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2012 GMC Canyon & 2011 Chevrolet Colorado

Posted in Features on October 1, 2012 Comment (0)
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2012 GMC Canyon & 2011 Chevrolet Colorado

By the time you read this, there will be no more new Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon (355 V-8 platform) trucks being built. GM is closing the Shreveport, Louisiana, plant and we won’t see another Colorado until the completely redesigned 2014, badged as a 2015 model. The new trucks won’t have a V-8. Because of this, many enthusiasts purchased one before they couldn’t anymore.

Cedar City resident Phil Smith was one of these enthusiasts. Phil wanted the V-8 and he wanted it in a truck with enough room to take the family backcountry exploring. He enlisted the help of John Williams at Impulse Off-Road to install the ARB Air Lockers in the front and rear ends, the Trail Gear rocker guards, and Rancho 4-inch suspension. Dixie 4 Wheel Drive wired the ARB switches and built a winch mount to mount the Warn M8000 winch. ProComp 7028 wheels have 285 Falken WildPeak AT tires mounted on them.

Phil’s truck is an almost perfect balance of backcountry exploring vehicle and daily driver. The V-8 produces lots of horsepower and torque to power the truck, which weighs over 1,000 pounds less than a JK Unlimited. There’s room in the bed to carry equipment and room inside the cab to carry people.

Our 2011 Chevrolet Colorado is finished and working well. You can follow the build of this truck in the January and February 2012 issues of 4WHEEL DRIVE MAGAZINE. The only things we’ve changed were the addition of 17x8 Black Rock Viper wheels and 285/70R17LT Mickey Thompson Baja Radial MTZ tires. We decided to leave the winch off this truck, as it’s going on our new 2012 Colorado V-8 4x4. Yes, we couldn’t resist. These are such great trucks we had to get one of the very last built.

GM’s LS Gen IV 5.3L aluminum block V-8 features Variable Valve Timing and Active Fuel Management, producing 300 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. It feels like more, as the lightweight Canyon and Colorado V-8 pickups really move. GM’s LS Gen IV 5.3L aluminum block V-8 features Variable Valve Timing and Active Fuel Management, producing 300 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. It feels like more, as the lightweight Canyon and Colorado V-8 pickups really move.
View Slideshow

Specifications
Vehicle: 2012 GMC Canyon Crew Cab Z71 4x4
Owner/Hometown: Phil Smith/Cedar City, Utah
Engine: GM aluminum 5.3L VVT V-8
Induction: MPFI
Transmission: 4L60-E four-speed overdrive automatic
Transfer case/low range ratio: OE/2.72:1
Front end: AAM 760 IFS
Rear end: AAM 860 10-Bolt
Ring and Pinion: 4.10:1
Front Differential: ARB Air Locker
Rear Differential: ARB Air Locker
Suspension: Rancho 4-inch lift
Tires: 285/70R17LT Falken WildPeak AT
Wheels/Backspacing: 17x8 ProComp 7028/4.75 inches

Our 2011 Chevrolet Colorado has turned out to be one of our favorite project vehicles. Our 2011 Chevrolet Colorado has turned out to be one of our favorite project vehicles.
View Slideshow

Specifications
Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab Z71 4x4
Owner/Hometown: Phil Howell/Hurricane, Utah
Engine: GM aluminum 5.3L VVT V-8
Induction: MPFI
Transmission: 4L60-E four-speed overdrive automatic
Transfer case/low range ratio: OE/2.72:1
Front end: AAM 760 IFS
Rear end: AAM 860 10-Bolt
Ring and Pinion: 4.10:1
Front Differential: ARB Air Locker
Rear Differential: Eaton ELocker
Suspension: Rancho 4-inch lift
Tires: 285/70R17LT Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ Radial
Wheels/Backspacing: 17x8 Black Rock Viper/4/5 inches

Our 30 amp Belkin switches work fine and look OE, but we like the placement of Phil’s ARB switches at the bottom of the center stack better.

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