Words: Fuelish Media
Photos: Brian McGee
Well versed in taking builds to new levels, Eden Gonzales of Ground N’ Pound Motorsports and Team Billet certainly knows how to get more out of his vehicles. His Hummer H2 was built to be the ultimate toy hauler. For many years, Eden has had a yearning for a vehicle that could haul his buddies while also trailering his side-by-sides to local mud or rock crawling parks. He figured that the military-inspired H2 could be beefed up to handle these requirements.
To get things moving, Eden commissioned Strictly Custom Designs to draft a rendering of how the entire build would look. To gauge the excitement for the upcoming build, the rendering was posted on social media and received great praise. However, due to another truck being a priority, Eden had to revisit his H2 rendering. Luckily for him, Ultimate Air Ride came across the social media rendering and expressed their interest in creating this beast. But there was one caveat: Eden didn’t have an actual vehicle yet.
A big requirement Eden had for his H2 build was for it to be able to haul a fully loaded trailer. His thoughts were that if the H2 was powered by a diesel engine, he would get the power he wanted plus better reliability. After searching the web for the SUV, he came across an H2 that already had an LBZ Duramax diesel swap performed. After checking it out, Eden made the trek from Midland, TX, to purchase the H2 in Utah, and then had the SUV delivered to Ultimate Air Ride in Prescott, AZ.
Suspension was the first to get swapped, and the Ultimate Air Ride crew went with a Dana 60 front axle and a Chevy 2500 HD rear axle. Then, they built the 18” suspension that uses front and rear four-links, along with a set of airbags that are controlled by an AccuAir management system. Once done, the team only had a month left before its scheduled debut at SEMA where it would represent Forgiato Wheels. Eden then picked up the H2 in Prescott and took it back to his shop in Midland to prep it for the finish work. This included the custom bumpers made by Fusion Bumpers. Then, everything was blown-apart to get either painted by Bustillo’s Auto Kolor or covered in Prismatic Powders by Hamer Custom Powder Coat. Afterward, ECD Customs wrapped the body in white vinyl with a fluorescent urban camo design to match Eden’s side-by-side vehicles.
The truck was assembled over a spare set of wheels and transported to Vegas for the big show. The plan was to take the new 42” Fury Offroad Country Hunter M/T tires and receive the 28×16 Forgiato Certo-T wheels in Vegas to swap everything out just before the show. Well, it all arrived on time, but the bolt pattern on the wheels didn’t match up with the lugs on the new axles. This is where things got interesting as a set of adapters were shipped last-minute and the wheels were installed just hours before the show started. Fortunately, it all worked out, and Eden now has a vehicle that can haul seven people and pull a heavy load whenever he wants.
To Forgiato Wheels for working with me every year and for the spot at SEMA, Fusion Bumpers for the custom work, Fury Offroad Tires, Ultimate Air Ride for taking on a custom build, all the sponsors and manufacturers that help with the build, Team Billet Truck club for always helping out, Brian McGee for the awesome photoshoot and my fiancé Kristina for always supporting me with my builds.
GEAR: 2005 HUMMER H2
- 42×15.50R28 Fury Offroad Country Hunter M/T tires
- Dana 60 axle front axle
- Rear Axle from Chevy 2500 HD
- Custom 18” Ultimate Air Ride lift with four-links and airbags
- AccuAir management system
- ViAir compressors
- Suspension coated in Prismatic Powders by Hamer Custom Powder Coat