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Hi Guys,

Thought I should share the wealth as i have SOLVED the terrible FM Ariel signal on my 159 SW.

Bought the car and didnt test the radio :( CD worked.. I could only get Radio1 and Radio4 and even the signal on those was hit and miss.

Tried removeing the ariel and cleaning the thread which did improve the situation but it wasnt good enough.

I read somewhere that it could well be a corroded ariel base (which houses an FM amplifier, along with the GPS and Phone antenna.

Firstly it isnt as hard to get to as you may think. From inside the rear of the car the headlineing has an extra panel, held with 4 clips (i only broke one getting it off) They are barbed clips that fit straight into plastic lugs monted into the roof. Gentle even pressure from hands and flat blade screwdriver will get them out. This removes the panel. Then your faced with 4 round pop studs holding the foam/composite headliner. ease them out a bit with a flat screwdriver then with needle nose pliers you can pull them out. Then there is two philips screws either side, remove these as it allows you to drop the head liner for the entire width of the car, you do have to be careful to not crease it when your arms are in there. I wedged it down either side to give more room. Also flipping the rubber boot seal out of the way helps with freedom of movement on the sides.

Id reccommend long sleeves, i came up in a rash from the insulation. iphone photos are very handy for seeing what is impossible to see :)

The ariel base is right by the rear of headliner and is mounted by a wopping 22mm bolt. I managed to get it off with a full size socket set. It has 3 wires, each has a clip off connector that is held to the roof, you can feel around to get them off.

Once the ariel is base is removed, you will probably see its very heavily corroded. There are 6 small phillips screws, im my case they are heavily corroded, I soaked in WD40 and got them out successfully. Once plastic case was removed, I chipped all the corrosion off the aluminum casing but the main issue was the small sprung tab that reaches up to the brass collar that the ariel tip screws into it touches with srpung pressure, it was coated it white corrosion, limescale im guessing? either way chipped it all off and cleaned up the circuit board too, see the photo's.

Then all back together and she works brilliant. I did add a small ring of clear silicone under the rubber seal of the ariel mount. Hopefully this will prevent this happening again for another 5years I hope.

Not to pleased that at 3.5 years old it was in this bad shape but the ariel bolt wasnt very tight so I guess it could lift and get water in it under speed.

Good luck with fixing yours, I hope this info helps you because I couldnt find anything on the subject.
 

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Thanks for the information

This matches my issue exactly. I'm off home to get out the tools and see what I find...

How did you clean up the circuit board? Anything special?
 

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you think you've got it bad, every time I turn my heated rear window on the radio signal dies! classic Alfa haha.

for cleaning circuit board I'd have said something like maplin electrical contact cleaner and a soft cloth / soft tooth brush to clean it off.
 

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At least you have a solution. The crappy Ariel welded to the rear glass on the brera is actually to short in length to pick up an fm signal properly so barring drilling a hole in some suitable part of the brera bodywork and fitting a new Ariel brera owners are stuffed for a solution of any kind AFAIK. Some one suggested adding a shark fin Ariel to the roof. Sacrelige!!!!

Mj .
 

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Had a go at mine this afternoon. Should have taken some pictures but camera wasn't to hand at the time...

Mine just has the single connector (no GPS or GSM) so is easier to disconnect. All of my issues came from trying to remove the rear headlining panel that the OP mentioned as possible with a flat bladed screwdriver... I'm evidently less patient than him as all of mine broke, but it looks like they are little square lugs that are replaceable (and if anyone knows where I can easily get them I would appreciate it).

The circuit board was corroded and there was still water inside. I've cleaned it off as well I can, but you can't get to the underside as it is firmly fixed in. I've got better reception, but not good still so I suspect a new one is going to be the way to go. The actual aerial is easy to remove with a lot of space to get a 22mm socket in there (as long as you don't expect to be able to see what you are doing)...

I'm going to leave it a few days to see if it improves and then I might start looking about for alternatives...
 

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depends what 156 you're running matey, the later 156s had roof mount jobbies, earlier models had em built into the rear screen!

The later roof mount stuff should be somewhat equivalent to the 159 so there is every chance the same issues occur over time!
 

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New aerial amplifier fitted (Alfa part) and everything is perfect now. Added a little bit of silicon to stop it happening so quickly this time as well.

£37 for the part and 10 mins to fit. A word of warning, the little clips that hold in the rear panel (on the SW) are not parts on the alfa database. AlfaAid in Maidenhead pulled a blinder in searching round to find the right bit (he found the part number for the bit it went into, then found out where else that bit was used on any fiat group car and worked backwards. It would have been £30 for a new panel instead of a few quid for the plastic bit). You could always not break them but I found them to be little bu**ers.

Hope that helps.

Mike
 

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Any ideas on how to get at the equivalent connection on a Brera? The aerial is embedded in the offside rear window glass i.e. the window immediately behind the driver's door on a RHD car.
 

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Managed to remove the rear roof trim, unscrew the two side panels and wedge the headliner down without creasing it, got the 22mm nut off but couldn't pop the aerial out of the roof. It seemed to lift about 5mm but no more. Not prepared to lever it and risk damaging paint etc. Anyone any ideas?

All back together for the moment.

Guy
 

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Is there any difference in 159 aerials?

I know the FL version is shorter, but are the base and connections the same? I have one sourced from a 2009 Ti that I want to use on my 2006 Lusso.
 

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Is there any difference in 159 aerials?

I know the FL version is shorter, but are the base and connections the same? I have one sourced from a 2009 Ti that I want to use on my 2006 Lusso.
Yes, in mid 2008 they changed the aerial base and shape of aerial. Im 99% sure the connections are the same though.
 

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I've got a 58 plate SW and have the same aerial as the OP, I suspect that the one you've posted is a standard aerial for a non satnav equipped car. There should be multiple connectors for the radio, satnav and phone.

Still not managed to get mine out, I suspect it's the connectors that need releasing first but I've decided to leave it until I get a spare aerial in case I **** it up!

Guy
 

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Just had another go at it and managed to remove the aerial from the roof, tiny paint chip as a result of the tight fit but the new one is in now and poor reception has been cured. I'll try cleaning the original one up for the day the new one packs up and then it's into the spares stock.
Thanks for the tip!
Guy
 

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Sportswagon headlining removal

Just had another go at it and managed to remove the aerial from the roof, tiny paint chip as a result of the tight fit but the new one is in now and poor reception has been cured. I'll try cleaning the original one up for the day the new one packs up and then it's into the spares stock.
Thanks for the tip!
Guy

Hi Guy.

I've recently bought a 2008 159 Sportwagon (my first Alfa!) and think I'm suffering from this aerial base issue i.e. neither my radio or my GPS is working properly. I'd like to take the aerial base apart to try and sort it out but I can't find any instructions on how to remove/lower the headlining without breaking the plastic connectors/clips. Any chance you could post a few pointers?

Thanks,

Nick.
 
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