1999-2002 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra extended cab
Upgrading the stereo system in your Silverado or Sierra
1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002
In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your pickup's stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. We'll tell you all about:
- Removing the factory radio
- Removing the factory speakers
- Adding more bass
- Other options for your Silverado or Sierra
Then, use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your truck.
Overview of the Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra Extended Cab
The Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra have always been workhorses, so it's not exactly a surprise to see a lot of 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. If your pickup is still hauling after all these years, it's past time for an upgrade. Smartphone compatibility, 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.
The holdover "Classic" truck shown above has a flatter hood and a more squared-off nose. (Crutchfield Research Photo)
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 these exterior photos to see which one looks like your truck. The Classic has a flatter hood and a much more squared-off front end.
If you're ready to replace the old radio, there are plenty of aftermarket upgrade options (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the factory radio
The '99-'02 Silverado/Sierra twins were equipped with the standard GM corporate AM/FM CD player, which is slightly taller and shallower than most single-DIN aftermarket stereos.
A vast number of single-DIN (2" tall) and double-DIN (4" tall) stereos will fit right in, with the help of dash kits that are designed specifically for your truck. The single-DIN fits into your existing dash, while the double-DIN kit is actually a replacement dash panel. You'll also need an antenna adapter and a wiring harness adapter that will allow you to connect the new radio without having to cut into the factory wiring.
Detailed stereo and speaker removal instructions
All of those items are available at a healthy discount with your order, and you'll also get a free Crutchfield MasterSheet, which contains illustrated, step-by-step instructions on how to install a new stereo and speakers in your truck.
These trucks offered an analog version of OnStar® which is no longer supported, so that won't be an issue when replacing your radio. The column-mounted shifter, however, might be. A receiver with a flip-out screen probably isn’t a good idea in this truck because the screen will hit the gearshift when it opens. To see all the receivers (and other gear) that fit, enter your vehicle info in our OutfitMyCar tool.
Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket, ratchet, and extension
This kit holds a single-DIN radio, but we also have one for double-DIN models. (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Steering wheel audio controls
Not all Silverados and Sierras 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. 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 — and we'll give you a nice discount on it, too, when you buy it with your new stereo.
Removing the factory speakers
Depending on the model, your truck will have factory speakers in the front doors and the rear doors.
The front door speakers are easy to reach and replace (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Stock speakers for the front of the Silverado/Sierra 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 using a simple adapter plate for easy installation, and you can also install the slightly larger 6-3/4" speaker if you’re willing to drill some new screw holes.
You’ll need wiring harnesses to connect your new speakers. They'll allow you to attach the new speakers to the plugs that connect to the GM factory speakers, and they make it easier to reinstall the factory speakers if you ever sell your truck. Crutchfield gives you a nice discount on mounting brackets and speaker wiring harnesses with every speaker order.
In trucks equipped with the 6-speaker system, the tweeters are mounted above the front door speaker. (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 (or silicone or hot glue) to secure them in the doors.
Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket, ratchet, and extension
The rear doors hold 4”x6” speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Rear doors/side panels
Extended Cab modelsl were available with three or four doors. Either way, the speakers are easy to reach and replace, though you will need to drill new holes for the mounting screws.
A lot of GM vehicles use 4"x6" speakers, and this truck is no exception. You'll find 4"x6" speakers in the rear doors in the 4-door 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 remove, thanks to their clip-in plates.
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, cordless drill
Bass in your Silverado or Sierra
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 an enclosure that meets your needs.
A custom enclosure is 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. Just enter your truck's info to see what's available.
Make sure you feed them enough power to really let them achieve their full potential. If you need help figuring out the specs involved in pairing them with an amp, read our helpful article about matching amps and subwoofers.
If you're looking for a quicker and easier bass solution, a powered subwoofer will give you plenty of low-end thump from a compact package.
Other options for your Silverado or Sierra
There are plenty of other ways to improve your truck's sound. Here are some of the ways we can help.
Like most pickup trucks, the Silverado/Sierra has a noisy cabin. If you really want to hear your music without taxing your speakers, add an amplifier. 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.
These trucks weren't available with factory navigation, but you can add an aftermarket double-DIN nav receiver with help from a dash kit. Depending on how you use your truck, a portable navigation unit could also be a good solution, because you can move it between vehicles as needed and tuck it into a storage compartment when you're not using it.
Installing a security system in your truck isn't easy (security systems rarely are), but it's less complicated than it could be. 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.