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Installing a Power Retractable Radio Antenna

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  • 3 Post By sanatanadharma
  • 4 Post By Carnut

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 23 Sep 2017, 02:36 pm
sanatanadharma's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Walking distance to the embassy
Posts: 2,835
Default Installing a Power Retractable Radio Antenna

There was a day I installed a telescoping power retractable radio antenna. Or perhaps it was more than one day.

Apparently I previously apologized for never writing up my power retractable telescoping antenna installation; Any previous pictures are lost anyway.

At one time an after-market power antenna was available.Carnut posted some instructions that seem to date to 2001.

At this time, installing a power antenna is a DYI project with challenges. One is finding an antenna/motor unit that fits the available space.
I used a ĎUniversal Metra AW-PW12í antenna. I was able to use the OEM ferule and the OEM antenna underhood clamping part to mount the Metra.

A second is engineering the mounting which requires cannibalizing the fender mounting bezels from the OEM unit and then modifying and making everything fit.

The OEM antenna parts are pressed together and can be separated; the under-hood part is needed.

Apparently I needed to file the inner diameter of the OEM locking nut so the Metra locking nut could fit inside the OEM (used as a spacer).

The projecting boss in the under-fender bracket also needed to filed off.

At the bottom of the motor, I needed to engineer a mounting bracket to hold the motor to the fender bracket.

It seems that, with modification, I used both the new and old grommets together to protect the cable and wiring passing through the body sheet metal openings.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Disassembly disarray.jpg (92.0 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg Antenna compared 2.jpg (83.5 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg Metra measure 2.jpg (85.8 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg Antenna nuts mod.jpg (94.9 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg OEM antenna parts.jpg (96.9 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Bezel both nuts.jpg (80.9 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg OEM mount mod.jpg (82.8 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg Grommets Mod.jpg (83.5 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg Antenna bracket.jpg (86.1 KB, 39 views)

Last edited by sanatanadharma; 23 Sep 2017 at 02:39 pm.
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Old 24 Sep 2017, 03:24 am
Carnut's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Posts: 1,133
Default Re: Installing a Power Retractable Radio Antenna

My PT Cruiser Power Antenna Installation Guide

This is a procedure for a J.C. Whitney Power Antenna Installation on my 02 PT Cruiser from 2001.

Power Antenna spant.gif

Retailer: J.C. Whitney
Product: Power Retractable AM/FM Antenna
P/N: 03ZX9414A
Finish: Satin stainless steel or black
Mast: 5-section, extends a full 39", retracts to 1"
Price: $39.95


Fully automatic AM/FM power antenna. Extra-short mast housing requires only 9-3/4" under-fender clearance for mounting. Raise and lower with a flick of your radio dial.

Flat Screwdriver
#2 Phillips Screwdriver
Torx Screwdriver
Sharp knife
Soldering Iron
Solder and Electrical Tape
3/8" wrench
17mm thinwall socket
10mm socket or wrench
Coarse file/grinder
Auto jack & jack stand
2" velcro strips
Radio Shack Male-to-Female 24" Cable Cat.#: 12-1312

Installation Procedure:

Remove the power window switch. This is pried off gently with a flat screwdriver. Be careful not to damage the switch while prying it off. It's not attached with screws or fasteners, and with a little effort it will pop out. Once the switch is pulled out slightly, you will be able to see the attached wiring harness. Look for the RED tab where the wiring attaches to the switch. Disengage this tab and remove or unplug the wiring harness. Then remove the switch and set it aside.

Remove the air conditioner vent knobs. These pull directly off. Remember to set the switches straight up so you can replace them the same way you took them off.

Remove one Phillips head screw in the top of the console trim. This screw is located directly where the window switch was located. After removing this screw, you can pull the console off with a good tug.

Remove the 4 Phillps screws holding the radio in the dash and pull out the radio to where you can access the rear wiring plug. This is where the power wiring for the antenna operation will be attached.

Open the glove compartment and pull in on the foam rubber stops in order to lower the drawer to the floor.

Open the passenger side door and remove the lower door sill scuff plate and kick panel by manually pulling them up from their snapped down position.

The relay that comes with the power antenna is now ready to be installed. Place the antenna relay behind the left glove compartment support and attach, with a 2" strip of velcro tape on the back of the relay, by pressing against the metal support.

The antenna relay has five wires connected to it:

Route to Radio:

White: Fused - connect to radio rear plug on/off power switch.
Black: Ground - connect to the radio chasis.
Blue: Power - connect to the radio connector.

Route to Antenna:

Red: Power - connect to the antenna.
Green: Power - connect to the antenna.

Feed the white, black and blue relay wires to the center dash area for attachment to the radio. Feed the red and green relay wires across the bottom of the dash, and under the glove compartment towards the kick panel area for attachment (antenna power) to the antenna.
Remove a 1/4" length of insulation on the red wire exiting the radio connector and attach the blue relay wire to it, then fasten and tape securely. This wire is (+) always hot.
The white fused relay wire is placed into the top second pin from the passenger side of the rear plug for the radio on/off switch power to the relay.
The black relay wire with a ring terminal is then fastened under one of the rear case torx screws for (-) ground.

Outside, in the passenger front wheel well, the inner fender splash panel needs to be removed and pulled out of the way. The front wheel can be turned to right lock to give some room or, as I did, the front of the car can be jacked up and supported, and the front wheel can be removed completely for access to the splash panel area.
The OEM stock antenna included with PT Cruisers is 32" in length, black, and has a non-collapsible metal fixed mast. In order to remove the OEM antenna you will need an open-end 3/8" wrench. Place the wrench around the base of the antenna and gently turn it counter clockwise. It's a screw type mount and once unthreaded it should pull right out.
Then remove the lower portion of the OEM antenna from the fender by loosening the cap nut with either the correct spanner wrench or by using a slot screwdriver and pounding with judicious care to not to slip and scratch the fender until the cap nut comes loose. When the nut has been removed then pull the lower portion of the OEM antenna thru the splash panel area and cut the OEM antenna cable a few inches from the OEM antenna.
I elected to cut the OEM antenna cable and to splice a universal antenna connector to the end because the radio end of the OEM antenna cable takes a rather uncommon antenna connector different from the one on the universal power antenna. I can now remove and replace antennas at will using a multitude of universal antennas.
To install the new power antenna in place of the OEM antenna the antenna base has to be modified for use with the new power antenna. The center antenna shaft needs to be removed from the base by using a hammer to pound it out of the base. After removing the shaft from the base the bottom of the base needs to be filed/ground down about 1/16" of an inch for proper antenna locating in the fender.
Place the new power antenna shaft thru the OEM antenna base and locate into existing hole in the fender, then place the outside antenna cap over the new antenna shaft and press down to the fender and lightly fasten in place with the nut provided with the antenna kit. Attach one end of the bracket strip provided in the kit to the bottom of the new antenna with the phillips machine screw provided in the kit. Bend the bracket strip to allow fastening to the lower fender mounting bolt. Remove the fender mounting bolt place thru the end of the bracket and reattach to the fending mounting.

Connect the antenna cable to the new universal connector, or splice the antenna cable to the OEM cable end. Locate and pullout the OEM antenna cable grommet, that feeds thru the kick panel area, from the outside and place a small 1/8" incision to next to antenna cable and then feed the antenna power wires thru the grommet and then feed them thru the hole into the interior kick panel hole. Removing a lower dash panel fiber panel helps gain access to the hole and feeding a coat hanger or stiff guide wire thru the hole and then taping the antenna wires to the guide can help in getting the outside wires to feed thru to the interior.

Attach the new power antenna wires to the red and green relay wires that should be in the vicinity at the bottom of the glove compartment opening.

Once the new power antenna wires are attached the installation can be tested. Turn the ignition to on or acc and turn on the radio, the antenna mast should extend an then shut off. Turning the radio off should lower the antenna mast and then shut off. If this dosen't work go back and check all connections and fuses.

Now secure the antenna to the fender by tightening the mast nut with a 17mm thinwall socket, and then checking for antenna angle in the fender by extending the mast and adjusting the lower mounting bracket as needed. After securely tightening reinstall the inner fender well splash panel. Reinstall front wheel if removed and lower the car off jack.

Reinstall passenger kick panel and door sill scuff plate. Replace the glove box foam rubber stops back in place and close door. Reinstall the radio with the 4 phillips screws. Reinstall the console trim and screw in place. Reinstall the HVAC control knobs. Reattach window switches to connector and replace in dash.

The installation is complete, sit back and admire your new power antenna. I haven't experienced any problems with the antenna or my reception since I installed it. I do listen with somewhat of a critical ear, although it's not difficult to get good reception in Kansas.

Universal Antenna Adapter:

I constructed the universal antenna connector out of the Radio Shack Male-to Female 24" cable by cutting the female end of the cable approximately 6-8" from the end and splicing it to the existing OEM antenna coaxial wire.

Alternatively, one could probably find an adapter cable from Crutchfield or other radio shop now a days.

Also one could just cut the factory antenna cable and splice it directly to the power antenna cable with no connector involved.
George H. McDowell
Wichita, Kansas
My 2005 PT Cruiser GT Convertible Project

Last edited by Carnut; 24 Sep 2017 at 03:26 am.
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