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H3 What to look for in a H3?

R

REDSKINSFAN

Guest
So I'm looking at getting an H3, I want one that can perform off road, like the Alpha. However, I know that they cost a lot more than a 06 or 07. What I'm asking is how much better can the Alpha perform than a regular 5 inline and is it worth the price? Also, is getting a newer H3 with the lockers worth paying extra? I'm probably looking at a max of $14-15k so I can also get things that I want to add (bigger tires/rims, tint, brush guard, winch, roof racks, light bar on top, and any small fixes it may need).
 
R

REDSKINSFAN

Guest
why with a replaced head? and how well can it compare to an alpha off road?
 

Zach

Mall Crawler
Messages
4,812
Location
So Cal
06 was notorious for having a head issue. If you find one, I can run the vin and see what was done under warranty
 

digglesworth

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,789
Location
illinois
Alpha does not mean better off road. The H3 is not like jeeps in that you don't have to back up and gun it to get over an obstacle. An adventure package is def a plus and will help off road. Make sure you find one that has had the head replaced if you're looking 06-07 range. Front suspension parts wear out so anything you find will most likely need some freshening up. Just part of owning an h3. All the other packages are luxury items and purely up to you. Find something you like and something you think meets your needs. Is it a daily driver? Weekend toy? All h3s will have their quirks. Check over the radiator and make sure it's not leaking. Shift the t case into all positions to make sure there's no issues with a worn plastic shift fork (06-07 range)... Other than that, a carfax is a good idea.
 

alrock

El Diablo
Staff member
Messages
10,421
Location
Scottsdale
If your 06 H3 has made it this far, you're likely safe in regards to the head issue. Plus, the head issue can appear in later years, like it did in my 07 at 98,000 miles

It takes longer to find an 06 or 07 with the Adventure package but they often are not priced any more, in part because many people don't realize the value since they never used it. It is worth waiting for one and saving yourself the $2000-$2400 that it would take to upgrade a base H3 to an Adventure (locker, transfer case) if you were to do it on your own.

When shopping, please note that many trucks listed as Adventure are not, and some that are Adventure are not listed as such. The only way to tell in the ad is to see a dash picture and look for the locker button next to the traction control button. If there's only one button on the right side of the 4x4 control panel, it's not an Adventure model.
 

Best4x4

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,042
Location
Vidor, TX
I thought it was just 3.5's with head issues... I have an early 07 with the window switches down low on the front doors. She has 78k and appears to have never been pulled apart engine wise.
 

SuperBuickGuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,403
Location
Woodinville, WA
off the line, the Adventure isn't that much slower than the Alpha because of the gearing (4.56 v. 4.10), however, if you pull a trailer or do a lot of driving in hills - the V8 will outrun the I5.

that said, at 15k, I'd be really surprised if you found a decent Alpha.

I'm not a fan of the 06. I test drove one in 06 and didn't buy it because I thought it was a dog, but I did (a year later) buy an 07 and I hauled all manner of stuff with it (including a diesel 4x4 suburban on a tilt trailer) without trouble. Honestly, I have an Alpha and there are days I'd rather the I5.... it's a 4x4, not a dragster. That said, when I bought my Alpha - it really was the best priced for the vehicle at 18k.
 

amrg

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off the line, the Adventure isn't that much slower than the Alpha because of the gearing (4.56 v. 4.10), however, if you pull a trailer or do a lot of driving in hills - the V8 will outrun the I5.

that said, at 15k, I'd be really surprised if you found a decent Alpha.

I'm not a fan of the 06. I test drove one in 06 and didn't buy it because I thought it was a dog, but I did (a year later) buy an 07 and I hauled all manner of stuff with it (including a diesel 4x4 suburban on a tilt trailer) without trouble. Honestly, I have an Alpha and there are days I'd rather the I5.... it's a 4x4, not a dragster. That said, when I bought my Alpha - it really was the best priced for the vehicle at 18k.

I agree, the I5s gearing compensates abit off the line, which is why I believe the Alphas gearing is a mistake (or at least there shldve been an option for those who want 4.56 vs 4.10)
 

Bananatank

Well-Known Member
Messages
731
Location
Hammond,la
I'd also like to check and see if my h3 had any work on it because it is an 06 and it has about 104,000 miles on it with no problems so maybe mine didn't have the problem or it was replaced.
 

SuperBuickGuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,403
Location
Woodinville, WA
I agree, the I5s gearing compensates abit off the line, which is why I believe the Alphas gearing is a mistake (or at least there shldve been an option for those who want 4.56 vs 4.10)

I priced swapping gears and found it's cheaper to simply swap in a larger LS motor - I'm not sure changing gears is the answer (after much thought and research) because 4.56s would make lo range unuseable for the wheeling I do.
 

rascole

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,564
Location
Bellflower, CA
So I'm looking at getting an H3, I want one that can perform off road, like the Alpha. However, I know that they cost a lot more than a 06 or 07. What I'm asking is how much better can the Alpha perform than a regular 5 inline and is it worth the price? Also, is getting a newer H3 with the lockers worth paying extra? I'm probably looking at a max of $14-15k so I can also get things that I want to add (bigger tires/rims, tint, brush guard, winch, roof racks, light bar on top, and any small fixes it may need).
I was in your shoes a few years ago, take your time and research the one you are looking at. For me, the adventure package was a must have because I planned on using it, I was lucky and found a late model 06 that left the factory in April of 06, well after the head issue. But like what was said earlier, if it has made it this far, it has either been repaired under warranty or by the owner. Hold out for the Adventure package if you can. The picture is compliments of Schwarttzy.
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amrg

Well-Known Member
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I priced swapping gears and found it's cheaper to simply swap in a larger LS motor - I'm not sure changing gears is the answer (after much thought and research) because 4.56s would make lo range unuseable for the wheeling I do.

How much does the motor cost and what kondoff work needs to be done for the job to work? Gearing with labour shld b around 2K too.
 

SuperBuickGuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,403
Location
Woodinville, WA
How much does the motor cost and what kondoff work needs to be done for the job to work? Gearing with labour shld b around 2K too.

a motor ranges wildly, but a good, used 5.7, 6.0, or 6.2 is around 4k (depends what you buy, and who you buy from because that number could be 1500-5500). It's a direct, bolt-in replacement (you're just buying a long block without accessories, oil pan, or even valve covers). All your accessories bolt on the front, and the transmission bolts to the back. If you use the H3 injection, you'd be out another $200 for larger injectors. As long as you don't get a VVT or displacement on demand motor, the stock computer should be more than enough to handle the initial fire up. You could spend another 200 on a reprogram... but even that isn't, absolutely necessary because the motor has a base tune - but it changes as you drive (adaptive learning) by what the sensors tell it.... or put another way, once I put on EZ EFI on my C3 corvette it ran crappy until I finally reset it and let it tune itself.... it runs really well now.
 

Boerwarrior

Member
Messages
17
Location
Sacramento, CA
When I was shopping in 2010 I knew I wanted an 09 or newer adventure for the front and rear lockers. Although seldom used I wanted to have the reassurance. I shopped almost daily for 6 months until I found one close to me. It was not advertised as an adventure, but listed as having the tow package, BT, and onstar. It had none of these but an aftermarket tow bar installed. As mentioned before the best way to shop for these is to look at the pictures. While frustrating at times it can be helpful as In my case they were asking the same price as an 09 base. Good luck on the hunt.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Azjohn

Well-Known Member
Messages
50
Location
United States
If your 06 H3 has made it this far, you're likely safe in regards to the head issue. Plus, the head issue can appear in later years, like it did in my 07 at 98,000 miles

It takes longer to find an 06 or 07 with the Adventure package but they often are not priced any more, in part because many people don't realize the value since they never used it. It is worth waiting for one and saving yourself the $2000-$2400 that it would take to upgrade a base H3 to an Adventure (locker, transfer case) if you were to do it on your own.

When shopping, please note that many trucks listed as Adventure are not, and some that are Adventure are not listed as such. The only way to tell in the ad is to see a dash picture and look for the locker button next to the traction control button. If there's only one button on the right side of the 4x4 control panel, it's not an Adventure model.

well as I found out, and probably have the only one. Mine has the locker button on the dash but no locker. I ran the RPO codes that are in the dash to see what it was equipped with from the factory. My suggestions for that price budget look for an 07 or 08 adventure standard 3.7Lt with decent milage, and then find one with the button and double check the codes to make sure it's the right equipment. It's easy to have someone send a picture of the codes and the dash. Get an aftermarket extended warranty. (Mine is Mercury insurance and they have been great) Upgrading a base model is a pain in the butt if you are not a really decent mechanic or have good connections to parts. Good luck in the search!
 
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