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2007 E550 4Matic P2,Pano,Voice,Park,Trunk,Fold Seats, Black/Ash;;; 1989 560SL (sold 11/1/10)
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292 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My antenna mast was not fully extending and lubrication did not help. Motor was operating fine. So I decided to replace the mast. I learned to check with the dealer for parts and not assume they would be too expensive versus the various websites with parts for sale. The mast was $38 at the dealer and was in stock. On the web it was around $35 plus shipping.

The mast replacement proved to be quite easy. I couldn't take pics there was nothing to show.

So here is what I did:

1. Turn on the radio so the mast extends as far it can go. Leave the radio on. Do not pull the mast up by hand.
2. Wrench off the threaded bushing at the base of the antenna. It connects the antenna mast and the antenna head that is part of the antenna motor in the trunk. This will make the mast spring off the car and expose some of the white plastic "chain".
3. Get a helper. Have them turn off the radio. The mast and chain will fully retract. Without a helper the antenna mast will slap against the car first since it is loose from the antenna head.
4. Have somebody turn on the radio. This will fully extend the mast as much it will go and the motor will keep running all the chain out of the gear. You then simply pull the last piece out of the motor. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE DIRECTION THE TEETH FACED ON THE CHAIN THAT YOU PULL OUT. Mine faced left toward the driver's side.
5. Take your new mast and slide in the chain into the hole until it stops. No need to jam it but push in to make sure it's as far as it can go and is touching the gear. Again, make sure the direction of the teeth match the old mast.
6. Turn the radio off. The chain should catch and will retract into the hole and then it will bring the mast down with it. Use a helper again so you can guide the mast into the hole.
7. Tighten the threaded bushing back to the antenna head.
8. Make sure the antenna seal is tight in the hole to keep the mast from wiggling and to keep water from coming in. These sell for $3 at the dealer.

It was really easy.
 

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1989 300SE
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35 Posts
Antenna Replacement

Thanks for your post, will be attempting as soon as my new one arrives. The old one had been snapped off by some kid....

Cwest
 

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1987 300SDL
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3 Posts
Im having trouble with step 2 -Wrenching off the threaded bushing of the antenna, when i use a #13 key the entire piece going down to the antenna motor rotates? Am i missing something here, dont want to break anything.

Please advise. Thanks.
 

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1977 450SL
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50 Posts
I have a Hirschmann antenna and the least cost I could find for just the mast was $51.00 . However, the cheap JC Whitney antenna was $26.54 and it turns out had the same mast and plastic chain as my Hirschmann. So a few minutes work and my Hirschmann is back in service.
 

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1982 300cd
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6 Posts
I realize this is an old thread, but being new to the wonderful world of classic MB and this forum, I thought I’d ask a question anyways...I bought my 300cd with the antenna mast inoperable and after some research found it be a fairly easy fix...or so I thought...so when I took the old mast off the “plastic” cord that is supposed to be attached to to the mast was missing, back to research...finally found a thread that said the cord may be still in the Hirschmann motor itself...lightbulb...back to research...found and felt confident about the removal of said motor, and was successful! Found the missing cord, pulled plastic gear to help with cord removal...cleaned and lubed all I could before reinstalling gear and motor back in place...easy...motor works, as much as I can tell...it runs anyways. So the mast install...instruction on mast install is pretty straight forward, had the wife turn on the radio to extend...inserted cord (mine was smooth, which the old one was) until it stopped going any farther...she turned off the radio and cord started going in as stated in the instructions. Mast did not go all the way down, but instructions stated this would happen...reinstalled lockdown components and finished....So, instructions state turn radio on to extend a couple of times and mast will center and evolve into proper operation (meaning up and down normal height and down fully closed). Well, mine does not go to full height and comes to within 2” of closing fully! Is there something I missed? Is the cord too long? .....any help would be awesome
 

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1973 450 SL
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1,752 Posts
82coupeCD,

Can you verify that your antenna is a Hirschmann Auta 6000 U? Those were used from 1977 thru 1983. The model should be embossed on the case.
 

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1973 450 SL
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1,752 Posts
The lift and retract of that mast is controlled by electro-mechanical limit switches. If your antenna has a rocker switch control on the dash, travel has another layer of electronic control. In the picture below, notice the step gear, driven by each full rotation of the mast reel. The step gear has high points on it which interrupt ground signal to the motor.

As you have seen, it is easy to open these antennas up and clean them. It is also possible to run manually run the motor shaft to fully retract the antenna, then orient the step gear to an interrupt at this point. 12V power can be applied by jumper lines with alligator clips from the body harness plug to the antenna connector (careful to match bushings and pins).

Does your antenna have 5 pins or 3 pins in the connector? 5 pins correspond to the addition of the rocker switch control on your dash, 3 pins lack this control and are simple full up or full down antennas. I've seen some variation in wiring of these antennas reference wire colors on the body harness (consult your ETM). The pins on the antenna connector are consistent. I also attach notes on some research I did on a 5 pin antenna from a W116.
 

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1982 300cd
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6 Posts
Wow!! Impressive...I think! I am, what is known as...devoid of electrical knowledge! I am, however a very mechanical minded person. I’m positive your 2nd paragraph is where I need to concentrate...would it be possible to see a picture or a drawing of the procedure your referring to? And yes...I have a 5 pin plug and a dash rocker switch, although I have no idea if it works or not...I would assume it “may” due to a everything on this car seems to. I really want to understand and fix this and every other little gremlin on this car, and cannot explain how appreciative I am for your help and mostly your patience and understanding of my “new” life hobby! I have printed your notes and have an electrician friend who can help me as well with deciphering those notes to my level...haha..thanks again for the help. Lastly, is there a way to make it (antenna mast) either full up or full down with the 5 pin plug.
 

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1973 450 SL
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1,752 Posts
The rocker switch has 5 functional positions:

1. Latched to the up arrow runs the antenna full up
2. Neutral position is off - leaving the antenna in whatever position it is in
3. Latched to the down arrow retracts the antenna all the way
4. Spring load short of latched up runs the antenna up allowing a release to neutral where it will stop
5. Spring load short of latched down retracts the antenna allowing a release to neutral where it will stop

The last two positions were used to tune the wavelength at the antenna in Becker systems that did not accomplish this electronically (as all radios do now). I think this function was more applicable to European bandwidths. That notes page I posted has info on what pins are powered for each of these positions.
 

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1983 380SL
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56 Posts
Good post. When the motor died on mine eons ago, I just removed a spring on the tension roller so that I can just extend and retract the antenna manually. Didn't want to spend $$$ on getting it fixed or replaced. Don't really listen to the radio all that much because I hate commercials so I keep it off and the antenna retracted. At some point, I'll get a new radio with XM Satellite capability, but for the time being I just listen to music using Bluetooth speaker and iPhone.
 

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1982 300cd
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6 Posts
Well...your advice worked like a charm!! Thanks Cush!! My antenna now moves full up/full down and anywhere in between...although I only want full up and down, its cool to know it works as it did when new!
 

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1982 380SL
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21 Posts
Thanks for the excellent write-up about replacing the antenna mast.

Does anyone here know where to source the antenna head? It's the chrome grommet and rubber seal that attaches to the quarter panel. My '82 380 is missing that part and I would love to find an original replacement. The antenna itself works perfectly, it just rattles around in the hole without the head piece to hold it.

Thanks a lot. I just joined this forum and I'm having a blast reading through the threads.
 
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