S211 cheap antenna fix

Like a lot of modern cars, the S211 E350 my wife drives has a ‘shark fin’ antenna on the roof.   There are generally maintenance free, in contrast with telescopic power antennas.   However, in our case, when the antenna was broken after hitting a garage door, the fix was not obvious.

The proper fix would be to replace the antenna with a new Mercedes-Benz unit.   However, to do this, the headlining needs to come down to remove it.   Doing a bit of research on the forums, this looked like a big job.

S211 antennaI was concerned after driving around like this for a while, that either water would get into the cabin, or damage the antenna to a point it would no longer tune stations.    My wife asked our mechanic when she dropped off the car for a service, and he suggested a large shark fin cover that sticks on.   I thought this was a great idea, so ordered one from Ali-Express that was large enough to totally contain the remains of the S211 antenna inside it.   This cover was cheap, but took over three months to arrive.

Next I went to Autobarn and bought a rattle can of ‘Flint Grey’ and some plastic primer.   The plastic primer didn’t seem to want to adhere all that well to the ali-express antenna.  After a few light coats, my daughter and I had even coverage, although it wasn’t exactly smooth.

S211 antenna

We then applied the Flint Grey top coat to our new s211 Antenna.   It wasn’t the smoothest job, and for a better job I could have wet sanded it, and applied clear coat.   The paint on the S211 is only average, so I was just looking for something that didn’t look terrible or let water into the antenna.

The new antenna came with some double sided tape to install it.  While the front part seemed to adhere quite well, the sides and rear didn’t seem as good a fit.   I gave it 50/50 chance of staying on.  I was pessimistic, as a few weeks later its still there even after driving in storms and rain.

S211 antenna

This is more of a bodge than a proper fix.  Unlike the classics I keep long term, at some point my wife will want to upgrade to an S212 wagon, so this made sense.   The total cost was less than $100.  Now the car doesn’t look stupid with a circuit board flapping around in the wind.

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