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Franco Skilan’s Testimonial

3/12/2012

Dear Ryan and Crew,

I just wanted to drop a note to you to thank you all for the incredible job you did restoring and re-engineering my 1992 4DHT Limited Edition Hummer. Having owned a few Hummers over the years, this particular vehicle which I have owned since 2002, soon became my favorite and most treasured off-road truck. As you know, 1992 was the first year of Hummer production and there were no AMG dealerships yet established, so one could only purchase trucks like this directly from the AM General Factory. The 1992 and 1993 models were also the most Spartan and “Humvee-like” Hummers ever produced. Creature comforts and high tech interiors took a back seat to pure off-road and utilitarian uses. Along these lines, the trucks also had a few drawback that had to be endured. A very mild 6.2 normally aspirated 150HP Detroit Diesel engine was fitted in the truck, mated to a 3-speed 3L80 transmission. Top recommended sustained speed was 55mph. The resulting on-road (and sometimes) off-road manners left a lot to be desired with the general public, so AMG answered consumer demands with upgraded Engine, Drivetrain and interior enhancements that made the trucks more enjoyable in the real world in the years that followed.

For years I had been contemplating upgrading this trucks performance to a more modern standard, while trying to maintain this particular vehicles’ original look and integrity as “The worlds’ most serious 4X4″. As you can imagine, I was not going to trust just any company to work on my Hummer. My extensive research on the best course of action and the best people in the country to work on my truck led me to Predator Motorsports! After lengthy and informative meetings with Ryan Wilson, CEO and President of Predator, and Jeff Aguire, Lead Mechanic on the project, a plan was set into action.

The goal was clear… I wanted more power and drive-ability, while increasing off-road capability and reliability. We would start with a Cummins 6BT 12 Valve mechanical engine with Custom Aluminum Intercoolers and Radiators. This was the obvious choice for a durable and simple high torque engine. Next came the 5-speed Allison transmission, electronically controlled to offer the best overall gear ratios for both the on and off road reliability that I was looking for. An MP2225 Transfer Case was also chosen for its’ beefier components and water cooled design that is used in up-armored HMMWV’s in high heat/desert applications. We decided on a body off rebuild which would eventually include many things that a 20 year old, heavily off-roaded truck would need to address. All new A-arm Bushings are installed. All new custom Cepek designed Adjustable shocks and 17″ Rims mounted with 40″ Good Year Wrangler MTR tires. All new Alpha Style Helical Geared Hubs. A new 12K Driveline is fitted including all new same size Halfshafts (thanks to the Predator custom made front differential centering kit), all new custom designed Driveshafts and CV joints, all new Eaton E-Locker Differentials, and a new 12″ Brake

system. An AGR Rock Ram Steering system is installed to handle the larger Tires. The CTIS system is completely restored using all new steel braided lines replacing the old and cracking rubber lines throughout the truck. A myriad of other small details are attended to throughout the restoration process that included custom designed wiring and CNC machined components almost everywhere throughout the vehicle.

On the interior, many new switches and custom gauges are installed to monitor Engine RPM’S (early version Hummers never had tachometers), Exhaust EGT’s, and Transmission temperatures. Not to be left out are a few creature comforts that are missing on the early Hummers… all new Power Windows are installed, and all new Power Door Locks mated to a remote-start Alarm System are installed. To complete the package, all new custom Leather Seat covers with Tan stitching are installed ( to match the original Tan Desert Storm paint on the exterior). Even with all the extra interior appointments, the truck remains true to the original theme of form through function.

The result? In a single word…. AWESOME! The truck has truly been transformed. Arguably it now has the best Diesel engine ever produced (Cummins) producing 325+ Horsepower and well over 450 ft. lbs of Torque(more than double the old 6.2L motor) . It has the one of the best 5-speed transmissions ever designed (Allison). Upgraded and heavy duty Drivetrain components are installed throughout the truck, and the interior is upgraded yet understated. Both on-road and off-road manners have been turned into an effortless experience utilizing the best components and engineering Predator has to offer.

Would I do it all again? Absolutely YES! Would I change anything? We did in fact change many build and design parameters throughout the entire process. This was one of the most confidence building aspects of the entire process…Predator won’t settle for “just good enough”. If a design or component did not meet their expectation, it did not end up in the final version of my truck.

Again, thank you to everyone at Predator for your dedication and hard work. It is obvious you all take great pride and care working on one of America’s most iconic vehicles ever produced, the AMG Hummer, and I could not be any happier with the final result!

Regards,

Franco Skilan


 


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