PDA

View Full Version : Power Antenna



Century7667
10-06-2010, 05:52 PM
I've decided it's time to fix my wife's power antenna. I need a source for an OEM replacement antenna. Can't locate any; though Screech said he had some a few years ago, and there's this "AntennaX" which fancies itself as a replacement.

Ken T.

mechanizeddeath
10-06-2010, 08:01 PM
I have a love/hate relationship with power antennas. I love the style and fact that they're not in the way when the car is parked or the radio is off. But I hate how fragile they are, when they get stuck or worn out and the gear tape grinds, when they won't go up all the way or at all and you get bad reception, and when a branch comes out of nowhere and snaps them in half. That last one is especially a problem when they're front passenger mounted, like on our cars.

I fought with the power antennas on my Legacy GT and Sable LS for the entire time I owned them. Both liked to get stuck at about 3/4 up and give me radio static, then only go down again partway. But at least they looked cool when they worked right.

There are universal replacements out there, but they seldom look right. I looked into them for both my power antenna cars, but decided against them due to appearance.

Century7667
10-07-2010, 12:36 AM
I have a love/hate relationship with power antennas. I love the style and fact that they're not in the way when the car is parked or the radio is off. But I hate how fragile they are, when they get stuck or worn out and the gear tape grinds, when they won't go up all the way or at all and you get bad reception, and when a branch comes out of nowhere and snaps them in half. That last one is especially a problem when they're front passenger mounted, like on our cars.

I fought with the power antennas on my Legacy GT and Sable LS for the entire time I owned them. Both liked to get stuck at about 3/4 up and give me radio static, then only go down again partway. But at least they looked cool when they worked right.

There are universal replacements out there, but they seldom look right. I looked into them for both my power antenna cars, but decided against them due to appearance.

I was wondering about the appearance. If I could just get my hands on a NOS stock unit. If it were properly maintained, then mayhap I'll be keep it going.....

weroberts
10-07-2010, 12:55 AM
You can find them in junk yards, the key is to look for one thats all the way down. Then do some maintenance, soak a rag in some motor oil and wipe down the antenna, and keep lubing it till it goes up and down nicely, then do it once a year after that.

Century7667
10-07-2010, 04:37 PM
You can find them in junk yards, the key is to look for one thats all the way down. Then do some maintenance, soak a rag in some motor oil and wipe down the antenna, and keep lubing it till it goes up and down nicely, then do it once a year after that.

I'll give it a try. Yards in Houston absolutely suck though. You can't walk any yards here, and they crush everything. I'd probably have better luck buying an entire car just to get the parts I need, then sending it to the yard!

Ken T.

mechanizeddeath
10-07-2010, 07:47 PM
Lubing them does help a lot. But if they were stuck for a long time, that section may be worn down, and even with lubing you could have problems with it. That was the problem I had with the Legacy, from the buildup I'd guess it was stuck at the 3/4 position for some time, and the prior owner just ignored the loud clicking noise. Sometimes I'd get to the spot where it had been stuck and it would start skipping again, even with a cleaned and oiled antenna mast.

Century7667
10-08-2010, 04:40 PM
Well, it's not at the top of the priority list at the moment, but I'd like to try. It was sweet when she was new. It only broke about two years ago. I've still got struts to put in it first, and a radiator for the '95.

Ken T.

lemons bob
10-08-2010, 09:42 PM
My current car has no antenna. I think its in the glass somehow or another. It does help the overall look not having one. There is a reason concept cars never have them.

I wonder if there is a way to retrofit that to work on cars that had antennas.

Although from what I understand the range isn't as good as having an antenna, but I haven't really noticed. I live in an area with lots of stations so I don't typically worry about range on day to day driving and when taking it on a long trip it seems to work fairly far and after I while I switch to the ipod anyway.

Century7667
10-09-2010, 11:40 AM
My current car has no antenna. I think its in the glass somehow or another. It does help the overall look not having one. There is a reason concept cars never have them.

I wonder if there is a way to retrofit that to work on cars that had antennas.

Although from what I understand the range isn't as good as having an antenna, but I haven't really noticed. I live in an area with lots of stations so I don't typically worry about range on day to day driving and when taking it on a long trip it seems to work fairly far and after I while I switch to the ipod anyway.

Real popular on the 70's GM cars. I had one on my '76 Chevy half ton, and I loved it! I had not problem with range either. Did the early a-bodies have the dipole windshield antenna?

white89euro
10-09-2010, 12:51 PM
I just had my "power" antenna raised and the power plug pulled. It was permanently stuck down before that. I'm not interested in spending $100 having it replaced or fixed. But I do like the junkyard idea mentioned above - look for one that's down. Also, carry a portable battery jumper pack with you - that'll let you test the antenna provided the radio is still in the car.

George

86euro
10-09-2010, 01:32 PM
Last year, I bought a new one from the dealer for my '86 Camaro. They are still in production, but it is more of a universal-fit type that will likely work in most older GM cars. The original replacement mast was still available too, but the install looked a little involved, so I sent it back. Have you checked the dealer?

Century7667
10-10-2010, 01:28 AM
Actually no. I didn't see it at Rock Auto....so I guessed it just wan't available any more. The car is still pretty nice, and it would be good to have the antenna working again. I'll give it a shot.

Ken T.

mechanizeddeath
10-11-2010, 07:15 PM
The in-glass antennas are pretty nice for looks, but IMHO they don't work nearly as well as a traditional mast antenna. Some of the cars in the family have them, and they get spotty reception in places where the normal antennas seem to work just fine. But the stations here stink anyway, so I mostly listen to music on my flash drive. :)

Century7667
10-12-2010, 12:54 AM
The in-glass antennas are pretty nice for looks, but IMHO they don't work nearly as well as a traditional mast antenna. Some of the cars in the family have them, and they get spotty reception in places where the normal antennas seem to work just fine. But the stations here stink anyway, so I mostly listen to music on my flash drive. :)

Yeah, I pretty much go with the cassette adaptor and the iPod in the Century; burn CDs for the S10. It been a long time since I had a car with a dipole antenna.

Ken T.

mechanizeddeath
10-12-2010, 06:42 PM
CD burners are great. I had a friend who had access to one back when they were still thousands of dollars and the blanks were a few bucks each. It was in an external enclosure and his boss was cool with him borrowing it on the weekends. We were such geeks, we would have "CD burning parties" where we would invite friends over to copy CDs or make mixes. They had to pay for the discs of course, but it was worth it to pay say $3 or $5 for a copy of your favorite CD when a new one was $15.

God that thing took forever though. It was a single speed, so a 45 minute long album took 45 minutes to copy, and if you wanted to fill a CD it took the full 74 minutes. Good thing we had beer to drink in the meantime. :)

I haven't burned a CD since 2007, when I bought a car stereo with a USB port.

SCREECH
12-20-2010, 12:01 AM
I'm sending an antenna to Ken, and I was going to write in a message to him about how to access the antenna to change it. I thought maybe I should post it in here so that if someone searches for info on removing or changing their power antenna they'll have a little info. Click the link below to go to the info I posted in a new thread in the Interior/Exterior Maintenance section.

HOW TO CHANGE/REMOVE A CIERA/CENTURY POWER ANTENNA (http://www.a-body.net/forums/showthread.php?p=47218#post47218)