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Power antenna repair (or...not) DO NOT use aftermarket units!


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OK, so, I am writing this so others may find it, learn from it, and maybe laugh at my pain.

 

The mast for my antenna broke a while back. Because the radio didn't really seem to work, I didn't care, but I wanted to get it working finally and decided to try and fix it. 

 

In the back of my head I kinda remembered something about how the aftermarket units won't work in our cars, but they *look* almost exactly the same. I figured, eh, I can get it to work. Yeah...right.

 

First issue is that the aftermarket unit is powered COMPLETELY different than ours. The aftermarket one is designed to work with a newer style head unit that just send out a power signal. Well, our system uses a switching relay to make the motor go different directions instead of a little brain board like the aftermarket antenna. 

 

I didn't try this, but it *might* be possible to interchange the motor and electronics, BUT there's other issues that will cause that to not work as well.

 

My first move was to try and use the aftermarket mast in the original unit. TECHNICALLY this works, BUT, the OEM mast tube will NOT work with the aftermarket mast.

 

OK...next move was to swap the mast tube. Well, TECHNICALLY this also works, BUT the tube is shorter (I didn't realize that until I went to fully install the thing). Also, the OEM retainer nut doesn't work on the aftermarket tube. 

 

I gave up after that. I'd had the blasted thing apart so many times and it was obvious I wasn't going to get the result I wanted. 

 

So, the lesson here is: if your antenna mast breaks, get an OEM type replacement and DO NOT waste money on an aftermarket unit as it will NOT work. I hope my $60 of learning experience helps others.

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16 minutes ago, Garnet & Gold said:

Reaper,  Which aftermarket brand did you use?  Model number, store?  Bob

It is a Metra CK-PW22 (which doesn't work in the Metra search on their website). I got it at Auto Zone. If you look up the application on Metra's website, they list a 44-PW22, so probably the exact same part.

 

I looked at the installation instructions and they are EXACTLY the same as the one I got, so, it won't work with a factory set-up either as far as wiring. 

 

Out of curiosity I tried to look up the previously listed PN's from an older thread 44-PWRCR180 and Metra does not list it, and neither does the place the person found it. Must be obsolete. 

 

I just ordered an old-stock 44-PWRCR172 that lists the era of Chryslers ours is from as its applications, so we'll see. That part number doesn't work in Metra's search, either.

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I have installed 2 of these, the only difference I bought them from O'Reilly but that should not be any difference.  I did blow 2 fuses on the first one as the wiring was not correct.  Here is the wiring I found that worked for me. 

Antenna connections – gray – goes to car ground (black wire)

                                    dark green – goes to red power supply

                                    white – goes to green (maybe blue on some new antennas)

 

 

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I want to say I tried that, but it didn't work. I figured it was because of the way the relay works, but whichever. I think it's kinda lazy that they don't include the wiring options for the Chrysler setups because there are still TONS of them out there. If it isn't raining tomorrow I might give your wiring a go again, just to verify. I know the unit works because I DID get it to deploy and retract using the power directly at the battery.

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18 hours ago, Reaper1 said:

OK, so, I am writing this so others may find it, learn from it, and maybe laugh at my pain.

 

The mast for my antenna broke a while back. Because the radio didn't really seem to work, I didn't care, but I wanted to get it working finally and decided to try and fix it. 

 

In the back of my head I kinda remembered something about how the aftermarket units won't work in our cars, but they *look* almost exactly the same. I figured, eh, I can get it to work. Yeah...right.

 

First issue is that the aftermarket unit is powered COMPLETELY different than ours. The aftermarket one is designed to work with a newer style head unit that just send out a power signal. Well, our system uses a switching relay to make the motor go different directions instead of a little brain board like the aftermarket antenna. 

 

I didn't try this, but it *might* be possible to interchange the motor and electronics, BUT there's other issues that will cause that to not work as well.

 

My first move was to try and use the aftermarket mast in the original unit. TECHNICALLY this works, BUT, the OEM mast tube will NOT work with the aftermarket mast.

 

OK...next move was to swap the mast tube. Well, TECHNICALLY this also works, BUT the tube is shorter (I didn't realize that until I went to fully install the thing). Also, the OEM retainer nut doesn't work on the aftermarket tube. 

 

I gave up after that. I'd had the blasted thing apart so many times and it was obvious I wasn't going to get the result I wanted. 

 

So, the lesson here is: if your antenna mast breaks, get an OEM type replacement and DO NOT waste money on an aftermarket unit as it will NOT work. I hope my $60 of learning experience helps others.

So, why don’t you go and buy a MOPAR 4494010 mast kit from Chrysler, or Marty or Larry?  Surely someone should still have some. They are the same for the TC as for the ‘M’ body all the 15 or so years Chrysler built them!

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15 minutes ago, Hemi Dude said:

So, why don’t you go and buy a MOPAR 4494010 mast kit from Chrysler, or Marty or Larry?  Surely someone should still have some. They are the same for the TC as for the ‘M’ body all the 15 or so years Chrysler built them!

A few of reasons. First, I didn't have that part number you just posted (which doesn't match what is on Marty's site, he lists 4469342B) and I DID look. Second was cost. While I do agree the OEM part is the BEST option, and at this point I would break even on it if I'd just gotten it first, it isn't exactly "cheap". Third, there aren't that many OEM ones left...EVENTUALLY supply *will* run out and folks are going to NEED to know what options they have (including me), so I am chalking it up to a "learning experience" and hoping it helps others as I go.   

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How the HELL many antennas are you going to break while you own that car? I have had my TC since '95 and replaced one mast!  I use to charge $45.00 for them. What are ‘THEY’ asking these days?

Edited by Hemi Dude
Added a little more text. (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, Hemi Dude said:

How the HELL many antennas are you going to break while you own that car? I have had my TC since '95 and replaced one mast!  I use to charge $45.00 for them. What are ‘THEY’ asking these days?

I have 2 TC's and the other is BOUND to break at some point!

 

$75 of the OEM one I found listed. The PN you gave came up at around $40 *if* you can find it. 

 

Hate to say it, but manufacturers are FORCING obsolescence on us, deliberately not continuing to make parts to FORCE consumerism.   

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I purchased a replacement antenna shaft from 'The Antenna Source' on AMAZON for $29.99.

It fits and there were NO PROBLEMS.

The part # is A015-CR172-2.

Good Luck.

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3 hours ago, ICKABOD said:

I purchased a replacement antenna shaft from 'The Antenna Source' on AMAZON for $29.99.

It fits and there were NO PROBLEMS.

The part # is A015-CR172-2.

Good Luck.

I took a look at this part number A015-CR172-2, it is the 6th item down in the pictures of items under this number. The mast and plastic track looks identical to the Chrysler part, yes I do have a brand new one [NOT FOR SALE]image.jpg.2ddae1c07b3fe7252b401e3f06685104.jpg

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When you are replacing the mast assembly, YOU MUST REMOVE THE BROKEN OFF PIECE OF TRACK that remains after you have pulled out the mast and track.

To do that you must CAREFULLY remove the cover at the base of the mast, and remove the broken off track which will be several inches long. Replace the cover and precede with the track installation. Then the mast will fully retract.

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