How to Install a Radio In a Truck


Installing a radio in your truck can make that dull drive to work just a little bit easier every morning. Besides improving the sound quality in the vehicle, a new stereo may add functionality as well with such features as a navigation system or DVD player. In this case, the project vehicle is a 2000 Ford F-250 pickup, but the process is similar for other trucks as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Ford radio removal keys
  • Vehicle-specific dash kit
  • Vehicle-specific wiring harness
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire crimpers
  • Wire strippers
  • Blue butt connectors
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Replacement stereo
  • Locate the two holes on either side of the factory stereo that are stacked on top of each other on the sides. Push one of the Ford radio removal keys into one side of the stereo then the other side, putting each part of the key into a hole on the stereo. Push the keys into the dashboard, pull them slightly to the outside of the stereo, then pull on the keys to release the stereo from the dashboard. Use one hand to hold the stereo and use the other to unclip the factory harness and antenna lead from the back of the stereo.

  • Place the cage that comes with the replacement stereo into the opening on the vehicle-specific dash kit and lock it in place by pushing down the tabs on the cage using a flat head screwdriver.

  • Place the vehicle-specific wiring harness in one hand and use the wire strippers with the other hand to strip a 1/4 inch of shielding from the end of every wire in the harness. Then use the wire crimpers to crimp a blue butt connector onto each connection. Take the harness that comes with the replacement stereo and use the wire strippers to strip a 1/4 inch of shielding from the end of every wire in the harness. Each wire in each harness is color-coded and labelled. Match up the same color wires in each harness and join them together using the wire crimpers.

  • Push the dash kit into the dashboard and then pull the vehicle's wiring harness and antenna lead out through the cage. Plug the vehicle-specific wiring harness into the factory harness. Hold the replacement stereo next to the dash and plug the harness and antenna lead into the back of the stereo, then slide the stereo into the dash kit until it clicks into place.

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  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images
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