Welcome to the H4O - HUMMER 4x4 Off Road.
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Low Profile
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    91
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 22 Times in 15 Posts

    SAS Pros and Cons

    I've actually been considering something lately that I never thought I would (because I feel that the stock front suspension is just too limiting): A solid axle swap.

    In the scenario where one wants a quality swap on an H3 using all new parts with decent options and and factory-like functionality (ABS etc) but can't do *any* of the work themselves, tell me if I've got this right (because I may not):

    Pros:
    -More lift possible (also allowing tires larger than 35")
    -Stronger diff/axle availability (even if D44)
    -Long term parts availability (quality H3 IFS parts are becoming rarer all the time)
    -Much improved articulation
    -Smoother *off road* ride quality

    Cons:
    -$$$$$$$$ ($14k-$17k is the range I think I read that 4speedfunk said his customer swaps average)
    -The hassle of actually getting it done
    -Worse on road performance (mostly concerned about mid-corner bumps, body roll, and possible death-wobble)
    -No possibility to add a sway bar (meaning yet even worse on road performance)
    -Larger turning radius (I do love that tight stock turning radius)
    -Slower steering ratio (?)
    -Added weight (not much?)


    If that's a reasonably accurate list, then that is a whole lot of cons and they all matter to me (some more than others).
    What I do like now is how surprisingly competently my H3 handles and steers on road, even with a torsion crank, 1.25" lift rear shackles, and 35's on 16" wheels. I probably like to drive my H3 faster around corners than most people because I've always had sports cars... However, it's not a priority and I'm fine with slowing it down a bit more because this *isn't* a sports car, but at the same time I don't want a wallowy barge that feels like a rusty old 70's Chevy truck. I test drove a brand new 4 door Rubicon last week and I felt that its on-road handling was very acceptable (although it had the wandering steering issue that many have complained about on the JL's, but that's a whole different rabbit-hole). If a properly set up SAS'd H3 could match or nearly match that new Rubicon's street manners then I'd be very okay with it. Of course... that had a sway bar and has had years of factory design evolution and refinements.
    On the flip-side, all of the problems I've had with off road performance stem from the limits of the stock IFS... primarily ground clearance. That's always in short supply compared to traction with the front and rear lockers and the 35" Duratracs, and certainly in short supply compared to power with the V8 and 4:1 low ratio. I'm also ever-paranoid that I'm going to snap an axle or stub axle or gears (despite the cast iron diff housing) so I fear using the throttle the way it sometimes needs to be used. A properly done solid front would cure all of that I think.

    So overall, is a SAS not for me? If I did it and disliked it, that would have been a helluva lot of money that could have gone toward a new 4 door Rubicon or Bronco (once actually available and at MSRP), either of which would be a better vehicle in nearly every single way (but they still cost a whole lot more).

    Alternately... Any of the, like, 5 people who still have a Rancho 4" lift want to sell theirs to me?
    Last edited by WANNAVEE; 04-03-2021 at 12:58 PM.

  2. #2
    a.k.a. "The Jackal"

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Clarita, Ca
    Posts
    9,081
    Thanks
    1,071
    Thanked 2,108 Times in 1,161 Posts
    Sway bar has been resolved on the H3 SAS. So you can run a Currie anti rock.

    Death wobble is due to worn out parts. If you have death wobble you arenít maintaining your vehicle. I have logged almost 50k miles on my SAS which very well might be the most mileage on a SAS H3. (Iím sure with time it will be surpassed as I donít daily it anymore) but I only had death wobble one time and it was 20 miles after the SAS and it was because my track bar bolt was loose.

    Steering radius is worse. Thatís a fact. Steering feel is interesting as many buy high mileage used boxes and they really need a full rebuild (not just seals) and by running a new box steering feel isnít bad. Connor Geary should chime in as he bought a used box then had it fully rebuilt and said it was nice and day in terms of steering feel but radius is lost.

    Ride quality, in my personal opinion, it is very subjective and the best part about the SAS is tune-ability....especially with coilovers. You can make it as stiff or as soft as you want with spring changes and shock valving. With a stock H3 you kinda get what you get. The tune-ability isnít there.

    Are you going to Moab? My best advice is to ride in a SAS H3. They ride much better then you think. Donít use me as a test subject though as my tires are obnoxious on road. It would make a stock H3 handle extremely different as well. Itís all tire related.

    I daily drove my H3 sasíd on 37s and would do it again in a heartbeat. 40s and up are more for play but I even drove my H3 over 800 miles in a day on 40s.

    The days of ****ty riding solid axles are over in my opinion. Shock and suspension technology has come so far in the past 10 years you can make them nice.

    The only thing you canít change with a solid axle is that the whole vehicle reacts to hitting a bump on one side of the vehicle where IFS doesnít have that reaction but in all honesty itís not that noticeable unless your going slow and hitting big speed bumps with one tire first.

    My opinion is SAS the world!
    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


  3. #3
    a.k.a. "The Jackal"

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Clarita, Ca
    Posts
    9,081
    Thanks
    1,071
    Thanked 2,108 Times in 1,161 Posts
    Reloader and Connor need to chime in as their H3 builds are suited to what you want. Mine is overkill now but what I used to have was similar to theirs.

    Iíd love to see a low slung H3 on 35s and a SAS. The Aussie SAS H3 was closest to that but has since linked it and went crazy with big coilovers, big bypass shocks, big travel and bigger tires.

    Iíd love to build an H3 with a Land Rover, Ford F-250 or FJ80 style radius arm. It will keep the 3rd link out of the way of motor mount so you can lower the ride height. flip the tie rod under the knuckle (less off road clearance) but it gives you more room before hitting the pitman arm, same with the drag link.

    You can beat on it all day with 35s and drive it like a moron on road because it will be very nimble.
    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


  4. #4
    Low Profile
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    91
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 22 Times in 15 Posts
    Thanks for the info. I read the recent thread about SAS sway bars but I was under the impression that there was still a problem with the Antirock solution but I probably misunderstood or don't remember right. Maybe I need to reread that thread again. That's good news though.
    It's difficult to figure out if I'd be happy with how it would drive or not because ride quality and steering feel are so subjective. Unfortunately I won't be going to Moab any time in the foreseeable future because I'm stuck on the east coast (sigh). Of course all of the really epic off roading is out west so most of the built rigs are out that way too I think. Thinking about it, I don't think I could bring myself to sink anywhere near $17k into a SAS without knowing for sure by driving one set up the way I would have mine done, and that's probably impossible.

    If you're talking about the yellow and black Aussie H3... That thing is a beast on the trails, just crawls over everything like it's nothing (good driver too). I sent one of the vids of that one to my friend just the other day and I ended with "...but I bet it sucks to drive on the highway" (meaning higher speeds and turns in general).

    I wouldn't want mine lifted too high, I think the height of the 4" Rancho kit seems about right for what I do with it. I could then also try 37's someday if I got the itch, but I think 35's might be the sweet spot between on and off road.

    As for low slung with SAS... It would be awesome if OffRoadOnly's AirROCK suspension for Wranglers could be adapted to a SAS'd H3 (of course the stock leaf setup would have to be converted as well). That way you could have a stock ride height and align it there for street driving then crank it up as desired for the trails, and you could also independently adjust front, rear, and sides to avoid roof strikes and the like on really tight trails (I've nearly done that) or to help with steep side slopes. Can also level the vehicle on any terrain for sleeping in it (something I do). It's also automatically load leveling so loading up with gear won't reduce clearance (I have that problem as well). In fact, if I end up with a Rubicon at some point, I will also end up with that system at some point (and an Ursa Minor pop-up roof at some point).
    Last edited by WANNAVEE; 04-04-2021 at 08:04 AM.

  5. #5
    a.k.a. "The Jackal"

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Clarita, Ca
    Posts
    9,081
    Thanks
    1,071
    Thanked 2,108 Times in 1,161 Posts
    The Aussie truck doesnít suck on the highway. The reason I say that is because the Australian dept of transportation has extremely strict rules that are much more difficult then the US. Here, you can do many modifications without too much hassle cut down under he had to give the keys to them and they take it on road handling courses at high speed swerving back and forth and it had to pass these tests.

    If you comparing the solid axle riding experience to an old Chevy square body truck that you had back in the day I can definitely say that the H3 is the exact opposite of that.

    The SAS can be done for much cheaper if you do it yourself or limit yourself on parts like lockers and such up front
    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


  6. #6
    a.k.a. "The Jackal"

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Clarita, Ca
    Posts
    9,081
    Thanks
    1,071
    Thanked 2,108 Times in 1,161 Posts
    That ORO air kit on a JK is 6 grand before install and without a compressor and tank setup. I imagine your not far off from 17k once you add in the install, compressor, tank, wheels/tires.

    Thatís a big chunk of change. My first SAS wasnít nearly that expense. It was much much much cheaper but I did all the work myself and shopped for deals
    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


  7. #7
    Low Profile
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    91
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 22 Times in 15 Posts
    Sounds like I might be fine with the ride and handling then.

    Yeah, physical limitations mean that I can't do that work myself (and I'd most definitely add a locker) so it's a really expensive proposition (even without adjustable air suspension).
    Last edited by WANNAVEE; 04-04-2021 at 04:20 PM.

  8. #8
    "Like Nothing Else"
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    3,399
    Thanks
    756
    Thanked 508 Times in 383 Posts
    Wannavee.

    I don't think you need to be concerned with on road comfort with a swap. I just drove mine halfway across the country 1400+ miles, and it was very comfortable. Once I get a sway bar in there, it will be perfect.



    Sent from my SM-G998U using Tapatalk
    -2009 H3 Alpha/Adv||SAS/SOA
    -2008 H3 Alpha-RIP

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to cgalpha08 For This Useful Post:

    06 H3 (04-08-2021)

  10. #9
    Low Profile
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    91
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 22 Times in 15 Posts
    CG, thanks for the input. I'm getting the impression that I probably wouldn't mind how it drives but I can't see jumping in so deep without testing the waters first!


 

Similar Threads

  1. K&N ADI and Dual Exhaust upgrades - cons
    By daKat81 in forum HUMMER talk
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 11-09-2015, 05:38 PM
  2. Pros and Cons of owning a Hummer H1
    By tomas6791 in forum HUMMER H1 1992-2006
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 05-11-2015, 10:42 AM
  3. Pros and cons of rear end lift techniques.
    By SGT-Wright in forum HUMMER H3 2006-2010; H3T 2009-2010
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-28-2014, 07:04 AM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Logout