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Esprit Aerial (Antenna) Rebuild - Interior/Exterior/Lights/Glass/Alarms/ICE/HVAC - The Lotus Forums Jump to content

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I recently visited to the forum looking for instructions on how to remove my broken aerial and found a useful thread here:

 

http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/46426-88-esprit-electric-aerial-removalrepairrefit/

 

And within it, benjamincalleja mentioned "I dont think anyone has tried an antennae rebuild before!!"

 

So, because I couldn't find an OEM replacement (I didn't want to risk an aftermarket purchase due to the space constraints) here's a summary of  my 4 hour experience of doing just that!

 

1. Get the thing out of the car (that's the first tricky part). This is actually a picture after the rebuild as I only decided to document it after I started:

post-15334-0-84078100-1370254609.jpg

2. Undo the nut on the main housing that holds the large circular cover on to expose the clutch mechanism: (again, this photo shows extra bits missing from the shaft - next step)

post-15334-0-75251900-1370254704.jpg

3. Remove the circlip and washer from the shaft and then undo the sprocketed clutch spring retaining disc which allows you to lift of the plastic parts of the mechanism and expose the inside of the main housing:

post-15334-0-28804200-1370255619.jpg

In the above photo you can see the problem. This is how I believe the unit fails:

  • Water (and other contaminants) seep down the aerial shaft (A) - which is a design expectation since there is a drain exit (B).
  • After years of use, the inside of the aluminium housing oxidises, producing the white powder seen all over the inside of the housing.
  • Eventually, the excess Aluminium Oxide blocks the drainage hole (B) at the base of the inside of the housing (C ).
  • The blockage then escalates the oxidisation and deposits build up in area (D) so much so, that they cause the two plastic disc parts of the clutch to lift up and eventually jam against the housing cover.

4. Optional: remove the motor housing (F) in picture above which will cause the armature to come out due to the magnets. I say optional as it's a little tricky getting it back together due to the spring loaded brushes popping out! But it gives you a chance to see how much life is left in them and clean/regrease the shaft.

5. With an array of small sharp tools, carefully remove as much of the oxide as possible, remove rust from any other damaged parts and then clean with a suitable non-depositing spirit (I used petrol):

post-15334-0-92676600-1370256012.jpg

6. Paint the damaged parts with a protective paint - I used red oxide primer:

post-15334-0-40530800-1370256069.jpg

6. To reassemble, refit the motor armature (if your removed it) by taking it out of the case, inserting into the housing while holding the brushes apart and then holding the spiral shaft while putting the [strong] magnetic case back.

7. On the reverse side of the housing, remove the two screws holding the electrical end-stop casing:

post-15334-0-95187500-1370256483.jpg

Turn the cam fully anti-clockwise so that that it's in position for a fully extended aerial (the picture shows it in the fully retracted position - an important lesson which lead me to disassemble the very tricky clutch again!).

8. Regrease the internal components and fully extend the aerial to make it assembly easier and refit the plastic clutch parts, making sure all washers are refitted in the right order:

post-15334-0-55603700-1370256405.jpg

This part is REALLY tricky as you need to make sure that all of the following are aligned as you press it all together:

  • Looped white extender tube in the clutch groove
  • Two black nipples of the lower clutch black plastic disc in their respective holes of the housing (not easy to see in the photo below)
  • White extender guide in the outer but one clutch groove

post-15334-0-97626900-1370256941.jpg

9. Regrease and refit the clutch retaining parts (large metal disc - shown in red, plastic disc, thin wide washer, spring, sprocketed retainer, nut, washer, circlip):

post-15334-0-96558100-1370256726.jpg

10. Before putting the cover on, check the aerial extends and retracts by connected it to a 12V supply. -ve goes to the antenna shaft (you'll see a black wire) or housing and +ve goes to both pins in the connector for extend and the blue one only to retract (don't worry if you get the wrong wire as you'll just hear the reverse relay click in).

11. If your paper gasket was damaged beyond repair like mine, make another one or quicker, use silicone sealant on the rim of the housing and housing cover before refitting the topmost washer, cover and nut:

post-15334-0-84078100-1370254609.jpg

I also put a layer of sealant around the outside after the housing was refitted, just to make sure it was watertight.

 

I now have a very very quiet aerial (it got increasingly noisy as it failed) that extends and retracts as if it were new.

 

For those interested in seeing what a chrome wrapped Lotus Esprit looks like, this is the car that the aerial is fitted in:

 

http://ChromeLotusEsprit.com

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Good job! My sons electric aerial in his commodore (Holden) has packed it in, just making a clack-clack-clack sound when trying to operate. I'm going to be removing it to have a look as most of these things have not broken, but are exactly as you have shown here.

 

Good photos too. :thumbup:

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I should have mentioned that the clack-clack-clack sound was the same in mine above before I took it to bits and that's all it did! Good luck with yours and cheers for the compliments Michael  :thumbsup:

 

BTW, mine says "Made in Japan" on it so perhaps that's another Toyota part but being Japanese, I'm very surprised that they didn't understand basic metallurgy in the 1980's!!!

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Been there done that. Lasted about 18 months. Chucked it, filled the whole in and fitted an internal one in the roof lining. Still working to this day.  :thumbsup:

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well done. but it was easier to get an electric aerial off ebay. I just fitted a generic one works fine

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Bee sting aerial on roof, much better, however you are left with a hole, I moved mine when the car was in for painting.

Dave

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My god. I won't begin to tell you how long I spent trying to rebuilt mine. I still have it too. I just. Could. Not. Get. It. To. Work. I think in the end all my mucking around burnt out the coils. The lesson here was to take pictures of everything as the process unfolds so you know how to put it back together. Now my rolling restoration is mid way I can maybe consider returning to rebuilding things, after this antennae experience I switched to total swap outs. Easy. Anything broken or not working? Buy a new/new old stock one. Total swap out.

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It may be slightly masochistic  but I have always thought things like the electric aerial  are so much of the era its a shame to remove them.  I have put a new one in to replace one that had totally rusted up and been filled over and painted. Mind  you I did have the dash out at the time, I might not be so keen if it goes again and I have to replace with the dash in situ.

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Well, it may have been a waste of time to some extent as I decided to change the radio as well while I had the interior out (don't these jobs have a habit of snow-balling?!) and that needed a DAB antenna.

 

Of course, many of the after-market DAB antennas are intended to stick to the windscreen glass (ugly) and bond to an earth plane. Not so easy in a non-metallic car!

 

After a bit of metal bashing, I hid the antenna (little black matching box + self-adhesive hairline antenna) and my earth plane mod away in the A pillar and wow, what crystal clear reception. Very happy ears indeed, and the car remains 'authentic' (as much as a chrome Esprit can) in that the original FM aerial still raises and lowers on command from the head unit.

 

post-15334-0-87437500-1372104326.jpg

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Awesome post, thanks Jamie.

 

A couple points to add...

 

The motor housing (Step 3, part "F") has no alignment tab or position indicator, I re-installed mine 180 degrees out and the motor ran BACKWARDS...had me scratching my head for a while trying to figure out why it was trying to retract when the radio was on.  I didn't even know it was possible.

 

In #7 the position doesn't matter as the cam is on a clutch, it will find the correct position once the antenna is cycled.

 

It looks a great deal like this generic one on ebay...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/301495109570?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

 

 

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There have been a number of people who have fitted "an off the shelf generic one," but can someone tell me the make and model of these beasts so I can get one with some confidence?

 

Scotty2

 

p.s excepting the one mentioned above which tells me it's not compatible on the website.

Edited by Scotty2

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Hi Scott,

FWIW, I made a thread on an aftermarket aerial I got to fit and work here

http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/24289-elpico-aerial/

 

But, like others, in the end I removed it, filled the hole and now have a tape aerial hidden in the roof that works perfectly.

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Great rebuild Jamie, when I stripped down the aerial on mine when it failed, I discovered the nylon drive cable had snapped. So fitted a manual as an interim.... 10 years ago! I really do need to fit a replacement some time.

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