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Radio Antenna problem

davedenndavedenn Posts: 26
edited October 24 in Ford
I have a 2001 Super Crew and recently noticed that when the antenna moves (even in the wind), the radio reception breaks. At first I thought it was merely a problem of a loose antenna, but it didn't stop after tightening it. Is the cable and fender mount accessible behind the mud cover inside the the passenger wheel well? I can see it entering the underside of the fender with the hood open, it is just to small a space to get my hand in to check out the underside of the plastic mount.

Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated. I really don't want to have to tear into the dash if I don't have to.

Thanks,

Dave

Comments

  • wdhytewdhyte Posts: 92
    well, IF the connection is tight and it only does it when it's really windy (or a lot of wind resistance on the antenna itself at speeds), then I'd think it might be the antenna. You'll see that the antenna is a solid piece with a an outer twist or braid of wire running up the length under the insulation to make it electrically longer and increase reception. It's possible this braid/wire is cracked and is opening which may shorten the electrical length which would mismatch the tuning of the radio to the antenna. I'd try to test that by parking the truck, tuning in a mid-band station (or the one where you notice the worst of the problem), and while it's not moving, bend the antenna slightly by hand from the tip. Pay attention to where/how it's moving...I would think it's more likely the antenna itself if the mount it tight. If all this yields no change/problem, then you need to take a look at where the cable meets the mount at the bottom (the piece thats mounted to the fender), and yes, it's gonna be a PITA getting to it. After that (if fine), i'd look at the cable connection to the back of the radio and then the radio itself...good luck.
  • Wdhyte,

    Thanks a lot for that tip. I will try your suggestions. Presently, I can just flick the antenna with my hand to make the radio break up, so it may well be the antenna itself since I notice that it hits the top of the garage door every time I enter and exit. It could be that it has been whacked one too many times.

    Thanks again,

    Dave
  • wdhytewdhyte Posts: 92
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...in light of the info about hitting the gar door I'm willing to be it is the antenna itself then...prob broke the bead at the end of it where the coiled wire meets the end of the solid rod. You could try repairing it but it may just be cheaper to get a replacement. You may want to look for an OEM version that is slightly smaller that is still cut for our FM band as a lot (most? not sure) of the physical mount at the fender end (the screw in) are similar.
    good luck
  • I think you may be right in your suggestion about the broken antenna. I assume that I can get a replacement (OEM) from Ford or someone. Is it possible to get a shorter one that will work and not hit the garage door? That would certainly solve the problem and eliminate a recurrence. :confuse:

    Dave
  • wdhytewdhyte Posts: 92
    yeah you can. its the electrical length of the antenna thats important to a large degree...while you cant completely sacrifice the physical length you can trick it by using wire wrapped along the outer edge (like the one you have) or something else known as coils that greatly change the electrical length and the physical length at the same time. i think i'd try an autozone or similar place to see what they have. note though that you will probably have to 'retune/rematch' the radio to the new antenna if you don't buy an exact replacement; which basically involves getting to the back of the radio and turning a small screw that electrically matches the radio to the antenna and connecting cable. any radio installation guide will give you the instructions that are generally applicable to all types with minor variances. if you don't want to mess with it, find a place locally that does car audio and they should be able to help out in a matter of minutes (getting to the back of the radio is the hardest part).
  • I recenlty purchased a 2010 Toyota Highlander in New England and I am having reception problems with FM portion of the radio. I did not sign up for XM or Satelite radio. Does anyone have a similar problem or a suggestion on how to solve the reception
    problem?
  • wdhytewdhyte Posts: 92
    hey davedenn...did you find out/figure out the problem you had? is it good now?
    just curious...Dave
  • wdhytewdhyte Posts: 92
    what kind of problems swer82??
  • Yes, your suggestion about the antenna being damaged seems to be accurate. I "borrowed" one from an almost identical Ford that my brother owns and it seemed to fix the problem (unfortunately, he wanted it back!). I ordered a new one from Ford, but it is back-ordered, so I have to wait to see if it actually fixes the problem.

    Thanks,

    Dave
  • the dealer is taking an active part in resolving the problem. Toyota claims it is a "Design Flaw", and the only one taking an active part is the selling dealership. They just changed the entire antenna assembly, but that did not solve the problem and they ordered a new radio. Both the salesmanager and the service manager are taking an active part in this problem. As I stated to them, I paid $32,000 for a new perfect SUV and that is what I expect and they agree. But the problem has to be approached one step at at time. :D
  • wdhytewdhyte Posts: 92
    yeah it does, I agree... solve it serially... it doesn't have to take forever though as this isn't rocket science here. Antennas/radios been around a lonnggg time eh. Let us know what they find...
  • I replaced the old damaged antenna with a shorter one that works almost as good. I did note that one of the weaker stations on AM is now much weaker. That is the only drawback to replacing the old one with the shorter one. I guess I will just have to find a more local station that carries the same material.

    Thanks for all your help.

    Dave
  • wdhytewdhyte Posts: 92
    when you replaced the longer ant w/a shorter one, did you retune the radio to match the shorter one Dave? there's small tuning slug on the back of the radio; looks like a small slotted screw thru a hole in the case...set the radio to a mid point FM station and turn the slug slightly CW/CCW until it sounds the strongest/best. there's some fancy tech gear you can get to tell you the sweet spot but you can generally do it fine by ear...good enough for most of us anyway. the hardest part of this whole thing is getting the radio out of the dash if you don't have enough room behind it to reach in and tune it (and most don't). good luck
  • Thanks wdhyte for the update. I did replace the longer one with a shorter and with some exception, it seems to receive stations almost as well as the longer one. I took a look at the manual for removing the radio and it seems like a lot of trouble. I think I will just leave well enough alone until I decide the reception isn't good enough.

    Dave
  • wdhytewdhyte Posts: 92
    I understand/agree completely. These days, you can't even get the dash trim off without a bevy of special tools that are used solely for that, then another set to feel around and push releases to slide the radio out of the dash. its a serious PITA and not like the good old days...
  • I agree completely. I yearn for the old days of "shade tree mechanicing."

    Thanks for all your help.

    Dave
  • I have a 2005 F-150 King Ranch. The radio will only pick up stations when I am close to the transmitter for that station. The CD and speaker system works fine. The antenna is tight also. Any suggestions?
  • gil223gil223 Posts: 3
    I have a 1995 F-150 Longbed and I am told that I must turn the Overdrive "OFF" at the Shift lever if I am not requireing Overdrive.
    Sometimes I forget to press the button and turn it off. (Off light lights up and indicates Off) Am I causing any problems if I forget to turn it off?
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