Edmunds dealer partner, Bayway Leasing, is now offering transparent lease deals via these forums. Click here to see the latest vehicles!

Repair broken (literally) power antenna mast

dshenmdyndshenmdyn Member Posts: 34
edited March 2014 in Nissan
Unfortunately I had my 98 Altima (SE) power antenna mast broken when I passed a parking lot entrance. I am thinking to fix it myself.

1. Anyone has done similar things before?
2. Where can I get the parts except Nissan dealer? Any suggestion regarding getting parts from Junk yard (wrecked cars)?
3. Do I have to replace the whole unit or just the mast?
4. Will it cost less or easier to just replace with a regular antenna (non-powered)? I know other models (XE, GXE) Altima just have fixed antenna. Can I just put such one in and only plug the receiving harness not the power/motor harness?

I guess my main point is to gather more info before I talk to the dealer/service dept. since I am worry that they might want me to do the most expensive repair and not telling me all the other "cheaper" options.

Thanks a lot in advance.




  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Just replaced one on my Camry as teh cable broke. The actual mast and cable are one unit. First remove the mast from the fender, it unsrews and then go into trunk etc. and find the unit. The unit must be removed as you need to take it apart, easy, to remove the old cable inside it. Once done reassemble and re mount. turn ignition switch on so that the mast would be in the up position if it were in. Push in the cable, a plastic cable no doubt, until it cannot go in further then switch off power. The unit will grab the cable and pull it in ( try it a few times to be sure) and then simply screw the mast back on to the fender.

    My dealer wanted $50 for the cable mast (one attached unit) I got mine wholesale for $27 but understand Pep Boys, Advanced Auto also have units. They wanted 1 1/2 hours labor to install so I saved about $100 over dealer installation. It really was a pretty simple job!

    You can install a nonpower antennae but if you do it yourself the costis minimal
  • acuraowneracuraowner Member Posts: 57
    Just unscrew the part that keeps the mast from falling out at the top of its travel. Power up the antenna so the old antenna and cable comes out. Remember which way the teeth on the cable face, feed in the new cable while your helper powers down the antenna. It takes a few tries but it is simple.

    Take it from me, the master of replacing antennas. Mine has been broken 3 times in 100k miles. 2 times at a drive through car wash and 1 time when I pulled into my garage before the door was open all the way.
  • dshenmdyndshenmdyn Member Posts: 34
    Thanks for all the info. I am tempted to do it myself. Two more questions:

    1. The nut outside the car that secures the antenna looks somewhat like a ring with two grooves at each side and the antenna comes out of the center.


    Does this need any special tool to un-screw it off? Is the tool available from general hardware store? Or it is some sort of special tool made only for this part?

    2. How is the cable secured inside the mast? I guess I am just somewhat nervous to dissemble the whole thing and afraid that I might not be able to put them back together.

    Anyway, thanks again.

  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    They make no such tool for that nut. Use the end of a screwdriver and tap it lightly until it moves then by hand or pliers over cloth etc. The cable is permanently attached inside teh mast itself, I don't know how but it is. The other end of the cable has to be fed intot eh unit and once it grabs you are okay.
This discussion has been closed.