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Free Power Antenna Mast/wiring fix!


New Member
November 3, 2013
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 Explorer Eddie Bauer
This was done on a whim so no pics and i already anticipate the "this thread is worthless..." ha.
Awhile back i had my stock radio replaced and i forgot but my antenna stopped going up/down. I got around to realizing it and read about it but not everyone seemed to have all the details. Here is how to rewire the antenna to work with aftermarket radios as well as fixing the plastic mast for free!

This does not cover running the whole stereo harness just the antenna.

First rewiring:
1. In the rear the stock amps and sub are behind the back plastic panel.
- Pull the plastic christmas tree clips from the panel. Then use an allen wrench to pull the seat belt top retainer off. Then under the carpet should be two screws to the floor board.
- Then gently pull up the carpet and pull the top of the panel near the headliner. * The whole panel wont come out as it will be caught on the layed down seat back but that is fine. Just tilt it down enough to see the amps.
2. You need to run a wire from the HU back to this area(some may already have if you used the harness or have subs), this is the amp turn on wire or the auto antenna wire some radios have separate.
3. There are three boxes at the amps. From left to right is the whole stereo computer(controls radio, speakers, speaker amp, etc), then the
sub amp is immediately to the right, then below is a white box. Pull the connector and find the orange/lt blue wire and cut it to splice/solder the wire coming from HU.
- You want to splice in the wire, just be sure to make sure the side you splice into is the one going into the white box(both sides are not necessary).
- This is the turn on for the antenna controller module(white box)
4. Reconnect this connecter and viola!
5. Put the panel back and all this clips and seatbelt bolt.

Next is my problem #2 .

The motor ran but the antenna went up halfway. The plastic mast was broken in the motor.

1. Pull the screws/bolts from the passenger side inner fender. There should be three screws and two bolts. Pull this enough to see the motor at the door side(not bumper side).

2. Pull the black cap on top the fender at the antenna on the outside.(it should come off with some wiggling). Then using a wrench unscrew the big bolt on the antenna bracket.

3. Go back under the fender and youll see the motor, Unscrew the one screw and take off the small bolt underneath the motor on the bracket. Pull the antenna motor and mast down and out of the fender.

4. Next if you look there should be a small bolt near the bottom holding both halves together. Take this off and youll see the inside of the motor and pull off the round cable holder and retrieve the rest of the broken mast. Also pull the antenna out of the motor.

5. Now you can get this replaced from Metra antennas or fix it like i did. I knew i couldnt glue flexible plastic so i came up with a better option. I did this yesterday so nowhere had the mast and i had everything taken apart.
- I have an old style electric stovetop with metal rings. It is hard to use a lighter or something because you need to hold it steady.
- Turn the stove on high. While its heating up clean off the grease about five inches from both sides of the broken plastic mast.
- Hold both broken ends an 1/8" from hot stove for until you see the plastic turning clear and melting, just dont catch it on fire. about 20 seconds or so, this took my a couple tries as i went form a few seconds to linger to not melt too much.
- Being careful and fast, put both melted ends together straight and push until they stop merging and melting together, make sure the ends are perfectly aligned. I did this ontop the counter to be straight.
- Let it cool and take a razor blade/exacto knife. and shave off the excess plastic so it is flush.
- at this point the gear teeth will be messed up at the merge, look at the teeth and using the knife but out where the tooth should be so that the plastic teeth back into the motor and works on the gears.

6. Put the antenna mast back into the open motor. There are two methods.
a. place the motor back together and have a helper run the key for the radio so the motor runs and stick the mast back into the motor. May take a few tried to get the whole way back in.

B. I had no helper and went this way. String the mast back through the round retainer in the motor (using a few choice words as plastic doesn't like to bend in a small circle). then put the half of the motor back on and screw it down to the bracket. Put the nut back on the top and the black plastic beauty cover.