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How to Trim a Car Stereo Antenna

Updated April 17, 2017

For a number of reasons, it might be preferable to have a shorter car stereo antenna than the one that came with your car. Some people find that their antennas get hit when driving beneath low clearance structures, while others are just bothered by the appearance of a long antenna. With a little ingenuity, a car stereo antenna can be spliced, shortened and then reattached without having much of an effect on the radio's reception.

Use pliers to unscrew the small bolt at the base of the antenna, and remove the antenna from the car.

Place a piece of electrical tape on both faces of the workbench vice to prevent them from scratching or bending the antenna.

Place the antenna between the vice arms horizontally and tighten it securely. Do not use too much force, because this could crush its hollow body.

Place a strip of electrical tape between the claws of the nail puller. This will prevent the puller from scratching the antenna.

Place the antenna's disc-shaped tip between the nail puller's claws.

Use the hammer to hit the nail puller on the end opposite the antenna's tip, forcing the tip to fly off. It will pop off suddenly, so take care not to lose it. You will need to reattach it later.

Use a hacksaw to trim the top of the antenna to the desired length. Smooth rough edges where you sawn the antenna using sandpaper.

Put a small amount of strong adhesive at the centre of the disc-shaped tip previously removed, and attach it to the end of the shortened antenna, making sure it is straight.

Allow the adhesive time to dry completely, and replace the antenna on the vehicle.

Tighten the bolt at the base of the antenna using the pliers to secure the unit in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • Workbench vice
  • Hammer
  • Electrical tape
  • Nail puller
  • Hacksaw
  • Sandpaper
  • Strong adhesive
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About the Author

Evan Fulford has a master's degree in social work from the University of Michigan. He graduated with his bachelor's degree in psychology from Wayne State University in 2008. He has been writing academically for over six years on topics including mental illness, social policy, linguistics and political science.