The power antenna on my 1987 420 SEL started coming up only 8 inches
or so, so after reading some really simple instructions online I
decided I could probably replace it myself, and for $30 I could afford
to risk disaster.
To find out if I needed a replacement with a toothed or a smooth
tail, I unscrewed the collar and turned on the radio and pulled up on
the antenna as it was coming out, per directions. At first it would
not come out, despite several tries. I finally had to pull the tail
pretty hard to get it out, and I MAY have snapped the end of it off
inside the power unit -- not really sure. The tail seemed a bit short
once I got it out. The end of the tail didn't look frayed or snapped,
but rather cut at a 45 degree angle.
After determining that it was a toothed tail, I attempted to reinsert
it into the power unit, intending to use it just to block the hole
until the new one arrives. But the tail would never catch. I could
hear the antenna motor running but couldn't snag the tail in the gear.
Is this normal -- once out the old one won't go back in?
I've never done this little repair before. It sounded like any jerk
could do it, but I'm wondering if this particular jerk (me) has
screwed it up right on the starting line. Any tips? Any comments? Is
there a broken-off piece of nylon tail in the power unit now?
Anyway I ordered a new mast via mail -- A Hirschmann 1105 mm with
Would a person such as I, with little to zero experience on autos but
who can build computers from scratch, be able to install a new power
unit if the new mast tail won't catch? Looking at the power unit, its
replacement looks pretty straightforward.
Or could the power unit be taken out, opened up, and the piece of
nylon removed (assuming there is a broken piece in there)?
Thanks much for any tips.
Tom Miller (wondering if he should have ever gotten into this)