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Old 03-17-2017, 02:58 AM   #1
JFS
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2008 Astra XR
Default Antenna Dry-rot

In the next few weeks, you will be seeing me asking about a lot of things all at once. I have some comp time from work I shall avail myself of in the next 3-4 months, and I just might drive you all batty as I firm up plans and get in my last round of questioning before pursuing a number of Astra projects. You will see a disclaimer like this each time.

I have garaged my Astra most of the time since its purchase in January, 2015. It seems it must have had a lot of sun exposure before my ownership, as bears out the channel trim (a later project) and the condition of my antenna. A while back, my antenna went limp, appearing to need Viagra. Instead, I opted to obtain a shorter, firmer, and stouter unit versus the long, skinny, limp, and defective tool that had become the existing antenna. Yes, I just said that, and I will tread carefully from here.

I found the shorter GM Saturn Outlook part with the M6 base screw and have been happy with the performance and appearance. Since then, the base has deteriorated alarmingly and I have made a purchase of the original base part. I have a few questions to ask those more informed than me about this repair. I appreciate those who have made the switch to the 'Shark Fin" product, but I wanted better performance.

1.) Can you tell me if there is indeed a "specialty spanner/wrench " needed to remove the antenna? I have read this in a few antenna postings, but not heard how it looked.


2.) What can you tell me about the headliner and access? My buddy who does car stereo has passed on helping me with this because he is "not familiar with this car or its headliner material." He said he'd be game if it was a Golf or Mini, with which he has plenty of experience. Frankly, he works out of his garage and is undercapitalized should something go wrong and I respect this.


3.) Any other tips? I have found a video of someone doing this work on a Golf. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQrzCKT-HpA


The state of things for my car:

https://goo.gl/fEsORV
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Old 03-17-2017, 03:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

I'll try to get Romanster to add his input in this thread, he has removed his headliner before to dye it black.
...
09 Vauxhall Astra XR3/STD
18" Team Dynamic MonzaR rims
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

It may not be necessary to fully remove the headliner, but you will be working blind if you simply lower it enough to access the antenna mount. The nut is hidden away, and takes either a 17mm through-socket (the antenna wires come out through the mounting nut, similar to an O2 sensor), or big long 90 degree needlenose pliers (which is how I did mine). You will need to remove the B and C pillar covers, so that the headliner can drop enough without creasing it.

I did fully remove my headliner in order to try out an OEM Camaro/Buick sharkfin assembly, I figured this would give the best access to the antenna mounting and repeated removal/reinstall procedures as I tried different combinations of antennas/wiring. I also had it reupholstered with black fabric, since I bought all of the Vauxhall SRI/VXR black interior trim pieces. The headliner has been out for over a year, I don't want to reinstall it until I settle on what antenna to keep.

On the 3 door, it is a P.A.I.N to fully remove the headliner. The Saturn dealer service manual states, "step 1: remove windshield"
In the end I managed to force it out through the passenger door. There is no way to pull out the headliner through the hatch, unless it is severely bent/damaged in the process. The 5 door may have more hatch room, I'm not sure.

Again, this procedure has been done before by our overseas pals without fully removing the headliner, people usually just drop it enough to give access to the mounting nut, but you will at a minimum need to remove many of the interior fittings that are holding it up, so that it can drop down enough without being damaged.

I will need to post pictures to help explain this all better.
...
Astra XR3 white
|Vauxhall VXR exterior conversion
|2010+ emblems
|Insignia VXR 18" rep wheels, Eibach SportLines
|BiXenon projector retrofit
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

Wow, what a response.

Thank you for taking the time to provide some guidance. And thanks beforehand for posting any pictures to help.

I'd like to keep the original antenna base as at this time, I want to keep the On Star option available (BTW there is an offer right now of free middle level service for 90 days).

I always use Google Navigation, but I want a second option just in case. Most importantly, I want somebody to know if I am upside down in a Northern California ditch inside some small canyon in the boonies. I had a pretty significant wreck (Eighteen wheeler hit a Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins going 45 mph....I was in front of the Ram, both of us at a stop, in a Subaru WRX wagon) and I would like help on the way if I'm unresponsive.
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

I'm waiting for this to come on the slow boat from Amazon. I can't say how onstar will work as I can't justify the expense.



This goes over the existing base, and once the whip is removed you install a stud with a nut and wire in its place. Then stick it down.
...
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

That one won't fit over the Astra base, ours is really fat especially with the rubber gasket, compared to slimmer antenna bases on Astra models overseas that don't integrate XM/Onstar. I tried one of those, from ebay.

The sharkfin cover that fits is the Visual Garage one that a few members here have bought. Pricy, but it does fit.
...
Astra XR3 white
|Vauxhall VXR exterior conversion
|2010+ emblems
|Insignia VXR 18" rep wheels, Eibach SportLines
|BiXenon projector retrofit
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Old 04-22-2017, 12:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

Snip:::
Quote:
Originally Posted by romanster View Post
That one won't fit over the Astra base...
::: End Snip

Now ya tell me... ugh.

I wonder how much grinding the base will take...
...
2008 Saturn Astra XR 3 Door
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

Got my cheapo shark fin, and it didn't fit as is. Die grinder to the rescue. I took it apart to fit the base over the antenna base.



And assembled.



I didn't install it yet for two reasons. The supplied nut and bolt are the wrong size and I need to paint it. The colour is a little off, and I have a can of matched colour paint for a rocker repair.
...
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

Very Expensive Seal Replacement

A couple months ago, I obtained a replacement antenna base unit for the Astra and finally had time to replace it. The cost was $67 and I confirmed the part number in a few places before the purchase. I am not so sure I got the right item, but managed an acceptable repair by using the gasket only from the purchase.

Let me begin by saying this attempt at replacing the antenna was every bit the PITA promised by others. I have not included any pictures of being able to remove the rear pillar covers of my two door XR or the success of dropping the headliner enough for decent access to both the nut holding the antenna to the roof, as well as the recess in the sheet metal fold where the amplifier for the antenna is attached and the connection is inserted. I did not because I was not able to use this info accordingly. For the life of me, I spent quite a bit of time taking images with my cellphone to determine the spot to push and then pull to get the existing antenna removed. Just could not do it. What I see on my car and what I purchased does not 100% look the same. The part I ordered was AC Delco 93357774.

The antenna was completely functional, but I was worried the seal deterioration into the next rainy season would cause a leak and ruin the headliner. I did not want to destroy the antenna amplifier and the actual base portion still looks fine. I decided to swallow my pride, split the gasket, and perform a good repair around what was there.


This is how things appeared after teasing out the gasket.
One 1.jpg

There was a portion missing and the gasket was split before my removing it.
Two 2.gif

A bit of clean up before insertion.
Three 3.gif

On my way to separating the gasket at the back, I realized there is quite a difference between the existing and provided gasket.
Four 4.gif

Those of you in Michigan will recognize I used the Ypsilanti water tower for inspiration on the cutout shape......so cut it out on what you are thinking.
https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Ypsilanti_Water_Tower

Five 5.gif

Adjusted gasket in place.
Six 6.jpg

With Permatex Black Sealant and Adhesive before pressing home.
Seven 7.jpg

Final the next morning.
Finished 7.gif


Hope this proves helpful for others & sure wish we could have the choice to purchase just the gasket.
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

I've forgotten what the antenna looked liked, good job on the replacement. Looks very good
...
09 Vauxhall Astra XR3/STD
18" Team Dynamic MonzaR rims
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CD30 Mp3, Insignia jets, vxR surround, sharkfin antenna, Spoiler, Tint
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:11 PM   #11
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

Quote:
Originally Posted by canada_rokzz View Post
Got my cheapo shark fin, and it didn't fit as is. Die grinder to the rescue. I took it apart to fit the base over the antenna base.



And assembled.



I didn't install it yet for two reasons. The supplied nut and bolt are the wrong size and I need to paint it. The colour is a little off, and I have a can of matched colour paint for a rocker repair.

Dude:

Reinstate your pics on your picture hosting service, your skill with an angle grinder needs to be appreciated.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:03 AM   #12
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Mad Re: Antenna Dry-rot

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFS View Post
Dude:

Reinstate your pics on your picture hosting service, your skill with an angle grinder needs to be appreciated.

Stupid Photobucket... grrr.

I've been hosting pictures there for years. I'm not gonna pay either...

:
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:59 PM   #13
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

So, has anyone found a way to just buy the seal? I have searched for hours and only found that I can buy the full unit from GM (antenna base which includes the seal) It should only be a 3 dollar seal or something I don't really feel like paying 100 bucks for another piece of kit that I don't actually need just so I can get the seal....

Anyone?
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Old 04-30-2018, 02:23 PM   #14
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

I have a tube of black heavy duty gasket silicone that I used to fix the ripping waterseal at the drivers side door. Will use that around the antenna base as a preventitive measure. . .
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Old 05-05-2018, 05:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

You could also buy a sharkfin antenna to cover up the rotted oem one.

...
09 Vauxhall Astra XR3/STD
18" Team Dynamic MonzaR rims
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Old 05-06-2018, 02:57 PM   #16
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolas_p View Post
You could also buy a sharkfin antenna to cover up the rotted oem one.

And where would one buy this?
...
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-Debadge
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

https://shop.visualgarage.com/
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Old 05-08-2018, 07:47 PM   #18
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFS View Post
Thanks JFS, this is the one I got many years ago now. Seems you will need to email them for the astra now since it is no longer listed but they used to stock them and will still be able to make something for you.
...
09 Vauxhall Astra XR3/STD
18" Team Dynamic MonzaR rims
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Old 05-26-2018, 12:23 AM   #19
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

Yeah, I'm replying to my own thread again. I have no freaking pride.

Just wanting to follow my own advice and try to stay active here. Thought I'd share how my antenna repair is holding up after all these months. I plan to always keep some of this Permatex product on hand, has come in handy for other repairs. Takes the heat well, too.
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File Type: jpg May 2018 Antenna 2.jpg (54.2 KB, 22 views)
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:47 PM   #20
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Default Re: Antenna Dry-rot

Hi.... that is a real antenna. Despite it being a bit shorter (maybe an inch) than the Miata OE antenna, I would not classify that as a "shorty". Probably why it works for Jim. :dunno:
Actually that is a Mustang antenna. Mine is from a Fusion and is almost 3" shorter than the OEM antenna although it has a smaller base, kind of like a honda antenna. It's wire wound which is, probably, why it gets better reception.
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