How To: Install a power antenna

- Author: Tom Whipple -
(Edited By Paul Mooney)

The cheapo power antenna may be okay. I'm not sure if the mechanicals on the more expensive models are worth it or not. Personally conducting a long term test on the AutoZone model.

If you can disassemble the back, that's half the work. For the antenna, you'll need the following:

1. Extra red and blue wire (don't remember gauge) to reach the dash.
2. In line 5 amp fuse (if you go straight to the battery or unfused power hookup).
3. A variety pack of electrical connectors (to facilitate connecting to antenna and radio).

Before beginning, determine if you head unit or radio has a Blue antenna power switch lead out the back. Check your units directions. If you don't, you'll have to seek an alternative method of hook up (see below).

With the back panels removed, peel back the plastic and you can see the old antenna. I used a plumber's wrench to loosen the outside antenna nut. Didn't have the appropriate tool. Once that nut is loose and removed, the old antenna can be pulled out of the opening. Be sure to grab the black outside antenna boot. Disconnect the coaxial cable and the drain tube (save that part).

The instructions with the antenna are pretty basic, but okay. Take the new antenna and attach the enclosed drain tube. Then, splice the old antenna drain tube to it. The new drain tube will not reach the drain hole. To find the drain hole, just locate the big, clear drain tube that is routed in the same area. When installing the antenna, be sure the drain tube is routed to the same hole.

If you'd like, you can attach the added length of wire to the Red and Blue lead from the antenna. There should be enough to be routed along the original coaxial cable that does down the console to the dash. The coaxial cable SHOULD plug directly into the coaxial lead from the antenna (mine did).

Now the tricky part, take the supplied brace. Do a 90 degree bend at one end, just past a bolt hole. Then bolt it to the antenna. Run the antenna through the opening (it'll fit okay). Now, sitting on the edge of the passenger door, grab that black antenna boot with your left hand, and position the antenna through the opening with your right. Black boot over the antenna, install the antenna nut, and tighten it down (maybe loose at first). Make sure the brace on the bottom of the antenna faces the inside (not outside fender). Tighten the antenna nut down. An inside washer was not necessary, but you can consider it.

Okay, look at the black boot. It may not be flush. Here's where you have to fiddle with the brace. On the inside, look for a bolt hole that matches up with the brace (towards the bottom). Do two things. First, sand the hell out of one side of the holes surface. That's where you'll attach the Black ground wire. Second, install a bolt there for the brace to the inside sheet metal brace (tight). Now check the outside black boot. You can monkey with the brace by bending it out or in (out for me) that brought the black boot flush with the outside skin. Not precise science, but just keep screwing with it till it works.

Whew! Unhook your positive lead on the car battery (for protection). Now, be sure Black ground is to that bolt. Next lead the Blue wire down the console to the back of your head unit (radio). You should have a wire that is label "antenna power" or "antenna switch" or it is also Blue. Quick connect. WARNING! If your radio does not have that option, you're gonna have to get a stereo expert to make that internally to the radio. The only other option is to install a 12 volt manual switch (Ugh!).

The Red or hot wire should go to an unswitched source of power. I had another source (cell phone hook up) that I spliced into. If you go to the fuse box, you're on your own (no advise here). If you go to the battery, be sure to install an inline fuse.

Reinstall your battery lead, and test that puppy out. When turning the radio on, the antenna goes up (hopefully). Turning the radio off, inserting a CD, or just turning off the car......the antenna should go down. SWEET! Install the back panels. Good to go.

I'll see if the cheapo antenna last. If it doesn't, at least the replacement will be a snap. Good luck.

Power Antenna
(For Stock Radio)

- Author: Dave Demos -

I've got some more info that might be helpful in installing the aftermarket power antenna as listed in the Technical Section of the Cub Sol page, especially if you have a stock radio. I did not want to install a switch or wire the antenna to the battery or ignition switch. I wanted it to operate like factory. The harness that attaches to the stock radio has a place for a power antenna to be connected but the pin is missing from the plug and there is no wire for it on the stock harness. I still wanted a factory-type install. Here's what you need to do to make this happen (I'm assuming that the battery is already disconnected):

A. Mount the antenna as in the instructions on the web page. You can attach the ground wire to any of the speaker mounting screws. This eliminates the drilling and sanding part in the posted instructions.

B. Take the radio out and remove the mounting bracket to get a good look at the pin-out diagram (located on the bottom) for the harness plug.

C. Identify the + 12 volt power wire on the harness leading to the radio. This is where I used a crimp splicer to attach the antenna's red +12 volt wire.

D. Remove the radio's top cover an then removed the circuit board that the harness plugs into. It is real easy. All you have to do is pull straight up on it and the two connectors will release.

E. Once the board is out look at the back side. You will see that the harness plug pins are soldered to it and that they are marked with what function they perform. The power antenna pin is marked with "SWB+B".

F. Take a 12" piece of blue with (the same stuff you used to extend the wires to the front) and solder it to the pin on the circuit board marked "SWB+B". This requires a fine soldering tip. Be careful that you don't solder across any other pins.

G. Re-install the board. Run the wire you soldered sideways to the antenna port on the back of the radio. Thread the wire through the space on the side of the port, letting it exit out of the back of the radio.

H. Put the cover back on the radio. Connect the blue wire that you just installed in the radio to the blue wire from the antenna. Re-connect all harnesses/plugs to the radio.

I. Re-connect the battery, enter the security code and test the radio. When you turn it on the antenna will come up. When you turn it off it will come down - just like a factory install!