Power Antenna replacement - How to

86LK

G-Body Guru
Jul 23, 2018
533
93
question: if I'm swapping front ends anyway, is it easier to already have the power antenna mounted to the fender before installation of the fender?
 

ChipD

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Nov 26, 2021
19
3
Perfect! I can feel the bolt head. Any advice what to use to get it out. You are right… no socket is going in there and the indent makes it impossible for a wrench…
Ok. So I just ordered a shallow square ended socket. My plan is to get the socket on the nut and use a wrench to turn it. I will update you all tomorrow. Thank you 84W40! Here is my 1984... The pictures below are my 1987 442. It is almost ready for paint!


[ATTACH type="full"]198169[/ATTACH][ATTACH type="full"]198170[/ATTACH][ATTACH type="full"]198171[/ATTACH]
 

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69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
6,266
113
question: if I'm swapping front ends anyway, is it easier to already have the power antenna mounted to the fender before installation of the fender?
Not sure if you mean installed on the inner fender already or outer skin and inner fender together? At minimum, if you have the inner fenders out, install that bottom bolt if yours has the inaccessible bolt like the 2-door Cutlass and pull the wires and junk through to the inner side so you can get to them. I'm assuming you'll have the inner fenders bolted in as well. Then it will be waiting for you to slide on the outer skin and fish for the top of the antenna so you can slide the fender antenna nut/bezel assembly on top and screw it down.

It's all just a really funky and IMO, stupid setup since it's so friggin' difficult to take all that junk out without having to take it out as an assembly.
 
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84 W40

Master Mechanic
Dec 9, 2009
469
93
Perfect! I can feel the bolt head. Any advice what to use to get it out. You are right… no socket is going in there and the indent makes it impossible for a wrench…
That bolt is the first thing to remove, what I do remember is removing the bolt under the bottom of the fender and by pulling it towards you just enough to give you more wiggle room in that area. DO NOT move the bottom of that fender any further if it doesn't want too. I would use a small piece of 2x4 wedged between the bottom of the fender and frame. What I am trying to remember if the top fender bolt needed to be loosened but I don't remember doing that. I made a tool just for that bolt it was a deep socket cut little less than half then welded to a round steel stock about half inch thick by 12 inches long and it was a perfect tool for that job. I was looking for it in my tool box couldn't find it or its at my other garage or a lent it out and never got it back. Just take your time doing it.
 
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5spdCab

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Dec 29, 2019
1,190
113
Tukwila, Wa.
Guys... this is a great write up, but I hit a snag. I am borrowing this picture from another member who posted it, but it didn't get any replies. I have a 1984 Hurst that the antenna is broken. I followed the steps listed in the write up. But how the heck do you get the screw out that holds the antenna in place? Other that this problem, I am set to go! Help please! Thank you!!
I am going to watch this thread for an answer because I also have a power antenna that needs to be repaired.
 

Olds G's

Greasemonkey
Supporting Member
Apr 6, 2020
117
43
CT
Our '84 Cutlass Brougham and '88 Cadillac Brougham (RWD) also suffer the same. The motor runs until I disconnect it. The antenna itself is physically good. Watching this thread...
 

ChipD

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Nov 26, 2021
19
3
Ok everyone! Success! I was able to get it installed today. The first thing you need to do is remove the front tire. Then you need to remove the screws that hold the outer fender on. There are five that you need to remove with the passenger door open and there are four to remove on the inside lip. Then you need to take the bottom left screw out of the plastic splash shield. Then remove the one mid plastic wheel well that has a large washer on it. Next you need to lay flat and look up along the rim of the plastic liner. There are two bolts that need to come out. All are 10mm except for the bolt with the large washer. That is 13mm. I then used an universal joint socket with a long extension to remove the first plastic liner screw that is on the backside. Then I needed to use the 10mm socket, an universal joint, a 3” extension and two 6” extensions on my ratchet. I purchased one of the 100 point ratchets that work in very little space. This is a must. Once those were removed, I was able to peel back the inner liner to give myself some area to work.

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Next I used a 45 degree offset 10mm box wrench. This honestly took me 45 minutes. You have to work by feel. I used a mirror to be sure I understood the area where the screw was. It is set in about 3/8”. There is no way to put any sort of ratchet on this. You get about a 1/4 turn each time. Sometimes I would get in the zone and put the wrench right back on it. Other times I would fumble for a few minutes to find it again.I was able to look inside the inner and outer fender to see my progress. It is a 1” bolt! Dang it took a long time. Once that was done though it is really easy.

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The wrench has to be 45°. 60° and 90° offsets will not allow you to reach it. I purchased the wrench at advance auto. This is what it looks like.

E2E5B2C1-62AD-47EB-A09E-E29914F95A83.jpeg


A comparison of the old and new. They were almost identical. I got this from Parts Place. The original owner was not shortchanged when he bought undercoating! I then wired up the new antenna. I did as the original poster did and attached a string that I pulled through when removing the old one. I’m not sure you will ever get it back into the engine compartment with the line to pull it back up. Reassembly was a piece of cake. Once I got the new antenna in place, I screwed the antenna bezel in on the top of the fender. Then, I used a really nice and strong zip tie to hold the bottom of the antenna in place. There was no way or reason to try to bolt it back up. I believe the zip tie was a lot more stable than the single bolt. All that was left was to put back in the bolts, put the wheel back in, torque the nuts and clean my tools with lacquer remover to get the undercoating off of them! I’m happy to answer any questions!

59243687-901B-4FAE-9686-B761C16A0AC6.jpeg
 
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69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
6,266
113
Glad it worked out for you. Now you can come do mine. :)

I highly suggest that if the new antenna has a nylon cable that you rebuild your old unit with a steel cable and have it at the ready. You know it will fit. And you know you will be doing this again someday.

The only question I have is what did you do about the antenna wire connection to the mast, as well as wtf with that mounting bracket? From the looks of things, the new antenna bracket has holes that appears it wouldn't line up with a Cutlass mounting hole anyway, so using the zip tie may have been more necessary than redrilling a new hole anyway. I imagine you just took the screw fitting on the mast and it should be good to go to screw the antenna cable back on to it?
 

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