Buyer's Guides / Parts

Afternoon Delight: How to Upgrade a 2012 GMC Sierra in an Afternoon (and for Under a Grand)!

2012 GMC Sierra Accessories

The GMC Sierra is a great truck to grab on the cheap. There were a lot of engine options for the 2012 year, like the 4.3L Vortec V6, and V8s in 5.3L and 6.2L. One of the great features of the 2012 model year is that it’s towards the end of the generation, so engineers have had time to figure out all of the funny little issues. The GMC Sierra 1500 is also available in standard, extended, and crew cabs, so there’s a perfect option for just about any task or job.

Now that we have you sold on getting one of these trucks, how about a few upgrades to make sure your ride is perfect. And let’s be honest here—it’s no fun to just buy a new truck and take it to the street without telling your buddies you work on it.

Skyjacker Nitro Shocks

2012 GMC Sierra Skyjacker Nitro Shocks

Trucks are made for driving your stuff everywhere, even where the road ends. Skyjacker Nitro Shocks have a specially designed valve body that automatically adjusts to on- or off-road conditions.

How much do these help your truck?

One review of Nitro Shocks read: “Ordered these shocks because I got tired of the rough ride my pickup was giving. Man what a difference.” Skyjacker Nitro Shocks have a twin-tube design with polyurethane bushings to ensure a smooth ride. The red bushing and boot will stand out, so your friends will know that you did work on your GMC Sierra!

Ground Force Leveling Suspension Kit

2012 GMC Sierra Ground Force Leveling Suspension Kit

Since you’re changing the shocks, you might as well throw on a leveling kit to give your 2012 Sierra the proper stance. Ground Force has a Leveling Suspension Kit that will raise the front of your Sierra two inches and maintain the OEM ride quality. Installation of this kit is a simple little afternoon project, and it pairs perfectly with the Skyjacker Nitro Shocks.

S&B Cold Air Intake

 

S&B Cold Air Intake for 2012 GMC Sierra

Next, it’s time to pop open the hood and install a new air intake —possibly the easiest upgrade you’ll make to your Sierra. One of the best air intake systems for trucks is the S&B Cold Air Intake. S&B claims their cold air intake flows over 60 percent better than stock, and they have the test results to back it up. The filter element is made from eight layers of oiled cotton to deliver a high level of filtration and superior airflow even when dirty. The filter element is also cleanable and reusable.

Tonno Pro Lo-Roll Tonneau Cover
2012 GMC Sierra Tonno Pro Lo-Roll Tonneau Cover

A tonneau cover is one of the most versatile bolt-ons you can add. The Tonno Pro Lo-Roll Tonneau Cover allows you to secure cargo in the bed of your truck and give you complete access when you need it. It easily rolls up and secures right behind the cab. Whether you’re bringing home the groceries or hauling a sofa for a buddy, a Tonno Pro Tonneau cover is a great solution for your 2012 Sierra.

All of the parts we’ve listed easily install in your driveway and don’t require specialty tools to complete. Best of all, you can knock out this entire list for under $900 through Summit Racing, or you can tackle each upgrade individually as your paycheck allows.

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