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Shortening the stock Antenna

Shorty antennas are all the rage. With a small sacrifice to radio reception, you can shorten your antenna on the cheap without the hassle or price of a custom aftermarket antenna.

Time Required:
10 minutes

Tools Needed:

  • Safety glasses
  • Wire cutters or a rotary tool (sugh as a dremel) with cutoff wheel
  • Cyanoacrylate (Super Glue)
  • Vise Grip Pliers
  • Slip notch or blunt-nose pliers
  • Butane Lighter (Optional)


    Aftermarket solid antennae have a nasty habit of breaking the threads off the antenna base when pressure is applied to them (for instance, you strike the antenna while clearing snow off the car or washing it). The flexible base of the stock antenna minimizes this risk, and this is truly a hack: One of the cheapest things you can do as far as exterior styling is concerned.

  • Remove the antenna by grasping it just above the antenna base and turning it counter clockwise.
  • Firlmly but carefully, grip the rubber cap at the end of the antenna (opposite the threaded end) with vise grip pliers.
  • Grip the fiberglass shaft just next to the rubber cap with another set of pliers, and begin to twist the rubber cap to remove it from the antenna shaft. If you scuff up the antenna shaft near the end, it's okay because we'll be cutting the end off when we shorten the shaft.
  • If needed, apply a little hear to the rubber cap with the butane lighter to soften it up. Don't melt or ignite the rubber cap, or burn the fiberglass shaft of the antenna. It doesn't take much heat, if any.
  • Once the rubber cap is removed, Figure out how short you want your antenna to be. I chose about half the length of stock. Remember, the shorter you go, the less radio reception you'll get. Those who listen mostly to CD's or live near large cities (close to the radio towers) are not affected as much.
  • Once you have chosen a new length for your antenna, toss on the safety glasses and use a set of heavy duty wire cutters (lineman's sidecutters work well) or use a dremel with a cutoff wheel to cut the antenna. Either way you decide to cut it, shards or particles of fiberglass may get in your eyes, so be careful and please wear eye protection.
  • Put a small dab of cyanoacrylate glue on the cut end of the antenna, and promptly place the rubber cap firmly onto the shortened antenna shaft.
  • Re-install the antenna by screwing it clockwise onto the antenna base.

    Finished product:

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