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Antenna Cable Removal on a 1985

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Old 08-11-2017, 12:41 PM   #1
vracer99
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Default Antenna Cable Removal on a 1985

The antenna on my 1985 Vette broke going down & stopped with the small section of the mast sticking out of the fender about 7". I can pull up on the antenna & there is no resistance. But if I try to push down any further beyond where it stopped it feels & sounds like it is hitting something solid. So I need to remove the power antenna unit & take it apart to see what is going on inside. Which by the way is an unreal B---- to do! Anyway I have all the rear compartment trim & carpet pulled out of the way so I can get to the wiring & stuff. I see where the two sections of the antenna cable plug together behind the side trim & carpet. My question is "Is there a secret method to pull the antenna cable plug apart"? I have pulled very hard on it and it won't budge. 2nd question. "Would it be better/easier to remove the cable from the power antenna unit under the fender"? Again, does this just pull out or screw off where it goes into the fitting on the antenna unit?
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:06 PM   #2
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Are you talking about the big black grommet the seals the antenna and electrical wires from the cargo area to the underside of the car near the outer left rear tail light?

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Old 08-11-2017, 01:14 PM   #3
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That would be the next question I have because it looks impossible to get at. But right now I'm talking about the connection where the cable coming from the radio plugs into the cable end going to the antenna unit.
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:34 PM   #4
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Ok. I had a problem there also. Sorry I did this 2 years ago. You need to have a grip on sides of the connector that is under the left side cargo plastic cover. I don't remember what I used, my hand or a pair of pliers. It will come off and as you have found out it is stuck on.
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:53 PM   #5
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The antenna on my 1985 Vette broke going down & stopped with the small section of the mast sticking out of the fender about 7". I can pull up on the antenna & there is no resistance. But if I try to push down any further beyond where it stopped it feels & sounds like it is hitting something solid. So I need to remove the power antenna unit & take it apart to see what is going on inside. Which by the way is an unreal B---- to do! Anyway I have all the rear compartment trim & carpet pulled out of the way so I can get to the wiring & stuff. I see where the two sections of the antenna cable plug together behind the side trim & carpet. My question is "Is there a secret method to pull the antenna cable plug apart"? I have pulled very hard on it and it won't budge. 2nd question. "Would it be better/easier to remove the cable from the power antenna unit under the fender"? Again, does this just pull out or screw off where it goes into the fitting on the antenna unit?




If all you want do is have the Motor in hand and you have already released the Grommet as others have mentioned, There are 2 very small screws where the Ant Lead meets the Mast and that will leave the cable with the car
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:54 PM   #6
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OK Thanks. That answers my question. Because it was so hard to pull apart I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. Did you also remove your power antenna? If you did, do you have any suggestions on making that seemingly impossible task any easier.
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:11 PM   #7
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Yes I did. My mast stuck half way down so I had to pull the motor. I purchased a brand new AC/Delco motor for my 88 from a Chevy dealership on ebay for $160 or $170 (I don't remember). It was old stock, still wrapped up.
From what I have read on CF there are two ways to get the grommet loose. Remove your driver muffler to give you room for your hands or remove outer tail light. Your car year?
Since I have no rear exhaust (I have side pipes) I reached my left hand up and using a medium screw driver, I prized it out because you can't see what you are doing. Took me at least an hour. I can't remember if I removed the antenna from the bracket or not but I think I did.
If you remove the outer tail light as some have done you can prize it loose from behind the car.
When you re-install, lube the grommet before shoving it back into the hole. GM did not make this easy especially for the round light models.

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Old 08-11-2017, 02:24 PM   #8
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vracer99, when I get home tonight I will look for my old antenna to make sure you need to either pry or push the grommet out. My memory is fading.
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:25 PM   #9
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OK Thanks. That answers my question. Because it was so hard to pull apart I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. Did you also remove your power antenna? If you did, do you have any suggestions on making that seemingly impossible task any easier.
There is 2 ways of thinking with the removal and replacement, You can cut the Wires and correctly Splice with a water proof repair (crimp Solder shrink rap, or at least a crimp Shrink connector) or work the grommet out both have there problems.

The reason getting the Ant. Lead apart inside is hard that connection is like a Fish hook the tang on the Bayonet locks inside it's Mate. I have found if you want to Separate them, some twisting back and forth while a tug sometimes does it if your lucky. That's why if the Ant. Lead is not a Problem i just leave it in the car and remove the 2 screws on the mast

There are repair kits available to rebuild them(New Cable) and Direct fit replacements for whole unit

Last edited by s carter; 08-11-2017 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:31 PM   #10
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OK guys, thanks for all the help. I finally got the antenna out of the Vette. And without removing the rear tire & inner fender. The engineer that designed this, (and a whole bunch of other things on the C4), needs to be taken out and beaten severely - or worse yet made to try to fix/repair things themselves. Then they would design them differently. OK, I'm breaking the thread rules here. Last question. To open up the antenna to see what is causing the problem, I assume I have to drill out the 4 eyelets holding it together. Then replace them with bolts & nuts to reassemble.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:23 PM   #11
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Sorry racer, I didn't go that far.



I never dis-assembled mine.

Glad you got your antenna out. Remember to put some grease on the grommet during re-assembly. You never know when you may have to do it again.

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Old 08-12-2017, 01:14 AM   #12
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I wrote an article on how to repair a broken antenna nylon cable (applies to '84 through '87 -- the design was changed in 1988):

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...post1585811362

Last edited by Cliff Harris; 08-12-2017 at 01:14 AM. Reason: Clarified wording.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vracer99 View Post
OK guys, thanks for all the help. I finally got the antenna out of the Vette. And without removing the rear tire & inner fender. The engineer that designed this, (and a whole bunch of other things on the C4), needs to be taken out and beaten severely - or worse yet made to try to fix/repair things themselves. Then they would design them differently. OK, I'm breaking the thread rules here. Last question. To open up the antenna to see what is causing the problem, I assume I have to drill out the 4 eyelets holding it together. Then replace them with bolts & nuts to reassemble.
You may not have said that if you just took the wheel and inner fender off. A total of 10 minutes to do it.
Most of us who have had their vette forever know that you have a broken mast ribbon. I have found that the repair (in mine) didn't hold up. After doing it twice, I just bit the bullet and bought a new antenna.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I wrote an article on how to repair a broken antenna nylon cable (applies to '84 through '87 -- the design was changed in 1988):

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...post1585811362
Fantastic post, info, & pics! Especially for 84 thru 87 Vettes. Thanks for posting it again to help me out. Wish I had seen this before I started working on mine. With the help of others on this forum I did succeed in getting my antenna out, but I'm sure this will help someone else in the future. By the way with all the responses about how frequently the plastic cable breaks, I think I'm going to try the hide-away antenna.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:39 AM   #15
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You may not have said that if you just took the wheel and inner fender off. A total of 10 minutes to do it.
Most of us who have had their vette forever know that you have a broken mast ribbon. I have found that the repair (in mine) didn't hold up. After doing it twice, I just bit the bullet and bought a new antenna.
Pulling the wheel & inner fender maybe would have made the job a little easier. But it's not just that. To get at the wires and antenna cable inside you have to remove all the rear hatch trim. Then remove the cargo cover which is attached by magic. Even the 1985 shop manual doesn't tell how to do this - which way to pull or push it to release. Then remove the hatch support rod, again which is 84-87 specific. If you don't see or know about the little tab that has to be depressed, the rod will never pop off the ball without damaging something. Then you have to remove the courtesy light behind the driver seat to get at the hidden screw that holds the trim that holds the carpet down. Then you have to pull up half the carpet and remove the foam underlayment. And everything is so tight & difficult to get to that it would be impossible for someone with large hands & or arms to do. I love my 85, but it is frustrating to work on. That's why my comment about the "engineers designing it differently". I promise you, if they had to work on these things themselves, they would design it differently. Sorry I got away from the intent of this thread, but at least maybe it will help someone else tackling this job by following the steps above.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:43 PM   #16
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vracer99, you just wrote a sticky and very well described. Glad you got your antenna working. The 85 C4 is a great car. Picture will help.
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Old 08-13-2017, 02:08 AM   #17
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Then remove the cargo cover which is attached by magic.
I wrote a post on how to remove the security shade:

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...-revealed.html
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Old 08-13-2017, 06:07 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by vracer99 View Post
The engineer that designed this, (and a whole bunch of other things on the C4), needs to be taken out and beaten severely - or worse yet made to try to fix/repair things themselves.
- it's easy to pick apart a 30+ year old design, but then again, hindsight's always 20-20....
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