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    Thread: How do I replace the rubber Antenna seal?

    1. Junior Member
      Join Date
      May 16th, 2006
      Atlanta, GA
      2001.5 VW Passat 1.8T
      11-27-2007 02:03 PM #1
      The bottom seal or "ring" at the base of the rooftop antenna on my 2001.5 Passat GLS 1.8T has torn and needs to be replaced.
      To give you guys a better idea of what I am talking about, take a look at this picture (and no, this is not my car, but one of the first images that popped up when I typed "Passat antenna" into Google Images):
      If you look at that picture, the ring at the base of the antenna has torn completely. I took my car into the dealer for its regular 75k service and asked them to look into replacing that small seal. They told me it would cost $240 to replace because they would have to remove my headliner and replace the entire antenna. I declined this estimate because I am not paying 240 bucks just to replace a small rubber ring.
      I also asked them if the ring served a function or was it purely cosmetic. They informed me that the ring protects the antenna wiring on the inside of the roof from moisture and that if I did not get this seal replaced, that over time, the wiring for my antenna would corrode and I would lose radio reception. Makes sense.
      So do you guys have any recommendations? Could I just super glue the damn thing back together?

    2. 11-27-2007 02:36 PM #2
      Search around here and passatworld.com. I remember reading a thread that suggested it could be done by just heating the new seal in the microwave and then working its way down into place from the top...
      Much better option than removing the headliner.
      Also, the same post had a link to a website to buy the seal for like 8 bucks...

      Modified by Passat_BR at 11:41 AM 11-27-2007

    3. 11-27-2007 04:46 PM #3
      Put some KY on it ... some on the rubber too along with heating it .. and be gentle .. its a first time you know.

    4. Member
      Join Date
      Nov 5th, 2003
      Johns Island SC
      2003 Audi A8L
      11-27-2007 06:44 PM #4
      You have to take out the headliner to do it properly. It can be time consuming. Ineed to replace mine on my Passat also.

    5. 11-27-2007 11:22 PM #5
      I purchased my gasket from antennamastsrus.com - they run about $6 (I ended up buying a couple). I heated the gasket in a microwave (5-10 sec) and just slid it on from above - working it in with a flat blade screwdriver (with tip wrapped in tape to prevent scratching the roof). Iguess the K-Y Jelly would help as well.
      You could also search ebay for the gasket.

    6. 11-27-2007 11:31 PM #6
      I would think it safer to heat the gasket in very hot water. That's usually how I get rubber things on things that they're too big to fit on.
      Wait, what?

    7. 11-28-2007 10:54 PM #7
      Replaced my antenna mount a few months back as the gasket had failed, and I had bad AM reception. (Just an idea, but if you are over 40 like me,a digital camera has a better memory as you perform each step. Avoids having extra parts at the end).
      The removal of the headliner is tricky,and you have to be careful not to put a wrinkle in the headliner...but...
      OK, remove the two clips at the back of the headliner. There are two covers you will pry off. Underneath each is a screw you will have to remove so the clips can be removed. Slide each clip backoff the headliner...that camera idea...
      Next,remove the side panels behind each side window. These pull off.
      Now you should be able to pry down the headliner. If you look at it, it wraps around a support just above the rear window. The headliner has a "J" shape to it at the back. That is what holds it up back there. You should start at one side and work it off as you move to the other side. (Maybe a tool like a pencil to work behind it?) Be careful not to damage it during this step. You may find the wife helpful for supporting it now. Or you might not.
      Once you have it off the back lip, you should look on the driver side under the headliner at the rear. You will see where the wire from the antenna connects to the wiring harness. Unclip this now. If I remember right, you have to push the two connectors toward each to seperate them. If you are just replacing the gasket, you may not have to disconnect.
      Next, look up right under the antenna. There is a nut holding the antenna on. You will have to loosen this and slide it off. Once it is off, it will slide down the wire. You should be able to remove the antenna now. The gasket has to go under the antenna base, (Kodak moment?)so you have to loosen the antenna.
      Good time to wax under gasket!
      Reassemble opposite of the above, remembering to reconnect the antenna ( remember how it looks in that pic?) BEFORE putting the headliner back on. When I put the headliner back on, I started on one side and worked over to the other side.
      It curls over the metal support.
      Snap the two side covers back on, put the clips back on by sliding them on from the back to the front, and put the screws and covers in.
      Now you can delete those pics.

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