Boy what a day it's been with this thing. I have some vacation days to use up so I took off today and the rest of the week. A friend ended up hooking me up with a peaked and tuned Cobra 25 Classic he had that is nearly new. I bought the coax yesterday from a CB shop and the antennas and mounts came in the mail today.
Mounting and wiring the radio were the easy parts. Running the coax was a task. I knew from the beginning I'd have to remove all the seats to lift up the carpet so that the coax could run underneath.
I mounted the radio and mic hook first, snaked the wires behind the dash to the fuse box and tapped into the radio with an add-a-circuit. Easy.
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So to run the coax, I took up the seats and under the carpet on the driver's side, I found a small amount of water and the padding under the carpet was damp. So I had to handle that first. I believe I found the source, a hole left from a zip screw on the bottom of the A pillar by the parking break. I put a screw in it with some strip caulk on it and its dried up. I used a heat gun on low to dry up the padding on the carpet. There was some very orange rust in a few small spots but it was pretty fresh and mostly wiped off. Ill continue to check on it to see if any leaks return.
With that handled, I lifted the rest of the carpet and plugged the cable into the back of the radio. I zipped tied the two cables (two cables for two antennas) together until they got to the back of the cab, then ran them through separate body plugs to the outside, one on the driver's side, one on the passenger. Once underneath the cab, zip tied them together and ran them up to channel along the back of the bed and into the stake pockets, using zip ties and clips and grommets the whole way to keep things neat.
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Now I had to mount the antennas. I went to attach the stake pocket mounts, and they were a b*tch. After fiddling with the one for about 5 minutes, I looked at the instruction sheet that was in the package. It had a disclaimer on it that basically said "these probably won't fit great! Good luck." So with that awesome news, I continued and eventually got them in, and yeah the fit isn't great. My stake pockets were not in great shape to begin with. This replacement bed had a ladder rack on it at some point that smashed in the pockets. When I did the body and paint, I did straighten them with a hammer and dolly and put a couple welds on them, but I didn't go nuts since I was going to be putting the rail caps on anyways.
Anyways there are 4 screws that tighten to clamp them to the stake holes, and the screws strippef and cross threaded very easily. I got 3/4 tight on one side and 4/4 tight on the other side. Then got the springs and antennas threaded on, but they looked a little crooked. So I fiddled with them a bit to get them straighter and eventually called it good 'nuff.
Then after all that, I had to replace the carpet, all the trim, the seats, etc. Did all that and then vacuumed it out and put the tools away, and called it a day. I still want to go back and put some wire loom on a couple spots, and zip tie a few things and possibly get tweak those pocket mounts a bit. I still have to tune the antennas with an SWR meter to get it fully functional.
It ended up taking pretty much all day with some breaks here and there, but I'm thrilled with how it came out. The radio looks gorgeous under the dash and the dual whips look badass. Feel free to start calling me the Rubber Duck
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