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Barney Eaton

Riviera power antenna

12 posts in this topic

I repair/rebuild power antenna for almost all GM cars and I get Riviera antenna from owners.

I need some decent mast for the '63-65 Rivieras.... I can straighten bent mast but if they are kinked or dented so far I cannot save them.

The '63-65 antenna is unique among GM antenna and the antenna when up is very high, leading to easy damage.  If anyone has mast or complete antenna I would be interested.

A Riv owner in MO sent me two antenna to make one but both mast are beyond repair, need something soon or he is going to get a box of antenna parts back.

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Barney

 

I have an excellent 2nd gen manual mast you can have to K-Ball (cannibalize) pieces.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

                      Both my 65 Riviera and my 69 GTO power antennas take the same mast. Whenever I see one for sale anywhere

I buy them regardless of cost. I have two new ones in my private stash right now that I would never sell.......good luck in your search,

as they are like looking for the arc of the covenant or the Loch Ness Monster. The current value of an NOS one right now is about

400-500 dollars, maybe a lot more if you find someone who is desperate for one. 

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)

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I believe all but the bezels and mount flanges are interchangeable among Buick, Caddy and Olds - at least 2nd gen.

The height inside fender have several inches wiggle room (as you may know)

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                   Nothing really unique about it......it is designed to fit a 1960's GM power antenna and the problem is nobody reproduces them and the supply of

good used ones and nos ones has pretty much dried up. The plastic line that reels up on the bottom can be replaced, but if the mast is kinked you need a new one and they are very unobtanium.

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                    Barney, correct me if I'm wrong but I think the early Riviera antennas  are no different than the other GM 60's power antennas as far as the mast is concerned. There is a power antenna off a full size Pontiac from the 60's on ebay right now with a motor that runs but the line is broken on the mast. From

what I can see in the picture the mast is probably straight. You can buy it for 158.00, put a new line on the mast and install it in the Riviera base I think.There are other

working power antennas on ebay but they want about 800.00 for them. As far as being long, all the 60's GM cars have power antennas with masts

about five feet long when they are extended, not just Rivieras.

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What's so special about a section of mast, though?  ID, OD, length, a crimp, and a flare.  Am I missing something here?

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                 The base of the mast where it attaches to the rest of the antenna assembly is different on a 60's car than on later GM antennas.

Masts from a 70's car won't attach to a 60's GM power antenna. Since it's been almost 50 years since this design was used, the supply of replacement

masts is drying up. As a matter of fact, 70's power antennas are getting hard to source parts for. Of course, it is possible to modify an aftermarket power

antenna to work, but purists like me want the car to be totally stock like it came from the factory with the correct mast and base design. My 79 Trans Am has a factory power antenna and I bought three NOS antenna assemblies for it 15 years ago so I wouldn't have to worry if my antenna crapped out. Now they are darn near impossible to locate.

 

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Posted (edited)

I believe the '63-'65 Riviera big chrome moving section is 3" longer than similar parts on other GM cars.......below is a photo showing different length mast.

The other moving sections are also longer to work properly with that section.  The real concern I have is with the age of the units, you seldom know what is actually original...has someone ten years ago repaired

the unit with parts from another GM car...also the '60-'70 GM units were made by Tenna (not Delco) and at least Lincoln also used the Tenna antenna.

Seafoam mentioned his '79 Trans AM....that probably has a Delco, new design one year antenna with a non-adjustable clutch....I have a '79 antenna that I cannot get to work properly because of that clutch.

By 1980 GM had gone to the Delco Slimline and use that design until power antenna went away.  Today if you buy a new "Delco" from your GM dealer, it is a non-Delco in a Delco box but made in China...totally different than the Slimline.

Here is a sketch of what I think the '63-'65 Riv looks like collapsed

63-65 mast.jpg

tenna mast.jpg

Here are some examples....at the bottom is the '63-'65 fixed mast @ 17 1/4...the bottom moving mast is 18"

The one above the scale is also a 63-65 fixed mast with a bend in it. The next two are from other '60-'70 GM antenna,

note that these fixed mast are 15 3/4 and 14 3/4 inches, the moving mast that fits into these will be about 1/4 inch longer. 

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)

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                Barney, isn't it possible to substitute a slightly shorter mast like the ones in your picture into the Riviera

without any problems? It would be slightly shorter but would still work fine, correct?

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I have done that with the approval of the customer, however you must compensate of the length.... Lets say you put a 16" moving mast in the Riviera tube, when it goes down it would slide inside and the appearance would be noticeable and water can collect in the hole.   I put a spacer at the bottom so the shorter tube stops at a point that will make it look like the original when down.

Because the Riviera has a non-moving tube sticking 6" above the black insulator ...it is subject to damage...up or down, so the '63-'65 Riv power antenna take more abuse than later models.

Another problem is those black insulators, Clarks Corvair parts had them listed but their supplier passed away and they have not found a new source.  I have someone looking into making them but we don't know if there is enough interest in a reproduction.

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