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1999-2002 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra extended cab

How to upgrade the stereo system in your Silverado or Sierra

2001 gmc sierra extended cab chevy silverado

In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your pickup's stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. We'll tell you all about: 

Then, use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your truck. 

Overview of the Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra Extended Cab

The Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra have always been workhorses, so it's not exactly a surprise to see a lot of these older trucks out on the road and getting the job done. They're tougher than cheap beef, parts are easy to find, and, at this point, any '99-'02 model will have plenty of that "old truck" character.

Old trucks are cool, but old factory stereos are pretty weak. If your pickup is still hauling after all these years, it's past time for an upgrade. Smartphone compatibility, satellite radio, and Bluetooth® are just a few of the modern features that can make your Silverado or Sierra a much better place to work and play.

1998 Chevy Silverado

The holdover "Classic" truck shown above has a flatter hood and a more squared-off nose. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Note: The chassis discussed here, known inside GM as the GMT800 and to the rest of the world as the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, was introduced in1999. The previous generation, the GMT400, hung around for another year as the "Classic" model. If you're not sure which '99 version you have, check these exterior photos to see which one looks like your truck. The Classic has a flatter hood and a much more squared-off front end.

factory radio

If you're ready to replace the old radio, there are plenty of aftermarket upgrade options (Crutchfield Research Photo) 

Removing the factory radio

The '99-'02 Silverado/Sierra twins were equipped with the standard GM corporate AM/FM CD player, which is slightly taller and shallower than most single-DIN aftermarket stereos.

A vast number of single-DIN (2" tall) and double-DIN (4" tall) stereos will fit right in, with the help of dash kits that are designed specifically for your truck. The single-DIN fits into your existing dash, while the double-DIN kit is actually a replacement dash panel. 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.

Detailed stereo and speaker removal instructions

MasterSheet image
With step-by-step disassembly instructions and plenty of up-close, detailed photos, our exclusive Crutchfield MasterSheet™ takes the guesswork out of removing the factory stereo and speakers. It's free with your Crutchfield order, or you can purchase one separately for just $9.99.

All of those items are available at a healthy discount with your order, and you'll also get a free Crutchfield MasterSheet, which contains illustrated, step-by-step instructions on how to install a new stereo and speakers in your truck.

These trucks offered an analog version of OnStar® which is no longer supported, so that won't be an issue when replacing your radio. The column-mounted shifter, however, might be. A receiver with a flip-out screen probably isn’t a good idea in this truck because the screen will hit the gearshift when it opens. To see all the receivers (and other gear) that fit, enter your vehicle info in our OutfitMyCar tool.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket, ratchet, and extension

Aftermarket mounting kit

This kit holds a single-DIN radio, but we also have one for double-DIN models. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Read our Car Stereo Buying Guide for shopping tips and advice.

Shop for car stereos that fit your GMC Sierra 1500

Steering wheel audio controls

In most cases, it's reasonably easy to retain your truck's steering wheel audio controls when you install a new stereo. When you enter your vehicle information, our database will choose the adapter you need to make your factory steering wheel controls work with a compatible aftermarket receiver.

Removing the factory speakers

Depending on the model, your truck will have factory speakers in the front doors and the rear doors.

chevy silverado gmc sierra front door speaker

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

Front doors

Stock speakers for the front of the Silverado/Sierra are 6-1/2", a common size with great aftermarket support. You won’t have trouble finding a speaker to fit any musical taste or budget. You can install a 6-1/2" or 5-1/4" speaker using a simple adapter plate for easy installation, and you can also install the slightly larger 6-3/4" speaker if you’re willing to drill some new screw holes.

You’ll need wiring harnesses to connect your new speakers. They'll allow you to attach the new speakers to the plugs that connect to the GM factory speakers, and they make it easier to reinstall the factory speakers if you ever sell your truck. Crutchfield gives you a nice discount on mounting brackets and speaker wiring harnesses with every speaker order.

chevy silverado gmc sierra tweeter

In trucks equipped with the 6-speaker system, the tweeters are mounted above the front door speaker. (Crutchfield Research Photo)

An optional 6-speaker stereo system included tweeters in the front doors. These speakers are also easy to remove, and offer a handy mounting spot should you want to add aftermarket units. You’ll have to fashion a mounting plate for the new tweeter, or use our universal backstraps (or silicone or hot glue) to secure them in the doors.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket, ratchet, and extension

Rear speaker location chevy silverado gmc sierra

The rear doors hold 4”x6” speakers (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Rear doors/side panels

Extended Cab modelsl were available with three or four doors. Either way, the speakers are easy to reach and replace, though you will need to drill new holes for the mounting screws.

A lot of GM vehicles use 4"x6" speakers, and this truck is no exception. You'll find 4"x6" speakers in the rear doors in the 4-door Extended Cab, or in the rear door and side panel of the 3-door version. Once you’ve removed the body panels to get to these speakers, they’re extremely easy to remove, thanks to their clip-in plates.

You have plenty of aftermarket options for upgrading these speakers, including 4"x6" plate speakers, as well as 3-1/2" or 4" speakers which will fit using inexpensive adapter plates. When you're drilling the new screw holes, make sure you know what's behind and around the drilling area, work carefully, and wear eye protection.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket, ratchet, and extension, cordless drill

Read our Car Speakers Buying Guide for more information

Shop for speakers that fit your GMC Sierra 1500

Bass in your Silverado or Sierra

You’ll find an amazing number of subwoofer options for every body style of this popular truck. If you want bass, you should be able to find an enclosure that meets your needs.

A custom enclosure is the best way to add bass without giving up valuable interior space. These custom boxes are built to fit in out-of-the-way places and still let you get the big bass that only 10" or 12" subwoofers can provide. Just enter your truck's info to see what's available.

Make sure you feed them enough power to really let them achieve their full potential. If you need help figuring out the specs involved in pairing them with an amp, read our helpful article about matching amps and subwoofers.

If you're looking for a quicker and easier bass solution, a powered subwoofer will give you plenty of low-end thump from a compact package.

Learn more about building a bass system in our Car Subwoofer Buying Guide

Other options for your Silverado or Sierra

There are plenty of other ways to improve your truck's sound. Here are some of the ways we can help.


Like most pickup trucks, the Silverado/Sierra has a noisy cabin. If you really want to hear your music without taxing your speakers, add an amplifier. There are plenty of inexpensive options that will give you the ability to hear your music loud and clear, especially when paired with some upgraded speakers and some Dynamat in your doors. Mounting options abound, but the best place for an amp is under the front or rear seats.

Learn more about adding amps to your system in our Car Amplifier Buying Guide


These trucks weren't available with factory navigation, but 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.


Installing a security system in your truck isn't easy (security systems rarely are), but it's less complicated than it could be. Our Crutchfield Advisors can help figure out what you need to get the job done, but we usually recommend taking your car and new gear to a professional installer.

Let's get started!

Ready to shop? Use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your car or truck. If you have questions of your own, give us a shout via phone, chat, or email

  • Jim Hart from Dallas

    Posted on 2/25/2021

    Thank you so much for this article, i didnt know if it was possible to upgrade my 2002 Silverado radio.

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 2/26/2021

    Jim, You're welcome! Give us a call and talk to one of our advisors. We can help you choose the right gear and give you the right advice on how to install it.
  • John from Hampton

    Posted on 5/30/2020

    Can you recommend a spot in my 2002 Silverado 1500 Extended Cab to install my JL Audio C2-650-XO Crossovers? Had a new system installed and they installed them in the door. Since that time the connectors totally rusted on the driver's side. Is there a better location?

  • Mark from Oroville

    Posted on 4/6/2020

    What wire does the red wire connect to coming off a alpine deck going into a 2000 GMC sierra it's the last thing I have to figure out and I will finally be done with my system it has been a nightmare.

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 4/7/2020

    Mark, Hard to say from here. 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.
  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/21/2018

    Steve, Interesting question. I've sent this along to our sales team, and they'll be contacting you via email soon. For immediate help, you can contact them via phone or chat.

  • Steve Shaw from Corona

    Posted on 2/20/2018

    My 2000 Silverado ext. cab 4 door has the bose 6 speaker system. When I ordered it new, I had them put in the optional cassette player that has it's own home right above the cup holders in the center console. Since the CD player in the head unit finally quit a few years ago, I was wondering if I could replace the cassette player unit with a newer CD unit maybe with a usb in it for digital media (if there is such a thing out there) instead of replacing the head unit (which I really like because I can see the clock, unlike some of the newer head units I've seen, And I am not a particular fan of the single din look in the 1 1/2 din space)? I can modify the size of the opening to fit something in there and make it look factory, but the question is; What? Any ideas for an older truck that still looks like new?

  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/4/2017

    Nick, Aftermarket tweeters will work fine in your truck, but you'll need to use our universal backstraps (or silicone or hot glue) to secure them in the doors. Give us a call and we'll help you find exactly what you need.

  • Nick from Fairfield, ca

    Posted on 12/2/2017

    I bought new 6.5" speakers for the front doors of my 2000 Silverado ext cab. But there are also tweeters in the front doors just above the 6.5" speakers. I looked at all the tweeters you have on your website and ALL of them are SURFACE MOUNT. So what size speakers can I get to replace them with???

  • Justi from Port neches

    Posted on 7/14/2017

    I was wanting to install a double din touch screen witj bluethooth in my 2002 Silverado question is what excatly in the sub wall needs yo modifyed so it will fit?

  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/27/2017

    Thomas, Nice piece of installing, there! The tuner is designed to be stashed out of sight, so it should be fine under the seat or wherever else you can make it fit.

  • thomas from Tallahassee

    Posted on 6/27/2017

    hey I have a older iva-d310 alpine. I got it installed so it doesn't hit the shifter but where is the best place to put the controller box for the head unit? was thinking either behind the seat or under but I am worried about overheating under the seat. opinions?

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