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Why won't a double-DIN receiver fit in my car?

Looks can be deceiving — that's why we measure everything

Ford F-150 dashboard

You'd think a nav receiver would fit here.... (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Your eyes deceive you

When you're buying a set of tires for your car or truck, you don't just pop into your local big box store and grab the first set of round, treaded black things you see when you walk in the door. Eyeballing works fine for some purchases, but when it comes to cars, it's best to make sure you're buying something that fits.

When you're looking at a good-sized receiver nestled in an expansive dashboard, it's only natural to assume that a touchscreen DVD/nav receiver will fit right in. Alas, that's not always the case. Some of the most popular vehicles on the road may seem like excellent candidates for a double-DIN (4" tall) receiver, but, thanks to a variety of factors, they really aren't. Let's take a look at a couple of examples:

Ford F-150 radio

That sharp slope dips underneath a dash support (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Ford's tough

Let's say you want to replace the factory receiver in a 2003 Ford F150, for example. Your truck is equipped with Ford's corporate (or "OEM") head unit, variations of which appeared in trucks and other Blue Oval products for years. It does a nice job of filling the dash opening, but if you want better sound, it's the absolute first thing you need to replace.

The radio cavity's plenty spacious, but there's a metal rear support brace in the dash that that gets in the way. In the F-150, the stock receiver actually slopes down to single-DIN (2" tall) size in the rear, which helps it fit underneath the brace. You could widen the opening and remove the support brace to get a double-DIN in there, but that sort of modification isn't easy and is beyond the scope of most car audio enthusiasts. At that point, you're not just installing a stereo; you're customizing your truck. (Custom work, by the way, is totally cool, so if you do something like that, send some pics and info to our Custom Car Showroom.)

If you just want to install a new receiver in your F-150, you do have options. Thankfully, there are a lot of great single-DIN receivers out there with tons of great features. We offer great-looking dash kits that will fit right into your Ford and even give you a bonus storage cubby. If you still need nav, you can rely on your phone or a portable GPS navigator. You'll get the directions you need in a package that fits in your pocket when you reach your destination.

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.

1998 Chevy Blazer radio

GM's traditional 1.5-DIN radio (Crutchfield Research Photo)

GM's 1.5-DIN radio

General Motors had a standard OEM radio of its own for years, and while the shape was nice and normal, the radio was a non-standard "1.5-DIN" size. It's tempting to call this odd, but 1.5-DIN radios were installed in hundreds of thousands of GM products over the years, so maybe everything else is odd and this is totally normal. Whatever it is, it looks like it's the same size as the double-DIN receiver you're checking out at Crutchfield, but it's actually smaller.

As a result, your shopping choice comes down to a limited number of single-DIN receivers with flip-up faces (which don't work in all vehicles) and a good number of regular single-DIN models. As with the Ford truck above, you'll get a free (or deeply discounted) dash kit with your radio purchase. The kit will do a nice job of trimming out the smaller, 2" tall radio and make it look right at home in your dash.

RetroSound Newport

RetroSound Newport digital media receiver

If you really want something that fits perfectly, there is an option. The RetroSound Newport digital media receiver is a perfect fit for a wide variety of older vehicles equipped with 1.5-DIN radios. It offers all the high-tech features you need to bring your car's audio system into the 21st century, including a dedicated iPod® interface, built-in Bluetooth® connectivity, dual USB ports (one on the front, one on the rear), and two auxiliary inputs. The subtle styling is remarkably era-appropriate, with a black plastic face and actual control knobs, so the Newport blends right into any dash.

Ford, Chrysler, and Jeep offered 1.5-DIN receivers of their own in various models over the years, so if you have a  "vehicle of a certain age," be sure to measure the stock radio.

A fitting finish

The moral of the story is that fit isn't a matter of perception, it's a matter of reality. That's why our vehicle research team spends hours taking apart car interiors and measuring everything that relates to the stereo system. We know how big the receiver opening is, we know what might get in the way, and we know how hard (or easy) it is to get into the dashboard and replace the stereo.

When we say something fits your car, it fits your car. And if we say it won't fit, we'll tell you why and we'll help you find a solution that gives you the sound you want. Visit our Outfit My Car page, enter your vehicle information, and start shopping for your new car stereo. If you have any questions, our advisors are really smart and available by phone or chat.

  • Noelle Robinson

    Posted on 6/18/2020

    Will a double din fit into a 08 Acura TSX?

    Commenter image

    Alexander H. from Crutchfield

    on 6/18/2020

    Noelle, some double-DIN stereos will fit, yes. You can use our vehicle selector to confirm which stereos fit your car and get some info on what else is needed for the installation.
  • Joshua Enloe from Fenton

    Posted on 4/23/2020

    97-2003 f-150's can fit a double din receiver just a small modification to the sub bracket is required if you have a Dremel tool and a cut wheel your set also they make short back double dins to avoid hitting those brackets as well there's tons of YouTube videos out there pick one and go to town just get the proper wire harness attachment and face bezel for the radio you'll need it to hide the 3/4 gaps on both sides of the radio minimal work = great reward

  • Commenter image

    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/6/2017

    Lynn, there is a rear support bracket (behind the factory stereo) that would need to be removed in order for a double-DIN receiver to fit. Give us a call and we can help you more with installation needs.

  • Lynn Taylor from Senatobia

    Posted on 3/2/2017

    To install a double DIN in a 2001 Chevy Suburban what specific sub dash modifications must be made?

  • Commenter image

    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/21/2017

    Kevin, you won't be able to fit a double-DIN into your Blazer. We also don't recommend single-DIN video receivers with retractable screens, based on that Blazer's dash configuration.

  • Kevin from Marysville

    Posted on 2/20/2017

    What do I need to do to make a double din fit into a 01 chevy blazer

  • Commenter image

    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/23/2017

    Kris, yes, but you will need to modify your sub-dash. You can use our vehicle selector to confirm which stereos fit your car and get some info on what else is needed for the installation. Or just give us a call.

  • kris from westby

    Posted on 1/22/2017

    will a double din radio fit in my 2003 ford f150 with out any mods

  • Commenter image

    Jon Paulette from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/15/2016

    Rick, The 2003-2007 models only have space for a single-DIN, but the 2008-up vans can also accept a double-DIN (4" tall) aftermarket stereos. Unless your dash was modified during the RV build process, there's only room for a 2" receiver (and a mounting kit, of course) in that space. If you're not sure, measure the opening and give us a call. As for the skipping and other issues, a new receiver/kit/harness should be much better that what you have now, but nothing is totally skip-proof -- a lesson I've re-learned during our local festival of road construction! I'll forward this to our sales team and someone will be in touch via email. Thanks for writing in!

  • Rick in VA from Ashburn

    Posted on 7/14/2016

    I have a 2004 Chevy Express van front end for my class C RV. I am looking at replacing the JVC head unit that came with the RV (it gets hot when playing CDs and turns on when hitting a bump). There is a gaping hole below the unit that suggests a double DIN unit might fit but your vehicle selector only offers single DIN units. My concerns are: 1) the amount of movement the unit has when driving is causing the wiring to jump resulting in turning on the unit when off; 2) the skipping a CD will have when driving over rough pavement. Do you have any suggestions?

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