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GMC Sierra 1500: Exterior Trim and Body Molding: Overview Guide

GMC Sierra 1500: Exterior Trim and Body Molding: Overview Guide

We already pour so much money into maintaining and upgrading our Sierra’s performance, why not spend some money making it look a little nicer and giving it a greater sense of pride. Purchasing some new exterior trim for your Sierra can give it a fresh look while also protecting valuable components of your exterior molding. From wheel well guards to chrome plate rocker panels, AmericanTrucks has what you need to give your Sierra 1500 an aesthetic appeal of ruggedness and class. In this guide, we’ll discuss some popular exterior trim and molding upgrades, the utility of these upgrades, and teach you how to install all of them.

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Personalizing your Sierra's exterior will help you differentiate yourself from the fleet. Splashes of chrome are perfect for a show truck, but there are also subtle methods of modifying your Sierra.

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Why Upgrade Your Exterior Trim on Your Sierra 1500?

Whether you’re off-roading, driving down a country road, or hauling some construction equipment to a worksite, your body's paint job can get chipped by rocks and lead to corrosion over time. 

Chrome trimming, plastic rubber strips, rocker panels, and center caps can protect many valuable components of your exterior vehicle from UV rays, debris, and harsh weather conditions. Beyond this, window visors allow you to open the windows up on a rainy day and bug deflectors help ensure your windshield won't crack while driving down the highway.  

For many truck owners though, they just enjoy looking at something shiny and stylish. It gives me a sense of pride stepping over that chrome plated rocker panel, with an engraved GMC logo, as I climb into my Sierra for work every day. You take care of your truck and you want it to look nice; exterior trim upgrades maintain the look and chic of your brand-new Sierra. 

Consider these reasons to upgrade your exterior trim and molding: 

  • Protects painted finishes 
  • Adds value to your truck 
  • Provides a fresh, stylish look to your vehicle  

Exterior molding upgrades are also very cheap when compared to all of the other upgrades that add value to your GMC Sierra. You can hide some technical difficulties underneath the hood, but you can't hide a corroded and scratched paint job. If this wasn't enough, installing and maintaining your upgraded trim is very simple and doesn't require professional expertise.

Popular Exterior Trim Additions for Your Sierra 1500

Plastic rub strips and rocker panels are perhaps the most popular exterior upgrades Sierra owners purchase. Rub strips run horizontally across the front wheel well to the rear. They protect your Sierra’s door and finished paint job against abrasions when you accidentally swing your door open and hit another vehicle or post.

Most other trim, including fender trim, headlight trim, and hood shields, protect vehicle components from letting in harmful components that could damage them. Mainly, most exterior trim serves as a stylistic upgrade, such as pillar posts, door sills, and even center caps. 

At AmericanTrucks, we only offer exterior molding that’s made of durable materials and able to withstand the test of time with the rest of your Sierra. Popular molding materials include:

  • Stainless steel 
  • Platinum dipped metals 
  • ABS plastic

These materials are guaranteed not to rust with proper maintenance and continually provide a crisp look to your Sierra each morning.  

Chrome Trim Locations for Your Sierra 1500

Chrome trim is very popular among truck owners because it accents the look of their basic features, making them appear luxury. Popular chrome trim locations include: 

  • Tailgate trim 
  • Fender trim 
  • Headlight trim 
  • Door trim 
  • Rocker panel trim 
  • Wheel well trim 

The Benefits of a New Rocker Panel Trim for Your Sierra 1500

Perhaps one of the subtlest, but important exterior molding upgrades you can make, is upgrading your rocker panel with some trim. The rocker panel connects the front and rear wheels of the vehicle and is designed to prevent your bottom suspension from deforming or getting destroyed during a low-impact collision.

With a brand-new chrome or nickel-plated rocker panel trims, you can add more protection to a vulnerable engine component and also help prevent rust from the elements and UV exposure.

It’s important to properly clean your rocker panels so they don't rust over time. Being lower on the vehicle, many car washes may miss the rocker panel, and salt can accumulate during winter months.

Cleaning your Sierra 1500 Body Molding

It’s important to apply a protectant to rubber seals and black trim at least 5 times a year to protect against cracking. Over-time, plastic molding and rubber trim can become brittle and crack with increased exposure to the elements.

For any exterior molding, regularly clean it with car shampoo and a microfiber cloth. If you used any dressing items on your exterior molding be sure to apply a wax remover ever few months. Layered dressings can affect your paint job and cause discoloration if not removed properly.

Installing Exterior Body Molding on your Sierra 1500

For most exterior molding and trim options, the installation process will be easy. Be sure to check out the installation guide provided on all of our product pages. Consult your owners manual before installing any trim or molding. 

As a broad application, most trims will require you to clean and treat the surface it’s being applied over first. This involves removing any grease or dirt. Simply apply the adhesive and press it in place and allow proper time to dry.  

Fitment includes: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Denali, Hybrid, SL, SLE, STL, WT, XFE, Base