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Bending a Safari Antenna...No Problem!
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Scott's '63 23
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:57 pm    Post subject: Bending a Safari Antenna...No Problem! Reply with quote

Here's an old problem: You have safari windows (or you're putting them in) and you have the standard radio antenna set up. The holes are lined up vertically and the antenna mast is in the way when you open the window.

Well, if you are in the beginning stages of a restoration or you don't worry about a couple extra holes here and there, then you can put the antenna in a number of areas and in some cases you don't need an antenna with a curved mast. But, if you are stuck with the stock antenna holes (like I am) and want a solution, then you are going to have to have an antenna with a bend in it. When you try bending one they always end up with flat spots in them at the bend and you compromise the integrity of the antenna, with it eventually breaks off at the bend. You can try to find an NOS or original aftermarket antenna, but it will only have one bend in it and you will need to reconfigure your mouting holes.

I offered a solution a while back and posted a web page that showed how to replace the mast with a solid 1/4" aluminum rod. It was easy to bend and offered satisfactory reception. It's shortcomings were that it did not extend to highten reception and it was a little bulky at the top since it didn't taper like a stock mast.

I've come up with a new solution that won't cost you more than $15 and it not only looks great, it gets incredible reception. What's the catch? You have to do the work yourself... to be continued.

Scott
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dougrbutler
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK man, I'll bite. What are you selling? I dig the $15 teaser but what I really need is an antenna that doesn't cost an arm and a leg that looks decent and functions. What was the web page to your other solution to the safari antenna?

Don't leave me hanging man!

Doug
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Tribalbus
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

me too,inquiring mind need to know Rolling Eyes
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RobzKombi
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an idea, would a tube bender work the kind used for bending brake lines? or will the stress of the bend cause the antenna to crack and eventually break? Confused
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Scott's '63 23
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a couple of photos, showing the finished antenna. In trying a couple of ways to bend the antenna I destroyed about 6" of the bottom section. I figured out a fool proof way on the second try. So, next time I'll have the full section on the bottom of the mast.

Yeh, Dubluv, a tube bender helps, but without modifying the mast it will always collapse or break. I'll explain my solution later.

Here's a photo of the finished product:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/123744.jpg
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RobzKombi
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are gonna let us in on this little trick tonight right???? Wink
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Scott's '63 23
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dubluv,

Yes, I'll get to it. I wanted to put together a new web page first, but not enough time now.

Here's another photo of the whole thing:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/123760.jpg

Got to eat dinner first, then I'll explain the thing in detail.

Scott
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Ian
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you use a brake line tool?
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Eaallred
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A brake line bender will kink the thin wall tubing of an antennea.

I guess you could fill the antenea with fine sand, then use the brake line bender, that should stop it from kinking.
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Scott's '63 23
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tried the sand trick and the antenna collapsed.

Here's what worked: I disassembled the antenna as in my webpage for the "one piece aluminum rod" antenna:

http://www.scottmooreart.com/gallery/safari_antenna.htm

Then I took the 1/4" aluminum rod and sanded it down a little so that it would fit into the bottom section of the antenna mast with a little pounding. I used about 9" of aluminum rod, drove it all into the section but the same amount as the original metal plug had extended out the bottom of the mast when I removed it from the base. With the solid aluminum rod now 'filling' the hollow mast, I used a tube bender with a 5/16" slot to make the bends. I covered all the areas of the bender that touched the mast with masking tape to minimize scratching. After the bends were correct, I reassembled the antenna as in the webpage above.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

Scott
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RobzKombi
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott the results look very nice.
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Eaallred
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, wasn't sure the sand would have cut it for the super thin antenna metal. Looks great!
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oldestbusdude
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott,

Thanks for the info. I have destroyed a couple of antennas in my day trying to put the bends in them.

I just need a little clarification. I took my antenna apart but the terminal rod wouldn't twist out like you said. I had to drill it out and now I don't have one to put back in the new aluminum rod.

Any suggestions?
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Scott's '63 23
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2003 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oldestbusdude,

Yes, when you destroy or have to destroy the terminal, just take a piece of 10 gauge copper wire, file the ends a little and tap the wire into the hole.
I have that fix on my current antenna and it works great.

Scott
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bljones
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2003 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

inserting a long narrow spring would work as well, to keep the antenna from collapsing at the bend
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2003 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful job! I like to see thigs done well . . . and with innovation.!!
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally had a need to make a safari antenna, and I got some great information off this thread. However, I saw that Scott didn't get around to posting instructions working with the newer stainless steel antennas, so I thought I'd update this with a tutorial. My antenna came from Wolfsburg West, who I believe manufactures their own antenna, so the information should be accurate as long as you get the antenna from them.

Here is what you are starting with. A stainless steel antenna with a chromed plastic base, nuts, washers and a seal.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Take off the nuts, washers and seal.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Remove the large thin nut.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Unscrew the large post by double nutting the threads.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Slide out the antenna from the base.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Using a utility knife, cut the plastic sleeve as pictured and remove.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


EXTEND THE ANTENNA, then cut the bottom portion of the antenna as shown. I just guessed how much to cut. Luckily, I cleared the brass plug. Also, if you don't extend the antenna, you might hit the lower portion of the middle section making the antenna not stay extended.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Using the side of a Dremel cut off wheel, very carefully cut through the antenna left over on the brass plug. Try not to grind the brass plug itself.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Using pliers, pull off the cut piece of antenna and discard.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Mark where the end of the brass plug will be on the antenna as well as where the grooves of the plug are.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Buy some 1/4" aluminum rod and cut off about 9". This is per Scott's original tutorial. You might be able to get away with less, but I didn't want to take a chance.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Chuck up your 9" piece of aluminum rod into your drill press and sand away. I used 80 grit sandpaper and it took a loooong time. If you have a metal lathe, use that. If you have neither, sand it by hand. You'll eventually get there. You will also need to debur the antenna where you cut with the tubing cutter. Otherwise, it will give you a false impression of how much you need to shave away on the rod.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Insert the aluminum rod in the base of your antenna. Put the brass plug in to keep the aluminum rod from sliding out. Don't worry about the orientation of the threaded hole on the brass plug at this time. I measured about 2 1/2 " up from the antenna base and started my first bend there. I bent the antenna at a 45 degree angle.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I measured up 2" and made the next bend the opposite direction at 45 degrees. You can see the slight crimping at the bends. These are unavoidable, but do not look that bad at all. Without the aluminum rod inside, the antenna would kink.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Now that the bending is done, make sure the threaded hole in the brass plug is facing as shown in the picture then peen it on the marks made earlier on the antenna that coincide with the grooves. This will keep the plug from spinning or popping out.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Cut out the grooves on the inside of the plastic sleeve with a 17/64" drill bit. You can do this by hand or with a drill. You could skip this step if you peened the antenna evenly all the way around.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Assembly is the reverse of the steps shown in the beginning and you are done!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

right on, thanks for the updated pictured tutorial.
shaka brah!
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bravo!!!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well i tryed and snaped mine in half would love to just buy one already done i know this is a old thread but if anybody is selling let me know
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