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  1. #46
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    Time to finally install the Rancho 4" lift kit.

    I was sitting on this kit for about a year and a half before I finally got off my rear and decided to start working on installing it back in August lol. And I should've done it sooner because it completely changed the truck, I love the way The Duke turned out.

    I did this mostly by myself and with a help of a buddy for the first few hours. Really wasn't too difficult to install.

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    First thing was to lay out all of the parts get the truck on the lift & remove the wheels & tires.

    In the kits that were found, they supplied longer shackles and an add a leaf to lift the rear (more on that later).

    Non-Rancho items that I used were Bilstein shock absorbers with reservoirs on all 4 corners, new rear brake pads, new upper control arms, new ball joints for the lower control arms that are serviceable, and some Jeep shock mount adapters to adapt to the eyelet mounts on the new shocks.


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    Started on the rear first to knock it out of the way since it is the easiest thing to tackle. Lowered and removed spare wheel/tire to gain more working room. Inspected the spare tire and it was showing signs of aging so I just threw the whole thing in the garbage. Have no use for that lol. On the positive note, the wheel had barely any rust on it.


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    I didn't take photos of every step (not that my photos are any good) but here is the rear finished*. New extended shackles installed, bump stop extensions done and rear shocks mounted. Here is where I ran into my first gripe. I ordered these shocks based off of my forum research and what reservoir shocks our fellow Hummer enthusiasts said would work. Do you see the issue here? Annoyingly, the placement on the reservoir lines prevented me from flipping them and mounting them the other way because the lines hit the shock reinforcement. As you can imagine, I wasn't too happy about that and couldn't return them because I bought them not long after buying the lift kit 298178298 weeks ago. The only way to run these was to have the lines dip down about an inch from the bottom of the shock which is going to be a BIG issue when off road. For the sake of finishing the install, I said screw it and will run these until they break, then buying the correct ones. Thank you to Shawn Townsend for getting me the part number for the correct shocks for when these break! And yes, they are bound to break at some point with my adventures.


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    View of the shock. Instead of coming out perpendicular and then 90 parallel to the shock body, these just exit at a 45 degree angle and straight.


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    Rear complete and new wheels/tires mounted for test fitment. Minus the sway bar. My Rancho kit was missing a sway bar end link so I ordered up some JKS adjustable end links for a Jeep and re-installed the sway bar a few days later. I ended up liking the Rancho bushings better so I pressed the JKS ones out and put in the Rancho pieces.


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    Another view of completed rear and view of how far shock lines hang.

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    Moving on to the front end progress and did an oil change while everything was apart.


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    Front diff cross member on.


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    ​More progress. Passenger axle was leaking so we threw in a new one.


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    New lower control arm ball joints pressed in, new upper control arms in, sway bar and end links done, extended bump stop mounts done, trailing arms installed and test fit wheels. Almost all set!


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    Setting ride height with the torsion bars. Crank the bolts, lower vehicle, jump on front end, measure fender height and repeat. Just the tires alone are making a big difference! Still need to install stock and Rancho skid plates.


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    Finished this weekend project late Sunday night with the exception of a few missing bolts. Left it at the shop and came back next morning after a run to the hardware store. My kit was missing the bolts for the trailing arms so I had some longer bolts laying around the shop that I used as a placeholder.

    Here's how it turned out.

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    All I can say is, wow! The truck looks great and I can't stop staring at it lol, like I'm in love with the truck all over again. Still a few things that need to be addressed... the front still needed to be adjusted a bit more before a trip to the alignment shop and the rear really only received a minor lift and looked low and out of place. Being that this sat in my garage for over a year, I forgot all about the rear add a leaf lol. Considered a spring over on the rear but have some other plans. The fender flares also make the lift seem not as high because they come down and out from the fenders as opposed to just out.


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    Couldn't find the add a leaves anywhere. Found them a couple days later. Turns out that I brought them inside for whatever reason. Time to head back to the shop after work.


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    ​New JKS end links installed and reattached the rear sway bar. Add a leaf done & raised the front a bit. Much better!!


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    And finally... all washed, cleaned and just right on time to take out for date night with the gf. Man I love this truck. The Duke definitely turns heads driving down the streets crowded with pedestrians with the new lift and cam.

    More to come...
    Last edited by Gpcalero; 12-16-2020 at 08:16 PM.
    @Gpcalero Instagram photos and videos

    >>The Duke H3T Alpha Build Thread<<

    '09 Hummer H3T Alpha - "The Duke"

    - Rancho 4" Lift Kit, Texas Speed 212/218 111 LSA Camshaft, ECP 2" Aluminum Radiator, SuperModulation Dual eFans, HID Projector Headlights, 32 Gallon Auxiliary Gas Tank, Matte Black "312" Method Race Wheels, Firestone Rear Airbags, LS3 Swap in Progress...


    SOLD --- '09 White H3 - "Lil' Sparta"
    - 295/75/18 Trail Grapplers, STARR HIDs, LED taillights, Magnaflow Exhaust, Air Doc CAI, Supermodulation TB, Defenderworx Fuel Door.


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

    amrg (12-17-2020), RamRod (12-22-2020)

  3. #47
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    Cool Rear Airbag Installation Time



    After the last round of adjustments to the front T bars, I felt like I went a bit too aggressive with the height. So I brought it back down some prior to going off to get an alignment.




    I'm sure this wouldn't have lasted too long at this angle.






    After an alignment, I had the wheels & tires rebalanced. There was a noticeable vibration on the of the wheels, and the shop that balanced them before indicated that they were "chasing weights" on one of them. I.e., the balancer kept telling him to put more and more weight on the wheel to balance it.


    So now that I had the front to the height I was finally comfortable with, I wanted to tackle the lack of lift on the rear. All that I did to the rear when I did the Rancho install above was the extended shackles and an add-a-leaf. And they definitely lifted the rear some (I'd say maybe 2-2.5-ish inches), they weren't enough to match the front. If you just glanced at the truck you might not have noticed it, but if you stare for more than a second or two then you can see the subtle difference in height between the front and rear. And this would probably be even more pronounced when towing the race car or anything with a bit of tongue weight.

    The solution came from my buddy Joshua Gostomski, a fellow H3T enthusiast that some of you know, who suggested I run the Firestone airbags in combination of the Daystar cups. Not only will this be able to lift the rear the additional ~1.5-2" that was missing, but it would also be able to level the rear when towing AND have the off-road benefit of not being mounted to both the leaf spring and frame. By only being mounted on the frame, it allows the rear to articulate and not pull up or push down on the axle when going over obstacles. I put pictures of what I used below







    What I also purchased that's not above was the mount spacers. These are pretty universal and depending on your set up, you will need a 2-4 inch spacer.

    I ordered everything right before going on vacation so I didn't have time to install until after.

    Might catch some flak for this but...









    Part of our vacation was visiting Moab, UT which was beautiful. It was my first time in Moab, and being the adventurous type (like most of us in here), we rented a Jeep Rubicon to hit up the Hells Revenge trail. Moab offers a Hummer H1 tour that I looked into but it's a ride along, lame. And the other "self-drive" options were guided, so you had to follow the guy in front of you. Ours was a day rental that we could do pretty much whatever we wanted on our own albeit a bit more pricey.

    All I can say is WOW!!! Aside from it being a Jeep (I know...), the trails and obstacles were WAY different than anything​ that we have in Florida. The scenery was beautiful, weather was comfortably cool and we all just had a great time. I wish we had something even remotely close to this in FL. The Jeep, if you're curious had a suspension lift and 37" tires, electronic locking front/rear diffs and even an electronic sway bar detachment button. Not gonna lie, it impressed me a bit. Doesn't make me want to get rid of the T though.


    Anyways, back on topic...




    ​The Firestone airbag system will go in place of your bump stops. First thing to do is cut out the bump stop mounts and grind down the frame for welding. Once that is done, I mocked up the frame mounts to where I wanted them, tacked in place and welded outside face. After that, I heated them up with a propane torch. This is because the frame mounts that come in this kit are just slightly wider than the frame for the H3/H3T and meant for a Silverado frame I believe. Not a huge deal. After the mount has some decent heat in it, we took a BFH and coerced the mount to conform to the shape of our frames and welded the inside of the mounts. My buddy Will took care of the welding while I prepped the other side of the truck.





    If you also do this, just be careful of the fuel lines on the drivers side. Here Will is welding the bottom and inside of the drivers side mount.








    Driver side views after some chassis paint and install of the spacer, Daystar cup and airbag on top mount. You can see my red air line routed to the other bag (they are Tee'd together) and brake line not yet secured. This was a test of the system to identify any potential issues or line snags.

    My recommendation for you if you do this is to go for the 3" spacer if you have around the same amount of lift that I do in the rear. Maybe even a 2" spacer for a stock rear. I bought the 4" spacer as recommended by Josh, and it works but I find that it is a bit too tall on my truck and will be switching to a 3". I want more compression space between the bottom of the mount and the top of the Daystar cup.







    The amount the airbags can lift up the rear is impressive! Firestone doesn't recommend going over 100 PSI in the air bags, so in our test we aired them up to 80 lbs to see if any lines would be caught or stretched. To my amusement, the bags at 80 lbs lifted the rear 5 inches over it's static height without the lift.



    I'm very happy with these and would recommend to both trail-goers (with Daystar cups) and people looking to level the rear when towing. Here's a shot of the rear after install with just 25 psi in the rear to level it out. Much better. I will also post towing pics when I try it out.

    No more of that saggy butt look!






    Anddddd then there's this to top it off. The LS3 is back from the engine builder and on the engine stand in the garage.
    @Gpcalero Instagram photos and videos

    >>The Duke H3T Alpha Build Thread<<

    '09 Hummer H3T Alpha - "The Duke"

    - Rancho 4" Lift Kit, Texas Speed 212/218 111 LSA Camshaft, ECP 2" Aluminum Radiator, SuperModulation Dual eFans, HID Projector Headlights, 32 Gallon Auxiliary Gas Tank, Matte Black "312" Method Race Wheels, Firestone Rear Airbags, LS3 Swap in Progress...


    SOLD --- '09 White H3 - "Lil' Sparta"
    - 295/75/18 Trail Grapplers, STARR HIDs, LED taillights, Magnaflow Exhaust, Air Doc CAI, Supermodulation TB, Defenderworx Fuel Door.


  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Gpcalero For This Useful Post:

    RamRod (12-22-2020), Schwarttzy (01-25-2021)

  5. #48
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    Rancho Update:

    I felt like the front end was settling down some months after the install so I cranked each side half a turn and re-measured ride height. Opposite of what I would think, the ride quality improved noticeably and unexpectedly. Just thought I'd share something I thought was odd.


    Anyways, my other fun vehicle has mostly been sitting in the garage but I finally got a chance to go out racing again and use the truck to tow the race car for the first time with the Rancho last month!


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    It pulled rather well with the lift and 35's there and back, and I got the chance to add some psi to the rear bags to level it out. Also I think it looks sexy af when towing lol.


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    Getting back into the racing groove so I'll be towing the Mustang more often. I definitely am thinking about re-gearing to the 4.56 gears to help towing. But might hold off until after the new engine is in and I see how it pulls with that first. Taking my time on it, more on that in a bit.


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    Anybody interested in these items before I list them for sale? Stock H3 16" wheels with 33" Nitto Trail Grapplers & front and rear Bilstein shocks for a torsion bar cranked H3/H3T. Taking up space in my garage!


    A big part of the motor swap came in last month from Circle D Specialties too...

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    Nicely packaged converter with some swag goodies!



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    View of the rear above



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    And the front ^^^


    Ordered this from Circle D Specialties and didn't expect to get it before Christmas due to the 6 week lead time, came in 4 weeks! I went with the 278mm LS HP Series with 2800 stall and optional billet front. Now that I have this, I'm pretty sure I have most everything I need for the built 6.2 swap to run technically. But I want to wait and get a few more things like an oil cooler for the trans, build the trans itself, decide how I want to re-do the exhaust & miscellaneous hardware.

    I'm working on a bunch of other life things not related to car stuff so I am going to slow down on this project for a while. But at least you mostly have an update on where it sits now.
    @Gpcalero Instagram photos and videos

    >>The Duke H3T Alpha Build Thread<<

    '09 Hummer H3T Alpha - "The Duke"

    - Rancho 4" Lift Kit, Texas Speed 212/218 111 LSA Camshaft, ECP 2" Aluminum Radiator, SuperModulation Dual eFans, HID Projector Headlights, 32 Gallon Auxiliary Gas Tank, Matte Black "312" Method Race Wheels, Firestone Rear Airbags, LS3 Swap in Progress...


    SOLD --- '09 White H3 - "Lil' Sparta"
    - 295/75/18 Trail Grapplers, STARR HIDs, LED taillights, Magnaflow Exhaust, Air Doc CAI, Supermodulation TB, Defenderworx Fuel Door.


  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Gpcalero For This Useful Post:

    Schwarttzy (01-25-2021)

  7. #49
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    Im sure when you do that full throttle "engine break in" launch you will be impressed. When I got me engine it said to do one after 100 miles, glad I was driving on an empty service road the way the truck jumped and pulled.
    How much did that converter set you back? I had a 3200 converter but not billet, but on hindsight I shouldve went 2800 since my trans really heats up offroad and easily goes above 210* even with a 40K trans cooler. If I really pushed my truck wouldve be surprised id hit 250*.
    Hoping with my axle swap to 4.56 Ill solve that issue (or reduce it significantly) otherwise im gona have to either add a second trans cooler woth fan or change to a lower converter.


    As for your ride, if you set the ride height to rancho specs then you probably were riding on the bump stops. Raising it probably reduced contact and that improved your ride quality.
    Last edited by amrg; 01-13-2021 at 04:23 AM.
    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, Arctic Silver, LS376/480 Conversion, 3000 stall, Custom E-fans, 37" KM3 tires, XD Rockstar Wheels 17x9, OEM Sliders, 40K External Trans Cooler, Bilstein 5160s front 5100 rear, O.D. Steering Bracket, 2" Body Lift, Custom Exhaust, Custom intake pipe & K&N filter, Custom PCM tune, Pioneer DVD unit, Aurora 40" LED Light Bar, 50 W HID Headlights

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    Gpcalero (01-14-2021)

  9. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by amrg View Post
    Im sure when you do that full throttle "engine break in" launch you will be impressed. When I got me engine it said to do one after 100 miles, glad I was driving on an empty service road the way the truck jumped and pulled.
    How much did that converter set you back? I had a 3200 converter but not billet, but on hindsight I shouldve went 2800 since my trans really heats up offroad and easily goes above 210* even with a 40K trans cooler. If I really pushed my truck wouldve be surprised id hit 250*.
    Hoping with my axle swap to 4.56 Ill solve that issue (or reduce it significantly) otherwise im gona have to either add a second trans cooler woth fan or change to a lower converter.


    As for your ride, if you set the ride height to rancho specs then you probably were riding on the bump stops. Raising it probably reduced contact and that improved your ride quality.

    I am definitely excited to floor it but at the same time, I am worried that the front diff might break lmao. Converter is about $549 on their website and another $100 if you want the billet front. But I ordered it during one of their Black Friday deals so I got a small discount.

    And I know man! I was reading through your various threads about a year ago and was wondering why you did the 3200 stall at the time as I thought it was a bit much. This should be good enough for the cam and also be able to tow well without flashing it. I think you should probably do the lower stall converter either way because the gears would just make your rpm higher in overdrive and may make it run a little hotter at cruise. If I recall correctly, you run a Circle D converter too, eh? If so, I'm pretty sure they will re-stall it once for you for free. I know it might not make the most sense due to your location, but you could check it out.

    I think you're right on the ride height and bump stops, that absolutely makes sense.
    @Gpcalero Instagram photos and videos

    >>The Duke H3T Alpha Build Thread<<

    '09 Hummer H3T Alpha - "The Duke"

    - Rancho 4" Lift Kit, Texas Speed 212/218 111 LSA Camshaft, ECP 2" Aluminum Radiator, SuperModulation Dual eFans, HID Projector Headlights, 32 Gallon Auxiliary Gas Tank, Matte Black "312" Method Race Wheels, Firestone Rear Airbags, LS3 Swap in Progress...


    SOLD --- '09 White H3 - "Lil' Sparta"
    - 295/75/18 Trail Grapplers, STARR HIDs, LED taillights, Magnaflow Exhaust, Air Doc CAI, Supermodulation TB, Defenderworx Fuel Door.


  10. #51
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    I went with the 3200 based on circle ds recommendation. I havent seen anyone here with a stalled car/truck so I really had no idea what to expect, I just knew it was needed based on the feedback of the first person to do the ls376/480 on an H3 and how much the stock stall affected driveability and stopping due to the higher idle rpm.
    I wish I could restall, but Due to my location, it would be cheaper to buy a new one than send this back. But again its a 4l60 and I believe one day its gona be a 4l80 so im not planning to invest into this.
    With 4.56 and 37s my trans will be better since it will lockup earlier and stay locked at highway speeds. it will also make the truck flash to a lower rpm which should reduce heat.
    The lockup part is important, with 37s the trans wont stay locked at 100 mph (highway speed here) while with 35s it would. In the summer this caused my trans temps to spike to 250* and thats not what I want.
    Finally, with 4.10s the rpms hover at 1400 at 60 mph in overdrive, too low for my cams power curve and it feels like im lugging. With 35s I never had an issue so hopefully 4.56 is the answer


    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
    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, Arctic Silver, LS376/480 Conversion, 3000 stall, Custom E-fans, 37" KM3 tires, XD Rockstar Wheels 17x9, OEM Sliders, 40K External Trans Cooler, Bilstein 5160s front 5100 rear, O.D. Steering Bracket, 2" Body Lift, Custom Exhaust, Custom intake pipe & K&N filter, Custom PCM tune, Pioneer DVD unit, Aurora 40" LED Light Bar, 50 W HID Headlights

  11. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by amrg View Post
    I went with the 3200 based on circle ds recommendation. I havent seen anyone here with a stalled car/truck so I really had no idea what to expect, I just knew it was needed based on the feedback of the first person to do the ls376/480 on an H3 and how much the stock stall affected driveability and stopping due to the higher idle rpm.
    I wish I could restall, but Due to my location, it would be cheaper to buy a new one than send this back. But again its a 4l60 and I believe one day its gona be a 4l80 so im not planning to invest into this.
    With 4.56 and 37s my trans will be better since it will lockup earlier and stay locked at highway speeds. it will also make the truck flash to a lower rpm which should reduce heat.
    The lockup part is important, with 37s the trans wont stay locked at 100 mph (highway speed here) while with 35s it would. In the summer this caused my trans temps to spike to 250* and thats not what I want.
    Finally, with 4.10s the rpms hover at 1400 at 60 mph in overdrive, too low for my cams power curve and it feels like im lugging. With 35s I never had an issue so hopefully 4.56 is the answer


    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
    Holy cow, the highway speeds there are 100 mph? Or do you mean kph? I haven't tried but I don't think my truck would like to lock up at 100 mph very much with even the 35's.

    37" tires:
    1,564 rpm with 4.10 gears @ 60 mph.
    1,740 rpm with 4.56 gears @ 60 mph.

    The change to 4.56 gears will deff help you with the lugging problem at 60 mph.

    35" tires:
    1,654 rpm with 4.10 gears @ 60 mph.
    1,839 rpm with 4.56 gears @ 60 mph.
    @Gpcalero Instagram photos and videos

    >>The Duke H3T Alpha Build Thread<<

    '09 Hummer H3T Alpha - "The Duke"

    - Rancho 4" Lift Kit, Texas Speed 212/218 111 LSA Camshaft, ECP 2" Aluminum Radiator, SuperModulation Dual eFans, HID Projector Headlights, 32 Gallon Auxiliary Gas Tank, Matte Black "312" Method Race Wheels, Firestone Rear Airbags, LS3 Swap in Progress...


    SOLD --- '09 White H3 - "Lil' Sparta"
    - 295/75/18 Trail Grapplers, STARR HIDs, LED taillights, Magnaflow Exhaust, Air Doc CAI, Supermodulation TB, Defenderworx Fuel Door.


  12. #53
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    Yeah the highways here have an official 70 mph speed limit, but unofficially 100, the smaller ones are 70/85 mph and inside the city are 50 mph (which is why i programmed my truck to hold 3rd up to 60 mph and enabled lockup on 3rd, id rather by cruising around town at 2K rpms and 3rd than lugging at 1200 rpms and 4th!)
    I know rpm change isnt much (11%) but its either this, regear the rear and lose 4WD or regear both and go solid axle front. Since this way cost me $500 its much cheaper to do!
    Last edited by amrg; 01-16-2021 at 02:39 AM.
    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, Arctic Silver, LS376/480 Conversion, 3000 stall, Custom E-fans, 37" KM3 tires, XD Rockstar Wheels 17x9, OEM Sliders, 40K External Trans Cooler, Bilstein 5160s front 5100 rear, O.D. Steering Bracket, 2" Body Lift, Custom Exhaust, Custom intake pipe & K&N filter, Custom PCM tune, Pioneer DVD unit, Aurora 40" LED Light Bar, 50 W HID Headlights


 

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