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2006 Hummer H3 Duramax - Diesel Alternatives

Why Doesn't GM Build Them Like This?

Photography by Stephen Clark

There was a time when the name Hummer was synonymous with the ultimate in off-road vehicles. Those were the days before AM General abandoned the civilian H1 and GM diluted the Hummer brand with the gasoline-powered H2 and H3 that are a far cry from the original M998 HMMWV.

Though the Hummer H2 and H3 vehicles have sold well, they're really just urban assault vehicles for those whose daily duties include shuttling the kids to the local soccer game, and their off-roading is usually limited to the potholed Wal-Mart parking lot. The H2 and H3 are basically GM trucks that have received a different body and the Hummer badge-nothing even close to the military-spec H1. It'd be like Ferrari or Lamborghini producing an affordable family sedan. It's just not the same.

Duramax Engine SwapBully Dog is looking to turn that around, though. The company has taken an H3 and retooled it with some of the original Hummer values. In keeping with the traditional Hummer H1 theme, its H3 needed to have a diesel. Bully Dog yanked the original 3.5L gas engine and began retrofitting a nonintercooled LBZ Duramax V-8 from a Chevy van. This was no small task for the hard-working technicians at Bully Dog.

First, the engine bay was designed for an inline engine, so fitting a diesel V-8 was like trying to make a grapefruit fit inside an orange. Although the physical dimensions of the Duramax proved challenging, the real test was making the Duramax electronics communicate with the rest of the vehicle. The wiring took a team of Bully Dog's engineers several weeks to finish.

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