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Old 01-31-2008, 06:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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E30/E28 Flexible Antenna Upgrade

Hokay, so.
Are you tired of your automatic mast antenna getting stuck halfway up/down? Does it make that really annoying scratching sound because the mast is starting to strip out? Do you just feel like giving it a flying knee because it sticks out too damn much?
Well, I have a solution for you!
(This should work for both E30's and E28's. There might be more applications, but I don't have those cars to experiment on.)

What you need:
1/2 Hour - 1 Hour
Antenna base from E36 cabrio/ti/Z3
Flexible antenna from an E36 cabrio/ti/Z3 whatever
318ti antenna grommet 65 21 8 362 369
Tools from your in-trunk toolkit, visegrips
Trash can

Open your trunk. You might have to move some mouse fur out of the way to get to the antenna mast.
Now, use some of your trunk tools (or normal metric sockets and screwdrivers) to get that thing disconnected. Don't cut the wires, just unscrew/plug them. Then, you might need some visegrips or something here to unscrew the top (outside the car). If yours has a grommet, you're just going to have to mangle it so it will come out. That's why you have a new one! Once it's disconnected, unless you're holding it, it will probably just fall into your trunk.
Put it on your bench and marvel at the freakin' SIZE of this hunk of crap.

This is where the trash can comes in. Throw that antiquated hunk of plastic in there, unless you want to get $5 for it from Ebay.
Now go back to your trunk, and start assembling.

That grey wire is a coax for the radio. Don't cut it.
The little plug with two wires? It will only fit one way. Plug it in.
Don't forget to find somewhere for that ground wire to go. Where the old one from the other antenna is usually a good spot. Make sure you have a good ground.

Now, go back and get your antenna grommet. Press that into the hole where your antenna goes. You'll see how it's supposed to be oriented, just twist it until it's in the right position.
Go back in your trunk and push the antenna base up into the grommet. Don't push too hard, the base is not VERY delicate, but you can't boss it around too much. You'll feel when it's in there. You'll also be able to see the female threads through the top of the antenna grommet. There shouldn't be any space.
Screw your antenna in!


Now, the only downsides are:

1. You might have a slight decrease in reception. (shorter antenna)
2. You have to unscrew it when you go through a carwash. (If that's how you roll)

Disclaimer: Results may vary. If you totally eff your stuff up because this is too complicated for you, I'm sorry. Blame someone else. Like yourself.
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Old 02-23-2008, 01:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thank you. I was just thinking about doing that type conversion. Very clear instructions for those of us mechanically challenged.

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Old 02-28-2008, 02:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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great DIY
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