Fixing BMW Z3 Aerial

Another little fix for my DIY EV was to the aerial. I don’t want to shell out for a new stereo until I’m putting the final double-din unit in, so I’m stuck with FM radio and CDs at the moment. And there was no radio since the car came with the aerial snapped off. Time for a fix.

I took the broken aerial out and headed to the local motor factors and car audio specialists to see if they had anything that would fit. There’s not a lot of space in the Z3 boot where the aerial fits, so most of the off-the-shelf options they had just wouldn’t work. I ended up buying just a stubby little aluminium aerial and heading home to do a fix.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any ‘before’ photos, but you can see roughly what I’ve done here:

The aerial was snapped off above the black plastic piece just on top of the large nut. I unscrewed the nut and took the plastic out to get to the wire inside. Then I stripped this short wire to get some clean metal and wrapped this around a piece of M6 threaded rod and secured it with tape. I tidied up the broken plastic and then more tape was used to centre the threaded rod inside it. Then the whole lot was screwed back together and a load of glue dropped in there for good measure. I would have used epoxy but I didn’t have a fast setting one to hand so superglue had to suffice.

I checked that there was a good connection back to the connector on the base and then test fitted it back in the car, before marking off how much of the threaded rod needed to be removed. With that hacksawed off and tidied up with a file, I could put it all back together and add the stubby aerial on top.

I now have radio and I think it looks pretty cool. Though I’m waiting for some toerag to rip it off or unscrew it and nick it. Long run I’d like to hide the aerial completely. Will look into options for that when I do the body conversion.

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