Why the H3?

I've sold the Montero and miss it and getting back to overlanding I realized there were some lessons learned with that platform, and while I looked in ernest to find another Gen III, or even a clean 2.5, there's that law about nostalgia that says you can never go back. I'm also now without a garage, limiting my own wrenching and rattle-canning, and someone boosted my entire Craftsman mechanics set reducing me to scratch. In junior high I think we called this a do-over.

I thought I'd go the Jeep route: incredible aftermarket, proven platform, and huge user support systems. But, as we say in this area, you can't swing a gray-hair around without hitting one, the ubiquitous general purpose vehicle. Ditto the FJ. So I turned to the Hummer H3. I've secretly wanted one since they came out in 2005 and with its limited run and termination in 2010, the market hasn't quite figured out what to do with it.

I've made fun of Hummers since the H2 hit the market, and when the H3 came along I blew it off as GM's incarnation of Hummer culture on a Colorado platform. As I dug in and did the research I found out that wasn't such a bad thing. The biggest complaint is it's standard powerplant, an inline five that feels more Massey-Ferguson than GM Vortec. But even with one less cylinder it produces 242 hp and 242 lbf·ft versus Mitsubishi's 3.5 at 217 hp and 220 PS.

And while the Montero gave drivers and passengers an unparalleled view of the planet, the little Hummer feels like a deuced coupe, though an FJ is even harder to see out of. I wonder if the H3's driving position wouldn't feel so low had I not been conditioned by the excellent ergonomics and position of the Montero. However, the H3 holds it's own in performance and ability in all the ways I want to use it.

In January of 2014, I came across a 2007 base model in my favorite color, slate blue metallic, and I drove it home.

Planning it's purpose-build for a 3 trail-rating indigenous to our area, I'm looking to start with these modifications:
  • Replace its 265/75/R16s with 285/75R16s - Done
  • Mount a roof rack - Done
  • Collect and mount recovery gear - Done
  • Add an ARB Awning - Done
  • Engineer a separate electrical auxiliary circuit system - Done
  • Upgrade the power-train control module - Done
  • Add an N-Fab Pre-Runner grille guard and light bar - Done
  • Add supplemental lighting front and rear - Done
  • Upgrade suspension and level - Done
  • Add a winch, upgrade grille guard - Done
You can read about these modifications, upgrades and mechanical replacements by clicking the links on this blog.

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