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2001-2004 Ford Mustang

Upgrading the stereo system in your Mustang
2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004

Ford Mustang coupe

In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your Mustang's stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. Use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your Ford. 

Overview of the Ford Mustang

Who says public opinion doesn't matter? Back in the eighties, when Ford openly considered replacing the rear-drive Mustang with something sporty and (gasp!) front-wheel drive, the very large Mustang community responded with a very loud "We beg to differ." Or words to that effect…

Whatever they said, it worked. The "Mustang of the Future" went on to become the Ford Probe, while the Mustang of the then-present went on to another decade-plus of continual improvement and refinement. Considering that the basic chassis design dated back to the late seventies, the fourth-gen Mustang was a remarkably strong performer right up until its 2001-2004 swansong.

Ford Mustang convertible

In the buying frenzy surrounding the all-new (but still rear-wheel drive) 2005 Mustang, a lot of people forgot all about these cars. Shame on them, but good for you, because 2001-2004 Mustangs still look sharp, handle well, and don't cost a ton of money. Better yet, there's a vast automotive aftermarket to help you make your coupe or convertible into the pony car of your dreams. If you're dreaming of adding a new stereo system to your older Mustang, you've come to the right place.

Ford Mustang Mach 1000 amps

The rearmost portion of the Mach 1000 system (Crutchfield Research Photo) – click on the image for a closer look

Factory stereo system

The Mustang's standard stereo was an 80-watt, 4-speaker system featuring an AM/FM/CD player that gained the ability to play MP3 files in 2002. The next step up was the Mach 460 system, which offered a 6-disc AM/FM/CD receiver with, coincidentally enough, 460 watts of stereo output pumping through a total of eight speakers.

Mind you, that's the peak power rating, not the more meaningful RMS rating, but that's still a ton of power for a "factory" system. The Mach 460's added power came from a pair of amps mounted between the rear seats and the trunk. The amps took care of the lower door speakers and rear deck speakers, while the front and rear tweeters ran off the stock receiver.

With ten speakers and six amps, the Mach 1000 system, which debuted in '02, was to factory audio what the old Boss 429 Mustang was to factory horsepower – wonderful, glorious, American excess. The trunk was a veritable stereo shop on wheels, two enclosed subs on the sides and the four amps that powered them lined up on a rack in the center.

Needless to say, the Mach 1000 produced a prodigious amount of power. An aftermarket system will sound better, especially after all these years, but Ford deserves massive credit for shoehorning a real hot rod of a system into this car.

Ford Mustang Mach 460 radio

The Mach 460 receiver (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Replacing your factory radio

Whether you have the base radio or the 6-disc version, removing and replacing your Mustang's factory receiver involves the same basic task list. It's not difficult, but it does require some patience. Be gentle on the plastic bits, and be sure to store the parts and screws in a clean, safe place.

To start, use a panel tool to pry out the front portion of the gear shift trim panel to release two metal retaining clips, then gently lift the trim panel to release two more metal clips. Hold the top edge of the trim panel and gently lift it out, releasing one plastic clip as you go. Disconnect the 12v power outlet's wiring harness and remove the panel.

Next, pry around the sides and bottom of the receiver/climate control trim panel to release four metal clips. Gently pry downward on the top edge to release two plastic clips. Pull it out enough to disconnect the harnesses at the bottom and remove the trim panel. Remove the two 7mm screws from the brackets under the factory radio, pull it out, disconnect it, and set it aside.

Detailed stereo and speaker removal instructions

MasterSheet image
With step-by-step disassembly instructions and plenty of up-close, detailed photos, our exclusive Crutchfield MasterSheet™ takes the guesswork out of removing the factory stereo and speakers. It's free with your Crutchfield order, or you can purchase one separately for just $9.99.

Whether you choose a single-DIN or double-DIN receiver, you'll need a mounting bracket and a wiring adapter. When you purchase your stereo at Crutchfield, you'll save money on both.

You'll need to remove the DIN sleeve from the receiver, slide it into the opening in the receiver mounting bracket, then secure it to the bracket by bending the securing tabs. Slide the receiver all the way into the DIN sleeve, secure the rear support bracket (which will need to be adjusted up or down to engage properly) to the rear of the pocket/receiver assembly, and connect the receiver wiring adapter to the factory harness. Plug the antenna lead into the rear of the receiver, secure the assembly in the dash, then test operation and put your dash back together.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket, socket wrench and extension, Phillips screwdriver

Note: If you hear a transient "pop" during turn-on/turn-off after you install a replacement receiver, it's probably because the Mustang's factory remote lead employs 5 volts, instead of the usual 12. To eliminate this pop, you'll need to install a 12-volt to 5-volt interface on the remote lead. The special adapter Crutchfield recommends for your Mustang will accommodate this voltage conversion.

Shop for car stereos that fit your Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Mach 460 front speaker

The Mach 460's 8-ohm, 6"x8" speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Replacing your factory speakers

Installing a new set of speakers in your Mustang is a great idea in theory, but the reality of the situation depends on what sort of factory system you have in your Mustang right now.

If your Mustang is equipped with the base speakers, installing new ones is no big deal. In a lot of ways, the base system makes a better starting point for a quality aftermarket stereo build-up. It's certainly easier.

The Mach systems are hard to deal with. If you're only replacing the receiver, you're okay – unless you want to replace the speakers later, in which case you'll need to get into the dashboard again to rewire things.

On the other hand, if you want to replace the speakers, you'll need to replace the factory amps. That's because the front door woofers are wired in parallel and crossed-over to pump out nothing but bass. The rear deck woofers are wired the same way. The problem is that the Mach speakers are 8-ohm speakers and aftermarket speakers are rated at 4 ohms (or lower). They aren't compatible with the Mach amplifiers.

With most cars, we're happy to show you how to build a great new stereo system in stages, especially if you're on a budget. Alas, Mach-equipped Mustangs don't respond well to that sort of approach. It's more of an all-or-nothing kind of installation, unfortunately.

Ford Mustang convertible front door

The Mach 460 system has tweeters in the sail panels (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Front speakers

Coupe: The standard coupe system was equipped with 4-ohm, 6"x8" speakers, which can be replaced by aftermarket 6x8's, or a set of 5-1/4" speakers that will fit using the adapter brackets included free with your speaker purchase.

The Mach 460, on the other hand, has a pair of 8-ohm 6"x8" component woofers in the doors, wired together in parallel. Most aftermarket speakers are 4-ohm models, which won't work with the Mach amplifier, so you'll need to install an amp with a low-pass filter to power the new woofers.

The factory tweeters, powered by the radio, are mounted in removable enclosures located in the sail panels. Many aftermarket tweeters will fit, but you'll need to fashion a mounting bracket to hold them in place. Our universal backstraps can be helpful here. There isn't a wiring harness available, so you'll want to use PosiProducts connectors to tap into the car's speaker wires.

Much of the same can be said for the Mach 1000 system. The main difference is the woofers, which are 5"x7" 8-ohm models. You can replace them with same-size models, or use an adapter bracket and mount a set of 5-1/4" speakers. Because of the impedance, you'll need to install an amp with a low-pass filter to power your new woofers.

You'll need to remove the door panels to get to the factory speakers. This isn't a tough job, but it's good to work slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the parts and panels. Complete, illustrated instructions can be found in your Crutchfield MasterSheet™.

Convertible: All convertibles, regardless of stereo package, have 5"x7" front speakers that can be replaced by same-size or 5-1/4" models. Other than that, the info for the coupe also applies here.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, stubby Phillips screwdriver, shop cloth

Ford Mustang coupe rear deck speakers

The Mustang coupe's rear deck speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Rear speakers

Coupe: The Mustang coupe's rear speakers are located in the rear deck, so you'll need to remove the rear seat, side panels, and deck material to get to them. This isn't a complicated procedure, but it can be time-consuming, so work carefully and stay calm. Keep track of the various screws and pins you remove, and be sure to clear out a clean, safe space in the garage for the parts and panels. Complete, illustrated instructions can be found in your Crutchfield MasterSheet.

The standard system features a pair of 6"x8" speakers in the rear deck. Same-size replacements will drop right into the opening, or you can install a set of 5-1/4" speakers using the adapter brackets available with your Crutchfield speaker purchase.

In Mach 460 or Mach 1000 cars, you have the same choice of 6"x8" or 5-1/4" speakers, but this swap involves a little more work and commitment. The factory speakers are actually 8-ohm woofers wired in parallel. When you install new 4-ohm speakers, you'll need to replace the factory amp with an aftermarket model that has a low-pass crossover. The same is true for the front speakers, of course, so, again, your best bet is to replace all the speakers and speaker amps at the same time.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 8mm socket, ratchet and extension, stubby Phillips screwdriver, Torx T47 driver

Convertible: Mustang convertibles use a component system located in the rear seat side panels. There's not as much panel removal to deal with here, but take it nice and easy anyway. Any full-sized adult forced to sit in your Mustang's back seat will turn grumpy in a hurry, so you don't want to mess up your panels and give them something else to complain about.

The standard system uses 4-ohm speakers, while the Mach models are equipped with their usual 8-ohm equipment, wired in parallel. When you replace the Mach speakers with standard 4-ohm aftermarket models, you'll also want to replace the factory amp with a new amp that has a low-pass crossover to power the new woofers.

Ford Mustang convertible rear side speakers

Some disassembly required (Crutchfield Research Photo)

All systems use 6-1/2" woofers, but the factory speaker uses a non-standard bolt pattern and you'll have to drill new mounting holes for your new speakers. You'll also need to create a bracket to hold the tweeters in place. Our universal backstrap is a great solution.

Drilling isn't that tough a task, but then again, you are drilling a hole in your car. Our best advice is to work slowly, wear eye protection and, of course, "measure twice, drill once." Set the replacement speaker in the speaker location and use it as a template as you mark the locations of the new screw holes. Remove the speaker, then use a 1/8" bit to drill the new holes.

Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, 10mm socket, socket wrench and extension, Torx T20 driver, power drill and 1/8" bit

Shop for speakers that fit your Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang coupe trunk

The coupe's trunk gives you some space to work with (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Bass in your Mustang

Coupe: If you want to add more bass to your 2001-04 Mustang, you have plenty of options. The coupe's trunk offers a 35" W x 15" H x 34"/27" D space for a subwoofer box, so you can get pretty loud back there if you feel like it. Of course, if you have any interest in using the trunk for anything else, that's going to take up a lot of space. If you're looking for something smaller that has some power, you have several great choices. You'll still need to replace the amps in the Mach models, of course, but you probably know that by now!

The custom-designed JL Audio Stealthbox contains one 10", 2-ohm JL Audio sub in a slot-loaded, sealed enclosure. Covered in a gray material that blends in nicely with your carpets, it fits in the passenger's side rear corner of your coupe's trunk.

You can also select from a selection of MTX ThunderForms that fit neatly on the passenger's side of the trunk. The amplified ThunderForm contains a 10" sub and a 200-watt amp, while the non-powered version holds a 10" sub capable of handling up to 225 watts RMS. There's also an unloaded model that holds the 10" sub of your choice.

Convertible: The ragtop's trunk is less spacious, of course, at 36" W x 14" H x 18"/25" D. Since that's your only secure space for weekend luggage, we'd suggest a powered sub for this location. These compact models will boost your sound without taking up room you really don't have to spare.

Another way to give your convertible's sound quality a boost is a set of Q-Forms Kick Panel Pods. These enclosures hold your component speakers in an ideal position, angling them to maximize sound quality. Since the Q-Forms are located near your feet, the distance from your ears to each speaker equals out and creates a superior soundstage.

You'll need to cut holes in order to install your 6-1/2" component speakers in these enclosures. Adapter brackets, which you'll need to mount the speakers, are included with your Crutchfield purchase.

Shop for vehicle-specific subwoofers for your Ford Mustang


Installing Dynamat is a great way to reduce wind noise and road roar

Other options for your Mustang

There are plenty of other ways to improve your Mustang. Here are just a few of the ways Crutchfield can help.


Depending on what else has been done to it over the years, a Mustang can be a rather noisy place. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if you really want to get the best performance out of your stereo, you should consider a Dynamat 10435 Xtreme Door Kit. This heavy-duty insulating material is easy to install, and it really makes a difference. One kit should take care of your Mustang's long front doors. If you install an aftermarket subwoofer, you might want to line the trunk lid as well.


Installing a security system in your Mustang 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.

Shop for car security systems for your Ford Mustang

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.

  • Marshall Martin from Saint Helen

    Posted on 8/21/2021

    I have a 2002 mustang gt convertible with the mach 460. My rear factory speakers are actually 5.25s not 6.5s.

  • Matt from Lakeville, MA

    Posted on 11/11/2020

    I have a 2004 Mustang with the Mach 1000 audio and will be replacing it with the Kenwood DMX7706s. The wiring adapters 70-5521 and AFDI -5v that I have found only seem to wire the system to 2 of the 3 wire harnesses that came out of the old radio.... there is the main wire harness that is straight forward then the second harness that has 2 RCA jacks that I believe go to the sub or possibly the amp but they are less descriptive on how to wire. I think this is for the amp because it also is where I would be wiring the 12v - 5v step-down. then finally there is a 3rd wire harness that came out of the old head unit that doesn't seem to have anywhere to go on this unit... Is this for the subs? I've looked everywhere and can not find a single replacement diagram for the mach 1000...

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 11/11/2020

    Matt, With questions like that, it's always better to have a conversation with a real live human. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system.
  • Todd Berkely from Liberty Township

    Posted on 8/19/2020

    I have a 2001 mustang coupe with the mach460 system...the 6disc CD player shows error which apparently is common in these models and the passenger door sub is vibrating(close to failing I'm assuming) I want to replace stock for stock but upgrade the stereo to mp3 and /or CD CHANGER... Options or recommendations would be welcomed as to where to go with this... Todd

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 8/20/2020

    Todd, We can help with that. I've sent your question to our sales team, and they'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.
  • Scott Martin from Marion

    Posted on 8/2/2020

    I have a 2002 convertible mustang with the mach 460 system. Only the top four speakers worked. I replaced the head unit with a Kenwood single din from here. Bottom four speakers still don't work. I've checked fuses, and all wiring connections. Any ideas?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 8/3/2020

    Scott, If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.
  • Bob Sears from Painesville

    Posted on 6/27/2020

    I'm hitting the normal roadblocks with my Mach 460 system in my 2004 Mustang and my aftermarket head unit. The information in this useful article states that the factory speakers are wired in parallel in the front and in the back. Will replacing my factory amps with aftermarket fix this along with aftermarket speakers? Or is there some rewiring of the car involved? Right now everything is playing in mono with an audio test track.

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 6/29/2020

    Bob, With questions like that, it's always better to have a conversation with a real live human. Give us a call and talk to one of our advisors. We can help you choose the right gear and give you the right advice on how to install it.
  • Mark from Cedarburg

    Posted on 2/16/2020

    Curious if you know what the mounting depth is on the front 6x8 on an 03 Mustang. Looking to put 6.5 components in up front. I had an 04 mach 1 that I think I installed MTX 6.5 components in many years ago. I got a Terminator now, but can't remember if a 6.5 will fit Thanks!

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 2/17/2020

    Mark, When you enter your vehicle's info into our Outfit My Car tool, you'll see which speakers fit your Mustang. If you have any questions, our advisors are available via phone or chat.
  • Scott from Jupiter

    Posted on 12/9/2018

    Jon, I have a 2001 Ford Mustang GT convertible with a completely stock Mach 460 sound system. Can you recommend a double din head unit that I can install without replacing any of the other components? I would like the unit to have Bluetooth with hands free calling capability. I don't need CD or DVD capability. Also, I'd like it to have rear view camera capability. Thanks, Scott

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 12/10/2018

    Scott, We can help you with that, but you'll definitely want to talk to one of our Advisors about your stereo situation. I've sent your question to our sales team, and they'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.
  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/31/2018

    Stephen, With questions like that, it's always better to have a conversation with a real live human. Give us a call and talk to one of our advisors. We can help you choose the right gear and give you the right advice on how to install it.

  • Stephen from Plymouth ma

    Posted on 5/30/2018

    Hello I have a 2002 mustang GT with the mach 460 . I have a pioneer deh 80prs four a6886r door speakers a d9601 pioneer 2400 watt amp and two 12 inch pioneer champions in a qbomb armor box if I just wanted to run my speakers on the pre amp on my radio do I still need to get amps for the door speakers I'd rather not amplify my door speakers

  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/27/2017

    Billy, With questions like that, it's always better to have a conversation with a real live human. Give us a call and talk to one of our advisors. We can help you choose the right gear and give you the right advice on how to install it.

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