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Where is the radio antenna routed on an 88 suburban

Discussion in 'Electrical & Audio' started by Burban1990, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. Burban1990

    Burban1990 Full Access Member

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    Truck Year:
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    Truck Model:
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    Engine Size:
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    Can't get AM stations to come in very well on my 88 suburban square body. It has an aftermarket antenna mounted in the original location that comes from the inner part of the fender and goes under the hood into the firewall and then into the stereo it's not one solid piece its two pieces going up and over the heater controls which I'm sure is causing interference. So I'm curious does anybody know where the factory cable is supposed to be routed and where I could get the factory antenna with one solid connection all the way to the stereo? any help would be appreciated thank you. I've tried searching for this for quite a while and I have had no luck. If this truck was equipped with the windshield antenna it's been long gone the windshield has been replaced. But any info where I could reroute a new cable to cut out any interference would be helpful thank you.
     
  2. RecklessWOT

    RecklessWOT Full Access Member

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    Factory antenna is built into the windshield. That's what the two black stripes up the center are. No way to really re-route it unless you wire up a completely different external antenna.
     
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  3. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    '88-'91 had a fender mounted antenna rather than the windshield antenna.

    As for the interference problem, the junction in the cable should not cause that and the routing is in the neighborhood of where GM put it. It could possibly be a very low quality aftermarket antenna.
     
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  4. Burban1990

    Burban1990 Full Access Member

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    Thank you! Could you recommend an antenna that would be one solid piece instead of three different connections. The connections are all rusty and not in really good condition I'm sure that has a lot to do with it as well I would like to find a antenna that's just one solid cable from the antenna directly to the stereo. Couldn't really find anything online thinking I might have to go to a junkyard.
     
  5. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Many cars and trucks actually have a two piece cable, including your original. Many aftermarket antennas will have a cable that is long enough to go all the way to the radio. You can take a chance with one of those. Or you can go to the junkyard and look for an original antenna. It will mount easier and look better, imho. The factory antenna base is separate from the cable, but it may not come apart because they tend to fuse together. The mast may also be seized to the base, so be careful if you want to remove it. GM used the same antenna base all through the 80's, on the Chevy Celebrity and the Pontiac 6000. Depending on options, some had a stainless base cover and some had a black plastic base cover which is what was used originally on your Suburban.

    Also, if your fender has been replaced, it won't have the correct opening and screw holes for the original antenna base, so you will have to drill those holes.
     
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  6. RecklessWOT

    RecklessWOT Full Access Member

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    Aah I stand corrected, hadn't realized. I thought the '88 was generally identical to the '87, I always thought all those little changes were brought around in '89 along with the new front end/mirrors/door trim etc.
     
  7. WebMonkey

    WebMonkey Full Access Member

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    if you really want AM, it's going to come down to your radio.

    factory radios, up to a certain point, had ferrite bar antennas INSIDE the radio and that was what was used for AM. FM reception used the exterior antenna.

    why?

    well, the difference in wavelength between the 2 broadcast frequency standards.

    fm radio is in the 4 meter band (1 wavelength is 4 meters peak to peak) and does ok with a 1 meter tall/long receiving antenna.

    now our u.s. am broadcast radio is in the 300 meter band. yep, do the math, a 75 meter long antenna is cool.
    :)

    so they wrapped a crapload of coated/enameled wire around a ferrite rod to 'shorten' the am antenna.

    walkie talkies call them helical wound antenna etc.

    so, in conclusion, even if you connect the short truck external antenna to the am receiver, it won't do very well at distance.

    good luck

    sorry for the useless lecture.

    :)
     
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  8. fast68chevy

    fast68chevy I am the original fast68chevy

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    there is an adustment in many or most AM raidos, for the tuning signal strength of AM stations, in the tuner assembly in the radio.. i forget the word for it but its called like balancing or an aligment or something like that.. its an adjustment so that AM stations will tune in stronger/better, in the old 70s etc. years stock delco AM radios there are a couple adjustment screws holes usually,.,.
     
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  9. Burban1990

    Burban1990 Full Access Member

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    Thank you for the information. I found a junkyard near me with a 1990 suburban that has an antenna I'm going to check that out. I also realize the radio I bought has Bluetooth and one of the shows I listen to on am has a live stream. Think I'll try streaming for now until I could get to the junkyard.
     
  10. WebMonkey

    WebMonkey Full Access Member

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    in the early 70s, we would drive from blue springs (suburb kinda near kansas city) to herman missouri.
    (visiting grandparents)

    we would listen to kcmo the whole way on am radio.

    it is still out there obviously but with more man made noise and less am optimized receivers, it's not as easy any more.

    the adjustment in the older radios is probably the rf gain. it 'kinda' makes the receiver more or less sensitive to the frequency you're 'tuning'.

    :)
     

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