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I was driving around with my 3rd party GPS antenna under the dash behind the instrument cluster for more than a year now and it was working fine. But I was always planning to make use of the GPS in the shark fin, be it just to be closer to OEM.

I did this yesterday and I'm getting now 2-3 satellites more on average. This makes a huge difference being downtown Chicago where it took in the past sometimes several minutes before I got 4 satellites. Now I get 5-6 and my RNS-E is much sooner less confused when I leave the parking garage. So while the under dash GPS works and is easier to install, the shark fin GPS is worth the extra effort.

For those who had/have OnStar in a B6 A4, get a 300mm male/male extension cord instead of 200mm as I did. Together with the 30mm female/female cord it was a little tight to get from the under seat interface to the RNS-E and I had to route the cable less ideal than I planned to do.
 

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I have mine aftermarket antenna on the rear deck, but want to get a shark fin. Does anyone have the part number for the ones that came on the 2004 A6?

I have had good experience with the rear deck usuallu 6-8 sats.
Thanks
 

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I did the same when I retrofitted RNS-E into my B6 S4. I first used the 3rd party antenna that came with the RNS-E installed under the dash. When I realized that it really wasn't difficult to get to the GPS connector for the shark fin antenna - just remove the rear ceiling cover - I ordered a GPS extension cable female/female Fakra from Germany and installed it. The reception is definately better than the 3rd party GPS antenna.
 

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You guys in the US are lucky - in the UK we don't get the sharkfin antenna unless sat nav is factory fitted, so we have no choice but to fit the GPS antenna under the dash (or drill a big hole in the roof!!!).
 

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I agree 110%.. Shark Fin GPS antenna is worth installing big time. on my 3rd party antenna I was getting 3-4 signal and took long time to tell me where I was or direction. Now that I have installed my Shark Fin I get solid 8 signals.

You dont need to spend $395 or $425 for the Shark Fin or Sub Fin if your only going to use the Shark Fin for your RNS-E and not for SAT radio.

I bought only the GPS version of Shark Fin from Audi. $135
 

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richardi734 said:
GPS reception is much better. 7-8 sats compared with 3-4 before. Is it me or does it update quicker (less averaging?).
More Sat= quicker update

Since I got the shark fin I dont have to wait for the Rns-e to find where I am and how to get to my location.
 

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Nervous about ripping the roof out...

I am planning to run my RNS-E to the sharkfin to take advantage of the better recetion users on this forum report. One concern I have is that interior panels are installed at the factory by some type of magician and these things never seem to go back to their original position quite as well as original.

I have read that this install is pretty easy. Can anyone comment on their sucess/frustration with the setup and how long it took? Are there pics of the best place to start pulling pieces off?
 

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C5 estate/allroad trim removal

Audi's, like all metal containers, make good Faraday shields. The radio signal inside is much weaker than it is outside. This affects GPS reception, and also the transmission and receiving abilities of mobile phones.

As you know, you can get to the underside of the antenna mounting by removing the rear cabin lamp. The problem is running the leads in, especially as you are starting from behind the roof lining.

If you are making the hole, rather than replacing an existing antenna then you can get bolt operated punches that will make a square hole. They are fairly expensive however.

If you want to take panels off, you need to know four things:

1) Order is important. Many panels interlock, and you cannot get one off without first removing it's neighbour.

2) Many panels use concealed spring clips. The clips Audi used are very strong. They are 'V' shaped, springing open into slots in the bodywork. It takes quite a bit of leverage to free them, and they can be in devious and awkward to get to places. Some panels are also screwed and bolted down as well.

3) You can do a lot with a strong stripping or putty knife - but I would echo TeddyBGames advice that trim removal tools (I use 'Old Forge') make life much, much easier. A small torch is also useful.

4) The panels are quite tough - they can take quite a bit of pulling and levering without breaking.

As an example, to remove trim for GPS cable on the A6 C5 estate/allroad :-

Choose which side you want to run the cable.

Remove T30 bolt from coat hanger on 'D' pillar trim on that side.

Remove Phillips #1 screw from extended cargo cover retainer latch at rear of cargo side trim

Lever D pillar trim off from the rear - it is held on a fabric strap at the top rear of the 'C' pillar - this releases easliy when trim is free. The clip at the top front of the 'D' pillar can be diificult to reach without a trim removal tool. Remove trim.

Release top of 'D' pillar trim on opposite side.

Working from the rear, release four clips securing the rear roof trim. Note how this is linked to the top of the 'D' pillar trim on the side you removed, and disengage the matching locking pin on the other side.

Take care not to pull the roof trim down to far. It can crease easily. Replacing it would be mega expensive.

Removal of the cargo side panel is more complex. You have to take the rear seat out, remove the seat latch bolt (quite a fiddle to replace correctly!) remove the side padding, detach the lower seat belt anchorage bolt, remove seat belt trim plate from top of cargo trim, remove the rear metal protection trim on the rear trunk sill (also detach the catch surround if you want to close the rear gate before replacing this trim piece). Remove the two bolts holding the lower rear fastening ring. Remove the CD/Tool kit cover. Remove the Phillips #1 screw in the cargo cover retainer latch moulding and ... finally, the Phillips screw behind the place where the cargo cover roll up mechanism sat. After all that, the cargo side trim panel can be pulled forwards a little and then clear.

Replacement, as they say, is the reverse.

I found it very difficult to re-seat the two clips behind the cargo panel side trim.

Doing all this does enable you to clip the cable down, and does shorten the route - long cables weaken signals - it needs practice, like all things.

I found the first time daunting and difficult. That was for a GPS cable - I have just done it again for a telephone antenna lead. Much easier the second time!

You can run the cable (I think!) without all this effort, you would probably need about 18 to 20 feet on the A6 estate, compared with about 16 feet if you remove the trim. I have seen a reference that suggests over about 5 metres (16 feet) the GPS signal is quite severly attenuated by the rather small diameter cable used. You may feel the gain is not worth the hassle!
 

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Thanks for the great write up. I know this is going to be one of those projects that requires a lot of patience. I want to make sure i get good sat connections and I also want to make sure all of those stubborn panels go back where they were. I hate it when they are misaligned or not seated properly. I had to replace my seatbelt tensioners in another audi and had to take the whole trim apart it seemed. When i put it back together it squeeks quite a bit more.

all part of the fun..
 

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Definetly worth the upgrade to sharkfin... In Montreal, I got 3 sats with the in dash and a solid 7-8 with the sharkfin. It's also quite easy simply remove the rear roof panel, cut the zip-tie holding the connector in place, remove the rear light and pull the gps wire through to the light switch. that wire will then get all the way to the passenger front door, at which point you only need to remove the top right panel (2 torx screws) and tuck the wire under that and bring it through the glove compartment... took me around 10 mins to do :D
 
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