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Paging Mr. Barney Eaton

1967 - 1997 Riviera

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I was directed to you by the other members of the Riviera Forum as the "go to" person whio knows about antenna repairs.

Looks like I will need a number of parts to fix my power antenna on a 1999 Riviera, but I don't have their part numbers. The mast was slightly bent when I bought the car used, but it still worked fine for a couple of years until just recently. The motor functions as it should, but the three section mast no longer fully retracts or fully extends. I need the mast with the flat button on top. Don't know if I will also need the serrated plastic nut, within the black collar that is flush with the top of the fender, because I suspected that this would probably break when I attempted to unscrew it. I thought this was what secures the mast in place, but was told otherwise.

The original three section mast is bent. In addition, it would not extend completely or retract competely when the power was on or off. Too much static with the radio on. In order to prevent anyone from grabbing a hold of the mast and breaking it off completely, I turned off the radio and pushed it down as far as it would go by hand.

I can purchase a complete replacement power antenna unit, from mast to motor and mounting bracket, from a Buick dealer, but it does not match the original mast with a flat button on top. Do you have the necessary parts or offer reconditioned antennas for a 1999, or are the auto recycling yards my best alternative?

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It would probably be best for you to call me (512-869-5114) There are so many ways you could go to solve the problem. One concern I have is with people selling new antenna.... very few are the original design. I recently had the original owner of a late model Buick contact me saying his antenna was broken....and that it had been replaced by the Buick dealer a few years back. Turns out the dealer did not use a Delco replacement. Go to Ebay and look at what several vendors are selling as replacements for your car. I repair broken mast with good used mast.........because of cost. A new original replacement mast cost more than I charge for the repair, if I used new parts I would need to charge over $100 to repair antenna.

Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a good used antenna for your Riviera in a pick-n-pull. The place I go gets $25 for a used one plus a $3 core fee.

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  • 5 years later...

I hear Barney is the expert when it comes to GM power Antenna from the 80's Cadillac's and Buicks.  I have an 1984 eldorado that seems to have the dreaded power antenna disease, motor constantly runs but does not retract.  I would like to see if barney is still rebuilding these power antennas and if he would be interested in working on my antenna? 


Question for the forum...  does anyone have any idea on how to remove the antenna from its position.  Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing from you. 




Dave from Arizona

Edited by DMO Scottsdale AZ (see edit history)
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Power antenna located in the front fender are no fun to remove and there is no single instruction on removing them.  Different GM body styles have different mounting.   Big cars wire and coax usually run along the firewall,  the intermediate Regal, Cutlass, etc wires come out the door side of the fender and enter the passenger compartment via the kick panel.  

The very early ('50's) power antenna were vacuum....I don't do them,  late '50's were unique and some were 6 volt and other 12 v.  GM seemed to settle on one design around 1961 with a unit made by TENNA in Cleveland,  however each division of GM had their own way to mount the antenna at the fender and there were different mast lengths. (see photos with blue and grey background)  1978-79 Delco made a short lived power antenna (common on Firebirds see picture with grey motor housing) that is difficult to repair..... the clutch has no adjustment and either works or doesn't.

Finally around 1980 Delco made the "Slimline", (red background photo) the motor housing is all plastic (early were dirty white, then everything was black plastic) again it was used on all GM vehicles with variation on the top and bottom mounting system.

In the '80's rear mount antenna started to appear and they are very easy to remove and install. 

If you have a GM power antenna problem, give me a call and we can decide what you have.




77 Seville 2.jpg

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)
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