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Full Throttle - 2003 Hummer H2

Posted in Features on January 1, 2003 Comment (0)
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Photographers: Randall JachmannJeremy Sundt

Star date: 2003. the crew of Full Throttle Suspensions Inc. is headed on a course reading extreme H2 territory ahead. known as the fathers of the extreme suspension lift, it comes as no surprise to see what the talented crew has managed to create. When it comes to customizing Hummer H1s, the motto their owners usually live by is the "If you can think of it then you can do it." So naturally when the '03 Hummer H2s hit the showroom floors, there was - and still is - a surge of interest to customize them from everyone and their brother, especially now that the H2s are more affordable to the masses. Similar to Captain James T. Kirk and his Starship Enterprise, the crew of Full Throttle Suspensions of Fresno, California, managed to obtain one of the highly sought after SUVs and proceeded to go where no other H2 had gone before.

Once delivered to its shop, Full Throttle's group of suspension engineers and technicians began measuring, disassembling, and redesigning the entire suspension system of the newborn H2. Having a suspension design similar to the highly popular 2500 Series HD General Motor's trucks, the H2's front upper and lower control arms were replaced with a modified set of Full Throttle's HD tubular units. Very particular in designing a system that would exceed the vehicle's capabilities both on and off-road, Full Throttle's engineers made sure every suspension item that replaced the factory OEM pieces was CAD/CAM designed, and then created from fully formed P&O stamped steel. Held to the same design specifications as the rest of the suspension components was the front dual-shock hoop kit. While achieving 9.5-inches of front lift did not pose a problem, the rear lift was a different story. H2s can be ordered with either the standard five-link coil spring system or with the SB2 five-link air-suspension system, both of which resemble similar systems offered on GM's Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon. Equipped with the SB2 option, Full Throttle engineers designed a 9.5-inch rear lift setup that incorporates the SB2 option seamlessly. Part of the suspension redesign included newly formed crossmembers and drop down rear differential brackets to retain the factory drivetrain geometry. As a side note, the company can also accommodate H2s fitted with the standard five-link rear suspension. Custom-designed and fabricated HD tubular traction bars and a rear sway bar relocator kit were also valuable parts to the rig's altitude adjustment. The factory 46mm monotube gas shocks were replaced with dual 2.5-inch King remote reservoir units up front, while the rear factory shocks were scrapped in place of single 2.5-inch King Piggyback reservoir units. The already massive factory 17x8.5-inch cast-aluminum wheels and LT315/70R17 BFGoodrich tires were replaced with 16.5x14-inch Weld Racing Super Single wheels with closed cap kits and 15x39.5R16.5 Interco Super Swamper tires. With the addition of the lift and tires, the H2's ground clearance has been increased from the factory 10 inches to a whopping 18.5 inches. If that wasn't enough, the wheel travel at the front wheels is a staggering 12-inches, while the rear travel measures an excess of 16-inches.

Feeling that the factory two-speed electronically controlled Borg-Warner 44-84 transfer case and factory 4.56 front and rear axles with rear Eaton E-Locker differential could sustain the additions, Full Throttle left the factory components alone. The only drivetrain item it replaced (and only as a precautionary measure due to the increase in torque and weight transfer) was the CV driveshaft.

Resting comfortably at its new elevation, the next task at hand was for the automotive stylists to enhance the H2's exterior appointments. As soon as the suspension design team had signed off on the extreme 9.5-inch lift system, all of the key components were removed from the rig and forwarded to Eagle Powder Coating of Fresno, California, to be color-matched to the factory Redfire Metallic. While the suspension components were getting powdercoated, Weber's Custom Metal Plating of Fresno, California, chrome-plated the lower control arms, front and rear King shocks, tubular traction bar kit, front and rear bumpers, tow hooks, torsion bars, compression struts, front and rear antisway bars, and front brushguard. Once all of the pieces were reinstalled, the finishing touch came by way of a custom, chrome Concept Pattern aluminum differential cover.

Giving the H2 316 hp at 5,600 rpm and 360 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, the 6.0L Vortec V-8 masters any terrain it is placed in. For added performance, an Xtreme Flow two-stage 3-inch exhaust system and air intake system were installed, providing an additional 37 ponies to the stable. Not only did it awaken the beast within the H2, but it also provides for better fuel consumption.

Asked if it was complete with its customizing job on the H2, the team at Full Throttle proceeded to open its notebooks and read from about 1,000 pages listing all the items still needed to deem the H2 complete. Some of the items that we picked up on were a complete audio/video system, a supercharger, a winch, and a few off-road lights. Like we said at the beginning of this story, this Hummer is going where no H2 has gone before, and oh what a feeling it must be to be the Captain of that starship. Stay tuned for further developments.

SPECIFICATIONS
Owner/hometown : Full Throttle Suspensions Inc. /Fresno, California
Vehicle : '03 {{{Hummer H2}}}
Suspension : 9.5-inch Full Throttle suspension lift
Tires : 15/39.5-16.5 TSL Super Swampers
Wheels : 16.5x14-inch Weld Racing Super Singles
with closed cap kit
Shocks : King 2.5-inch Reservoir/Piggyback shocks
(dual front and single rear)
Engine : Vortec 6.0L V-8
Transmission : {{{Chevrolet}}} 4L65-E four-speed electronic automatic
transmission
Transfer Case : Borg-Warner 44-84 transfer case
Other modifications : Xtreme Flow exhaust, Xtreme Flow air intake
system, Concept Pattern aluminum skidplate,
custom CV driveshaft, chromed factory
brushguard and bumpers, custom aluminium
differential cover

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