ZCar Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

Super Moderator
1983 280ZX Turbo
1,588 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is a problem fix post to help others who may encounter a similar problem.

About 20 years ago I replaced the crappy factory radio/tape deck in my 1983 280ZX with an aftermarket 1 DIN radio. Crutchfield had a blank plate for the radio face which worked well.


For years I've had a problem with the (Hirschmann replacement) power antenna on my ZX working intermittently. When I turned on the radio, if the antenna didn't come up, a couple of firm whacks on the side of the radio console usually triggered it to come up. This bothered me but I couldn't find the problem, and the whacks always worked.

Note that on the face plate above and to the left of the radio is the original antenna switch which IIRC had the function of lowering the radio half-way. I retained it because there was a cut out for it on the face plate and I had no reason to lose it.

Last summer I replaced the original 1 DIN radio with a later model having Bluetooth phone capability and USB capability. But recently I couldn't make the antenna come up at all. Not a critical fault, but irritating. That was strange because it had been 100% functional after I installed the new radio.

So yesterday I popped the radio loose to check connections. In the photo below, the antenna switch at the bottom center has already been taken loose from the face plate. It has a white plastic cover.


I checked all connections, and everything was perfect. The same relay that triggers the antenna is also connected to the under-seat woofer, which works perfectly.

Then I happened to touch the antenna switch. Just touch it, not depress it...and the antenna came up. I touched it again and the antenna dropped. The three wires into it looked OK, but then I realized that switch was almost 40 years old.

Here's a closeup of the antenna switch. The cover is held in place by two screws (removed in this shot), which makes it easy to remove the cover.


And here's what the inside of the switch looks like - the contacts are dirty and corrosion is visible. Sorry that it's a tad out of focus, but the light was low and it's a very close shot with my phone.


I keep Caig's DeOxit handy, so I took a Q-tip sprayed with DeOxit and cleaned the contacts, then put the switch back together.

I then tested the antenna and function was perfect. Reassembled and reinstalled everything, and the antenna is still functioning perfectly. I hope that I have this problem solved.

If your ZX antenna is acting odd and you have the antenna switch, this is worth checking out. Fortunately getting the radio loose in a 280ZX is only a 10-minute job.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts