2019-up Ford Ranger
Upgrading the stereo system in your Ranger
2019 • 2020 • 2021
In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your Ranger’s stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. Use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your truck.
Overview of the Ford Ranger
Ford’s Ranger nameplate, last seen on a long-lived and much-loved compact pickup, returned to these shores in 2019 with this mid-sized model. What does “mid-sized” mean in the context of trucks, exactly? In this case, it means a truck that is larger than its predecessor, but still smaller than the F-Series, which, as you may have noticed, is seriously massive these days.
The “midsize truck" is a rapidly growing segment of the pickup market. The Ranger checks in with two cab styles, two bed lengths, a bunch of trim levels, and some nifty tech and safety features, so it's a strong player. It’s big enough to do truck stuff, small enough to park without the help of a spotter, and the turbo four-cylinder produces plenty of power if you want to haul…ahem, stuff.
The Ranger’s stock audio systems range from okay to pretty decent, but there are some ways to upgrade your truck’s sound. Read on to learn more about what’s possible and how you can do the job yourself.
Replacing the base 4.2" radio takes a bit of work, but it's within the capability of the average DIY-er. (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Factory stereo system
The Ranger’s stock stereo options consist of a 4.2” LCD receiver, an 8” LCD display, and there’s an optional 10-speaker Bang and Olufsen audio system.
When you replace the standard receiver, you'll lose the factory rearview camera. Aftermarket rearview cameras are available, so talk to a Crutchfield Advisor to see what your options are.
As you’ll see below, we don’t recommend replacing the larger 8" receiver. On the upside, if you want better sound than even the very nice B&O system can provide, speaker replacement is a reasonably easy upgrade for this truck.
The factory amplifier is located behind the rear seat, and you can reach it by folding down the rear seat back.
The 8" LCD contains the climate controls, so we really don't recommend replacing it (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing your 4.2" factory receiver
Removing and replacing your Ranger’s stock 4.2" receiver is a somewhat complex process, but that's mostly because of the number of steps involved. The steps themselves aren't all that difficult, but there are several and you'll need to stay patient and organized. Complete, illustrated disassembly instructions are included free with your Crutchfield stereo purchase, and the dash kit and wiring harness also come with instructions that'll be helpful when you're installing the new one.
If you have questions, remember that your purchase also includes free tech support for the life of the gear. Give us a a call and we'll help you get the job done right.
There’s no dash kit for the 8" LCD display, but the real issue is that it also includes the climate controls. With that in mind, replacement is not recommended by us or, we imagine, anyone who’s ever going to ride in the truck with you.
Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket, ratchet and extension
Upgrading your speakers will get the most out of your stock radio and really improve your sound (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing your factory speakers
The Ranger's standard six-speaker speaker set-up consists of component speakers in the front doors and full-range speakers in the rear doors. The Bang & Olufsen system is a ten-speaker system that adds a center dash speaker, coaxial rear door speakers (which Ford counts as two speakers in each door), and a small subwoofer.
The center dash speaker is easy to get to and not hard to replace (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Center dash speaker
The B&O center dash speaker is pretty easy to deal with. Starting at the rear edge, pry up the center dash speaker grille to release six clips, then remove the grille. Remove the two 7mm screws securing the speaker to the dash, then disconnect the harness and remove the speaker.
A wiring harness is not available, so you’ll need to either splice, solder, or use Posi-Products speaker connectors to connect the new speaker wires to the Ranger’s wiring.
Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket, ratchet and extension
Upgrading the sail panel tweeters will improve your truck's soundstaging (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Front door tweeters
The 1.602" factory tweeters, which are located in the sail panels, are very easy to remove. Just use a panel tool to pry off the sail panel, push in the tab to release the tweeter, and remove it.
The challenges, such as they are, come with installing the new ones. There’s no wiring harness for this location, either, so you’ll need to splice, solder, or use some more Posi-Products connectors here. There’s also no mounting bracket, so you’ll need to make your own or use a set of our universal backstraps to secure the new tweeters.
These tweeters, which are wired in parallel with the door woofer, are high-impedance models, so replacing them with a 4-ohm aftermarket speaker will result in higher volume levels. Keep this in mind when you’re shopping, or talk to a Crutchfield advisor if you have questions.
Tools needed: Panel tool
You have plenty of options when it comes to upgrading the front door woofers (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Front door woofers
The Ranger’s stock door woofers are 6-3/4" models than can be replaced by a variety of 6-1/2" or 6-3/4" aftermarket models. Mounting brackets are required in some cases, and we’ll include them with your speaker purchase.
These speakers are pretty easy to reach and replace as well. You’ll start by removing the sail panels, which you already did if you’re replacing the tweeters. A set of component speakers would be a great idea for this truck, by the way….
Once the sail panel’s been removed, move down the door and pry out the screw cover behind the door release handle, then remove one Torx T25 screw. Next, you’ll pry off the door pull handle’s outer cover to release twelve retaining clips, then remove the two exposed Torx T25 screws.
Detailed stereo and speaker removal instructions
Remove two Torx T25 screws along the bottom edge of the door panel, the pry out the sides and bottom of the door panel to release seven clips. Disconnect the harnesses and the door release cable, then remove the door panel. Finally, remove the three 7mm screws securing the speaker to the door steel, then disconnect the harness and remove the speaker.
In some cases, you may need to cut off the back of the factory plastic speaker grille to create some extra height for your new speaker. This isn’t hard, but work carefully, wear eye protection, and be patient.
Tools needed: Panel tool, small flat blade screwdriver, Torx T25 driver, 7mm socket, ratchet and extension, utility knife
If you need mounting brackets for your new speakers, we'll include them with your order (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Rear door speakers
Both the SuperCab and SuperCrew Rangers have 6-3/4" speakers in the rear doors. The stock speakers can be replaced by a variety of 6-1/2" or 6-3/4" aftermarket models, and the removal/replacement process is well within the capabilities of the average car audio DIY-er.
All the details can be found in the Crutchfield ResearchNotes included free with your stereo or speaker purchase. With some speakers, you’ll need mounting brackets, which we’ll also include with your speakers.
Getting to the SuperCab speakers takes some work, but it's a do-able DIY project (Crutchfield Research Photo)
In the SuperCab, there’s a bit of work involved, but while there are several steps, none of them are all that hard. You’ll need to be patient and stay organized (especially when it comes to the various screws you’ll remove), but you can totally do this. With some aftermarket speakers, you may need to cut the ring off the back of the door panel to gain a bit of extra height. That’s not hard to do, but work carefully and wear eye protection.
Tools needed: Panel tool, utility knife, Torx T20, T25 and T50 drivers, 7mm socket, ratchet and extension
You'll need to remove the door panels to replace the SuperCrew's rear door speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)
In the SuperCrew, the doors are bigger, but the speaker removal/replacement job is smaller. All you need to do is remove the door panels following the instructions in your ResearchNotes.
Tools needed: Panel tool, small flat blade screwdriver, Torx T25 driver, 7mm socket, ratchet and extension
In B&O-equipped Ranger Super Crews, the stock sub is mounted in an enclosure behind the rear seats (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Bass in your Ranger
The factory subwoofer, which can be found behind the rear seat in B&O-equipped SuperCrew trucks, is a 6"-ish driver mounted in a bracket. It has a proprietary Ford bolt pattern, so you’ll need to fabricate a bracket to install the aftermarket 5-1/4" woofer of your choice. The factory system sends only bass frequencies to this dual voice coil subwoofer, so a replacement aftermarket speaker will also only play bass.
Fabricating the bracket is the challenge in this location, and if you’re not terribly handy, you might want to talk to a local car audio shop. Also, make sure the woofer you choose comes with a grille, because you’ll need one in this location.
There's no space for a subwoofer enclosure in the Ranger, but if you're okay with giving up a little legroom in the rear part of the cabin, you might be able to work in a compact powered subwoofer. Questions? Talk to a Crutchfield advisor to see what your options are.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Torx T20 driver, 10mm socket, ratchet and extension
A set of WeatherTech floor liners will help keep your Ranger's carpets looking new.
Other options for your Ranger
Here are some other smart ideas for your Ford Ranger.
Sound damping to block road noise
There's no way to totally eliminate wind and road noise from any truck, even one as comparitively slick as the Ranger. That said, installing some Dynamat in the doors can reduce the roar and really seal in sound.
Protect your carpeting with custom-fit floor liners
Driving a Ranger will eventually lead to doing truck-type things, and those things will take a toll on your truck's carpeting. WeatherTech floor mats and liners will help protect your floors from dirt and damage.
Security systems and remote start
Installing a security system in your Ranger won't be easy (security systems rarely are), but it's definitely a good idea if you're travelling and stop overnight. Our Crutchfield Advisors can help figure out what you need to get the job done, but we usually recommend taking your truck to a professional installer.
Adding remote start capability to your truck lets you warm it up in the winter or cool it down in the summer. Installation is usually easier with these systems, but we still ask that you call to order so that we can make sure you get the right harness for your ride.
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.