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Antenna Mount For Colorado

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio' started by N4LCV, Jul 28, 2021.

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  1. N4LCV

    N4LCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I was selling my Ford Escort to buy a Chevy Colorado, I was appalled to see how badly rusted the top of the Escort underneath the mag mount was. So I don’t think I want to use the mag mount on the Colorado. But I’m looking at other options and they all seem to have draw backs as well. Drilling a hole in the roof could result in leaks and what do you do about the coax and the headliner? I have an aftermarket rino liner so I wonder about a stake mount and getting it grounded. Would a door mount or a fender/hood mount cause binding when you close the door or hood and cause warping? If I use a trailer hitch mount, would it rattle around and cause problems, and what would I use as the antenna? Could I use the antenna I used on the old mag mount? So, how about it guys? What help can you give me?
  2. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You will probably find some tips here:

    Ford Escorts were prone to rust for some reason like several other Ford models. Maybe it's the metallic paint Ford liked to use on some models. My wife had a Ford Tempo that was a mess by the time we got rid of it. When I was a kid I had 1967 Mustang, same issue with the metallic paint. In other words, your Escort probably would have had damaged finish and rust even without the mag mount!

    I have a GMC Canyon which is the same thing as a Chevy Colorado. No problems with a mag-mount over four years.

    I don't have anything permanently installed, though, so that mag mount is not sitting in the exact same spot all that time. Plus it gets washed and waxed once or twice a year which probably helps protect the finish.
  3. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    As for other options, I had a Dodge Dakota for about 8 years (loved that truck!) and just drilled a hole in one of the bed rails and installed a basic NMO hole mount and a half-wave antenna. Ran the coax in through a hole drilled in the back wall of the truck behind one the rear seats (with a grommet). Never noticed any leaking.

    You could always bring it to a commercial two-way radio shop and have professionals drill the roof and run cables. They should have the right tools and experience to do it well.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2021
  4. KK9W

    KK9W Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a Breedlove stake pocket mount that is very solid but I also have a standard trunk lip mount on my truck. Yep, a lip mount on a truck. Along the inside of the bedrail of my F-150 is a vertical lip covered only on the outside by the plastic rail liner. I rotated both adjustable the mount for proper antenna orientation and bolted it in place. Been riding like this for 3 years or so now. Works like a champ. 20210209_165133_HDR.jpg
  5. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    A properly installed NMO should never leak, I don't know where this idea of "leakage" even comes from. That said, I don't know specifically about the Colorado, but most trucks it is possible to remove the inside dome light (if it has one) and install the NMO near that point. It doesn't have to be exactly over the dome light, that point is just used to facilitate pulling the cable through. Usually, you can snake the cable from the dome light access to the center pillar between doors, then run the coax down the pillar to the floor, where it can easily run to where it needs to go, front, middle, or back of truck.

    Through hole NMO is the professional way to do the install, and is what you will see on virtually every police car, fire truck, utility truck, etc. I have put in hundreds over the years, and the only leaks I remember were from damaged mounts, where someone hit a tree with the antenna, or some other low obstacle.
    W0GSQ and KA0HCP like this.
  6. K6CPO

    K6CPO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a Dodge Dakota and I mounted an NMO in the cab roof. It was an easy matter to gain access through the dome light and then drop the headliner enough to run the coax to the B pillar and down onto the floor. In the eight years since I installed the mount, there has been no leakage at all. A good quality NMO is going to be o-ring sealed twice over. There's an o-ring in the mount and another in the base of the antenna when it installed. Also, the little plastic caps I put on the mount to cover it when I have the antenna off also have o-rings in them.
  7. W0GSQ

    W0GSQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I installed a NMO mount on the roof of my Colorado a week after it was purchased new in 2004.
    It’s never leaked and I still have the truck.
    AB2YC likes this.
  8. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Through the roof mount is by far the best way to go. If you are reluctant to do it yourself it may be worth the $ and time to have Southern Emergency Equipment and Installation in Varnville SC do the work for you. They do mobile antenna installs on emergency vehicles all the time
    N0TZU likes this.
  9. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    A pro shop will also have to tools to remove plastic trim panels and (presumably) also know how to route the coax to avoid blocking the side airbags in the pillars and/or above the windows.

    People also do it themselves, but you must make sure you look very carefully to avoid placing the coax in front of the airbag expansion area. Use zip ties to keep the cable from possibly wandering over time. Disconnect the battery and wait 10 minutes before working on it to be sure you can’t accidentally trigger an airbag which could be very dangerous, not to mention expensive to replace.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2021
    N7WR likes this.
  10. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Excellent advice
    N0TZU likes this.

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