Temporary Repair: If you want a reliable working power antenna for your older Mercedes you don't have to spend big bucks. The Universal Hirschman antenna has proven to be a economical and reliable alternative. The challenge is to get it to connect and fit properly in the trunk side well. Kent offers installation kits with complete instructions and with some chassis he includes special spacer rings to make installation look almost original.
Problem & Solution
Common among these chassis:
So your car is dirty and you need the get to the carwash. Problem is the antenna wont go down. If they run cars through the automatic car wash with the antenna up it will get trashed. You already know there is a problem with the motor and you have put off fixing it for so long that now your car is really dirty. Here is a way to at least fix it so you can get it up and down manually. (NOTE: If you can hear the motor running you might first want to try installing a new antenna mast - see our antenna mast kits)
Start by loosening the small nut at the base of the mast. Use a small adjustable wrench and turn it counter clockwise to remove. Pull out on the mast and you will see the plastic tail. Pull hard to remove. You may feel some resistance. Just keep pulling until it comes completely out of the antenna.
Next, pull the tail all the way out of the bottom of the mast. That will completely collapse the mast sections. Cut the tail off flush with the end of the mast as shown. Insert the mast back into the antenna and tighten the nut.
Unless your mast is bent or corroded you will find it will not want to stay up on its own. This is the tricky part. You will need to lightly squeeze each section of the antenna preferably with some duckbill pliers. If not available use the inside of some needle nose. You will squeeze each section right below where the end of the next section stops as you extend the antenna. If you squeeze too much you won't be able to get the antenna down. Finesse this and work on each section until you can get it to lock and then collapse with light pressure. If you do it just right you can put the antenna all the way out and it will stay - and push it all the way in.
Now you are ready to go get the car washed!
The original power antenna motor replacements are very expensive and for some models they are no longer available. The best solution is to install a universal Hirschmann antenna. On some models installation may require some minor modifications but this is something almost any owner can do themselves. See related products and videos for more information.