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Old 08-14-2005, 10:05 PM   #1
Jerry_E
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Member Since: Nov 2002
Location: Sandy Springs GA
Default C5 power antenna motor remove and replace

The good news, bad news department:

I replaced my power antenna mast and it's connected nylon cable today. Never had done one before on a C5 and I didn't have the manuals. I discovered that I couldn't just do the simpler mast replacement thing that the instructions said "by feeding the nylon cable into the hole in fender to the antenna and cutting the radio off and on until the new cable caught", because, a part of the old cable was broken off and still in there, blocking it. The motor HAD to come out.

I searched all the Internet and every Vette forum I knew of but couldn't find even one comment (except for a wrong comment, where somebody said that it was hard) on how to do it when part of the cable was busted off in the motor and the motor had to be R&R'ed - so I just winged it.

The good news is that I DID successfully fix it and I DIDN'T break or scratch anything else in the process. The bad news is that I spent probably about 3-4 times longer working on it than was necessary! I took stuff apart that I never should have had to touch. I guess because I read that one little comment, that "it was hard" I assumed it would in-fact be hard, so I went at it the hard way. I'm too embarrassed to admit the stuff I dug into. Needless to say, I know the big butt of my C5 (Vert) now better than most!
;<)

The point here is that I want to help prevent someone else from going through what I did today. Though it won't help me, this will now be in the forum archives for the next person. There IS a simple trick to this, had I only known:

"Remove the right tail lamp lens". That is the trick. I had never removed the tail lamp lenses either so I didn't know that the two screws that hold the lens in, also holds the whole lamp assembly and when that's removed, it is completely open, large, and allows easy access to the whole Damn antenna motor area with no trouble at all! NOT a difficult task, when done this way. In hindsight, I feel pretty stupid for not looking there first.

Also, pull the carpeted trim cover in the trunk off for access (only the two big black finger tight wing nuts hold it in) and you have access to the antenna signal cable and electric supply lines. It has a joint right there at the wheel well so's it can be unplugged. The antenna's power wires come apart here too. Pop out the one big rubber body grommet, remove a couple of screws and small bolts that hold the motor and ground wires and the whole motor is out. I then unloosed the one screw that holds the tube where the mast and cable go in and shazam, the broken piece of nylon cable could be easily pulled out with needle nose pliers. That's all there was (supposed to be) to it. Of course, as usual, I made an easy job difficult. Hope this make someone else's job a little easier,

Anybody out there got a reasonably priced set of 1999 manuals for sale?

THX!

Jerry

Jerry Erbesfield
C-5 Black Beauty Vette roadster
E-mail: Jerry@Erbesfield.com
Website: www.erbesfield.com
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Old 08-14-2005, 10:17 PM   #2
Patches
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Wish I'd known. Coulda' drove over to give you a hand. Post here next time ( if you didn't) and I'm sure we could have helped before you dug in. I certainly could have emailed you the procedure.

Good job on the fix.
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Old 09-25-2005, 01:13 AM   #3
2KVetteMan
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Where did you get the nylon from. I need one. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-27-2005, 10:44 PM   #4
Jerry_E
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I honestly don't recall now. Maybe Ecklers. However, I paid too much at about $39.00. I later discovered several less expensive as per this ebay.com link:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Power...spagenameZWDVW

Looks to be exactly the same thing.

Good luck!

Jerry
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Old 09-27-2005, 11:30 PM   #5
chuckster
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Good Job Bro.. I too had to figure this out on my own and refused to buy a new one..

Was disgusted that I found out by other forum members that the power antenna is un-repairable.. Well it is.

My antenna would go up but it would not go down.. Thinking the ribbon on the mast was broken I yanked it out to take a look.. Well the ribbon was not broken. Something else was keeping it from going down..

So I tried to open the spool housing.. NOT... seems the damn factory decided to melt these little plastic rivets holding the cover on.. Ensuring they get $150 forcing you to buy a replacement unit.

Well a Dremel solved that problem... A few minutes later the rivets were gone and I popped the cover..

I did not take a picture of what I found to be the problem but I will describe it. Very simple fix

Once you remove the Spool cover and the spool you can see where the ribbon gets fed into it. You will then see a little hole right in the middle of the ribbon path. There is a little Pin in there and the pin is used for an axle for the rolling ribbon guide under the spool.

Well the pin was up high and blocking the the path of the ribbon thus not allowing it go down. I used a pair of needle nose pliers and pushed the PIN Axle all the way back in and out the the path of the Ribbon..

Problem solved..

Now I had to re-fasten the Spool cover back on. I simply drilled each opening and installed 4 little screws to hold it on. I have attached the picture to show that.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-28-2005, 10:13 AM   #6
cenzo
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You gotta love this place...and the knowledgable people so willing to help out.
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Vince
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Old 09-28-2005, 01:02 PM   #7
2KVetteMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry_E
I honestly don't recall now. Maybe Ecklers. However, I paid too much at about $39.00. I later discovered several less expensive as per this ebay.com link:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Power...spagenameZWDVW

Looks to be exactly the same thing.

Good luck!

Jerry
Cool thanks for the link, I was going to pay $39 for one as well from a dealer. Thanks again. Placing my order.
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:55 PM   #8
manley845
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I know this is an old post, but I am about to repair/replace my antenna soon and want to know if the antenna cable itself can be unplugged from the assembly.

The reason I want to be able to disconnect the antenna cable at the assembly itself is because I am considering replacing the power antenna with a fixed antenna w/short mast.

If anyone knows, or has pics of the assembly it would help.

Thanks
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:59 PM   #9
manley845
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Answered my own question.

The antenna does disconnect in the trunk area behind the carpet. The antenna assembly removes quite easily from the right tail light opening.

Looks like I'm in the market for the Z06 antenna bracket/assembly now.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:06 PM   #10
bighank
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Default Don't pay TWICE I got mine from ANTENNAMASTSRUS.COM

Cost including shipping was less than $20. Had to drill out 3 plastic riverts and remove top cover from motor to remove 1 foot of broken plastic toothed cable that raises and lowers antenna. Replaced drilled out rivets with self tapping screws. Lubed with lubriplate before reassembling motor. Go to the web site and see the instructions on how to fo this. Call them if you need to. They are very helpful on the phone. GREAT SUPPLIER. My post on how to do this must have been archicved but it is a 2 or 3 hour job. Took out both right tailights to see what I was doing. A few nuts and bolts and the motor is out. Never disconnected the electrical wires. Worked on motor right over the rear bumper.
BIGHANK
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:25 PM   #11
1BAD80
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I copyed and pasted this from http://www.antennamastsrus.com/GM/Ch...structions.htm

Corvette Power Antenna Mast Instructions

Before installing your new mast, compare the old mast with the new one. They need to be identical in every way. If they are different, you may have an after market power unit. Also it is very important that you NEVER cut the white cable on the new mast at any time.


Removing the Mast:

Remove your rear tire and the the splash pan that is under the rear quarter panel. On some models the tail light can be removed as well in order to get to the power unit.


Now unbolt the power unit from the car, generally held on by two bolts at the bottom and a upper mount on some models
.

Remove the special nut at the top of the antenna. ( by turning counter clockwise, looking down at it )


Then as you have someone turning the radio on, and as the mast begins or tries to come up, ... grab hold of it and assist it out as the power unit feeds the mast out, taking note which direction the teeth on the plastic cable are facing ( the teeth will face either toward the front or the rear of your car ) so you know which way the new mast cable is to face when you put it in .... If you are not sure which way the teeth face, note that the teeth face the main gear assembly when the mast is inserted into the storage drum, .. determine which way the teeth will be by looking at your power unit, again it will always face the main drive gear assembly.

Make sure that the short outer grounding/retaining sleeve ( as what is on the outer portion of NEW antenna mast ) [ See PHOTO 1 Below ] has come out with the old mast, this is very important, as this is what holds the antenna mast in when the nut is fastened, as it holds down the mast

IF the old mast and grounding/retaining sleeve are out then proceed with STEP 6 below ....... If you cant get the mast out proceed with the STEP 5 below.

Photo is not of the actual sleeve, but is a general view of one.

PHOTO 1

If at this time you canít pull the mast out and it seems to be stuck, more than likely the grounding/retaining sleeve is corroded to the top of the antenna Storage Tube where it does its job holding in the mast and giving it reception. Being that this part doesn't move, after time it corrodes its self in its position. Many people think that the tabs on the sleeve hold it in, this is not true, they are there to give the mast reception only, period. ...
What we found that works best in removing a stuck mast is cut the largest mast tube 1 inch from the top of the largest section of the mast, so you can fill the hollow of it with a drill bit so that when you put a vise grip on that mast it will not collapse. By doing this it also allows you to put major force on the vice grip so you can now take a hammer and hit the vise grip in such a way so you can hit the mast out. If at this time the old mast comes out proceed with installing a mast below Step 6.

Installing the Mast:

Compare the old mast with the new one, the length of the white teethed cable MUST be the same length of the one you took out of your power unit ( DO NOT CUT THE NEW MAST CABLE ) .... If the cable is not the same length, then you probably have a broken piece left in your power unit .... If the cable is shorter proceed with Step 5 .... If the over all Collapse length of the stainless portion of the new mast and diameter are the same with the old mast, along with the white cable length continue with Step 6.

There are occasions where the antenna cable breaks off in the power unit and this will not allow the replacement mast to be pulled in all the way, because the storage drum can only hold enough cable for one mast. Simply remove the cover at the bottom of the power unit, the grab the drum and remove any broken cable that is in there. Put the drum back in and the cover, and you are ready for the installation of the mast.

Insert the new mast cable into the top of the power antenna tube with the teeth facing toward the direction that it was when you removed the broken mast ... ( SEE PHOTO BELOW ) Then have someone turn the radio off,.. as the power unit begins to pull the new mast in, guide the new antenna into the power unit, as it pulls the mast down into the power unit, it may on the first try not pull the mast all the way down, donít worry, install the grounding sleeve and the outer nut and turn the radio on and off a few times as this will center the new antenna mast. then, "Voila! The mast is installed."
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Old 01-14-2014, 04:04 PM   #12
bobbordelon
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Member Since: Feb 2008
Default C5 Convertible Power Antenna R&R

Hey Jerry, Thanks for the excellent guidance!
It took me about 45 minutes to replace my antenna.
Only one different point on the convertible;
To access the coupling for the antenna and power leads, you simply pull back the carpet just rear of the deck lid hinge cover. It's secured by Velcro so it comes right off. Once you pull that back, you're in business.

Use caution removing the nut on the base of antennae fender mount. It comes off with a 9/16th open wrench if you don't have metric's. The rubber boot is fragile and you can nick it easily as I did.
As always, take pics or make notes of where all the grounds attach.
I'll post some pics for future frustrated Vette owners.
Thanks again, Bob
Attached Images
    
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:18 PM   #13
DILLI1
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Hi Jerry

Question - how did you reach that one screw/bolt that holds the base in place? I took the light cover off and you are correct - you have access to everything. Problem is - the base is what I need to replace - mine is bent from hitting the bottom of a garage door. It looks like the bolt head is on the other side of a metal strip. I tried pulling away the carpet - but that is almost unnecessary because I was further away from the base and it looked like there was a wall between the carpet and the antenna base.

Looks to me like the best way to get at the antenna base is to pull the light cover. I have a Z06, so there is no motor unit. I ordered a new base. All I want to do is replace the base, but I have no idea how I am going to reach that one bolt that goes from the metal strip into the base to hold it in place.

DILLI1


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry_E View Post
The good news, bad news department:

I replaced my power antenna mast and it's connected nylon cable today. Never had done one before on a C5 and I didn't have the manuals. I discovered that I couldn't just do the simpler mast replacement thing that the instructions said "by feeding the nylon cable into the hole in fender to the antenna and cutting the radio off and on until the new cable caught", because, a part of the old cable was broken off and still in there, blocking it. The motor HAD to come out.

I searched all the Internet and every Vette forum I knew of but couldn't find even one comment (except for a wrong comment, where somebody said that it was hard) on how to do it when part of the cable was busted off in the motor and the motor had to be R&R'ed - so I just winged it.

The good news is that I DID successfully fix it and I DIDN'T break or scratch anything else in the process. The bad news is that I spent probably about 3-4 times longer working on it than was necessary! I took stuff apart that I never should have had to touch. I guess because I read that one little comment, that "it was hard" I assumed it would in-fact be hard, so I went at it the hard way. I'm too embarrassed to admit the stuff I dug into. Needless to say, I know the big butt of my C5 (Vert) now better than most!
;<)

The point here is that I want to help prevent someone else from going through what I did today. Though it won't help me, this will now be in the forum archives for the next person. There IS a simple trick to this, had I only known:

"Remove the right tail lamp lens". That is the trick. I had never removed the tail lamp lenses either so I didn't know that the two screws that hold the lens in, also holds the whole lamp assembly and when that's removed, it is completely open, large, and allows easy access to the whole Damn antenna motor area with no trouble at all! NOT a difficult task, when done this way. In hindsight, I feel pretty stupid for not looking there first.

Also, pull the carpeted trim cover in the trunk off for access (only the two big black finger tight wing nuts hold it in) and you have access to the antenna signal cable and electric supply lines. It has a joint right there at the wheel well so's it can be unplugged. The antenna's power wires come apart here too. Pop out the one big rubber body grommet, remove a couple of screws and small bolts that hold the motor and ground wires and the whole motor is out. I then unloosed the one screw that holds the tube where the mast and cable go in and shazam, the broken piece of nylon cable could be easily pulled out with needle nose pliers. That's all there was (supposed to be) to it. Of course, as usual, I made an easy job difficult. Hope this make someone else's job a little easier,

Anybody out there got a reasonably priced set of 1999 manuals for sale?

THX!

Jerry

Jerry Erbesfield
C-5 Black Beauty Vette roadster
E-mail: Jerry@Erbesfield.com
Website: www.erbesfield.com
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:18 PM   #14
Jerry_E
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Member Since: Nov 2002
Location: Sandy Springs GA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DILLI1 View Post
Hi Jerry

Question - how did you reach that one screw/bolt that holds the base in place? I took the light cover off and you are correct - you have access to everything. Problem is - the base is what I need to replace - mine is bent from hitting the bottom of a garage door. It looks like the bolt head is on the other side of a metal strip. I tried pulling away the carpet - but that is almost unnecessary because I was further away from the base and it looked like there was a wall between the carpet and the antenna base.

Looks to me like the best way to get at the antenna base is to pull the light cover. I have a Z06, so there is no motor unit. I ordered a new base. All I want to do is replace the base, but I have no idea how I am going to reach that one bolt that goes from the metal strip into the base to hold it in place.

DILLI1
Robert: I apologize but that work was done in 2005, almost 9 years ago now. My 69 year old raisin brain has trouble remembering a week ago these days much less 9 years ago. Seriously, I don't recall my C5 having "that one bolt" you mentioned. Plus, I've had a 2008 C6 for several years since then. Maybe the C5 power antenna version is different from the fixed mast version??? I'm sure someone on this forum should be able to help. Sorry but good luck!

Jerry

Last edited by Jerry_E; 05-14-2014 at 09:19 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:06 PM   #15
jrbosko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckster View Post
Good Job Bro.. I too had to figure this out on my own and refused to buy a new one..

Was disgusted that I found out by other forum members that the power antenna is un-repairable.. Well it is.

My antenna would go up but it would not go down.. Thinking the ribbon on the mast was broken I yanked it out to take a look.. Well the ribbon was not broken. Something else was keeping it from going down..

So I tried to open the spool housing.. NOT... seems the damn factory decided to melt these little plastic rivets holding the cover on.. Ensuring they get $150 forcing you to buy a replacement unit.

Well a Dremel solved that problem... A few minutes later the rivets were gone and I popped the cover..

I did not take a picture of what I found to be the problem but I will describe it. Very simple fix

Once you remove the Spool cover and the spool you can see where the ribbon gets fed into it. You will then see a little hole right in the middle of the ribbon path. There is a little Pin in there and the pin is used for an axle for the rolling ribbon guide under the spool.

Well the pin was up high and blocking the the path of the ribbon thus not allowing it go down. I used a pair of needle nose pliers and pushed the PIN Axle all the way back in and out the the path of the Ribbon..

Problem solved..

Now I had to re-fasten the Spool cover back on. I simply drilled each opening and installed 4 little screws to hold it on. I have attached the picture to show that.

Click the image to open in full size.
I LOVE this Corvette Forum!!!!!!
Thanks for the info, this solved my problem.
Question: is there a way to bypass the antenna when using my iPod?
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:06 PM
 
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