Sussex Club GTI - Technical Bulletin #6

Fitting an aerial to a Mk2

In this article I am going to talk you through the steps needed to replace an aerial on a Mk2 Golf/Jetta. This is a real pig of a job if you have never done it before, and even if you have it is still one job that you will not relish having to do again. If you have done this before then I would advise that you should leave 2 hours to do it. If you have not then add on another hour. You will also need room to jack the front of the car up, certainly on the near side, and then be able to work easily under the front wheel arch. You will also need room to open the passenger door wide, and a dry day or working indoors is advisable.


You should need the following (although extras items are always useful):
8mm socket (or spanner) with ratchet
long extension bar for above
cross head screwdriver
flat head screwdriver (about 1cm wide)
strong string (about 2m)
insulation tape
pair of normal pliers
pair of long nose pliers
new aerial (one that is designed to fit - VW/Beru/Hella)
old jam jar (for all the screws and little plastic bits)
trolley jack (car jack will do but not the best)
2 axle stands
2 wheel chocks (bricks)
wheel brace
spaners of various sizes (10mm -> 19mm)
car wax/polish
Vacuum cleaner
lots of patience and coffee

Start inside the car

Before you start, you should remove the fuse for the stereo. Go to the fuse box located behind the little cover on the drivers side in the storage shelf. Remove the cover, if snaps into place, and look on the back of it and find number of the fuse against the radio word. Locate the right fuse in the fuse box and using the long nose pliers remove it. Put it in the jam jar for safety.

Start inside the car by pushing the passenger seat all the way back and remove all the old junk that is on the storage shelf under the glove box. Get hold of the jam jar and the cross head screwdriver. The storage shelf has to come out and there are 5 screws to get it out. There are three along the top edge and one at either side, with the one linking into the centre console being a different type (remember this far when you put it all back again).

To make life easier you should also remove theCable under doshboard polystyrene cover that is over the fan blower and the trunking. There is a circlular plastic clip that holds it to the bottom of the fan blower hosing, to the left of the footwell, and there are also two screws about half way along the trunking at the back. On the right had side the cover slots into place at the side of the center console.

Now remove the stereo from the dashboard. You might need a set of 'special' tools in order to extract it, but you can sometimes make do with a pair of very narrow long screwdrivers, working on one side at a time. When you remove the stereo be careful as some of the cable runs can be quite tight, especially for the aerial. Don't loose the rubber bung that should be on the back of the stereo, to locate the back of it tightly into the receptacle at the back of the dash.


Cable with foam covering


Push the aerial lead back the way it comes from, to the lower left, and you should then be able to get hold of it from in the passenger footwell. Carefully pull the cable from where it is rooted up in the dashboard, as you need to get all the foam covering off the cable to make it easier to pull the cable through the bulkhead.




Aerail lead with string attached



Attach the string to the end of the cable with a know and then secure it with the insulation tape in such a way that it will not snag when it goes through the bulkhead, and also firmly as you might have to put quite a lot of force on it as well!







Your work inside the car is over for a bit

Into the engine bay

Plenum chamber cover

Open the bonnet and locate the plenum chamber cover. This is the black plastic item at the back of the engine bay running left to right.

Carefully remove the 4/5 metal clips that hold this in place with the pair of pliers, they can fly off all over the place, therefore put your hand over the top of each one as you are just about to release it. Remove the cover and now locate the fresh air intake on the right hand side. The photo shows the area concerned but this is a fresh air filter element which has replaced the standard leaf trap. Note the aerial cable going over the top of the filter.





Fresh air filterAt this point it might be an idea to use the vacuum cleaner to remove any leaf debris that might be in this area, otherwise you are likely to know it into the whole where the leaf trap is currently covering, and then it will be nicely distributed throughout the car next time you turn the fan on! Remember to unblock the water drain holes on with side of the scuttle as well.

Remove the leaf trap, it may be a little stiff, but press down gently on it and the clip on the right hand side should be movable towards the outside of the car. If it is very stiff then use the flat bladed screw driver to ease it out. You might have to pull the aerial cable gently though the bulkhead a little bit in order to get the leaf trap out. Sometimes they can be jammed in by the cable. You should now have a nice hole where the leaf trap went (you might have to get the vac out again at this point to clear up any new mess!) and easy access to the aerial cable. Follow the cable back up to the bulkhead and ease the grommet out of the metalwork. Also easy out the grommet immediately to the left of this one. You will need to gain access through this one in a minute.Leaf trap and grommits removed


Now you should be able to pull the old aerial cable out of the car. Do it slowly and carefully and if it jams totally then you might need to pull it back the other way as well, keeping tension on both ends as you do so. A bit of it has probably become caught up, this is why it is essential that you make the join between the old cable and the bit of string as smooth as possible. Once the cable has come all the way out, remove the end from the string and lay the string carefully out of the way. Make sure you don't pull it out totally as you will then have lots of fun trying to get the aerial back in again (I did the first time I did this!)




Extension bar going through bulkhead


Now take the socket set extension bar - the big one - and put it into the hole where the string is now coming through. There is a double skin here separated by about an inch and a half, and on the other side of it is another hole at a slight angle to the first. On the inside of this hole is stuck a load of sound insulation material, and pushing the extension bar though it should make a nice clear passage to the new aerial to be pulled though. Make sure that the bar makes a nice hole.



You have now finished in the engine bay for a bit!

Now comes the mucky bit!

Place the wheel chock behind the back wheels, one on either side and make sure the hand brake is on. Take the wheel brace and crack the wheel nuts on the front passenger side wheel. Now jack the car up high enough to get an axle stand underneath. Use the jacking point just behind the front wheel protruding from the bodywork, and use the longitudinal beam towards the centre of the car for the axle stand. You should ideally repeat the jacking and axle stand for the other side of the car as well, even though you are not going to remove the wheel, for total safety as you will be working in the wheel arch.Wheel arch with wheel removed (I know it's a different car!) Remove the front wheel on the passenger side.



Now take the 8mm socket and ratchet and remove all 8 (I think) screws. If you have a mud flap fitted then you might have to remove this first (10mm spanner/socket), otherwise the wheel arch liner might not come away.

Remove the wheel arch liner and if you look up into the space on the right hand side you should be able to see the bottom of the aerial mast, supported by a piece of metal though which the bottom of the mast passes.

Take a spanner of a suitable size to the top of the aerial where it comes though the wing. Remove the nut that holds the top of the mast, and you should now be able to push it into the wing. From underneath you should be able to remove the mast, pulling the cable through at the same time. You might want to take this opportunity to cut and wax the paint that was underneath and immediately around the aerial mast.

Take the new mast and offer it up from underneath, when the mast comes though the wing you need about three hands to hold everything in place. Carefully screw the retaining nut loosely on to the top of the mast so that it is held. Locate the bottom of the mast into the metal holder, and now thread the aerial cable though the water drain hole and back into the plenum chamber. Tighten the screw on top of the aerial once you are happy with the location and angle with the mast extended.

You can now replace the wheel arch liner and mud flap if necessary, and then replace the wheel and lower the car to the ground, after removing the axle stand(s). Tighten the wheel nuts up after the car is back onto the ground.

You have now finished the mucky bit!

Back inside the engine bay

Aerial lead and string joined togerther and taped up


Locate the end of the new aerial and the end of the string. Tie the two ends together in such a way that in pulling the sting will pull the aerial end in a straight line. Tape the joint to stop it snagging.




Srting under dash for cable pull




Now carefully pull the end of the string through from the inside of the car. You will have to keep tension on both ends as the end of the aerial goes through the bulkhead. You might need to help the end though the bulkhead by feeling though the grommet that was removed from the left of the aerial hole. The aerial should go back though quite easily, but you might have to rock the string/cable back and forth a bit under tension. The cable should eventually come though the bulkhead and into the car. Pull nearly all of it though, leaving some slack that will have to go over or around the leaf trap when you put that back.




Once you have successfully brought the cable inside the car you can now refit the cable grommet that should be attached to the aerial cable in the hole in the bulkhead, as well as the grommet to the left of the cable hole. refit the leaf trap ensuring that the seal along the bottom edge will be watertight. If it look a little worn then put a small amount of silicone sealant around the bottom edge before putting it back into position. Refit the black plastic plenum chamber cover and carefully replace the metal clips, they might need a strong know so take care with the paint work.

Back inside the car, put the foam tubing back over the aerial cable that is now visible. Make sure that you push the covering as far up the cable as you can, otherwise you might get some annoying rattle in the future! You should be able to run the cable just behind the front edge of the dash on the left hand side, along where the string is coming out of the dash in the above picture - beware there is a sharpish metal edge just behind the vinyl. Run the cable to the back of the stereo and make sure there is enough play in the cable. With most of the aerials there should be plenty but if you have an aerial with a shorter cable, you could compare them when you have removed the old one from the car, you might have to route the new one differently inside the car.

Refit the stereo and put the fuse back so that you can test the reception. It should be OK.

Now just refit the under shelf on the passenger side, remembering that the self tapping style screw is used to join the centre console to the under shelf.

Job should be done, apart from the clearing up of the blood stains from the scuffed knuckles and the stiff drink that is now required!


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