The GMC Canyon is most likely known for trailering and on road comfort opposed to off-roading. That doesn’t mean that it’s not capable of it. We took this 2022 GMC Canyon AT4 and made it an even more capable mid-size truck.
This custom GMC Canyon was reinvigorated with carbon fiber styling and offroad accessories. It had carbon fiber accents fused into the iconic GMC AT4 emblems, mirror caps, and hood stripe. While the rest of the truck was enhanced with a lift kit, offroad tires, new wheels, and more. Explore each of the upgrades on this build in more detail as you keep reading.
|Rough Country Vertex 6-Inch Lift Kit
|GM Custom GMC Emblems
|3M Premium Window Tint
|nFab Side Steps
|GM Carbon Fiber Hoodstripe
|Carbon Fiber Mirror Caps
|Baja Designs S2 Sport LED Ditch Lights
|18″ Toyo Open Country AT III Tires
|18″ Fuel Vector Wheels
|Rough Country LED Bull Bar
|Rev Industries Hard Folidng Cover
6-Inch Lift Kit
Focusing on this GMC Canyon’s offroad performance meant installing a lift kit. Lift kits and leveling kits are common additions to offroad truck builds since they help even out their positive rake and raise them off the ground. The positive rake is an engineered incline that accounts for large weight in the bed, and it’s removed with a lift or level to increase the ride quality if you don’t plan on hauling heavy loads frequently.
Along with the higher ground clearance and better stability comes better suspension and more space for larger wheels and tires. On this build we installed a 6-inch lift kit from Rough Country to make these improvements.
Offroad Wheel and Tire Setup
Once this custom GMC Canyon was lifted, it was time to find new wheels and tires. The new wheels we chose were 18-inch Fuel Vector wheels since they have solid construction and a simple high-end look. Their 12 spoke design features a teardrop shape between spokes with a large solid center that boasts the Fuel logo. Fuel’s Vector wheels provide great performance both on trails and pavement.
For the new offroad tires we went with the Toyo Open Country ATIII (285/65R18). These tires offer a solid combination of traction and handling that works well on and off the road. Their unique tread design and durable quality make for a great addition to this custom truck.
Black LED Bull Bar
Most offroad builds need a bit of protection which is where this bull bar comes in. We picked up this bull bar with its built-in 20-inch LED from Rough Country. Being made from 3-inch-thick tubular steel with a durable powder coating its reliable and strong. Installing this bumper will defend the front end, but it does require you to remove the front tow hooks which can be a deal breaker for some.
Sport LED Ditch Lights
Along with the built-in LED on the bull bar we hooked up some LED ditch lights. For this Canyon we wired in a set of S2 Sport LED auxiliary light pods from Baja Design that make powerful compact fog lights. They are completely sealed against moisture and can be ordered a variety of different options to best suit your build. Offroad LED accessories like this help keep a visual of your surroundings when on the trails at night.
NFAB Side Steps
If your truck doesn’t have side steps, we suggest getting a pair. This is an even bigger suggestion for trucks like this lifted GMC Canyon since they are further off the ground. The height of the vehicle can make it hard for some passengers to enter and exit. Steps make maneuvering a lot easier and add to the appearance of your ride!
Side steps come in all kinds of styles, but the ones we chose for this build were nFab podium steps. The design of podium steps has a long 3-inch-thick powder coated stainless steel nerf bar that runs along the cab. Attached to that are slight drop steps that have vented platform to provide traction and drain water or dirt.
Carbon Fiber Hood Stripe
To make this lifted GMC Canyon look more personalized we created a carbon fiber hood stripe for it. Vinyl graphics can be a great way to customize your ride since they have unlimited options and can easily be added or removed. The hood stripes are a favorite of ours since they make a vehicle feel more performance driven and sporty. The carbon fiber design on the vinyl hood stripe leans into that high quality appeal as well.
Custom Carbon Fiber GMC Emblems and Accents
To merge the carbon fiber on the hood stripe into the rest of this modified GMC Canyon we wrapped the mirror caps and emblems. Wrapping mirrors can be tricky, but the caps on the GMC Canyon are one piece making them easy to use a mirror wrap tool on. Mirror caps are a great accent piece to customize on your ride because it adds a small detail to the overall design elevating its appearance.
After the mirrors were finished, we moved on to altering the emblems. Covering the red in the GMC emblems and AT4 badges with carbon fiber vinyl required some finer attention to detail and a steady hand. Creating custom emblems using vinyl in small spaces is not easy. However, custom emblems are a great way to create a personalized look for your ride because it breaks the factory feel.
Spray-In Bedliner and Tonneau Cover
Truck beds take a lot of abuse, so bed liners often make a good addition to any truck. On this build we used an Xtreme spray-in bedliner for the best fit and clean coverage. Other options usually consist of drop-in ready to use bedliners fitted to the vehicle. Either option works well with their own pros and cons, but the important thing is that the bed is protected.
Then we installed a tonneau cover to protect the bed. There are a lot of different tonneau covers to choose from each with their own pros and cons. We typically choose low profile tri-fold tonneau covers because of their look and compartmental access. The one on this custom GMC Canyon build is Rev Industries hard folding cover.
3M Premium Window Tint
The final mod we made to this custom jeep gladiator was a window tint. Applying a tinted film to the windows protects your interior, your valuables, and most importantly you from the sun’s rays. Plus, darker windows create a stern and serious look with the added benefit of privacy.
Using some high-quality 3M Premium FX tint film, we applied a 35% tint on the front windows leaving the back ones at their factory shade. Rear windows are usually darker when the leave factory because they are made with a tint dye and don’t usually require a tint film. Most often we use 35% tints on 1st row windows in accordance with Missouri laws. To learn more about window tint you can read this article we wrote on it.
Tints are offered from 5% to 70% with the lower numbers being darker. The % measures VLT (Visual Light Transference) which quantifies how much light comes through the film. When you go to select your tint, you need to keep in mind your local laws, so that you don’t get ticketed. We always recommend a professional install for this modification. Poor tint jobs will bubble and discolor over time. Make sure your window tint installer has a good warranty to protect your investment!
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