Dismiss Notice



Register Today It's free! This box will disappear once registered!

CB Radio and antenna install on a 3rd Generation Explorer

Discussion in 'Ham Radio - CB - Trail Communications' started by The Chief, April 20, 2014.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. The Chief

    The Chief You Know I'm Elite

    Joined:
    February 26, 2011
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Black Canyon City Arizona
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '03 Explorer XLS
    Hello all! While I wait for my Elite Explorer payment to clear thought I'd share a CB install in a Gen 3 Explorer.

    Of course there are some ways to do it but I wanted a radio in the truck and keep the "storage" areas of the console. I'm 6'/220 and didn't want my knees hitting the radio so here goes...




    [​IMG]

    The center console in the Gen 3 comes out pretty easy. a screw and lots of clamps. There is a void space in between the climate control venting that can fit a small radio. Only a small radio. I picked a mini-CB from Radio Shack for this although Uniden and other manufacturers have ones that might fit also.

    Next use a roto-zip or dremel to cut into the plastic to make an opening. Due to the venting it will go down into the lip where the rubber liner connects. This was the biggest pain trying to line it up. You'll need to customize some mounting brackets out of metal, plumbers strap etc. Here's mine...

    [​IMG]

    After everything is lined up and you measured right you'll be able to get a radio in there. My first hole was a bit too high and I'd moved it down for clearance. I covered it up with an old radio mount bracket and it worked awesome for a mic holder and a solid place to mount future toys.
    [​IMG]

    On my truck there was 12V leads already there from unused plugs. Get your power from one of those. If not you can tap off of any of the 12V lines with these radios since the amp draw is so small.

    Next was the antenna. I like to have a good antenna system. Firestiks are ok but I opted to use a permanent mount Wilson 1000. Awesome antennas that sound good and take abuse. Furthermore I noticed these antennas mounted this way provide security and aesthetics both outside and inside the vehicle.


    i decided to mount mine to the rear of the truck for ease of access. Pop out a couple pieces of trim and the rear dome provides all the access you'd need.

    [​IMG]

    The rear dome light pops out easily by moving 2 metal clips with a small flathead screwdriver.



    [​IMG]

    Take the antenna out of the box and don't lose the parts. I've used many of these over the years without problems or leaks. you'll notice a hard plastic washer and a rubber seal. Make sure they stay clean through the install.

    [​IMG]

    Next you'll want to figure out where to drill your hole. Wilson calls for a 7/8" hole which is important so the center of the antenna mount doesn't touch the sides of the hole. You'll also want to measure ahead of the light a bit to the light and the antenna cable don't get into one another.
    Also make sure that you drill a pilot hole before attacking it with a hole saw. The hole saw is the best tool for this type of install.


    [​IMG]

    Be careful to watch your drill clearance and go slow! You don't want to drill through your headliner. Although this hole saw was short enough, I stuffed a flashlight in there a bit for added clearance.

    Note the tip of the hole saw guide as it comes through the metal...

    [​IMG]

    Once you have your hole drilled route the antenna base into the hole. this can be tricky doing it by yourself but the headliner should hold it up high enough in order to get the nut started. Make sure not to forget the rubber gasket and plastic insulator first! Also make sure that the threaded sides arent touching metal. Scrape a little of the coating off the bottom side of the roof and file off any burrs in the hole before installing. Here is the bottom...

    [​IMG]

    With everything together, you'll need a 3/4" socket to tighten it down. Do this by hand without a socket wrench until its hand tight. You'll draw it up and will feel it lock. The bottom side will slightly embed itself into the metal for a good electrical connection and you wont break the plastic insulator. Again check to make sure the threaded section doesn't make contact with the sides of the hole.
    [​IMG]


    After that route your coax down the trim and pop it all back together. You'll have a clean look with no coax exposed.
    [​IMG]

    The Wilson 1000 comes with 17' of cable so whatever route gets you to the front works. I ran mine under the door trim, under the drivers' seat and up under the console..

    [​IMG]

    Once under the console, pop out the console, plug the antenna connection into the radio and pop the console back in. Attach the whip and set SWR. For Wilsons, insert the whip all the way down, pull it back an 1/4 inch and tighten down...that'll get you just about flat without a meter. Good antennas. Heres the final product...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I did the whole thing on a stinkin' iPhone so hope it turns out!
     
  2. Support EF

    Join the Elite Explorers for $20

    Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see practically no ads, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.



  3. Przybysz

    Przybysz Active Member

    Joined:
    August 29, 2009
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Its pronounced (Priz-biz)
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '96 XLT
    This looks great! Mad props! Hope this gets stickified :)
     
  4. The Chief

    The Chief You Know I'm Elite

    Joined:
    February 26, 2011
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Black Canyon City Arizona
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '03 Explorer XLS
    Thanks! The other Explorers were easier to put radios in but this one happened to turn out alright!
     
  5. Stic-o

    Stic-o Elite Movie Star Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    September 1, 2002
    Messages:
    13,596
    Media:
    39
    Likes Received:
    384
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City, State:
    Lake View Terrace, CA
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '91 Navajo '99 XL '16 XLT
    Is the antenna easy to take on and off? I need to back into a garage and to remove the antenna first. This looks pretty low profile with just the bolt and may work for me.
     
  6. The Chief

    The Chief You Know I'm Elite

    Joined:
    February 26, 2011
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Black Canyon City Arizona
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '03 Explorer XLS
    Yeah the antenna just screws on and off with no issues. I picked this for just that reason so we could get the truck into the carport without the antenna banging all over everything
     
  7. 4x4junkie

    4x4junkie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    March 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,347
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    So.Calif.(San Fernando Valley)
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '94 Ranger, '90 Bronco II
    Nice job. :salute:

    Roof-mounted antennas are the way to go. Having it permanently-mounted through the roof just makes it that much better.

    That an Astatic microphone I see? (good choice :thumbsup: )
     
  8. The Chief

    The Chief You Know I'm Elite

    Joined:
    February 26, 2011
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Black Canyon City Arizona
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '03 Explorer XLS


    Thank ya thank ya! And yessir you are correct...Astatic is the way to go. Good taste you have :thumbsup:
     
  9. rizzjc

    rizzjc Scubajoe - Radio Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    July 13, 2005
    Messages:
    3,603
    Media:
    10
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    NC
    City, State:
    Garner, NC
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '97 AWD V8 XLT
    Callsign:
    N1LVN
    Nice job! That picture with the Dewalt in it causes me pain though. ;) I'm jealous of those spacious center consoles. I have two mostly useless storage bins, and nowhere in there to put a radio (though I did try it once with the bins removed at a ham radio mounted in there.).

    Is it just a rubber seal on top of the roof to seal the antenna, or did you do anything else?
     
  10. The Chief

    The Chief You Know I'm Elite

    Joined:
    February 26, 2011
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Black Canyon City Arizona
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '03 Explorer XLS
    Nope just the rubber seal and the plastic insulator. I think this is the fifth Wilson antenna I've installed and the other ones never leaked. I suppose one could put some silicone around it but if the hole is clean and the mount is installed right they don't leak. I am a hole drilling fool for CB's and ham gear...I like the improvement in receive.
     
  11. Rick

    Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    February 8, 1999
    Messages:
    31,498
    Media:
    43
    Albums:
    4
    Likes Received:
    782
    Trophy Points:
    143
    City, State:
    Wayoutin, Aridzona
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '93 XL Pumpkin Edition
    Callsign:
    AB7FH
    It really depends on what you do.

    My ham radio and CB antennas were originally roof mounted. I ripped both mounts right through the metal roof when I dragged the antennas through the trees :( I used silicone sealer to re-seal the bases, and moved the antennas.

    For most this won't be an issue, but if you push your Explorer through some dense brush or low hanging anything it can be an issue.

    Great write up on the install Chief! I'm going to set you up with an extra 3 months of Elite time for your effort:chug:
     
  12. 4x4junkie

    4x4junkie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    March 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,347
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    So.Calif.(San Fernando Valley)
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '94 Ranger, '90 Bronco II
    I use one of these on my roof-mounted 5½' Francis and haven't had any problems with tree damage. ;)

    [​IMG]

    Even with the Francis right in front of it, I still get that li'l guy right behind it occasionally blown off by a low branch, though it being a mag mount means I only have to set it back upright again (it's cable runs under the roof rack member, so it's not able to fall completely from the truck).
     
  13. The Chief

    The Chief You Know I'm Elite

    Joined:
    February 26, 2011
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    City, State:
    Black Canyon City Arizona
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '03 Explorer XLS

    Thanks, Rick! I appreciate it and the forum.

    As far as tearing antennas out I've not had that problem and have plenty of off roading time. It is what it is...if you hit anything just right it breaks!

    He is right, folks! Gotta do what feels right. Especially when antennas go "ding bang whack" on Drive-Thru windows at Carl's Jr....
     
  14. Rick

    Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    February 8, 1999
    Messages:
    31,498
    Media:
    43
    Albums:
    4
    Likes Received:
    782
    Trophy Points:
    143
    City, State:
    Wayoutin, Aridzona
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '93 XL Pumpkin Edition
    Callsign:
    AB7FH
    Doesn't take much. Drag a thick branch across the base of the antenna and that's all it takes. Sure the whip is flexible, but not the base loaded section.
     

Share This Page







We Support Our Troops!