Welcome to the H4O - HUMMER 4x4 Off Road.
Page 1 of 36 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 534
  1. #1
    Guardian Angel

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,281
    Thanks
    392
    Thanked 487 Times in 333 Posts

    ReconH3 Build Thread v2.0

    Instead of copying my old build thread, I thought that my August 2011 ROTM thread was much more complete. This is by far the most complete compilation I have put together of my build.



    This is where it all started I waited two years for the Alpha to come out. I knew a vehicle with that weight would struggle with the I5. The crazy thing is that getting it was an adventure in it's self. I could not find anywhere in California, an H3 Alpha that wasn't covered in Chrome, and didn't have a sunroof. I also wanted one that had the Adventure Package for the rear locker and 4:1 transfer case. So after a while of the sales guy trying to con me into something I didn't want, I asked for the sales manager. Best thing I ever did. I told him what I wanted, and he custom ordered it. He warned me there would be a 3-4 month delay, but I had no problem because I was going to be overseas for 6 months anyways. The crazy thing is he didn't even ask for a deposit for ordering it. He shook my hand and said not to worry that when I get back it would be there waiting for me. Whilst I was overseas, turns out that when people saw it on the lot they wanted to buy it on the spot. The sales manager would just say no. He had promised to keep it and was going to stand by his word, and he did. When I got back, it was there. :bd: Turns out the sales manager was a Marine. Thanks Tustin Hummer!!!
    Last edited by ReconH3; 09-06-2011 at 06:51 AM.



    Facebook NC Hummer Group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/NCHummers/
    ReconH3 Build Thread v2.0
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...ld-Thread-v2.0
    ReconH3 Garage
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...age_view&id=35
    Quote Originally Posted by goob3r View Post
    Your truck is HUMMER porn, seriously.

  2. #2
    Guardian Angel

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,281
    Thanks
    392
    Thanked 487 Times in 333 Posts
    I got my H3 because I always wanted a Hummer. I really had no plans to wheel it that much, because this was going to be our only car for the whole family. I have a heavily modified TJ, so I was very aware of how limited the H3 with it's IFS was going to be. I was so happy to get it and drive it every day. Then I joined the forums. Seeing other people pics of outing made me want to go offroading. The forums also taught me how weak the whole front end of the H3 was.

    During my time in Cali, I did a lot of volunteer work down at US Marine Corps Base Camp Pendelton. I have an adopted brother that's stationed down there. I am the adopted one, because I lost my parents when I was a kid. She's been the best Mom ever. We would collect donations of toiletries and other goodies outside of Albertson's supermarkets. The items would then go to the barracks for the single Marines returning from combat. At least they would not return to a completely empty barrack. We wanted them to feel more welcome and to know that people cared about them. At Christmas we would collect toys for the kids with deployed parents. The "extra" toys we would keep for birthdays. We would also do car washes where people would donate whatever they felt like giving. That would go towards getting "goodies" for the troops out in the field, and to cover the shipping costs. We got companies like Garmin to donate GPS units. Coleman also donated field showers.

    During those years, I would go to both the SHOT Show and SEMA for work. There I would see the Wounded Warrior stand and would always donate. One year they had a JK that was decked out and with a beautiful paint job. It attracted hordes of people to donate.



    That gave me an idea to do something similar with my H3. I would use it to attract attention at all the fund raising events, and at the same time help out the WWP. I decided that I had to do a least a mild lift to make it more attractive. Originally I was just going to do a Rancho lift on 33s or 34s. I felt 35 and above was pushing it with the weakness of the front end. So I start looking around for a decent installer in the SoCal area. 4Wheel Parts was out of the question. They had let me down once on simple wheel/tire sale. Finally I was recommended that I get in touch with Off-Road Evolution in Fullerton.

    Before I go any further I need to touch on some of my background so that you can get an idea of the contacts I have made over the years. I started driving when I was 10. My mother was a self taught rally racer from Italy. She married my Dad that was from Texas. They met in Naples, Italy where she was from. She taught me how to drive in one of here rally race cars. It was an Autobianchi Abarth. It was a tiny little car like the new Fiat 500, but on steroids. As the years went by, my biological brother got into racing, and eventually I did too. I didn't like it one bit. I enjoyed the driving, but hated the backstabbing environment. I got out. Shortly after, some of the companies that sponsored me asked me if I could do some test driving for them. I joined the automotive R&D world. During that time I got into the Mountain bike import/export business. I would sell very high end downhill MTB products to European countries, and bring European products to the US. I also got into racing. There I became friends with the European service and R&D team for Fox Shocks. We had a pickup truck that was for when we went to the World Cup races around Europe. I met a group of wheelers, and eventually started wheeling this pickup. It was miserable. It had a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder diesel engine with IFS. We had fun, but it was very frustrating. In that crowd there were people that had participated in or had gone to the selections of the Camel Trophy. That year's selection was coming up, and one of the ex-participants started pushing me to go. At first I didn't want to. I had too much on my plate with the Automotive R&D, as well as the MTB World Cup. It turns out that the first weekend of the selections, I was free, so I went. I didn't expect to do well because the people that go to these selections are mega marathon runners/adventure racers. I made the first cut. There I realized that it wasn't important to be the best at anything, but to be decent all around. Made the second cut. Made the third, and eventually made it to the international selections. There, 80 people go, and 40 get selected to go to the final Camel Trophy. Out of the 80 people, I got third, and a seat in one of the Camel Trophy vehicles. That year I went to the selections, 2 million 2 hundred thousand people present themselves in their respective countries. Making it made me realize my potential and that I could pretty much overcome any challenge I present myself to. The Camel Trophy I participated in was in 1998. The last year that 4x4 were used. It was a great adventure, but pretty pathetic as far as 4x4 was concerned. We had to participate in Land Rover Freelanders. :Frown: After the event, I yearned for more. More of what the old Camel Trophy was about. Getting lost in the jungle or some deserted spot and surviving. I hear that the Selections for the Rainforest Challenge in Malaysia was coming up. All we had was that miserable diesel pickup, but we went ahead and participated. We didn't do well in the selection against some super-prepared Toyotas, Land Rovers, and G-wagons, but we won the Team Spirit award for never giving up despite our sad truck. That gave us permission to participate, but we had find our own means to pay our way there. My partner suggested we approach the manufacturer of the pick-up, which already sponsored us for the MTB races, and ask them to help us out. I said why not. We have nothing to lose. They said yes. :d We got our plane tickets paid by a press company that would then do articles in various magazines. We barely made it out of the jungle alive, and the pickup was pretty much useless after the abuse we gave it.



    That's my partner burned out after winching non-stop all day.

    When I got back home, I decided I needed to get a real 4x4 and build it up right. The simplest and logical choice was a Jeep Wrangler. Plenty of parts and upgrades available. By then we had made a name for ourselves in the magazines. We kept running into the same Sponsors at these events, and making good connections. Namely with Warn and Master Pull. We also helped open doors for others like Dynatrac by helping them find overseas reps and getting into exporting. Things were pilling up. I eventually stopped competing. I was tight on money and my jobs were suffering. I went back into concentrating on work, and building up my financial stability. Whilst working for a automotive parts company, and I was asked to deliver some parts to an address in LaHabra, SoCal. Turns out it was the shop of Boyd Coddington of American Hot Rods. I delivered the parts and showed them how to install them. I then asked if I could stick around to watch one of the builds. They said sure. I started chatting with Duane. The bald guy that on the show that seemed to have a nasty attitude. Turns out he's a great guy. I asked them if they had ever done a build with an El Camino. Boyd gave me a funny look, so I left just in case I had over stepped my welcome. A week later one of my work partners tells me that Boyd Coddington had called and wanted to talk to me. I figured I had done something wrong, since he had given me that crazy look that day. It turns out he loved the El Camino idea I had told them about, and was asking if he could do it. I figured if they ever did do it, they would just go ahead, and not ask for my permission. On top of that they asked me if I wanted to be part of it!!! Hell yeah. So we built it, and I even got to keep it after the show aired. :rocker:





    After all of that, this is where it all comes together. When I approach ORE for them to install the Rancho kit, he says yeah, but that we should talk in a couple of weeks because he was off to the Ultimate Adventure. When he gets back, it seems that he was really thinking about it. He asks me if we wanted to do an SAS!. Knowing how much better and more reliable it was going to be than the OEM setup, I wanted to say yes. But, I also knew how expensive it was going to be. He then adds that since he wanted to make this a kit, and I was going to volunteer my vehicle, he would only charge me for parts, and at his cost. That sounded great, but still too expensive, and I was very worried about the electronics. Turns out Dynatrac was looking to make the first 100% electronically compatible axles. I would also get them at cost!!! Wow!!!! Was I dreaming?????? So I said yes. I would have been pretty stupid to say no. So that is where the ball started rolling.
    Last edited by ReconH3; 09-05-2011 at 05:49 AM.



    Facebook NC Hummer Group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/NCHummers/
    ReconH3 Build Thread v2.0
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...ld-Thread-v2.0
    ReconH3 Garage
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...age_view&id=35
    Quote Originally Posted by goob3r View Post
    Your truck is HUMMER porn, seriously.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to ReconH3 For This Useful Post:

    3Hummers (02-27-2016)

  4. #3
    Guardian Angel

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,281
    Thanks
    392
    Thanked 487 Times in 333 Posts
    Now onto the second half. The exterior look. Shortly after working with the guys on American Hot Rod, Boyd's health takes a bad turn. Shortly after that he passes away. The widow starts doing some dirty deals with brand name, so Duane and a couple of the guys jump ship ship before their name gets tainted, or even worse, end up in jail. They got work for the West Coast Custom (Pimp My Ride). Turns out they don't have the most honest business practices either. So Duane and them get out again before SHTF. At that point they decide to just go ahead and open their own shop, and do what they do best: build custom cars. One of the times I was having lunch with Bernt ( Swedish body shop guy), he asks me why we didn't do something crazy with the H3, since it was going to be shown at SEMA and SHOT, and they wanted to make a name for themselves again. I figured they just wanted to do some funky paint job, and I was game since it would attract more attention at the fund raiser. It turns out they wanted to do something even crazier and way more out there, like cutting the roof line even lower like the gangster style hot rods. So I came up with something much more appropriate, more theme related, and more useful.

    Now that I have explained this long and elaborate description of how everything came to be, here starts the build:



    Facebook NC Hummer Group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/NCHummers/
    ReconH3 Build Thread v2.0
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...ld-Thread-v2.0
    ReconH3 Garage
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...age_view&id=35
    Quote Originally Posted by goob3r View Post
    Your truck is HUMMER porn, seriously.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to ReconH3 For This Useful Post:

    3Hummers (02-27-2016)

  6. #4
    [o O IIIIIIII O o]
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Black Hawk, SD
    Posts
    3,508
    Thanks
    193
    Thanked 301 Times in 248 Posts
    Cant wait to see what you have comming!!
    OLAN- "Hogget" - Black Sheep Hummer Squad




    1999 Hummer H1 (Black) l Sold
    2003 Hummer H1 (Black) l 2003 LB7 Duramax l Allison transmission l ATS CoPilot l Edge Tuner l Banks Exhaust Brake l Alpha Interior l
    2004 Chevrolet 2500HD l LB7 Duramax l Fass 150GPH Lift Pump l EFILive l MBRP 5" Exhaust l S&B Air Intake l 10" Pypes Exhaust Tip l

  7. #5
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    9,759
    Thanks
    1,673
    Thanked 1,294 Times in 1,061 Posts
    Al, I guess you are just going to keep torturing me with all these photos aren't you...well ok. This is one of my favorite vehicles of all time.
    1998 H1 Open Top
    1994 H1 HMC4
    1992 H1 HMC4 LE
    1990 1025 Armament Carrier


    KJ6JCC

    BlackSheep Hummer Squadron, H1 PsychoSquad

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to 3Hummers For This Useful Post:

    Green 1 (09-05-2011), ReconH3 (09-06-2011)

  9. #6
    Low Profile
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    77
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    god i wish i had time and extra money i read this post and all i wanna do is work on my rig

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Tactical h3 For This Useful Post:

    ReconH3 (09-06-2011)

  11. #7
    Matty Patty Pookie Bear

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Ferris,Texas
    Posts
    1,147
    Thanks
    17
    Thanked 124 Times in 99 Posts
    I think this is the best Looking H3 in the world.

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to Green 1 For This Useful Post:

    ReconH3 (09-06-2011)

  13. #8
    Guardian Angel

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,281
    Thanks
    392
    Thanked 487 Times in 333 Posts
    The guys at ORE had the truck for long time to start taking measurements and to start ordering parts. No big deal, because I was overseas, and wasn't going to miss it. After a few months, Duane goes up to see what is going on. Turns out they just had the truck parked in a corner. They said they had to wait for the parts, mainly the custom axles, to be made and delivered. So Duane says he's going to take the truck and start on his part of the project.

    They start by stripping down the whole interior except for the dash.



    Here you can see how they had to weld these braces, so that the body remains in it's place, since the original integrity is gone after cutting it.



    If you look at the pics, you can see how they have already lowered the upper tailgate hinge. They basically cut out the whole base, and re-welded it lower down. They will then reinforce it from inside. The did the same thing on the tailgate side.



    Facebook NC Hummer Group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/NCHummers/
    ReconH3 Build Thread v2.0
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...ld-Thread-v2.0
    ReconH3 Garage
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...age_view&id=35
    Quote Originally Posted by goob3r View Post
    Your truck is HUMMER porn, seriously.

  14. #9
    Guardian Angel

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,281
    Thanks
    392
    Thanked 487 Times in 333 Posts


    Here you can see the beginnings of the new body. Bernt, the guy that did the body work, completely made this by hand from scratch. All hand rolled, and hand hammered into shape. No electrical or hydraulic forming tools.



    A more detailed shot. Including a pic of an original HMMWV, that they used as a reference.



    A better look of the reinforced structure that would now support the new body. Very HD!



    Here you can see how the upper hinge has now been incorporated to the new frame and body.

    I think these images pretty much speak for themselves on how good these guys' craftsmanship level is. Thanks Duane, Bernt, and Rafe.



    Facebook NC Hummer Group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/NCHummers/
    ReconH3 Build Thread v2.0
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...ld-Thread-v2.0
    ReconH3 Garage
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...age_view&id=35
    Quote Originally Posted by goob3r View Post
    Your truck is HUMMER porn, seriously.

  15. #10
    Guardian Angel

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,281
    Thanks
    392
    Thanked 487 Times in 333 Posts
    As the custom body work was going on, Bernt asked me if we should do a door handle delete. It's when you completly remove the door handles. It's a very popular mod in hot rods and import tuning, but I opted out because of safety reasons. I didn't want to have issues if there was a roll or a fire, but something clicked in my brain. I never like the door handles on the H3. A couple of times, when opening the door, I found myself with the handle in my hand. They were pretty cheap. I also recalled from my 4x4 pickup days, that at extreme angles, I had a door handle or two ripped off by a rock or tree. I thought, why not door handles like on my TJ, that were flush? The ideal would be recessed ones like the old Series 1 Land Rovers had.



    Unfortunately the rest of the mechanism sits on the interior of the vehicle, and was not viable in the H3. Then I remembered that military vehicles have similar ones. So we researched the different ones available that would be compatible with the H3s latch. After a while of tinkering, this is what was the final outcome: :bd:



    Last edited by ReconH3; 09-06-2011 at 06:44 AM.



    Facebook NC Hummer Group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/NCHummers/
    ReconH3 Build Thread v2.0
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...ld-Thread-v2.0
    ReconH3 Garage
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...age_view&id=35
    Quote Originally Posted by goob3r View Post
    Your truck is HUMMER porn, seriously.

  16. #11
    Guardian Angel

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,281
    Thanks
    392
    Thanked 487 Times in 333 Posts


    This is where the slant-back roof finally gets closed. If you look carefully, you can see where he has extended the original roof panel. He did this by copying the bends of the original roof. Then he welded it together, and finally finished it off with solder. They never do filler to finish anything off. It avoids cracking and peeling in the long run.



    In this pic you can see where the custom sides meet up with the original roof. It's amazing how well they make everything fit into each other. That's Bernt, by the way. The body shop genius. :d



    The top of the tailgate capped off.



    Interior shot. Here you can see how they are also closing the new interior and finishing it off.



    He then made these custom rail end caps, that also help integrate into the new slant-back angle. He always amazes me with the quality of his craftsmanship.



    Facebook NC Hummer Group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/NCHummers/
    ReconH3 Build Thread v2.0
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...ld-Thread-v2.0
    ReconH3 Garage
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...age_view&id=35
    Quote Originally Posted by goob3r View Post
    Your truck is HUMMER porn, seriously.

  17. #12
    Guardian Angel

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,281
    Thanks
    392
    Thanked 487 Times in 333 Posts
    Another thing that completely detracted from the original plan, was the lights. They wanted to switch out the lights for the military HMMWV ones. I liked the idea, but figured the BCM would go crazy. Especially because I was going to take it one step further, and do it with the modern LED version of the military lights. That was most likely going to cause some issues with the electrical, since the wattage was so much lower. The BCM would probably think the bulbs were blown, and start acting up. Fortunately Duane has an electrical genius, that figured it all out without a glitch.



    The rear was the most labor intensive. They had to fill out the old OEM taillight housing. The trick part is that he even recessed them in some, for more protection. The rear side markers was not much of an issue. The front side required a little work. At first they didn't even plan for backup lights, but I insisted. Unfortunately they used some incandescent ones. I wanted all LEDs. I have found an LED version, and will be swapping them out soon. Here is a more detailed pic after it was done. Don't have any in between ones, before painting.



    The rear side marker isn't amber any more, like in the pic. The lens was swapped out to red. We wanted to get rid of the front square turn signals, but that was way too complicated to make it look decent. I did swap it out with IPCW smoke LED ones. I don't have pics though.



    Facebook NC Hummer Group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/NCHummers/
    ReconH3 Build Thread v2.0
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...ld-Thread-v2.0
    ReconH3 Garage
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...age_view&id=35
    Quote Originally Posted by goob3r View Post
    Your truck is HUMMER porn, seriously.

  18. #13
    Guardian Angel

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,281
    Thanks
    392
    Thanked 487 Times in 333 Posts
    At this point the H3 was pretty much done as far a body work was concerned. They didn't want to paint it till after the suspension was finished so as to not damage it. They sent the truck back to ORE to start doing their thing. I have no pics of this part because I was overseas. I do have a pic of an H3T that was done after mine.



    Here you can see the whole front end stripped out. This is where they then took measurements and started making all the calculations for the suspension geometry. The idea was to basically copy a JK, so that availability of parts would be simple. The difference with mine is that the rear was also stripped out. This H3T kept the factory rear setup.



    Facebook NC Hummer Group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/NCHummers/
    ReconH3 Build Thread v2.0
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...ld-Thread-v2.0
    ReconH3 Garage
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...age_view&id=35
    Quote Originally Posted by goob3r View Post
    Your truck is HUMMER porn, seriously.

  19. #14
    Guardian Angel

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,281
    Thanks
    392
    Thanked 487 Times in 333 Posts
    After ORE had it for a couple of months, Duane went up to see how it was progressing. The chassis had been stripped, but nothing else had been done. So Duane decided to take it back and finish off his part. The H3 was put on a roller and taken away. Bernt went ahead and painted the body, as well as the all the small parts. The color chosen was Coyote Tan. The reason being that I didn't want anyone thinking I was impersonating a military vehicle. The official military colors are Olive Drab Green and Desert Tan (much lighter). The sample color was taken from a spray can of Brownell's Allumahyde II Coyote Tan. This was so in the future I could do my own touching up, as well as painting any new parts that I may want to add later.





    We even painted the OEM bumpers, just in case we didn't have time to do the bumpers the way I wanted.



    We also added four anchor points on the slant back, just in case I need to hang gear on the outside. It's better than putting it on the roof where it could get snagged.



    Facebook NC Hummer Group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/NCHummers/
    ReconH3 Build Thread v2.0
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...ld-Thread-v2.0
    ReconH3 Garage
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...age_view&id=35
    Quote Originally Posted by goob3r View Post
    Your truck is HUMMER porn, seriously.

  20. The Following User Says Thank You to ReconH3 For This Useful Post:

    Portager (09-09-2011)

  21. #15
    Guardian Angel

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,281
    Thanks
    392
    Thanked 487 Times in 333 Posts
    By the way, the color also matches my rifles



    Last edited by ReconH3; 09-15-2011 at 07:30 AM.



    Facebook NC Hummer Group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/NCHummers/
    ReconH3 Build Thread v2.0
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...ld-Thread-v2.0
    ReconH3 Garage
    http://www.hummer4x4offroad.com/foru...age_view&id=35
    Quote Originally Posted by goob3r View Post
    Your truck is HUMMER porn, seriously.


 

Tags for this Thread

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