Protecting auto finish under mag mount

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LtDoc

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Anything coming in contact with paint is going to affect it. Or the wax covering that paint. Regular and frequent care of that 'interface' will slow down that 'affect', but nothing is going to stop it. I think almost anything you can think of has been used by someone, some time. I haven't heard of any 'miracles' yet. I'm keeping my ears 'open' for them though...
- 'Doc
 

mmckenna

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I used a bumper sticker under mine. I stuck it to the bottom and trimmed around the edge of the antenna leaving a 1/8" or so bit of extra around the edge. That will help some, but in the end, that is what mag mounts do, and there really isn't any way around it. Either the paint will fade except under the mount and leave a mark, dust will get under it and scratch, or movement of the antenna will scratch. Nature of the beast. Too much stuff between the antenna and sheet metal and you'll loose grip. About the only thing you can do is clean under the antenna often and move it around occasionally.

I have not used a mag mount in 15 - 20 years, switched to permanent mount and never looked back.
 

W2NJS

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You can put a small sheet of clear plastic under the mag mount, but when you remove the plastic and the mag mount you will still find water there, and there's no escaping that fact unless it never rains where you are. In addition, you can try your best but eventually you WILL have paint damage from whatever mag mount setup you use. Solution: Drill a hole and be done with it, as was suggested above.
 

kb2vxa

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Grime always builds up under the mount and if left there long enough it "grinds in" and is nearly impossible to remove. The solution is mount the antenna only when you're going to use it and make sure everything is clean to begin with. Unless the protective felt pad is badly worn nothing else is needed, just be careful not to damage the paint when you remove the antenna.

I was going to comment on the hole...
(;->)
 

poppafred

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A couple of years back, I had a Mustang convertible and ran a dual band Larsen mag mount with the large rectangular base. Before I stuck the mag mount on the trunk, I took a 4" square of clear contact paper and stuck it directly to the clean car surface. I left the base of the mag mount alone.

When I traded off the car 4 years later, I was able to simply remove the plastic sheet and all the scratches came off with it.

During that 4 years, I never had the mag mount blow over or off the trunk.
 

twjr80

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I have mag mount antennas on my SUV. I use adhesive felt from Michaels craft store. Trimmed each piece to the size of the magnets and applied the adhesive side to the magnet.

Of course, water, dust, and dirt gets underneath the magnets so, a quick wipe of the car under the magnet and the felt itself once every 2 weeks cleans it up. They have been on since last summer and so far, I have not noticed any issues with the paint underneath
 

redshift

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The mag mount I used for years came with a little rubber gasket that slipped on the bottom. I shouldn't have let that fool me -- it's almost as if that gasket held in more grit than if it hadn't been there. Good thing the roof of the truck it was on was already ruined from stuff slipping off the ladder rack. :)
 

MrQ

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A word of caution - mag mount antennas do not have a direct ground to the metal surface under them. They use a capacitive "ground" (the distance between the antennas base and the car body ) and the distance between the base magnet and the car metal is fairly critical to mainrtain the capacitive ground.

Putting even the thinnest material between the two can change the antenna's performance noticably (especially SWR). If the antenna comes with some protective material on the magnet, fine, but once it comes off with age, replacing it with the same electrical properties will be very hard.
 

rescue161

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A couple of years back, I had a Mustang convertible and ran a dual band Larsen mag mount with the large rectangular base. Before I stuck the mag mount on the trunk, I took a 4" square of clear contact paper and stuck it directly to the clean car surface. I left the base of the mag mount alone.

When I traded off the car 4 years later, I was able to simply remove the plastic sheet and all the scratches came off with it.

During that 4 years, I never had the mag mount blow over or off the trunk.
Very good idea! If I were to use a mag-mount antenna, this would the route I'd go. All of my antennas are permanently mounted though.
 

Me-In-Va

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You can drill a hole and mount an NMO..... No worries about damaged paint.
This is the way to go. If you ever want to sell the car you can have a piece of metal welded back into the hole and touched up. If it is done right you will never even know that there was a hole in the roof.

I struggled for a while with this as I had a new car. But then I decided that I was going to keep the car for a long time and I just did not want to mess with a 'lesser' antenna.
 

QDP2012

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avoid plastic-wrap or sandwich bags

How about some Saran Wrap if it's just temporary?
This has been tried by people I know. Not only can moisture collect, but also grime and grit. The product is too loose, and does not adhere as tightly as the above ideas involving contact-film or bumper-stickers. The result was a clearly marked circle with a lot of scratches where each antenna had been. The loose-ness of the plastic lets the antenna move ever-so-slightly which then causes the road-grit to scratch into the paint deeper and deeper.

Hope this helps,
 

n5ims

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Don't forget that it isn't just the magnet that will scratch your vehicle, but that coax moving around in the wind will do its share of scratching as well. Remember that a mag mount is designed as a temporary solution, not something that be used for weeks on end. As others have said, if you don't want to damage your paint, use a permanent mount!
 

QDP2012

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Remember that a mag mount is designed as a temporary solution, not something that be used for weeks on end.
Very true. And, even on just a long road trip, depending on the weather, it might be a good idea to use a dry towel to clean the antenna base and car surface when stopping for fuel or food.
 

wtp

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simple

the simple solution is....
like me,buy a car so old it doesn't matter.
when i park my old car i even leave it unlocked
radio goes in my pocket, mag mount goes in trunk
i don't worry about theft, friends don't even want to get in
its clean, just old.
 
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