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Old 10-20-2009, 07:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Steering difference in H2 and H3

I am doing some research on Hummers and am wondering about the steering. Am I correct in saying the H2 uses a normal steering gear box like what is found in a Wrangler and the H3 is rack and pinion?

What is the advantage for either?
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am doing some research on Hummers and am wondering about the steering. Am I correct in saying the H2 uses a normal steering gear box like what is found in a Wrangler and the H3 is rack and pinion?

What is the advantage for either?

Yes, you are correct.

I really can't say why, other than the H2 was more of a "parts bin" vehicle (Tahoe/K5) and a co-venture with AM General and GM, and the H3 was more specifically designed entirely by GM (not many shared parts with other GM Vehicles).

I think size had a lot to do with it. H2 is a mix of 1/2 and 3/4 ton parts. H3 is a mix of 1/4 and 1/2 ton parts and a few 3/4 ton parts for good measure.

As you probably know R&P mimics somewhat of a full hydro type steering. There is fewer parts that fail. Rack itself has been know to crack and leak at the break away.

The Steering box set-ups have more 'wear' parts to fail, pitman, idler arm, center links, etc. And some H2 owners that wheel regularly replace tie rods and pitman/idler arms regularly.

At 100K (H3) I'm on my second set of tie rods ( inner ball joints worn), 2nd set of half shafts (boots were leaking, but they were still good for trail spares) and have replaced the PS upper and lower Ball Joints.

Probably more than you wanted to know...but hey.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No thanks for the info. I am new to rack and pinion steering. I don't even know what a half shaft is.

I am led to believe that rack and pinion is more precise and durable though, no?

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Old 10-20-2009, 08:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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No thanks for the info. I am new to rack and pinion steering. I don't even know what a half shaft is.

I am led to believe that rack and pinion is more precise and durable though, no?
Precise, meh, better street manners, supposedly, but anything can be designed to perform well no matter what. The H2's steering is very responsive, and easy, same with the H3, not sure what the H2 is lock to lock, but the H3 is 3 1/4 turns with a turning radius of 37 feet. The H2 is 43.5 foot turning radius.
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The Rack and pinion is a much better street performer when it comes to steering. It offers allot more response and when you drive a vehicle with rack and pinion steering you will notice that the wheel will have a heavier feel to it. This is nice when street driving. Rack and pinions often offer better return to center driving conditions as well. However the problem with rack and pinions is the average power steering pump cannot flow enough pressure to turn the rack when under a load from heavy weight or large tires.

The recirculating ball ball type as a lighter feel to it. It has a sloppy feel to it compared to a rack and pinion. And it does have more wear parts but...... They generally have more turning power ideal for large heavy loads and tires.

I know guys with H3's that have broken PS racks on the trail. I also know guys who have broken Idlers and pitmans on the trail. I can tell you this. You trail repair an Pitman or Idler. You don't generally trail repair a Rack and Pinion. That is a BIG money part that you don't carry as a spare.
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info!
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Rack and pinion is not FULL HYDRO! Its a gear connection. not like tractors. Dont go putting r#P on your Hummer just cuz you think its hydro. A pitman arm is fine. One problem with racks just like cv joints (kinda the same) is that the boots tear and fries the bearings cuz the grease comes out. I would rather fixh broken welds or bent arm,s with a pitman arm. you can also adjust alot of boxes to make the steering stiffer. It just changes the gear tention inside. I would do that.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The H3 is based off the Colorado/Canyon line,most of those parts are interchangeable besides body/interior parts.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The H3 is based off the Colorado/Canyon line,most of those parts are interchangeable besides body/interior parts.
No, drive-train only (engine/trans), everything else is different.
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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No, drive-train only (engine/trans), everything else is different.
Body/interior is all that is left after the drivetrain.Same steering,same diffs(different gearing),same brakes,same t-case,and so on and so on.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Sorry sweet pea -

Different diffs (colorado uses a clamshell in the front), different axles, different half shaft, tie - rods, different brakes, different rack, different t-case, unit bearing etc etc, I could go on, but why?

Engine /trans period. No wait, I think there might be a couple of interior nobs that are the same.

With 104K miles on my H3, I've tried to replace everything above with Colorado Parts, they aren't even close. I gave up a long time ago - sorry to burst your bubble.
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Old 01-22-2010, 03:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Sorry sweet pea -

Different diffs (colorado uses a clamshell in the front), different axles, different half shaft, tie - rods, different brakes, different rack, different t-case, unit bearing etc etc, I could go on, but why?

Engine /trans period. No wait, I think there might be a couple of interior nobs that are the same.

With 104K miles on my H3, I've tried to replace everything above with Colorado Parts, they aren't even close. I gave up a long time ago - sorry to burst your bubble.
Better recheck some of that
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Better recheck some of that
Maybe we should settle this once and for all
We have the H3
We have the shop space
We have the tools that won't be needed
All You need to do is show up with a Colorado and lets see how far we get

Not even the motor mounts are the same
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:27 AM   #14 (permalink)
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My experience from Isuzu side is that the Trooper (with recirc. ball) tend to break tie rods pretty easily. But that can be fixed with stouter pieces. The 2nd Gen Amigo/Rodeo with their R+P steering can be overextened if proper steering and suspension stops aren't in place which damages the rack and all the fluid leaks out, leaving you with out power steering. Changing the rack is a PITA, where as changing the tie-rods is easy if you have a spare.

Obviously the GM stuff is not identical, but I am a little leary of racks just since there is so little you can repair on the trail. (However while mild wheeling my 3/4 ton GM, I am still scared of tie rod failures, because I typically don't have spare parts)
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Better recheck some of that
I don't believe Bebe and Speedy have to recheck anything. I believe you need to crawl under both, look up and get smarter than you are.

I understand you are just one of those who love to bash Hummers. But really young lady, get your facts straight before you do. They are right, you are wrong! Admit it, or are you one of those who can't admit being wrong?

I have been under both many times. I have seen the design drawings, parts schematics, wiring schematics, parts release information and they are extremely different. Different t/cases, different axles, different brakes (C/C front disc/rear drum; H3 front/rear disc), different brake systems, beefier frame, and even the interiors are easy to see they are unique.

About the only thing they have in common are the engines and transmissions, the assembly plant, and the frame, and the engineers took the C/C frame, added two extra crossmembers, and boxed the front and rear.

So, take Speedy up on the invitation.

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