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Changing ariel to shark fin

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by 5l4y3r10, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. 5l4y3r10
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    5l4y3r10 Member

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    Brought a 2003 a3 1.8t :) amazing car but hate the huge ariel on the back can you change it to a shark fin or something small and if so how ? Thankyou
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  2. knoxie
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    knoxie K4OXE

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    some on has done it mate, he also wrapped his car to a really light blue but for the life of me i cant remember his name :facepalm
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  3. CHEZ
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    CHEZ moderately amusing

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    it was damo mate! he did it! looks good too!
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  4. 5l4y3r10
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    5l4y3r10 Member

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    Haha well at least i know that it can be done :) can you just buy a smaller ariel because i swear no one has this size ariel its huge haha
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  5. CHEZ
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    CHEZ moderately amusing

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    [​IMG]

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    he wont mind me whoring his images! but i think it looks cool!
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  6. 5l4y3r10
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    5l4y3r10 Member

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    Any information, on how to do it and where to buy parts would be appriceated?
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  7. Greg-S3
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    Greg-S3 Active Member

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    Open the tailgate, remove the boot appeture seal, remove both rear "c" pillar trims and upper seat belt bolts, remove the rear interior light from the headlining along with the grab handles, remove the trims as needed, gently ease the lining down put your arm through with a 22mm-24mm spanner and undo your old aireal and pull it through gently, disconnect the aireal, refix your new one and put it back together!
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  8. 5l4y3r10
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    5l4y3r10 Member

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    Thankyou mate, where can you buy them from? Could you send me a link for one that would fit? Also does it fit straight o? No fittings needed?
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  9. G60DAN
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    G60DAN Member

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    I just pulled the light out in the rear and put and spanner up through the opening 10 minute job.
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  10. Greg-S3
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    Greg-S3 Active Member

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    I'd be temped to try a dealer, a genuine Audi one would be good quality and fit well, plus I can't imagine them being that expensive! Or eBay! They are a straight swap over job, but the last one I changed was on a mk4 golf!
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  11. AJC
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    AJC 3rd Gear

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    The shark fin aerial if only designed for telephone and Sat Nav comms IIRC. The radio aerial on 8P cars is integrated into the rear windscreen so you won't get much of a radio reception by fitting this to an 8L. I think the owner acknowledged this in his thread but did it more for cosmetic reasons. I agree it suits the car much more but sadly won't work too well. I think there are alternatives to the standard long aerial but avoid the cheap ones on ebay as they're rubbish.
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  12. Greg-S3
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    Greg-S3 Active Member

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    Mk5 golf aireal contains both radio and gps. BMW shark fin aireals will work, Mercedes shark fin will work
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  13. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    AndyC-S3 pretty much nails it.

    There's no OEM swapout sharkfin, as they're primarily satcom aerials - so even if you get the right cable termination sorted out on a homebodged one, you'll get little or no radio reception because they're tuned to different bandwidths/impedance.

    Your stock 8L antenna is amplified, and all the gubbins for that are built into its base (ie between the headlining and the roof skin), if you ditch that you'll need an incredibly (read: implausibly) sensitive sharkfin to get anything like enough signal down the coax - I haven't looked, but there may be phantom-power amplified aftermarket sharkfins available - how well they'd match in terms of tuning and impedance may well vary quite wildly.

    All is not lost however... I fitted an aftermarket antenna to my 8L - combi AM/FM/DAB - so it is possible to get decent reception with an aftermarket antenna, but 1) that wasn't a sharkfin either 2) it wasn't exactly straightforward/cheap/cheerful... It was THIS antenna, but in a Blaupunkt packet. The Genglish product details on that page are tricky to make sense of, but I believe the amplifier in that one could either be phantom-powered via the coax, or given a dedicated supply. I seem to remember I phantom-powered mine (with the usual bog-standard silver tube modulator), and it worked perfectly with a Blaupunkt DAB-54 HU.

    There is a sharkfin on dabonwheel's catalogue, but I think it's DAB only.

    All the best,

    Rob.
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  14. Sam_
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    Sam_ Down under

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    I don't have any worse radio reception, and that's even in reasonably remote parts of Australia (between Sydney and Canberra). Maybe I got a fluke. I did have to change the plug over though, it was the same connector as the car loom. I also seem to have an aireal in my rear window (as I found out when fixing the boot lights).
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  15. cjsuk
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    cjsuk Member

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    I have a richbrook ariel using the short bit ( there is 2 bits included long and short) which looks good, was one of the first things I did due to the original Audi CB ariel looking pants lol.

    I would love a shark fin but to install one simply for looking good, i'm not going to bother (too much messing/money just for radio) BUT if I was to have an RNSE retro fitted this would be a route I would be prepared to go as it would be a practical toy as well as a good looking toy. That one ariel then becomes the heart of all things reception e.g. DVB-T, DAB, FM, GPS.
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  16. [Dave B]
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    [Dave B] Rrrrrrrr-tech

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