2002-05 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab

2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005

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 Dodge Ram, we'll include a Crutchfield MasterSheet™ free with your Crutchfield order, or you can purchase one for $9.99.
Dodge Ram Quad Cab

2002 Dodge Ram Quad Cab (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Overview

With an oversized grille and styling that really says "Made in the U.S.A," the Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab  is one of the most distinctive vehicles on the road today. The 2002-05 version is a particularly cool-looking vehicle, so we talk to lots of Ram owners who want to upgrade their factory audio systems because they plan on hanging on to their trucks.

Most 2002-05 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab trucks came with an Infinity system with seven speakers in the dash and doors. You have a range of options for upgrading the audio system in this truck, so it can be a little confusing. But the good news is that you also have lots of choices for replacing your receiver and speakers, and you'll find a bunch of sub enclosures made specifically for this truck.

Replacing your factory radio

The Ram's factory radios are reasonably easy to remove and replace.

4-speaker system

In 2002 and 2003, all Quad Cabs came with the Infinity system, but Dodge offered the basic 4-speaker system beginning in 2004. You'll have to remove a section of the dash in order to pull out the factory radio, but it's not a difficult job.  You'll need a mounting kit to trim out the new radio, a wiring harness that allows you to connect your new radio without having to cut the factory wiring, and an antenna adapter that connects the Dodge antenna wire to your new stereo. The kit, harness, and antennna adapter are available at a steep discount with most Crutchfield stereo orders, plus you'll get our illustrated, step-by-step Crutchfield MasterSheet™ free with your purchase.

Infinity system

The Infinity system includes a CD/cassette receiver or a CD receiver in the dash, and a complement of 7 speakers: 3-1/2" speakers in the dash (left, right), a 2-1/2" center dash speaker, two 6"x9" woofers in the front doors, and two 5-1/4" speakers in the rear doors. You'll have to remove a section of the dash to install a new stereo, as you do with the non-Infinity system. You'll need a special adapter to connect a new stereo to the Infinity factory amp. This adapter is also available at a deep discount when purchased with a receiver.

Note: Your new stereo must have front and rear preamp outputs to work with this special adapter, and you'll lose your fader control if your truck is equipped with the UConnect Hands-Free System.

Factory Radio

Factory radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The mounting kit for this truck holds any DIN (2" tall) radio in the dash opening. You have to remove the entire receiver/climate control trim panel to access the stereo, but that's not too tough. Here's what the kit looks like installed.

Mounting kit

Stereo mounting kit for the 2002 Ram 1500 (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you consider a new car stereo:

  • If you have factory Sirius Satellite Radio, you'll lose this capability if you replace the factory radio.
  • If your vehicle is equipped with a factory hands-free cell phone interface, you'll lose this capability if you replace the factory radio.
  • Have factory navigation? You'll lose it when you replace your radio.
  • Video receivers with flip-out monitors aren't a good idea in this vehicle because of the way the dash is shaped.

If you like the sound of the factory system, but it's just not loud enough for you, you might consider JL Audio's Clean Sweep or some other factory sound processor. This type of processor allows you to tie an amp (and even speakers) into your factory radio, for a big boost in performance.

Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver, flat blade screwdriver, panel tool.

Steering wheel audio controls

Two companies (PAC and Axxess) make adapters that allow you to connect your Dodge steering wheel audio controls to a new car stereo. We recommend the Axxess self-programming ASWC-1 adapter for this Dodge truck, because it'll tap directly into the data wire in the dash. (In order to install the PAC adapter, you'll have to go to the steering column to access the analog control wire.)

Replacing your factory speakers

Depending on the model, your Dodge Ram will have factory speakers in the front doors, the dash, and the rear doors.

4-speaker system

You have 6"x9"s in the front doors, but your choices are limited by space considerations. You can also put 5-1/4" or 6-1/2" speakers in the front doors with the help of mounting brackets. You can put 6-1/2" speakers in the rear doors, but you'll have to drill new screw holes. Speaker harnesses are available for both locations. They'll allow you to attach the new speakers to the plugs that connect to the Dodge factory speakers, and they make it easier to reinstall the factory speakers if you ever sell your truck.  (Crutchfield includes these speaker wiring harnesses free with every speaker order).

Infinity 7-speaker system

You have a factory amp behind the glove box that powers the three dash speakers, the front door 6"x9" subs, and the full-range rear speakers. If you're planning on upgrading your speakers, you have some choices to make.

  • If you're keeping your factory radio, you can replace all your speakers, but keep in mind that the front door speakers are just producing bass.
  • If you're replacing the factory radio, you can connect your new stereo to the factory Infinity amp — you should get a little boost in performance but the speakers will continue to work as they do now. You can replace most of your speakers, but again, the front door speakers will only produce bass.
  • You'll get the best results if you bypass the Infinity amp. Just run speaker wire from the new stereo to the glove box, then tie into the speaker wires coming off the factory amp. Then you have the option of running full-range 6"x9" speakers in your front doors, hooking up outboard amps, and building a full-blown audio system.
Infinity passenger-side dash speaker

Infinity passenger-side dash speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Dash speakers

You'll have to pry out the panel that runs all the way across the dash to access these speakers. You can replace the right and left dash speakers, but you'll have to splice the wires coming from your new speakers into the factory speaker wires. You'll have a hard time replacing the 2-1/2" center speaker, but you might as well leave it hooked up if you're keeping the factory amp.

You can splice or solder your new speaker's wires to the factory wiring, or use a set of Posi-Products connectors. We recommend the latter option, because it's faster, easier, and the connection is much stronger.

Tools needed: right-angle Phillips screwdriver, panel tool.

Infinity factory center speaker

Infinity center speaker in middle of dash (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Dodge front door panel

Front door panel (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Front door speakers

You have to remove the entire door panel to access the front door speakers. If you're keeping the factory amp, go for the most efficient 2-way 6"x9"s you can find. If you're replacing the whole system and installing a subwoofer, then you should consider putting a round speaker (5-1/4" or 6-1/2") in the door for better accuracy. Here's a cool idea: if you're replacing the whole system but you don't want a sub, consider putting 6-1/2" or 6"x9" subs in the doors and powering them with an amp.

Door panel removed

Door panel removed (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Factory front door speaker

Factory front door speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Rear door panel

Rear door panel (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Rear door speakers

You have to remove the entire door panel to access the rear door speakers. The 5-1/4" factory speaker is kind of an odd size. You can install a 6-1/2" speaker easily in this opening but you will have to drill new screw holes, so make sure you have the tools for that!

Door panel removed

Door panel removed (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Factory front door speaker

Rear Infinity speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver, panel tool, T30 Torx driver.

Bass in your Ram truck

You'll find an impressive selection of enclosures made for this Dodge Ram Quad Cab by manufacturers like JL Audio, Q-Logic, or MTX, available in unloaded, loaded, and amplified versions. They'll give you powerful bass without wasting much (if any) space.

Security

Whether you're installing a simple alarm or a remote start system, we recommend the FLCAN interface. If your truck has a gray key, this truck has a built-in transponder that has to be bypassed for remote start, and FLCAN will take care ot that. Even without the gray key, FLCAN makes it easier to install a security system.

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