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H3 Transmission dead?

fowlken8

Well-Known Member
Messages
246
Location
Southwest
Have you read the Hummer H3 Launch book HERE? In it, a GM person (I forget..proj mgr??) indicated the H3 ended up containing about 15% parts from the Colorado. The rest unique. It's a good read if you haven't read it. Kind of a Must-Read for a H3 enthusiest. Your library might have it.

But yeah, it's can be somewhat frustrating. Now's the time to re-do the tranny while parts ARE available. I wouldn't be afraid to tow small trailers. Probably not a car trailer up over the mountains (in your case) ..though :)
According to the v8 swap guy with every ASE certification and like 3 ECUs.... It's the exact thing as a Colorado. Check your privilege hahahaha

I miss that thread.
 

fowlken8

Well-Known Member
Messages
246
Location
Southwest
It's expensive guys.

$3,250

Said it had been rebuilt before and had a 3-4 powerpack installed all the clutches were pretty burnt or warped or both.

I forget which part but he said they removed this certain part that rebuilders often do.

Also said to get the full warranty, I'll need a torque converter as well.

Said the H3 trans was more labor intensive to remove due to the underbody protection and rusted bolts etc.

Said the rebuild and labor would be 2900 and 350 added for a torque converter.

Wtf. This really sucks.
 

JPaul

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,400
Location
Way up north, UT
Only parts different with the H3 transmission compared to your average 4l60E are the valve body/pan (due to clearance needed for the front driveshaft) and the bellhousing if it's a 5 cylinder (pretty sure the V8 housing is standard anyway).

I went with a remanufactured transmission from Street Smart transmissions. They were great to work with and when I bought mine in 2018 it was only $1370 delivered. I'm sure it's a little higher now, but still going to be cheaper than that guy. They also do some standard upgrades when they reman them. All you do is contact tehm, get it ordered, they ship it out to you and then you get it installed, then send the old one back. Super easy. Aside from the PITA work of actually swapping the transmission itself.

Their warranty is great too. I had to warranty mine due to a bad input shaft speed sensor, but the awesome thing is they just send you a whole other transmission instead of just a part. If you pay someone to install it then the warranty covers that cost as well if you have to get it redone.

 

fowlken8

Well-Known Member
Messages
246
Location
Southwest
They've already got it out and taken apart so at this point I'm unsure going elsewhere would save much money given labor already. This sucks haha
 

Jeepwalker

Well-Known Member
Messages
853
Location
WI
Bummer. Actually, that's not too far off what I was expecting it to be. You might ask them if they have a rebuilder line they work with. Some (many) shops partner or work with a supplier which does transmission rebuilds on a larger scale. Going that route it's more 'pre-packaged' and immediate. But you said they had several rebuilders onsite, so maybe that's how they do all tranny's. Still worth asking the question. There might be some savings there. Everything's gone up a lot since Covid. But... did he spell out what the warranty terms actually were? I'm almost thinking it's like engines: almost everyone I know who's bought a rebuilt engine from a major rebuilder has had problems. Stupid crap that comes down to inattentiveness.

Like my buddy who bought a professionally rebuilt Audi engine 2yrs ago. He had toyed rebuilding it (it actually didn't need rebuilding, just some head and timing chain work. But he went with a "Pro" mass rebuilder who has a great site and lot of wonderful claims. He had a shop put it in (which you usually must do ...to get the warranty, then there was low oil pressure. Crickets on the rebuilder's side. He finally got them to call back, and they suggested he install a new Audi oil pump. Which he did. Even then the oil pressure was barely above the warning light level. The lights, warnings, and buzzer would go off periodically which was like WWIII is coming. Eventually they went in and put a 3rd Audi oil pump in and got the pressure a bit higher. He made countless calls to the rebuilder and back and fourth with paperwork. In the end I think he got $300 back from them. But he had over a grand more in parts and labor ...plus a couple months of no Audi for his wife. That doesn't count the $4,500 and the $500 he spend for the engine plus labor to install. Jasper engines? I read so much about nonsense failures. Point I'm making ...it might be money well spent if they are competent and have a good warranty. But it's still a LOT.



.
 
Last edited:

Jeepwalker

Well-Known Member
Messages
853
Location
WI
Related story: The guy I bought my Jetta TDI from years ago, sunk a bunch of money into the auto tranny. They're a common fail point on those cars and it went out ~90k miles. Course, like many people, the owner turned around and put the car up for sale like a week after he got it back from the shop. He said it was rebuilt by the best shop, and the best VW tranny guy in Minneapolis. I spoke to the shop/guy and the mechanic remembered the car, told me everything he'd done in the rebuild process, fixed the weaknesses. He drove it a couple days to verify it. Said if I didn't abuse it it would go longer than most parts of the car. He said ..and put it in writing to me, that they would extend the warranty to me. I bought the car and put over 200k miles on it over several yrs. The tranny never gave a burp and still runs great. So in that regard, the shop did a rock-solid job on it and the $$ the owner spent was worth it.
 

fowlken8

Well-Known Member
Messages
246
Location
Southwest
Only parts different with the H3 transmission compared to your average 4l60E are the valve body/pan (due to clearance needed for the front driveshaft) and the bellhousing if it's a 5 cylinder (pretty sure the V8 housing is standard anyway).

I went with a remanufactured transmission from Street Smart transmissions. They were great to work with and when I bought mine in 2018 it was only $1370 delivered. I'm sure it's a little higher now, but still going to be cheaper than that guy. They also do some standard upgrades when they reman them. All you do is contact tehm, get it ordered, they ship it out to you and then you get it installed, then send the old one back. Super easy. Aside from the PITA work of actually swapping the transmission itself.

Their warranty is great too. I had to warranty mine due to a bad input shaft speed sensor, but the awesome thing is they just send you a whole other transmission instead of just a part. If you pay someone to install it then the warranty covers that cost as well if you have to get it redone.

I checked them out just to see and they're about $2,400 now, the estimated install was $700, so $3,100. Looks like I'm paying a 'standard' cost. I remember when a rebuild was like $1,700 bucks.
 

fowlken8

Well-Known Member
Messages
246
Location
Southwest
Bummer. Actually, that's not too far off what I was expecting it to be. You might ask them if they have a rebuilder line they work with. Some (many) shops partner or work with a supplier which does transmission rebuilds on a larger scale. Going that route it's more 'pre-packaged' and immediate. But you said they had several rebuilders onsite, so maybe that's how they do all tranny's. Still worth asking the question. There might be some savings there. Everything's gone up a lot since Covid. But... did he spell out what the warranty terms actually were? I'm almost thinking it's like engines: almost everyone I know who's bought a rebuilt engine from a major rebuilder has had problems. Stupid crap that comes down to inattentiveness.

Like my buddy who bought a professionally rebuilt Audi engine 2yrs ago. He had toyed rebuilding it (it actually didn't need rebuilding, just some head and timing chain work. But he went with a "Pro" mass rebuilder who has a great site and lot of wonderful claims. He had a shop put it in (which you usually must do ...to get the warranty, then there was low oil pressure. Crickets on the rebuilder's side. He finally got them to call back, and they suggested he install a new Audi oil pump. Which he did. Even then the oil pressure was barely above the warning light level. The lights, warnings, and buzzer would go off periodically which was like WWIII is coming. Eventually they went in and put a 3rd Audi oil pump in and got the pressure a bit higher. He made countless calls to the rebuilder and back and fourth with paperwork. In the end I think he got $300 back from them. But he had over a grand more in parts and labor ...plus a couple months of no Audi for his wife. That doesn't count the $4,500 and the $500 he spend for the engine plus labor to install. Jasper engines? I read so much about nonsense failures. Point I'm making ...it might be money well spent if they are competent and have a good warranty. But it's still a LOT.



.
At least you weren't blown away by the price. They definitely build it themselves. But I don't mind asking. You sound like my dad hahaha "Prices suck since Covid!". I'll figure out the warranty tomorrow. All I know is he said if I didn't get a new torque converter, the full warranty wouldn't be granted. Apparently all parts are in or will be by tomorrow. They asked for $2k 'down' and said it should be ready to go by Tuesday. I'm just annoyed. I can spend the money, but didn't WANT to drop $3k.
 

Jeepwalker

Well-Known Member
Messages
853
Location
WI
I get people every now and then who say to me, "Wow ...a hummer. I always thought they were cool ...I'd like to get one of those too." I usually tell them, "Ok ...but you better have deep pockets and/or be prepared to do a lot of maintenance and repair work, yourself. Or else you're going to go broke" ;)

These are great vehicles, but I've had to do a ton to mine. A lot of guys have. I look at it as a labor of love.
 

fowlken8

Well-Known Member
Messages
246
Location
Southwest
Oh everyone loves the Alpha. I tend to add tons of cosmetic things that appeal to 13 year old boys or men my age who never grew out of that lol And I don't like your warning haha My initial understanding was that the I5 was the biggest issue; random motor. Then of course things like the leaky sunroof. It's my fault but without doing any further research I assumed that the 5.3 and the 4L60 were the same as those used in every gm 1/2 ton or V8 SUV for the past billion years.

Went in to put down $2k 🤮 he took me to my transmission. It was all pulled apart. The clutches were black as night, and sorta covered in 'sludge'. Probably crazily burnt fluid. Showed me all of the gears, valve body. It all looked new. He told me again it had already been rebuilt so a lot of the internals were good still. My torque converter was ugly though, and looked old....old old. Then he pulled out the new shiny blue one and showed me some differences.

Warranty........ugh. "has the industry standard, 12 month/12k mile"...........I googled it and that truly is the standard. Dammit. Remanufactured though, 5 year/100k....oh well.
 

fowlken8

Well-Known Member
Messages
246
Location
Southwest
Oh everyone loves the Alpha. I tend to add tons of cosmetic things that appeal to 13 year old boys or men my age who never grew out of that lol And I don't like your warning haha My initial understanding was that the I5 was the biggest issue; random motor. Then of course things like the leaky sunroof. It's my fault but without doing any further research I assumed that the 5.3 and the 4L60 were the same as those used in every gm 1/2 ton or V8 SUV for the past billion years.

Went in to put down $2k 🤮 he took me to my transmission. It was all pulled apart. The clutches were black as night, and sorta covered in 'sludge'. Probably crazily burnt fluid. Showed me all of the gears, valve body. It all looked new. He told me again it had already been rebuilt so a lot of the internals were good still. My torque converter was ugly though, and looked old....old old. Then he pulled out the new shiny blue one and showed me some differences.

Warranty........ugh. "has the industry standard, 12 month/12k mile"...........I googled it and that truly is the standard. Dammit. Remanufactured though, 5 year/100k....oh well.
 

650Hawk

Well-Known Member
Messages
472
Location
SoCal
Have you read the Hummer H3 Launch book HERE? In it, a GM person (I forget..proj mgr??) indicated the H3 ended up containing about 15% parts from the Colorado. The rest unique. It's a good read if you haven't read it. Kind of a Must-Read for a H3 enthusiest. Your library might have it.
The Launch book is awesome; a must have for any H3 enthusiast. I have one in pristine condition; found online brand new when I bought my H3 about 6 years ago. The only downside is that it was published the year prior to the Alpha, so there really isn't any info on that. BTW, if you've ever wondered about the style of the oversize fenders (the H3 is the only Hummer with external fenders), we can actually thank Arnold Schwarzenegger for them (yup, it's in the book!)!
Oh everyone loves the Alpha. I tend to add tons of cosmetic things that appeal to 13 year old boys or men my age who never grew out of that lol And I don't like your warning haha My initial understanding was that the I5 was the biggest issue; random motor. Then of course things like the leaky sunroof. It's my fault but without doing any further research I assumed that the 5.3 and the 4L60 were the same as those used in every gm 1/2 ton or V8 SUV for the past billion years.
Aside from the trans pan/valve body (mainly for clearance issues), the 5.3 and 4L60 are indeed the same as those used in every gm 1/2 ton/SUV for the past billion years.
 

Jeepwalker

Well-Known Member
Messages
853
Location
WI
It's hard to warranty something when you don't know how an owner is going to treat it or abuse it. And those 5yr 100k warranties ....Yeah right. I bet you'd end up spending hours on the phone frustrated, and sending documentation ...have to have a transmission shop do a teardown to prove it was workmanship (at your cost) ...and in the end you'd end up with something like a $375 credit. Just like guys I've known who tried to get warranty money out of rebuilt engine outfits. The warranties sound great up front, but man these companies have perfected the art of dragging their feed and making ya jump through hoops to keep from giving money back. LOL.

If they do it 'right' ...and it seems like they do, then (fingers crossed) you should have no trouble and ultimately (hopefully) it'll be 'buy once, cry once' ...type of thing and last till you're ready to move onto a Cybertruck... . (I'm trying to apply positive thinking....Lol).
 

fowlken8

Well-Known Member
Messages
246
Location
Southwest
It's hard to warranty something when you don't know how an owner is going to treat it or abuse it. And those 5yr 100k warranties ....Yeah right. I bet you'd end up spending hours on the phone frustrated, and sending documentation ...have to have a transmission shop do a teardown to prove it was workmanship (at your cost) ...and in the end you'd end up with something like a $375 credit. Just like guys I've known who tried to get warranty money out of rebuilt engine outfits. The warranties sound great up front, but man these companies have perfected the art of dragging their feed and making ya jump through hoops to keep from giving money back. LOL.

If they do it 'right' ...and it seems like they do, then (fingers crossed) you should have no trouble and ultimately (hopefully) it'll be 'buy once, cry once' ...type of thing and last till you're ready to move onto a Cybertruck... . (I'm trying to apply positive thinking....Lol).
Hahahahaha I have a cyber truck reserved. Forever. C'mon Elon!
 

fowlken8

Well-Known Member
Messages
246
Location
Southwest
Update.

Well, they hady hummer forever. I called last Thursday and they said it would be ready Friday. Called Friday and the owner said his tech said we're good in an hour.

I show up. With my $1,250 balance.

Upon arrival, hummer needs a few more hours of work. And the invoice says I owe $2,049. What the flying fck. Being transparent, this was a verbal agreement that the owners son and i shook on; guess I'm a fool who still believes in integrity.

I'm there for an hour with my dad, my initial ride, trying to hash this out. The older gentleman who was very kind was out of the loop. He didn't know I showed up with 2k cash, was told they wouldn't charge me tax if paid in cash, etc.

His son wasn't there when I was, but was driving around and he had to call him 5 times. He was a jerk. The old man was always using speaker as all old people do lol at one point his son says "why is he there? Why show up randomly? What's wrong with him, seems preemptive!". Old man tells him to pipe down as I'm there. The. He says to his father "easy for you to say from behind a desk. That transmission was the hardest I've ever removed and rebuilt!"

Old man: "watch your mouth, I built this fckin building!". Then the logical older man promises to honor the original quote. We alter the bill and I pay.

I'm told it'll be ready Saturday or Monday (yesterday). Get a call today that it's ready. Show up and get a copy of my receipt. JR shows up."I took it on a long test drive and it shifts like a dream!". If you leave a review, an good or bad, you'll get 50% off your next service.

Come home look at my odometer statement, 118k is crossed out, and it was approaching 119. But.... I'm now at 19,496. What the fk kind of test drive is that?!!!!!

El Paso and back? What is this...is the son pissed I got our original price? Where did he go?

Told me to come back in a week regardless of how well it drives just to make sure there aren't issues. What? It feels fixed. For now... Triggered
 

fowlken8

Well-Known Member
Messages
246
Location
Southwest
wow, just walked around my vehicle at work......my tail light is literally broken off. I haven't gotten into an accident. I have cameras at home. Obviously cannot prove anything but what the fk?
 

fowlken8

Well-Known Member
Messages
246
Location
Southwest
So I found a McDonald's receipt from 9/30/2023....and I left my truck there 9/21/2023.....has it been fixed since then and that's how it has 500 plus extra miles now? I'm so pissed off.
 

Doc Olds

Well-Known Member
Messages
121
Location
Boat Town MI
They do have to test drive it.... but 500 miles is BS.

My father used to manage the Buick Dealership in town in the 90s and they would do like 20 miles or less to make certain a driveline issue were fixed. Had to get up to temp, get on the E-way to the second ramp down and back.

Shirt sighted on the kid's part, I'm thinking you won't be back for more business on other vehicles.
 

fowlken8

Well-Known Member
Messages
246
Location
Southwest
They do have to test drive it.... but 500 miles is BS.

My father used to manage the Buick Dealership in town in the 90s and they would do like 20 miles or less to make certain a driveline issue were fixed. Had to get up to temp, get on the E-way to the second ramp down and back.

Shirt sighted on the kid's part, I'm thinking you won't be back for more business on other vehicles.
Absolutely not. I called to ask and they denied everything. Said it makes no logical sense to put that many miles on it and he was 'offended' I was questioning their business after he gave me a 'discount'......and also added 500 miles as well as a broken tail light. And also a trip to McDonalds. Insanity.
 

alrock

El Diablo
Staff member
Messages
10,426
Location
Scottsdale
My concern is he had a relatively new ram 3500 dually up on the lift and made a comment about it being a $7k job. I don't know the extent of the issue though. I really hope mine is $2,500 or so.
From what I've heard, that's normal or even inexpensive for that truck.
 

Jeepwalker

Well-Known Member
Messages
853
Location
WI
I'd rather have a 500mile test drive than a 20 mile test drive. At least you have it back now. .. I don't know what to say on those other issues you raised. If you can't prove anything, yer going to have to fix it and focus on the good ...which is it seems like you have a great-shifting nicely rebuilt transmission.

The next question is, did you get a warranty of some kind (in writing)?
 

fowlken8

Well-Known Member
Messages
246
Location
Southwest
I'm probably just bitter with it all. It shifts good but there's this new plastic rattle like sound that comes up now. From a dead stop when I take off I can hear like plastic shaking or rattling. And yeah I can't prove a thing. Which sucks, but I definitely know I'm not crazy. That plus the attitude of the son.

I do have a written 12 month, 12k mile warranty.
 

Jeepwalker

Well-Known Member
Messages
853
Location
WI
Do you think it could be a cable vibrating against something? Have you crawled under to see if anything jumps out?
 

fowlken8

Well-Known Member
Messages
246
Location
Southwest
I haven't yet. I did the most basic look over possible, just a visual to make sure things didn't look weird. And I've been looking for leaking fluid daily. Almost reminds me of a fan hitting a shroud, a clicky hollow plastic like sound. Only at take off and it goes away after initial take off. Shifting through the rest of the gears is fine.
 
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