Installing a power antenna | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Installing a power antenna


September 17, 2000
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City, State
Everett, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 XLT 4 X 4
Hey guys,
I'm considering installing a power antenna in my 96 Explorer XLT. Let me begin by saying that I've never installed a power antenna before. Now, when I had my Blaupunkt Munchen installed the installer spliced into the existing harness instead of using an adapter. I'm assuming that the power antenna harness exists in my truck even though I don't have a power antenna now. Since the installer spliced into my harness I'm also assuming that the power antenna lead isn't attached to anything.

So I guess I have a couple of options here. Install an after market antenna or buy a Ford OEM antenna.

After market advantage - cheaper
After market disadvantage - will probably have to drill holes to mount a bracket and run the wiring.

OEM advantage - will plug right into the existing harness and will mount to existing mounting holes. I'm assuming the harness exists in my truck.
OEM disadvantage - EXPENSIVE $$$

Has anyone installed a power antenna that can help me out here? Am I correct in assuming that I already have the power antenna harness in my truck? I'm leaning toward the OEM because it should be plug and play. Let me know if I'm missing any important steps in the install.


I'm confused. You don't have an antenna at all? Do you mean power as in amplified to get a better signal, or as in rolls up and down? As far as I know (I could be wrong), all Explorer antennas have basically been the same, and they don't roll down. I don't know where they get their power from, either. But if you have the little antenna mount on your right fender, just get yourself any antenna with a Ford adapter. My RadioShack antenna came with an adapter and works great.

Just my 2 cents, don't know if it helps.

I have the basic stock one piece radio antenna that unscrews from the base. I want to install a power antenna so I can lower it when I'm driving through low hanging tree limbs and such. Quite a few trees here in Washington State. I called the local Ford dealer today and they want $130 for the beast. What I'm trying to figure out is how it's hooked up electrically. I suppose that I need some kind of wire going from the radio to the antenna motor to send a signal so that it knows when to go up or down. Like I said, I've never installed a power antenna before. I've installed many standard antennas.


That's why I replaced my antenna. I found it was much easier just to get a shorter one. The one I have now was $6 at RadioShack and works better than the stock one. It's about 8" and is almost totally rubber. You can see it in the pics on my website. I would definately recommend this approach.

However, if you want to do the converstion, here are a few tips which might help:
1) is what Ford sells made specifically for the Explorer?, if not it might not work even though they say it will.
2) you have to make sure you will have clearance for the retracted antenna in the engine bay, or below wherever the antenna is mounted (is it in the wheel well, hope not).
3) if the kit is for the Explorer, you might already have power in the antenna harness. If you need power, you probably need to run a line from the radio circuit (you might be able to just tap the fuse). However, you might also need to tap the battery for power, tap the radio fuse for the signal, and run it all through a relay.
4) you might need to drill a hole or two in the top and insides of the fender both for the retraction hole, and to mount.

Once again, I recommend just getting a shorter antenna, but good luck on the power one!