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2000-2006 Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL

2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006

Chevy Suburban GMC Yukon XL

In a Nutshell

This article will explain how to install new car stereo gear in your Suburban or Yukon XL. Check it out and then use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your car.

All the original audio gear (base or Bose®) is old at this point, so whether you start with a new receiver or new speakers, you really can't go wrong. Personally, we'd start with the receiver, because things like Bluetooth® connectivity, smartphone compatibility, and even navigation are great to have in a truck like this.

Installing a set of component speakers up front will make a big difference, as will new speakers in the rear doors. Adding an amplifier will help you get the most out of your new system, and you can also upgrade the premium subs and rear tweeters.

Full Story

Overview of the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL

Any car or truck that's in its ninth generation obviously has something going for it. And this is pretty much the only vehicle that can make that claim.

The first Suburban came out in the mid-thirties and while these trucks are a lot more sophisticated than their forebears, the basic idea hasn't changed a whole lot. These trucks are designed to haul lots of people and/or stuff over all sorts of terrain in comfort and style, and they do the job really, really well.

Whether you have a stripped-down Suburban (or Yukon XL) that you use for work and weekend duty, or a maxed out, ultra-luxurious hauler for your family, these trucks are up for the task. But if you're into audio, we don't have to tell you that the stereo could use some upgrading.

This article is an overview of your vehicle's audio system and its upgrade options. If you're looking for step-by-step instructions on how to install a car stereo or speakers in your Suburban or Yukon, there's nothing better than our exclusive Crutchfield MasterSheet™. This detailed, well-illustrated document is free with your Crutchfield order, or you can purchase one separately for $9.99.

chevy suburban gmc yukon xl factory radio

A navigation receiver joined this base receiver later in the model run (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Factory stereo system

The factory stereo gear stayed largely the same over this truck's 7-year run, but a 2003 dash refresh changed the way you go about replacing the receiver. There are some other minor differences between the 2000-2002 trucks and the later versions, and all those will be covered in the Crutchfield MasterSheet that's included free with your stereo or speaker purchase.

There's nothing exceedingly complicated about working on these big SUVs, so if you're a reasonably skilled DIY-er, you'll be just fine. There's a bit of actual work involved in places, but improving the sound and adding cool features like smartphone compatibility, satellite radio, and Bluetooth connectivity will make the effort worthwhile.

suburban yukon xl radio dash kit

This dash kit allows you to install a new single-DIN receiver (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Replacing your factory radio

Many of these trucks were equipped with a version of GM's ubiquitous AM/FM CD player, but later trucks could be had with an optional navigation receiver.

A vast number of single-DIN (2" tall) and double-DIN (4" tall) stereos will fit, but you'll need a dash kit and you'll need to take a hack saw to the rear support bracket in the dash opening to create space for most of them. This is pretty easy and it won't compromise the dash integrity, but it's something to be aware of. If you're not into that idea, look for a digital media receiver. They're not nearly as deep as CD receivers, and most should fit nicely.

Stereo cavity requires modification

You might have to cut out this rear brace when you install a new stereo (Crutchfield Research Photo)

As tempting as it might be to add a single-DIN stereo with a flip-out screen, we don't recommend it, because the screen will bang into the column-mounted shifter.

Whatever kind of receiver you go with, you'll need a dash kit to install it. You'll also need an antenna adapter and a wiring harness adapter that will allow you to connect the new radio without having to cut into the factory wiring. All of those items are available at a healthy discount with your order.

A quick word about wiring harnesses

On 2003-2006 trucks, the warning chime is built into the factory radio, and the adapter we recommend retains that audible safety warning while also providing a switched 12-volt power source for your new radio. Crutchfield strongly recommends that you don't replace your factory radio without using a recommended adapter. In fact, we can't offer tech support if you don't use it. So you should like, y'know, use it, okay?

When you install a new receiver, you'll lose factory features like XM satellite radio and navigation, if present, but you can replace and actually upgrade them if you order the right receiver.

If your 2000-2002 Suburban has a rear DVD player, audio will only be available through the factory headphones. That's not a problem on 2003-2006 trucks because there's an adapter available that will let you connect that audio to your new stereo's rear-mounted auxiliary input. The caveat there is that your new stereo has to have a rear-mounted auxiliary input — keep that in mind while shopping. 

Tools needed (2000-2002): Panel tool, opposable thumbs

Tools needed: (2003-2006): Panel tool, 7mm socket, ratchet and extension, hacksaw

Steering wheel audio controls

It's relatively easy to retain the steering wheel audio controls when you install a new stereo in your Suburban or Yukon XL. 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.

Shop for car stereos that fit your Chevrolet Suburban

chevy suburban gmc yukon xl front door

The front and rear door speakers are reasonably easy to reach and replace (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Replacing your factory speakers

There are some model year variations to pay attention to, but overall, speaker replacement is pretty uncomplicated in these trucks.

chevy suburban gmc yukon xl front door speaker

The stock speakers can be replaced by a wide variety of aftermarket models (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Front door speakers

The door speakers in the Suburban and Yukon XL are 6-1/2" models. You can replace them with same-size speakers slightly smaller 5-1/4" speakers. You'll need a mounting bracket in either case, and we'll include them and wiring adapters at a significant discount. If you're willing to drill some new screw holes, slightly larger 6-3/4" models will work, too.

The speakers are reasonably easy to reach and replace. You'll need to remove the sail panel and door panel, but it's not a terribly involved process at all. Your MasterSheet will walk you through every step. The key is to work carefully and take it easy when you're prying away the plastic bits. They're not as young and flexible as they used to be.

Most of these trucks included tweeters in the front doors. As long as you have the door panel off, you might as well replace the woofer and the tweeter with a top-quality set of component speakers. You’ll have to fashion a mounting plate for the new tweeter, a task for which our universal backstraps are very helpful.

If you install the larger speakers, be safe when you're drilling the new mounting holes. Take note of what's around the drilling area and work carefully to avoid damaging your truck.

Tools needed: Panel tool, small flat blade screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, Torx T-20 driver, 7mm socket, ratchet and extension, drill, 1/8” bit, shop rag (used on manual window cranks)

suburban yukon xl rear door

You have lots of options when it comes to replacing the rear door speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Rear door speakers

Replacing the rear door speakers is a very similar process to what you did up front. The same size ranges work here, and the same cautions and suggestions apply. If you need mounting brackets for your speakers, they'll be included with your order.

Whenever you're replacing door speakers, it's important to test them out before going to the trouble of putting the doors back together. It's also smart to make sure the locks and windows are operating properly before you button everything up again.

Tools needed: Panel tool, small flat blade screwdriver, Torx T-15 driver, 9/32" socket, ratchet and extension

suburban yukon xl rear tweeter

The rear tweeters can be found behind the pillar panels (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Rear tweeters

Most trim levels have tweeters mounted in the rear pillars. The tweeters are 2-3/4" in size, with a distance of 3-1/4" between the mounting screw holes. There's plenty of room to install new tweeters, if you want, but you'll need to use universal backstraps, hot glue, or silicone to secure them. 

To replace the tweeters, start by prying off the upper trim that connects the two pillars, above the cargo door. Next, remove the rear pillar trim panels. Start at the edge closest to the center of the vehicle to release three metal clips, then move to the edge near the side window and pry to release two more clips.

Disconnect the speaker harness to free the panel from the truck. Cut the zip tie and pry out on three plastic clips to free the factory speaker.

suburban yukon xl rear subwoofer

The factory sub lives behind this good-sized rear trim panel in 2000-2002 Suburbans and Yukon XLs (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Side-panel subwoofer (2000-2002 models)

If your 2000-2002 Suburban or Yukon XL has the premium audio system, you'll find an 8", 2-ohm subwoofer back in the cargo area. If you want to replace it, there are several aftermarket subs that will fit in the space.

To replace that sub, you'll start by following the procedure above to remove the rear pillar trim on the driver's side. Next, pry up the door opening scuff plate to release 10 metal clips, then remove the scuff plate.

Pry out the retaining clip from the rear side trim panel located at the bottom of panel near the door opening, then cover the cargo net holder with a shop rag or cloth and use a pair of pliers to unscrew and remove the holder. Next, remove a screw from the cupholder. 

To remove the sub, start at the rear and top rear edges of the rear side panel and pry the panel out enough to access the screws securing the sub. Remove the four Torx T-20 screws securing the sub, then pull it out and disconnect it.

Tools needed: Panel tool, wire cutters, Torx T-20 driver, shop rag

JL Audio Stealthbox

Replacing the 2003-2006 console subwoofer with this JL Audio Stealthbox isn't easy, but the results are impressive.

Center console subwoofer (2003-2006 models)

Bose-equipped 2003-up trucks have the same tweeters, but the subwoofer is located up front in the center console. This sub is a forward-firing, dual-voice coil model that's roughly the same size as a 6-3/4" sub, but slightly oblong in shape.

If it's there, you can replace it with something newer and nicer, but it's not easy. To be quite frank, it's a massive pain. Once you get in there, you'll need to fabricate a mounting bracket to install a new one. The factory system sends only bass frequencies to the sub, so a replacement aftermarket speaker will also only play bass.

None of the (many) steps involved in getting to the sub are especially difficult, but there are a lot of them and it's not a job you can rush through. A DIY-er can do this, but allocate plenty of time and remember to be very, very patient while you work.

There is a JL Audio Stealthbox enclosure that’s' designed to fit in this location. It houses a 10" JL Audio sub and it's a well-regarded replacement piece. You will need to modify the inner console to get this unit installed, but it's an elegant solution to a sticky issue. Again, it's not easy, but it is do-able if you're up for it.

Tools needed: Phillips screwdriver, right-angle Phillips screwdriver, 10mm driver

Shop for speakers that fit your Chevrolet Suburban

chevy suburban gmc yukon xl cargo area

There's plenty of space for bass in this enormous cargo area. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Bass in your Suburban or Yukon XL

Replacing the factory subwoofer is one way to improve the bass in your truck, but it's not the only way. 

There's obviously tons of space in this vehicle, so if you want to go big on bass, the easiest way to do it is by adding a traditional subwoofer box. From side to side, there's a 49" W x 16" H x 27"/28" D space available, but feel free to install something even bigger if cargo hauling isn't much of a concern. If it really, really is, look into a smaller enclosure or a powered subwoofer (they don't take up much space).

There's also a Q-Customs subwoofer enclosure that fits under the second row of seats on the driver's side. This enclosure will hold the 10" woofer of your choosing and has a box volume of 0.65 cubic feet. It's a terrific option if you want big bass sound, but don't want to have a sub taking up space in the cargo area.

Shop for vehicle-specific subwoofers for your Chevrolet Suburban

Q-Forms Kick Panel Enclosures

Q-Forms Kick Panel Enclosures can really improve your SUV's soundstaging

Other options for your Suburban or Yukon XL

Here are some other upgrade ideas for your SUV.

Add an amplifier for better sound

No matter what else you do to your audio system, to further improve the sound quality, consider installing a 4-channel amplifier for your speakers. That will let you get the best sound from your music and really fill up this truck's spacious cabin. And if you install subwoofers, you'll also need to install an amplifier to power them as well. Talk to one of our advisors to get some ideas for how to economically and easily build your system.

Kick Panel Pods for more speakers

To pump up the sound even more, install a set of Q-Forms Kick Panel Pods. These custom speaker enclosures fit right into the space where your kick panels are now and, once you pick and install a set of 6-1/2" speakers, will direct great sound up towards your ears. They're available in a variety of colors to match your truck's interior.

Sound damping to block road noise

There's no way to totally eliminate wind and road noise from a big old brick like this, but installing some Dynamat in the doors — and, potentially, throughout the cabin, can really seal in sound. A set of inexpensive foam speaker baffles behind your new speakers will also help, plus they help protect the speakers from dust and damage.

Navigation

If your Suburban or Yukon didn't come with factory navigation, you can add an aftermarket double-DIN nav receiver with help from a dash kit. Depending on how you use your truck, a portable navigation unit could also be a good solution, because you can move it between vehicles as needed and tuck it into a storage compartment when you're not using it.

Security

Installing a security system in this truck is reasonably simple as these things go, but these things really aren't simple. If you're not experienced with car security and remote start installations, consult a Crutchfield advisor before ordering and consider handing the job off to a professional.

Shop for car security systems for your Chevrolet Suburban

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.

  • J. Paige Butler from Austin

    Posted on 6/12/2018

    I have a 2003 Suburban with Bose cd and casstte head unit, which has a cd stuck in it, a cassette stuck in it (currently playing) and is froze in volume adjust mode (low-med-high only selections available). I have another cd only head unit (unknown if it is Bose or base), when I put it in the radio appears to function but there is no sound coming out of the speakers. When I plug headphones into rear of center console I can hear the radio. Please help not sure where things are going wrong.

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield on 6/13/2018
    Paige, First off, I hope the cassette is one you actually like! As for the receiver swap, there are lots of potential reasons why it's not working. It's probably a harness thing, but it could be the head unit itself or something else entirely. Your best bet at this point is to put the old radios into a recycling bin and order a new aftermarket stereo. That'll cost more money, but it'll probably be a lot less of a hassle.
  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/16/2018

    Elliott, With questions like that, it's always better to have a conversation with a real live human. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.

  • Elliott from Dallas

    Posted on 4/13/2018

    I purchased a set of Infinity component speakers to replace my front door speakers. I want to keep the factory amp. However, there is a crossover built into the factory amp and a crossover that came with the infinity speakers. I'd like to avoid doing some sort of complicated bypass if the results are minimal. Will there be much of a sound difference using the factory vs. infinity crossover?

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/13/2018

    Mitch, Considering the age of the system, you should replace as much gear as you can. Thankfully, there are some budget-friendly ways to do 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.

  • Mitch from Duluth

    Posted on 4/13/2018

    I am looking at upgrading my system in my 02 suburban without the Bose sound system. Most of the speakers are currently blown and I am looking for some advice. I'd like to not spend alot of money on the system, so I was wondering if you had an knowledge of how to install an auxiliary port and potentially delete the tape or CD player? I would also like to know your opinion of the quality of the stock amp. I figure I'll replace all 6 speakers plus the factory sub, just want to make sure I'm not wasting time by keeping the stock amp. Or is there an after market amp that I could install in the factory amps location? Thanks.

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/19/2018

    Mike, The antenna connection should be removable, but if it's not coming off, there's clearly something else going on. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help with this or any any other issues you run into. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.

  • Mike Jenkins from Palm Harbor

    Posted on 2/18/2018

    I need to disconnect the antenna from the GM radio but it does not look or feel like it will pull out of the back of the radio case,any help here? The wires are so short I cannot fully remove radio from dash to see what the issue is! 2003 Yukon wkth BOSE radio & single CD player Thanks Mike

  • Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/5/2017

    Chris, All this info pertains to both the base and Bose systems, so no worries there. If you're happy with the Bose speakers, there's no sense in swapping them out, so that's a smart call. The new receiver will probably make them sound a little better, actually!

  • Chris from Minnesota City

    Posted on 10/4/2017

    Frankly, my Bose system sounds pretty good speaker wise. I would like to see you take on the Bose version here. I am planning a radio upgrade to get Navigation/DVD but I think the speakers should be fine.

  • Bill from Fries

    Posted on 3/30/2017

    Thanks for this article, It is really helpful to see how to do these things and what is available.

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