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Installing NMO Mounnt on 04 F150 with Sunroof

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dgruber

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I was looking to install a VHF setup in my 04 F150. The only thing I am worried about is that my truck has a sunroof and I don't want to cut any wires while drilling. Dose anyone maybe have a diagram or someway for me to check for wires?
 

clbsquared

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Are you going forward of the opening or behind it? Sometimes you can take the third brake light out and get a visual of what's in there. Removing the dome light and overhead console is another good viewpoint.

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mmckenna

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I don't. And in case you don't get any replies….

This is one of the reasons it is a good idea to pull down the headliner. Doing installs in sun roof equipped vehicles almost requires it, unless you have really good information that you can rely on.

I did an install on my wife's Escape with a sun roof. I had to pull half the headliner down and do a lot of measuring and checking before I felt comfortable drilling.

Other option is to go at the very rear of the cab, just above the center stop light. You can pull the center stop light out and visualize whats behind there.
 

dgruber

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Alright thanks for all the reply's! Sounds like I will just do it above the 3rd brake light since its the safest and easiest!
 

mmckenna

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I have but I don't see one made for a 2004 F150. I see one for 2005-2008 F150's if that will work?
You are much better off mounting the antenna on the cab roof, even at the rear, than putting the antenna down on the fender.
If you were willing to drill and install a proper mount on the roof, stick with that plan. It's a better solution.
 

cmdrwill

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Other option is to go at the very rear of the cab, just above the center stop light. You can pull the center stop light out and visualize whats behind there.
But then you do not have enough groundplane for a VHF antenna to work correctly. You need 19 inches in all directions.
 

OhSixTJ

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But then you do not have enough groundplane for a VHF antenna to work correctly. You need 19 inches in all directions.


Well it's the same, if not better, than a fender mount. Plus easier and less likely to affect the sunroof.


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SteveC0625

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But then you do not have enough groundplane for a VHF antenna to work correctly. You need 19 inches in all directions.
When I did the install on my truck, I was able to tape the mount to a long, thin piece of lath and reach over 19" forward through the CHMSL opening. I used a 3/8" NMO which was easier to push up through the hole and hold it in place while I screwed on the roof-side piece of the NMO.

Then it was a very easy matter to feed the coax down the B pillar from the CHMSL opening.

My truck is a Super Cab F-250 without the sun roof. I don't know how far to the rear the sun roof on the OP's truck extends when opened. If it's a Super Cab or Crew Cab, there may be enough space to get the mount forward enough on the roof for adequate ground plane.
 

mmckenna

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But then you do not have enough groundplane for a VHF antenna to work correctly. You need 19 inches in all directions.
True.
However, same issue with the fender mounts. The additional drawback is that the cab is going to interfere, unless you space it far enough forward on the hood. However, it's still going to be physically lower than the roof mount.

I have mounted antennas like this on regular cab trucks. While not ideal, it does work and I had no issues getting the antenna SWR down low. The radiation pattern is no doubt funky, but again, same issue with the fender mounts.

Another benefit to mounting through the roof, as opposed to the bracket, is the underside of most NMO mounts are designed to be inside the vehicle, not outside and exposed to rain, road salts, oil, etc. Keeping the coax side of the NMO mount inside the dry vehicle will help it last a lot longer.
 

cmdrwill

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True.
However, same issue with the fender mounts. The additional drawback is that the cab is going to interfere, unless you space it far enough forward on the hood. However, it's still going to be physically lower than the roof mount.

I have mounted antennas like this on regular cab trucks. While not ideal, it does work and I had no issues getting the antenna SWR down low. The radiation pattern is no doubt funky, but again, same issue with the fender mounts.

Another benefit to mounting through the roof, as opposed to the bracket, is the underside of most NMO mounts are designed to be inside the vehicle, not outside and exposed to rain, road salts, oil, etc. Keeping the coax side of the NMO mount inside the dry vehicle will help it last a lot longer.
True, Sir. Really "funky radiation pattern" for sure. One would want to get the NMO mount as far from the edge of the roof as possible.
 
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I have but I don't see one made for a 2004 F150. I see one for 2005-2008 F150's if that will work?
That entirely depends on whether or not it is an 04 Heritage (on the 97-03 chassis) or true 04 (on the 04-08 chassis).

However I'd agree with the others, better to mount on the roof over the thrid brake light. Put it as far forward as possible (that you can see). I'd recommend leaving the sunroof open while you do this.
 

OhSixTJ

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I'd recommend leaving the sunroof open while you do this.


Yes! This way you'll instantly know if you drilled too far forward! Hahaha

All kidding aside, I'm in the same pickle. Need a VHF and 4g/LTE antenna on a sun-roof equipped f250. Might do the VHF as far forward and center as possible and do the 4g off to the side.



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