How To Replace a Defective Telescopic Antenna
Now this is a simple mod and the OEM assembly with motor is $130+. You’ll know you have the problem because the antenna won’t fully retract
GM OEM Power Antenna Replacement ($13 E Bay).
Make sure the antenna is fully retracted and that the radio is off
Remove the antenna mounting nut located on the base of the mast on the outside of the car. If the mast is bent it may be necessary to cut off the old mast). If you can’t all of the plastic cable out as one piece, (sometimes the plastic gets really hard and breaks into pieces then falls down into the motor), you can just pull the motor after you have pulled the mast out and get all of the pieces out. To do that you’ll need to take out the outer right turn signal housing.
Turn on the radio and pull out the old mast and serrated cable completely out of the antenna motor. (Note which way the serrations on the cable are facing)
Feed the serrated cable of the new mast into the antenna hole and stop when resistance is felt. (about 12″). Make sure the cable is fed in with the teeth the same way the old cable came out.
Turn the radio off to lower the antenna until the serrated cable catches.. You may have to cycle the antenna a few times until the cable catches the gear mechanism and retracts into the antenna motor.
Replace and tighten the antenna nut into the mast base.
Turn on and make sure that the mast fully extends without binding. Clean the surface of the antenna to remove any adhesive etc.
10 minute job.
If you encounter a stuck mast here’s advice from the mast vendor:
You see the new “Retaining Sleeve” (silver, 2 inches or so, with slots) on the shaft of the new antenna mast, the original one is most likely a little corroded/frozen into the shaft of your antenna No problem : You are in need of what I refer to as the “snap and tap” technique of mast removal
Turn radio on and let cycle to as much extension as is currently possible
Take hold of the thickest metal mast section (closest to fender) with you thumb and forefinger about 2-3 inches above the top of the antenna shaft hole
Push the thickest mast section into the shaft (as much as it will go within that 2-3 inches)
Hold tightly with thumb and forefinger and Snap your Wrist upward…..you will hear the mast bottom “tap” the bottom of the frozen in place retaining sleeve (what this is all about) Repeat this over and over again In-Snap-Tap-Repeat Short Firm Bursts of Energy Focusing the energy blow to the point of the tap This will free the retaining sleeve little by little till it comes out completely