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Old 07-16-2017, 01:14 PM   #1
AlecB
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Question Hidden Antenna Reception

Hello! I recently bought my first E30 ('91 vert) and noticed the radio is unusable -- it works well enough when the car is sitting still, but as soon as I start to move it begins cutting in and out. I immediately checked the antenna and noticed it doesn't have one. There's just a black plastic cap covering the hole where the grommet should be.

I'd like to keep that sleek look, but was wondering how a hidden antenna's reception would compare with the stock antenna's. I'm also considering buying a power antenna instead, but as I don't know if the car originally had a power or manual one I don't know if the it has the wiring to run a power one. Thoughts?

Thanks,
Alec
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:17 AM   #2
ELVA164
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I'm pretty sure the previous owner just deleted the antenna. All cars have the wiring in place for the power antenna, so that's not a big deal.
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Old 07-24-2017, 11:57 AM   #3
Das Delfin
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An antenna's vertical length determines the quality of its reception. The longer it is the better it works. I haven't seen an e30 with a manual antenna.. and not very many working power ones either. I put a generic $10 advance auto 3 foot mast antenna in mine.

Your car will have wiring for a power antenna. Look in the driver side of the trunk compartment up near the hinge for red, white, and black wires, as well as the antenna signal wire, which I believe is gray
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Old 07-24-2017, 12:06 PM   #4
glnr13
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Originally Posted by Das Delfin View Post
I haven't seen an e30 with a manual antenna..
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=65_0373

my weirdo car came with the manual antenna pictured in the link i posted to the left. No part number listed on that page either.
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Old 07-25-2017, 04:01 AM   #5
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There was a write up some time ago about converting the rear window defogger into a pretty stealth AM / FM antenna. Never tried it but it sounded interesting. Then you weld antenna opening closed, smooth over and paint. Could not find that write up.
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:52 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by g.ruff561 View Post
There was a write up some time ago about converting the rear window defogger into a pretty stealth AM / FM antenna. Never tried it but it sounded interesting. Then you weld antenna opening closed, smooth over and paint. Could not find that write up.
would the defogger still be functional or does it permanently change it's function to antenna?
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:14 PM   #7
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From what I can remember, it permanently disables rear defogger. I'm in FLA. I do not need rear defogger. If it works it would be great to have the option.
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:36 PM   #8
AlecB
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Thanks. Looks like I'll get an aftermarket powered one then -- I'd rather keep it authentic, but a manual antenna seems like a real pain, and the powered ones seem expensive.
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Old 07-25-2017, 06:05 PM   #9
g.ruff561
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Try Z3 antenna.
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Old 07-25-2017, 11:29 PM   #10
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S2000 antenna is a small rubber deal that gets great reception. fwiw
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Old 07-26-2017, 04:35 AM   #11
15Michaeljoseph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Das Delfin View Post
An antenna's vertical length determines the quality of its reception. The longer it is the better it works. I haven't seen an e30 with a manual antenna.. and not very many working power ones either. I put a generic $10 advance auto 3 foot mast antenna in mine.

Your car will have wiring for a power antenna. Look in the driver side of the trunk compartment up near the hinge for red, white, and black wires, as well as the antenna signal wire, which I believe is gray
Come see my working power antenna

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Old 08-11-2017, 10:57 AM   #12
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Using the defogger isn’t the worst option, given E30 rear window’s tendencies to explode while defrosting.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:00 PM   #13
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I would not mind trying it. Hell I tried everything else from oem units to Z3 mods. Anybody got have knowledge they care to share?
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