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Antenna Mast Install Complete

New 03/04/2005

I finally have the new mast back in the car (and its sort of working).
Needless to say, this wasn't the 10 minute job advertised on the "how to".

For those of you planning this job, be forewarned you could come across
the following problems.

1) Retaining ring (with four slots at each quadrant) is heavily corroded
to the male threaded portion of the antenna motor/tube assembly.

Solution: Spray around ring with Gunk Liquid Wrench... allow to sit for
days, repaying every night. Then take to car audio shop, where they
might have the correct socket to remove this ring.

2) Sleeve around antenna is corroded into the tube, not allowing the
antenna to be removed.

Solution: Spray Gunk Liquid Wrench into the hole around the antenna for
days (repeat every night). Grab the largest part of the mast and make
quick, yet forceful upward jerks on it. You may see the mast begin to
pull out at the rate of 0.5 mm per yank.

3) New antenna zipper only goes in about 3" before binding the motor

Quasi-Solution: Remove the whole motor assembly from inside the trunk.
Remove 5-6 small screws on motor housing and pull off the outside cover.
Note: This thing is full of nasty dirty grease, so do this in an area
that you don't care about, in clothes you don't care about. Pull out all
of the nylon pieces, noting their location and orientation. I pulled out
the largest dual gear assembly, the small grooved roller, the housing to
coil the zipper, and the guiding plate. The smaller gear and the worm
gear stayed put (looked to hard to get back in there correctly). I then
spent a good hour and roll of paper towels wiping off all of the old
grease and dirt. I then recoated everything in solid form (not spray)
white lithium grease ($3.49 at Farm & Fleet). Re-assembling and
attempting to insert the new antenna per the "how to" did not work for me
even then (see #4).

4) The antenna zipper seems to hit rock bottom against a hard surface
just before it should be caught by the gears.

Solution: The tube is about 3 times the diameter of the zipper, but the
hole in the bottom is just barely bigger than the zipper diameter. The
only way to get the thing in is to manipulate the last 1.5 feet of the
zipper and get it as straight as possible before trying to insert it
again. I was still not able to get it in, so I finally got it by taking
the cover back off, the coil housing off, and the guidance plate off. At
that point, you can look down the tube while inserting the zipper and line
up its tip with the "light at the end of the tunnel".

5) Antenna still binds at about 3". (Problem lies in the fact that the
zipper is not pre-formed to the curled shape of the one that came out.
This cannot happen, because it needs to be straight to get the tip in the
gear box.)

Solution: Grab zipper and while helper (wife) turns on antenna, don't
allow the tip to come back into the tube, rendering solution 4 useless.
Have helper turn off and "assist" the zipper inward motion by grabbing and
giving it extra force. Repeat by having the helper hit "ON", but then
immediately hitting "OFF"... this will cause the zipper to move out about
1" and then with your "assistance" back in about 4-5". Repeat this
process until the majority of the antenna is in. Fasten the assembly to
the car.

6) In all of this process, you accidentally pulled off one of the
corroded ground straps at the top of the antenna box assembly.

Solution: Stick it back on with brute force, until you have the patience
to pull the whole thing back out and solder it correctly.

7) After all this, the antenna will extend just fine, but only retracts
about half way.

Quasi-Solution: Repeat the ON/ Immediately OFF procedure with your helper.
This time you will be assisting by pushing down on the tip of the
antenna. Careful not to bend the mast and use your whole vulgar
vocabulary. The apparent problem here is that I should have greased the
zipper as well, but that might have made the first "assist" process much
more difficult. If you repeat this final "assist" process enough (10
times) it apparently begins to self grease and starts to get a bit
pre-formed to the coil housing. On my 9th and 10th tries, it extended and
retracted on its own power and did not seemed to be over-stressed like I
was. However, a later try has shown it to need assistance again. I
imagine leaving it in the coiled (down) position for a day or two will
help it next time.

8) The ring retainer is just as hard to tighten as it was to get off.

Solution: Return to audio shop, or by cleaning up the threads and using
some lubricant, you may get needle nose pliers to do the job... just don't
slip and scratch the fender.


I got my antenna mast on eBay and it appears to be very good quality.
Hopefully it doesn't need changed for a VERY long time!

Dave Hoots

In Dave's defense, I didn't post the myriad of problems he had with this installation. It would have chewed up bandwidth I don't have!!! (J/K)

I hope you applied some sort of plastic safe grease to the threads on
the mount so next time it is a breeze. The retainer is plastic.

My solution was a fixed mast.... :)

But good work and documentation.


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