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Barney Eaton

Power antenna repair

19 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I will repair your Reatta (and many other GM power antenna) with a new steel cable, clean and lubricate for $65 including return shipping.

Most power antenna stop going up/down because of a broken plastic cord that is attached to the top section of the mast. This breaks and GM has discontinued the part. Other vendors now want around $35 plus shipping just for the replacement plastic part.

I developed a method of using plastic coated steel wire in place of the plastic and have repaired over 20 using this method. This steel wire should be a lifetime fix. I will replace any that break while in the original owners hands.

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)

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To all:

Does anyone know if the TSA gets bent out of shape if you have something like a Reatta antenna (or similar/other car part) in one of your carry on bags?

I would hate to buy something at Danvers, then have problems leaving at the airport.

You just never know if something like one of these parts (with a motor in it) will draw their attention.

Last year we drove to the Ames meet, so this was a moot point, but this year we are flying, so obviously car parts are subject to search.

Tom

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Car parts shouldn't be a problem for the TSA. If you check your bag it eliminates the possibility of a problem.

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Barney, are you able to fix an antenna with a broken mast? Or do you not have any masts?

Thanks,

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How about the antenna in my '77 Town Car, or only GM stuff??

Barry,

I tried Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market and keyed in Lincoln other and then antenna. There are 4 1977 available at variuos yards. One is here in Wi. at $40.00 says tested [Doesn't say works though lol]

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I have never torn into a Chrysler or Ford antenna, but if you want to send me the old one if you buy a used one, I will look at it.

On broken or damaged mast..... I get lots of antenna that people say are ok but have bent mast. Sometimes they can be straightned. But broken mast must be replaced and 1990 and earlier mast are almost non-existant at my clostest salvage yard (and that is 35 miles away)

There may be other yards that have a supply but I cannot justify 1-2 hour drives to fix an antenna for the price I get.

If you have multiple antenna and want to send me two to make one good one that is fine.

But I do not have a supply of good mast. However if you need the black motor housing, I can come up with 30-40 of those tomorrow.

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FWIW - I have a kit that includes the top section of the antenna mast; however, the cable in the kit does not have an inner steel core a la OEM and the cable that Barney has. As best I can tell, the OE cable was tubular with a wire core inserted; the part that Barney has is a substantial plastic coated wire cable and the one I hae is solid plastic.

I purchased about 15 to 20 of the cable sets and sill have some left and will sell at my cost of $15/18 dollsrs plus shmipping. No warranty on the cable but it is the correct length and has the hook for engaging the spool and does have the top section of the mast, minus the finial. Pro is the mast section con is the lack of an inner steel core in the cable. Caveat emptor.

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My observations and opinion...... the original GM plastic lines had the steel wire molded into the plastic (or said another way, the plastic was molded around the steel). Consulting people with electrical backgrounds, their opinion is that the steel wire has no electrical or signal reason so it must be for extra strenth only. More recently the GM replacements were as Kingsley stated, a plastic line that was hollow and the steel wire not molded in place.

I suspect this was a cost reduction only and that the wire was reinforcement to help keep the plastic line in one piece should the plastic crack and break. It does work to some extent as I have rebuilt antenna with plastic lines that had multiple cracks but the line did not seperate.

I worked on a 1978 Park Avenue antenna (different design than the Reatta) recently and was not sure what I would find. The mechanism was much more complicated but had a plastic line slightly larger than the Reatta.

You can buy the repair line from Kingsley and go to www.reatta.net and follow the antenna repair I wrote back in 2002. I am in the process of updating the rebuild procedure and I will send that to Ronnie.

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Barney: I live up in Dallas. Have a '92 Olds Custom Cruiser Wagon (antenna makes noise as if trying to come upall the time; had to pull the underhood fuse) and a '94 Cutlass Supreme convertible that the antenna stays up (does not descend with power "off"). Car you repair these? acdoodle@sbcglobal.net

THANKS!

Aron C. Nance

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Posted (edited)

Aron, both your antenna should be (unless they have been replaced with aftermarket parts) the same design that GM is still using today. I am attaching a photo that represents the "common" appearance of the GM antenna.

The top antenna is the 1991 and later unit with the coax lead plugging in above the relay. The lower antenna is 1990 and earlier with the section of coax screwed to the unit below the relay.

The other picture shows the black plastic insert at the top of the antenna that can be unscrewed to remove the antenna mast if it is stuck in the up position.

If the plastic lead breaks when the antenna is UP, you cannot push the antenna down because the plastic catches on the inside of the mechanism. By unscrewing this black plastic part, the mast will come out and then it can be collapsed for shipment and this also makes it much easier to get the lower part out of the fender.

post-30596-143138733721_thumb.jpg

post-30596-143138733722_thumb.jpg

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)

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I would like you to do me the favor,repairing mine,how do I go about it,you can call me at 510-2897795,thanks:rolleyes:

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Sorry about the delayed response...... we are on a trip to California and will return to Texas on 11/28

Send me your antenna with check for $65. If you ship Friday or Saturday it might be there when I get home. I can turn one in 2 days.

Send to Barney Eaton 20111 Deerfield Dr Georgetown TX 78633 512-869-5114

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Shipped the last antenna repair just before Xmas....... ready for a new batch, get yours repaired while your Reatta is in storage for the winter.

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Barney:

Do many people send units that are not broken (yet)?

I have one or two that I don't know the history of, just that they are 22+ years old.

Tom

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Many people have the attitude... "if it ain't broke....." but if you are restoring a car, there are lots of things that get replaced or rebuilt because we know they are wear items. If you were rebuilding an engine, would you put the old timing chain back.......... no, you have the engine apart and the chain is fairly inexpensive compaired to the labor.

There are people on Ebay selling GM antenna saying they are "like new", "tested", etc. I have a supply of those antenna for parts or to rebuild if needed, but I would not sell one to someone "as - is" I have also used "new" GM replacement plastic lines in the past that only lasted 2-3 months. The quality of the GM original parts was a major factor in my changing to the steel (wire rope) instead of plastic. I experimented with different sizes, shapes, colors, and vendors of "weed eater" line (which works pretty good if you get the right size and vendor) before changing completely to the steel line.

Just before Xmas I rebuilt an antenna that had the plastic cord broken in several places....... not sure how this happens but once it gets brittle it will break.

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Barney: I will be sending mine to you in a week or so to the address you listed above...with the check.... My 89 just went out today after 24 years....

Thanks,

Brian

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I have a 1969 Buick Electra antenna 302500-320 and the plastic cable broke. Please send address or call Tom 443-956-7690/316-440-0189.

Thanks

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