2006-2008 Dodge Ram Quad Cab
Upgrading the stereo system in your Ram Quad Cab
2006 • 2007 • 2008
In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your truck's stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. Use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your Ram Quad Cab.
Overview of the Dodge Ram Quad Cab
When it comes to pickup advertising you hear plenty of talk about (cue raspy macho voiceover) "power, torque, and towing capacity." You don't hear so much about style, mostly because it's probably hard to talk about that sort of thing in a raspy, macho voice. That's kind of a shame, because Dodge trucks have been some of the best-looking pickups on the road for the last couple of decades.
With lines that evoke both the Power Wagons of the past and the semi-trucks of the current day, Dodge trucks have maintained just the right mix of curvy and curmudgeonly through several restylings. The Ram truck's 2006 mid-cycle update, for example, added bigger, brighter headlights, but there's still no mistaking this Quad Cab for anything other than a Dodge.
As per standard pickup procedure, the Ram was available in three different weight classes. The cabs and the disassembly instructions are the same whether you have a 1500, 2500, or 3500, so we've divided the line by cab configuration.
The Ram's stock receiver can be replaced by a variety of aftermarket models (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Factory stereo system
The Ram Quad Cab's base radio was a thoroughly average AM/FM/CD receiver with 4 speakers. The upgraded version featured an Infinity system with an AM/FM/MP3 6-CD changer and seven speakers. A navigation receiver could also be paired with the 7-speaker stereo. These systems range from okay-ish to not-bad, but in a brash, brawny truck like this, that's just not going to cut it.
Due to the vehicle's dash configuration, an aftermarket receiver with a retractable screen may not work, and a receiver with a fold-down face definitely won't work. Finding a receiver that will work is pretty easy when you use our Outfit My Car tool, but some of the factory features that may be present in your truck, like Uconnect®, satellite radio, and the DVD player, won't be around anymore.
That's not really a problem, since all those functions can be replaced and improved with the right aftermarket stereo. A variety of single-DIN (2" tall) and double-DIN (4" tall) receivers will fit in your truck, so you have plenty of options to choose from.
Here's a look at the dash kit for a single-DIN (2" tall) receiver (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Replacing your factory radio
Does your truck have a console? If so, is it a half-console or a whole console? How you answer that question will determine how you're going to go about removing and replacing the factory radio.
The "half" console has three cupholders that form an "L" shape, while the "full" console has three cupholders that are all in a line. You'll need to deal with the cupholders to get to the radio.
Of course, if your vehicle is not equipped with a console, you can skip ahead to the part that applies to all Dodge Ram pickup trucks.
The Ram's half-console looks like this (Crutchfield Research Photo)
You'll start on the left side of the console. Some 4WD trucks have a transfer case shifter in this location, in which case you'll need to remove the rubber boot. Pry up the insert in the top of the shift knob, then remove the exposed nut. Pry around the perimeter of the shift boot and lift it over the shifter. That will expose two 8mm screws, which you'll need to remove. Other trucks have a pen tray here, instead of a shifter. You'll need to pry the tray up, then remove the two exposed 8mm screws.
Next, you'll pry up the cupholder tray, remove two exposed 8mm screws, and lift the cupholder panel up and out of the way. Remove two 8mm screws from the forward storage tray, and pull it out. Remove two 8mm screws under the lower dash trim, remove the trim, then remove two more Phillips screws that are exposed when you remove the trim.
For the full-console model, you'll start at the rear edge and pry up the console/cupholder panel to release the retaining clips. Pull the panel upward and rearward to remove it. Remove the three 8mm screws from the console base, then pull up the console base and remove that. Next, remove two 8mm screws in the lower dash skirt and remove the skirt. Pull the lower dash trim downward to release the retaining clips and pull off the trim. That will expose two 8mm screws, which you'll also need to remove
Detailed stereo and speaker removal instructions
Okay, where were we? The following steps apply to all Rams, so you non-console folks can start paying attention again!
Place the gearshift in the lowest position. Starting at the top edge of the receiver trim panel, pry across the top and sides of the trim panel to release the retaining clips. Pull the panel out, disconnect the wiring harnesses, and remove. Be sure to use a pry tool, or at the very least, put a thick sheet of paper behind the panel to protect it. The factory radio is held in place by four Phillips screws. Remove them, disconnect the harness, and remove the radio.
To install your new receiver, you need a dash kit to make if fit, and a wiring harness adapter to connect it to the factory wiring. You'll save big on both when you buy your stereo at Crutchfield. If your truck is equipped with Uconnect and you want to retain that functionality, a special wiring interface is available for that, as well.
Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver, small flat blade screwdriver, 8mm socket, ratchet & extension, panel tool, thick sheet of paper
Steering wheel audio controls
It's relatively easy to retain the steering wheel audio controls when you install a new stereo in your Dodge Ram truck. 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
The Ram's 4-speaker system has speakers in the front doors and, depending on the cab, somewhere behind the rear seat. The optional 7-speaker Infinity system consists of a 3-1/2" speaker in each dash corner, one 2-1/2" speaker in the center of the dash, a 6"x9" speaker in each front door (with a tweeter mounted in tandem), and 6-1/2" speakers in each rear location.
Trucks with the Infinity speaker system
The front door speakers in the Infinity system only receive bass frequencies from the factory amp. That means any new speakers you install will also only receive (and play) bass. In order to upgrade the sound fully, you should also replace the dash corner speakers, preferably with the same brand as your new 6"x9"s.
The center and corner dash speakers aren't hard to reach (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Whether you're removing the 3-1/2" speakers in the corners or the small (around 2-1/2") speaker in the center, the tools and techniques are the same. Pry across the edge of the vent/speaker grille trim panel to release the retaining clips, then pull the panel towards the rear of the vehicle. Remove two Phillips screws from the speaker, then pull it out and disconnect it.
Tools needed: Panel tool, stubby Phillips screwdriver
The Quad Cab's front door (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Front door speakers
The factory 6"x9" front door speakers can be replaced by same-size, 5-1/4" or 6-1/2" speakers. A speaker adapter bracket is required for the smaller ones, and it's available at a steep discount with your speaker purchase. Remember that if you have the Infinity system, these door speakers only play bass, and the same goes for your new speakers, too.
You'll need to remove the door panel, which is a reasonably basic procedure involving basic tools. Be sure to keep the various screws you remove from the doors (or anywhere in the truck during this process) organized, because you'll probably need them again when you put everything back together. It's also a good idea to test speaker operation before you the reinstall the door panel. Complete instructions for speaker removal can be found in your Crutchfield MasterSheet, of course.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, 10mm socket, ratchet & extension
A close-up look at the Ram's rear door speaker cavity (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Rear door speakers
Replacing your Ram Quad Cab's factory speakers isn't especially difficult, but there is drilling involved, so it helps to have good tools and a solid understanding of how to use them. Plenty of 6-1/2" speakers will fit in these doors, so you have lots of options.
Start by removing one 10mm screw from the rear of the door release handle and one Phillips screw located above the handle. Starting at the bottom, use a panel tool to pry off the door panel. Work your way up each side to release each clip. Lift the door panel straight up, disconnect the wiring harnesses and remove the panel.
Next, remove three Phillips screws securing the speaker, pull it out, and disconnect the harness. Place the new speaker in the cavity and mark the new mounting holes with a felt-tip pen, then set the speaker aside and drill the new holes with a 1/8" bit. Always be careful when drilling in a vehicle, and be sure to wear eye protection and take note of what's behind and around the place where you're drilling.
Once the new holes are ready, connect the new speaker's wiring adapter to the vehicle's speaker harness and re-attach the speakers. Be sure to test the speakers before you button everything up again.
Note: Your replacement speakers probably won't include mounting screws, so it's a good idea to check before you start the installation. Better to make that run to the hardware store sooner than later.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, 10mm socket, ratchet & extension, drill & 1/8" bit
This JL Audio Stealthbox is designed for the Ram Quad Cab
Bass in your Ram Quad Cab
There's a wee bit of room for a subwoofer box in this truck, with a 11" W x 8" H x 6" D space under the right rear seat. A small powered sub might fit there, but there are some customized solutions that might work better.
There are several custom options for adding bass to a Quad Cab, some that come "loaded" with a pre-installed subwoofer, and some "unloaded" models that let you choose your own sub. When manufacturers like JL Audio, MTX, and Q-Customs design a vehicle-specific enclosure, you can rest assured that you're going to get some serious bass performance. And due to the popularity of this truck, you have a wide selection to choose from.
To see all of the loaded and unloaded subwoofer solutions available for your Quad Cab, visit our Outfit My Car page and enter your vehicle information. While this is not the hardest DIY job ever, it is a challenging bit of work. If you're not terribly experienced with this sort of thing, you might want to have the work done by a car audio professional.
If you're looking for something a bit more subtle (and probably a bit easier to install), a powered subwoofer is another great choice.
Installing Dynamat in your Ram will help with wind noise and road roar
Other options for your Ram Quad Cab
Here are some other ways to improve your Ram pickup's comfort, safety, and sound:
Your Ram is a big vehicle with big doors and a big grille, so it punches a big hole in the atmosphere. To prevent wind noise and road roar from undoing the great work your new stereo is doing for you, make sure you install Dynamat when you're replacing your speakers. This soundproofing material will dampen the sounds you don't like, so you can get more enjoyment out of the ones you do.
No matter how much you pamper your Ram 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. These incredibly durable mats trap moisture, contain dirt, and keep your factory carpets looking good.
The Ram Quad Cab is made for wide-open spaces, not crowded parking lots. A rear-view camera will help increase your visibility and safety when your busy day takes you into town. And a camera is also a huge help when you're backing up to a trailer.
Remote start and security systems
Adding remote start capability to your vehicle lets you warm it up in the winter or cool it down in the summer. The iDatastart system is incredibly convenient and makes it easier than ever to install a remote start system, so we highly recommend it. The module requires a vehicle-specific T-harness (sold separately) to connect with your vehicle's computer, security, and ignition systems, so we ask that you call to order so that we can make sure you get the right harness for your ride.
You can also talk to your Crutchfield Advisor about a security system. They’re not as easy to install (we usually suggest letting a professional do the job), but we can help you choose a system that’ll work in your vehicle.
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.