Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

Antenna doesnt fully retract

JohnnyC

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2002
Messages
257
Location
NJ
Corvette
1996 Black Coupe - LT4
The thinnest part of the antenna (the last bit) does not fully go in. I've tried to clean with break cleaner and some WD40 in there, but still not going down all the way. I can softly push the last bit down, but not self retracting.

Do I just need to keep cleaning it?
 

gmjunkie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
4,520
Location
Old Fort NC/Vero Beach FL
Corvette
03 Z-51,78 L82 Coupe
The thinnest part of the antenna (the last bit) does not fully go in. I've tried to clean with break cleaner and some WD40 in there, but still not going down all the way. I can softly push the last bit down, but not self retracting.

Do I just need to keep cleaning it?
It needs a New mast put in it!!The teeth on the cable are getting worn out!!!:upthumbs
 

Florida Guy

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2003
Messages
166
Location
Florida
Corvette
'96 Torch Red LT4
The same thing has been happening with mine for the past 4 years. I always make sure that it is cleaned when I wash the car and I dry it. Then I spray a little silicone lubricant on it and let it dry. It works OK for the next several months and I have to repeat the treatment. It hasn't malfunctioned for about 6 months now but somewhere down the line I will have to treat it again. Cheaper and easier than replacing it.
 

SSTibet

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 13, 2004
Messages
722
Location
Ankara TURKEY
Corvette
1995 6 Speed Manual Coupe
There is a repair kit at Ecklers. I have also read not to put any oil / grease on the mast but wipe it with a clean cloth.

Cheers,

Selim
 

gmjunkie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
4,520
Location
Old Fort NC/Vero Beach FL
Corvette
03 Z-51,78 L82 Coupe
1 new Mast and 1 1/2 hr's and Done Deal!!!
 

KOPBET

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
1,355
Location
Tulsey Town
Corvette
'73 Silver LS4 4 speed
If the mast cable is broken, you will have to remove the whole antenna assy and disassemble the motor to get the broken plastic cable parts out. You must drill out plastic rivets that hold the cover on and find small wood screws to put it back together. Not a bad job, just takes some time.
 

Ruby Fan

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
189
Location
NY
Corvette
1985 Black Beauty Coupe, 93 Ruby, 96 CE vert
My antenna does not go down immediately on my '85, when the radio is first turned off. I'll return to the car a while later, then it will be in the down position. I have never timed this to see how long it takes before it finally goes down, and I was wondering if this was 'normal' ??
 

jmrl98

Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
19
Location
Hazel Park MI
Corvette
85 4+3
When my 85 showed similar symptoms the antenna motor evetually got stuck running in the up position. I pulled the fuse so it is up with no motor running, but no power locks now - the corvette central upgrade kit is one of my winter projects.
 

Bill Heygster

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Messages
120
Location
Pasadena, MD
Corvette
1985 red coupe, 2004 red coupe
in the meantime you could lift the rear trim panel under the rear of the hatch and unplug the white connection to the antenna. replace the fuse and everything else will work but the antenna
 

Robertwav1

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
813
Location
Ocala, Florida
Corvette
1993 Blue
I replaced the mast in mine and it worked for a while. I guess the motor got tired after a while. Did some research on the motor and found one for almost half the cost of what MADVET wanted. Added a switch in the consol for this one as to not let it come up every time radio is turned on. Not a bad job to replace, found out how here which made the job a whole lot easier. I believe I have the procedure if you ever need or decide to replace it.
 

JohnnyC

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2002
Messages
257
Location
NJ
Corvette
1996 Black Coupe - LT4
FIXED!

I finally found some time to do this. And it was fairly easy! I found something funny though, the plastic white wire with the teeth was not broken. It was just getting stuck someplace in the middle. I tried a few times, but since i had already gotten a nice new shiny mast and spent the time doing this, i just replaced it. I probably could have just pulled out the mast and avoided all the below. Oh well, it was a fun learning experience.

I think you can just YANK the mast out and avoid all this. I would try that first.

I'm not a great mechanic, but this wasn't that bad. It took me about ~3hrs today. Lots of time spent not sure where things went, etc. This is including the repairs to the mast. As others have said, I also found the nut removal "tool" useless. I ended up using a wrench and some small pliers.

This is how I did it (or the best way I should have done it from trial and error since now i know):

Remove license plate
Remove inner tail light (2 x 10mm bolts - behind lenses)
Remove outer tail light (2 x 10mm bolts - behind lenses)
Remove ground strap to antenna, small bolt 6mm?
Remove some other ground wires 8mm (for the taillights?)
Remove two 8 mm bolts at the bottom of the antenna assembly that hold it to the bracket
(should be free now)
Remove rear window package tray
Disconnect power and antenna wires
Pull the plug out reaching thru the tail light openings
(remove the assembly out from the bottom of the fender)

Once out, I was able to CAREFULLY pry the cover off without drilling the plastic "rivets" holding it on. Now, i did get a little excited and broke the last one going too fast. Used a small screw for that one.

I did not remove the tire or inner fender. You dont need to remove the speaker grill or pull back the carpet.

Now my antenna goes all the way back down. Job well done!
:beer :beer :beer
 

onedef92

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Messages
214
Location
Louisville, KY
Corvette
1992 Dark Red Coupe
Here are the instructions for removing the power antenna motor for service BEFORE installing a new antenna mast on 1992-1996 Corvettes.

Many owners (myself included) have tried in vain to simply install a new antenna ribbon without inspecting the motor first for broken sections of the old one. The usual result is an antenna that won't fully raise or retract, even though the motor works fine.

Hopefully, this tech tip will save you from this aggravation. I'm not familiar with the design for 1984 - 1991 models, but the process should be similar. I also understand from other forum members that the antenna motor design apparently changed in 1995 from housings that are screwed together to housings that are glued together.

If the latter is your case, it may be possible to pry the assembly apart for inspection.

Anyway, here goes: The power antenna motor is visible from underneath the vehicle if you lay on your back and look at it from the driver's side of your car. Please protect your eyes from dirt and other particles that may fall from your fender well while you are working!

Some people opt to place their vehicles on jack stands and remove the driver's side rear wheel first, but I have long arms and did not have to do so.

1. Disconnect the negative battery terminal. Note the way the motor is oriented as installation is the exact order of removal. The motor is held in place on its mounting bracket by two screws. Use either a socket wrench with an extension or a screwdriver with a ratchet to remove the bolts. Note that one of the bolts has a ground/power wire for the antenna.

2. With these two bolts loosened, you will be able to pull the antenna down toward you enough to loosen the antenna gain and positive power wires located at the top of the unit. With all these wires removed, the entire assembly can be pulled down for access while leaving the wire that lead inside the motor housing intact.

3. With the unit now in your hand, roll up the black rubber sleeve that protects the unit from moisture, dirt, etc. There are approximately four Phillips head screws that hold the cover on the motor housing. Remove these screws. Also, remove the center nut that holds the antenna flywheel in place. With the cover off, you will see the flywheel and the main gear that raises and lowers the nylon antenna ribbon. You will also more than likely find bits or long sections of your OLD ribbon. Remove them.

4. Now is the time to lubricate the main gear and flywheel with either Vaseline or white lithium grease to ensure years of trouble-free operation with your new ribbon.

5. Replace the flywheel (noting its direction) and screw the cover back into place. Re-install the antenna, connect all the wiring and hook your battery back up. Turn on the ignition and radio and listen to see if the motor runs. If it does, you are ready to install your new mast.

Just follow the directions that came with it and you should be in great shape. Above all, be patient. It took me about four hours the first time I did this because I thought you had to remove the license plate, tail lamps and back up lamps to get to the motor. You don't! I could now do the whole thing again in 30 to 40 minutes (but hopefully not on MY LT-1 any time soon!)

Good luck and keep on waving!
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
2,240
Location
Northern Indiana
Corvette
1987 Z52 Black Convertible
When my 85 showed similar symptoms the antenna motor evetually got stuck running in the up position. I pulled the fuse so it is up with no motor running, but no power locks now - the corvette central upgrade kit is one of my winter projects.

You could just cut the power wire like the guy that previously owned my vette did. :L
 

JohnnyC

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2002
Messages
257
Location
NJ
Corvette
1996 Black Coupe - LT4
After doing this i was very pleased with the antenna fully retracting. But i've noticed reduced reception on some stations i used to have. I checked the antenna connection in the rear tray again, and it was fine. I'm not sure what is the problem. Do the ground connections have any effect? Any ideas?
 

gmjunkie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
4,520
Location
Old Fort NC/Vero Beach FL
Corvette
03 Z-51,78 L82 Coupe
After doing this i was very pleased with the antenna fully retracting. But i've noticed reduced reception on some stations i used to have. I checked the antenna connection in the rear tray again, and it was fine. I'm not sure what is the problem. Do the ground connections have any effect? Any ideas?
Yep,Sure will!!:upthumbs
 

air1jpg

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2007
Messages
393
Location
Louisville, KY
Corvette
1996 Polo Green LT1 Coupe
Can someone tell me a good place to mount a cut off switch and where to find the power antenna sensor wire from the radio?
 

John Robinson

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
1,555
Location
Muncie, Indiana
Corvette
1993 Polo Green Coupe
After doing this i was very pleased with the antenna fully retracting. But i've noticed reduced reception on some stations i used to have. I checked the antenna connection in the rear tray again, and it was fine. I'm not sure what is the problem. Do the ground connections have any effect? Any ideas?

There is a ground plane wire that goes from somewhere near the antenna motor towards the front of the car behind the inner fender. If you broke it or pulled it out then your reception would not be very good. This is a very thin wire.

It is also very important to put the right connectors on the right posts of the antenna.
 

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Win Both Corvettes!

Win Both Corvettes and Get Extra Bonus Tickets Now!

Supporting Vendors

Dealers:

MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Parts/Accessories:

Dead Center Foundation

Vetteskins

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Partners

Top Bottom