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[VZ] How to install a new mast to an electric antenna VY/VZ specific - but guide to most models

Jolls

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This "How To" guide is generic in nature; however, was conducted on a VZ antenna. I undertook the project as a bit of an experiment as I had a mast and rope from a VN to VX I had lying around. I have no idea where it came from; most likely one of the sons project cars.

It cost me nothing so the experiment was worth a try. The kit I had required minimal modification to fit so I will not go into great detail; however, if you would like to know what had to be modified let me know and I will add it later.

The kit I used had basic guidelines on the back explaining how to do the job in the car. The instructions on the kit simply state to:

1. remove the retaining nut
2. turn the radio on and remove the mast
3. place the mast rope in with the teeth facing the same way as the old one came out until the mast rope engages the gears
4. turn the radio on and retract the mast int the unit
5, replace the retainign nut

Not quite that simple on the VY/VZ as the retaining nut is unlike the previous models. On the previous models the retaining nut was on the exterior of the car. On the VY/VZ you must remove the antenna assemply to access the retaining nut.

In summary to remove the antenna you remove the inner guard, disconnect the antenna from the wiring harness behind the inner guard, unscrew the antenna earth wire, remove the 13mm both from the bracket then disconnect the antenna coaxial cable from behind the passenger kick plate near the PIM/TACM.

For a detailed explanation on how to remove the antenna as an entire unit gohere Just Commodores how to - VZ Antenna Replacement or if videos are more your thing go here for a YouTube guide.

I also bench tested the motor while it was out of the car as I had no idea what condition it was in. I was also unsure if the antenna kit I had was compatible so needed to do some comparisons before I kicked on.. The correct kit from Aerpro is AP265. The kit I used was AP250:
Mast kit.jpg


So once you have the unit out of the car you will be looking at something like this (note - mounting bracket already removed).

VZ Auto antenna front.jpg


The hex nut referred to in the AP265 install instruction is shown below. It is not hex though - but it can be undone with a small shifter. There are two small notches on the top to get a grip of. If your mast is not broken (like mine was) once you have removed the retaining nut you can connect it back up (electrically) to the radio and turn the radio on. The mast should then be ejected.

Old mast components.jpg


If you need to get the other pieces of the mast out or check the internals you need to undo the screws shown in the picture two above. Once you have removed the screws from the front turn it over and remove the small nut from the rear of the motor to allow you to separate the motor cover.
VZ Auto antenna rear.jpg


You should then have it opened up and looking like this
VZ Auto antenna opened.jpg

You can see from the picture that mine had no mast rope - probably removed by the previous owner. So I simply undid the retaining nut and pulled out the old mast. I then did a bench test to check that the motor was operational. I simply connected an 12V power source to the earth connector and one of the power leads until it ran and then and swapped the +ve and -ve terminals around to operate the motor in the opposite direction. The bench test set up is shown below. The round cover to the left is the retainer cover that keeps the mast rope in order - it simply lifts out.
VZ Antenna bench test.jpg

You need to keep a bit of pressure on the top cover otherwise when you operate it in the direction to push the mast up it will spit the cog out of the worm drive. The new mast was the same thickness but had a retaining lug that would have been held down by the external retaining nut on the VN to VX. I simply cut this away and then removed an excess sleeve and fitted it up. It mated up perfectly.
Mast rope.jpg

Once I had the mast rope in this position using the bench test I did the thing back up (reversed the disassemply) and, using the bennch test rig, retracted the antenna mast. The next step was to put the bracket back on - ensuring to bollt the earth cable to it and reinstalled it in the ute.

The job took me two Reschs Silver Bullets to complete including removal, testing and reinstalltion (around 2 hours). Cost - two beers - the mast was free.
 
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