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1978 Power Antenna: What Do You Guys Think?

 
Old 01-29-2019, 12:19 PM
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Onewiththecake
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Default 1978 Power Antenna: What Do You Guys Think?

The aftermarket power antenna on my car (Installed by the previous owner) stopped working in June of last year. I assume the cable snapped because I can hear the motor trying and failing to move the antenna up and down when it's plugged in. It needs to be rebuilt and I have no intention of saving it. I try to keep everything on the car as original as possible, with the exception of a few creature comforts. For 1978, the antenna was mounted to a bracket under the body with a plastic sleeve on top, and 1978 was the only year with this design. If possible, I'd like to restore my antenna to the original design. However, the (seemingly) only company to reproduce this antenna design seems to have halted production, since all of the reproduction sites list it as "out of stock" or "unavailable". I actually purchased a reproduction unit back in June from Paragon, and it's been on back order ever since. So, this leaves me with a few choices. I can purchase a rebuilt original unit for crazy money (such as the one seen here: https://tinyurl.com/ya8aduce), but I'd rather not for obvious reasons. I can attempt to install a 1979-82 unit which mounts directly to the body like my current aftermarket unit. Or, I could try and wait it out with Paragon which could take several months, if the order is fulfilled at all.

What are your opinions? Are there any other options I haven't considered? Have you had better luck securing a reproduction unit?
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Old 01-29-2019, 12:42 PM
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Indigoblue
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Contact KapsSA here on the website...he usually has a couple, very nice gentleman, he seems to specialize in rebuilding the 78 and 79 antennas. He usually also has the mounting hardware if I remember right
That price on e-bay was way over the top...I actually have a couple put away as spares, even have NOS parts (motor,etc,) there out there ..just have to be patient and look....if all else fails let me know and I'll give some thought to parting with one of my spares at a more realistic price then that e-bay add....
Brian

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Old 01-29-2019, 01:00 PM
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lakerider57
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Just rebuild yourself. Here is the kit I used:

https://www.corvettecentral.com/c4-8...SAAEgLfcPD_BwE

It took me about 60 minutes to disassemble(drill out rivets), clean, install new one, lube, and put in new bolts instead of rivets. Very easy job on a weekend.

Richard
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:20 PM
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Onewiththecake
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The only reason I chose not to rebuild is the fact that it's an aftermarket antenna that I'm not overly fond of. If it was original to the car, I would rebuild without a second thought.
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Old 01-29-2019, 05:20 PM
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lakerider57
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I see, I guess I didn't read close enough, I didn't see the "aftermarket antenna".

Richard
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Old 01-29-2019, 05:29 PM
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speedreed8
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Zip corvette has reproductions of the original. Thatís where I got mine. Works great. Oh I see yours is a 78. Sorry. Wrong year antenna. I have a 79

Last edited by speedreed8; 01-29-2019 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:29 PM
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Bikespace
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Here's my (possibly unpopular) opinion:

Get rid of it. Leave it in the down position if it looks better than a hole in your car, but be honest, when was the last time you listened to the radio in your Corvette? The antenna makes these cars look like RC toys.

My wife's 79 has the stupid power antenna permanently disabled. She only listens to what is on her phone through Bluetooth anyway. My 80 has a hole, plugged with a 3D printed cap.



Does that count as an option you hadn't considered?

Last edited by Bikespace; 01-29-2019 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:38 PM
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C3 4ME
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I second contacting KapSA. I've done business with him on items other than antenna's and he is a very honest person, and from what I know does a very good job with the power antennas.
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Old 01-30-2019, 02:15 AM
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biackbenz
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This is another recomendation for KapSA. Most knowledge guy here for these antennas. He is good and fair. Just what you want.
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Old 01-30-2019, 04:04 AM
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KapsSA
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Onewiththecake.....
I'll reply here instead of in your PM so others may know.
I've pretty much given up messing with the antennas, especially the 78-E79 style, as restorable units and parts are getting impossible to find! I was getting too many parts antennas with burned out armatures. So then I'd have to find a parts antenna with a good armature to restore the one with the bad armature. That's why I got a box full of useless motor housings!
I usually could find something workable on ebay from time to time but haven't seen anything in over a year that I felt was worth anything.
Sold my last 78 style about 4 months ago.
I do have some mounting brackets and I think a nos relay left. Most of my used parts are destined for the trash.
The fender trim piece is available from Corvette Central, think they call it a "guide", about $7.

Is your present unit a GM "Service Replacement" or truly aftermarket? Hopefully your wiring is still intact for if you find a correct replacement.
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:33 AM
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AB_in_AUS
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my guess if you do find one you will need the top mounting brackets, pm me and i'll send the blueprint for making them. I have an early 79 and had to fabricate the top brackets
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:07 AM
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Richard454
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You can get an aftermarket antenna- then a "PAC TR-4" remote turn on module for about $10.

Then the antenna will go up and down with a factory radio without complicated wiring.

https://www.sonicelectronix.com/item..._PAC-TR-4.html

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Old 03-04-2019, 11:47 AM
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Onewiththecake
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Bringing this thread back, just wanted to ask this question again. If anyone has tried to, how difficult is it to use a 79-82 power antenna on a 78? Either by modifying it to work with the original mounting, or simply installing it as it would have been installed on a 79.
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:14 AM
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KapsSA
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Install the same way as 79-82, but you'll need some tapered spacers under the chrome bezel to match the slope of the 78 fender.
I have an assortment of those if you find you need one.
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:13 AM
  #15  
Onewiththecake
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Originally Posted by KapsSA View Post
Install the same way as 79-82, but you'll need some tapered spacers under the chrome bezel to match the slope of the 78 fender.
I have an assortment of those if you find you need one.
Thanks for your help, KapsSA.

The top of the antenna is mounted directly to the body, right? Is there anything I need besides the main antenna assembly and the spacers you mentioned? Also, do the connections match from the 1978 wiring harness, or will I need some adapters?
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Old 03-05-2019, 02:58 PM
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I know its not perfectly original but a lot of cadillacs, buicks, and oldsmobiles have the exact same antenna. I had an 86 power antenna in my 80 and its the same hookup, white, gray, and green. You can find them really cheap too, $15 from my local junkyard.
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