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Discussion Starter #1
It's been a while since I've been here! Good, I guess to be back. We've sold the 95 9C1 to a guy who was wanting a rust-free 9C1 to replace his rusting box 9C1, but still have the 95 DGGM and 96 BBB. They're both mostly garage queens now, with the DGGM usually only coming out for inspections.

During the last road trip (to get an inspection), when we were putting the car away, we noticed that the antenna didn't fully-retract. It is now sitting at the normal 'ready' position, and goes up and back down to this 'ready' position when I turn the radio on and off. It won't go completely down, however, when I turn the key off.

I'd like to get this issue fixed, especially since the car is otherwise in pretty good shape with 22K miles on the clock. Can I get some direction on where to look? Is it in the antenna assembly, or some relay? Thanks!
 

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Ftf

First things first. If mast is PERFECTLY NOT bent, and if it has been slathered with WD40, and if then cycled 15 times to loosen all black road grime, and then wiped dry and another 10 cycles with the rag each time, THEN you can move to that scary detailed R&R.

I've had luck in similar symptoms just jambing down the stalk to fully seated and pulling fully extended after it extends itself to work past built-up grime. It almost seems like the coiling plastic drive rack gets out of kilter with the pinion gear timing. The last inch of pushing down or pulling out has never seemed to hurt anything. I'm going with dirt and lube first.
 

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You probably need a new cable, or the limit switch has some dried grease on it, making actuate early.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'll probably start at the limit switch. The antenna is _perfectly_ straight and clean. The car has 22,000 miles on the clock, and pretty much all of that has been in good weather, and always garage-kept when not on the road. The mast is clean and waxed.

We tried putting a little downward pressure on the mast as I turned the radio on and off, and again when I turned the key off. That did nothing.
 

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I do not like these GM antennas.. these are a very old design that does break .. so when you start the vehicle radio on the antenna works way to much for this design that cannot handle the work .

so having had these issues with 1980 GM vehicles I got the96 impala day one 23 miles on it started engine radio on open the hood disconnect the antenna connector deal is done..

2 months ago I had to bring vehicle to body shop for some paint work ... engine off ,, wiped down the antenna mast with a good amount of silicone lube , plugged in the antenna connector ,,, antenna dropped like it had when 23 miles was on it ..

your in Texas an area that can get ice out .. up in the cold north east these antennas will fail the first ice storm ... very weak so it is always up unless it is going to get some body shop work done which is not all that often .. IMO perhaps 10 times since 23 miles on it that I had to drop the mast.

I have taken them apart contacts very possible burned up or the motor or the nylon rod...
 

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I have a Caprice/wagon antenna for sale for $80. It is retracted (a good sign). I have not checked it, but I will if someone is interested in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you, Fred. I also think I have a 96 SS antenna around here, also fully-retracted, in my stash-O-spares. It, however, spent some time outside under a tree with the rest of the front clip for a while. I'll have to check it, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Spent a little quality time with the SS this afternoon. The antenna mast is dead-straight. It looks like, though, it is not actually going to the 'power-on' parked position, but stopping with about 14" of mast exposed. It seems to go up fine, and retracts to this point, and this point only.

I'm assuming here that if it is going up and down, at least partially, the relay should be fine? If not, how the heck do you remove it?!? It looks like it's part of the electrical center, with a plug that plugs into the firewall-side of the relay. I didn't see a way to pull just the relay, but I only had my phone light, and was standing on my head under the dash as I was working there.

I also spent some time trying to find that other antenna assembly, but some of the storage containers are towards the top of our shelving, and my tall ladder was still in the garage, so we can cover the orange trees in case of another freeze. Between the two is about 250' of waterlogged yard, so I could neither walk it out there, nor drive it out there, for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
And, by FM, it's fixed!

Because I had misplaced last year's insurance card, and the current one didn't become 'in service' until Mar 4, I got another opportunity to drive the SS. After passing the inspection (I knew it would), I drove the car home, taking the long way home to get a chance to drive it a bit.

As I was turning onto our driveway, I turned the stereo off. I watched out of the corner of my eye, as the antenna retreated, completely, into the fender. =8-0

I guess the car 'knew' I was going to have to fetch our tall ladder from the garage to fix the shop garage door, so it would be out in the shop so I could retrieve my spare antenna, so it got it's act together and rolled the antenna back up as it should be.

Anyway, I guess I do need to locate that spare antenna, for the next time......
 

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If you put the antenna up again, it may not go back down. The only option you have, if it does not rectract, is to push it down as it is trying to retract.
 

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if the antenna does go back up leave car on , open hood , disconnect the connector to antenna .. now it will stay up no need to have it drop .. antenna is old and will fail again .
 

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Since you want to change the antenna, disconnect it while it is in the lowered position.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
if the antenna does go back up leave car on , open hood , disconnect the connector to antenna .. now it will stay up no need to have it drop .. antenna is old and will fail again .
The issue hasn't been that it didn't go up, but that it didn't fully-retract into the fender when I turned the radio off.

It was a bit warmer last Saturday than it was the last time I had the car out. Not sure if it's a temperature issue, or just a failing relay. I'll still fetch and test my 96 antenna, so I have a spare, just in case. It's no real big deal, really, I just want things to work.
 

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The issue hasn't been that it didn't go up, but that it didn't fully-retract into the fender when I turned the radio off.

It was a bit warmer last Saturday than it was the last time I had the car out. Not sure if it's a temperature issue, or just a failing relay. I'll still fetch and test my 96 antenna, so I have a spare, just in case. It's no real big deal, really, I just want things to work.
with this design GM should have installed an antenna switch so that when you want it dropped it will... or leave it up most all the time.. most times car wash is why the antenna must be dropped. my 2000 truck has a antenna that unscrews also better reception with that design .. crap does get into the antenna we have .. I placed a rubber boot around the mast so most all debris or ice/snow will not get into it .

I will post the picture of it [rubber boot ]so you can understand how to protect it .
 

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Discussion Starter #17
j cat, posting a picture of that boot will probably help others a lot. Our antenna has NO dirt in it.

The car has seen rain exactly twice since we've owned the car (starting in 1996), once, the day I drove it home from the dealer, where it got toweled off once I got it in the garage, and the other time at Bowling Green at a ISSCA meeting during the autocross event. Other than that, the car has been garage-kept when not in use.

I can see age getting to some of the plastic parts and grease, and perhaps some corrosion on relay contacts due to moisture (it gets very humid here in the winter, even inside), but dirt?, no way.

A switch would be nice, but there's no way today's drivers would put up with it. We had a switch on the antenna on my 64 Riviera, but my grandfather's 68 Calais (which I now own) had an auto-switch antenna that went up, or down with the radio power. The antenna switch on the Riv was actually pretty cool, being one slider in a row of such sliders at the top of the center dash stack.

Since the tall ladder is back in the shop for the summer, I'll fish the '96 antenna out and test it. It, however, has spent some time outside, under a tree, but who knows?
 

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well when this F'IN weather stops blowing snow and cold I will post some pictures .. have not used Impala ,,, weather BAD !!! .. weds 5-10 inches MORE snow PITA !!!...

your vehicle may not get rain on it but I have to assume you wash it ???

this antenna is the same as in my 84 camaro .. so that antenna was the one I learned a lot about .. so I installed the antenna switch in the 84 camaro .. the antenna on that is up most all the time but if I do put a cover on it I throw the switch and drop antenna down ..

like I said before every time you start and shut down the engine that damn antenna is working way more than the design can handle ..then you get an ICE type storm and you make that antenna move it will break.

looks like another 2 weeks of this B/S weather ... the part is basically a small rubber boot with a slit in it . works good ..
 
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