Sooner or later, one problem that all late third gen f-bodies seem to
have is a broken power antenna, and the TTA is no exception. Usually the
antenna will be stuck in one position while the motor grinds merrily away.
The problem is the nylon cable which raises and lowers the antenna has broken. The cable consists of the top section of the antenna mast attached to a white nylon flexible section which wraps around a gear inside the antenna housing. Your choices are to replace the entire antenna assembly, or to repair it. It isn't as hard as it looks and the fender does not have to come off the car.
TTAs came with a rubber-isolated antenna (part # 22071736). There is also a non-isolated (22101888) version. They are interchangable, however the isolated one is slightly quieter in operation. If you are adventurous you can opt to repair the antenna. The repair kit is available from GM for around $20 (22038195).
1) Disconnect battery
2) Raise the right front corner of the car, and pull the wheel.
3) Remove the wheelhouse shroud. Try not to chew up the retaining pins but if you do, they are cheap to replace.
4) Once the shroud is out you will be able to see the antenna inside the fender. Loosen, but don't remove, the two lower fender bolts just rear of the wheel well, and all upper fender bolts.
5) Remove the top retaining ring of the antenna (be careful not to scratch the paint).
6) There are two bolts holding the antenna mechanism to a bracket inside the fender, remove them with a socket + extension. To remove the antenna mechanism you may have to slightly pull the fender away from the car, maybe 1/4" (this is why the fender bolts are loosened). A helper or a short piece of 2x4 used as a wedge is useful to hold the fender open while you remove the antenna. Disconnect the antenna wire at the base of the antenna, and the power wires at the rear of the radio, and remove the antenna from the car.
7) If you have a new antenna, reverse the above steps to reinstall. Otherwise, keep reading...
8) The repair part should come with instructions. Remove the clips from
the outer edges of the plastic halves of the unit. Drill out the rivets,
and separate the halves by inserting a putty knife or screw driver. The
unit is sealed with RTV so this step is a little challenging. Note that
if your antenna failed in the up position, you will have to disassemble
the unit while it's in the car in order to get the mast out.
9) Once the innards are exposed, remove old cable and rod, and clean any remains of sealant from the edges.
10) Insert the new rod and cable, and hook the cable to the plastic drum without disturbing the motor or its switching mechasism. Apply new grease and sealant, and put the two halves together (this is a little tricky because everything must find its home the the pockets molded into the halves of the casing).
11) Reinstall the spring clips. Replace the rivets with machine bolts, nuts, and lock washers. Test the operation of the antenna before reinstalled it in the car by hooking up the power cable and operating the radio.
12) Reverse steps 1-7 to reinstall.
Jeff Greenough contributed to this article.