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2011 Chevy Silverado Ideas

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davidjacobs2012

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#1
I am looking into installing an antenna on a hood mount specific to my vehicle. I want to run the antenna cable through the driver door and under the steering wheel and come out anywhere between the controls for A/C and the transmission hump. I want this as clean as possible so I don't hear it from the wife with my new truck. I don't mind drilling small holes if need be. There is a large amount of space between the tranny hump and A/C controls that seems hollow on the other side of the panel. I'm not sure if chevy did this on purpose to mount radios to or not (That would be awesome). Any comments are welcome and greatly appreciative. Thanks!!
 

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Don't come through the door. It's not necessary. It's much easier to run the coax in through an existing grommet on the fire wall. That'll prevent the coax from getting damaged by the door.

Also, it's -really- easy to do a proper NMO mount on the roof of these trucks. I've done a lot of them over the years. Removing the dome light and drilling down from the top. Route the coax over the "A" pillar by the windshield and down under the dashboard. Doesn't get much easier. You'll see better performance by having a proper ground plane under the antenna and not having the cab blocking it. If you do it right, people (wife) won't even notice it there. Using a thin NMO mount 1/4 wave and it's nearly invisible.
As opposed to putting in on the fender where everyone will see it, it'll have an offset ground plane and suffer from blockage from the cab.

But, it's your truck, you decide.

The firewall feed through is on the drivers side. You'll need to poke a small hole on the edge of the large grommet, feed your power and coax through there.

If you mount a radio to the underside of the dashboard, just make sure you put something on the back side of the plastic panel to spread the weight out. Just using sheet metal screws into the plastic can result in them eventually coming loose.

You didn't say what kind of radio or antenna you were considering. That might help us give some better focused suggestions.
But, you've got a great platform to start with. These full size American trucks are about the easiest vehicles to install in. Almost like they were designed for it ;)
 

davidjacobs2012

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#3
Thanks for the reply. Right now I'm looking at just keeping my hand held scanner in there. Whether I mount it to a mount that holds cell phones or leave it in a cup holder. On my last truck I ran the coax through the door like I was talking about. Eventually the door pinched the coax. I would appreciate it if you could explain to me exactly what you did to come through the roof and through the dome light and through pillar A.

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wx5uif

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#4
My 2011 Silverado I have two NMO mounts, one right above the dome light, the other about 1/2 from it to the back. Only thing to worry about with the coax routing is to keep the coax from interfering with the curtain airbags.


My truck has the middle console that goes up to the dash. I do have a scanner and radio mounted though. It isn't the ideal mounting point, but I just drilled two small holes in the dash and put a strip of aluminum behind to keep the bolts from pulling through.


 
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#5


have not had an issue with the mounting screws working loose, but i used LARGE ones.

Also, i have an antenna in the spot you mentioned, with a vehicle specific mount.

For the reasons above, its not an ideal location.
 
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Thanks for the reply. Right now I'm looking at just keeping my hand held scanner in there. Whether I mount it to a mount that holds cell phones or leave it in a cup holder. On my last truck I ran the coax through the door like I was talking about. Eventually the door pinched the coax. I would appreciate it if you could explain to me exactly what you did to come through the roof and through the dome light and through pillar A.

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Dropping the dome light will give you a view of what's on the underside of the roof. You need to make sure that you don't drill through any existing wiring harnesses, and you need to make sure you avoid braces under the roof skin.
Remove the dome light gives you a good idea what's there. I -think- you can install the NMO mount directly above the dome light on these trucks.
You need to do some measuring to make sure where you are drilling on the roof lines up with the dome light. The old adage of "measure twice, cut once" really applies here.
I've found that putting down a layer of masking tape over where you are going to drill gives you a good place to mark, it can also help protect the area a bit when you are getting ready to drill.
Use a purpose designed hole saw for making the hole. They are relatively inexpensive and will make a proper sized 3/4" hole. It also has a design that limits the depth.
Make sure you put a towel down over the interior to catch any metal shavings.

Installing the NMO mount is pretty easy. It drops down from the outside. Drop the coax straight down through the hole, and out where the dome light would be. When the mount is installed, you can route the coax.
It may be necessary to remove some trim so you can get between the side of the headliner and the truck roof. Using a straightened out metal coat hanger as a tool to fish the cable over to the side of the truck.
You do need to visualize where the side curtain airbags are, so having the headliner loose a bit helps. Route the coax between the roof skin and the TOP of the air bag if you need to, but if you go far enough forward, you may be able to avoid it.
Once the cable is routed over to the side, you can reinstall the dome light.
Removing the "A" pillar trim (the one to the side of the windshield). Route the coax down there to under the dash board.
Properly secure all the wiring and make sure it's safe.

Installing the NMO mounts takes a bit of work, but if you do it right, it'll last the life of the vehicle. It's low profile and looks a lot more professional. The benefit of having the antenna on top of the cab and with a nearly perfect ground plane really makes a difference. I've never regretted doing this on any of my own trucks.
 
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#7
I took a picture of the antenna mount on my fender, but getting it from the phone to my work computer is an exercise in futility, so i'll try and post it tonight when i get home. Also, the dome light on these trucks is a brilliant design for removeability. Pry the lens off from the right side, pull it towards the left, and the left side of the dome light should detatch.
 

davidjacobs2012

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#8
Dropping the dome light will give you a view of what's on the underside of the roof. You need to make sure that you don't drill through any existing wiring harnesses, and you need to make sure you avoid braces under the roof skin.
Remove the dome light gives you a good idea what's there. I -think- you can install the NMO mount directly above the dome light on these trucks.
You need to do some measuring to make sure where you are drilling on the roof lines up with the dome light. The old adage of "measure twice, cut once" really applies here.
I've found that putting down a layer of masking tape over where you are going to drill gives you a good place to mark, it can also help protect the area a bit when you are getting ready to drill.
Use a purpose designed hole saw for making the hole. They are relatively inexpensive and will make a proper sized 3/4" hole. It also has a design that limits the depth.
Make sure you put a towel down over the interior to catch any metal shavings.

Installing the NMO mount is pretty easy. It drops down from the outside. Drop the coax straight down through the hole, and out where the dome light would be. When the mount is installed, you can route the coax.
It may be necessary to remove some trim so you can get between the side of the headliner and the truck roof. Using a straightened out metal coat hanger as a tool to fish the cable over to the side of the truck.
You do need to visualize where the side curtain airbags are, so having the headliner loose a bit helps. Route the coax between the roof skin and the TOP of the air bag if you need to, but if you go far enough forward, you may be able to avoid it.
Once the cable is routed over to the side, you can reinstall the dome light.
Removing the "A" pillar trim (the one to the side of the windshield). Route the coax down there to under the dash board.
Properly secure all the wiring and make sure it's safe.

Installing the NMO mounts takes a bit of work, but if you do it right, it'll last the life of the vehicle. It's low profile and looks a lot more professional. The benefit of having the antenna on top of the cab and with a nearly perfect ground plane really makes a difference. I've never regretted doing this on any of my own trucks.
So once I figure out how to run the coax through the a pillar, how do I get the coax through the dash? If anybody has pictures so I can get an idea, that would be great. I'm more a visual person. I can figure things out more easily than words. I really do appreciate all the responses. I do have more knowledge now than before
I took a picture of the antenna mount on my fender, but getting it from the phone to my work computer is an exercise in futility, so i'll try and post it tonight when i get home. Also, the dome light on these trucks is a brilliant design for removeability. Pry the lens off from the right side, pull it towards the left, and the left side of the dome light should detatch.

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#9
So once I figure out how to run the coax through the a pillar, how do I get the coax through the dash? If anybody has pictures so I can get an idea, that would be great. I'm more a visual person. I can figure things out more easily than words. I really do appreciate all the responses. I do have more knowledge now than before
There will be existing wiring coming down the A pillar, you can use that route. The existing wiring will come down beside the dash and you can then route it across the underside of the dash to your radio.

I think once you pull the trim off the A pillar, you'll see what I mean.
 

davidjacobs2012

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#10
There will be existing wiring coming down the A pillar, you can use that route. The existing wiring will come down beside the dash and you can then route it across the underside of the dash to your radio.

I think once you pull the trim off the A pillar, you'll see what I mean.
Thank you. What is the best possible way to get that trimming off? I don't wanna damage anything

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SteveC0625

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Thank you. What is the best possible way to get that trimming off? I don't wanna damage anything
Do a google or yahoo search on "remove a pillar 2011 silverado" without the quotes. There are several how-to's in the first few hits. Like most automotive interior trim and such, there is tons of good info on the net these days about removal and replacement with lots of pics and the occasional youtube video.
 

davidjacobs2012

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I forgot to add in my OP that this is for receive only signals. That I'm only hooking up a scanner. I really am not comfortable with doing anything with Drilling in the roof. I understand that that's the best things to do for ground and reception in general. Butt I'm thinking that if I'm only using the antenna for scanner, putting the antenna mount on the hood would be okay. Please tell me if I am wrong. I did find a few spots where I can come into the cab without the cable getting jammed in the door.

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#14
drivers side should pull off carefully. May need to use a plastic pry tool, starting from the top (outside edge) and go from there.

Passenger side requires you to unbolt the grab handle before trim comes off.

(I assume 2008 and 2011 were identical)

Once the coax is now near the bottom of the pillar, pop the dash side panel off (pull from bottom) On the driver's side its the fuse box cover. on the passenger side, its just a removable panel. Plenty of room to run coax under there to the center.
 
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#15
I believe this is the type of bracket you asked about?

(NMO on the roof is a better idea regardless, so glad you're considering that route)
 

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#16
Also, day off tomorrow. If you want any pictures of where or how to run things, i'm probably pulling things apart to wire the kenwood vhf anyway, let me know what to shoot.
 
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I forgot to add in my OP that this is for receive only signals. That I'm only hooking up a scanner. I really am not comfortable with doing anything with Drilling in the roof. I understand that that's the best things to do for ground and reception in general. Butt I'm thinking that if I'm only using the antenna for scanner, putting the antenna mount on the hood would be okay. Please tell me if I am wrong. I did find a few spots where I can come into the cab without the cable getting jammed in the door.

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I disagree. Receive only or not, top of the roof is your best choice. Anything else is a compromise.

Now, it's your truck, your money, your decision. Mounting on the fender will work. If that's all you are comfortable with, then that's what you should do.

Only word of caution with the fender bracket mounts is that you -must- properly seal the underside of the NMO mount. They are not designed to be mounted outside the vehicle like that. the coaxial connection will be exposed to rain, road salts, dirt, etc. It'll damage the coax and lead to reduced performance and eventual complete failure.
 
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#18
i second that. this particular one ended up damaging the coax just from the flexing and vibration. ended up having to resolder it, then cover it in epoxy.

Also, using a mount like this, you can run the cable under the hood, then thru the firewall. Thats where mine goes. Running it thru the door seal is asking for damaged coax and leaks.
 

SteveC0625

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#19
Just an observation here...

Drilling a single 3/8" or 3/4" hole in the center of the roof of a pickup truck for an antenna mount will not detract from resale value, especially on a vehicle that is nearly 6 model years old. Most folks remove the antenna and replace it with a neat little NMO weather cap and leave the mount and coax in place. I've never had anyone at a car dealership even mention the antenna mounts when determining the trade-in value. It's just not an issue.

Don't take my word alone for it, fire up the search box and look around RR. There are dozens of threads about vehicle installs, all with the same recommendation from lots of RR users.

Drill it. You won't regret it.
 

davidjacobs2012

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Also, day off tomorrow. If you want any pictures of where or how to run things, i'm probably pulling things apart to wire the kenwood vhf anyway, let me know what to shoot.
Thank you. If you ran coax down the A Pillar, I'd like to see exactly how you ran that cable and through the dash. I really want to do this the right way. I wan to eventually put two mounts on the roof.. 1 for scanner, and 1 for CB. But CB will come later after I successfully do the scanner antenna mount first. That's priority

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