New Cougar Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,264 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm posting this because I think it needs it's own thread, so many people are confused by what happens when the antenna breaks off, and also people are paying up to $150.00 for a dealer to fix it which is ridculous. So here's what's happening and how to fix it...I promise this is correct, I went through this from the moment I bought my cat.

First of all, if your antenna snaps off and it looks like there is a metal spindle broken off inside the black base, don't be confused. This is not a piece of the antenna mast. This is a part of the base itself. The black base that is attached to your car has a metal spindle that sticks out of it. This makes the antenna base male. The antenna mast then screws onto this spindle, making the mast female. A lot of people think that what's broken off in the base is part of the mast that screws into the base, but it's actually opposite of that, the antenna screws onto the base.

So if this happens to you, don't bother trying to drill-out the piece that's inside there. That will leave you with nothing but a hole in the base, and then the antenna has nothing to screw onto. Basically you're left with two female parts that won't connect. Now if the other half of the spindle is stuck inside the antenna mast, which it probably is, drill that out carefully to save yourself from having to buy a new mast.

The only way to fix the problem is to buy a new base. This is where it gets tricky, because apparently from what I've heard people are paying like $90 or more for this piece. Go to fordpartsonline.com, the piece is around $36.00. It is called the base or the bezel. You will not need the cable and you probably won't need the mast (unless it snapped in half too or you can't get the remaining piece of the base out of it).

Once you receive the new base, you will see the spindle is part of the base and this will make sense to you. As far as installing the new base, I beg you not to take it to a dealer and pay for labor because it will take you 10 minutes to do yourself, and it requires nothing but a torx wrench and a small flat-head screwdriver.

Get inside your car, and carefully remove the plastic trim square that surrounds your dome and map lights. It just pops out with the use of a small, flat-head screwdriver. Once you get that out, look into the roof and you will see a wad of foam. Remove the foam. This will expose the antenna cable. It has a torx screw that attaches to the roof. Use a torx wrench (I don't remember what size it is) and unscrew this screw. Once it is loose, make sure you don't allow the cable to fall down into the car. Once the screw is pretty loose, get out of your car and you'll find that the base on the roof is loose. Just twist it the rest of the way off. Then take the new base and position it where the old one was on the little spindle coming through the roof from the cable. Get back in the car and tighten up the torx screw on the cable. Put the foam back in the hole, snap the trim piece back in, and screw your antenna mast onto the new base. You're done, and you save yourself $$$$!!!!.

I hope this clears this issue up from now on, I know it's confusing because I thought the piece broken off was the mast at first too. The bottom line is that if this happens to you, and it's common because of the design, you have to replace the base.

Is it just me, or is this repair a little naughty to describe?

Oh, I'm sorry if I seemed to have an attitude when answering this for other people in other threads, that wasn't my intention, but this point is really hard to get across this way and I don't want people to do extra work they don't have to and then realize it got them no where, plus I can't see paying as much money as some people said they did to have this fixed. This is definately a do-it-yourselfer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,470 Posts
Why would someone drill out the antenna base :shrug: I guess maybe if you've never taken the antenna off or replaced it with an after market one......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,264 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They are drilling out the broken spindle inside, thinking that it's a part of the antenna mast. They think once they get that out they can get another mast and just screw it in, not knowing it's the base that's male and the antenna mast is female. It's confusing if you've never taken your antenna off before and it snaps off. I just wanted to try to clarify this, it's been a popular topic lately. Glad I could help!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
I'm glad I did a search! My antenna broke this afternoon and I had come to the "obvious" conclusion that the mast was male and the base was female. Fortunately, I checked my spare antenna and discovered the opposite, and hit up the forum for some advice. Thanks for the lengthy explanation - it's certainly needed.

You might check the last word in your second paragraph - I think it should say base, not mast.

I'm wondering - once the broken part of the bolt inside the mast is removed......the base that is to be replaced - have you or has anyone taken it apart to examine. How is the spindle made to be part of the base - is it "welded" in or is it threaded as well?

Again, thanks for the work you did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,264 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I believe it's threaded in but attached with some type of epoxy or other plastic. It really seems like it is a part of the antenna cable, because that's what screws onto it and holds the base on the car. As soon as you unscrew the antenna cable, the base falls off. Why it's made that way I don't know, it seems there must be a better set-up than that. I'm glad I could help though...yeah, it should say base. I'll change that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Would it be possible to unscrew the broken piece from the base that is stuck on the antenna, then glue the broken piece back on the base and screw the antenna back in? What would you use, epoxy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
I fixed my antenna this weekend. I took the base off and out just like the how to of EllenD above explains. But, instead of buying a new base, I took the broken one apart, separating the metal from the black plastic cover - I pried it out. I put the metal piece into a vise and drilled/reamed out the broken bolt/spindle piece - it appears like it's welded in - I didn't see any threads. I started with small bits, and worked my way up to 7/32. I bored in about 3/8's of an inch. I should have then tap and died the hole, but not having a set, I just screwed a machine bolt in tight that had the proper threads as the original. The threads stripped a bit going in but the fit was quite tight. Then I cut the bolt off at about 3/8's out, like it was with the original. I was able to re-remove the bolt, coat the reamed hole and the stripped area of the bolt with super glue (I bought one that said it was great for metal) and put the bolt (now a threaded rod) back in place. After drying, I filed down the end of the threaded part sticking out, and tested the antenna mast's ability to thread in ok on this new spindle I'd made. It worked just fine. Maybe I'm just lucky, but the bolt/spindle has held fast. I reassembled the metal and black plastic parts and put the base back on the car, like the how to explains, and then screwed the mast back on. I would have preferred the tap and die method, but this has worked just fine. A couple of bucks for the glue, but don't worry. I'm not gloating - life will get me another way. The money saved here will be lost elsewhere...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,264 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's a good way to do it without spending $36.00 on a new base, but I have to question how long it's going to last...apparently they're not built very well to begin with because everyone is breaking them off with their hand while washing the car or wiping snow off the roof. I have to wonder how long the fix will last? Good idea though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,247 Posts
Jesus Christ, whats with the thread bumps from the stone age? This is 2 threads that are OVER 2 years old that are getting bumped up. I thought "archived" threads couldn't be bumped anyways?

Although I'd better not complain too much, at least they're using the "search" button. :shrug:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I just fixed mine. The base is only 8.88 at the ford dealership. It really is a snap to replace. I got a new short antenna at Wal-mart to replace my old one which was lost. It was only about 7.?? dollars. So for about 16 dollars I have a new short antenna with a booster so I don't lose any reception.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top