8. Here you can see technician Peterson applying the flat clear to some of the smaller items. We wanted a very flat finish on our H3, so Peterson added one gallon of PPG DX685 flattening agent to one gallon of PPG DC4000 clearcoat and two quarts of DCH3085 hardener. This percentage can be amended depending on how flat you want the finish to be. Don't try this at home. When working with refinishing paints and chemicals like this, an OSHA-approved respirator and hooded paint suit is mandatory. Peterson wears this outfit, which has a built-in air compressor to filter and deliver fresh air to him while he works. Also, flat paint is very tricky to apply. One of the reasons is because there must be no dust or dirt of any sort present as it's applied. The reason? If dust gets into the flat clear, it has to stay there because flat clear can't be buffed. If it's buffed it'll get shiny, which is a tad counterproductive.
9. Once it was dry (about four hours), all of the tape and paper was removed from our H3,
10. We wanted no chrome on our H3. Period. And that meant the logos as well. So Meier sand
11. The reassembly was just the reverse of disassembly, only it took longer. Funny how tha
12. As our rig came together, we began to see the radical difference flat paint can make.
13. We had to pay a visit to the local Hummer dealer to procure these small rubber pieces
14. The final touch was to install the dechromed logos. We painted all of the GM logos bla
So What's Up With Our New Project?
This '08 H3 Alpha is the newest addition to our project vehicle fleet. We took delivery of the Victory Red machine at Cerritos Hummer in Cerritos, California. It had 27 miles on the odometer when it left the lot pointed east toward our Illinois Midwest Bureau, 2,024 road-miles away. The Midwest is where our H3 will reside for the foreseeable future. During this trip, the 5.3L V-8 returned a darn respectable best tank of 19.9 mpg and an average of 17.2 mpg. Our Alpha is fully outfitted with the Adventurer package, leather interior, and satellite radio.
So what are our project goals? Simple. We're going to modify our H3 the way we think an H3 should be modified. This means ultra-rugged looking with zero tolerance for bling. Our goal is to integrate mods that enhance and improve the H3's out-of-the-box capabilities without creating a top-heavy, unreliable machine that rides like a buckboard and handles like a motorhome. The H3 is a very refined machine and we intend to keep it that way. Oh, and with gasoline pushing $4 a gallon, we're analyzing weight and the aerodynamics of bolt-ons so we can retain decent fuel mileage. We're not building a bash-it-up rockcrawler here, we're building a Jekyll and Hyde machine that can capably blast across rough terrain or pick its way down a trail while carrying passengers in comfort. How will we accomplish our goals? Stay tuned. We have some surprises.
Living With Flat Clear
Yep, it shows scratches. No, you can't buff 'em out. Yep, it has a slightly rougher texture than regular paint. No, it's not abrasive. Yep, it hides all but the largest quantities of dirt. No, you probably won't have to wash it if you don't want to. Yes, it's unique. No, it's not inexpensive to have done.
Our H3 has created a stir everywhere it's gone since we applied the flat clear. It leaves no question as to the no-nonsense direction of this project.
With Video!Want more project H3 info? Go to www.fourwheeler.com and visit the "Blogs" section. There you'll find updates and videos of the installs thus far.
Burnsville Off Road and Auto Body