Reference Manual

Chapter 5: Electrical: Antenna Replacement

When I bought my Cutlass the factory power antenna had already been replaced with an aftermarket antenna, which was broken. And the original antenna was long gone along with wiring damaged beyond repair. As an interm measure I replaced that with another aftermarket antenna, until I had gathered together the factory parts for me to restore a original style power antenna.

Although one would think installing a power antenna would be a rather simple task. GM's engineers must have put in many a late designing an installation that makes replacement a significant undertaking. You have been warned. :)

Tools required:

Time required:

Plan on a Day! This one is a real dog.

The procedure:

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. From under the hood, disconnect the antenna lead in cable and the 3 position antenna harness connector.
  3. Remove the right front wheel.
  4. Protect the rear fender edge and the front door edge with masking tape.
  5. If any trim is in the way, remove it.

trim removed
Here I've removed the trim along the rocker panel (look at all that dirt that was behind it!)

6. Remove the 15mm lower fender to body bolt.

lower fender bolt
Looking up at the lower fender bolt

hinge pillar bolt 7. Remove the two inner fender to hinge panel bolts. (1 upper, 1 lower)

Here's the lower 15mm hinge pillar bolt, there will be a shim here, be sure not to lose it.

rear fender bolts
8. Remove the five 10mm outer to inner fender panel bolts at the rear edge of the fender.

Here's where you may need everything 10mm you have, an offset boxend wrench would probably work very well, if you have one. Dont skip the masking tape! It'll protect the edge of the fender from chips as your wrench rubs against it.

fenderwell bolts 9. Remove the four 10mm outer to inner fender panel bolts at the rear edge of the wheel opening.

For this step, the CSM says to remove three bolts. I recommend removing four, by removing four of the bolts it'll be easier to pull the outer fender out and you'll gain more room to work.

fender liner bolt
Although the CSM doesn't mention it, remove the fenderliner bolt here also, it'll make it much easier to pull out the inner fender. The plastic fenderwell will hang on the frame as you pull the inner fender out, just manipulate it to clear the frame.

10. Block the lower edge of the inner fender outward and remove the antenna bracket bolt. This will be the hard part, there is very little room to get at this bolt.

11. Remove the inner fender blocking and block the outer fender panel outward. Remove the antenna bezel nut and remove the antenna assembly.

antenna bracket hole Here's where the antenna bracket bolt goes through the inner fender. In my case the person who removed the original antenna apparently pretty much ripped the bolt out as this slot was seriously deformed. A little work with a ball peen hammer and it was back to like new.

Now it's time to reinstall the antenna.

12. Position the antenna assembly in the fender and install the antenna bezel nut, but do not tighten it.

13. Route the antenna lead wire and the antenna harness through the inner fender opening.

antenna installed 14. Block out the inner fender and install the antenna bracket bolt the opposite direction of the original bolt, That is put the speed nut on the inside of the inner fender and install the bolt from the outside. Do not tighten the bolt yet.

15. Install and tighten the antenna bezel nut.

16. Tighten the antenna bracket mounting bolt.

17. Reinstall the the fender liner bolt.

18. Reinstall the four wheelhousing bolts.

19. Reinstall the five inner to outer fender bolts.

20. Reinstall the inner fender to hinge pillar bolts.

21. Reinstall the lower fender bolt.

22. Reinstall the wheel and remove the masking tape.

23. Reconnect the antenna lead in cable, the antenna harness and the negative battery cable.

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