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2002-07 Jeep Liberty

2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007

This article is an overview of your vehicle's audio system and its upgrade options. If you're looking for step-by-step instructions on installing a car stereo or speakers in your Jeep, we'll include a Crutchfield MasterSheet™ free with your Crutchfield order, or you can purchase one for $9.99.
2002 Jeep Liberty (Crutchfield Research Photo)

2002 Jeep Liberty (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Overview

The 2002-07 Jeep Liberty Sport is a compact SUV that's as capable of tackling the rocks and trails as it is at handling city streets. This rugged little vehicle is Jeep's response to the success of smaller SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

The Liberty factory audio options were somewhat limited. You could choose the base system with a cassette or CD receiver in the dash, powering big 6-3/4" speakers in all four doors and tweeters up front. Or, you could step up to the Infinity system, with a CD/cassette receiver or in-dash 6-disc changer/receiver, and an amp on each side powering both door speakers and the tweeter.

If you want to take your tunes to a new level and enjoy them off-road, you'll have plenty of options for this Jeep, ranging from a new CD receiver and speakers to serious bass from a custom-fit enclosure.

Replacing your factory stereo

Standard factory system: The factory system is equipped with six speakers, a CD player with CD changer controls and a fixed mast antenna. The Liberty accepts a DIN (2" tall) receiver with 7.89 inches of room to work with, so any single-DIN radio should easily fit into the space with a mounting kit.

Upgraded factory radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Upgraded factory radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)

You will also need a wiring harness if you don’t want to cut and splice any of the factory wiring, along with an antenna adapter that connects the Liberty antenna cable to the new receiver. The dash kit and harness needed for this installation are available at a deep discount with most Crutchfield orders, along with our free step-by-step MasterSheet™ instructions for your Liberty.

The one downside to replacing your factory receiver is that you will lose the ability to talk on your phone using the hands-free system if you had this option from the factory. You’ll have to add a Bluetooth® adapter to the new receiver you install or, better yet, pick a car stereo with built-in Bluetooth connectivity.

Removing the factory radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the factory radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Infinity system: The upgraded Infinity system came with six premium Infinity speakers in place of the six standard speakers. The 6-3/4" speakers in the front doors have amps on them that power the front and rear door speakers, along with the dash tweeters, for better sound quality. You'll go through the same process to replace the radio in the Infinity system as you do with the radio in the standard system, and you'll use the same kit, harness, and antenna adapter. The only difference is that the new stereo is tied into the Infinity amps in each front door. You'll get better performance out of your Infinity speaker system with a new stereo in the dash, but you also have the option of bypassing the Infinity amps by running new wire to all of the speakers.

Steering wheel audio controls

Two companies (PAC and Axxess) make adapters that allow you to connect your Jeep's steering wheel audio controls to a new car stereo. We recommend the Axxess self-programming ASWC-1 adapter since it easily connects to the data wire behind the dash.

Replacing your factory speakers

Basic system: The Liberty’s front and rear doors house 6-3/4" speakers, and big aftermarket 6-3/4" speakers are the easy fit. But you can also put in 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" speakers with the help of a speaker mounting bracket, so that increases your choices. Jeep uses 2-ohm speakers in all of the doors so you’ll want to use Infinity, JBL, or other 2-ohm speakers to replace these if you’re keeping the factory radio, or you'll lose some output. You’ll keep the factory speaker grilles for all of these speakers.

The Liberty's front door (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The Liberty's front door (Crutchfield Research Photo)

All four of the door speakers are the same size and are pretty straightforward to remove and replace. You’ll need to remove the door panels (two Phillips screws and eleven plastic clips around the edge of the door panel), remove the speaker from the door (three Phillips screws) and disconnect the speaker.

No wiring harnesses are available to plug into the factory speaker connectors used in the Liberty, so you’ll have to splice the new speaker wires to the factory wires.

Installation note: If you're installing a speaker with a mounting bracket in the front or rear doors, you'll need to cut or remove the rain shield between the door panel and the door, to gain more clearance for the speaker magnet. You can use speaker baffles to protect your new speakers if you remove the rain shield.

Cut away the plastic rain sheild to gain more depth (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Cut away the plastic rain shield to gain more depth (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Infinity system:  Each front door has an amp attached to the speaker that powers the 6-3/4" speaker in the front door, the 6-3/4" speaker in the rear door, and the tweeter in the dash. You have two choices when you replace the Infinity system's speakers: 1) run new speaker wire from the speakers to your new stereo (or adapt the existing wiring); or 2) you can actually remove the Infinity amp from each front door factory speaker, and use it to power your new speakers. (You’ll need to extend the speaker wires a few inches to reach your new speakers.)

Installation note: If you're installing a speaker with a mounting bracket in the front or rear doors, you'll need to cut or remove the rain shield between the door panel and the door, to gain more clearance for the speaker magnet. You can use speaker baffles to protect your new speakers if you remove the rain shield.

Dash tweeters

You have a 2.8" 4-ohm tweeter located in each corner of the dash in your Liberty, wired in parallel off the front door speaker. You will have to fabricate mounting brackets to install aftermarket tweeters, but you can keep the factory grilles.

It'll take a little work to access these dash tweeters. You’ll have to remove both pillar trim panels (T20 Torx driver or 5mm ratchet and socket) and pry up the front edge of the dash trimpanel to release 13 metal clips. Two Phillips screws hold the tweeter in place. You’ll need to splice the wiring here just like you did with the door speakers.

Tweeters in the dash (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Tweeters in the dash (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver, small flat-blade screwdriver, panel tool, wire strippers, crimper and connectors (or Posi-connectors), electrical tape

Adding bass to your Liberty

If you're just looking for a little low-end reinforcement, you can install a small powered sub under a seat.  The Liberty's cabin is relatively small, so you might be surprised by how much punch you'll get. And  the cargo area is easily big enough to hold a subwoofer box and still give you room for other, less-important cargo.

Plenty of room for subwoofers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Plenty of room for subwoofers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

More options

Amps

The factory Infinity system has two small amplifiers attached to the speakers, but these won’t give you the best sound when you upgrade your receiver or speakers.

You’ll get the best sound quality when you bypass or remove the factory amps and go with a new amp to power all the speakers. You can fit a new amp underneath the front or rear seats of the Liberty to keep it out of the way.

Navigation

The Liberty will only accommodate single-DIN receivers, so an aftermarket GPS receiver won't work for this vehicle. Portable navigators do a great job, and you can move them from vehicle to vehicle, which is good news if you drive more than one vehicle.

iPod® control

If you don’t want to upgrade to an aftermarket receiver with built-in iPod controls, you can still add this little luxury pretty easily with an adapter that connects your iPod to your factory radio. Whether you choose a receiver or an adapter, you'll need to remove the factory radio and plug the iPod control into the back. Adapters are available for almost any version of the Liberty, but some won’t work with a factory radio that has a CD changer.

Security and remote start

Adding a remote start or car security system to your Liberty is relatively easy if you've had experience installing security systems. We recommend FlashLogic’s FLCAN CAN-Bus Interface for this installation, because it covers the transponder bypass, door locks, and door and trunk status, which is everything you’ll need. You’ll need a transponder bypass on Liberty models equipped with integrated keyless entry on the key or on models with a gray key.

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