Dakota Forumz banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! New member here. Just got myself a 99 Dakota RT (5.9)
AWESOME truck, however I have an issue thats driving me insane.
It came with an Alpine aftermarket radio and infinity amp has been completely bypassed, no longer active or connected, just installed 4 JBL touring series speakers. It sounds beautiful, the antenna base was completely damaged and broken upon purchase, so no fm reception at all.
Looking online everywhere and the scrap yards, could not find an oem replacement base. So I went out and bought a metra side mount replacement antenna assembly, and ran the new cable directly into the receiver, used the factory size 30" whip. Am reception perfect, Fm, is great while vehicle is in ACC mode only, upon starting the engine it is like all the stations have gone weak, even 101.5, a station so strong you can pickup with a paperclip in most areas. No alternator whine, just static. Shop says alternator is good, distributor is good, spark plugs and packs are all good. No mechanical issues whatsoever.
Checked all the grounds from battery to radio that can be seen, antenna ground is great, even ran a seperate ground from radio directly to chassis to rule that out from the harness. Still static when running. Swapped radios with a old known working Panasonic, same thing. Alpine is back in now.
Ideas?! Previous owner said FM worked great with factory antenna until the base broke off. Is it possible the built in aftermarket antenna coax is bad and not shielding interference properly? Its certainly a whole lot thinner than the oem coaxial cabling I removed. Would love to figure this out. I'm still a daily user of fm radio, just flip it on and head to work especially for traffic/talk shows.
 

·
Registered
2003 Dakota Sport, club cab, 3.9L V6, 5 speed manual
Joined
·
847 Posts
According to the FSM, there should be two body to engine ground straps to provide radio noise suppression. Both are attached to the firewall below the plenum (area below the wipers) at studs in the firewall, one on the left side, and one on the right side. The ground strap on the left side attaches to a bolt on the rear of the left cylinder head. The ground strap on the right side attaches to one of the rear-most valve cover studs in the right head. (I don't know why the difference, maybe there is no appropriate threaded bolt hole on the rear of the right head.) Apparently, it's important that both straps are intact and connected to provide radio noise suppression.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
According to the FSM, there should be two body to engine ground straps to provide radio noise suppression. Both are attached to the firewall below the plenum (area below the wipers) at studs in the firewall, one on the left side, and one on the right side. The ground strap on the left side attaches to a bolt on the rear of the left cylinder head. The ground strap on the right side attaches to one of the rear-most valve cover studs in the right head. (I don't know why the difference, maybe there is no appropriate threaded bolt hole on the rear of the right head.) Apparently, it's important that both straps are intact and connected to provide radio noise suppression.
I will certainly be checking that shortly and reporting back! Thankyou!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update, so I removed, sanded, cleaned, and tightened both ground straps. They were somewhat corroded, the reception is about 50% better but the static is still there. Upon moving cables around i bumped the antenna coax, moving it, and the static faded then intensified depending where it was moved, keep in mind its secured at both ends and also clipped in place. Moving the cable around/jostling it seems to be an intermittent loss issue or bad shielding to/from interference. So apparently the issue is the new cable running permantly into the cheap antenna base itself. I cut my losses and removed it all again, stripping back the wire to find barely any shielding around the center conductor. I literally mean its about 4 strands of what must be filament wire randomly twisted. I wouldn't even call it shielding, more so just a path for ground.
Searching online for aftermarket antennas, none with either removal ends that are compatible with the mounting hole, or with quality proper shielded cable seem to be available anywhere in what seems to be a noisy environment (makes sense the old antenna coax worked properly according to previous owner, it was solid shielding)
I have ordered a premium 8ft RG-59 cable with proper connectors on each end (Motorola>PL259) and a seprate underhood stud mount cb mount bracket with antenna to install right at the oem antenna location. Will post back in a week or so with hopefully positive results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Alrighty! Problem resolved! New solid shielded foil wrapped cable, cb mount, bonded at the frame also, works flawless! Pickup soooo many more stations and NO MORE ENGINE NOISE! Not even the slight pop I was hearing on the speakers from new led headlights when turned on. Here is the new install and the old cable that was stripped back a bit to show there was NO shielding compared to usual stock or even basic coax. I tried my best not to damage the fine threaded copper while stripping to show it, I can only imagine how much of the little provided shielding was damaged just from being moved and installed originally. Thankyou everyone for your help! Future reference for all with any similar issues, use a single length of quality coax, and ground ground ground till you can't ground no more!
3037
3038
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top