Replacing antenna mast on 1997 LC

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Dec 9, 2020
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portland, oregon
I recently purchased a brand new antenna mast and took apart the antenna motor to remove the old nylon cord. I got the old cord removed and installed the new mast/cord, but, now when I remove the key from the ignition and after the mast is fully down, the motor and gears make an awful grinding noise, which I assume is the motor and gears continuing to spin trying to pull in more cord even though the mast is already fully retracted. I tried removing the mast and cord, and setting the antenna motor as high as it will go via the antenna height buttons prior to installing, but that didn't fix my issue. I did some searching on the forums, but did not find much info other than everyone suggesting to switch over to a stubby antenna instead. I would like to keep the power antenna, so does anyone have suggestions on where I am going wrong? Thanks!
 

Irish Reiver

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I recently did the same on a 96 and while i was searching for how-to's saw a lot of write ups about the 97 and it's differences. '96's and older have an up/down switch for the antenna and the '97 is triggered by the radio being on or off (not sure if there is also an up/down switch).
If i remember correctly most people had trouble when they fitted an aftermarket stereo and hooked up the antenna wire. If you have the up/down buttons and an aftermarket radio then disconnect the antenna wire. If you have the stock radio then i believe there is a way to reprogram it so it knows when the mast is fully retracted or fully extended.
 
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Charlotte
I recently purchased a brand new antenna mast and took apart the antenna motor to remove the old nylon cord. I got the old cord removed and installed the new mast/cord, but, now when I remove the key from the ignition and after the mast is fully down, the motor and gears make an awful grinding noise, which I assume is the motor and gears continuing to spin trying to pull in more cord even though the mast is already fully retracted. I tried removing the mast and cord, and setting the antenna motor as high as it will go via the antenna height buttons prior to installing, but that didn't fix my issue. I did some searching on the forums, but did not find much info other than everyone suggesting to switch over to a stubby antenna instead. I would like to keep the power antenna, so does anyone have suggestions on where I am going wrong? Thanks!
Does your antenna have the two plugs on it like this? The red and green wires connect the sensor to the antenna computer that counts the revolutions to know the mast position. If that's not hooked up, or you use an antenna that doesn't have this, then the motor just runs and clicks for a long time.

20210826_200406.jpg
 
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Chicago
glad I stumbled upon this. I have a 97 and some a****** (or tree, I am not sure) broke off my antenna. I purchased a module from a 95. Am I SOL or what do I need to consider here?
 
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glad I stumbled upon this. I have a 97 and some a****** (or tree, I am not sure) broke off my antenna. I purchased a module from a 95. Am I SOL or what do I need to consider here?
If you have a 97, then you need the newer style to have the automatic up down. You can "hack" the controller to eliminate the automatic portion and make it a "manual" power up/down like the older trucks.

That being said, if you just broke the mast, you can replace just the mast. Here is what you need:


Or you can get it via Amazon if you prefer:
Amazon product
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
158
Location
Chicago
If you have a 97, then you need the newer style to have the automatic up down. You can "hack" the controller to eliminate the automatic portion and make it a "manual" power up/down like the older trucks.

That being said, if you just broke the mast, you can replace just the mast. Here is what you need:


Or you can get it via Amazon if you prefer:
Amazon product
Thanks a lot for this. Here’s what it looks like unfortunately:

5906DE41-7722-4978-8122-32289BE174C2.jpeg
 
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Yeah, that's kind of a mess... You'll need to remove the whole antenna to fix this. You'll also need a new retaining nut and the rubber grommet. It looks like they used JB Weld to hold the tube in instead of the proper retaining nut. Hopefully you can chip it off to get to the original threads on the antenna tube to clean them up...

1631102838447.png
 
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Just to show you what mine looked like before I cleaned up the threads... I used the new antenna nut to chase the threads along with a small file to clean then up. You can see the black plastic part that I showed in the pic above and said to NOT remove...

This is showing the under the fender piece of the tube that shows the threads. Yours appears to be covered in JB Weld so that will have to be removed. Hopefully you can make that happen.

20210801_213453.jpg
 
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Just to show you what mine looked like before I cleaned up the threads... I used the new antenna nut to chase the threads along with a small file to clean then up. You can see the black plastic part that I showed in the pic above and said to NOT remove...

This is showing the under the fender piece of the tube that shows the threads. Yours appears to be covered in JB Weld so that will have to be removed. Hopefully you can make that happen.

View attachment 2780774
Thanks for the insight here!

So is there a way to remove the antenna as a whole so I can attempt to clean this all up? I’ve been messing with it throughout the night with little to no luck.
 
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Thanks for the insight here!

So is there a way to remove the antenna as a whole so I can attempt to clean this all up? I’ve been messing with it throughout the night with little to no luck.
Yes, but it's not fun, but you'll likely want to do it anyway... The antenna lead is attached to the antenna and runs through the firewall to the back of the radio. You'll have to remove the radio, lower the glove box, and unhook the antenna wire from two places where it's attached to the body behind the dash. I taped a wire to the radio end of the antenna lead and fish it through the dash and firewall so I'd have a wire I could use to pull the new/rebuilt one back through.

You don't HAVE to fully remove it, but it makes working on the antenna SOOO much easier. One option is to remove the radio and make some slack by unclipping it from the the two places I mentioned above. Pull it about 12" out from the firewall and you'll have plenty of room to work on it in the engine bay.

You're going to want to at least clean it up to fit the new antenna nut and grommet on it, so I'd suggest just pulling it out. It's really not all that bad.

Did you determine if your 1997 has the extra wire connector for the position sensor? If so, and you want to retain that, then you'll need to rebuild what you have... If you don't, then you can swap in the one from the 1995, but you'll need to modify the antenna control module so it becomes "dumb" again... if you don't, it'll keep trying to raise (or lower) the antenna mast for 30 seconds or so after it's up/down and it'll eventually break it.
 
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Messages
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I worked on my antenna (96 LC) yesterday and I am checking out the forums today. I should have done it the other way around :). In any case, I figured taking the radio and glove box part and getting the antenna fully loose for removal, the only thing missing was bringing the antenna cable/wire from the cockpit into the engine compartment, at least part of it. That is when I broke the wire, accidentally...From the looks of my antenna, I will need to replace the whole unit. The motor was not running and the whole thing is rusty. Now I see how expensive Toyota replacement antennas are but don't see an option.
 
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I worked on my antenna (96 LC) yesterday and I am checking out the forums today. I should have done it the other way around :). In any case, I figured taking the radio and glove box part and getting the antenna fully loose for removal, the only thing missing was bringing the antenna cable/wire from the cockpit into the engine compartment, at least part of it. That is when I broke the wire, accidentally...From the looks of my antenna, I will need to replace the whole unit. The motor was not running and the whole thing is rusty. Now I see how expensive Toyota replacement antennas are but don't see an option.
$200 for a new one assuming it's the "standard" unit. Does your old one just have the single plug going to it?
 
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MN
If you have a 97, then you need the newer style to have the automatic up down. You can "hack" the controller to eliminate the automatic portion and make it a "manual" power up/down like the older trucks.

That being said, if you just broke the mast, you can replace just the mast. Here is what you need:


Or you can get it via Amazon if you prefer:
Amazon product
You have any more info on the "hack" for the 97'? I have an aftermarket stereo and have no movement in the antenna. It might be plugged into the unit, which I assume prevents the manual Up-Down switches from working? Or maybe if there's a definitive guide on getting it to work with an aftermarket unit that would be great too.
 

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