In the case of horsepower and torque, too much is never enough. More specifically, an H2 Hummer's curb weight of 6,400 pounds requires massive amounts of torque to move the beast from a standstill to a moderate speed. Furthermore, big-time power is necessary to keep the H2 moving down the road, thanks to the Hummer's aerodynamic-as-a-brick front section, which pushes aside massive amounts of air.
The 6.0L V-8 that powers the H2 is fairly powerful in stock form and is adequate for most H2 drivers. But the readers of OFF-ROAD magazine are hardly "most" H2 drivers. We aspire to an enhanced driving experience, and thus, "fairly powerful" just doesn't cut it.
But what to do? Install a late-model, 8.1L Rat V-8 engine? Well, that would be slick, but it would also be terrifically expensive and fabrication-extensive - probably illegal to boot. Swapping out the 6.0's cam and internal components in favor of high-performance replacements would also prove expensive and involved. The solution seems obvious to those who are familiar with performance engine mods: Install a supercharger.
Fortunately for H2 owners, Paxton Superchargers manufactures a centrifugal supercharger kit for the Hummer H2, which includes an aftercooler, fuel-system upgrades, and every last bit and bracket required to get the 6.0L V-8 engine up on the boost and crankin' out some serious torque.
Installation is an all-day affair, but building horsepressure is never an easy task. Fortunately, the well-engineered Paxton system is home-mechanic friendly, only requiring the use of basic handtools. There's also no disassembly of the engine required; all of the internal parts remain untouched. Once in place, the Paxton blower pumps up the GM V-8's horsepower by upwards of 45 percent, while torque output is increased as much as 40 percent. That's useable power, too; not high-rpm power but low-end torque that's ideal for moving the H2 on dirt as well as on the hard stuff.
We traveled to Paxton Automotive in Oxnard, California, to watch as Paxton's technicians bolted the Paxton supercharger system in place on an otherwise-stock H2. Here's an overview of the supercharging procedure.
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