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For What It's Worth
Replacing the standard radio antenna (vanagon)

Threading the new antenna cable through the hole (grommet) in the firewall and across the backside of the dash can be a tedious task that requires patience and the agility of a contortionist. You can leave the old cable plugged into the back of the radio and cut the other end from the antenna (careful not to drop it into the cavity in the firewall), then use duct tape to securely wrap the cut end of the old cable to the plug on the new cable and then detach the old cable from the back of the radio and carefully pull the new cable through the maze under the dash and plug it into the back of the radio. Make sure you have positioned the new antenna correctly on the outside of the van before taping its plug to the cut end of the old cable or you will have to pull the thing back out and redo it as you try to kick yourself in the behind for not thinking about that before you started.
Busjunky
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This was such a great help! The instructions were right on thanks! I am a new owner of an old (I guess they all are) 87 Vanagon and we love it...thanks for the tips! Mike
mike
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Joel: I tried out your tip on the antenna.... but I didn't get access to either the antenna, really (I could reach the bottom of about a foot-long tube that apparently was intended to hold the collapsible antenna, maybe, but not the top part where the wire to the radio is) and you can't get to the radio after taking off the grill and headlight, either. There is a basically a metal wall in the way. I have a 1985 Westphalia. Maybe mine is a different year than yours. My antenna broke off about six months ago. But thanks for the thought.... Mark Oswald Santa Fe
Mark
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Good advice Joel; mine is an '87. After I got the broken attenna down, I cut the wire close to the base and securely taped the new antenna plug end to the old wire. Then, at the newly removed radio end,I pulled the old wire w/new wire attached through the firewall and up to where it could be plugged into the new radio. Five screws on the grill three up and two down (LEFTY LOOSEY & RIGHTY TIGHTY.) The new attenna base was smaller and showed a fresh paint seam. Used the original base, but had to relieve the hole so the new nut would fit. The Old Nut had the wrong thread pitch for the new attenna
Paul Old Nut
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Good description. I did have trouble pulling the old antenna down through the hole. The place where the wire lead attaches can catch, bend a little further out and make it next to impossible to pull down. I removed the rubber gasket at the bottom hole, pulled the antenna wire out the top, and cut it off close to the antenna. Then tape the old antenna wire behind the headlight. When ready for the new antenna, tape the old end to the new end and gently pull over to the radio from the ash tray opening.
Gary - Beaverton Oregon
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