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Author Topic: Ford Explorer (2013) Antenna Location  (Read 6818 times)
W3OWL
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« on: August 09, 2012, 01:47:50 PM »

I am finally going VHF/UHF mobile in a new 2013 Explorer (police version) and need some suggestions for an antenna mount.  I can't drill holes in the roof, but would prefer something like a hood lip mount for the right front fender area.  I suppose a rear hatch lip location would be OK, but I don't really want to run the coax the length of the vehicle.  TNX.  W3OWL
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2012, 03:55:40 PM »

Why can't you drill a hole? Is it not yours?
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W3OWL
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2012, 05:41:40 PM »

Correct, no drilling holes in the exterior of the vehicle.
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M6GOM
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2012, 03:38:43 AM »

Change the radio to one with a remote head unit and then you can put the main body in the back and not need to run the co-ax the length of the vehicle.

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W3OWL
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2012, 05:20:08 AM »

Yes, I will be using a unit with a remote face plate.  I was asking if anyone had a suggestion (brand, style, model number, etc.) of an antenna mount which could be used on the hood lip/front fender area of the 2013 Explorer.
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VA3WXM
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 11:50:22 AM »

Larsen NMO L-bracket, NMO mount and NMO270 antenna.
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W3OWL
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2012, 05:01:59 PM »

Many thanks, I'll do a little research on this combination.
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KD4LLA
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2012, 06:56:30 PM »

I am finally going VHF/UHF mobile in a new 2013 Explorer (police version) and need some suggestions for an antenna mount.
Why not mount it in the roof like the police would do?  Anything else is a compromise.

Mike
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W3OWL
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2012, 06:04:29 AM »

As stated in my first two posts, I am not permitted to drill any holes in the exterior of the body, including the roof.  And there is no roof rack on the police version.  So I am limited to some other type of antenna mount.
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K7RBW
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2012, 06:46:58 AM »

If you can't drill holes, then your options are limited to a mag-mount or a glass-mount antenna. Both are compromises and have their limitations, but both will work to some degree or another. If you're looking to just hit repeaters and local radios, either will do fine (That's how I've run in the past up until this spring when I finally punched a hole in my roof).

The downsides to glass-mount antennas are they whistle (to an annoying degree) and they aren't designed to work on the front windshield. I've put both of mine on the front windshield (2 different cars) and they've worked but required some additional trimming.

Mag mounts work OK on U/VHF, probably better than glass-mount, depending on the style used. The downside, of course, is they can fall off if you drive under something. That's not the end of the world, but it can scratch the paint.

Remember that either option will require you to run a power cable from the battery, through the firewall, and to your radio and you'll probably want to mount your radio firmly to the car to keep it from falling at some inopportune time. If you're doing all that, you might also look at a hard mount drilled into the fender (below the hood line so you can't see it). Look up NMO L-bracket. Then you can run the antenna and power lines at the same time, but that's starting to get more involved than just a glass-mount or a mag-mount.

Good luck!
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W3OWL
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2012, 03:05:59 PM »

Thanks for the suggestions Bob.  Fortunately this model has a number of power leads already installed under the dash area I can access.  The tricky part is finding an access hole in the firewall for the coax leading to a front fender antenna mount.  The firewall is like nothing I've ever seen before; there are no obvious holes or plugs available to run a cable or wire through.  I suppose I could drill a hole, but there is so much stuff on both sides of the fire wall that it would be easy to mess something up on the opposite side.  It might actually be easier to route the coax to the rear hatch of the Explorer by just removing the plastic door sills and related mouldings.  TNX again.
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AI4HO
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2012, 04:01:04 PM »

If you wont, or can't drill, how about a hood lip mount.  Run the coax through the firewall and into the cab.

Mark
AI4HO
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W3OWL
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« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2012, 05:11:22 AM »

That was my original question; with the strange angle and shape of the hood lip / fender location, I was wondering if anyone has a suggestion on a specific model of antenna mount.  And as mentioned, so far I have not found any existing holes in the firewall to route the coax.  This model might be too new for any historical data, but TNX to everyone for your suggestions. 
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K7RBW
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2012, 06:47:53 AM »

I haven't looked at a new Explorer, but the hood/fender line on my RAV4 made it impractical to use the typical L-bracket attached to the fender's sheet metal (below the hood line). (They don't build them like they used to...) That's why I went with the windshield-mount and mag-mount antennas (before finally punching a hole in the roof).

The curves of the RAV4's body-line also precluded those mounts that clamp to the hood/trunk lip. However, I used one of those on my other car and it damaged the sheet metal (slightly).
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W3OWL
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« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2012, 05:37:27 AM »

Thanks for the caution about the sheet metal with a lip mount, and the strange contours of the hood/fender area would make it a challenge.  I can get power under the dash area without problem, but getting through the firewall is another matter.  I might have to go with a rear hatch antenna mount and just run the coax the length of the vehicle under the door lip mouldings and cargo area plastic trim.  TNX
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