Routing coax to the roof rack

James86004

Expedition Leader
For those who have their antenna on the roof rack, how did you route the coax? I have done a lot of ExPo and overall internet searching, and the topic is lightly covered.

Most installations I have seen just run the coax through a door seal, which I dislike. If the roof rack wasn't there I would drill a hole for an NMO mount in the roof. I suppose I could do that and have the antenna stick between the roof rack rails, but I'm guessing the performance would be better if the antenna were on the rack.

On our 92 Range Rover I mounted the antenna on the swing-away rear tire carrier. It is well protected from tree branches there, but compromises performance. My friend has his antenna on his roof rack with the coax through the door seal, and definitely has better performance, although he did damage the coax a couple of times over the years and had to replace it.
 

Sabre

Overlanding Nurse
You certainly could drill and install a through fitting, either a gasketed bulkhead fitting (how most coax penetrates the overhead in marine applications) or a coax penetration fitting, with a short length of coax to whatever mount you want to put on your rack.



 

WanderingBison

Active member
You certainly could drill and install a through fitting, either a gasketed bulkhead fitting (how most coax penetrates the overhead in marine applications) or a coax penetration fitting, with a short length of coax to whatever mount you want to put on your rack.



I’ve used cable clams with a lot of success, including the oblong ones to pass multiple wires thru the roof. Under drill your hole to make use of compression and some petroleum jelly to help with the seal.


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ThundahBeagle

Well-known member
I'm not sure what you are driving other than the range rover you mention. In trucks like mine, there is a vent behind the back seat that leads to the outside of the cab, between the cab and bed. While I know this, only unterminated coax will get through, so I never took the time.

I have run mine through the door seal to a magnetic mount on the roof. I get great reception however, like your friend, I have had to replace probably two cables over 3 or 4 years.

Some Jeep WJ that I've seen have run the coax through the taillight housing from the inside, and used a flat mount at the top of the tail light. I suppose from there you could run it up the C or D pillar to the rack? Some of those rear windows have a false vent that maybe you could tuck it in there as a sort of raceway. Again see a 1999 -2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee for reference.
 

James86004

Expedition Leader
Thanks, all.

This is for our 2023 Defender. With our 92 Range Rover, I ran the coax out through a grommet that feeds the taillight and onto the antenna mounted to our swing away spare tire carrier. With this arrangement, the reception is far better for vehicles behind us than in front of us. I was hoping by putting it on the roof in the new Rover it would be better.

A problem with such a new vehicle design is things like lowering the headliner are not well documented compared to the older vehicles, at least for those of us end users who do most of their own wrenching.


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fetus

Observer
I have a Front Runner rack on my Nissan Xterra with the fold down antenna mount. I routed mine along the roof to a KC Hilites wire hider that goes along edge of my windshield. Down into engine bay and through the firewall.
 

sonoronos

Usually broken down on the side of the road
You are seriously considering drilling a hole in the roof of your brand new defender just to mount some random NMO antenna? Not everything you read on the internet is good advice. Might as well cut off your own head to lose some weight.

let’s get real.

just route the wire through one of the dozen existing glands on your unibody. The firewall has plenty already, not to mention the rear and the floor.
 
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