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06 H3's Squeakin H3 Build

06 H3

a.k.a. "The Jackal"
Santa Clarita, Ca
Time for an update:

I daily drove the Hummer for about 2 weeks. My wife’s car was hit in the parking lot when she was grocery shopping. So it went to the body shop…and we opted out of rental car coverage because it’s an unnecessary expense when you have a lot of NFT’s.


As a proud owner of 2 NFT’s having rental car coverage through insurance is just silly and a waste of money!

So we just picked up her car and ended up being without it for 2.5 weeks. She drove my work car while I got to drive either the F550 or Hummer. I drove the F550 for the first few days but switched to the hummer for the remainder of the time, which was about 2 weeks. It’s doesn’t require two parking spots, and is much more maneuverable then the F550. The Hummer also got a lot more looks.

It did the job well, even on 43s. I wouldn’t recommend it long term on 43s but for a couple weeks it went well.

During that time I also went local wheeling twice.

First time was more trail maintenance and was less fun and more work but the 2nd trip a week later was more fun and no work.

trail maintenance day:


Fun day, just wheeling.


Now it’s time for some changes. I gotta change up my track bar. My drag link and track bar hit into each other. They both had bends in them and weren’t an issue but with the new tie rod clamp bracket (since I can’t weld a clamp on the new tie rod) the clamp hits the track bar near full bump which deflects it into the drag link. I wasn’t fond of them to begin with and now I gotta make the change.

I bent up some tube and am unsure if I will go this route or do 2 more bends to make it follow the “hump” of a differential.


3 goals, I want this behind the drag link so they can never physically touch each other vs them being in the same plane.

I also want to make sure it’s stronger then before. Im pretty sure I bent the 1.5in .25 wall track bar once before. It is tough to tell as it had a bend in it on purpose but I may have bent it. I did reinforce the existing track bar with 1/4in plate and it hasn’t bent since, so maybe I’m wasting my time and should just replicate this with 1.75 .25wall or .375 wall.

The other goal is to make it “anti wobble.” Because it has bends in it the jam nuts can come loose and allow it to swing. Since everything under my rig is like 10 lbs of shit in a 5lb box I want to find a uniball weld on cup so one end is fixed. I need it to fit in a 2in wide bracket which doesn’t seem to be as common.

From there I can work on the drag link redo
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06 H3

a.k.a. "The Jackal"
Santa Clarita, Ca
An update: I got the track bar done and the drag link. I was able to shoe horn a 1.75in .25 wall track bar in there but it required a lot of work. I had to move the track bar hole down 1 hole (1in) to avoid frame rail contact, then it hit the diff cover.


So the covers off cut it, test fit.


It cleared the ring gear and the track bar. So welded it up. Gale banks wouldn’t like the fluid dynamics here but it’s a front diff with locking hubs….


I also went with a fixed end on the frame side (1.25in uniball) so it can’t wobble. It needs to be oriented a very specific way and jam nuts coming loose and be an issue. I am also neurotic about the small weld surface on a fixed end so I wrapped it in 1in .25 flat bar. It was welded completely after this pic.


I flipped the drag link under the high steer arm, had to drill it out and put an insert in it to go under the arm.

I need to run the numbers again to make sure I have no bumpsteer but so far so good on road feel. drag link starts higher and ends higher, track bar is on a similar plane but lower. With the bends it looks off but drawing straight lines from pivot to pivot it looks close.

Then had to redo the overly complicated suck down winch pivot/crossmember.


I couldn’t get it in front of the oil pan, it would have to sit too high up to avoid the track bar and hit the crank pulley.

So 1.75in .120 wall to start, slightly angled up and forward (towards front of vehicle) then transitions to 1.5in .25 wall with a bend that’s up and forward, and transitions back to 1.75in .120 wall. So compound angles on compound angles. It was a pain but it all fits.

So now I am sitting at the hammers ready to get my day started. drove 14.5 hours here on Tuesday. I probably spent 100 miles behind slow morons driving 10 or more below the speed limit for no reason.

Yesterday I was solo. I stayed to easier trails but it was a new experience. I have experienced a completely empty lake bed with a few friends and sometimes a large group, a somewhat busy lake bed with a few or a lot of friends, KOH, lots of people and volunteering or pitting for a friend racing, an empty valley but staying at a rental house 10-15 min off the lake bed.

This was my first time being solo. It’s fairly empty. Maybe 25-40 trailers/rvs, so I could get help if needed but still desolate, it was a fun experience, very peaceful and makes you feel insignificant and small to the world at the top of a canyon overlooking a fairly empty place.

I explored and walked trails which I never do because in a group it’s go go go. I walked kings veto and walked a canyon east of the top of claw. Looks to be not touched much or at all? First 50% a built production 4x4 can do on your typical 1 tons 40s, the top is buggy rear steer stuff.

I ran turkey claw, chocolate thunder, clawhammer, then turned around and back down to go up nightmare. Hiked the 2 trails/canyons, went back to the truck for lunch. Ran resolution, then up boulderdash, back down and around and up lower and upper big Johnson. The Johnsons are surprisingly messed up right now, a storm or something must have moved all the rocks. That was an easy trail and maybe that’s why I think it’s messed up. For years it was easy.

I timed myself up clawhammer for fun, 14 min 58 seconds. First time I did it ifs, 35s, one locker, with trail traffic and a friend in a Chevy crew cab long bed 2003 2500 Sas on 38s it took us like 8 hours. Funny to reminisce on how it took literally 15 min vs 8 hours.

So far everything is working good, my only concern is how much 1in track bar being farther down on the axle changes my roll axis and roll center in terms of stability

06 H3

a.k.a. "The Jackal"
Santa Clarita, Ca
So day 2 was hanging out waiting for the rain to pass and a friend to show up, once he showed up we ran jackhammer in 19 minutes hitting the hard lines, not the race lines. From there we went up and down “jacks back” down jack north, over to bender alley, down bender alley and up wrecking ball.

Wrecking ball is a trail that has my number. That damn waterfall just fucking sucks lol. Last year on wrecking ball I broke my damn front Eaton e locker and then broke my main leaf. :mad3: This time I just had to winch but man, I want that waterfall bad and it just fights me.

After that we walked kings Veto again, it was late and not something we would want to even attempt so late.

Here we are at the top of jack.


After that we went back to camp to have make dinner and sit around the fire. Around 10:30 we got a call from our buddy and his dad that had a broken leaf on their trailer. So we loaded up my F550 and my buddy’s trailer (the one who’s already with me) and went to rescue them about an hour from the lakebed.

We took my bun trail welder and welded the leaf and ratchet strapped it up.



Got back to camp around 1, unloaded everything and got to bed by like 2am.

Day 3 was KOH OG13 course day. I wanted to start by 8 or 9 because it was going to be a long day but didn’t start until 10:39am (we wanted to time ourselves) our last buddy arriving was leaf spring trailer shopping for the broken leaf so that’s why we started a little late.

So we had some ground rules for us, stay as a group. Yes, we are “racing” the OG13 first ever king of the hammers 2007 race course but we don’t have the comms or support to handle breakdowns alone. So we stick together. Rule #2, we don’t take “race lines” over the years hammer trails have had burned in “race lines” from racers avoiding rocks to get through trails quicker. We enjoy rock crawling and while we want to finish as fast as possible it’s not at the expense of avoiding what we like to do, rock crawling….
Rule #3 no dilly dallying. Again, not racing but also not trail riding, so minimize stopping, taking breaks, bullshitting on the trail.

So we hit the lake bed at 10:39 and are off.

At 10:49, 10 minutes in, our buddy has a seized brake caliper, had to take it all apart, try and unseize it, all in all, we start moving again at 11:27. We get to the final turn off for outer limits (first rock trail) and it seized up again, this time we plug the hard line. I welded up some brake unions making them a plug. Quick and easy fix, in the end we lost a total of about 50-55 minutes between both stops.

We head up outer limits and I think for me personally I kicked this trails ass. Others kicked my ass but this one I moved quick. I had to stop for a minute as I bent a beadlock ring and hammered it into place. No real time was lost as no one was behind me holding them up. We did spread out a little on trails.

From there dirt roads to go get to the top of aftershock, so we go down aftershock, down sunbonnet, up devils slide and up hell to pay.

Going up devils slide


I thought sunbonnet and aftershock were a little more difficult then usual. I had to winch once due to a stupid line choice resulting me getting high centered.

Going down these trails in my rig is interesting, gravity likes to put the hummer where gravity wants, going up trails I am going against gravity so I have more control of where the rig goes.

We take the desert around the mtns, go up the sand hill, and to the top of sledge. We go down sledge, sledge has been tore up for years now, and it still packs a punch even going down it.


going down the sledge plaque line.

I had a near scare flop going down sledge but luckily it stopped before going any further.


From there we went up jack, jacks back, down bender alley, and up wrecking ball. Up until this point it was one of the best wheeling days ever. It’s about 7pm at this point? I am back at the bane of my existence, the wrecking ball waterfall. I am dreading it, we are so close to finishing and I don’t want a major issue here. I try taking a different line and as I back up, I smash my back window…and here I have a literal mental breakdown. I’m not proud of it, but I came unglued and probably I haven’t come unglued like this in 10 plus years. I think it was just a LONG day, with minimal sleep from the previous night with the trailer rescue, etc. all my anger came up. Originally I was going leave Friday because I had a prior commitment Saturday night. To accommodate others I said I’ll stay one more day and leave Friday night, knock 4-5 hours out of my drive and finish it Saturday AM. I know, trail days have the unexpected…but the late start due to no one’s fault and my hatred for night wheeling and now freaking out about when I’m going to leave, the broken back window, I lost it. So I winch up the waterfall and rip my fucking brake line. Came unglued a bit more. So in a rush I grab one of my homemade brake plugs, unplug the wrong hardline from the master in my raging fit of anger, and then couldn’t get it back in. So I plugged up that line and the ripped line. With 2 brakes we head down claw and back to the lake bed finishing at 9:02 pm. So all in all it took us 10 hours and 23 minutes.

Got to camp, had to pack up, eat and at this point I was exhausted from the little sleep the night before, I wasn’t going to knock out 4-5 hours. So I slept from 10:30 to 2am, started up the truck, by the time I got off of Boone road and on the highway it was 2:30am. Drove all day, got home just before 6pm Saturday night.

So the takeaway was that it was still an amazing trip, slightly hiccuped at the end. The hummer did amazing. No real carnage that I have seen yet, each night I got under my rig and checked for any issues and there weren’t any. I do still have to get under my rig for the last and hardest day inspection but no real carnage other then a window I need to replace and a brake line. She took a boat load of abuse and kept asking for more.
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06 H3

a.k.a. "The Jackal"
Santa Clarita, Ca

This is a link of the course we copied. It is truly amazing how some of the guys finished is 4-6 hours. We were just over 10. While we wouldn’t have finished as quickly as them we also didn’t take race lines and stopped as a group for any repair. Staying as a group also slows you down as well.

06 H3

a.k.a. "The Jackal"
Santa Clarita, Ca
Ok, time for an update.

I got my steering capable of 34-35* again. I built a new drag link and beefed up it to avoid it failing at the bend

Here is how much bend I needed.


I cut out 3/16x 2x2 box tubing and cut one end off of it and made it follow the radius.

I also welded it a straight piece of plate at the center of the bend that butts up against the end of the 2x2 on the inside if that makes sense. So if it does try to bend it will transfer the load.


So now I have 34-35* of steering I just have to get other crap out of the way so my 43in tires don’t hit anything to actually get added angle.

I then did a quick mission to sand hollow with @alrock




Overall I had a good time!

Then for the first time in my life I saw an H3 in the junkyard. I knew it was coming to the yard but didn’t know when, so I checked the inventory daily. I grabbed as much as a could. 3 fenders, abs module/brake booster/master combo. Those damn things are like $500-$900 depending on what brand. I got it for wayyyy cheaper then that. A bunch of interior trim, grabbed a BCM, ac condenser, compressor, lines, etc. I grabbed a ton of crap.

I hope to give the H3 a “2nd lease of life” from an aesthetic perspective. I’m still running my original fenders, they are all hammered and fucked beyond repair. This can give new life to it. From a drivetrain perspective it’s on its 10th life and running well but the looks need some help.


It was pretty complete until I showed up lol. I grabbed the headlight assemblies too.

Other then that I am just contemplating the next steps for squeaky.