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Endeavored H3 Build

EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
262
Location
Arizona
This is something that I have been meaning to do for a while now, so lets get into it.

I have been lurking around this forum for a couple years now ever since I started driving my H3(backstory to come). I am the type of guy that typically figures out stuff on his own, but this forum has laid every simple and complicated procedure out for me. Even though occasionally I have to go to another forum sometimes to get the information I need :giggle:. And plus Im going to college at NAU so I need to procrastinate in some ways right?

Buckle up, here is the backstory:
It all started with my father buying the 06' 3.5L H3, he enjoyed it while wanting some more power but never really thought twice on it. We would always drive up to the Christopher creek area to fish and camp along the white mountains. All was well until my mother drove it home from Payson to Gilbert Az on 4HI locked. Fearing mechanical woes, my father went to get an "oil change" (Mother didn't need to know, and he pretty much broke even with payments anyway) and came back with a 07' 3.7L H3 Lux "unintentionally":giggle:. This is where I come in.

After putting 130,000 miles on the H3, My father passed the torch down to me to take care of the thing. He drives to scottsdale everyday for work so he needs a more reliable car with better gas mileage. This was a very nice car to learn on, had a simple enough powertrain, general maintenance wasn't too bad, and more importantly this forum helped me figure out some issues I had. Anyways here it is pretty much stock with a leveling kit ( -Leveled- Torsion bolt spacer and extended shackles):
IMG_5497.jpg

Before I added the kit, there has been on 2 issues that caused an engine light to come on and one that my father caught at 75,000. One for the thermostat failed open at around 120,000 and another for not enough electrical load at around the same time (alternator) The one my father caught was a slight noise coming from the top part of the motor, he took it in to the dealer and a technician yelled at him to shut it off when he arrived. Apparently a valve came loose and was rattling around inside the cylinder. Luckily it didn't cause much damage and they replaced the entire cylinder head since the early ones were known to warp under the heat these engines produce. After the kit was added, on the cv boot on the passenger side tore and the torque convertor couldn't keep up so it was fail and open up, causing an engine light. However ever since I removed the kit the torque convertor has been happy.

Now I am sitting pretty while nearing 160,000 miles with a partially rebuilt motor and factory transmission. Besides some normal parts wearing out I have had no big issues. knock on wood. But enough of the history, let me dive in to what I want to do with this rig. Ill start out with the little I have done thus far, Ive added OEM style roof bars, a small light bar with factory lighting switches, ScanGuage 2 and of course the daystar dash insert.
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On the way is a Rola roof rack I ordered from amazon along with the extension piece (Picture to come when installed). My plan is to fabricate a Fly Rod holder so I don't have to disassemble my fishing rods when creek hopping:). Another reason is to get some more light on this rig, an area where this truck is lacking besides engine power. Going for this style of lighting:
IMG_8416 copy.jpg
Once I get this roof rack installed and plugged in, Im pretty much done with the looks I want besides leveling it with the torsion bar lift. Unless a front brush guard comes around at a decent price:). (Remember Im in college so that = no money until summer).

Okay so now I want to cover the performance/cooling part of my rig. The temperature of the coolant has always concerned me. The temp gauge from what I read is a dummy light with a gauge, so this motivated me to get a scan gauge. I read in the service manual that the expected values are in-between 198-225 degrees F. Over the past couple summers and the heatwaves that have come to Gilbert az, I ran 222 F with A/C going 70 MPH on the loop 202 for a few miles. And then when going up the mountain grades to go to Payson I hit 232 F and stayed there until the next down hill grade. Before this coming summer some things have to change. As far as I know the only thing that has been replaced in the cooling system has been the radiator that cracked up top from rubbing against the rail. Plan is to install a heavy duty fan clutch so that it engaged a little sooner and more viciously. I may go down the electric fan route at some point but this should help me out for now.

I don't even want to know what the temperature of the transmission was during those coolant temperature durations, but ever since I added the code to my scanguage I read 230F going up to Mt Humphreys in the WINTER, from what I always known about transmission, Im about 20 degrees F from frying this transmission. Alrock posted an excellent walk through of his transmission cooler install. And Im going to go by that to install mine, except I may run it in-line with the transmission cooler already in the radiator so that the transmission still warms up properly during the winters I have up in Flagstaff. But Im always open to opinions.

In the future I want to add:
- Airdoc Intake
- PCM Tune (Once everything is installed)
- Oil Catch can (Sick of Cleaning TB)
- Transmission cooler
- Torsion bar leveling (will do after replacing shot steering rack bushings)
- Electric Pusher fan?

Thank you to everyone that reads this, hope you enjoy following me on this endeavor! (Intentional wording)



Heres some other photos:

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alrock

El Diablo
Staff member
Messages
10,148
Location
Scottsdale
Welcome to H4O and great first post! Not sure what radiator you are running but I found that my cheapo eBay replacement ran measurably hotter than OEM. Regardless, the trucks do run hot.
 

EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
262
Location
Arizona
Thank you, there is a lot more to come! Im pretty sure that the radiator was bought at NAPA, but Im not sure if it was cheap or not. I noticed on RockAuto that there are 2 AcDelco radiators, one for the manual trans H3 and the other for the auto trans H3 (# 22000). Side by side everything is the same except there is no trans cooler in the manual trans radiator (# 21646).

After the radiator begins to leak i'll consider getting the radiator without the transmission cooler since by then I'll hopefully have the external transmission cooler installed. Maybe that little bit more of surface area to cool down the motor will help? I know even little gains in cooling power in these trucks can help in the summers here in Az. To your knowledge has anyone tried this out?
 

EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
262
Location
Arizona
Update June 30th

Looks like I haven't updated the page in a while, so here are somethings installed and things learned:

I have been paying a lot of attention to the transmission and its temp over the past couple months. I have come to the consensus that this truck runs hot (old news). Outside air temp was about 85 degrees and we were headed to payson when I was shown this trans temp before pulling over.
IMG_8642 2 copy.jpg

Transmission cooler was ordered that night and I began my install. First I decided to do a "quick" pan drop and fill to see if anything was going on and heres what I came across:
IMG_8786 copy.jpgIMG_8784 copy.jpg
This fluid was changed around this time last year. Tons of fine metal shavings... I don't know if this is normal but I know the fluid should be a brighter red. Heres a picture of the location I chose to install the cooler. (I can give details of which one I got if anyones interested) But man does this thing look ugly without its grille.
IMG_8787 copy.jpgIMG_8788 copy.jpg

Next thing is to plumb up the cooler to the radiator. Im deciding to run it in series due to the semi-harsh winters we get here in Flag. That way it'll allow the fluid to warm up fairly quickly.
I also noticed something that hasn't been talked about much in the forums, trans cooler location. I was rather surprised to see that there is little to no airflow to the bottom portion of the radiator, making the trans cooler "liquid to liquid" cooling rather than "liquid to air" cooling. Which seems kind of silly since my engine water temp reaches 216 climbing hills. Also notice how both my trans and water temp temperatures are neck and neck with each other.
IMG_8794 copy.jpgIMG_8796 copy.jpg

Anyways I should have the trans cooler plumbed up and much more mods done.... hopefully.... Heres one I did recently with a 75-25 redtop optima. Literally just sat right in and I love it.
Screen Shot 2018-06-30 at 11.54.38 PM.jpg
 

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EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
262
Location
Arizona
Monthly update

Alright, some updates for you eager folks. I finally plumbed up the transmission cooler in series with the radiator. I took pictures but who knows where they went. All I did was locate the return to transmission line coming out of the radiator and cut before and after the section that contains that pressured rubber line. After the line was snipped I ran a line from the radiator to the bottom of the external cooler. Then the top of the external cooler ran back to the stock line going back to the trans.

I wanted to push this cooler to make sure it works the way I wanted too. So I ran it around 3pm going up the I-17 to flag with the outside air temp at 117 degrees, the picture below shows the hottest trans temp I recorded. Success!
\IMG_8846[4808].jpg
(I couldn't get this photo to stand up straight)

Something I forgot to include with the original post is that I decided to remove the stock muffler and run a pipe back. So far I love the sound and I don't find it too loud.

As we speak my computer is getting shipped to PCM For Less for a well needed tune. My trans dipstick tube decided to crack at the mounting point, and one of the options in the tune allowed for an electronic delete of the AIR system. One of the rubber lines going to the check valve on the block cracked, and I don't plan on spending money to repair it. Instead, I plan on ripping out this system and replacing the hole with a plate (P/N 12574378) and gasket (P/N 24577193). Where the truck is registered I do not need any emissions testing anyway, so it works out.

Another thing I was going to do was the intake resonator delete that kyle did on his rig. Entailing ripping out the resonator and adding pvc to connect to the throttle body. Pretty simple mod that will help with gas mileage and minimal power gains. But combined with the muffler delete, resonator delete and pcm tune it should add some power and mpg


Things to do still:
- Electric Pusher fan
- Paint hub caps
- Complete and install roof rack
- Have a shop buff out and wax the truck
- 35's?
 

EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
262
Location
Arizona
Ha Monthly Updates My Ass

I figure it's time to update the build. Schools been kicking my ass so its been hard to update all the stuff I've done since late july. To address my previous post, Ive pretty much knocked a majority off the list.

Heres what's been completed:

- PCM Tune
- Air Doc Intake
- 12" Spal Electric Pusher fan
- Rola Roof Rack Installed W/ Lights
- Detailed
- Brush-guard
- Tail light covers
- Tidied up the switches
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I was able to make a trip out to Sedona and do some off roading on the Broken Arrow 4x4 trail. Very good views.
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But here is the most recent update....
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^Where she sits currently

To do:
-Alpha Torsion Bars
-2inch Extended shackles
-Rock Sliders
-UCP
-Clean up accessory wiring near the battery
-Real Hood Louver or Add louvers to rear of the hood
-35's (Little far out for this one)
-Blackout?
 

EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
262
Location
Arizona
With school ending here soon some time is freeing up to do some vehicle work! This past month I've added in my Tomp Low Profile Shock Mounts and added in the extended shackles to accent that. Also did sway links and sway bar bushings with leaf spring bushings. Rear end is very tight now! :) Added in a CB radio antenna as well, meant to install the radio the same night but never got around to doing it. So the antenna is a nice show piece for the moment. Felt that this radio was a necessity since I could only communicate with the other guys when we met up at a stop point.

I don't have any photos of the progress apparently, so here's my recent trip to O'leary trail loop in my effort to do every trail in Arizona.
rSuBzwbZTi2JOU4Lzpt%pQ.jpg
 

EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
262
Location
Arizona
Graduated college this past week. Bachelors in Biomedical sciences and a minor in chemistry! To celebrate I installed the tailgate fold down table and upgraded the tailgate strut with one from a FJ. This one locks, ideal so the door doesn't close in on you like it usually does.(Not my idea, Jaxs_Detroit's Idea on here).
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JPaul

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,362
Location
Way up north, UT
Found out that the tailgate isn't grounded, so I ran a ground wire and cleaned it up a bit.

Seems like it should be grounded, but checking the FSM schematics I don't see one. One task I have for when I can get around to installing my ham radio is to do a full bonding of all the body parts and frame for noise reduction. They make woven straps with eyelets in them on a roll to use for bonding, works really well and makes it a pretty quick job from what I have seen.
 

JPaul

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,362
Location
Way up north, UT
Graduated college this past week. Bachelors in Biomedical sciences and a minor in chemistry! To celebrate I installed the tailgate fold down table and upgraded the tailgate strut with one from a FJ. This one locks, ideal so the door doesn't close in on you like it usually does.(Not my idea, Jaxs_Detroit's Idea on here).

Is there a part number or anything for that strut or can you just search for any FJ cruiser rear door strut?

Congrats on finishing your degree!
 

MilamJR

Well-Known Member
Messages
789
Location
Alabama
Graduated college this past week. Bachelors in Biomedical sciences and a minor in chemistry! To celebrate I installed the tailgate fold down table and upgraded the tailgate strut with one from a FJ. This one locks, ideal so the door doesn't close in on you like it usually does.(Not my idea, Jaxs_Detroit's Idea on here).
View attachment 26260
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View attachment 26262

Congratulations on your graduation!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
262
Location
Arizona
Is there a part number or anything for that strut or can you just search for any FJ cruiser rear door strut?

Congrats on finishing your degree!

Thank you!

Locking Strut Part# : 68907-35081
Mount Part # : 68948-35010

Keep in mind that this shock is shorter than the stock tailgate strut. So you'll need the mount and drill it into the door.

Seems like it should be grounded, but checking the FSM schematics I don't see one. One task I have for when I can get around to installing my ham radio is to do a full bonding of all the body parts and frame for noise reduction. They make woven straps with eyelets in them on a roll to use for bonding, works really well and makes it a pretty quick job from what I have seen.

Thats what I would've assumed, there's a radio shop next to my work and I was having them adjust the antenna for the radio. They were saying the antenna wouldn't ground at all at the location it was at, a little research and I came across a few people saying that you have to run a ground to the main body. I looked around inside the tailgate and I didnt see any grounds cables that attached to the door.
 
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EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
262
Location
Arizona
Transmission Lasted 175,900 Miles

This is something Ive been expecting for a while now, but came up sooner than I planned for. Started (3 weeks ago) with the overdrive engaging hard and lead to the gears slipping when shifting. 1-2 was really hard shifting, 2-3 slipped but still engaged, 3-4 was delayed but still slipped and engaged, overdrive then engaged whenever it wanted to. Luckily a good friend was able to tow me to phoenix and I drove to the shop to get it rebuilt. I tried accelerating onto I-10 and I had nothing from the 3-4 shift, just slipped. At this point the trans was cooked.

Currently sitting in a hotel in Avondale, AZ waiting for then to wrap up the rebuld, its been a day and this heat is killing me. When they dumped the fluid out of the convertor there was shavings coming out, the input shaft/bell had a bunch of play, clutches also had a bunch of play. The valve body separator plate was worn down and had some more damage to it.
H3 Clutches.png
Hard to tell since this one is a video, but you can move the clutches with ease here.
H3 Trans Pan.jpg
Some of the carnage in the pan, the fluid on the dipstick was cherry red when I began to feel it act up. It was brown when I pulled the lines to install the new bypass cooler yesterday.
H3 Trans Cooler.jpg
H3 Trans Cooler Installed.png
Heres the new B&M Stacked plate cooler with a couple 5.2" Spal puller fans.
H3 Rear Timing Cover.jpg
Did the rear main while they had it off, was already leaking a little. The seal was deteriorating as I pried it off.
Here Again.jpg
And Finally a little note to future self.

Hopefully they'll either have it installed tonight or tomorrow morning.
 

EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
262
Location
Arizona
Fall time repairs and upgrades

There has been quite a list building up for the past year of things needing attention, glad I could finally address them. One of the fixes needed was the makeshift trail fix my dad and I did back in 2010 on the trail. The center differential bushing degraded completely while we were out of town and he wrapped an entire roll of electrical tape around the bolt. It lasted 10 years, but started to degrade fast after a bunch of transmission fluid leaked onto it (along with the whole undercarriage) after a line failed.

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And then the next repair in order, lower control arm bushings were shot.

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Outfitter design differential bushings getting installed on the wings and crossmember

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This piece came off cracked, gave it a good weld and reinstalled it. Outfitter design highlighted it being a common crack so I didnt give it much attention.

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Really happy I tore into this front end when I did, this brake hose didnt look too good.

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Say... A dana 60 would look pretty damn good with 37's here...

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EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
262
Location
Arizona
Upgrades!

James welded in a couple steel plates into the rear differential for me. I am not even close to being confident in my welds to tackle such a thing yet.

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Easily one of the best upgrades that's been done so far, took the truck out to bulldog canyon and Pyeatt draw this past weekend and was very impressed at how much easier it is to climb over things.
 

EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
262
Location
Arizona
Score

Was browsing craigslist last night and found a guy selling a set (5) of H2 wheels for $250. Perfect wheel for the 1 tons that are on the horizon.
H3 H2 Wheel inside.jpg
Was able to get it stacked up pretty well.
H3 H2 wheel exterior.jpg
 

EndeavoredH3

Well-Known Member
Messages
262
Location
Arizona
This is probably a good time to go over my plans for the next year as this one is near the end. SAS and 1 tons are the plan.

This has been a big consideration for me, I could try and find a rancho and pair it with the OD diff when they release it but ive always turned back to a SAS. Can be more capable and is a well documented territory now a days. Also the dollar amount building up the IFS vs SAS will be similar with how expensive the h3 aftermarket is. I think I saw the most recent ebay listing of a new rancho kit going for 7 grand? jeez.

Now into the details. The plan is to end up with 40's, so why not start with 40's? These h2 wheels should hold up for a while, I wanted to keep the hummer lineage in mind with this build. For the front axle Im planning on a dana 60 from an older chevy, for the rear a chevy 14 bolt. Both full float axles. Regear to either 5.13 or 5.38, haven't decided just yet which route I want to go. For the front suspension Im going to go coilover because Ill end up there anyways. For the rear Ill probably have to use a ¾ ton leafspring to support the 14 bolt, but im not too sure.
This plan will probably take place after BSW ’21 as I don’t think its possible to get it all together and installed before then. Too many cool kids going to miss out this year. Ill just have to patch up the ol IFS before I head out.

Any, and I mean ANY advice/suggestions/opinions are welcome here. This is all new to me and I have much to learn as I go.
 
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