Has your power antenna stopped working? Broke off? Just not your style? Your solution may lie in the updated and durable “stubby” rubber antennas that car manufacturers have been using on their new models for the last decade or so.
Difficulty: ** to ***
Time: 1-3 hours
Cost: less than $20
– a towel
– hacksaw or other appropriate tool for cutting metal
– GM onstar antenna (pictured here) or other antennae of your choosing
– heavy-duty (red) threadlocker
– 1″ long bolt of the same diameter as the antenna, 0.80 thread pitch
The GM antenna threads are only about 1/2″ in length from the base of the antenna. The stock antenna threads are about 3/4″ long, but also has a 1/4″ of the antenna that is recessed into the base. The GM antenna does not have this, so we have to make up for that extra 1/2″ of thread. We do this by finding a bolt or screw that has the same thread pitch, and about 1″ in length.
Here you can see the stock antenna, and right at the 1″ mark you can see a small line where the base wore a mark into the stalk. This is the recessed portion above the threads:
Now we need to remove the thread stalk out of the stubby antenna. Wrap the antenna in the towel and then get a grip on it with the pliers, grab the threads by the vise grip and twist out the old stock. It’s threaded in there with threadlocker, but it’ll unscrew with some elbow grease.
From right to left: (left) New bolt *note: not the same pitch, bolt used for photo purposes* (center) old thread stalk out of stubby antenna (right) OEM base antenna.
Now we need to take the new bolt, and cut the head of it off. Right at the top. I used my band saw, which made things very quick and easy. After you cut the head off, take the file and knock off any real sharp or sticking up, but DO NOT screw up the threads.
Here you can see the cut bolt vs. an uncut bolt:
Take the the bolt you just cut the head off, put a dab of red threadlocker on it, and screw it up into the stubby antenna, now let that dry for a bit. Now you can screw that into the base on your car and blammo, done. I put a little, tiny dabble of blue (medium) threadlocker on the threads going into the base just so it wouldn’t unscrew, this is obviously not necessary.
Reception vs. stock I would put around 90% of stock reception. All the local channels come in fine, but the stations that are 25-50miles away have trouble coming in. They come in, just not as clear as they used to.