How to Install a Car Antenna Cable

Written by russell wood
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The first thing many people do to their car is install a new car stereo, mostly because of the increased enjoyment that many people get from having good tunes. One of the critical components to the stereo is a solid antenna, because without that, you can't listen to the radio. If your antenna is broken, or the cable was cut somewhere along the way, you need to replace the entire antenna assembly. This isn't a difficult process, but it will take some time to do correctly, and a few special tools. In this case, the vehicle is a 1996 Chevrolet Silverado, but the process is similar for other vehicles as well.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Replacement antenna
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Wire cutters
  • 1/4-inch ratchet, extension and sockets
  • Antenna removal tool

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  1. 1

    Unscrew the antenna from the fender using the antenna removal tool. The tool will loosen the nut on the top of the antenna, and allow you to drop the antenna base out of the bottom of the fender.

  2. 2

    Open the bonnet and locate the grommet on the passenger side of the firewall that the antenna cable goes into. Push it out of the hole using the screwdriver to pop the rubber of the grommet out around the sides. Then cut the antenna lead using the wire cutters and pull the rest of the antenna line out through the grommet hole in the engine bay using your hands.

  3. 3

    Bolt the replacement antenna into the fender using the antenna tool, then run the antenna wire through the fender and into the firewall, pushing the grommet in place, and finishing the engine bay portion of the installation.

  4. 4

    Place your foot on the brake and shift the truck into a low gear. Then pull off the bezel that surrounds the radio and gauge panel using your hands. With light pressure, the dash bezel will unclip from the dash.

  5. 5

    Unbolt the stereo from the dashboard using the 1/4-inch ratchet, extension and sockets. Then pull out the stereo and unplug the harness and antenna from the back of the dashboard using your hands.

  6. 6

    Lean underneath the dash and pull out the old antenna from the dashboard using your hands. Then run the new antenna cable through the dashboard using your hands to work the antenna leaf into the dash panel. This may mean opening the glove box and moving the wire through the dash.

  7. 7

    Plug the wiring harness for the stereo back into the back of the deck and plug the new antenna cable into the back of the deck as well. Then bolt the stereo back into the dashboard using the 1/4-inch ratchet, and clip the dash bezel back in place in the reverse order of installation.

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