GATORB8's sticky about audio basics (for newer models) answers alot of generalized questions. So, I thought it could be useful to do the same for the 97-03 model years.
This is only for 97-2003 F-150's.
It has no relevance or correlation to the newer model f150's (04 +).
Q1: What stock systems were available?
There were various head units available from 97-03. Most of the units vary with year and package(xl, xlt, etc). Here is a list;
1: Radio (97-98)- Only AM/FM,
2: Standard Tape(97-98) - AM/FM / Cassette tape
* 97-08 Lariat had optional 6 disc changer with outboard amp
3. Standard CD =AM/FM + Single CD
4. Premium- Premium w/CD6
*Note*: some models offered a AM/FM + cassette player up front with an optional, 5 disc changer located in the back of the cab.
Here are some pictures of the OEM's
Additional options and changes with respect to package and year.
Late 2001 changes through 2003;
RADIO — AM/FM stereo cassette
AM/FM premium stereo w/single CD
6-Disc CD changer available on SuperCab with 60/40 split bench sea
Rear Seat Entertainment System optional on XLT and Lariat SuperCrew
-Audio system choices now include a cassette/CD player (standard on Lariat) and an in-dash six-CD changer (standard on King Ranch)
-SuperCrew has an available rear-seat entertainment package option, with VHS player and video game outlets.
Optinal- Six disc CD changer
newly standard six-disc in-dash CD changer
Q2: What is my head unit size?
Double Din size, all years.
Both single and double-din head units can fit. The single din units require no trimming. However, trimming may or may not, have to be done in-order to fit a double din aftermarket unit.
Q3: What kit/hardware do I need to install an *aftermarket stereo* ?
Here's a single din kit installed for reference.
Double din kit
Q4: I don't want to cut my factory wiring. What harness will I need in order to put an aftermarket unit in?
This will vary on the year of your truck.
97-98 with and without auto set:
99-03 will use this harness:
Q5: What is the wiring schmatics and color coding?
***Do not get discouraged, it is much simpler than it looks***
The color codes(for metra plugs) are the same for all 97-03 models. Only the plug arrangement is different.
Red------------+12 Volt Accessory
Yellow---------+12 Volt Constant
Black/White ----Signal Ground (connect with ground wire)
White-----------Left Front Speaker +
White/Black-----Left Front Speaker -
Gray------------Right Front Speaker +
Gray/Black------Right Front Speaker -
Green-----------Left Rear Speaker +
Green/Black -----Left Rear Speaker -
Violet -----------Right Rear Speaker +
Violet/Black------Right Rear Speaker -
Q6: I want to replace my speakers, what are the aftermarket replacement speaker sizes I can use?
6"x8" fit all models and years.
6 1/2" and 5 1/4" Coaxials or Components will fit with readily available adapter plates. However, tweeters will need to be custom mounted on the dash, door sails, or pillars. (requires holes).
Q6: Are there any products I can use so I do not have to cut my factory speaker wiring?
Yes, these adapters allow "plug and play" with no splicing required.
Q7: What options do I have for a sub enclosure?
Of course you can always build your own, but here are some pre-fabbed boxes from reliable manufacturers.
97-03 Reg. Cab
Kick panel enclosure
My info was limited on the 97-98 Lariats, so let me know if you can add more