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2005-2009 Ford Mustang

How to upgrade the stereo system in your Mustang

2006 Ford Mustang

In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your Mustang's stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. We'll tell you all about:

Then, use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your Mustang.

Overview of the Ford Mustang

The 2005-09 Mustang re-ignited the “pony car” wars with its combination of retro style and modern performance. The design was an obvious homage to the classic Mustangs of the Sixties, but the styling and the stance still managed to be totally contemporary.

With the disco-era Fox platform finally retired after 25 years of loyal service, this new Mustang also sported a long-awaited new chassis that provided balanced handling no matter which V-6 or V-8 engine was under the hood.

With instantly recognizable looks and a wide variety of options and trim packages, the 2005 - 2009 Mustang offers something for almost every enthusiast. Whether you’re looking for a stylish daily driver or a bellowing muscle car, there’s a Mustang for you. And once you find your Mustang, we’re here to help you build the perfect stereo system.

2005 Ford Mustang convertible

2005 Ford Mustang convertible (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The factory stereo system

The factory stereo is located at the front of the car’s center console. The AM/FM/CD receiver lives in a double-bay assembly, and Ford offered three audio system options:

Ford Mustang Shaker system stereo

The Mustang's Shaker system stereo (Crutchfield Research Photo)

  • 4-speaker system: Features 6"x8" speakers in the front doors and on the rear deck, powered by a AM/FM/CD receiver.

  • Shaker 500 system: Adds two 8" dual voice coil woofers located at the mid-line of each door, powered by two amplifiers located in the driver's kick panel.

  • Shaker 1000 system: Adds two 10" dual voice coil subs in a trunk-mounted enclosure that's powered by four amps (one per voice coil) behind the enclosure.

The Mustang's factory stereo removed

The Mustang's standard receiver (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the factory radio

The replacement process in the Mustang depends a bit on the stereo you're replacing. We'll hit the high points below.

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.

4-speaker system

The factory radio is fully enclosed by the console and several trim panels. Installing a new car stereo is fairly straight-forward, but it'll take a little time and effort.

You’ll need a dash kit to install a DIN (2" tall) or double-DIN (4" tall) radio. It’s possible to hard wire a new stereo to the factory wiring but getting a wiring harness will keep you from having to cut into the factory wires. You'll also need an antenna adapter that allows you to connect the Ford antenna lead to your new receiver. The dash kit, harness, and antenna adapter needed for this installation are available at a very nice discount with your Crutchfield order, along with our free step-by-step Crutchfield MasterSheet disassembly instructions.

To begin the radio replacement process, open the center console and remove two Phillips screws at the back of the unit. Then, using the pry tool, remove the gearshift trim, followed by the console trim. Next, pry away the side trim panels located on either side of the accessory stack, followed by removal of the six 7mm screws securing the receiver/climate control trim panel. Next, remove the four 7mm screws securing the receiver to the accessory bay. Now pull out the stereo and disconnect it from the factory plug. The process takes a little time, but it's not complicated.

Installation note: The mounting kit that trims out the new radio in the Mustang dash includes a pocket that protrudes a little. As a result, you can't install a car stereo with a fold-down face in this Mustang.

Ford Mustang radio cavity

A look inside the Mustang's dash cavity (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Shaker 500 and Shaker 1000 systems

You'll go through the same procedure to remove the radio in the Shaker systems, with one change. Unless you plan on gutting the entire system, you'll need a special adapter in order to connect your new car stereo into the Ford amps that run the woofers in the doors (and in the trunk with the Shaker 1000 system).

There are several adapters available, depending on the model year of your Mustang. You can find the right one by using our Vehicle Selector to identify your vehicle or by talking to one of our advisors. Your new receiver must have subwoofer RCA preamp outputs, because this special adapter has RCA plugs that connect to the preamp outs. This allows you to adjust the factory subs with the sub control on your new stereo.

Special technical note: If you experience a transient pop during turn-on/turn-off after installing a replacement receiver, it may be due to the factory remote lead employing 5 volts (instead of the normal 12 volts). You can eliminate this pop by installing a 12V-to-5V interface on the remote lead. The special adapter we recommend for this installation will also take care of this voltage conversion.

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

Read our Car Stereo Buying Guide for shopping tips and advice.

Shop for car stereos that fit your Ford Mustang

Steering wheel audio controls

In most cases, it's reasonably easy to retain your Mustang'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 a compatible aftermarket receiver.

Removing the factory speakers

Installing a new set of speakers in your Mustang isn't terribly difficult, but it takes some work in both the coupe and convertible models. Block out plenty of time to get the job done, and work patiently. This is an excellent DIY project that will product outstanding results.

4-speaker system (all models)

Ford Mustang front door base model stereo

In Mustangs with the base stereo system, the door panels look like this (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Front doors

You can install aftermarket 6"x8" speakers in the front doors, and you also have the option of putting 5-1/4" speakers in there with the help of mounting brackets. Your choices are restricted slightly by the factory grilles. Our vehicle selector will filter out the speakers that don't fit, so you can see your available options. Wiring harnesses are available to connect the new speakers to your factory wiring. Harnesses and mounting brackets are available at a special discount with every speaker order at Crutchfield.

Again, the process of replacing your speakers is straightforward, but somewhat time consuming. You'll have to remove the front-window sail panel, then disconnect the electric door controls. Next, remove the center door-latch trim, pry away the internal arm-rest screw panel, and remove the two T30 Torx screws. Pry up the power option panel, and remove all of the 7mm Phillips screws at the bottom and side of the door panel.

ford mustang rear deck speaker

Removing the Mustang coupe's rear deck speaker (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Finally, go back to the options panel, unclip the door latch cable, disconnect the options panel, and lift the door panel away from the entire assembly. Once the factory speaker is accessible, remove all of the T20 Torx screws that secure the speaker, and disconnect the internal wiring harness.

Rear deck (2005-2006 models)

6"x8" speakers will drop right into the rear deck openings, and wiring harnesses are available for this location. You also have the option of installing 5-1/4" speakers in mounting brackets. There's plenty of room back here, so just about any speakers will fit. To replace the factory speakers, begin by prying the grilles up from the rear deck. Once you have the screens off, remove all of the Torx screws that secure the speakers, and lift each unit from its respective bracket. Disconnect the speakers from the internal wire harness, and discard the factory units.

Rear deck (2007-2009 models)

In these later models, the rear speakers require a little more work to remove. The grilles are integrated into the rear deck, so you have to remove the deck material to get to the speakers. This involves removing the trim panels beside and above the back seat. Once again, it's not that hard, especially with our instructions, but it will take some time.

Rear side panels: (convertible)

If you have a droptop 'Stang, the speaker replacement process is a bit different. You'll start by prying up and removing the top part of the side panel, then you'll pry the panel out until you release the retaining clips. You won't remove it all together, though. Hold it out far enough to remove the four Torx T20 screws that secure the speaker, then pull it out, disconnect it, and remove it. Connect it to the vehicle wires, test it out, and put everything back together.

Ford Mustang convertible rear speakers

Getting to the convertible's rear speakers is pretty simple, really. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Shaker 500 system and Shaker 1000 system

If you have one of the factory hot rod stereos, your options for replacing speakers are exactly the same as with the non-Shaker system. Harnesses are available for both locations, as well as brackets for 5-1/4" speakers if that's your preference.

Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver; small flat blade screwdriver; panel tool; socket driver with 7mm, 8mm, and 14mm sockets; T20 and T30 Torx drivers; drill and 1/8" bit

Read our Car Speakers Buying Guide for more information

Shop for speakers that fit your Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Trunk

The Mustang's Shaker 1000 system includes subs in the trunk (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Bass in your Mustang

If you have a Shaker system, you can replace the factory woofers in the doors, or in the Shaker 1000 system's trunk enclosure. But there are a few things you'll want to be clear on before you start your project.

First off, the factory amps for the door subwoofers are designed to drive low-impedance subs, so you'll get reduced output if you replace the factory subs but not the amps

You'll also have to drill new screw holes for any sub, as well as enlarge the factory cutout for some large frame subs. You'll also want to use Dynamat on the doors to prevent rattling.

You can get a lot of bass into a Mustang if you design your system properly. Our car audio experts are available by phone or chat if you need help.

Amps for Ford Mustang Shaker subs

You'll also find some amplifiers back there.... (Crutchfield Research Photo)

To make a long story (not to mention a long installation) short, you might want to check out some of the subwoofer enclosures made specifically for the 2005-09 Mustang. You'll get great performance, plus you get to avoid the headache of trying to guess which subs are going to work in the factory enclosures.

MTX Thunderform for the Ford Mustang

This MTX Thunderform is made to fit your Mustang (MTX photo)

One solution is an amplified MTX ThunderForm containing a 12" sub and a 200-watt amp. It installs in the passenger side of the trunk. Having the amplifier built into the enclosure makes installation a lot easier.

Learn more about building a bass system in our Car Subwoofer Buying Guide.

Shop for vehicle-specific subwoofers for your Ford Mustang

weathertech custom floor liners

Keep your Mustang's carpets looking sharp with a set of custom-fit WeatherTech floor liners (Weathertech photo)

Other options for your Mustang

As you might expect with a vehicle like the Mustang, there are plenty of ways to upgrade your car inside and out.

Protect the carpeting

Daily life has a way of destroying factory carpeting, even if you're careful. Floor mats and cargo mats from WeatherTech will help protect your Mustang's floors from dirt and damage.

Add a sound processor

If you choose to keep the stock radio, install a sound processor to send a clear, clean signal to your new amp. Sound processors remove any limitations on the signal imposed by the factory radio. The better the signal, the better the sound. Read our article explaining factory sound processors to learn more.

Upgrade your security

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.

Let's get started!

Ready to shop? Use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your car or truck. If you have questions, give us a shout via phone, chat, or email

  • Brent from Pinnacle NC

    Posted on 9/3/2023

    I'm doing a full upgrade, I'm looking for the depth of subwoofer on the 10" shaker 1,000 rear subs. I will not be using any factory wiring at all.

    Commenter image

    Crutchfield Writing Team from Crutchfield

    on 9/5/2023

    Brent, 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.
  • Ron from NYC

    Posted on 2/7/2022

    I have an 07 convertible that I'm putting a Jensen VX7020 head unit in and Alpine SPS-507 speakers in the front and rear. I have the Shaker 1000 wiring in the trunk and I want to install an aftermarket amp and sub. There's a 10 pin plug for the stock amp in the trunk. How do I tap into this properly? Is there a harness to connect to this plug available? I think I need to T-tap each of the wires for "remote", "power", "ground", and audio signals. I need help identifying each wires purpose to tap them.

  • Neil from Lafayette

    Posted on 6/11/2021

    2006 Shaker 500. Would like to options on replacing speakers/amp/head unit. I've read a lot of mixed reviews online that this system is best left untouched. Thanks

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 6/11/2021

    Neil, 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.
  • Robert Alvarez from Wesley Chapel, Flor

    Posted on 4/29/2021

    2006 mustang gt, replaced head unit, replaced speakers including subs. The door subs are kicker 2 ohm apparently the two amps are 1.4 ohm. I am looking to replace the 2 amps with 2 ohm output amps. I see you sell them do yo also sell a harness or adapter for the connections or is it a custom wire job to replace the OEM amps.

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 4/30/2021

    Robert, 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.
  • Ethan M Renoe from LITTLETON

    Posted on 2/23/2021

    I'm trying to figure out if it's possible to wire a sub and amp to the stock head unit without having to drop $100 on a new head unit? I already have the sub and amp and would love to just buy a wiring kit and call it a day. Is that possible?

  • Nic Bongers from AUBURN HILLS

    Posted on 1/14/2021

    This era of Mustang has issues with the shaker stock amplifiers, in terms of how it drains the battery if you don't drive the car for a few days. I've heard of a DIY relay that you can put into the fuse box if you plan to keep the stock shaker amplifier, or just upgrade the amplifier. I don't know which direction I should go.

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 1/15/2021

    Nic, 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.
  • Alex Kosmos from Cleveland

    Posted on 7/11/2020

    I just purchased a GT 500 and had to replace battery. My am/fm works fine, but CD does not work. I followed instructions of pressing #3 and #6 and then pressing #2. Reports no DTCS. Pressed eject button and shut-off radio to save changes. I still am unable to use CD player. Frustrating and what to do next?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 7/13/2020

    Alex, Did it work before you replaced the battery? Honestly, it's hard to say from here, but it might be time for a new receiver. 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.
  • Kinsey from Jersey City

    Posted on 6/22/2020

    I know this is an old thread however I have a Mustang GT 2008 Convertible. I am looking to upgrade the Head Unit only. If there any touch screen android/apple that will pop right in and work with the existing speakers, subs and amps?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 6/22/2020

    Kinsey, When you enter your vehicle's info into our Outfit My Car tool, you'll see which stereos fit your car, plus the correct harness. If you have any questions, our advisors are available via phone or chat.
  • Jeff Godzeski from Indianapolis

    Posted on 6/13/2020

    I have a 2007 Convertible Stang that I've already replaced the head unit with Kenwood DBX592bt and the door speakers with Kenwoods. However, the speakers barely fit and are pressed up against the door panel grate. The sound is unforgiving and tinny. Best Buy sold me on these being a good fit but no matter how I eq the sound, it's not good. What is a better option? I've been told it's a convertible issue with loss of sound but I believe that's bs because my Saab convertible sound was just fine with Alpine.

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 6/15/2020

    Jeff, We can help you with that. 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.
  • Juwuan Smith from Nacogdoches

    Posted on 3/10/2020

    I have a 2005 mustang convertible that had some issues and I came across a 2009 GT donor car with a shaker 1000 system, subs and amp. Is it possible to install these to my aftermarket radio on the 2005?

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 3/11/2020

    Juwuan, It might be possible, but it definitely won't be a "plug and play" operation. There are a lot of potential issues, so it's hard to say from here -- especially since OEM-to-OEM swaps aren't our usual thing. You might be able to get some solid info from a Mustang owners' forum, though. Hope that helps a little bit. Good luck!

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