Author Topic: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna  (Read 1635 times)

Offline fiftiesflashback

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  • Best of all, it's a Cadillac!
  • Name: Geoffrey F. Fulcoli
1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« on: March 21, 2013, 04:34:26 PM »
I am the original owner of a 1984 Coupe De Ville. It has the original Delco AM-FM radio with cassette player. The cassette player has been rebuilt several times over the years, even when the car was new. It is only recently that the LED diodes on the clock and radio have failed. After several hours of driving, they will power-up again. The speakers are fine, but could be replaced.

The power antenna just went. It remained at half-mast with the motor running until I removed the fuse from under the dash. (No easy task!) The Antenna is stuck in the half-mast position and cannot be manually forced-lowered.

It seems to me I replaced this antenna within the last five years. My local Cadillac dealer has a Delco replacement available @ $205, plus an additional installation mounting kit @ $25, if needed. The $25 is refundable if not required. The additional labor is roughly $250 to install the antenna as the entire front fender must be removed, there is no access from any vantage point. When my mechanic did the installation the last time, he said he wished I had taken the unit to my body shop man when I had other work done.

I almost would not mind if the mast were all the way down as the radio reception is still functional. I could hammer the antenna down or clip it off as the replacement cost and labor are prohibitive.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Update: My prior posting on new white wall tires. My garage man was able to find an "off brand" wider white wall from Taiwan that has a 1-1/8" white wall. The original Arrivas were 1-1/4". The looks is so close to the originals. The 3/4" Toyo Extenzas would definitely not have "popped" as nicely as the wider white wall does. The tires came in installed just below the cost the Toyos would have been. Thanks to all who assisted me. I will post the tire brand on my tire thread.
Geoffrey F. Fulcoli

Offline Roy Schroeder

  • Mr. Mulberry
  • Posts: 1970
Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2013, 05:19:18 PM »
Hammer down, clip it off. Wow, that sounds pretty drastic.
 When I bought my 78, the car sat for many years , mine would stop in various places. I had my wife turn the radio on and off while I pushed and pulled on it. You have to power it up and down. You cant move it manually.
I used Lockease on the shaft, and cleaned it off. After I got it working, I wiped more Lockease on it, and it never stopped again. The graphite in it helps.
 Try it, if it hasn't broken the cable.
Roy
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 05:22:05 PM by Roy Schroeder »
ROY SCHROEDER 
WISCONSIN
1978 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
It's only original once.

Offline Walter Youshock

  • Posts: 2009
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #11959
Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 07:36:26 AM »
Most likely, the nylon cord broke.  Typical of these antennas.  When winter was on its way, I would turn on the radio and unplug the antenna motor leads under the hood (not pull the fuse) and leave it "up" for the season.

If the mast isn't bent, it can be rebuilt.  All you need is a roll of weed wacker cord and a heat source to melt the old cord out of the mast and the pulley side.  Of course, you also have to get it out of the car which involves the fender. 

If the mast is not bent, PLEASE DO NOT cut it or pull it out!  Unbent masts are harder and harder to find.  Chances are, this antenna CAN be rebuilt.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 07:42:34 AM by Walter Youshock »
CLC #11959 (Life)
1957 Coupe deVille
1991 Brougham

Offline joecaristo

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Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 08:07:29 AM »
Ask Cadillac Tim. He rebuilt my 77 and did a great job. This is his Email: tagroves@wctel.net
Joe
Joe Caristo

Online ericdev

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Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2013, 08:27:03 AM »
Hello Mr Fulcoli,

Just for future reference, just unplug the antenna connector harness underhood near the rear of the top of the right front inner fender if the antenna should stop and continue running. It's a whole lot easier than removing the fuse.

I would not recommend the replacement kit you had mentioned. It's a generic aftermarket kit and when it's installed, it'll have a "bulb" style base on the front fender, rather than the more flush escutcheon with trim ring that the car has now. So many have been done this way and the result is not attractive and instantly noticeable. Therefore, I recommend you remove (or have someone remove) the power antenna assy and ship to CLC member Cadillac Tim who can rebuild the unit for you. That way you'll keep the original appearance of the fender trim without that generic base of the aftermarket unit.

No discredit to the advice proffered by my good friend "Mulberry" Roy, but his suggestion will not work because the 1978 antenna was the last year of the clutch design which can often be nursed back to life as he has done. However, all years following used a different power antenna design without clutch and raising/lowering the antenna is direct drive and when the nylon cable breaks, the motor will keep running because the motor only stops when the antenna reaches the end of its travel.

Cables seldom broke in the older style because the clutch was designed to give before the cable would.

I believe the antenna is much easier to remove 1981 & up- through the partial removal of the inner fender. In 1980, the fender must come off entirely- it's a nightmare. 
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 10:00:04 AM by ericdev #8621 »
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Offline Roy Schroeder

  • Mr. Mulberry
  • Posts: 1970
Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2013, 08:45:23 AM »
I always learn something from you Eric.
 Thanks for the tip. I assumed they were the same.
 Roy
ROY SCHROEDER 
WISCONSIN
1978 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
It's only original once.

Offline Walter Youshock

  • Posts: 2009
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Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2013, 09:12:44 AM »
'78 was the last year with the antenna switch on the dash so the antennas themselves are different.  That was a feature I always liked.
CLC #11959 (Life)
1957 Coupe deVille
1991 Brougham

Offline 76eldo

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  • Name: Brian Rachlin
Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2013, 09:56:58 AM »
As Joe said, Tim does a great job.

Obviously I love Cadillacs but how the eff could they build the car, knowing the failure rate of the power antenna, with no decent provision to service it?

Original owner and presumably mint car and you have to get someone to remove the fender to fix the antenna?  I think I might look into some kind of hidden antenna you mount under the car or something first.

Just another silly Cadillac thing.

Brian
Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443

Lifelong Cadillac Enthusiast
Currently own several Cadillacs
ranging from 1960 to 2007

Offline Walter Youshock

  • Posts: 2009
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Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2013, 10:17:24 AM »
Because the original purchaser wasn't supposed to keep the car longer than two or three years, not 30.  Just like the exploding armrests, dash pads and steering wheels, parts were engineered to eventually fail. 

There was a replacement mast kit where the second and third mast sections could be replaced with the antenna in the car but once the cord broke, the whole thing had to come out.  Worst scenario is if the fender bolts are rusted and you can't get them off.  Then you reach for the can opener and cut the fender open.  I've seen cars torn into like that in the junk yard.
CLC #11959 (Life)
1957 Coupe deVille
1991 Brougham

Offline 76eldo

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Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2013, 11:38:33 AM »
Agreed nothing lasts forever but why not plan for some access?

I know on 79-85 eldos you can loosen the bottom bolts and sneak it out.
Plus, do you have to remove the hood to remove fenders like an Eldo?

What a nightmare. I'd look for some gadget to plug in in place of the normal antenna.
Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443

Lifelong Cadillac Enthusiast
Currently own several Cadillacs
ranging from 1960 to 2007

Offline Walter Youshock

  • Posts: 2009
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Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2013, 12:47:20 PM »
You have to remove the front wheel, the wheel opening molding, the rocker molding and remove the black torx bolts at the inside of the passenger door and around the wheel opening as well as those between the inner fender and the hood.  The bolts inside the door are hard to get out because of their position.  Mask the outside of the door--tape a towel or something to it so you don't scratch the paint.  You'll need wobbly extensions, too.  There is a 10MM bolt at the bottom of the fender that has to come out (if none of these are rusted into 1 piece by now).  CAREFULLY pull the rear of the fender away from the inner fender and remove the plastic inner splash shield at the rear of the fender.  Prop the fender skin away from the inner fender with a piece of wood, being vigilant to not bend the outer fender.  Remove 2 7MM bolts at the top of the antenna and the escutcheon and the 10 MM bolt holding the antenna bracket to the inner fender under the hood.  Unplug coax and motor plugs.  Tie a long string to the top of the antenna and tie the other end to the hood hinge or something. 

Reinstall by tying the string to the replacement antenna and use it to guide the new/repaired unit back in the fender.

It's a total PITA the first time. 
CLC #11959 (Life)
1957 Coupe deVille
1991 Brougham

Offline cadillactim

  • Cadillac Tim
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Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2013, 07:39:59 PM »
First, you don't have to remove the fender to replace the antenna.  Second, you can test the antenna to see if it has a broken cord or not without removing it from the car.

To test the antenna, unplug the three wire connector near the passenger hood hinge.  There will be a green wire, white wire, and grey wire.  Unplug the connector.  Apply battery voltage to the WHITE wire, and ground the GREEN wire.  This will make the antenna go down.  Motor should run a few seconds and shut off.  If motor will not shut off, then cord is broken.  To make the antenna go up, put battery voltage to the GREEN wire, and ground the GREY wire.  Again, motor should cycle off.  If not, cord is broken.

Now, to remove the antenna follow these steps:

1.  At the bottom rear of the inner fender is a removable panel.  It is held in place by two torx screws and some clips like those used on door panels.  You will also need to remove some of the screws holding the wheel opening molding to pull the panel down and off.

2.  On the inside of the fender just below the hood hinge is a 10mm bolt.  This holds the antenna bracket.  Unplug the antenna lead connector and unplug the three wire connector.  Lastly, remove the two 9/32" screws holding the top of the antenna to the fender.

3.  Now fish the antenna out of the hole where the lower panel was removed.  I find it easier to turn the antenna 180 degrees before pulling it out.

If the cord is broken, most of the time to mast cannot be pushed down because the cord gets out it's "channel" and acts like a brake.

You cannot use weed wacker cord to repair these antennas, as there is too much torque from the motor.  The weed wacker cord is not stout enough to trip the limit switch, and instead the cord will wrap around itself inside the pulley.  Although the motor will finally stop, the cord is getting damaged each time and will eventually bind the motor completely.

I have not heard very favorable reports from the generic Delco replacement, and the cost that the dealership charges is excessive to R & R these antennas.  A local repair shop would be better, especially if they know how to the job.

I sell original rebuilt antennas for these models for $125 with exchange.  Includes a reproduction mast and a one year warranty.

Tim
 
Tim Groves

Online ericdev

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Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2013, 07:42:47 AM »
Tim did a great job on the antenna on my 1980. However, we had to use some brackets from the original antenna unit because there were some changes in the way it was mounted in 1980 as opposed to 1981 & up.

The man who did the antenna installation for me said there was no way he could have done the job without removing the fender on 1980- which was a one year design. I'd be interested to know if anybody has a shop rate manuals for antenna replacement 1980 vs 1981+? I'd be very interested to verify this claim.

I also vaguely recall many years ago when we had these cars around a lot, the 1980 was such a problem, we never replaced them.

If anyone has that info, I'd really like to know.
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Offline cadillactim

  • Cadillac Tim
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Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2013, 08:15:08 AM »
I removed an antenna from a 1981 Deville (which is same as 80) a couple of months back, and the fender does not have to come off - if nothing breaks.  It was a real pain, as you have to fish you hand up through the access hole to get to a bracket bolt that goes through a speed nut.  Fortunately the speed nut did not break, but still the small amount of room for a wrench made the job difficult.  If that speed nut had broken, then the fender would have to come off.

They did improve the mounting in 1982 and up on Devilles and Fleetwoods.  The 1980 and 81 are the most difficult to remove.  On the 1979-85 Eldorados and 1980-85 Sevilles the hood hinge has to be removed, as the antenna is removed though a hole in the inner fender which is covered by the hood hinge.
Tim Groves

Offline 76eldo

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Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2013, 08:17:31 AM »
Tim would know, as this is his specialty.

I'd consult the 84 shop manual to see the recommended procedure.

Brian
Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443

Lifelong Cadillac Enthusiast
Currently own several Cadillacs
ranging from 1960 to 2007

Offline fiftiesflashback

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  • Name: Geoffrey F. Fulcoli
Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2013, 01:47:37 PM »
I cannot locate my paperwork on the current antenna or from whom I purchased it. I believe it was roughly 5-6 years ago that the rebuilt unit was installed. I do remember I was sent a proper rebuilt antenna for my 84 DeVille and was required to send the old, defective unit back to the rebuilder when the working unit was installed as part of the price in exchange for the original parts. My regular mechanic did the job, but it required removing the fender. My mechanic now refuses to replace the antenna as the car is in pristine, original paint and he is afraid of doing any damage. He suggested I take the car to my long time body shop man as he has worked on the car since new and can repair any damage that might occur.

I think I need a rebuilt replacement unit that can be installed at the time the defective unit is removed so the car is not laying in his lot while the current unit is repaired, then shipped to be reinstalled. He doesn't like the car sitting in his yard as accidents occur and I don't want him to have to take the car apart and reassemble it twice for an antenna. Does anyone know where I can obtain another antenna? I would return the broken one as I did the previous time. I cannot find the rebuilder from whom I purchased this unit. Does "Tim" the antenna man so many have spoken about have this unit on hand for exchange does anyone know who does have such a unit?

How ridiculous is all this for a car antenna? (BEST OF ALL, IT'S A CADILLAC!)
Geoffrey F. Fulcoli

Offline Louis Smith

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  • Name: Louis Smith
Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2013, 03:33:59 PM »
Unless you are looking for your car to look 100% original, the aftermarket generic antennas are fantastic and at a fraction of the cost of an original.

Online ericdev

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Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2013, 04:09:03 PM »
I agree with your mechanic- this job is more of a body shop job.

According to a number of members above, complete removal of the fender is not necessary. Make no mistake, it's a PITA but removal of the unit should be well within the ability of your trusted body man. There should be no worries about damaging the paint if he knows what he's doing.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 04:15:46 PM by ericdev CLC 8621 »
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Offline cadillactim

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Re: 1984 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Radio Antenna
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2013, 06:49:31 PM »
I have the antenna you need, and I sent you a PM.

Tim
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