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1996 Hummer Model Year Changes.

1996 was the first year that a Hummer was offered from the factory with a Turbo Diesel engine. The Turbo engine is significantly more powerful than the non-turbo diesel or the gas engine and the extra power was a welcome addition. Although GM produced a Turbo version of the 6.5L Diesel well before 1996, it wasn't until they moved the turbo to the valley of the cylinders for use in their full sized vans that it was able to fit in the Hummer. 1996 was the only year that 3 engine options were available for the Hummer and the last year the gas engine was available. The addition of a 17 gallon auxiliary fuel tank behind the rear bumper was also a welcome improvement. Approximately 1,374 1996 Hummers were produced making it the second highest production year.

Powertrain and Identification Information.

  • VIN 10th Digit designating year = "T"
  • Engine: 6.5L Diesel 170 H.P. 290 lb. ft. VIN 4th digit ="Y" 314 produced.
  • Optional Engine: 5.7L Gas 190 H.P. 300 lb. ft. VIN 4th digit ="D" 214 produced.
  • Optional Engine: 6.5L Turbo Diesel 190 H.P. 385 lb. ft. VIN 4th digit ="Z" 846 produced.
  • 4L80E Electronic 4 speed Automatic Transmission. VIN 5th digit ="A"
  • Top Speed 83+ mph with Turbo.
  • 1,374 1996 Models Produced.
Significant changes for 1996.
  • Availability of Turbo Diesel engine.
  • 17 Gallon Auxiliary fuel tank.
  • Body lift to accommodate taller Turbo Diesel and auxiliary fuel tank.
  • Added clock.
  • In-dash Tachometer standard.
  • New Gauges and instrument panel changes.
  • New trailer hitch. Old hitch cannot be used with new auxiliary fuel tank.
  • Changed fuel cap on diesel from plunger type to more typical screw in cap.
  • Changed fuel sender.
  • Common keys. One key works both door and ignition.
  • Available deluxe rearview mirror with compass and temperature.
  • Available Detroit Locker rear differential.
  • New one piece wheel with available beadlock and runflat replaces 2-Piece wheel. Running change Spring 1996.
  • New composite beadlock for 1-piece wheel. Only locks one bead where previous rubber beadlock on 2-piece wheel locked both beads.
  • New 2-piece Runflat for 1-piece wheel. If not installed correctly 2-piece runflat much more likely to shift and throw off balance than previous design.
  • "Fly-by-wire" electronic throttle on Turbo models.
  • Electronic Fuel Injection Pump. Optical sensor on pump can be sensitive to farm fuel.
  • Locking style Transmission dip stick.
  • Revised fill tubes and new transmission electrical harness.
  • Higher grade steel used for some internal parts in transfercase to accommodate the higher torque output of the turbo diesel.
  • Shift control housing upgraded with addition of new boot and improved shift arms.
  • Last year for Half Door Open Top (VLCO).
  • New CTI compressor, solenoid air control valves, dash mounted electric selector switch and stainless air lines. Earlier plastic airlines would sometimes melt when routed near brake components.
  • Cooling system upgrades included; additional airflow slots in hood grille, new ten blade cooling fan, new fan clutch, and foam barrier insulation around radiator.
  • '96 turbo diesels have dual thermostat cooling system.
  • First '96s not available with HD rear bumper but HD bumpers made available again mid year (smart move). HD bumper became only rear bumper available from '97 on.
  • Higher grade steel used for some axle and shaft components to accommodate the higher torque output of the turbo diesel.
  • New power steering pump.
  • Instrument panel dash pad now provides a driver side heat and A/C vent.
  • New engine cover with larger glove box, dual lighters, dual ashtrays, 12 volt power source and new cup holders.
  • Plum and Gloss Blue colors no longer available.
  • New Colors Burgundy Metallic and Blue Metallic.
  • White Top on Open Top models no longer available.
  • HVAC changes for '96 include; A/C compressor and hoses (turbo only), Heater-A/C controls, air ducts, and new vacuum operated heater shut off valve.
Illustrated interior changes:
Valuable upgrades to look for in a '96.
  • '97.5 Style HVAC system. About a $4,500 to $5,000 upgrade. Much improved Heating and cooling and new unit is more easily repaired than earlier sealed units. Make sure heater core is not leaking on non-upgraded HVACs. Expensive upgrade to '97.5 specs is factory recommended solution to this problem.
  • Although steering components were upgraded several times by '96, the factory "Problem Solver" Idler and Pitman arms introduced in later years are much more durable than those on a '96.
  • Small rubber plug in Transfercase sometimes shrank due to heat and fell out, slowly draining Transfercase. Later designs solved this problem. Some owners tapped the hole and replaced the rubber plug with a metal one.
  • Some owners have added the '97 style scupper valves and air intake scoops to aid in ventilation and to improve air flow and defrosting. Windshield frosting is a common problem before heated windshields and enhanced ventilation became available in '97. You may also find some earlier Hummers that have had the heated windshields added which is a costly upgrade.
  • Shifter boot would become hot and tear allowing hot air from under the vehicle to enter the cabin. Although the '96 has an improved boot, the '97 style shifter boot cover helps this problem.
  • Enhanced engine block- Turbo Diesel Engines with block castings before May 1999 are susceptible to #8 cylinder cracks. Most frequently the first symptom of a cylinder crack is coolant being forced out of the cooling system causing the "check coolant" light to illuminate. Many engines have been replaced with blocks of the same design. Even though the enhanced blocks were first produced in May 1999 it took some time before they made their way through the system and into Hummers as either original equipment or for replacement. Even Hummers produced in 2000 are likely to have the pre-May 1999 block casting. There is a casting number on the right rear of the block under the cylinder head which should be E_99 (May 1999) or later. Unfortunately the codes changed through the years so identifying the enhanced blocks is even more difficult. Later blocks also use metric bolts to attach the bell housing but it is unclear whether this clearly identifies an enhanced block. Although enhanced blocks were installed in Hummers produced before the engine manufacturer change to General Engine Products (GEP), the easiest way to make sure a Hummer left the factory with an enhanced block is to check the 4th digit of the VIN on 2001 and later 6.5L turbo diesels. If the 4th digit is an "F" the engine was produced by GEP and is sure to have the enhanced block from the factory.

'96 Specifications, options & Prices:
Available colors:
Blue Metallic. New for '96. Only year for this color. Red. (R7)
Burgundy Metallic. (P17) New for '96. Tan. (T11)
Green Metallic. (G10) White. (W8)
Silver Metallic. (S15) Bright White. (W14)
Black. (B9) '92-'96 Color Codes. <<<
Although most factory custom colors show up on emergency vehicles, custom colors were available on all Hummers for an additional $1,000 charge. Below is an example of a '96 with factory custom color. Yellow was not an official factory color until '97, the '96 pictured is the only Yellow '96 Wagon produced.
Body Styles Available in '96:
HMC4. 4-Passenger Hard Top. VIN 6th & 7th Digits "83"
HMCS. 4-Passenger Wagon. VIN 6th & 7th Digits "84"
HMCO. 4-Passenger Full Door Open Top. VIN 6th & 7th Digits "90"
XLC2. 2-Passenger Hard Top Enlarged Cab. VIN 6th & 7th Digits "89"
VLC2. 2-Passenger Hard Top. VIN 6th & 7th Digits "82"
VLCO. 4-Passenger Half Door Open Top. VIN 6th & 7th Digits "85"
TOTAL PRODUCTION COUNT BY MODEL AND COLOR. "X" Colors are "Experimental" or special order, often seen as production colors in later years.
COLOR
FULL DOOR OPEN TOP (HMCO)
WAGON (HMCS)
HARD TOP (HMC4)
OPEN TOP (VLCO )
2-PASSENGER (VLC2)
2-PASS. ENLARGED CAB (XLC2)
TOTAL
B9 (Gloss Black)
51
133
58
3
3
248
G10 (Gloss Green)
31
108
66
1
2
2
210
G5 (Flat Green)
1
1
2
L16 (Blue Metallic)
8
28
20
2
2
60
P17 (Burgandy Metallic)
12
43
17
72
R7 (Gloss Red)
32
78
40
11
23
184
S15 (Silver)
20
74
33
1
5
4
137
T11 (Gloss Tan)
7
27
15
2
43
11
105
W14 (Bright White)
28
114
52
14
33
241
W8 (Gloss White)
18
47
21
5
9
100
X02 (Safety Green)
1
5
6
X03 (Fly Yellow)
6
1
7
X12 (Lime Green)
2
2
Tan Interior
104
313
167
6
85
76
751
Gray Interior
109
341
156
2
2
13
623
Cloth
175
579
281
4
46
51
1136
Vinyl
38
75
42
4
41
38
238
Deluxe Trim
212
653
304
6
3
41
1219
Standard Trim
1
1
19
2
84
48
155
TOTAL
213
654
323
8
87
89
1374
© Copyright 2004 Jim Lynch.