Replacing an automobile's stock AM/FM radio antenna with a Citizens Band model gives the antenna a "stealth" appearance and requires minor modifications to the mount. The average CB user can modify a car antenna mount for use with a CB antenna in about 20 minutes.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
Remove the AM/FM radio antenna by turning the antenna mast in a counterclockwise direction, then turning the mount's only accessible nut counterclockwise also. This will release the shaft clamp underneath the mount, and the entire antenna can be manipulated out of the antenna hole. The antenna cable may be hard-wired into the antenna and must be unplugged from the radio and pulled completely out. It may be difficult to replace this wire if needed. Tying a section of string or wire to the antenna wire and leaving it in place behind the radio is an easy trick to keeping its path intact.
Modify the antenna mount to accommodate the CB antenna's larger mast and wire connections. Depending on the model, the mount can be disassembled to allow drilling the holes to a larger diameter. On some models, it may be easier to screw a thread adaptor to the positive mast connection (available at building supply stores) without reusing the old mount hardware. The standard connector ends for a majority of CB coaxial cables are RJ-8(x) style, which use a thread adaptor to connect the coaxial side to the antenna mast. This adaptor has a plastic polarity separator washer that prevents the centre core from grounding out on the mount. Secure the cup-shaped old mount to the adaptor with JB Weld or similar heat-resistant epoxy, taking care to keep the polarity separator washer in place. The top antenna bolt of the antenna adaptor should stick out of the top of the mount, with the shaft clamp on the bottom.
Run the coaxial CB antenna wire to the radio location by using the string to pull it through the dashboard from the antenna mount. The cable is larger than a typical AM/FM radio antenna cable and has markedly larger connectors, so take caution to not damage the vehicle while pulling the cable.
Position the shaft clamp into the antenna hole and turn the top antenna adaptor in a clockwise direction. The shaft clamp should pinch the metal lip of the hole and tighten the mount. As CB antennas are usually thicker and heavier than AM/FM radio antennas, it is recommended to install a common CB antenna spring between the antenna and the adaptor thread.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure the mount is properly grounded to the car before transmitting.
- Disconnect the battery before making any modifications to a vehicle's electrical system.
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