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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old April 20th, 2006, 12:44   #1
fitzski
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Default Replacing the antenna base

I'm about to replace the antenna base on a friends MkIV Jetta... What's the opinion of the masses on doing the job by a) removing grab handle & trim pieces and dropping the headliner, vs b) pulling the liner down just enough in the back centre and reaching through with my skinny little arm? I will have a 3rd (and 4th!) hand for help.

Thx.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 12:59   #2
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This is dooable, but ranks an 8 on the PITA scale. (A Gasser B5 passat air filter ranks a 9.5, TDI air filter is a 1) Getting the headliner back over the lip on top of the back glass is the biggest pain... I used a curved screwdriver to do it. The proper solution would be to drop the headliner. You also have to take the back seatbelt anchor things off.

It also helps to fold the seatback down and sit on those... you can lean back a few more inches, and it makes it that much easier.

-Jason
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Old April 20th, 2006, 13:34   #3
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I just took out the rear headrests to get more head and shoulder room and loosened the headliner in the middle of the rear window. I set a cresent wrench to the proper size for the nut using the replacement antenna and then reached in to loosen the nut. The biggest fun I had was getting the nut started on the new antenna and getting the headliner back in place. I doubt additional hands will help, as there just isn't room for them.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 19:47   #4
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Boy... you ain't kidding Jason - pain in the a** is right...

I opted to remove the trim pieces:
  • remove rear grab handles (two philips screws each, under plastic tabs)
  • remove seat bottoms (flip up and pinch mounting pins toward centre of seat)
  • remove head rests
  • remove seatbelt tethers (cover flips up; 17mm bolt w/washer and spacer)
  • remove rear parcel shelf (disconnect 3rd brake light, remove child safety tethers, pop up 3 clips along front of shelf and carefully pull forward)
  • remove side panel trim beside seat (unscrew plastic nut at bottom, pull out plastic retainer at top)
  • remove C-pillar trim (we had side air bags to deal with: pop out lower and middle clips, use small screw driver to lever metal clip off top pin, then pop off)
  • pull door gasket off from C-pillar to B-pillar
  • pull headliner off metal lip (just start in one corner - it comes off very easy... just to spite you...)
  • an extra set of hands is handy here - my friend pulled down the headliner enough that I could easily see and get a 22mm socket on the retaining nut for the antenna
  • unstick the cable, which goes off toward the pssgr side, from the sticky foam, and unplug it (pull the larger barrel against the spring, while pulling out the small (antenna) side of the plug)
  • remove antenna from outside
  • reassemble in reverse order

Some people have mentioned running the cable through the centre of the retaining nut... not recommended, IMO, as that will prevent you from using a socket to loosen/tighten the nut. There's a space for the wire to run through, and I see no advantage to running it through the centre of the nut.

Reinstalling the headliner is an absolute pain. There is absolutely no stretch or give to the headliner. I made myself a tool out of some pretty heavy gauge strapping material, about 3/4" wide, and put a curved hook on the end. This let me reach in and pull/pry enough to get the liner going on in one corner, and then work it across with the tool. It was a pain - no doubt about it. Removing the other bits in the headliner (front grab handles, sun visors, etc.) *might* give more play to make it easier.

For the top connector on the C-pillar, if you have side airbags, put the metal clip on about 1/3 of the way with the flat side facing out (but not far enough on to block the square hole). Push the panel onto the upper connector, then reach in with a small screwdriver to "push" the pin down and lock it in place. A flex-light was a useful tool in being able to see and figure out some of these things...

It was about 1.5 hours, start to finish.

And yes, it fixed the AM reception problem my friend was having. :thumbsup:
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Last edited by fitzski; April 21st, 2006 at 04:58.
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Old August 7th, 2007, 16:58   #5
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I just did this and I found something that makes it a 4/10 process. The little paint can keys they give you at the paint store to open the can. It has a little lip/hook on the end that you can stick under the headliner and pull it back super easy. I was ready to smash the Fu**ing headliner until I found that thing and I has the headliner back in place in about one minute. I will try to attatch a pic if I can.
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Old August 7th, 2007, 17:03   #6
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Old August 7th, 2007, 18:32   #7
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__. I have the same thing coming up on my '03 Wagon. But the rear hatch will open up to give me something of a straight shot at it and the antenna is only about 4" from the rear edge of the headliner. Should reduce the PITA factor a bit.

__. Any advice or words of experience greatly appreciated. Thx I A.
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Old August 15th, 2007, 06:29   #8
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From previous comments (in other posts), the wagon is very easy - nothing to worry about.

Jaquemon, that's a *GREAT* idea!! Well done!
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Old August 15th, 2007, 13:03   #9
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Wagons, Golfs, and NBs are easy. Jettas are a PITA.

I find that using the correct size stubby wrench works very well. Leave the wire unhooked until after the nut is tightened. No issue running the wire through the nut.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 20:20   #10
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Ah, bringing an old thread to life. Hopefully i didn't miss a newer one on this subject?

I went out and bought a used antenna base for $20 from a 'well known' new/used VW parts guy here in Toronto. I believe the base is off a 2006 model of some sort due to the "18/06" printed on the wire. (My older cable had "17/02" so i figured that was the date.)
Before i installed it, i silicone'd the cr*p out of the seam where the base meets the metal base of the unit, then silicone'd the inside gasket to make absolute sure no water will get in! This sucker is now waterproof! lol
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Old July 16th, 2009, 10:22   #11
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Why are you all replacing your antenna bases? cracked gaskets?

my 01 Passat base is not looking so good at the gasket. I was planning to just put black silicone caulk around it. Anything wrong with that?
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Old July 16th, 2009, 10:44   #12
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Typically, the base is replaced because it is the antenna amplifier. They corrode internally due to galvanic action. When you have No AM, and lousy FM, its the first item to replace when troubleshooting. The gasket failing typically doesn't result in leaking inside of the vehicle because there is also an o-ring around the mounting hub. If your radio reception is fine, a bit of caulk will be fine for the time being. Don't go thru the hassle of r&r until you have a failure. The Passat (I did a '99) isn't much fun unless your a contortionsit.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 04:53   #13
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A picture is worth a 1000 words:
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2004 Jetta TDI-PD [galactic blue, black & tan, 5sp] (Sold.)
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Old July 20th, 2009, 11:35   #14
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Where can you purchase the gasket that mounts between teh base and the roof surface? Dealership says they are a different size/shape on the newer cars opposed to the mid 80's-90's 16V aerials. Also they say the gasket is not available unless you purchase the entire base. TIA
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Old July 20th, 2009, 14:13   #15
That_Crayon_Smell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKIInut
Where can you purchase the gasket that mounts between teh base and the roof surface? Dealership says they are a different size/shape on the newer cars opposed to the mid 80's-90's 16V aerials. Also they say the gasket is not available unless you purchase the entire base. TIA
I found this link off this forum somewhere when i was researching the antenna issue...
http://antennamastsrus.com/VW/VW%20J...01999-2005.htm

Scroll down and you will see the gasket. Just search for your model year first.
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