Relocate transmitter antenna wire DIY

98Firebird

Active member
Hello all, here is a DIY for re-routing the transmitter antenna wire which should help with transmitter reception.

First we'll be removing this small dash panel beside the glove compartment:



Simply take this single t25 screw out and pull the panel straight out:



Panel Removed



Next we'll move on to removal of the glove box assembly by removing the 3 circled screws:



Once those screws are out we move on to these 3 screws:



After all the screws are out, pull the top portion of the glove box down and out (you may have to remove a hose and/or light connector from the top portion of the glove box before totally removing)



Then simply pull the glove box assembly all the way out:



Next we'll start with removing the radio trim. I always start with a plastic trim tool at the point shown then work my way down the right side. After that I go back up to the top portion and pry it loose, then finally pry the left side loose from top to bottom and then the trim piece pulls out fairly easily:



Once you have the radio trim out we'll be removing the highlighted screws:



Once these 2 screws are out, carefully pull the trim panel they were holding straight back to avoid breaking the panel. This will reveal the area where the antenna will be routed through. I highlighted roughly where we'll be passing the antenna wire through:



Now to go find that pesky antenna wire behind where we removed the glove box. There will be a large round metal pipe directly behind where the glove box was, the wire will be on this support with 2 pieces of fabric tape holding it in place:



At this point you should have something like this:



Now just snip this zip tie off to give the wire enough room to route it how we need to:



Finally we'll route the wire by the upper vent as shown and towards the windshield. Make sure to avoid the holes circled in red as they are where the trim panel clips in. Apply fabric tape of some sort in the areas in yellow, and you're all set!



As with most things install is reverse of removal. I take no credit for the actual repair as MB figured out the new routing idea. I just broke the process down so people who haven't had
hundreds of these dashes out will be able to re route the antenna wire fairly easily. Never made a DIY before so definitely let me know if there any improvements to be made. Thanks!
 
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Thanks for taking the time to do this DIY project. First can you tell us why we need to do this?

Gene
 
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98Firebird

Active member
Absolutely, I made this in response to the keyless remote performance thread. The original location of the antenna is not ideal and performing this repair allows for a larger remote range. They found the problem (I'm assuming after looking into it after multiple complaints) and came out with the procedure as a remedy. They do not make it clear or not if they are changing the procedure at the factory level (I personally doubt they are changing the installation position at the factory). As far as testing I have not had a chance to test it myself yet, the van I did this on has the engine apart with no battery in it. Pictures should be fixed let me know please.
 
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I missed the thread you mentioned which brings up another question to me as I check the list two or three times a day. Anyway I have the dash out and ceiling panel out so I look forward to your reduced pictures. Thanks again.

Gene
 
OK, I got all the panels off that you mentioned. Did you take the panel in front of the airbag off? Or can you safely? It would make it a lot easier if you could. I tried and it will slide sideways a bit but something is holding it on that is not obvious. I never force anything, especially if it may blow up on me, ha, ha.:hmmm:

One thing that was not clear to me that I have now figured out is that is not a wire traveling elsewhere, it IS the antenna. Yes, I am kinda slow.:rolleyes: So, without taking that front panel out is kinda hard to get to that ziptie to cut it off. Another question, perhaps for others, is while I am replacing the radio would there be a better place to put the antenna. Actually my van opened 15 ft from the rear when I was approaching it.

Thanks to all for any assistance.

Gene
 

Bobnoxious

Note to self; stay in der DZ.
Hello all, here is a DIY for re-routing the transmitter antenna wire which should help with transmitter reception.

First we'll be removing this small dash panel beside the glove compartment:



Simply take this single t25 screw out and pull the panel straight out:



Panel Removed



Next we'll move on to removal of the glove box assembly by removing the 3 circled screws:



Once those screws are out we move on to these 3 screws:



After all the screws are out, pull the top portion of the glove box down and out (you may have to remove a hose and/or light connector from the top portion of the glove box before totally removing)



Then simply pull the glove box assembly all the way out:



Next we'll start with removing the radio trim. I always start with a plastic trim tool at the point shown then work my way down the right side. After that I go back up to the top portion and pry it loose, then finally pry the left side loose from top to bottom and then the trim piece pulls out fairly easily:



Once you have the radio trim out we'll be removing the highlighted screws:



Once these 2 screws are out, carefully pull the trim panel they were holding straight back to avoid breaking the panel. This will reveal the area where the antenna will be routed through. I highlighted roughly where we'll be passing the antenna wire through:



Now to go find that pesky antenna wire behind where we removed the glove box. There will be a large round metal pipe directly behind where the glove box was, the wire will be on this support with 2 pieces of fabric tape holding it in place:



At this point you should have something like this:



Now just snip this zip tie off to give the wire enough room to route it how we need to:



Finally we'll route the wire by the upper vent as shown and towards the windshield. Make sure to avoid the holes circled in red as they are where the trim panel clips in. Apply fabric tape of some sort in the areas in yellow, and you're all set!



As with most things install is reverse of removal. I take no credit for the actual repair as MB figured out the new routing idea. I just broke the process down so people who haven't had
hundreds of these dashes out will be able to re route the antenna wire fairly easily. Never made a DIY before so definitely let me know if there any improvements to be made. Thanks!
Moderator for easier reference, can/should this excellent write-up be moved to data or write up section?
 
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98Firebird

Active member
OK, I got all the panels off that you mentioned. Did you take the panel in front of the airbag off? Or can you safely? It would make it a lot easier if you could. I tried and it will slide sideways a bit but something is holding it on that is not obvious. I never force anything, especially if it may blow up on me, ha, ha.:hmmm:

One thing that was not clear to me that I have now figured out is that is not a wire traveling elsewhere, it IS the antenna. Yes, I am kinda slow.:rolleyes: So, without taking that front panel out is kinda hard to get to that ziptie to cut it off. Another question, perhaps for others, is while I am replacing the radio would there be a better place to put the antenna. Actually my van opened 15 ft from the rear when I was approaching it.

Thanks to all for any assistance.

Gene
Haha totally understandable being cautious around an airbag. That panel I did not remove, it is actually attached to the airbag so the whole airbag assembly would have to be removed to get it out of the way which also requires new airbag bolts to reinstall. I was able to snip the zip tie off with a pair of side cutters I have.
 

98Firebird

Active member
Hey guys I finally have an update on this. Finally got all the repairs done on this van and was able to take it out on the ole QC test drive. When I got back I tested the transmitter range out and at the limit of our parking lot (about 25 yards away, just walked it off so not super precise) I was still able to lock/unlock the van from any angle. I imagine I could have went further but ran out of parking lot room. All in all it seems like it's worth the effort to give it a shot. I'm interested to see if anybody else does this and what their results are. I unfortunately did the write up on a whim and don't have a baseline to compare the new range too. I did also try using the key from directly at the back of the van as it seemed like a lot of people were having issues with this and I had no problems locking/unlocking the doors.
 

Sprinter SS

Active member
Wow, that van looks like the floor in a public theatre! Looks like he gets his coffee " close enough" to the cup holder!
 
Wow, that van looks like the floor in a public theatre! Looks like he gets his coffee " close enough" to the cup holder!
Hmm...don't really care what it looks like. I'll bet he is a victim of ****ty MB engineering of cupholders.

I just think it is awesome he tried this and did such and awesome write up.


Congrats to the OP on putting this together. I might have to give it a whirl when I tear my dash apart for a stereo upgrade.
 

98Firebird

Active member
Wow, that van looks like the floor in a public theatre! Looks like he gets his coffee " close enough" to the cup holder!
It is a very dirty van, I realized how badly it looked after doing the DIY but I wasn't about to clean the inside of somebody else's vehicle for them while I was also giving them a free transmitter antenna relocation.
 

Sprinter SS

Active member
It is a very dirty van, I realized how badly it looked after doing the DIY but I wasn't about to clean the inside of somebody else's vehicle for them while I was also giving them a free transmitter antenna relocation.
I totally get it , really appreciate the tutorial. Great pics.
Just amazing to me how people take care of such an expensive van...
I bet at the dealer you see all kinds of vehicular abuse!

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

98Firebird

Active member
I totally get it , really appreciate the tutorial. Great pics.
Just amazing to me how people take care of such an expensive van...
I bet at the dealer you see all kinds of vehicular abuse!

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
Oh absolutely I totally agree it really frustrates me I can't stand a nasty interior (especially if I have to crawl around the floor of it). I have seen some crazy cases of vehicle abuse, not to get too off topic but there was a mini cooper that came in for something (not sure what, don't know why they wanted me to work on it really) and we had to set off a 'spray bomb' inside to neutralize the odor because it stunk so bad you literally could not sit inside it!
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Oh absolutely I totally agree it really frustrates me I can't stand a nasty interior (especially if I have to crawl around the floor of it). I have seen some crazy cases of vehicle abuse, not to get too off topic but there was a mini cooper that came in for something (not sure what, don't know why they wanted me to work on it really) and we had to set off a 'spray bomb' inside to neutralize the odor because it stunk so bad you literally could not sit inside it!
Haha
This is the other side of repairing cars!
Sometimes it has its good sides--like as an apprentice there was a bone rendering plant nearby.
The stink you could ignore but the rotting flesh inside truck cabins and cargo areas took some getting used to! Not allowed in the shop I used to get triple time to fix 'em and quad time on Sundays.
That stated the worst i have heard is a guy I knew who worked at the Ford main dealers in town!
A trade in Ford Cortina had little cabin heat and it stunk with the heater switched on!
Digging into the heater trunking he found it all blocked up with fully charged used condoms!
Great job for a Monday morning at 8,00 am!
Dennis
 

Bobnoxious

Note to self; stay in der DZ.
During B-1B Bomber production, used condoms were found inside fuel tanks causing quite the ruckus.
 
@98Firebird, was there any mention in the bulletin on what years this fix applies to? I say this because I just recently had the dash of my 2015 torn apart. There was a wire that looked like the antenna above the radio head unit in the dash under the top/center dash compartment. I didn't relocate it at the time because your write up wasn't done. However, my FOB range was terrible. I could almost never get a double click to open all the doors. After the work I did, it now works great. I replaced the head unit and speakers. I'm wondering if there wasn't some interference from some of the other factory wiring that I did disconnect/move.
 

BrayzieSprinter

New member
I just got done completing this project. It took me about 20 mins to do. The antenna wire has a female connector at the end and is held by three pieces of fabric tape running along the support bar underneath the dash. There is a huge difference in range. Before re routing. I would be just over ten feet away and would have to walk closer to the vehicle to lock it or unlock it. I would also be directly behind the van trying to unlock and would have to step to the side and aim the fob to the front doors to unlock and hit 4 times to respond and ask myself why did I pay so much for a pos that can’t even unlock the doors with the oem fob . After re routing. I can unlock and lock around 30 feet away with no obstructions and from behind the rear doors. No more issues.

I do have after an aftermarket system with the mid city engineering module
But I hate carrying extra weight on my keys
Unlocking with aftermarket fob. Then using oem key to start it. Seems annoying. Personal preference

Anyways. This was done on a 2017 Mercedes sprinter
 

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