How to Remove Antenna from Ford F150?

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Removing the antenna from your Ford F150 can seem like a daunting task, but it does not have to be with the right guidance. Whether you are looking to upgrade to a newer, fancier antenna or remove the stock antenna completely, following some simple steps will have that antenna off in no time. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk through the complete process of antenna removal, from gathering the right tools to safely removing the antenna mast and base.

What You Will Need

Before starting any automotive project, it is crucial to gather all the necessary tools and supplies. Attempting to remove the antenna without the proper equipment can lead to damaged parts, stripped bolts, and frustration. Here are the key items you will need to successfully remove the antenna on your Ford F150:

  • Socket wrench with extension – A socket wrench with a long extension will allow you to reach the antenna bolts that may be difficult to access otherwise. A 3/8″ socket should fit the antenna bolts.
  • Replacement antenna (optional) – If you plan to install a new antenna, having the replacement ready will make the process easier.
  • Goo remover – Old, dried out thread locking compound on the antenna bolts can make removal tough. A goo remover spray will help loosen this up.
  • 4 inch cut-off wheel – To remove the mast, you will need to cut it with a compact cut-off wheel.
  • Epoxy – Once the mast is cut down, epoxy will secure the ball topper back on the shortened mast.
  • Shop rags – Good for wiping away dirt, grime, excess goo remover, or anything else.

With these supplies gathered, you can get started with removing the antenna from your F150. Always refer to your owner’s manual for any year or model-specific instructions as well.

Step 1 – Remove the Inner Fender Splash Shield

The first step is relatively simple – remove the inner fender splash shield on the passenger side of the truck. This plastic shield covers a portion of the wheel well and needs to come off to allow access to the antenna mounting bolts.

To remove it:

  • Look along the inner passenger fender for plastic fasteners. There will likely be 3-5 fasteners to remove.
  • Use a flathead screwdriver to pop up the center pin of each fastener.
  • Once the pins are up, the fasteners can be fully removed and the shield lowered slightly.
  • Maneuver the shield out of its retaining tabs to fully remove it.

With the shield taken off, you now have clear access to the antenna base.

Step 2 – Unscrew the Antenna Mast and Base

Now you can get to work on the antenna itself. At the base where the mast mounts to the fender, there will be two nuts securing it in place.

Use your socket wrench with an extension to reach the nuts and loosen them off. On some models they may be regular nuts, while on others they could be Torx or other bolt heads.

If you meet resistance trying to loosen them, apply some goo remover and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before trying again. This will help break down any old, caked on thread locker.

Once the nuts are removed, you can lift the mast up and out of its base to fully detach this portion of the antenna.

Step 3 – Clean Excess Goo off the Threads

With the antenna mast removed, inspect the threads where it mounts. Oftentimes, an excessive amount of sticky thread locker can be left behind after long term installation.

Use a shop rag and goo remover to clean any grime or old sticky residue off the mating threads of the base. Removing this will allow for easier installation of a new antenna or mast later on.

You may need to scrub at it for a bit with the rag to fully dissolve and remove the sticky stuff. Take your time here to fully clean the base mounting threads.

Step 4 – Cut the Antenna Mast

For a fully smooth look, you will want to cut off the remaining mast portion sticking up off the fender.

Measure and mark the mast approximately 4 inches above the base. This will leave just enough to screw on the trim piece later.

Use a compact 4 inch cut-off wheel on an angle grinder to cut the mast at your marked line. An abrasive wheel like this will make the cut quickly and cleanly.

Wear proper eye and face protection when using the grinder to avoid injury from flying sparks or debris.

Step 5 – Epoxy the Trim Ball Topper in Place

To complete the antenna removal, you need to reattach the chrome or color matched ball topper that covers the remaining mast stub. This piece screws onto the threads and gives a finished look.

Here are the steps to securely reinstall the ball trim:

  • Clean the threads on the cut mast with a wire brush.
  • Apply ample epoxy to the threads and ball piece. An epoxy with vibration and impact resistance is ideal.
  • While the epoxy is still wet, screw the ball piece on tightly. Wipe away any excess epoxy.
  • Allow the epoxy to fully cure as directed before driving the truck.

The epoxy will permanently keep the trim piece from loosening or falling off. This will give you a clean, factory look with the shortened antenna.

Alternatives to Full Antenna Removal

While the steps above allow you to fully remove the antenna, there are a couple less labor intensive alternatives:

Leave mast in place – You can leave the mast portion in place but just remove the coiled wiring portion. This lets you maintain the factory look without fully removing the mast.

Install fender cover – Various companies offer fender covers that will smoothly cover the entire antenna assemble. This convenient magnetic option hides the antenna visually.

So if you don’t want to go through the full removal process, these options still let you change the look non-permanently.

Tips for Antenna Removal and Installation

Taking on any automotive disassembly task for the first time can be intimidating. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind through the antenna removal and installation process:

  • Use proper tools – Having the right socket wrench, extensions, goo remover, and cut-off wheel makes the job much easier. Rushing through with the wrong equipment can lead to headaches.
  • Check your vehicle’s manual – While the general process will be similar across F150 model years, the manual can provide model-specific advice. Never rely on generic guidance alone.
  • Work slowly and cautiously – Taking your time and being cautious, especially when operating the cut-off wheel, will prevent accidents or damage. Rushing leads to mistakes.
  • Clean all threads and bases thoroughly – Ensuring everything is free of dirt, grime, old sealant, etc will allow for quick, easy installation later on.
  • Have help for holding pieces – Trying to support the mast while cutting, drilling, or driving new bolts can be difficult alone. An extra set of hands helps.
  • Use thread locker on all bolts – New thread locking compound keeps the bolts firmly in place long-term, preventing any vibration looseness later on.

Following these tips will have that old antenna off and new one installed in no time, while avoiding headaches or hiccups along the way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Removing and replacing your Ford antenna inevitably leads to many questions arising. Here are some of the most common FAQs:

What tools do I need to remove a Ford F150 antenna?

You will need a socket wrench and extension, goo remover, 4 inch cut-off wheel, epoxy, and shop rags at minimum. Refer to the tools list above for other useful items.

How do I get the antenna base off?

Use a socket wrench with an extension to reach the two securing nuts. Loosen them off and lift the mast out of the base. Be sure to clean all residue off the base threads.

Do I have to cut the mast or can I remove it whole?

You can remove the whole mast, but it is very long and unwieldy. Cutting it makes for much easier handling.

What is the best way to remove the mast?

Measuring up 4 inches and using a compact 4 inch cut-off wheel is the quickest, cleanest way to cut through the mast.

How do I reattach the ball topper?

Epoxy ensures the ball trim stays secured long-term on the shortened mast. Clean, epoxy, and screw it into place.

Will removing the antenna affect radio reception?

Yes, removing the entire antenna assembly will negatively affect your ability to pick up radio stations. Replacing with a new antenna will maintain reception.

Hopefully this guide has provided you with all the necessary steps and information to successfully remove your Ford F150 antenna. Always take time to gather the proper tools and work cautiously. Before starting any automotive electrical work, be sure to disconnect the battery as well. Patience and care will have that old antenna off and new one installed quickly, maintaining the reception and functionality you rely on.

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