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  1. #1
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    jimmy p's H3 Build

    A couple years ago I began to get the off-roading itch again and wanted to build a rig that I could take the family out with. A Jeep was a logical choice with plenty available on the used market as well as unlimited aftermarket bolt on parts but I am a GM guy at heart and enjoy building/fabricating as much as actually driving. Within the GM lineup I settled on the H3 based on a good platform naturally for offroading with approach/departure and available 4:1 tcase, small enough for trails but large enough for the family.
    I knew I would eventually be doing a solid axle swap and V8 swap so I was already shopping for those parts. I wanted something that I wouldn’t be afraid to scratch up on the trails so I was originally shopping the cheapest H3s on craigslist and copart when I came across one on the for sale section on this forum from user 5gn-h3t which already had a recently completed SAS and SOA done for a price I couldn’t pass up. I borrowed a truck from work and rented a trailer and made a 16 hour round trip to pick it up in Pennsylvania. It turned out to be a great stating point with all of the heavy lifting already done.

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    I got it to fit in the garage with the roof rack removed, just scrapes the roof which means it wont be getting any taller
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    I got lucky and came across an totaled 06 yellow adventure package so I pulled the rear locker and 4:1 t case out and parted out the rest of it to fund the rest of the modifications
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    during the first week of covid lockdown I took the family out for a quick spin to the carwash and heard a loud pop from the front end. Turned out to be a outer front axle. Turns out the axle already had chrome moly shafts and joints in it, but whatever vehicle it had come from must have had some power because the other axle shaft was also already twisted. I replace both, thanks to some help from the previous owner and 4speedfunk for parts/advice.
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    Then came the 4th tow hook and "lightened" rear bumper. I sectioned the spare tire carrier to tighten it up against the back door so it didnt look like it was hanging off the back so far. I also added a H2 spare tire license plate holder to relocate the plate. I added a rear view mirror/backup camera.
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  2. #2
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    Mounds offroad park, stayed out of the mud until the very end and then it involved 20 minutes of wheel spinning to get out. Took days to clean
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    Drummond Island
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    Oem locker install
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    Front skidplate and another steering box leak
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    Rock sliders
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    Tcase inspection, cleaning and replacing plastic shift arm
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    Silver lake sand dunes
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    Tcase skid
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    Last edited by jimmy p; 11-23-2020 at 09:43 PM.

  3. #3
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    I had several xterra steering box leaks and a ps pump failure as well as looking for an opportunity to alleviate some steering effort so i upgraded to a hydraulic assist. PSC ram and mounts with universal hoses and fittings to the now tapped and fully rebuilt xterra box.

    Also here it is testing all the new steering gear at a new local park, holly oaks. Led lights added upfront with cheap amber housings in the oem offroad light grill
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    Added some switches for the lights and locker. I like oem style switches and these ford upfitter switches fit the bill. They route to an aftermarket relay/fuse box under the hood. Name:  20201125_203815.jpg
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    Last edited by jimmy p; 12-08-2020 at 08:36 PM.

  4. #4
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    Might need to air down to get it back in the garage.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Engine swap is next and I will probably need some help from those of you that have done it already. I picked up a dropout ls2/4l70 from a 2007 trailblazer ss.Name:  20201108_061759.jpg
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    Installed an h3 alpha oil pan, pickup, windage tray, dipstick and dipstick tube.
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    Induction will be tbss maf and rubber elbow mated to a full-size truck airbox

    Mounts will likely be fabricated to use the factory tbss engine side mounts. I may also do something more along the lines of the current performance with builder bushings but like the idea of the softer oem mounts if possible.

    Wiring.....jamie is busy until summer and no response from current performance yet so I will likely be doing it myself. I am about 80% there with the wiring diagrams and pinouts but haven't physically started splicing yet. I am hoping to keep it plug and play into the factory harness with some jumper harnesses between them.

    Calibration. I would like to maintain the factory e67 ls2 tbss base calibration instead of any kind of custom chassis dyno tune over an base 5.3 alpha specific calibration. Challenges with this so far are the differences in cruise control and traction control between the tbss and h3 vehicle architecture. Also may impact some 4wd low calibrations that are unique to hummer.

    Trans..would like to keep the 4l70 and trying to figure out if i can dent the pan near the driveshaft (i have more clearance than stock due to the sas) or exactly what I need to replace in the bottom end to run the h3 specific pan.Name:  20201122_140823.jpg
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    Exhaust will be alpha manifolds, tbss converters, custom 2.5" dual back to some dual mode zl1 camaro mufflers wired for quiet/loud modes
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    Front acc drive, starter and ac will probably stay tbss. Not sure if i will spring the cash for factory alpha hoses and lines or just go custom.

    Fans...if i can find a good deal on an alpha fan, clutch and shroud i will go that route but more than likely will try ls1 electric fans.

    Came across a cheap used snorkle, not sure i am going to use it but I have it just in caseName:  20201123_204619.jpg
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    Last edited by jimmy p; 11-23-2020 at 09:51 PM.

  6. #6
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    This is gonna sound funny, but did you get that snorkel from a guy in Washington Township?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff V. View Post
    This is gonna sound funny, but did you get that snorkel from a guy in Washington Township?
    Yeah that was the one, sounds like i got it just in time! Small world indeed. I'll let you know if I decide not to use it.

  8. #8
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    Cool build, I like it.
    '10 H3T

  9. #9
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    Dont bother with LS1 fans. Either stick to the clutch fan (way superior to everything) or if you're set on electric just get the ctsv/zl1 electric fan. 850 watts brushless fan equivelant to 1200 watt conventional fan, soft start, no relays, speed can vary from 10% to 100%, fits perfectly the oem radiator, 19" blade covers the entire rad core, Works easily with the e67 pcm and nothing is superior to it, nothing.
    Make sure you have the alpha alternator with 145 amps too to run it, at full power it pulls almost 70 amps continous
    Last edited by amrg; 11-26-2020 at 02:23 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

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by amrg View Post
    Dont bother with LS1 fans. Either stick to the clutch fan (way superior to everything) or if you're set on electric just get the ctsv/zl1 electric fan. 850 watts brushless fan equivelant to 1200 watt conventional fan, soft start, no relays, speed can vary from 10% to 100%, fits perfectly the oem radiator, 19" blade covers the entire rad core, Works easily with the e67 pcm and nothing is superior to it, nothing.
    Make sure you have the alpha alternator with 145 amps too to run it, at full power it pulls almost 70 amps continous
    The alpha specific clutch, fan and shrouds are too expensive new if i can even find them. I am not sure what makes them unique or if i can grab a junkyard fullsize truck fan or use the tbss fan which is huge. I think 06 h3 said it stuck out too far when he did his swap. I can fab up a shroud if needed. Also the tbss has an electronically controlled mechanical fan, not sure if there is an advantage but it is already wired and programmed in.

    As far as electric goes, it has been 10 years since I have done a conversion like this so I shouldn't be surprised that a better fan setup has come out since the ls1 fans. What gen zl1/v are you referring to? Coincidentally I was looking at a set of 2013 zl1 fans on ebay. Thanks!

  11. #11
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    The fan will be made by spal, the tag will have 850HT listed (indicating 850 watts).
    The tbss uses an electro viscous (EV) clutch fan. I dont know why GM did that, but my assumption would be that GM needs to control the fan when ac is needed, and since an electric fan wont cut it cooling wise on the small tbss radiator, they went with a superior clutch fan that can be engaged electronically.
    But anyway, the same wire used to control the clutch would be used to trigger an electric fan on/off or be the signal line for the ctsv/zl1 fan. I havent looked at a tbss tune, but the ecu has tables for fan request % vs ect & ac pressure, those will need to be checked and the fan type changed from EV to discrete (for on/off signal) or pwm (for the ctsv fan).


    The last picture would be the fan superimposed on the radiator
    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

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy p View Post
    The alpha specific clutch, fan and shrouds are too expensive new if i can even find them. I am not sure what makes them unique or if i can grab a junkyard fullsize truck fan or use the tbss fan which is huge. I think 06 h3 said it stuck out too far when he did his swap. I can fab up a shroud if needed. Also the tbss has an electronically controlled mechanical fan, not sure if there is an advantage but it is already wired and programmed in.

    As far as electric goes, it has been 10 years since I have done a conversion like this so I shouldn't be surprised that a better fan setup has come out since the ls1 fans. What gen zl1/v are you referring to? Coincidentally I was looking at a set of 2013 zl1 fans on ebay. Thanks!

    I threw away my clutch fan and shroud set up. No idea they were worth anything, I figured they were junk lol.
    @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.


  13. #13
    a.k.a. "The Jackal"

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    I ended up running a factory fan and shroud from an alpha
    Squeaky3: 06 H3 ALPHA D70 front/Eaton HO72 rear 5.13 gears, custom crossmember for long arms, lockers, 4:1 T-case, v8 swap, hybrid cage, Warn 12k Custom bumpers....do it all vehicle

    "H3 front axles are like drunk cheerleaders....just use em until they get mouthy...then toss em and get another." -anonymous


  14. #14
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    I made a mold of the tbss 4l70e trans pan to check clearance to the h3 driveshaft. It was close but I decided to play it safe and clearance as much as I could from the stock pan without modifying the internals. I ended up running the h3 specific filter but otherwise stock 4l70e parts. Still crossing my fingers it won't have any clearance issues but it will be hard to tell for sure until I get it all installed.
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  15. #15
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    After some sketchy moments the old engine and trans are out. I need to fix some odd rust spots on the inside of the frame and clean up some welds before installing the new powertrain.

    Manifolds, hptuners, h3 fan, cooling hoses, fluids are all in the mail.

    I broke down and ordered the current performance mounts and tb pedal bracket to save time on making my own.

    Need to figure out fuel lines, exhaust routing, wiring and a few tune related items

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