2009-2012 Ford F-150 SuperCrew
2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012
Jon Paulette is a veteran automotive writer who has spent a fair portion of his life hanging out at racetracks and talking to amazing people who make extremely loud cars reach ridiculous speeds. Despite all that, he still has enough hearing left to enjoy a stupidly large music collection. A native Virginian, Jon lives in the Charlottesville area, roots for the Nationals and would like a good BBQ sandwich right about now.
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In a Nutshell
Good, Better, Best
Good: The factory speakers are, at this point, probably the weakest link in your F-150 SuperCrew's audio system. Replacing them is the quickest way to achieve a noticeable improvement in sound quality.
Better: Replacing the factory head unit (especially if it's the base AM/FM radio) will give you access to a whole new world of entertainment options, plus you'll finally be able to hear your new speakers at their full potential.
Best: Adding an amp and a sub will make a massive difference in your overall sound quality. Even if you don’t like to crank your music to maximum volume, you'll notice a distinct improvement in every aspect of your favorite songs.
Overview of the Ford F-150 SuperCrew
Even the most casual sports fan knows the tired old clichés that fill every media outlet every time the previous year's champs prepare to open a new season: No matter the sport, we're all helpfully reminded that last year was last year, staying number one is tough, and that the other teams are really going to go after them because being the champ is like having a target on your back.
Is it boring, bland sports-speak? Of course it is. Alas, it's also true, which makes the Ford F-Series pickup's 3-decade-long (and counting) run at the top of the truck sales charts all the more amazing. Talk about your 3-peats.
Needless to say, with huge profits and prestige at stake, Ford had a lot riding on the 12th generation F-Series that debuted in 2009. The new line, led by the wildly popular F-150, didn't disappoint, with a tough new look, three useful body styles, an amazing array of trim levels and options, and the rugged versatility that people – lots and lots of people – want from a pickup. Not surprisingly, the F-Series isn’t just the most popular truck in the country; it's one of the most popular vehicles of any kind.
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 how to install a car stereo or speakers in your F-150, there's nothing better than our exclusive Crutchfield MasterSheet™. This detailed, well-illustrated document is free with your Crutchfield order, or you can purchase one separately for $9.99.
The SuperCrew's integrated radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Factory stereo system
The F-150 SuperCrew was available in a variety of different trim packages with a variety of different stereos. The base stereo was a simple AM/FM radio, and the step-ups went from a CD player with an aux jack all the way to a Sony audio system. Satellite radio was an option as well, not to mention Ford's SYNC® system. No matter what's in the dash and doors, though, those factory stereos aren't as powerful and rugged as the truck that surrounds them. Thankfully, we know how to fix that.
The optional nav receiver (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Replacing your factory radio
In basic terms, the F-150 has one of three radios: integrated, non-integrated, or a navigation receiver. Details between receivers vary, of course, but for our purposes, the type means a lot more than the specs.
The integrated and non-integrated radios require a dash kit, which is included free with most Crutchfield stereo purchases. These kits, which work with single-DIN (2" tall) or double-DIN (4" tall) aftermarket stereos, do a very nice job of integrating your new receiver into your existing dashboard.
If your truck is equipped with the top-shelf nav radio, though, there's an issue. The climate control system is integrated into the factory radio, so there's (currently, anyway) no way to replace it and retain those functions.
Depending on which of the other radios you're replacing, you'll lose functions like the factory aux input connection, satellite radio, or SYNC. Thankfully, the right combination of adapters and gear will let you get those features back, better than ever. Our Crutchfield Advisors can help you choose the right package for your needs, and give you the advice you need to do the job right.
To get started on replacing your radio, open the lower dash storage tray. Push out the SYNC panel (Or, if you don't have SYNC, a blank plate.) from behind to release the retaining clips. Disconnect the harnesses and remove, then remove the exposed 7mm screw. Pull up the rubber mat in front of the dash display and remove two exposed 7mm screws. Then, carefully pry out the inside edges of both radio side panels to release the retaining clips — but don't remove them.
Here's a look into the F-150's radio cavity (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Pry out the receiver faceplate (integrated radios) or trim panel (non-integrated) to release the retaining clips, then disconnect the wiring harnesses and remove the faceplate or panel. What happens next depends on which factory receiver you have in your truck.
If you have an integrated radio, remove the screws securing the radio/chassis to the dash, then disconnect wiring harnesses and antenna and remove the entire assembly. If you have the non-integrated radio, just remove the screws, then disconnect and remove the radio.
Complete, illustrated instructions can be found in the Crutchfield MasterSheet that's included free with your order. You'll also get a nice discount on the wiring adapter needed to connect the new receiver to your vehicle's wiring.
Steering wheel audio controls
It's relatively easy to retain your truck's steering wheel audio controls when you install a new stereo. When you enter your vehicle information, our database will choose the adapter you need to make your factory steering wheel controls work with your new receiver.
Tools needed: Panel tool, socket wrench, extension, and 7mm socket
The F-150's big front door has room for some big speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Replacing your factory speakers
The F-150 SuperCrew is a relatively uncomplicated truck, and replacing the front door speakers is a relatively uncomplicated process. How much so depends on your DIY skills, of course, but if you're reasonably handy with tools, it really isn't that bad. Another factor is whether your truck has power windows or good old-fashioned crank windows. Either way, you'll need to remove the door panels. The important thing is to work slowly and carefully to avoid breaking or damaging the plastic bits.
The factory 6"x8" speakers can be replaced by same-size or 5-1/4" models. If you go with the smaller speakers, you'll need an adapter bracket, which you can get at a nice discount when you purchase your speakers from Crutchfield.
Tools needed (power windows): Panel tool, socket wrench, extension, 5.5mm, 7mm, 8mm & 1/4" sockets
Tools needed (manual windows): Panel tool, socket wrench, extension, 5.5mm, 8mm, & 1/4" sockets, Torx T-20 driver
The tweeters are located in the front pillars (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Front pillar tweeters
Trucks equipped with the factory Sony audio system include a few more speakers than the average F-150, including a pair of 4-ohm tweeters located in the front pillars. Replacing them isn't difficult, but there are some things you'll want to know before you start.
For one thing, there's a bit of a difference in how you remove the driver's side and passenger's side tweeters. It's nothing major – on the driver's side, you pull down the door gasket and pry out the plastic trim; while on the other side, you have to remove the pillar pull handles before you can get to the door gasket – but it's good to know. Complete instructions can be found in your Crutchfield MasterSheet.
To mount the new tweeters, you'll either need to make your own mounting bracket, or use one of our universal backstraps. A wiring harness is not available for this location, so you'll want to make the connections using a set of Posi-Products connectors. This is a lot easier than splicing, plus you'll get a much stronger connection – a good thing, considering how often you open and close the front doors.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, socket wrench, and 7mm extension (passenger's side only)
The dash speaker is easy to get to and easy to remove (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Center-channel dash speaker
Sony-equipped trucks also have a 3-1/2" speaker in the center of the dash. It's easy to get to and easy to replace, but you'll want to use another set of Posi-Products connectors to create a strong, long-lasting hookup.
You'll also need to cut off two plastic location pins from the factory speaker bracket before you mount your new speaker. This modification does not affect the bracket's structural integrity.
Tools needed: Panel tool, socket wrench, 5.5mm and 7mm extensions, small flat blade screwdriver
The rear door speakers are identical to the ones in the front door (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Rear door speakers
The SuperCrew's spacious rear seating area turns this truck into a comfortable chariot for your coworkers or family. And even when it's empty, those big doors have plenty of room for better speakers.
As with the front doors, the factory 6"x8" speakers can be replaced by same-size or 5-1/4" models. If you go with the smaller speakers, you'll need an adapter bracket here, too.
Removing and replacing the speakers is actually not that hard, but there are a lot of steps and you'll be getting good use out of your socket wrench set.
Because you'll be dealing with three different screw sizes, it's a good idea to make sure you have some cups or bowls handy to keep them (and the extension bits) organized. It's also important to work slowly and carefully when you're removing the various plastic bits and panels.
The complete, illustrated instructions in your Crutchfield MasterSheet will guide you through every step of the process, and our Tech Support team is only a phone call away – even on weekends.
Tools needed: Panel tool, socket wrench, extension, 5.5mm, 6mm, 8mm, and 1/4" sockets
Bass in your F-150 SuperCab
The factory 8" subwoofer, also a part of the Sony system, is located under the right rear seat. This down-firing, dual voice coil sub is quite easy to remove and replace, and a wiring harness is not needed. The factory amplifier won't have enough power for an aftermarket subwoofer, so if you replace this sub, you should also install a new amp.
The factory sub is located under the right rear seat (Crutchfield Research Photo)
To get started, lift up the seat; then remove the 8mm screw that secures the rear enclosure bracket to the floor. Pry off both front enclosure bracket covers and remove one 8mm screw under each one. Remove one 8mm screw on the back of the enclosure; then remove eight Phillips screws that secure the subwoofer to the enclosure.
Once that's done, disconnect the harnesses and remove the sub. You'll need to use self-tapping screws when you install your new aftermarket subwoofer. You'll need a Phillips screwdriver, a socket wrench, an extension and an 8mm socket for this job.
If you're thinking about going big and installing a custom sub box underneath the rear seats, you have a 52" W x 6" H x 11" D space to work with in the SuperCrew. Of course, the easier option is to install a custom-designed sub package from Kicker or MTX Audio. These sub enclosures are made to fit your F-150 perfectly, and some can be ordered in colors that match your truck's interior. To see what's available to fit your F-150, go to our Outfit My Car page and enter your vehicle information.
Other options for your F-150 SuperCab
As you might expect with a truck as popular as the F-150, there are lots of ways to upgrade your entertainment and security.
If you're looking to add a touchscreen receiver, but don't want to lose the "factory" look, Alpine's Perfect Fit package is a great choice for your F-150. This complete kit lets you install an Alpine INE-Z928HD navigation receiver (not included) while retaining that "fresh from the showroom" appearance. The package contains a dash adapter designed to make this 8" screen look right at home in your truck.
Your F-150 is a big vehicle with big doors and the aerodynamic profile of, well, forget the cute analogies, a truck. To prevent wind noise and road roar from undoing the great work your new stereo is doing for you, make sure you install Dynamat when you're replacing your speakers. This soundproofing material is a great way to dampen the sounds you don't like and get more enjoyment out of the ones you do. For more information on installing Dynamat in a pickup, check out our informative series of articles on our 2004 F-150 project truck.
No matter how much you pamper your truck, you're eventually going to get involved in some sort of truck-like activity that gets you and/or it dirty. When that happens, it's a good idea to have a set of WeatherTech Floor Mats in your truck. These incredibly durable mats trap moisture, contain dirt, and keep your factory carpets looking good.
Installing a security system in your F-150 SuperCrew isn't easy (security systems rarely are), but it's definitely a good idea. Our Crutchfield Advisors can help figure out what you need to get the job done, but we usually recommend taking your car and new gear to a professional installer.
Find the audio gear that fits your car or truck
Visit our Outfit My Car page and enter your vehicle information to see stereos, speakers, subs, and other audio accessories that will work in your vehicle.