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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks! Just wanted to post about my sirius antenna installation. Before installing, I searched this and other forums for ideas because like many, I don't like the look of the antenna mounted above the windshield. There were several ideas for rear mounted antennas ranging from drilling holes in the roof to compromising the water tight integrity of the third light. After pulling the light off, I realized a rather simple way to install the antenna without drilling, and without the possibility of leaks. I hope this helps some of you out there!

What I realized, is that the third light has a very thin foam seal on the inside which is the only seal keeping water out of the cab. The rubber seals only hug the sides of the light. Some people said to allow the wire to go right across the top, and that the seal "should" form around the wire and prevent leaks... I don't believe that to be the case... water can enter a very tiny space, and the last place I want any water is inside the back of my headliner. So, after taking the light off, I saw a way to trace the wire around the top of the light, out of sight, and toward the bottom. If you allow the wire to cross the foam seal at the bottom of the light housing it is nearly impossible for water to get in (unless you have a pressure washer and aim directly into the bottom of the light housing... i.e. "it doesn't rain upward"). Anyway, here are some pictures that may help. The first thing I did was remove the tailight, leaving the wires attached. I ran the antenna wire down the large opening for the light and past the headliner so I could pull it down from the inside. The explanation of the pictures will be below each picture...

nissan3.jpg

This first picture is with the light detached. You see the arrow pointing out the foam seal I was talking about. There is no rubber along the top of the housing. I used electrical tape to secure the antenna wire to the housing while working it around the light just to keep it in place. Once the light is mounted, the wire will stay put on it's own, but the tape makes things 100% easier for this process. You see the light hanging "upside down" so the tape you see here is along the top edge of the housing with the wire just inside enough to remain out of sight once mounted. Make sure to leave enough slack between the actual antenna and the housing for mounting on the roof.

nissan4.jpg

This one is taken from the other side of the light housing after the antenna wire has been run around the side of the housing and along the bottom. Note the use of electrical tape along the bottom as well. In the very center of the light housing, at the bottom, is where the antenna wire will actually cross under the foam seal into the main hole where the housing mounts. So you can see what I mean by keeping the foam seal at the top of the light free from any obstruction, as water is more likely to leak down from the top rather than up from the bottom.

nissan5.jpg

Here is the housing mounted back into it's spot with the tape from the top portion still showing.

nissan6.jpg

Here, I used a razor blade to carefully cut and remove the visible portion of the tape.

nissan7.jpg

This is the final location and look of the antena... leak free!

I didn't take pictures of the inside, but I chose to run the wire around the top passenger side of the truck. I ran it under the rear headliner, between the headliner and plastic trim on the sides, and under the black weather stripping around the top of the doors. The front door weather strip runs all the way down to the plastic trim piece just below the glove box which is a good place to rund the wire. I removed the lower glove box (four screws) and zip tied the antenna wire along the metal frame that holds the glove box in place. With the glove box removed, you can also access the side/top corner of the black plastic "cubbie" in the console below the A/C controls. This is where I mounted my receiver. I drilled a hole at the top corner of that black plastic cubbie large enough to run the antenna into it. You cannot see this hole unless you are on the floor of your truck looking into the console. It's a great place to discretely run the antenna wire. The wire is not visible anywhere in the truck. Make sure you just feed enough through to connect to your unit if you mount it here. Zip tie the rest behind the glove box bracket before you replace the glove box.

I'll see about adding some pictures of that final receiver location if anybody requests them.

I hope this helps somebody out!
 

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Great write up!!!

I have been putting the antenna's on trucks there for years. They will leak through that little seal without a little help. I just use black 100% silicon, seals great and if you need to remove it it comes off pretty easy and happy to say NO leaks!
 

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Great write up! There is an XM antenna on my truck when I bought it from my co-worker. It is mounted on the top of the fender, just in front of the regular antenna. I don't have any XM receiver, so I really didn't worry about the antenna. Does that sound like a poor location?
 

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Did something similar in the "what have you done for your frontier" thread.

I opted top side. It has been > 1 year, I have had 0 leaks. Been through several rain storms sitting/driving etc. Been to car washes self serve and automatic. Still have yet to get a leak on it.

I "pre-bent my antenna wire to fit better around the lip.

Anyway, here is what I did in case it helps someone else.

Here's a write up with some pics. This is the process I went through to route the satellite antenna wire in my '05 CC: (I will refer to previous pics/steps as I go)

Tools needed:
1 -- 1/4 drive ratchet
1 -- short 1/4 extention
1 -- 1/4 drive 8mm deep socket
2 -- small zip ties
1~5 -- alcohol prep pads, or some rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth

Step 1: Yes, it may seem silly, but it all begins with removing these.


Once removed, you'll see this.
(this photo will be reused later)
Locate the stud coming from the 3rd brake/cargo light and remove the nut from the stud.

Step 2: Once the nuts are off of the 3rd brake/cargo light, you may find it necessary to push on the studs with something to get the light to separate from the truck. Now, it's time to locate the antenna on the roof of the truck. I went toward the center, but I only eyeballed things.

Once the antenna was near where I wanted it, I fished the end that goes to the radio through the hole that you will see with the 3rd brake/cargo light removed, and into the hole in the headliner so that I could find it inside the truck. Feed it all into the cab, no need to leave excess at this time.

This is a close up of where the wire for the antenna actually goes behind the 3rd brake/cargo light into the cab.
I don't think there will be a leakage issue as upon inspection, the rubber seal of the 3rd brake/cargo light appears to form around the antenna wire well. (If a leak is found, I will probably just put a small gob of clear silicone over the area.)

Step 3: My antenna had a "guard" that goes over the wire that also has two sided tape on it. I cleaned the roof of the truck with alcohol pads to prepare the surface. Put the guard on, double checked my placement, then peeled the tape. At this point, the outside work is pretty much done. Go ahead and put the studs of the 3rd brake/cargo light back where they go.

Step 4: Go inside the truck and find your wires.

This is an important part, because if you forget this, you'll have everything run and then have to start over. At this point you should have a gob of wire coming out of the hole shown after you removed the caps in the headliner. Find the end of your antenna wire, and take it back to the hole. You'll need to push the headliner down slightly and feed the end of the antenna wire between the rear glass and the headliner. Pull the majority of your wire back between the headliner and the rear glass.

Once this is done, I tossed the end of my antenna wire into the front seat and went there to begin the feeding process. I fed from front to rear so that all of my excess wire would be in the back of the vehicle.

Begin by simply pushing some of the wire between the dash and front glass. Follow this process until you reach the passenger's side A pillar. Make sure you get the wire into the corner so that you can get it behind the A pillar. Feed it behind the A pillar until you reach the headliner.

Once the headliner is reached, just stuff it between the headliner and the door seal.
Follow this process until you reach the B? pillar. Get in back seat and follow it to rear corner of the truck.

Keep tucking, cramming, and poking the wire as you go. Once you get to the rear corner, you can pull your excess back through the hole in the headliner. Cram the last little bit between the rear glass and the head liner, then use the zip ties to neaten up all the excess wires.
Put the excess wires into the headliner hole.


Step 5: Replace the bolts on your 3rd brake/cargo light and tighten. Be careful not to twist the studs off. (Why I chose 1/4 drive) Put the caps back in the headliner. Finished!!




 

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Great write up! There is an XM antenna on my truck when I bought it from my co-worker. It is mounted on the top of the fender, just in front of the regular antenna. I don't have any XM receiver, so I really didn't worry about the antenna. Does that sound like a poor location?
Satellite is kind of funny sometimes, I have had good luck on many Hondas just simply sticking the antenna on the dash, on trucks I always use the roof by the brake light, it is high and usually in a very unobstructed place. I had my BMW's antenna molded into a fiberglass wing on the trunk lid and going south on our wonderful FL roads I would occasionally lose the signal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great write up! There is an XM antenna on my truck when I bought it from my co-worker. It is mounted on the top of the fender, just in front of the regular antenna. I don't have any XM receiver, so I really didn't worry about the antenna. Does that sound like a poor location?
I agree with bimmernut that it all depends on the car and the roads you drive. In most cities and metro areas, there are terrestrial repeaters (I think that's what they're called) which act sort of like a signal booster where your antenna doesn't actually have to be in "line of sight". In Orlando, I can get a signal inside my garage, sitting under an overpass, etc. However, once you get into a more urban area, you are more likely to lose signal if there is any obstruction (i.e. too close to the windshield where the signal can be lost behind the roof of your car). That's why if possible, the roof is best... but if it's far enough out in the open, shouldn't be a problem. Then it's just a matter of what you think looks best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Satellite is kind of funny sometimes, I have had good luck on many Hondas just simply sticking the antenna on the dash, on trucks I always use the roof by the brake light, it is high and usually in a very unobstructed place. I had my BMW's antenna molded into a fiberglass wing on the trunk lid and going south on our wonderful FL roads I would occasionally lose the signal.
My wife drives a 3 series. I was wondering if they made "shark fin" type covers for these antennas. I haven't really shopped around, but thought that would be better for the bimmer. Good to know!
 

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I havent seen any of those but I have a micro sirius antenna that is so small that you could probably mount it in there, havent seen any problems with them bieng in fiberglass, does she have the shark fin already?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I havent seen any of those but I have a micro sirius antenna that is so small that you could probably mount it in there, havent seen any problems with them bieng in fiberglass, does she have the shark fin already?
No, she doesn't have the sharkfin. I would like to find one that would act as a cover and be painted to match. I don't think anybody makes such a thing.
 

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im so glad i found this thread! i JUST installed sirius today in my truck and i am not happy at all with the front location of the antenna. goin with your idea tomarro
 

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ya i got done with it a little bit ago. i used some of the filler epoxy stuff very lightly around the wire to be sure it doesnt leak. all i got to do now is activate the unit and hopefully it works correctly.
 

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Just did this today. Used advaqua's write up. It worked great and only took about 45 minutes to do (including uninstalling the XM antenna from it's interior mount). Very helpful information! Thank you!
 

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I installed my Sirius antenna the same way a while back. On first gens, There are two small sections of the foam seal on the bottom of the 3rd brake light for condensation drainage. Perfect place to run the wire out of. This way, there is no possible compromise with the seal. Then I ran it around the side and up. For my unit, I mounted it to the under side of the dash on the right of the steering wheel. Out of my sight line for visibility while driving. and out of the direct sight of a would-be theif. I live by Phila Pa. Lots of vehicle break-ins. It's good practice to keep anything like that out of sight.

The wires for the unit are ran into the e-brake hole directly behind the unit. I have my it plugged it to the cigg power outlet for now. When I get time, I will wire the power direct to free up the power outlet.
 

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