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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've found what may be a contributing factor.

The motor on mine was fine, but one day, night, actually, it didn't go down all the way. The next day, it didn't move at all.

Hmmm.

I poked around the motor, and when I touched the wiring harness which plugs into what looks like the top of the motor, sure enough, it started moving again!

Woo-hoo!!!

Now, to make it do this permanently, as touching the wires seems to 'fix' it for only a couple of cycles, at best.

There is a box, for lack of a better term, which is separate from the antenna motor, and clips to the base of the antenna mast...the non-moving part. If you remove the two plugs from the top of said box, one of them is a sole blue wire, used, it appears, solely for the mobile-phone functionality, then the entire box, which is 2"x3", maybe, will slide rearward, unclipping itself from the mast and unplugging itself from the motor.

I 'touched up' all of the solder connections on the board inside this plastic box. It wasn't at all difficult, and the board comes readily out of the box holding/locating it. Honestly, MB designed this to be repaired...just another reason I love these cars!

After re-melting the solder on all the connections for the power plug, I think it's four connectors, it's been working flawlessly for a week. Not long, sure, but before it didn't work at all, unless I slapped the rear fender at just the right time, in just the right spot.

I'm mighty clumsy with a soldering gun, and I managed to not melt anything, so I'd say everyone else has at least a fighting chance.

I'm dangerous with either soldering guns or electricity. Combined...I don't want to discuss it.

I did not take any pictures, but it's quite obvious once you find the box controlling the motor unplugs without removing the antenna.

Yeah, I removed the antenna, first...this is how I know. Fortunately it's all of one small bolt. Still, not unbolting it saves a solid 5-7 minutes and the potential for damage. Additionally, if it's stuck 'up', then it can be a challenge to remove the antenna, anyway.

Here are some pictures:

The first is illustrating how the control box can be effectively slid off the antenna and housing. Picture two shows the two electrical connectors the control box plugs into. On the control box, there is a plastic 'clamp' which holds on to the antenna mast.








Pictures 3-5 show the control box in various states of disassembly. It comes apart sans tools, but be careful! We're talking 15-25 year old plastic which has been in a rather unforgiving environment.











Turns out, all I needed to do was squeeze the connectors on one of the wires coming from the head unit's area a little bit, as it wasn't quite gripping the control box receptacles firmly enough. Hence, when I'd smack the rear fender, it would move just enough for the contacts to touch...until the next time I closed the door.

It's been working fine for weeks, now. After I found this did the job, I quickly pinched the rest of the push-on connectors, just to save having to do it in a year.
 

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99-C43, 05-G55K, 71-280SL, 94-E320 CAB
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I've found what may be a contributing factor.

The motor on mine was fine, but one day, night, actually, it didn't go down all the way. The next day, it didn't move at all.

Hmmm.

I poked around the motor, and when I touched the wiring harness which plugs into what looks like the top of the motor, sure enough, it started moving again!

Woo-hoo!!!

Now, to make it do this permanently, as touching the wires seems to 'fix' it for only a couple of cycles, at best.

There is a box, for lack of a better term, which is separate from the antenna motor, and clips to the base of the antenna mast...the non-moving part. If you remove the two plugs from the top of said box, one of them is a sole blue wire, used, it appears, solely for the mobile-phone functionality, then the entire box, which is 2"x3", maybe, will slide rearward, unclipping itself from the mast and unplugging itself from the motor.

I 'touched up' all of the solder connections on the board inside this plastic box. It wasn't at all difficult, and the board comes readily out of the box holding/locating it. Honestly, MB designed this to be repaired...just another reason I love these cars!

After re-melting the solder on all the connections for the power plug, I think it's four connectors, it's been working flawlessly for a week. Not long, sure, but before it didn't work at all, unless I slapped the rear fender at just the right time, in just the right spot.

I'm mighty clumsy with a soldering gun, and I managed to not melt anything, so I'd say everyone else has at least a fighting chance.

I'm dangerous with either soldering guns or electricity. Combined...I don't want to discuss it.

I did not take any pictures, but it's quite obvious once you find the box controlling the motor unplugs without removing the antenna.

Yeah, I removed the antenna, first...this is how I know. Fortunately it's all of one small bolt. Still, not unbolting it saves a solid 5-7 minutes and the potential for damage. Additionally, if it's stuck 'up', then it can be a challenge to remove the antenna, anyway.

The linear gear on the end of the mast is probably stripped...easy fix with new mast.
Loosen the uppermost nut on the mast...not the nut that fixes the assembly to the car.
Once loose you can pull the mast out.
New mast installation involves feeding the gear into the housing..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ah, but see I wasn't getting electric to the motor. It's fixed, no gear work, whatsoever.

I had the mast out of my 126 a couple of times, trying to get it slightly less bent, which never worked 100%.

The problem with my 124's antenna was purely electrical.
 

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Ah, but see I wasn't getting electric to the motor. It's fixed, no gear work, whatsoever.

I had the mast out of my 126 a couple of times, trying to get it slightly less bent, which never worked 100%.

The problem with my 124's antenna was purely electrical.
As it was with mine. This writeup helped me get my antenna going up and down every time again. Thank you very much.

Some pictures might be in order though. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, I thought about pictures, but too late. I thought it was going to be much, much more difficult than it was.

The only thing is, if I take pictures, that means I had to dig back into it.... Bummer.

Although, now I know how easy it is, and how little needs to be disassembled, I may just take apart enough to take the pics, and do a proper DIY writeup.
 

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1988 560 SL (sold)/1995 E320
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Ah, but see I wasn't getting electric to the motor. It's fixed, no gear work, whatsoever.

I had the mast out of my 126 a couple of times, trying to get it slightly less bent, which never worked 100%.

The problem with my 124's antenna was purely electrical.
You just gave me a new project! :) Thanks for the info. my antenna is also acting up the same way. it has new gears and mast but sometimes stays down or does not retract, unless i tap the fender just in the right spot.
 

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1993 MB 400E
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I need to do the same. I hear the motor running and I just bought a replacement mast but it won't grab on to it so I need to remove the unit and see what is going on. This will be my first on the antenna. Can you give me any pointers on getting the carpet out. Does it come out easy? Thanks.
 

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2013 E350 sedan, 2013 E350 cab, 1993 400E sold,1999 ML320
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Make sure you get a new body seal as water ran in mine and corroded that board in the box and stopped my antenna twice before i figured it out.
 
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