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ibd2328 05-21-2012 02:49 AM

97-03 F150 Audio Basics
8 Attachment(s)
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
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
Attachment 503790
Attachment 503791

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

2003 F-150
-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.

2002 Harley
Optinal- Six disc CD changer
2003 Harley
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* ?

Single Din
Attachment 503792

Attachment 503793

Double Din

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:
Metra 70-1770
Attachment 503796

99-03 will use this harness:
Metra 70-1771
Attachment 503797

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.
Wire Color----Function
Red------------+12 Volt Accessory
Yellow---------+12 Volt Constant
Black-----------Chassis Ground
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
Supercrews 01-03
97-99 Supercab
2000-03 Supercab

Kick panel enclosure

If you feel I have made an error, please let me know and I will edit it.

ibd2328 05-21-2012 10:40 PM

Saving post for additional info if needed.

ibd2328 06-01-2012 09:57 PM

If you purchase the wrong harness, it's an $8.00 fix. Always look at the back of your radio before you do anything. Trucks are put together at different times in the year, this thread is for
General info and by no means an Official diy.

If you can take the radio out to see the plug in the back, you probably should take it to an install shop.

ibd2328 07-28-2012 05:34 PM

Yeap. And the 97-98 lariats have an external amp. Haven't had time to update it, but thanks the input. If you can get the model number or a pic and post it, that would be great

mwa7082 07-29-2012 03:33 PM

Oem in-dash 6-cd changer
1 Attachment(s)
Attached is the stereo I have in my 2001 F150 XLT.
File name is the Ford Model #.

mwa7082 07-29-2012 03:35 PM

Probably should have listed the model # in the previous post.
Here it is.

ibd2328 03-21-2013 09:12 AM

3 Attachment(s)
I'll have to get a moderator to add these to the original post, but here is some other options for our models.

Keep HU on until doors are opened.
Most generation 10 F150's don't have the option for the stereo to turn off once the door is open(and key is out). So to upgrade your wiring, and achieve this, do the following.

Other custom options:
If you are a DIY'er, custom boxes usually be a better fit and option for memebers who want a unique look/sound.
Attachment 501535

Hiding amps:
You can place your amp almost anywheres, just try to keep it away from peoples feet and in a cool dry place in your truck. With some custom work you, finding a place to put a set of amps shouldnt be to hard.

Behind the seat amp rack
Attachment 501536

Attachment 501537

The links below have great information on alternators, batteries, wiring, and system usage (watts/amps).
Big 3:
Finally, for those of you who want to make your audio/electrical system more efficient, I suggest doing the "BIG 3". This upgrade works great and is for anyone who wants a more efficient system.

Adding a battery:

bobkyle2 03-22-2013 01:45 AM

There we go, Now if you need to add any other stuff later on, It will be a breeze.

Alaninevanston 01-06-2015 05:47 PM

I think I found the post to answer my questions.
I have a '97 Expedition E.B. with the Mach Stereo system. In-dash cassette & console C.D. (Like pix 1). I am wanting to replace the "junk unit I have" with the 6-disc dash unit (Like Pix 3), also with the Mach system. I need help finding the vehicles/years compatible with my '97.
All ideas will be appreciated,

Wyo11Scab 01-06-2015 06:57 PM


Originally Posted by Alaninevanston (Post 3902086)
I have a '97 Expedition E.B. with the Mach Stereo system. In-dash cassette & console C.D. (Like pix 1). I am wanting to replace the "junk unit I have" with the 6-disc dash unit (Like Pix 3), also with the Mach system. I need help finding the vehicles/years compatible with my '97.
All ideas will be appreciated,

I would go to a dealer. Good luck

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