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1999-2002 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended Cab

1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002

2001 Chevy Silverado

2001 Chevy Silverado Extended Cab (Crutchfield Research Photo)

This article is an overview of your vehicle's audio system and its upgrade options. Looking for step-by-step instructions on installing a car stereo or speakers in your Silverado? We'll include a Crutchfield MasterSheet™ free with your Crutchfield order, or you can purchase one for $9.99.

The Chevy Silverado has always been a workhorse, so it's not exactly a surprise to see these older trucks out on the road and getting the job done. They're tougher than cheap beef, parts are easy to find, and, at this point, any '99-'02 model will have plenty of that "old truck" character.

Old trucks are cool, but old factory stereos are pretty weak, so if your pickup is still hauling after all these years, it's past time for an upgrade. Smartphone compatability, satellite radio, and Bluetooth® are just a few of the modern features that can make your Silverado or Sierra a much better place to work and play.

Note: The chassis discussed here, known inside GM as the GMT800 and to the rest of the world as the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, was introduced in1999. The previous generation, the GMT400, hung around for another year as the "Classic" model. If you're not sure which '99 version you have, check the exterior photos below to see which one looks like your truck. The Classic (left) has a flatter hood and a much more squared-off front end.

 Silverado "Classic" Silverado "Classic" (Crutchfield Research Photo)
 2007 new Chevy Silverado

The new Silverado (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Replacing the factory radio

Factory stereo

The Silverado’s original radio can be replaced by a wide variety of 2” tall single-DIN models. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The '99-'02 Silverados were equipped with the standard GM corporate AM/FM CD player, which is slightly taller and shallower than most single-DIN aftermarket stereos. While the space isn't big enough for a double-DIN (4" tall) receiver, it’s easy to get pretty much any single-DIN (2" tall) stereo to fit. As tempting as it might be to add a single-DIN stereo with a flip-out screen, that won't work in this truck because the screen will bang into the gear lever every time you open it up.

You'll need a mounting kit to trim out your new radio, a wiring harness that allows you to connect the new radio without having to cut the factory wiring, and an adapter that connects the Chevy antenna to your new radio. Crutchfield includes these installation parts free with most orders, along with our step-by-step instructions for your Silverado.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket, ratchet, and extension

Aftermarket mounting kit

Mounting kit in place, waiting for its single-DIN radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Steering wheel audio controls:

Not all Silverados were equipped with steering wheel audio controls, but if yours was, it's relatively easy to retain this convenient feature when you install a new stereo.

Two companies (PAC and Axxess) make adapters that allow you to connect your Silverado's steering wheel audio controls to a new receiver.

There’s no data wire in this truck, so you’ll tap into the steering wheel controls in the dash. That means either the PAC or Axxess piece will work equally well.

If you're worried about OnStar® compatability, don't be. This truck came with an analog version that's now obsolete, so that’s not an issue.

Replacing your factory speakers

Chevy Silverado front door speaker

The front doors house 6-1/2" factory speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Front doors
Stock speakers for the front of the Silverado are 6-1/2", a common size with great aftermarket support. You won’t have trouble finding a speaker to fit any musical taste or budget. You can install a 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" speaker with the help of a mounting bracket, or you can also install slightly larger 6-3/4" speakers if you’re willing to drill some new screw holes.

A set of aftermarket speaker harnesses will allow you to attach your new speakers to the plugs that connect to the GM factory speakers. Crutchfield includes these speaker wiring harnesses, along with mounting brackets if necessary, with every speaker order.

Tweeter in the upgraded system

This tweeter is mounted above the front door speaker on trucks equipped with the 6-speaker system. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

An optional 6-speaker stereo system included tweeters in the front doors. These speakers are also easy to remove, and offer a handy mounting spot should you want to add aftermarket units. You’ll have to fashion a mounting plate for the new tweeter, or use our universal backstraps to secure them in the doors.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket, ratchet, and extension

Rear speaker location

The rear doors hold 4”x6” speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Rear doors/side panels

The Extended Cab version of the Siverado was available with your choice of three or four doors. Either way, the speakers are easy to reach and replace, though you will need to drill new screw holes.

Many Chevy and GM vehicles use 4"x6" speakers, and this truck is no exception. There are 4"x6" speakers in the rear doors in the 4-door Silverado Extended Cab, or in the rear door and side panel of the 3-door version. Once you’ve removed the body panels to get to these speakers, they’re extremely easy to take out, thanks to their clip-in plates.

Rear speaker in the 3-door truck

The 3-door Extended Cab truck has a 4"x6" speaker in the rear door and in a rear side panel. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

You have plenty of aftermarket options for upgrading these speakers, including 4"x6" plate speakers, as well as 3-1/2" or 4" speakers which will fit using inexpensive adapter plates. When you're drilling the new screw holes, make sure you know what's behind and around the drilling area, work carefully, and wear eye protection.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket, ratchet, and extension

Bass in your Silverado

You’ll find an amazing number of subwoofer options for every body style of this popular truck. If you want bass, you should be able to find a nice enclosure that won’t take up too much space in your Silverado.

You'll find that custom enclosures, like JL Audio Stealthboxes, are the best way to add bass without giving up valuable interior space. These custom boxes are built to fit in out-of-the-way places and still let you get the big bass that only 10" or 12" subwoofers can provide.

If you're looking for a quick and easy solution, a powered subwoofer provides plenty of low-end thump from a compact package.

Other Options

Amps
Like most pickup trucks, the Silverado has a noisy cabin. If you really want to hear your music without taxing your speakers, add an amp. There are plenty of inexpensive options that will give you the ability to hear your music loud and clear, especially when paired with some upgraded speakers and some Dynamat in your doors. Mounting options abound, but the best place for an amp is under the front or rear seats.

Navigation
The Silverado wasn't available with factory navigation, and an aftermarket double-DIN nav receiver won't fit due to the size of the dash opening. Your best course of action is to use a portable navigation unit, which you can move between vehicles as needed and tuck into a storage compartment when you're not using it.

Security
You can install a security system in this Silverado without a module. If you’re installing a remote start system in this truck, you will need the PLJX immobilizer override, along with a relay to power up the extra ignition circuit. Also, if you want to control the door locks, you'll need two relays if your alarm or remote start system doesn't support 3 wire positive switching locks.

Upgrading your Silverado

Quick & easy
This truck is easy to upgrade, so go ahead and swap out the front speakers and replace the factory stereo with a stereo that puts out more power – the difference in sound quality will be impressive. Your options for an aftermarket stereo are limited to single-DIN units, so spend a little more on a deck that you can upgrade in the future (preamp outputs, Bluetooth functionality, iPod® adapters, etc.).

More bump in your truck
Once you have a new head unit with preamp outputs, expand your system with some amps and a subwoofer. The custom made enclosures for this truck are amazing – they tuck out of the way, and some come preloaded with some of the best subs on the market. Make sure you feed them enough power to really let them achieve their full potential. You can learn more about matching subs and amps in this informative how-to article.

Safety, sound and performance
Head unit, speakers, amps and subs – your truck sounds great, now make it more functional. Adding features like a Bluetooth interface keeps you safe on the road, or install a DVD player to turn the bed of your Silverado into your own private movie theater.

JL Audio subwoofer box

Need more bass in your truck? These JL Audio Stealthboxes, which contain 10" subwoofers, will fit under each side of the rear bench seat. (Photo courtesy of JL Audio)

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