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Old 11-18-2012, 09:50 PM   #1
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Mag mount CB antenna tutorial for soft tops!

If any of you wanted a good tutorial on installing a normal sized CB radio and have a mag mount antenna but have a soft top JK, this tutorial is for you. It’s easy and cost me about $20 total in supplies, not counting the CB and hardware attached to it. This stuff is what I used to connect it all to the JK. I have a soft top and having a mag mount antenna is a difficult thing to figure out other than buying a new antenna or attaching it to the hood area (bad idea). I could buy another, but I love my Wilson “Lil Will” and the reach it has. This wasn’t about money but an experiment to see if I could make a good mount without it looking like a retarded DYI job and still be able to remove it when I wanted.
***Disclaimer, this is for informational use and following it constitutes minor modification so I am not responsible for your inability to use a tool. Proceed at your own risk. But it’s simple. Enjoy!*****
You will need the following:
· Philips screwdriver, preferably a cordless one too
· Dremel-type tool (to smooth out edges where cuts happen)
· Drill and bits
· Crescent wrench
· 2-hole clamps (or similar) in electrical conduit section of store
· #10-32X5/8” screws and nuts/washers (or similar) in hardware dept
· 1.5” corner braces (or similar) in hardware dept
· 4” cutting blade (like a Skil) for the antenna to sit on.
· Tools to cut metal with (wear goggles or other safety devices when cutting)
· Carpenter knife or blade
· Primer paint (add color coat if you choose)
· Steelstik (or similar)
· C-clamps

*******This will take about 2-3 hours to complete*****
After gathering the tools and parts, make sure your antenna cord is at a minimum 16’ or longer. Mine is 16’ and had an inch to spare the way I routed it, but depending on how you want to run it, you may need an extension. Anyone with radio knowledge knows you need the antenna as far away from electronics and the motor as possible so the rear of the vehicle is optimal but so is height. Being that I have a soft top, I wanted it as high as possible without looking out of place. I figured out a good place and method. There isn’t much metal on the rear to stick it so this mount turned out awesome.




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Old 11-18-2012, 09:51 PM   #2
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To make the antenna mount bracket, cut off two sections: one 3” piece and one 2 7/8”. Since one is mounted to the inside of the main bracket, and one on the outside butted up, if both were 3” pieces, one would extend longer than the other although you wouldn’t really notice it once the round portion is on top. I’m just OCD like that I guess. LOL Cutting these first two pieces is easier than cutting the longer one off first, then going back to cutting off two others from a shorter remainder. Make sure you file off or dremel the sharp edges. Anyway, once done, line up the brackets to determine where the holes will be drilled. Also make sure you place the main bracket on the tailgate where it is to be mounted so you can drill out those two holes for mounting later.

After you drill the holes and connect the top brackets together, you’re wondering “but how will I mount the round blade? If I use a screw in the center, the area won’t be flush for the antenna mount to sit on.” This is where the JB Weld comes in. Take a couple of inches off the roll of JB Weld and start kneading it until it’s uniform in color. Easier if it is warm (hint). You only have a few minutes so don’t screw around. Then place it over the top of the brackets in a thin layer. Now press the 4” round blade onto it (label side down). Grab 2 or 3 small c-clamps and tighten down but only until the JB weld is slightly squeezing out from the bracket. You can smooth and remove any excess at this time.


By the way, if the JB Weld looks good enough for you, wait 15 minutes more and and remove clamps and start priming the whole bracket turning it upside down leaving the top of the round blade as the only part NOT painted (you can paint it later if you want). Continue painting coats if you wish when the previous one dries if you are ADHD like me! I gotta multitask! Now wait an hour for it to set.

While we wait, on to prepping mount spot. Remove spare tire. Then remove the 2 screws to the far right of the carrier where the mount will go. Loosen up the others enough to make the carrier move enough to test fitment of bracket. You will notice a rubber grommet in between the two right screws you just removed. This is where you can fish the antenna wire through later. Remove grommet and cut an “X” in the center big enough to allow the cable to pass through. We will need access to the rear door later so leave grommet out for now.

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Old 11-18-2012, 09:52 PM   #3
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Still waiting on JB Weld, move on to bracket for CB if you don’t already have a CB installed. I took two 2-hole clamps and wrapped them in the center with electrical tape (you can use rubber, or whatever). This avoids metal to metal contact and is quieter. Then I squeezed them 2 ends together until the holes lined up. I have seen pre-made clamps like this equipped with rubber or foam but could not find any so I McGuyver’d these like this. Then I attached these to a pair of L-shaped corner brackets using the machine screws and nuts. Once they were attached, I grabbed the CB and checked placement before drilling holes in main bracket. Once I figured this out, I marked the holes to drill and filed off any sharp edges and connected the main CB bracket, checking again for fitment. If you have a cig lighter connector for the CB, you can ignore this next part.

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Old 11-18-2012, 09:53 PM   #4
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I have two cords, one for 12V lighter and one permanently fixed in case I want to move the CB to my other vehicle. I routed my power straight to the radio harness using a splicer. I didn’t take pics of this since it was done previously (sorry). Look for tutorial about taking dash apart and removing radio. I spliced my hot into the red/yellow (+) and my ground to chassis or you can use the ground radio (black) wire.
By this time, the JB Weld has hardened sufficiently to attach it to the vehicle. But first, we need to run the antenna to the CB. Push the connector through the grommet until all but about 18” is left. Now here is the tricky part. A hole on the inner door may have to modified depending on your antenna connector size. Mine is chunky so once you pry off the inner plastic covering, there are two holes to fish it through; one left and one on right which is bigger. I could go through the right but I might be short so I opted to widen the left hole a bit. I dremeled it a little nice and smooth and now I can fish it through. To do this, I used a metal coat hanger with a small hook on one end and pushed it through the inside hole to the outside lower hole.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:53 PM   #5
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Then I tied a string around the collar of the antenna connector and the other end to the hanger. Using just the hanger isn’t possible since maneuvering is hard to do. So I dragged it all through and moved on. Now place the grommet back into the outside hole. I zip-tied the cable to the wiring near the hinge. Make sure you leave enough slack to be able to open the tailgate fully. Then I concealed the rest of the antenna cable under the roll bar covering (right side) and worked it all the way to the front and finally under the plastic trim until I got to the middle and down to the CB. I found this process easier to do with the top retracted back but some of you may not be able to do it due to weather so plan for this.



Then I went back to attach the bracket, then tightened all tire carrier screws and put spare back on. After everything was done, I did notice I needed to trim a spot next to tire in case of puncture (trimmed later and recommended). Anyway, the mag mount when placed on the round blade grabs it VERY STRONGLY so I didn’t need to worry about it falling off from vibrations or wind. Have fun with this easy mod!
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:25 PM   #6
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Excellent write up!

I've been planning a pretty similar set-up: I want my antenna slightly higher than the 3rd brake light and I would like my CB mounted to the center of the dash.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:42 PM   #7
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yeah and here is the link to that 14 gauge steel I used:
Shop The Hillman Group Weldable Angle 1/8" X 1-1/4" - 3 FT at Lowes.com
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:00 AM   #8
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Nice job sir I must say.

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