Power antenna replacement

Camtron

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My power antenna bit the dust today. Gears just grind and the antenna no longer raises or lowers.
So, has anyone happened to have replaced their power antenna and able to make a recommendation for replacement? Everything looks like the same couple stock photos when I’m looking online.
Does it really matter or will any universal power antenna replacement work?

thanks.
 

Mikes5thAve

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It's probably the mast which has a nylon cable inside it to make it go up and down. If you want to stay with power The cheapest and easiest is to get an aftermarket one.
 

Hayzoos

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A universal power antenna should work fine. I haven't installed one in years. I put a handful of them in various vehicles, some replacing factory power, some replacing manual telescoping bent in the car wash. Our power antennas have a control module in the dash which is not needed for a universal. They usually have a power connection, a radio on signal connection, a ground, and the antenna connection.
 

53ryder

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My '87 Fifth Avenue has the same problem with a non-working power antenna. Awaiting spring/summer weather to replace it since I'll most likely have to work on it outside.

Glenn
 

Duke5A

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I installed an aftermarket one in my car and it's extremely noisy in operation. I just disconnected the stupid thing and play all my music off of a thumb drive now or my phone. If you get one I would try and test it before installation just to see.
 

Camtron

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@Justwondering, I absolutely would.
I’ll post what I end up doing for a replacement.
I remember enough stationary/static antennas getting bent/broken off of cars growing up that, it makes me uneasy to think of putting one on.
I use a Bluetooth transmitter plugged into the cigarette lighter to stream music off my phone over the cars speakers. Works just fine with the antenna down; it just bugs me knowing it’s broken.
Edit: plus, every time I turn the radio on and off, I have to hear that god awful grinding sound.
 

53ryder

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On my '87 5th Ave the antenna does not move up or down. I'm thinking something is stripped out. When I drive somewhere, before I leave the house I'll manually pull the antenna up. At some point when I turn the radio on there will be interference for about 3-4 seconds then it will stop and sound will come on from whatever station I have it tuned to. I guess I thought that was noise from the motor and gears operating. I figured that was just the norm. Only owned the car since last November so plenty things still new to me.
 

Justwondering

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53ryder -- its probably the nylon cord on the interior. Its either broken or has the bottom stop has failed.
JW
 

Mikes5thAve

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Stationary antenna should be ok. Even growing up we never had a car with them break off. The only things I have with them now are trucks and they've never been a problem. You can also get antennas that are retractable by hand.

You don't hear as much about it now but people used to remove the antenna from the outside and put an antenna in the car under the dash or over the headliner, in the back of the trunk.
 

BudW

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The nylon cord inside of the mast gives people the most problems. The motors are the next item in line to go out. I removed the inoperative power antenna from my '86 Fifth Ave (and gave to JW, a couple years back) and replaced with a non-power version.
It is not hard to do.
BudW
 

Camtron

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I wouldn’t expect it to be a hard thing to do. I also don’t anticipate a stationary antenna to just spontaneously breaking either; people like to break them, just like they like to steal hood ornaments...living in the third most populated city in the, US has it ups and downs. The biggest down being, there’s literally millions of assholes for as many millions of decent people are around.
 

Dr J

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I am planning on replacing mine in my 81 4D LeBaron Medallion, Motor just runs continuously. It tries to go up and down, motor reverses (can hear sound change) when radio is turned on or off, but it keeps on running, even with car off. Had to pull the fuse. Found one online that says it's OEM and fits, but I can't figure out how to get it out. I know the bolt on top comes off with the right wrench, and some one said there is a bolt at the base in fender well, but I can't see it or feel it... any advice is appreciated..
 

Mikes5thAve

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Pull back the inner fender liner to get to it. There's a bracket in there. It's pretty obvious when you see it.
 

Hayzoos

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Leave the top nut in place to hold the antenna while you work under the fender, but do break the nut loose before working under. I used an adjustable "face" pin/spanner wrench this last time. Previously, I used just the right size pliers which on the larger opening setting had the corners land perfectly in the slots. The top nut usually doesn't take much torque to break loose.

Like Mikes5thAve said, it's behind the plastic inner fender. Turn the wheel full right for better access. One bolt under the fender about 3/8"-1/2", can't remember exactly. There is a standard antenna plug which may take a little coaxing (ha, I made a punny), a single wire and a double wire plug.
 

Cordoba1

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All: This seems to not be common knowledge, so I'll share. The masts on power-antennas are user-replaceable without having to change the whole unit. Since these are easy to break (ever forget to lower when going into a car wash?), they made them easy to change! Replacement masts are easy to find, much cheaper than a new antenna, and easy to change. There are several YouTube videos on how to accomplish. Here's one:
 

BudW

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A very good point, @Cordoba1.
Back in my dealership days, I replaced maybe 8 to 10 power antenna masts to every one bad power antenna motor. Physical damage (car washes, etc.) as well as the plastic teeth on the mast strip out. They are pretty easy to change out, for the most part.
If the teeth are stripped out, in a certain spot, you have to get the antenna motor engaged, while pulling up on the mast to get the good teeth something to grab onto then the mast will come all of the way out.
Every once in a blue moon, the plastic cord will break. if the breakage is at the end of the cable (when mast is up), you might have to remove the antenna motor and turn it upside down while popping the motor with your palm to get the broken piece out.

Now with that said, of the last three power antennas I have removed (one from my '86 Fifth Ave and the other two from a local pull-a-part) the motor itself was dead. Two of these were given to @Justwondering to look into.
I have sense removed the power antenna motor from my '86 Fifth Ave and replaced it with a regular antenna (it is not hard to do).
BudW
 

Dr J

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Leave the top nut in place to hold the antenna while you work under the fender, but do break the nut loose before working under. I used an adjustable "face" pin/spanner wrench this last time. Previously, I used just the right size pliers which on the larger opening setting had the corners land perfectly in the slots. The top nut usually doesn't take much torque to break loose.

Like Mikes5thAve said, it's behind the plastic inner fender. Turn the wheel full right for better access. One bolt under the fender about 3/8"-1/2", can't remember exactly. There is a standard antenna plug which may take a little coaxing (ha, I made a punny), a single wire and a double wire plug.
Thanks... I looked there twice before asking here and for whatever reason I didn't see the plastic liner or bolts that you and Mikes5thAve later mentioned. Thanks for the advice, it was obvious after you pointed it out. left it there for now (antenna is up/connected so radio still works) and disconnected the power for now (motor would not stop), so I could put the fuse back in and use my GPS in lighter socket. Will probably replace unit later, and try to repair the old one like BudW described...
 
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