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French my antenna

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by usmile4, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. usmile4
    Joined: Jul 28, 2005
    Posts: 700

    usmile4
    Member

    I have looked at the threads with the search and I want to french the antenna in my 51 Chevy. I picked up a power antenna at a swap meet that works so now I just need to get it in.

    I got a length of 1 1/2" exhaust and I'm planning on welding a washer on the bottom and then using a hole saw to cut out the fender, weld in the pipe, grind and smooth, and attach the antenna to the inside of firewall.

    If you have done this, what tips and pointers can you give me?
     
  2. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,693

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.

    Drill a small hole of set near inside pipe/washer to let rain out,if it's in a place were it's needed,ya can weld a few in. of gas line to drain hole so ya can add a hose and run water off some were it's OK to.
     
  3. What he said. The rest is pretty straightforward. Depending on how deep it is, you might put one brace on the bottom of the pipe inside the fender. But with a power antenna it doesn't have to be 12" deep either.
     
  4. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,894

    Ned Ludd
    Member

    I've heard of people using the upper part of an old telescopic shock for the tube. Apart from that, what they said ^^^
     
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  5. Drewski
    Joined: Feb 22, 2008
    Posts: 269

    Drewski
    Member

    Same advice as everyone else gave. Definitely allow for water to drain and not extremely deep. I did a bunch of these back in the van craze of the 70's and I'm guilty of making them too deep and no drain, both of which caused some problems.

    Too deep and it's hard to get good paint coverage and install the antenna. Also install the antenna after you tack the mount in and check the orientation of the antenna for vertical or slanted.....whatever you're looking for...........before you finish weld it in.

    [​IMG]

    Drew
     
  6. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,681

    chopolds
    Member
    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    Nother tip....use a hole saw, just a hair smaller than the OD of your tubing. Clean up/enlarge the hole with a file, or carbide bit on a die grinder. This even works when putting the antenna on an almost vertical panel. Put a pilot hole in the center of where you want it, then use the hole saw on a drill, holding the drill straight up. It will drill a nice oval hole that the tubing will fit into, pointing straight up, like it should!
     
  7. usmile4
    Joined: Jul 28, 2005
    Posts: 700

    usmile4
    Member

    Thanks for the tip Chopolds...I had planned to use a hole saw but after reading your tip I did a test hole and the one I was going to use made a too big of a hole when cut on the contour of the fender. So I went to the next smaller die and then used the carbide tip to enlarge it so the tube fits perfectly.

    Now I can't decide whether to weld it in and grind it flush to the surface or form some kind of lip around it kinda like Drewski shows above. do any of you have any other pictures to give me some ideas?
     
  8. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,195

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    search here for thread: Frenched Antennas (pics wanted). also, threads on old custom builders like Bill Hines.
     
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,239

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That is a must. I'd do it so I could use at least a 5/16 hose on the drain.

    Also support the power unit for the antenna so that it doesn't try to swing around and if it is under a fender where water, mud or stuff can splash up on it make a shield for it. Both of those I learned from experience when I had the antenna sunk in the right front fender of the 48.
     

  10. What size pipe and Od did you use here?
    Looks great!
     
  11. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,239

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    What the guys all posted above is collectively great advice. Like Drewski I've been guilty of making the tube too long or too deep and along with not being able to get paint down in there it is hard to get the nut on or tighten it up in some cases.
     
  12. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    chaos10meter
    Member
    from PA.

    This is from front turn signals on my sled but same principle applies.
    Use your exhaust pipe, weld flat pc. on 1 end ,drill hole in end , in your case for the antenna.

    Make sure the hole in the fender is tight fit to your exhaust pipe pc. makes it much easier to work with.

    Then I always use a long pc. of threaded rod with a fender washers ( big) on inside of bucket and outside to snug up threaded rod in the bottom of the bucket.
    This helps to get the bucket straight or the way you want it, it's easier to see the angle or lack of on the long rod then it is to see it on only the bucket..

    Leave the bucket stick out of the fender a bit so you have some stock to weld on and then grind flush.

    The green tape on the headlight bucket is just a reference line/point to center this turn signal where we wanted it.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  13. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    chaos10meter
    Member
    from PA.

    Another thing I wanted to mention:\When you get to finishing it off.
    I always slide a pc of cardboard ( from a Pabst case in this instance ) on the inside of the hole to do your bondo work ( yes I use filler ) keeps the filler out of the inside which is a son of a gun to sand.
    Cut cardboard, roll it, greeze outside, slide in hole and apply filler.
    Grease keeps filler from sticking to card board easier to remove.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Drewski
    Joined: Feb 22, 2008
    Posts: 269

    Drewski
    Member

    I used 1 1/2" exhaust pipe for this mount. I installed it in the quarter of a 55 F100.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I used this same method for tunneling tail lights in to a roll pan for my 55.
    I slip rolled the tubes and welded bottoms into them, used a hole saw to cut the holes in the roll pan. Once I had them positioned, I welded them in just like the antenna mount.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Drew
     
  15. always make the hole smaller than the pipe, then spend a little time fitting it snug or as gap free as possible. once done slip pipe in and mark cut line with sharpie. install pipe and weld in. personally like to leave pipe up about 1/16" then wrap edge with 1/8th" tubing working it slowly so as not to kink it,just tack it a few places to hold it as its bent around. bring both ends together into a point finish welding and fill and finish with bondo. You should end up with an upside down teardrop with a really nice rolled edge thanks to the tubing.

    '
     
  16. usmile4
    Joined: Jul 28, 2005
    Posts: 700

    usmile4
    Member

    Thanks for all the help guys. I would have really messed it up had I not posted this thread and just did it on my own. I used the threaded rod to set my angle and the tip of using cardboard inside when finishing it off made the finishing so easy.

    Zapato...I'm glad I did not see your post until today as I would have tried that and with my lack of skill I know it would have not turned out like I would have wanted it to. Maybe the next one I do!

    Here's the final result:

    [​IMG]

    Now if only my $5 swap meet power antenna was not so bent at the tip! The antenna is either up all the way or down all the way. I'm thinking I might wire a toggle switch into the line so I can keep the antenna sticking out just a bit like in the picture.
     
  17. wizzard23
    Joined: Dec 12, 2009
    Posts: 732

    wizzard23
    Member

    I did the toggle switch thing on the wifes 50. Worked out okay.
     
  18. [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    First thing I ever frenched was my antenna. I also did the tail lights & radio. Just take your time.
    The sheild tail light took time to get all the angles to match.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  19. Does anyone know where to get the non motorized antennas?
     
  20. Any auto parts should have them.
     
  21. I will add a little tip if the antena is to deep in the tube to get a wrench on.Take a cheapo socket of the right size and weld a sq.1/4" tube to the side slide it over the antena and tighten it up.
     
  22. caseyscustoms
    Joined: May 15, 2005
    Posts: 1,031

    caseyscustoms
    BANNED
    from st.joe, MO

    shermnator turn the heat up on your welder, you wont get that splattered bird poop look if you do.
     
  23. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,681

    chopolds
    Member
    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    I had been having trouble finding the right antennas for tunneled antennas...the ones you can pull partially up. Either electric or one piece ones were all my local stores carried. I found the right ones on Auto Barn, on the web. Harada was the brand, and they are advertised as anti theft, as you can lock them once they are completely retracted.
     
  24. Yeah, I figured that out. Ground it all down & did it over.:cool: Shit happens LOL
     
  25. Thats how I did mine. Worked out great.:cool:
     
  26. Shane Spencer
    Joined: Oct 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,157

    Shane Spencer
    Member

    drewski, that french into the rear quarter of the cab will be on my to do list for my apache. bitchin
     
  27. designs that work
    Joined: Aug 29, 2005
    Posts: 411

    designs that work
    Member

    I do not have any pictures so someone can call BS. If you want to have a long tube and are wondering how to tighten the nut here is a slightly harder way to eliminate the nut. When my father did my antenna in the mid sixties, yes I am old. There is a brass compression nut, as in the plumbing section that is the same thread as the antennas were in the sixties. Drill the flat out so the antenna slips through and the threads are still in the nut. Braze the nut to a washer, drill your drain hole in the washer and weld the washer to the outside of the tube. A little hard to get everything square so only tack and check. You can now screw the antenna into the nut.
    Good Luck
     
  28. Vlopez22
    Joined: Nov 26, 2011
    Posts: 171

    Vlopez22
    Member

    does anyone have pics of the teardrop antennas
     
  29. pictures of your,work doin this method please
     

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