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Old 12-31-2002, 08:24 AM
Posts: n/a
Help, I stink at electrical problems

Hi all,

Just read a bunch of posts on antenna topics and was not able to find anything on the manual rising of my antenna.

The antenna started to crap out a month ago. Would go up half way, then not at all. Was sparatic, thought it was freezing on and off with cold weather. I put car in garage and still does not work. I took the trunk liner out and saw a white nob which looked as though it was there to manually raise or lower the antenna, I could not turn the nob. Not sure if I am supposed to push in or pull out while turning?? How would I go about manually raising the antenna and leaving it up? Can I manually raise and then unplug power so it won't go down??

Any help is greatly appreciated, my CD was of little help with this problem.

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Old 12-31-2002, 09:19 AM
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If you can hear the motor running in the antenna mechanism, then your problem is the antenna mast.

You need to replace the mast with its nylon cord.

Good luck,
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Old 12-31-2002, 11:53 AM
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Hi Larry,

Thanks for the response. The motor is not running, not sure if it's jammed or electrical problem?

Do you know how to manually raise the antenna?

No radio is driving me crazy.

Thanks again,
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Old 12-31-2002, 12:56 PM
Posts: n/a
No, I don't know how to manually raise the antenna.

You need to check the fuses and make sure that the antenna switch is not in the center position. After that, it will take some electrical troubleshooting starting at the radio antenna signal and on to the antenna motor. If you have a diagram, you could start by seeing if there is voltage getting to the motor.

Good luck,
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Old 12-31-2002, 06:01 PM
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Thanks Larry

Thanks for the note Larry,

I'll pull the antenna out tomorrow so I can get a better look, the fuze is not blown, that much I know.

Have a good new year,

PS> My car does not have the dash switch.
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Old 01-01-2003, 12:42 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,316
You should have a constant 12V to the motor, a ground, and 12V that comes from the radio. If you have those signals, then the motor may be fried, or the "tail" that winds and unwinds to lower and raise the may have jammed it. You can take the case apart and check it out. If the tail is bad you will need a new mast. If the motor is toast, Palo Alto Speeometer can rebuild it.

If you want to go manual, then just cut the tail off.
Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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Old 01-01-2003, 01:54 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: England
Posts: 1,841
Take it apart, it's pretty simple inside. BUT, be careful - when it's opened up, the parts can move around and short circuit. This happened to me and I ended up rewiring the whole aerial up/down electrics to a switch on the dash next to the sunroof (everyone wonders why i have 2 of the same switch next to each other on the dash...)
2.5-16v 1990 90,000m Astral Silver
2.0E 8v 1986 107,000m Black 2nd owner
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Old 01-01-2003, 03:24 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Joliet Illinois
Posts: 309
Be Careful

That white knob you see in the trunk might be for manually operating the sunroof. I dont think the antenna has such a knob.
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Old 01-02-2003, 01:02 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 563
It could be as simple as cleaning your antenna mast. I put a new mast in my SL last year and recently, it wouldn't raise all of the way. I gave the mast a good cleaning and it's working correctly again.

I also noticed that my relatively new mast is slightly bent towards the rear. I can only assume that this is from wind drag. So now, I leave the antenna button in the halfway up position. Stations still come in strong.
Mike Heath
1988 560SL Black/Palomino
1988 300SEL Black Pearl/Burgandy
1984 500SEC Anthracite Grey/Palomino
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Old 01-02-2003, 10:55 AM
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Thanks for the responses guys. I never thought that the nob might be for something other than the antenna?

I'll get in there and take a closer look.

Thanks again,
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Old 01-02-2003, 11:50 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,097
Years ago I spoke with an electrical engineer who said that for ideal radio reception (FM more so than AM) the antenna tip should be at least slightly higher than the roof of the car. This is so the metal of the vehicle doesn't block the signal.
'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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