electric fan route at some point but this should help me out for now.

    I don't even want to know what the temperature of the transmission was during those coolant temperature durations, but ever since I added the code to my scanguage I read 230F going up to Mt Humphreys in the WINTER, from what I always known about transmission, Im about 20 degrees F from frying this transmission. Alrock posted an excellent walk through of his transmission cooler install. And Im going to go by that to install mine, except I may run it in-line with the transmission cooler already in the radiator so that the transmission still warms up properly during the winters I have up in Flagstaff. But Im always open to opinions.

    In the future I want to add:
    - Airdoc Intake
    - PCM Tune (Once everything is installed)
    - Oil Catch can (Sick of Cleaning TB)
    - Transmission cooler
    - Torsion bar leveling (will do after replacing shot steering rack bushings)
    - Electric Pusher fan?

    Thank you to everyone that reads this, hope you enjoy following me on this endeavor! (Intentional wording)



    Heres some other photos:

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  2. #2
    El Diablo
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    Welcome to H4O and great first post! Not sure what radiator you are running but I found that my cheapo eBay replacement ran measurably hotter than OEM. Regardless, the trucks do run hot.

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    EndeavoredH3 (05-14-2020)

  4. #3
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    Thank you, there is a lot more to come! Im pretty sure that the radiator was bought at NAPA, but Im not sure if it was cheap or not. I noticed on RockAuto that there are 2 AcDelco radiators, one for the manual trans H3 and the other for the auto trans H3 (# 22000). Side by side everything is the same except there is no trans cooler in the manual trans radiator (# 21646).

    After the radiator begins to leak i'll consider getting the radiator without the transmission cooler since by then I'll hopefully have the external transmission cooler installed. Maybe that little bit more of surface area to cool down the motor will help? I know even little gains in cooling power in these trucks can help in the summers here in Az. To your knowledge has anyone tried this out?

  5. #4
    All Terrain
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    Welcome to H4O! I look forward to seeing your build thread!
    2008 Hummer H3 Alpha Adventure + Luxury

    Rancho 4in, 38x13.50x18 Toyo M/T on 18x9 Trail Ready Bead Locks, Road Armor Bumper, Smittybilt 10k, Gobi Stealth, RRO Sliders, Daystar 1" Body Lift, ARB snorkel, Runcool Hood Louvers, JKS front discos, Coverking Seat Covers, Schwarttzy Skid Plates + Leaf Mounts + Extended Shackles, Outfitter Design Tire Rods, Optima D34, Smittybilt Storage Drawer, 2" T-Bar Crank, HP Tuners Cobra 29 ltd, Dual 102" CB Whips

    Parts List Updated 8/10/18



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    EndeavoredH3 (05-14-2020)

  7. #5
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    Update June 30th

    Looks like I haven't updated the page in a while, so here are somethings installed and things learned:

    I have been paying a lot of attention to the transmission and its temp over the past couple months. I have come to the consensus that this truck runs hot (old news). Outside air temp was about 85 degrees and we were headed to payson when I was shown this trans temp before pulling over.
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    Transmission cooler was ordered that night and I began my install. First I decided to do a "quick" pan drop and fill to see if anything was going on and heres what I came across:
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    This fluid was changed around this time last year. Tons of fine metal shavings... I don't know if this is normal but I know the fluid should be a brighter red. Heres a picture of the location I chose to install the cooler. (I can give details of which one I got if anyones interested) But man does this thing look ugly without its grille.
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    Next thing is to plumb up the cooler to the radiator. Im deciding to run it in series due to the semi-harsh winters we get here in Flag. That way it'll allow the fluid to warm up fairly quickly.
    I also noticed something that hasn't been talked about much in the forums, trans cooler location. I was rather surprised to see that there is little to no airflow to the bottom portion of the radiator, making the trans cooler "liquid to liquid" cooling rather than "liquid to air" cooling. Which seems kind of silly since my engine water temp reaches 216 climbing hills. Also notice how both my trans and water temp temperatures are neck and neck with each other.
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    Anyways I should have the trans cooler plumbed up and much more mods done.... hopefully.... Heres one I did recently with a 75-25 redtop optima. Literally just sat right in and I love it.
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    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #6
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    Oh and also, the attached picture at the end is me reaching 160,000. Yay.

  9. #7
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    Monthly update

    Alright, some updates for you eager folks. I finally plumbed up the transmission cooler in series with the radiator. I took pictures but who knows where they went. All I did was locate the return to transmission line coming out of the radiator and cut before and after the section that contains that pressured rubber line. After the line was snipped I ran a line from the radiator to the bottom of the external cooler. Then the top of the external cooler ran back to the stock line going back to the trans.

    I wanted to push this cooler to make sure it works the way I wanted too. So I ran it around 3pm going up the I-17 to flag with the outside air temp at 117 degrees, the picture below shows the hottest trans temp I recorded. Success!
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    (I couldn't get this photo to stand up straight)

    Something I forgot to include with the original post is that I decided to remove the stock muffler and run a pipe back. So far I love the sound and I don't find it too loud.

    As we speak my computer is getting shipped to PCM For Less for a well needed tune. My trans dipstick tube decided to crack at the mounting point, and one of the options in the tune allowed for an electronic delete of the AIR system. One of the rubber lines going to the check valve on the block cracked, and I don't plan on spending money to repair it. Instead, I plan on ripping out this system and replacing the hole with a plate (P/N 12574378) and gasket (P/N 24577193). Where the truck is registered I do not need any emissions testing anyway, so it works out.

    Another thing I was going to do was the intake resonator delete that kyle did on his rig. Entailing ripping out the resonator and adding pvc to connect to the throttle body. Pretty simple mod that will help with gas mileage and minimal power gains. But combined with the muffler delete, resonator delete and pcm tune it should add some power and mpg


    Things to do still:
    - Electric Pusher fan
    - Paint hub caps
    - Complete and install roof rack
    - Have a shop buff out and wax the truck
    - 35's?

  10. #8
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    Ha Monthly Updates My Ass

    I figure it's time to update the build. Schools been kicking my ass so its been hard to update all the stuff I've done since late july. To address my previous post, Ive pretty much knocked a majority off the list.

    Heres what's been completed:

    - PCM Tune
    - Air Doc Intake
    - 12" Spal Electric Pusher fan
    - Rola Roof Rack Installed W/ Lights
    - Detailed
    - Brush-guard
    - Tail light covers
    - Tidied up the switches
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    I was able to make a trip out to Sedona and do some off roading on the Broken Arrow 4x4 trail. Very good views.
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    But here is the most recent update....
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    ^Where she sits currently

    To do:
    -Alpha Torsion Bars
    -2inch Extended shackles
    -Rock Sliders
    -UCP
    -Clean up accessory wiring near the battery
    -Real Hood Louver or Add louvers to rear of the hood
    -35's (Little far out for this one)
    -Blackout?


    "Hit it with your purse!"

  11. #9
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    With school ending here soon some time is freeing up to do some vehicle work! This past month I've added in my Tomp Low Profile Shock Mounts and added in the extended shackles to accent that. Also did sway links and sway bar bushings with leaf spring bushings. Rear end is very tight now! Added in a CB radio antenna as well, meant to install the radio the same night but never got around to doing it. So the antenna is a nice show piece for the moment. Felt that this radio was a necessity since I could only communicate with the other guys when we met up at a stop point.

    I don't have any photos of the progress apparently, so here's my recent trip to O'leary trail loop in my effort to do every trail in Arizona.
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    "Hit it with your purse!"

  12. #10
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    Graduated college this past week. Bachelors in Biomedical sciences and a minor in chemistry! To celebrate I installed the tailgate fold down table and upgraded the tailgate strut with one from a FJ. This one locks, ideal so the door doesn't close in on you like it usually does.(Not my idea, Jaxs_Detroit's Idea on here).
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    Last edited by EndeavoredH3; 05-13-2020 at 11:42 PM.


    "Hit it with your purse!"

  13. #11
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    Found out that the tailgate isn't grounded, so I ran a ground wire and cleaned it up a bit.
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    "Hit it with your purse!"

  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndeavoredH3 View Post
    Found out that the tailgate isn't grounded, so I ran a ground wire and cleaned it up a bit.
    Seems like it should be grounded, but checking the FSM schematics I don't see one. One task I have for when I can get around to installing my ham radio is to do a full bonding of all the body parts and frame for noise reduction. They make woven straps with eyelets in them on a roll to use for bonding, works really well and makes it a pretty quick job from what I have seen.
    2008 H3 Alpha

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

    N1JPA

  15. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndeavoredH3 View Post
    Graduated college this past week. Bachelors in Biomedical sciences and a minor in chemistry! To celebrate I installed the tailgate fold down table and upgraded the tailgate strut with one from a FJ. This one locks, ideal so the door doesn't close in on you like it usually does.(Not my idea, Jaxs_Detroit's Idea on here).
    Is there a part number or anything for that strut or can you just search for any FJ cruiser rear door strut?

    Congrats on finishing your degree!
    2008 H3 Alpha

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

    N1JPA

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    EndeavoredH3 (05-14-2020)

  17. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndeavoredH3 View Post
    Graduated college this past week. Bachelors in Biomedical sciences and a minor in chemistry! To celebrate I installed the tailgate fold down table and upgraded the tailgate strut with one from a FJ. This one locks, ideal so the door doesn't close in on you like it usually does.(Not my idea, Jaxs_Detroit's Idea on here).
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    Congratulations on your graduation!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    EndeavoredH3 (05-14-2020)

  19. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPaul View Post
    Is there a part number or anything for that strut or can you just search for any FJ cruiser rear door strut?

    Congrats on finishing your degree!
    Thank you!

    Locking Strut Part# : 68907-35081
    Mount Part # : 68948-35010

    Keep in mind that this shock is shorter than the stock tailgate strut. So you'll need the mount and drill it into the door.

    Quote Originally Posted by JPaul View Post
    Seems like it should be grounded, but checking the FSM schematics I don't see one. One task I have for when I can get around to installing my ham radio is to do a full bonding of all the body parts and frame for noise reduction. They make woven straps with eyelets in them on a roll to use for bonding, works really well and makes it a pretty quick job from what I have seen.
    Thats what I would've assumed, there's a radio shop next to my work and I was having them adjust the antenna for the radio. They were saying the antenna wouldn't ground at all at the location it was at, a little research and I came across a few people saying that you have to run a ground to the main body. I looked around inside the tailgate and I didnt see any grounds cables that attached to the door.
    Last edited by EndeavoredH3; 05-14-2020 at 12:36 PM.


    "Hit it with your purse!"


 

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