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  #1  
Old 05-20-2003, 10:23 PM
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Antenna Mast Problems

Does anyone have any longer term fixes for sticky antenna masts. The antenna on our 300TE is the most troublesome. I can clean it with WD40 and it will work for a short period but then soon gets contaminated and sticks again. Country journeys are more prone to causing problems. In this situation the mast gets a very slight bend (not kinked), presumably due to its position at the side of the wagon where the air velocity would be high. This occurs even when travelling at legal highway speeds of only 110km/h. The antenna on my 190E has not yet given trouble, being mounted with a rearward angle and presumably less affected by high air velocity around the side of the car, although the similarly positioned antenna on my father's 124 E320 coupe does occasionally give trouble. Is there some means of cleaning the mast and lubricating it that will not attract more contamination?
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107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
107.026: 500SLC, 4-speed auto, thistle green, green velour.
124.090: 300TE, 4-speed auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex.
201.028: 190E 2.3 Sportline, 5-speed manual, arctic white, blue leather.
201.028: 190E 2.3, 4-speed auto, blue-black, grey MBtex.
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2003, 11:45 PM
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Instead of using a wet petroleum based lubricant, try a dry graphite based lubricant. That would be less likely to "gum" or attract dirt.
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  #3  
Old 05-21-2003, 09:52 AM
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Internal drag within the mechanism can compound a dirty mast problem. Also, if the mast has a bend in it, that can crimp it's style.
Might be worth opening up the mechanism for a clean and lube.

Of course, for the labor involved (while you are at it), you might consider replacing the mast. These are just $29 from our sponsor.
Not a tough job, unless access is a pain in your wagon.
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  #4  
Old 05-21-2003, 12:44 PM
BlackE55
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I replaced the mast about 18 months ago and mine is sticking again, on the last segment when going down. Will try WD-40, if that doesn't work will try the graphite -- thanks for the tip!
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2003, 12:54 PM
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I do not think WD is the best choice for this. Perhaps for cleaning. It is essentially kerosene. Though it does leave behind some amount of waxy residue (just like kerosene), it does not last very long in such an exposed location.
I have had decent luck with silicone grease (not spray!), available at better auto parts stores. Much neater than graphite, since it is clear.
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  #6  
Old 05-21-2003, 02:21 PM
BlackE55
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I used WD-40 on my '69 Fleetwood's electric antenna. If I retracted it ALL the way, it didn't want to go back up.

A few squirts down the tube seemed to do the trick. Of course all the parts are metal on this old boat, so perhaps graphite or silcone grease is better when plastic is involved. I have some lithium grease, but that stuff attracts too much crud -- leave that for the door/trunk hinges.
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  #7  
Old 05-22-2003, 04:12 AM
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Thanks for the replies

I will experiment with both the silicone lubricant and graphite to see if either give longer term results. It is tempting to replace the mast however my concern is that the new one will soon develop the wind drag induced slight bend. I would hate to think what must happen to the mast when travelling at 200+ km/h. The slight bend contributes to the mast sticking as rotating it into different positions can help prevent it sticking.

Thanks for your replies,
Greg
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107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
107.026: 500SLC, 4-speed auto, thistle green, green velour.
124.090: 300TE, 4-speed auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex.
201.028: 190E 2.3 Sportline, 5-speed manual, arctic white, blue leather.
201.028: 190E 2.3, 4-speed auto, blue-black, grey MBtex.
201.034: 190E 2.3-16, 5-speed manual, blue-black, black leather.
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  #8  
Old 05-22-2003, 10:58 AM
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It is pleasant to dream of travelling at 200km/hr across the vast expanses in Oz...

Well officer, you see, I just had to test my antenna repair...
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  #9  
Old 05-23-2003, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by csnow
It is pleasant to dream of travelling at 200km/hr across the vast expanses in Oz...

Well officer, you see, I just had to test my antenna repair...
I wish! Throughout Australia, despite some open flat country, the speed limit is either 100km/h or 110km/h on the better highways and divided roads. These limits are generally fairly strictly enforced. Only in the Northern Territory miles from anywhere are there roads without limits. Motoring testers often take cars there for high speed testing in hot conditions. Just don't hit a 'roo or even a wombat at 200+ or you'll have more than a bent antenna to worry about!
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107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
107.026: 500SLC, 4-speed auto, thistle green, green velour.
124.090: 300TE, 4-speed auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex.
201.028: 190E 2.3 Sportline, 5-speed manual, arctic white, blue leather.
201.028: 190E 2.3, 4-speed auto, blue-black, grey MBtex.
201.034: 190E 2.3-16, 5-speed manual, blue-black, black leather.
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2003, 07:58 AM
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Talking sticky aerials

My 1994 C180 had this aerial which I complained of at a dealer here. What they did was to put some "grease" in it. On my way home, I put the radio on at a traffic light and lo and behold, my aerial did a speargun act to the surprise and merriment of car occupants next to mine. The aerial was hanging out the side of my car by the white plastic/nylon trace. They offerred to put it back for free, but suggested a new one for too much money. They were not going to put a new one for free although they caused this breakage. I went to an independent who only charged me A$90 for a new aerial and nylon trace installed. Its working very well now, but the mechanical noise is still there, not like the silent Toyota aerials. I tried another C180 today a 1996 Esprit for sale and the aerial makes exactly the same noise as mine so I assume that all the C class of the period had this noisy aerial and it was "normal".
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  #11  
Old 05-23-2003, 01:33 PM
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My $0.02...

Greg - I had similar problems with mine. Kept sticking no matter what lubricant I used. I got fed up and bought a new one. They're cheap and easy to install. Ever since, I've had no problems. Considering the price of a new antenna motor, I'd just replace your mast. These things fit together very snugly and I think even minor kinks and dirt can really jam them up.
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  #12  
Old 05-26-2003, 03:43 AM
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Re: My $0.02...

Quote:
Originally posted by Zeus
Greg - I had similar problems with mine. Kept sticking no matter what lubricant I used. I got fed up and bought a new one. They're cheap and easy to install. Ever since, I've had no problems. Considering the price of a new antenna motor, I'd just replace your mast. These things fit together very snugly and I think even minor kinks and dirt can really jam them up.
Thanks Zeus,

A new mast probably is the answer. I just hope it does not develop the wind-drag induced, slight bend the existing one has.

Greg
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107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
107.026: 500SLC, 4-speed auto, thistle green, green velour.
124.090: 300TE, 4-speed auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex.
201.028: 190E 2.3 Sportline, 5-speed manual, arctic white, blue leather.
201.028: 190E 2.3, 4-speed auto, blue-black, grey MBtex.
201.034: 190E 2.3-16, 5-speed manual, blue-black, black leather.
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  #13  
Old 05-26-2003, 11:41 AM
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Buried within these archives is a thread about correct lubricant for the antenna mast. Evidently MB sells a "special" lube spray. Somebody tracked it down and learned it was just everyday silicone spray. I recall that the use of WD-40 on the antenna is a no-no. So, no matter what you do, don't clean an antenna mast with WD-40.
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  #14  
Old 05-26-2003, 01:33 PM
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Someone said motorcycle chain lube worked great on their antenna. I haven't had any experience with it though.
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  #15  
Old 05-26-2003, 04:46 PM
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You got took, Hocky. $90 for a new aerial?????? Just buy one from Fastlane, install it in 2 minutes and be done with it.
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