Buggy Whip Repair

Have you ever broken your Buggy Whip by driving it into the trailer, forgetting about the antenna? Yep, been there, done that.

Buggy whips cost about $40 new, but if you have 45 minutes to repair one it only costs $3!

Here's a process to extend the life of your whip antenna. This may be helpful to make a spare antenna, or simply give yourself an excuse to work in the garage one night. You can repair a buggy whip many times, maybe 6 or 7 times, until it's too short to use.


When you drive your buggy into an enclosed trailer and forget to take off your antenna it usually breaks off and looks like this.

If only the very bottom of your fiberglass antenna is splinted, say 2 to 5 inches, this kind of break can be repaired fairly easy.

If the antenna is split all the way up, it's trash, just go buy another one.


This is what the base typically looks like.  If the threads are OK it's very likely you can repair this mishap fairly quick and easy.


First of all you'll need to buy a replacement RCA jack from Radio Shack, or other electronics store. It's important the threads on the jack are 1/4" diameter. Usually they are all that size.

These jacks cost about $1.50 if you can find them individually, but Radio Shack sells them in a "4 pack" for about $5.

Just save the extras for the next mind fart when you forget to remove the antenna ;-)


The jacks come with a nut and a ground washer.  You won't need those, so remove them and throw away.


This is all you'll need for your antenna repair, along with some 5min epoxy.

For the first timer, you may want to buy epoxy that take 90 minutes to setup.  That will allow more time for you to take your time during the assembly process.


First you will need to clean up the end of the base by grinding off the splintered fiberglass.  You need to do this with a fine grinding wheel if possible.  You can also use a file if you don't have a grinder.


The next step is to drill out all the old fiberglass in the base with a 1/2" drill bit.  You'll notice it's very soft drilling into the fiberglass.  When you reach the bottom you feel it get harder as it reaches the base metal.  Stop there, you don't want to drill out the bottom with the 1/2" bit, that will ruin the repair.

Inspect the inside of the base where you have drilled out the fiberglass.  Make sure the wall of entire circumference inside the base is bare metal.  Sometimes the wall has old epoxy glue after drilling out.  If this is the case, ream out the base using the 1/2" drill bit until all the epoxy is removed.  The objective is for the antenna shaft to slide into the base easily, with enough room for new epoxy along the walls to get a solid fit when it dries.


The next step is to remove the old RCA jack.  Simply get a good grip on the jack and twist and pull until the old jack comes out.


Here's the old jack, you can chuck that in the trash.


When you remove the old RCA jack you'll notice there's still a bunch of old glue in the small end of the antenna base.  To clean this up drill out the bottom with a 1/4" bit.