[V8] How can you increase radio reception on a 90 V8?

Buchholz, Steven Steven.Buchholz at kla-tencor.com
Fri Mar 11 15:40:22 EST 2005

First question ... does your car still have the factory setup?  If not,
the problem may be that when an aftermarket deck was installed they
didn't connect the power for the antenna amplifiers.  The windshield
mounted antennae use amplifiers, and without power they don't work well
at all.  

Second question ... is the reception a problem in AM and FM or only AM?
The V8 actually has two antennae for the radio ... one in each
windshield.  The one in the front windshield is only for FM, and if the
two connections are swapped at the deck the AM reception will be very

When I bought my first V8 I found the radio reception to be excellent in
both AM and FM modes.  After I had the car in for the airbag recall (if
I remember correctly I had to have the car in 3 times before they
finally got that one right) the FM reception was gone.  I called this to
their attention and they fixed me right up ... until I listened to the
AM reception.  What I found was the dealer simply swapped the front and
rear antenna connections at the deck!  After investigating further I
learned that the "coax" from the rear antenna was damaged somehow during
the recall operation.  There's a very fine gauge wire for the center
conductor, it probably got pinched.  

To test for this situation you can pull off the inner C-pillar cover on
the left (driver's) side of the car.  Behind the cover you will see a
black module connecting to the rear defroster that has several
electrical connections ... one of which being a coax cable connection.
Unscrew this connector, turn on the radio and set it to the frequency of
a known AM or FM station.  Reception is likely to be bad or
non-existent.  Now take a length of wire ... a test lead for a
multimeter works just fine ... and touch it to the center contact of the
antenna ... if the reception does not change significantly you have a
problem with the cable.  If the cable is working, the next thing to
check is that power is being supplied to the amplifier, and that the
amplifier is attached to the tabs on the windshield.

Steve B
San Jose, CA (USA)
> > Mine kinda sucks, and i know the little black antenna is for the 
> > cell phone, and the back window holds as the radio antenna...what a 
> > genius idea.....
> That second antenna connector is actually for the OEM radio (has 2
> antenna terminals) The second coax is for the radio antenna 
> imbedded in
> the front windshield, not the cell phone.
> I've never had any reception problems with the Delta (OEM) unit, but I
> live in an urban area.  Audi installed external antennas for customers
> who complained about reception in the V8Q.  Only 1 of my 3 
> V8Q's has an
> external antenna.

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