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Relocating Ford antennas for FWC

F-150 F-250 SiriusXM Satellite radio GPS antenna

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#1 Yonder37

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Posted 13 February 2023 - 04:31 AM

Ordered F-150 HDPP in September 2022, it was delivered in January 2023. Ordered FWC Hawk in October 2022, it will be installed in March 2023.

 

Late-model F-150s and F-250s have two "warts" on the back edge of the cab roof. The warts are actually the antennas used by the vehicle GPS and the SiriusXM satellite radio. They will be completely covered by the cabover part of the camper after installation. Since FWCs have aluminum roofs, I suspected that this would cripple the antennas. Asked around and confirmed that this is an issue.

 

After I got the truck, I took it to the most experienced car stereo installers in my area. I was thinking they could somehow disconnect the two warts and move them from the back of the cab to the front, where they would be less affected by the camper. I was told that this wasn't feasible.

 

Instead, they left the warts in place, but unplugged them from the central radio/display on the dashboard. Then they plugged in compatible new antennas, which were mounted towards the front of the truck. The new GPS antenna is inside on the dashboard. The new SiriusXM antenna is outside on the cowling, it does not interfere with the opening of the hood.

 

The nav system and sat radio both seem to be working normally with the new antennas. Seems like they should be completely unaffected by the addition of the camper next month.

 

Cost was about $60 for the new SiriusXM antenna and cable, $50 for the new GPS antenna, and $340 for labor, so about $450 total. Hard part was tearing apart the dashboard to get to the antenna plugs, then reassembling it. 

 

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Edited by Yonder37, 13 February 2023 - 04:37 AM.

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#2 Old Crow

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Posted 13 February 2023 - 03:03 PM

Yonder, thanks for posting.  Looking forward to your assessment once you get your new Hawk (congrats!) on the truck.

 

Do you have details on what models the replacement antennas are?  (They may be on your bill from the installers)


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'01 FWC Hawk shell on a '13 Tundra Double-Cab  + '19 Ford Transit van with Quigley 4x4 option


#3 Big Al

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Posted 13 February 2023 - 04:09 PM

I encountered the same problem with my  diesel powered 2020 Ford F-250, SXT, but since my system uses the Waze app on my phone when it's plugged into the USB port, low on the dashboard, I only had the Sirius antenna.  My installer also left the old antenna in place and added another one.  I don't know the make or model of the replacement but I'm getting very good (but not excellent) reception.  I'm in Los Angeles and they said that's the best that can be expected around here.  It was excellent before I was forced to change it.  Now in some areas and when driving in some directions (mostly north) the reception cuts in and out.  

 

It seems pretty short sighted of Ford to have placed the "warts" in that location, knowing that many of us will put on campers that will effectively "blind" them.  

 

ETA:  My installer mounted the new antenna near the top of the windshield where the roof just starts to curve down.  

 

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Edited by Big Al, 13 February 2023 - 04:40 PM.

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#4 Yonder37

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Posted 13 February 2023 - 04:16 PM

Do you have details on what models the replacement antennas are?  (They may be on your bill from the installers)

No, sorry, and the invoice does not include those details. I could give you contact info for the guy who did the installation, he seemed proud that he made it work, would probably be happy to discuss.

 

The sat radio antenna puck is labelled "SiriusXM" on the top; my impression is that it was nothing unusual. There was more info printed on the base; should have taken a picture before it was attached. The shop seemed confident that the sat radio would not be an issue; they were more concerned about the GPS.

 

The GPS module has a bunch of info that is visible on the top. Will post a picture of that later. 


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#5 Yonder37

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Posted 13 February 2023 - 04:20 PM

Now in some areas and when driving in some directions (mostly north) the reception cuts in and out.  

My route back from the stereo place with the new antennas was south. Have not tried driving north yet.


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#6 Big Al

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Posted 13 February 2023 - 05:00 PM

I added some pix to my post, just above.  Yonder37 I think that your Sirius antenna may be in a better position than mine.  Where are you located?  


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#7 Yonder37

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Posted 13 February 2023 - 06:57 PM

Do you have details on what models the replacement antennas are?  

 

Close up pictures attached.

 

The SiriusXM antenna looks like it could be a common NGVA3 unit, but don't know for sure. The info is on the base, but it's stuck firmly on the cowling and I don't want to pry it off (the cowling is plastic, so the antenna is held is place by adhesive, not a magnet). I was also charged for a satellite radio cable adapter, so an additional part was apparently needed.

 

The GPS module has info printed on the top. Was not charged for an adapter, so apparently none was needed. My impression is that the GPS antenna was the main concern. The installer seemed confident from the start that he could find and install a compatible SiriusXM antenna, but had to do some research on the GPS antenna.

 

My truck is a basic 2023 F-150 XL with an 8" touchscreen on the radio/display unit in the dashboard. The installer asked specifically about the touchscreen size. Other F-150 trims come with different radio/display units with larger touchscreens. So it seems possible that the parts are not necessarily identical for all late-model F-150 or F-250 trims. 

 

I think that your Sirius antenna may be in a better position than mine.

 

We discussed putting it at the top of the windshield, but the installer thought that it would work better on the cowling, due to the proximity of the camper.

 

Where are you located?  

 

‚ÄčAlso in California, but in the central part of the state, between LA and the Bay Area.

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Edited by Yonder37, 13 February 2023 - 07:09 PM.

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#8 Yonder37

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Posted 13 February 2023 - 07:14 PM

I don't know the make or model of the replacement but I'm getting very good (but not excellent) reception. ... My installer mounted the new antenna near the top of the windshield where the roof just starts to curve down.  

 

Your replacement antenna looks similar to mine, but since it is mounted on the metal roof, it might be attached magnetically. If so, you may be able to lift it off. The model info should be printed on the base.


Edited by Yonder37, 13 February 2023 - 07:15 PM.

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#9 Big Al

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Posted 14 February 2023 - 05:09 PM

Your replacement antenna looks similar to mine, but since it is mounted on the metal roof, it might be attached magnetically. If so, you may be able to lift it off. The model info should be printed on the base.

 

That's not gonna work.  Most all of my body panels are aluminum.  Gotta save weight yaknow.  


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#10 UncleDougie

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Posted 15 February 2023 - 11:08 PM

So I just tackled this issue on my 2022 F250 Super Duty

 

1. Found where the roof antenna was connected to the line into the back of the SNYC 3 unit. It is actually on the driver side back corner of the roof. If you remove your coat hanger hook then pop out headline then pop away the plastic around your seat belt you'll see it and the GPS antenna. The [Purple] is for GPS. Leave that in place. The [Curry] pea-green one is the SiriusXM antenna.

 

See attached images of items I purchased on Amazon.

 

NOTE: you'll need to cut the metal connectors off and splice the two wires together. Make sure to use shrink tube for the actual satellite wire AND the outer copper that shields it.

 

2. When you go to release the antenna you'll see a tab. Press that tab towards the center of your cab and the other end will easily come out. I thought it was the opposite and struggled needlessly.

 

3. I put my antenna on the roof of my FWC Hawk Flatbed. I have a galvanized piece of steel up there for my GMRS antenna and have that attached to the Yakima rails. The antenna is BOTH magnetic and has good 3M adhesive on it so you could just clean a spot on the roof with alcohol and stick it up there.

 

4. Ran the cable down under the cab and came up through the plastic grommet behind passenger seat.

 

5. From there I ran under the floor liner to driver side and up the rear pillar making sure it was behind the airbag stuff.

 

6. Plugged it in and I was good-to-go.

 

antennas 3
antennas 2

antennas

 


Edited by UncleDougie, 15 February 2023 - 11:09 PM.

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