In a Nutshell
This article discusses how to install car audio gear in your F-150. Check it out and then use our vehicle selector to find audio gear that will fit your pickup.
Replacing the old radio isn't hard in these trucks. You have lots of aftermarket stereo options, but you might want to choose a receiver that you can upgrade in the future. Look for preamp outputs, Bluetooth® functionality, iPod® adapters, and things of that nature. Replacing the door and rear panel speakers is also pretty simple, and you have a nice variety of speakers to choose from.
You can also expand your system with amps and a subwoofer The custom-made sub enclosures for the F-150 are very impressive. They tuck out of the way, and some come pre-loaded with some of the best subs on the market.
Overview of the Ford F-150
Ford must have had car audio fans in mind when they built this truck. The roomy interior offers plenty of space for new speakers, a stereo, and much more. The F-150’s remarkable popularity ensures that you’ll have plenty of options to choose from, and the modular design makes installation surprisingly easy.
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 Altima, 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.
Factory stereo system
This Ford F-150 regular cab truck came with a couple of options, ranging from the standard AM/FM receiver to upgrades like a 6-disc in-dash changer and a factory sub.
A close-up of a factory 6"x8" speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Each of the four doors houses a 6"x8" speaker, and in some trucks you'll find an enclosure with a subwoofer and an amplifier behind the driver's side seat. It's really easy to get into the dash and speaker locations.
You only have to remove one piece of trim to access the factory radio, and the speaker grilles pry off in the front doors. You'll have to remove the door panels to replace the rear door speakers, but it's not difficult.
The Ford F-150's rather basic factory AM/FM radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Replacing your factory radio
There's plenty of room behind the dash, so you can install just about any car stereo in this truck, including single-DIN (2" tall) and double-DIN (4" tall) receivers. You'll need a mounting kit to trim out the new radio, along with a wiring harness that allows you to connect your new radio without having to cut the factory wiring.
Crutchfield includes these installation parts at a very nice discount with stereo orders, along with our step-by-step instructions for your F-150.
This kit lets you install a single-DIN radio in your F-150. (Crutchfield Research Photo)
You'll have no problem fitting accessory items like satellite radio tuners, iPod adapters, navigation modules, or even small amps back behind your new stereo. Remove a couple of trim pieces, and you'll have all the access you need for the installation.
Tools needed: 7mm socket wrench and a panel tool
Steering wheel audio controls
It's relatively easy to retain the steering wheel audio controls when you install a new stereo in your F-150. 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.
Replacing your factory speakers
This truck will accept several speaker sizes: 6"x8" speakers drop right in, most 5"x7"s will also fit, and 5-1/4" speakers will fit in with mounting brackets. It's a good idea to get speaker harnesses along with your new speakers. They'll allow you to attach the new speakers to the plugs that connect to the Ford factory speakers, and they make it easier to reinstall the factory speakers if you ever sell your truck. Crutchfield includes these brackets and speaker wiring harnesses at a discount with every speaker order.
A close-up look at the Ford's front door panel (Crutchfield Research Photo)
You don't have to pry off the entire door panel, because there's a pop-out panel that covers the speaker location. A wide selection of 6"x8" or 5-1/4" speakers will fit in this location. You can also install kick panel enclosures that hold 6-1/2" speakers and tweeters in this truck if you prefer that option.
The rear door panel also houses a speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)
You will have to remove the rear door panels to access the speakers. Again, there's plenty of room for most 6"x8" speakers, or you can also use 5-1/4" speakers in brackets.
Tools needed: panel tool, socket wrench, 5.5mm, 8mm, 10mm, 1/4", and 7/32" sockets
Bass in your F-150
If you don't have the Ford factory sub (or if you want to replace yours), you'll find a bunch of subwoofer options available. Your best bet would be a vehicle-specific enclosure from MTX, available in unloaded, loaded, and amplified versions. They'll give you powerful bass without wasting much (if any) space. There's also room behind the seat for a compact Class D amp that will deliver some serious bass power.
Other options for your F-150
With a vehicle as popular as the F-150, there are lots of aftermarket improvements available.
iPod users, you'll find a great spot for an iPod connection next to the 12-volt port that's situated low in your console, and the pocket just below that port is a great place to stash your player.
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 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.