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Hummer H2 test drive( a real test drive)

thecause17

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I'm not talking a test drive down the local street near a dealership. I'm talking about an all out, rocks, mud, water, the whole deal...

My brother is getting married in July, and all of the groomsman, myself included, decided as one of the gifts, we would buy my brother this "Offroad Driving Academy" offered by a resort near where we live. What they do here is for 2 hours, an instructor first familiarizes you with the vehicle on a closed course, and then it's balls to the wall after that on trails.

We got there at 9am thismorning. We got a silver (2004 I think) H2, all stock. All the Hummers they were using were stock with 35's, M/T tires, no lift, nothing. They even had an H1 sitting there with a 6.5L turbo diesel, but we didn't get that one to drive.

Anyways, there was a small course set up back at the buidling. It consisted of rollers to show limited slip diff capabilities, a 16" vertical wall in water, and 20" of water, as well as 60 degree vertical incline, 40 degree side incline (that felt like it was going to roll over) and some mild rock crawling. It was fun, but not what we had in mine. Nevertheless, it familiarized us with the H2. Even though we bought this for my bro, we all ended up getting to drive as well.

Next we headed out to the trails. The first course was one designed by Hummer. It had some deep water holes (enough that it was a good thing the doors were sealed) some rock crawling, steep inclines,etc...all mud, lots of clay. It was fun, but we moved on to rougher terrain not long after we got there that had been cut and designed by the resort itself.

I must say that all of us were very impressed with the capabilities of the H2's. Ours was equipped with air suspension in the rear which could raise the rear 2 inches. It also had an electronic rear locker as well. We needed it at times. I couldn't believe we didn't roll this thing over. There were a couple incidents that we were at such an angle, that the ground wasn't more than 2 feet from the window. This thing took it like a champ. We never actually got it stuck, although a couple times were close, it did manage to pull itself out. I personally don't know anybody who could have done this with their own personal truck. My bro has a 2002 Ram lifted on 35's and he flat out admits he couldn't have run this course.

I've heard from some people speculating that these didn't do well. I will tell you from personal experience that these are the most capable stock offroad vehicle I've ever seen. There we no modifications made to any of the H2's they were using, except one which had 20" wheels on it.

We literally beat this thing into the ground and it was definately a solid truck. The only thing I could complain about was the cheapness of the interior. It was typical of GM's that I've seen, all hard plastic that creeked and rattle under the flex of offroading.

The only thing I regret is that my bro took his video camera and forgot to charge his battery. :( We might be going in again in a month or so, we'll be videoing and photographing it next time. :) You coudln't ask for a better test drive it you were looking into buying one. We pushed it to it's limits that's for sure.

photo_hummerdrivingclub.gif
 


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Blee1099

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Good review but I'm still very wary of them.. They have a design flaw in their tie rod ends. Not to mention, I have video somewhere of one completely breaking down during a guided run up at Rausch Creek Offroad Park in PA. Good thing about the Hummer is their Onstar system. The owner of the hummer made contacted Onstar while on the trails and go it towed from the staging area to the repair facility.
 




thecause17

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Our instructor mentioned the tie rod problems. When I was going over the verical wall with it he mentioned that they've gone through a few tie rod ends there...
 




IZwack

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i was always under the impression that, besides the body, H2s were similar to Silverados or whatever pick-up GM has to offer .. is this right?

Edit: found this:
"The H2 is based on the GMT820 platform, the very same platform that provides the underpinnings for the Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon, Avalanche and all of GM’s other full-size trucks."
 




thecause17

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Yeah, the H2 is based on that frame, which supposedly is shortened slightly. As far as I know though, the suspension itself is different.
 




Ford_Racing_Guy

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i myself am wary....especially about the steering knuckles cracking
 




IZwack

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thecause17 said:
Yeah, the H2 is based on that frame, which supposedly is shortened slightly. As far as I know though, the suspension itself is different.

i think off roading is mostly about traction which is directly related to articulation so i guess it'd be interesting to see how much front/rear wheel travel an H2 has compared to lets say a Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon or an Avalanche...
 




93liftedXLT

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those H2 Hummer are crap, why pay 50k for a bunch of Bullshit, with shitty suspension, and Horrible off-road capiability


:thumbdwn: :thumbdwn: :thumbdwn: :thumbdwn: :thumbdwn:
 




IZwack

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wow the language is intense.. i almost fell off of my chair!
i'd better buckle in next time ;)
 




rino351

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obviously, thecause17 doesn't seem to think it's that bad.

I don't necessarily like them myself, but easy on the language. He is just simply telling a review of what he went through in one that he actually drove.
 




93liftedXLT

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rino351 said:
he actually drove.
:confused:

My sisters husband bought 1 a year ago, and we took it wheeling and it got stuck in shit my explorer can go threw, And i drove it and it suck's :thumbsup:

Have you driven one? there slow, they get about 10 mpg, and yeah

my borther in law put some 26's on his H2, cuss at least he want's it to look good, Since it cant handle mud :p
 




IZwack

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93liftedXLT said:
Since it cant handle mud :p

i thought stock H2s came with BFG All Terrains.. ... were u running the same MTs u have on ur sig back then?


93liftedXLT said:
there slow
IMO, i dont think GM was out to make a fast vehicle when they came up with the H2
 




93liftedXLT

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Yep
 




JoshC

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93liftedXLT said:
my borther in law put some 26's on his H2, cuss at least he want's it to look good, Since it cant handle mud :p


I'm sure that helped the looks tremendously. :rolleyes:

Good review though. They do look really top heavy, i would have been pretty scared wheelin in something i'm not use to being in.
 




thecause17

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93liftedXLT said:
those H2 Hummer are crap, why pay 50k for a bunch of Bullshit, with shitty suspension, and Horrible off-road capiability


:thumbdwn: :thumbdwn: :thumbdwn: :thumbdwn: :thumbdwn:

Umm ok, but I guarantee you that if you'd have take yours back where I was yesterday, yours would've ended up on it's roof, plain and simple. I'm thinking your brother in law doesn't know how to drive. Our instructor said 16 old girls get them stuck all the time, maybe he needs to go to school. I'm basing mine on 2 hours of driving one, not once getting stuck, no broken components. Plus, they put BFG A/T's on them stock, so I'm sure his wasn't exactly equipped for loads of mud. We had M/T's on ours which helped greatly.

I can tell your right now you woudln't make it where we were merely because of ground clearance. Those 33's of yours aren't gonna give you enough clearance. I smacked the H2 off of some stuff and it has more axle clearance than you do.

They're slow? Ah, I see now, you think offroad vehicles are supposed to be fast too. I guess a lot of these guys here on the board with really low gearing should change them out, they're losing top speed, they need to be faster. :eek:

IZwack, the susension travel was pretty impressive. Rear travel was great, we had another one in front of us on the trail for a while and I noticed that it had plenty of travel. The front was pretty good as well, but still an independant setup limited somewhat. I never lifted a rear wheel with it, and may have only lifted a front one once or twice.
 




93liftedXLT

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Hahahahahahahahah, I have more clearence than the H2 my friend, This was a mud bog event, and he got stuck in the stage 1 section , Boy those 35's Really help...... and is there a wrong way to drive an automatic ?

h2stuck.jpg



You tell me :confused:


And this was taken over the winter, with 26's and all the Gay stickers removed along with 0 % Limo Tint.

h2bling.jpg




H2 still sucks....
 








thecause17

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How do you figure you have more clearance? Maybe body clearance, I'm talking about axle clearance. And there, you don't have as much. Body lifts don't mean crabs when it comes to axle clearance, the tires are where you'll get it.
 




thecause17

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FWIW, I looked up measurements on both vehicles for ground clearance. The H2 is 9.9" while the Explorer was listed at 6.7". That's with stock tires.

Now say you have the stock tire on the Explorer which was 235/70/15, on all the 1st gens as far as I know...2nd gens got some bigger ones on some models, but we're talking 1st gen now.

So 235/70/15 is 28" tire. You move up to 33" tires. That's a 5" difference in tire correct. However, you will get 2.5" of lift, since the whole diamter of the tire isn't lifting you, only the radius. 6.7"+2.5" is 9.2"

That's still 0.7" less clearance after the modifications. That's the clearance I am talking about ok? And when I'm bouncing a skidplate of a Hummer off of rocks, 0.7" lower is close enough to either rip something off, or stop you dead in your tracks, or both.

I stand by that your brother in law doesn't know how to drive, and evidently doesn't plan to learn when putting wheels and tires like that on his Hummer...what's the point of owning it then.

Would I buy one? At 11mph and a cheap interior for $50k, probably not, but it did perform well under those conditions, with proper drivers behind the wheel. *shrug*
 


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