How to Replace an Electric Antenna Mast
The electric antenna on your car is used to receive
wave transmissions from a transmitter
generated by area radio companies. There are several styles of antennas from units
imbedded into the windshield of your car to the ever popular retractable antenna
that features a mast that moves up and down automatically with the 'on' and 'off'
switch of the radio. These mast style antenna's utilize a plastic drive that attaches
internally at the top of the mast and then down to the drive gear located inside
the housing near the electric motor. This plastic drive can become brittle and fail
causing the mast to stop it's telescoping action. The drive failure is usually down
near the base of the drive gear. To replace the drive you must retrieve the broken
parts to allow the new drive to be inserted.
Before we start park your car on level ground, in park with the
parking brake set
use gloves and protective eyewear to prevent injury.
Tool and Supplies Needed to Complete this Job
1. Wrench Set
2. Socket Set
3. Shop Towels
4. Replacement Antenna Mast
5. Screw Driver Set
Step 1 - Remove the top or retainer nut from the antenna mount on the body, this
will allow the mast to be removed and aid in the removal of the antenna assembly.
Step 2 - While standing near the antenna grab hold of the mast. Have a helper
turn the ignition key
"on" position with out starting the engine. Next, turn the radio to the "on" position.
Step 3 - The mast will start to come up, if you have to, gently help the mast
up and out of the antenna assembly. Turn the ignition key "off".
Step 4 - Next, gain access to the antenna assembly unit. Disconnect the electrical
Step 5 - Remove the mounting bolts that attach the antenna unit to the body member
and remove the antenna unit.
Step 6 - Once the unit has been removed observe a round cover that looks like
a donut cut in half the long way. In the center of this cover is a nut, remove this
Step 7 - Once the nut is removed gently pry the cover off of the antenna unit.
Step 8 - Clean all broken pieces of the plastic drive, clean and reassemble with
light layer of silicon grease. (without the new antenna mast)
Step 9 - Reinsert the freshly cleaned unit into the vehicle and reattach the
electrical connector. (note: leave the top mounting nut off for right now)
Step 10 - Remove the new antenna mast from its packaging. Inspect the mast, the
replacement mast should look the same as the original mast, especially the drive
tape (long plastic piece).
Step 11 - Have your helper turn the ignition key to the on position without
starting the engine
Then turn the radio on for 30 seconds and then shut the radio off. As soon as the
radio is turned off, insert the replacement mast drive plastic tape into the antenna.
Be ready, the mast drive will begin feeding into the antenna housing.
Step 12 - Once the antenna stops feeding insert the top retainer nut and tighten.
Once tight turn the radio "on" for 30 seconds and then turn it off. The mast should
extend and retract fully.
- Always remove broken pieces of the old mast.
- Use a light oil to lubricate the mast extensions.
- Use a light grease to lubricate main drive gear (internal antenna part)
If further assistance is needed, our certified car repair technicians are ready
to answer your car questions
. Also, gain manufacturer
specific instructions and information by clicking -
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Article first published 2009-07-28 (Updated 2015-01-07)