The radio antenna on Sprinter vans is badly placed and flimsy. It’ll break if you drive under low branches, wash the van, or let snow build up over it. Luckily, if it snaps off at the base, there’s a fix.
I had read about people breaking their Sprinter antenna off. I thought it must take some effort, but then I did the same thing when I was washing the van. I just knocked it with a soft bristle brush and it snapped straight off.
The antenna/aerial is made of flexible wire, but the base is a rigid plastic. That plastic must be either really thin or really fragile, because it breaks very easily. My antenna, and others I’ve seen, seem to break off while still attached to the metal insert in the plastic base.
This is a bigger problem than it might seem, because there’s a hole from the antenna base right in to the van. Water can and will get in there, into the headliner, then down on to the dash area. Not good.
Yes, I thought you’d want the fix option too. Here’s what you should do:
- Unthread the (broken) threaded part of the base from the actual antenna.
- Thread in a well greased M6 bolt. The grease will stop epoxy from gluing this bolt in place. Don’t get grease on the gluing surface though.
- Epoxy the broken part with the bolt mounted in it back on to the roof mount using a SMALL quantity of epoxy. We used Loctite Plastic Bonder Epoxy. The metal antenna connection in the base is sprung from underneath so that the antenna can make a good connection. It’s going to push back up at you when you re-attach the broken piece. You’re going to have to tape it down well while it sets. Don’t get epoxy on the metal contacts, or the antenna won’t connect and you won’t get good reception.
- Once it’s set up, unthread the M6 bolt and re-attach your antenna.
- Apply a nice layer of Marine Goop or similar sealant around the repair just in case it wasn’t watertight.
- Drive until you do the same thing next time.
Update: Although it’s unlikely, you might just have broken the antenna whip. If the base is still in one piece, you can get a replacement mast from Amazon.