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  1. #1
    Bald Tire
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    BW 4494 2wd upgrade + manual locking hubs

    This is my first Thread; better to start off strong!

    I’m a new Hummer owner and loving every minute!
    I’ve been reading everyone’s posts for some time now, even prior to purchasing my H3T. After having this truck, I feel that GM was onto something with the H3T, but they were cut short and we were left wondering what versions they would have released. Interesting enough, I used the internet way back machine “historical website archives” and located information on hummers website eluding to just that; H3T sportsman. This truck was going to offer an upgraded suspension, engine, transmission, and 2hi,4hi,4lo transfer case. So, since I cant buy one I’ll build one!

    I bough my truck with high miles (150k), so it needed some help if it was going to be my daily driver: front and rear 2.0 fox shocks. Upgraded breaks. Replacement bushings( All of them! ). Replacement control arms, upper and lower. New oil seals, engine, axles, trans, etc. The truck now has a good foundation and drives amazing!

    So, after weeks of labor and overnight parts from rockauto and GM, the truck is ready! Onto the H3T upgrades!!!!

    First order of business:

    #1 Upgrade the BW 4494 transfer case. Without this custom piece none of these upgrades would be possible, or even worth the time. Lucky for me, I have someone who builds them. Information/pictures/specs forthcoming!

    #2 Custom manual locking hubs. I’ve read a lot of forums and tech GM,Jeep manuals. I’ve also took everyone’s opinions on this topic into consideration. One argument which is common,”it won’t work without locking/free spinning hubs.” So, I have found someone who made me a custom pair of front IFS manual locking hubs and CV shafts. As stated above, information/pictures/specs forthcoming.

    #3 Engine performance improvement. TBD- possible heads,cam, and HP-tune.

    #4 ??? Who knows!

    I hope this draws some interest into continuing to improve this vehicle. I’m super excited about seeing how this truck drives, handles, and outperforms ALL those Jeep Gladiators on the road. That includes all the Z71’s, ZR2’s and whatever else they can steal from the past Hummer engineers. Thanks for reading the post, I will take pictures and collect information about this transformation as it’s done.


    UPDATE- 04/05/20

    Hubs and Axles have failed! DO NOT BUY THEM; Axle broke inside the locker which required disassembly of the CV to remove the hub/fused axle shaft.
    Last edited by Jonh85851; 04-06-2020 at 09:04 PM. Reason: AXLE UPDATE

  2. #2
    Hammer Down!
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    Good luck with your T projects and keep updating this thread as you go. As a fellow H3T owner, I am very interested to see what you're able to do with your rig.

    Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk
    “Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.”
    John Wayne


  3. #3
    Mud Terrain
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    Welcome to H40 from SoCal. I’ve always thought that they should have put a 2WD button in like the Colorado. Waiting to read more.

  4. #4
    Bald Tire
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    Smile




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    BW 4494 Custom case!

    Specifications: 2hi, 4hi lock, 4lo lock

    Power splits: 2wd 0/100, 4hi lock 50/50, 4lo 50/50 4:01

    Shift on fly retained from 2hi to 4hi
    Last edited by Jonh85851; 02-23-2020 at 04:27 AM. Reason: Adding Photos

  5. #5
    Bald Tire
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    Last edited by Jonh85851; 02-23-2020 at 04:28 AM.

  6. #6
    Super Swamper
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    That's cool that you're going all out on this, and doing the conversion to 2wd correctly from the sounds of it, but why the push for 2wd? Especially at the cost of losing 4hi unlocked which allows you to drive in 4wd on the street (while I get that you're in Florida so snow isn't much of an issue, rain certainly will be).

    I drove my H3 in 2wd for over half a year and hated it. The handling was way off and felt unstable (too much understeer probably). Once I finally got the front diff back in and could drive it in 4hi unlocked again it felt so much better. And that was on the street. It would have been even worse offroad. There was zero improvement in fuel economy, and that was including the extra hundred pounds or so of the bulk of the IFS drivetrain missing. It will be even worse with the H3T since you'll be lighter in the rear than the H3 which will lead to being more prone to your rear tires breaking loose.

    Plus going with custom hubs and axles is going to suck when you break them. I hope you plan on having spares made to have on hand since it sounds like you probably won't be going to the nearest auto parts store for a replacement.
    2008 H3 Alpha

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

    N1JPA

  7. #7
    Bald Tire
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    I like the feedback and your questions have some merit; given your experiences. I have decided to retain the factory functionally of the dashboard transfer case selector switch- It's what Hummer would have done. 2WD operation is like any other Chevrolet/GMC pickup truck equipped with a factory 2hi/4hi/4lo transfer case. Some pros of this are (1) power distribution 100% to rear wheels, (2) elimination of torque steer, and (3) acceleration!!! for everyday driving. The cons are (1) loss of full time AWD, (2) increased rear tire wear from the skinny peddle, and (3) manual input/selection of 4x4. It's true, I live in Florida and it does rain almost daily. Before owning the H3T, I drove my 2WD Silverado everywhere, including the rain, dirt roads, etc. The handling and readability of my Silverado was never an issue even on wet roads because the stability control system is designed to compensate for tire slip. But, I do agree with you on wet road handling- AWD is superior.

    Based on your above description, your experience with driving in "2WD" on your H3 was different in a few ways. First, you removed the front drive train components completely, resulting in a large weight loss from the front suspension. This "sprung" weight loss over your front IFS more then likely caused under steer, poor handling, and alignment issues. Second, if you removed your front CV axles from the hubs, your hub bearings were doomed to fail- Fast. The hub bearings on a 4WD vehicle are designed to support the vehicles "Sprung" weight in the following order: Upper control arm- Steering knuckle- Hub/Bearing- CV Axle- Bearing/Hub- Lower control arm. The CV axle carries/distributes the majority of the vehicles weight while inside the bearing assembly. Additionally, an unsupported (Rear- Outer Axle Housing) bearing could drift in/out of the hub; everything I have read/researched about this topic is constant. Second, you mentioned no improvement in your fuel economy/performance. I would agree with you, given your approach. I also debated on physically disconnecting my front drive-line (front drive shaft removal), when I was completing some repairs/improvements. How would this affect the vehicle? Very simple- You now have only 60% of your engine HP/torque going to your rear wheels. The remaining 40% is wasted on the disconnected transfer-case front input shaft. I realized, no matter what, the factory 4494 was designed with a planetary gear set with a fixed power distribution 40/60. Given this information, its possible your MPG got worse even with the weight savings.

    Lastly, your absolutely right about the need for additional CV axles in the future. I've considered this issue and I realized some added benefits of the Manual locking hubs may address this concern. First, IF I break a CV axle/shaft, I can unlock them and drive away. Never again will I be forced to perform repairs on the trail/road, in-order to get home. I would rather continue to use the H3T in 2WD until its fixed then be stuck. I don't do any rock crawling- that brings a whole other discussion on the topic. Second, the only custom part on the CV is the outer axle housing which I plan on having made for a rainy day; future discussion after I post some pictures. I hope I answered some if the common questions/concerns that I've read repeatedly on many H3 forum discussions on 2WD upgrades. Simply think about a factory Z71 4x4 and imagine that drive-line in a H3T!
    Last edited by Jonh85851; 02-23-2020 at 06:00 AM.

  8. #8
    Bald Tire
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    Out with the Old!

    Say goodbye to the old faithful transfer case, as I make room for the Monster BW4494-Custom.

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  9. #9
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    Interesting! Ive recently seen people in saudi arabia weld the inside of the tcase to make it 2wd when in 4Hi. Its great to drive in 2wd in the sand and whenever I go offroad I rarely use it in 4Hi open except when Im on long desert stretches, but I can easily drive those in 2wd (like every other jeep/1500 series truck out there with me). On the beach or the sand dunes driving in 4HI open is useless as I end up with alot of tire spin upfront esp doing a dune climb.

    I also see your c.v. shaft point. Im sure on higher torque engines (the 6.0+ swaps) they will benefit from a 2wd mode. I know I would as everytime I get on the gas the front rises like a mf and my cvs are at a harsh angle. I end up with wheel spin upfront and I noticed my boots ripping faster than usual. (My original boots lasted 7 years and 90K miles with countless wheeling trips, my replacements only lasted 3 years and 20K miles without any wheeling. Now one of my c.v.s is clicking which means new halfshafts need to be ordered)
    06 H3, Birch White, Lux , Cooper AT3 35s, Borla Performance Cat-back, Bilsteins front w/ 1/2" extended stops, Hunner sleeve, Air Doc w/ K&N filter, Oem Roof lights, 55W HID Headlights and 35W Fog lights.

    09 H3 V8, LS376/480 Conversion, 3000 stall, Arctic Silver, 35s, XD Rockstar Wheels 17x8 Front 17x9 Rear, OEM Sliders, 40K External Trans Cooler, Bilstein 5160s front 5100 rear, O.D. Steering Bracket, Daystar 1" Body Lift, Borla Performance Cat-Back, custom intake pipe & K&N filter, Custom PCM tune, Pioneer DVD unit, Aurora 40" LED Light Bar, 50 W HID Headlights

  10. #10
    El Diablo
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    Great project, looking forward to your future posts!

  11. #11
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    I am very interested to see how these locking hubs come out

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Bald Tire
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    Some parts started arriving today!!!

  13. #13
    Bald Tire
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    Look what the mailman delivered

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    Last edited by Jonh85851; 02-24-2020 at 12:00 AM.

  14. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jonh85851 For This Useful Post:

    amrg (02-24-2020), Korby7 (02-24-2020)

  15. #14
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    any chance you can share the people who custom build your tcase, hubs and shafts?

    Or private message me their contact info?

  16. #15
    Baja
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    Im guessing the guy that did this is the one that builds the hub kits for silverados as well. I have concerns about the dramatic decrease in shaft size where it goes through the wheel bearing with his design as is necessary to facilitate the locking mechanism. If you are not offroading your truck then it isnt a problem but for us its definitely an issue. I have a 2wd H3 running the np241 and I hate how it handles compared to our other ones with awd but to each his own.

    http://therammaninc.com/products/sho...ersion-Kit-301
    Current:

    2006 Red H3 Adventure/ luxury- 37" iroks, HD tierods, steering rack kit, custom front IFS HP Dana 44 diff with Yukon zip locker, Np241 manual T-case, 6.0L VVT/ 6L90 swap

    2008 Black H3 Alpha- HD tierods, steering rack kit, Custom HD lower control arm bushing kit

    2007 Black H3 Luxury- 1.25" bodylift, elocker, 4:1 t-case, steering rack kit, custom front IFS HP Dana 50 diff with truetrac, 37" bfg km2, H3x 18" wheels

    2009 Black H3T base- custom front IFS HP Dana 44 diff with truetrac, 37" centennial trail hogs, H3x 18" wheels

    2008 White H3 Adventure

    I think we might have too many of these things now...


 

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