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Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys im actually trying to hook up my power antenna and figured i would get a trac control switch and somehow hook that to be the feed for my power antenna. So i am looking for this switch and if anyone knows how i can hook it up let me know. Thanks

Tom
 

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y not use the power wire of the radio?
 

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Do you have one of those manual power antennaes that you need to press a switch to raise or lower it(mid 80s Lincolns comes to mind)? Or do you have one that's fully automatic and it looks for power on a third lead to raise it..no power on the same line to lower it? If it's the latter..then it's like gr8crash said. If it's the former..then you will need a switch of some kind.
 

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The trac control switch is a momentary contact pushbutton type. Probably won't work for what you want.

If you spend another $10 on a fully automatic power antenna, there will be an up/down control wire that you connect to the amp turn-on signal under the dash.

Actually, there are three wires on an automatic power antenna:

a) constant +12 (wire this to the amp power line under the dash)
b) chassis ground (connect in anywhere)
c) control line (wire this to amp turn-on lead under the dash)

Pretty easy stuff. A wiring diagram (with connector diagrams and wire colors) for the dash radio harness is in the FSM.

When I did my automatic antenna, I put in two safetys.

The first one is a manual up/down switch. I used a Radio Shack #275-693 ($3-) and wired it in series with the control line to the antenna. This lets me manually pull down the antenna anytime I want irregardless of whether or not the radio is on. Say in a car wash. Or during an ice storm. Etcetra, etcetera........

The black color and matte finish of the RatShack switch is an exact match to the black color of the dash/trim pieces. I mounted the switch about 2" to the left of the track control switch on the same piece of dash trim. This position is very easy to get to but at the same time is hidden by the steeering wheel. If you decide to mount a switch in this spot you'll have to Dremel out some plastic from behind the trim piece. Don't forget to use some quick-release terminal connectors on the switch wires so that you can remove the trim piece when necessary.

The second safety is a relay hooked up to my trunk light. This relay is also wired in series to the control line. Whenever the trunk release is hit (and the light comes on), the power antenna goes down (or is prevented from going up). This is important to me because the Mustang GT spoiler I have on the trunk lid sticks out to the sides just enough to be able to bend/break an antenna if there is one in the way.

When wiring into the trunk light you need to pay close attention to the wires. The trunk light has a constant +12 going to it with the ground being switched in on command of the BCM. So any relay you use should be a DPST type that is NOT grounded to the trunk light but rather connected to both sides of the bulb socket.

I'd also recommend that you use spiral wrap to protect any new wires you string. Kind of a PITA to get it done, but since many of the new wires (3 for the antenna, two on the dash switch safety, two more on the trunk relay safety) carry +12, a little bit of extra protection is very good to have.

One of these days I'll take some photos of the antenna installation, wiring, and draw up a schematic for a how-to. Once I thought through the two safeguards it took me about 3 hours to install the antenna, most of which was crawling in and out of the trunk and stringing wires.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
it is a metra automatic antenna and it has 3 wires running out of it, black red and blue. I am guessing the black one is ground and the other 2 are constant power and the turn on wire. I want to actually hook it up so that the antenna only comes up when i am listening to the radio but stays down when the cds are playing.
 

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hate to hijack this thread but if you could do up a how-to 98-ESer i'd really appreciate it... I personally want to do that exact same mod myself but im not great with electronics... i never use my radio however and the antenna is slowly beginning to drive me nuts, i want a power antenna but hooked to a switch like yours
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good idea sneke_eyes id be interested in that ho-to also
 

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OK guys, I'm writing this on the fly, there will be lots of edits and additions, be patient with me. I'll copy this posting out later, add some photos, and then re-post it as a how-to.

**Photos posted in the 2G technical/mod gallery under my username**

Total cost for adding a full-automatic Metra 40-PW22-B power antenna (black mast) to an Intrepid is about $100 IF you need buy all of the extra stuff. Make sure that you get the black mast model, the chrome mast looks like crap (IMHO). The black mast version retails for about $90, you can find it on the net for about $80 shipped (www.crutchfield.com). Circuit City also carries the Metra antennas so you might find one on sale. All in all this mod is pretty cheap as these things go.

The instructions that come with the Metra antennas are pretty good but also very generic. I'll be breaking this how-to into three sections:

A) Mechanical and Electrical installation of the automatic power antenna. This section will get the antenna installed and operating as similar antennas work on other cars. Need to drill one HIDDEN 3/4” hole in the trunk for a water/rain drain hose. The hole is water/weather proofed with a rubber grommet and silicone sealer.

B) Adding a dash-mounted manual up/down switch. This switch is a 'safety' for the car wash or for whenever the driver just wants the antenna down. You'll need a Dremel and a cutoff wheel for this.

C) Adding a relay-controlled interlock circuit that works with the trunk lid. Similar to the dash-mounted switch, this interlock will pull down the antenna or prevent it from going up if the trunk is opened. Good for those cars with over-sized wings on the back (such as the popular Mustang GT wing) or just for the 'cool' factor. Need to drill two small holes in the trunk interior to run wires. These holes are completely internal to the trunk and not exposed to the weather in any way.

Sections b) and c) are independent of each other. You can do either one in any order.

You can do all three sections at once or spread out the 'fun' over a few weekends. Section A) takes the good part of an afternoon. Sections b) and c) are about 90 minutes each.

Apologies in advance for all who think that this how-to is either too wordy or preachy. My fault. I'd rather give a noo-bee too much info, and maybe chase him to an uncle with some electrical skills, than to have an overconfident someone mess up their car. So be it.

Extra stuff to buy:

As much as I loath the RatShack, I'm going to post RS part numbers for COMPARISON only. The only RatShack part I'm actually using on this install is the switch and only because it matches the dash trim so well. You can of course, use any switch that you want as long as it's a real on-off switch and not a momentary contact pushbutton like the Trac Control switch.

Other than the switch (section b) and the relay (section c), I'm pretty sure that Home Depot or Lowes or a decent auto parts store will carry the rest of this stuff. Most of you who work on cars or boats or trailers will already have this stuff.

Switch for section B) RS # 275-693

12v SPDT relay for section C) To Be Determined, manufacturer 'SUN Relay Co.”.

25' each of red and blue automotive-grade (!!!) hookup wire, say 16-18 ga.

25' of 3/16" spiral wrap. This is to wrap around and protect wires that you'll be installing.

A handful of the BLUE ScotchLoc connectors: (RS #64-3052). Ask a friend or search on the web for how to use these connectors. Practice on some scrap wire. You'll be tapping into +12v hot wires with these connectors so it's important that you know how the things work. Look real close at the ScotchLocs. It will (should) be obvious that the things are designed to tap into an existing wire and add a tap or branch wire. So one side of the connector is 'straight through' for the existing wire and the other side is one-way-only for the new branch/tap. You'll be using the ScotchLocs to tap into existing wires under the dash and adding new taps to power and control the antenna. Practice.

A couple of packages (you'll make mistakes if this is your first time!) of crimp-on butt connectors: (RS# 64-3086). Figure out which of the connectors is male and which is female. There will be a practical quiz later on. Just like the ScotchLocs, you'll need some practice to get the stripping of the wires and crimping right.

Use of FEMALE and MALE connectors. The FEMALE connectors will be used on wire ends that have any chance of exposing +12v. This is a safety item. By using FEMALE connectors on these wires you'll be (somewhat) protected. In the unlikely event that a connection does vibrate loose, the FEMALE connector will continue to insulate the +12v from shorting out.

On the use of connectors in general. You can certainly take out all of the connectors and solder and heat-shrink-tube insulate all of the connections. That's left for the individual to decide. I prefer using connectors to make the installation go easier and to make potential de-installation and/or repair work go easier. Your decision.

A crimping tool. Yes, you need this. Don't need an expensive one, but a good crimping tool is the key to good crimps. One of your uncles or neighbors probably have one sitting around. Search around on thw web or ask a friend to school you on how to make good crimp connections.

A male-male car antenna adapter cable. You only need one about 6" long. Buy this item from a car radio shop.

Automotive-grade silicone sealer/glue. You'll be using this 'under the covers' so the color is unimportant.

A roll of good quality electricians tape. 3M brand preferred by far! Don't bother with the cheap Chinese stuff at the RatShack.

A can of black Rustoleum quick-drying enamel paint.

A PCV mounting grommet to fit into and seal with a ¾" hole, the real size is determined by you later on.....

Section A), getting the damned thing installed and working properly.

Mechanical install:

First, you'll need to loosen and pull back the trunk liner on the right side of the car. If you have hooks for a cargo net, you will need to unscrew the hook that is in the floor. Just pop out those black plastic studs that hold the trunk liner. If you break a few, they can be bought cheaply at the parts store. Now have a look around under the right rear fender. Note how the factory antenna is mounted. See that plastic wiring box just to the rear of the antenna mount? That's the high power relay for the rear window defroster. Don't mess with this, it has NOTHING to do with the antenna.

Now unscrew the factory antenna mast. If you want to save the mast, wrap a paper towel around the base so that your wrench won't scratch up the black coating. Once the mast is off from the outside of the car, jump into the trunk and unscrew the under-fender stuff. Unplug the car wiring harness antenna line from the antenna. DO NOT remove the rubber mounting grommet that goes through the fender, you'll be using that instead of the adapters that came with the antenna. If you pull the factory fender grommet out, it's hell to put back in and you'll probably rip the rubber meaning that you need to buy a new grommet to keep things water tight.

Put all of the removed factory antenna stuff into a bag in case you give up on this project and decide to go back to stock.

Now to fiddle with the Metra antenna some. Clip the red and blue wires so that they are about 6" long. Crimp MALE butt connectors on to the ends of the red and blue antenna wires. Let the red and blue wires dangle for now. Don't worry about tossing the fuse holder away, you'll be connecting the power antenna up to the amplifier +12v lines which are already fused. If you're a purist or just cautious, go ahead and leave the fuse holder on the RED wire.

The Metra antenna is a little awkward to hold while you're doing the install. Be patient.

Sort through all of the 'angle adjustment' pieces until you can make up a rig that goes onto the antenna shaft and will tightly grip the BOTTOM of the fender. Doing this part is the most frustrating because Metra supplies so many parts to fit so many combinations of fenders and cars. Patience and lots of trial and error.

Once you've got the under mounting correct, it's time to actually mount the antenna to the fender.

Run the antenna shaft up through the factory rubber fender grommet and use the Metra mounting nut to screw it into place from above. It's that easy. What's not easy is getting the antenna lined up so that it goes straight up and down. This is where all of that work with the under mount angle parts comes into play. If you haven't messed with the factory fender grommet and you have the under mount parts correctly picked out, you'll be fine. Otherwise there will be some twisting and turning to be done. Patience. Make damned sure that the under mounting is as flush as possible on the underside of the fender. If this step isn't done right you'll be leaking water into the car. Bad. Once you are completely happy with the mechanical installation of the antenna, smear a load of that silicone sealer around the underside of the fender as a backup to the rubber grommet. Can't be too safe. Be sure to NOT smear the sealant on any moving part of the antenna. 'Nuf said.

I can imagine that the next two steps get skipped a lot but YOU HAVE TO DO THEM.

a) Use the soft steel bracing strip that came with the antenna to secure the bottom of the antenna to the trunk wall. Bend the steel strip as necessary to fit, use the old mounting screw and screw hole that used to hold the factory antenna. This screw point might be a good place to screw down the black ground wire from the antenna. Use the short bolt that Metra provided and connect the antenna to the steel strap.

b) Install the water drain hose. Your antenna will leak down the mast and into the antenna. It's designed that way. There is a drain connector on the bottom of the antenna and Metra supplies a 18" drain hose. All you have to do is to drill about a 3/4" hole in the trunk wall about 5" below the bottom of the antenna. Be careful drilling the hole so that you don't punch through the plastic of the rear fender, there is only about 5" of clearance behind the trunk wall. You might want to take some rustoleum and paint the hell out of the hole edges and let it dry for a few hours. I did.

This is where you want to use that PCV mounting grommet. Sorry but I didn't write down the part # of the grommet I used. But here is how you pick the right size. Grab the drain hose and drive to the parts store. Tell them that you want to buy a PCV mounting grommet sized to fit into a 3/4" hole and that the hose in your hand (not that hose, the other one!) has to fit through the center hole. The counter guy should have a caliper measuring tool and be able to find what you need. Cost about 2 bucks.

By the time you get home, the rustoleum should be dry. Put on another coat and go watch the baseball game. Or whatever.

Pull the drain hose through the rubber grommet and from the OUTSIDE of the trunk wall, push the whole thing through. Hook up the drain hose to the bottom of the antenna, smear some more silicone on the inside of the grommet (outside is hard to get to and optional). All done with the mechanical install.

Moving right along......

Electrical install:

Making and installing the Red/Blue wiring harness:

Take the red and blue wire that you bought off of the spools and straighten it out. Now grab that spiral wrap and make yourself up a complete 25' run of red and blue wire protected by the wrap. This will take a while so again, it might be time to go inside and watch a baseball game or something. Don't put any connectors on the ends, that comes later.

OK, if you have a Mongolian Gymnast friend this is a good time to cash in that favor she owes you. You need to run that spiral-wrapped wiring harness from the trunk through the right ride of the rear seat down into the door sill area, up the right side of the car under the door sills, up the passenger side kick panel, through the dash (and not interfering with the a/c system or the glove box opening and closing, and into the radio area. Leave about 12” of extra wire at the antenna end so that you have some slack to work with.

DO NOT be tempted to run the wiring harness under the carpets. Even with the spiral wrap, peoples feet will quickly wear the wiring harness out to the point where it doesn't work or even cause a short circuit. USE THE DOOR SILLS!!!

While your Gymnast friend is running the wires, you can take the dash trim and radio out. Instructions for doing that are found elsewhere on www.dodgeintrepid.net, search is your friend.

Once the wiring harness is completely threaded through the car, all of the plastic trim pieces replaced and looking good, and there is about 12” of slack on each end, go get a beer. You'll need one.

After beer (and possibly after applying bandages to your hands from scrapes received from the various trim pieces and metal edges the wiring harness is threaded through), lets make some connections.

Antenna end:

Crimp FEMALE butt connectors onto the end of the wiring harness and push the male-female connectors together. Hook up red to red and blue to blue making damned sure that no bare metal is showing. These connectors are designed to be hard to push together, that's what makes it hard/impossible for them to vibrate apart.

Screw the Metra-supplied antenna cable onto the antenna. This is a long wire so use some wire ties to wrap it up and secure it to the frame of the car behind the trunk liner. Use the short male-male antenna adapter you bought to connect the Metra cable to the factory antenna cable.

At this point the work in the trunk should be done but don't push the trunk liner back in place quite yet. There is always the possibility of some troubleshooting.

Radio end:

At this point, the FSM advises that the car battery should be disconnected. Follow your conscience with this advice. All I can say is that DCX is paranoid about someone accidentally setting off the airbags or causing other damage via an accidental short circuit.

Moving right along.......

Study the hell out of the FSM to find the RADIO-CONSTANT +12v line and the AMPLIFIER-TURN-ON wires in the radio harness. The wire colors and connector pin-outs changed from 98-01 and 02-04 cars so this part of the install is left as an exercise for the student. BE DAMNED CAREFUL and get it right the first time. DO NOT use a SWITCHED +12v line. YOU MUST USE THE RADIO-CONSTANT +12v line so that the antenna will always have up and down power and be able to respond to your radio and switch up/down commands.

Once you've found the (correct) wires, we're going to make another set of short hookup wires. The point with all of these extra wires and connectors is to make removing or repairing your work easier.

Take one of the blue ScotchLoc connectors and about 6” of BLUE hookup wire. Crimp a FEMALE butt connector on one end of the wire. No need to strip the other end, the ScotchLoc takes care of that as you should have seen with your practice. Tap into the AMPLIFIER-TURN-ON wire with this ScotchLoc and the short BLUE hookup wire.

Now, take one of the blue ScotchLoc connectors and about 6” of RED hookup wire. Crimp a FEMALE butt connector on one end of the wire. As with the first tap, there is no need to strip the other end, the ScotchLoc takes care of that as you should have seen with your practice. Tap into the RADIO-CONSTANT +12v wire with this ScotchLoc and the short RED hookup wire.

Once you've got your two short tap wires spliced into the dash wiring harness, go ahead and hook up the red-blue wiring harness. Just like you did in the trunk, hook up red to red and blue to blue. Plug the radio back into the dash harness and reconnect the car battery. Turn on the radio. If everything is hooked up right, the antenna should be going up and down as you turn the radio on and off.

Clean up..........

In the trunk. Use cable ties to fasten down all loose wires. Smear silicone sealant anywhere you feel a need to without interferring with the antenna operation. Put the trunk liner back in place. You might need to use a utility knife to slice the trunk liner and make room for the bulk of the antenna. Use strong double-sided tape to secure the trunk liner back where you want it.

Under the dash. Again, use cable tires to fasten the wiring harness down. Reinstall the radio and dash trim pieces. Test your install again to make sure that the antenna goes up and down as expected.

Go get another beer and try to convince the wife that this was a worthwhile use of a Sunday afternoon.

Troubleshooting:

Electrical troubleshooting in a car is mostly trial and error. For this install, the first thing I'd look at is the black ground connection back at the antenna. Make sure that the black gound wire is in fact making an electrical connection to the car frame. If not, drill a small hole in the piece of frame that the antenna is mounted to (watch the clearance to the rear of the drilling point) and use a sheet metal screw to fasten the ground wire down.

After the ground, check the fuses to make sure that you've not blown anything out. If the fuses are blown, then there is a serious problem with the new wires you installed. If there are no fuses blown, double check the short wires you tapped into (under the dash) for the red-blue wiring harness and make sure (again) that you've tapped into the correct wires *and* connected red wires to red wires, blue wires to blue wires. And so on.

Sections b) and c) will becoming when I get time to do the writing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
now that deserves a ton of positive rep!!! Thanks '98-ESer
 

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I've moved the instructions-in-progress over to a new thread in the 2G how-to sections. More edits on the way, photos will be in the 2G Technical gallery 'sometime soon'.
 

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Tomci08 said:
Ok guys im actually trying to hook up my power antenna and figured i would get a trac control switch and somehow hook that to be the feed for my power antenna. So i am looking for this switch and if anyone knows how i can hook it up let me know. Thanks

Tom
hey dude, should you still want the button, i have one, no pigtail though
 
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