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Converting Your Humvee To Run On Diesel: What To Know

by Jesus Turner

Although the Hummer H1 and H2 are often seen tooling around town, from grocery shopping to commuting, these vehicles—along with the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)—have some serious off-roading capabilities. Many owners eventually consider upgrading the standard Hummer engine to a Duramax diesel engine to further enhance these capabilities, giving Humvees the torque to get into (and out of) just about any terrain. But since Duramax Humvee conversions aren't easily reversed, what should you know before you pursue this option?

Do You Want to Keep Factory Options? 

Before selecting a service provider to perform your conversion, you'll want to evaluate the factory options you currently have and decide which, if any, you'd like to keep. Sometimes, the Duramax upgrade can also allow you to upgrade other components of your vehicle, so it's not crucial that the service provider maintain your current options. On the other hand, if you'd like your Humvee to stay just as it is—with a much larger and more powerful engine—it's worth talking to the service provider about this to ensure you'll be able to keep each of the options you currently have.

What About Emissions Testing?

One of the toughest parts of converting a traditional Humvee to a diesel Duramax Humvee involves emissions and smog regulations. If your state is one of the many that requires regular vehicle inspections, failing the emissions portion of this inspection could prevent you from renewing your Humvee's registration. Make sure that the conversion outfit you're considering has a Bureau of Automotive Repair (B.A.R.) label for its conversions, which assures all state regulatory bodies that the final product has completed emissions and emissions-related testing in an authorized testing facility. 

Why Do You Want a Conversion?

With so many options available, the right conversion package for you will largely depend on how you're planning to use your newly-modified Humvee. If you'd just like the ability to hit some tougher trails while off-roading, your needs may be different than someone who is planning to use their Humvee to haul heavy items through dense brush or tow extra-large trailers in mountainous areas. While you can do some research on your options before committing to a conversion outfit, you may find that the conversion outfit workers will be able to successfully guide you through the selection process, asking the right questions to make sure that the final product will be just what you were looking for.