My Mobile Radio Installation
This continues with the installation of the antennas in the stake holes of my
truck. Here is a photo looking down into one stake hole. Note that
there is a sheet metal bracket in the hole that establishes the sides and bottom
of the hole. You need to drill a 5/8-inch diameter hole dead center in the
sheet metal bottom of the stake hole.
You should be able to gain access to the stake hole by removing the taillight
assembly. Look at the plastic assembly and you'll find several screws that
hold the assembly into its mounting hole. Remove these screws and the
taillight assembly will pull out -- don't disconnect any of the leads -- just
let it hang -- see the next photos.
Here is my taillight assembly ready to be removed -- it was held in by four
screws. With it hanging loose like this, I just lifted it up and it came
right out, exposing the inside of the stake hole and the inside of the side of
the bed. See the next photo.
Here the taillight assembly has been removed. The bent piece of sheet
metal is the bracket that forms the inside of the stake hole. You will
need to stick a drill and drill bit down through the stake hole and drill a
5/8-inch diameter hole in the center of the bottom of this bracket. See
the next photo.
This is what I used to drill the hole in the stake hole bracket. Note
the 6-inch bit extension in the drill chuck with a 3/16-inch titanium bit
installed. I stuck this bit down the stake hole from the outside of the
truck and drilled a hole in the center of the bracket bottom. Then, I
switched to the 5/8-inch spade bit and drilled a 5/8-inch hole. Now, for
you purists out there -- yes, I know a spade bit is a wood boring bit and
drilling into steel will ruin it. I looked for a 5/8-inch steel hole saw
and could not find one. This spade bit cut a clean, neat hole in the stake
hole bracket and it's still sharp.
Now -- you have a 5/8-inch diameter hole in the bottom of the stake hole --
you stick the GeoTool mount into the stake hole and run its mounting bolt up
through the 5/8-inch hold to mount the mount. BUT FIRST -- you need to
ensure a good ground between the GeoTool mount and the sheet metal of the truck.
To do this, scrape or sand the paint off from around the hole -- I used my
battery-powered Dremel with a sanding drum installed on the tip -- see the left
end of the tool in this photo. Here's the Dremel tool ready to
go to work --
-- and here is the Dremel tool sanding the paint off from
around one of the holes (below) --
Note in the photo above the Dremel is removing paint from around the mounting
hole. Note also that the GeoTool mount is in place and the coax is hanging
down -- not a good idea because the coax can get tangled in the Dremel tool --
remove the paint BEFORE you put the mount into
the stake hole.
Here is one more photo before going to the next page. The GeoTool mount
will fit your stake hole tightly -- but -- because of normal
manufacturing tolerances in the stake pockets of most trucks, the mounts are
manufactured slightly smaller than the top opening. The mount installation
instructions describe how to fill the space between the mount and the edges of
the stake hole -- if you don't shim the mount in the hole, the mount will
wobble. Here is how to install the shims to stabilize the mount.
With each mount, Rick supplies two strips of vinyl flooring material --
the long and short black strips in this photo. I installed my
GeoTool mount and found I needed to add on small piece of vinyl to shim between
the mount and the edge of the stake hole. I cut off a small piece and
secured it to the mount with a piece of electrical tape. This mount is
ready to install in the stake hole. Go to the next page for the rest of