Audi Forum banner

Upgrading to the 2005+ OEM Submarine-style roof antenna

29230 Views 14 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Adrian E
Ok, so Lee Hicks (NSX Jr) and I spent the better part of a day doing some research on how the newer roof-mounted submarine style antenna (not the "shark fin" style) is connected to the various devices in your car. Thanks Lee!!!

For the purpose of this research, I'll be focusing most of my efforts on the Avant…because:

1) I have a 2001 A6 Avant with RNS-E and OEM Sirius/SAT tuner…and I really don't want to mount an aftermarket Sirius antenna in my roof and ruin the clean lines of the roof. Others might think differently. Also, Lee and I have proved that the single-lead aftermarket Sirius (micro) antenna's really don't work as well as the dual-lead kind (unfortunately, the dual lead kind are fairly big and "clunky"…to install on the roof of an avant). Just my opinion.
2) Those of you with a sedan/saloon don't have the same mounting issues for an aftermarket SAT antenna. With a rear deck, you have more options for concealing an aftermarket Sirius, XM or GPS antenna.
(either way, most of the info below can be applicable to folks with a sedan).

- OEM sharkfin style was found in 2003-2004 model years
- OEM Submarine style is installed in 2005+

Therefore, most of the info below will be applicable to those with a:
- B5 A4/S4/RS4 Avant
- B6 A4/S4 Avant (2003 or newer already had the sharkfin which supported GPS/NAV and SAT)
- C5 A6/S6/RS6 Avant and allroad
- A3 (old style); not applicable to newer A3 as the submarine style antenna is the standard.
(some of this information is applicable to other regions of the world however, SAT radio is only offered in North America and not Europe etc).

Items worth noting:
1) Movement to a standard style roof antenna across all 2005+ Audi's:

The 2005 allroad uses the same antenna and connections in the B7 A4/S4. The FM/AM reception is gathered from the antennas in the rear windows (between C and D in avants) pillar. Looks like Audi is standardizing on having all AM/FM reception/antennas etc built into the rear glass and have GPS, SAT and GSM built into the submarine style antenna (MY 2005+) in the roof. Makes sense; Audi can standardize on one antenna and connection methodology across all platforms/models and simplify assembly etc. Also, the existing diversity antenna switching system (like in my 2001 A6 Avant) will rely on the FM antenna's built into the rear glass (which will minimalize the need to run new cables etc).

The OEM sharkfin style antenna (MY2003-2004) doesn't use as many FAKRA connections for all of these connection...but I imagine that the type of coax cable is the same...and it's possible that FAKRA connectors can be retrofitted (see catalog on More research is needed here.

Some part#'s for these antennas (might need a new three letter color code; see sticker in the spare tire wheel well):
- 2005 allroad (part#: 4B9 035 503 E, GRU - Wholesale costs is $180; retail is about $250 from audi parts counter)
- 2005 B7 A4 Avant (part# 8E5 035 503F) - same part for both sedan and avant
(This is the one that I sourced for $80 - lucky me!)

2) AM Reception might suffer:
In my 2001 A6 avant, the roof-mounted whip antenna supports cellphone, AM and FM (in addition to the other three FM antennas in the rear glass between C and D pillar). Because AM is only received through the roof antenna (and not the glass) in the avant, there are about 3-4 different FM antennas between the roof/glass, I will probably need to rewire my AM antenna to one of the 3-4 glass antennas...not sure yet. My AM reception might suffer.....which isn't the end of the world...if I have FM and Sirius.

3) Extension cables between OEM submarine antenna and OEM SAT tuner:
I still need to figure out the part# for the SAT antenna cables that will go between the black and white fakra leads in this antenna...down to the green and brown male FAKRA connectors at the SAT tuner. Per Lee Hicks and all of his wisdom in deciphering the Bentley manual:
- Black = SAT BROWN /Terrestrial ; (Black FAKRA part#: 4E0 035 576)
- White = SAT Green / Satellite (White FAKRA part# 4E0 035 576A)
Still need the part# for the extension cable….info is forthcoming.

4) GPS capability is a bonus!:
I'm not as concerned about having the GPS in the roof antenna…as it's been widely known that mouning an aftermarket GPS antenna inside the dash area is sufficient for usage with the RNS-E…not to mention it's a standard practice. With that said, if I have the GPS connection within the newer submarine antenna, I might as well just run the cables and complete the connection.

The extension cable and blue FAKRA connector is a standard part from Kufatec and/or for about $35. See this post/thread for more details:
- Blue FAKRA connector (FYI, the part# is: 4E0 035 576B)

Also, if you have Audi Telematics/Onstar, there is a "splitter" built into the roof that routes the GPS signal to the RNS-E (or boot/trunk mounted for US-based Nav drive units) and the Telematics hardware. For most, this won't be an issue; more research is needed here.

5) The GSM/Phone/Telematics connection:
This connection the least of my concerns, but if you have Telematics/OnStar, then you want to keep this connection available. As I recall, Telematics wasn't offered in North America until the 2003 model year. I am fairly certain that the 2005+ sub-style roof antenna will connect to your existing Telematics/OnStar equipment the same way…so there is probably very little to be concerned about.
- Dark Red (or Pink-ish) FAKRA connector (FYI, the part# is: 4E0 035 576C)

:idea: 6) Using the OEM Sharkfin or Submarine antenna for an aftermarket SAT (Sirius/XM) tuner - not likely:
Ok, so I thought I'd add this in case the questions arise. Some people might think that the OEM SAT antenna's (that are prewired/installed in all 2004+ Audi's) can be used to support an aftermarket SAT tuner. The aftermarket SAT tuners (XM Commander, Sirius Starbase etc.) all use a single lead SMB connection, and the OEM Audi roof antenna uses a dual lead antenna (FAKRA / SMB). You can't purchase SAT antenna "combiners", only "splitters". Splitters can be found at I've only heard of one scenario where someone used an OEM SAT antenna with an aftermarket Sirius tuner and that was because someone from Sirius provided this person with a "combiner" that isn't generally available to the public. For more details, go to (go to installation garage and search on "Audi"). Other related posts from (audio forum):

Bottom line:
- The OEM sharkfin can be installed quite easily and with minimal removal of the headliner. If you have a sedan and don't have the roof antenna, you will need to drill a 1/2"+ hole in your roof....for starters.
- No need for me to stick an ugly aftermarket SAT antenna on my roof
- AM reception might suffer….but FM and Sirius is plenty for me

Looks like I have a winter project to work on. I'll post more details, pix as I figure this stuff out.

Feel free to post an thoughts, comments, ideas if you are familiar with these antennas. Thanks!
See less See more
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Nice job, thanks for compiling this info into a useful form.
i was thinking of doing the same for my 2003 A4.. keep my posted on how this progresses!

how do you go about drilling a hole and sticking the antenna on the car roof?
I have been wanting to do something like this. I was seriously considering getting the OEM antenna on the roof but didn't know which one to get and this helps out a lot.

I currently have the OEM Sirius tuner and a single lead small micro satellite radio antenna. I must say that I get some pretty bad reception. I think I'm going to go with the submarine style antenna and put it one the roof of my B5 S4!

Also, if you could find out any information on the new antenna that goes on the new A4/S4 cabrio that supposed to be hidden in the rear deck lid. That would be a nice piece of info!
Per Lee's advice, I highly recommend trying a larger "dual-lead" aftermarket Sirius antenna (i.e. the Terk TRK-SR20S). You can find them on ebay as they are no longer sold anymore (as I understand).

I have the micro and TRK-SR20S and I'll be experimenting with both to test reception from multiple places in my car (front dash, rear side deck in Avant, roof etc). So far, the micro gets the worst reception. Lee has told me that the newer micro antenna's are not as good as the dual-lead style. In your sedan, you should have no problem concealing it in the rear deck.

Food for thought.
todd1010 said:
Also, if you could find out any information on the new antenna that goes on the new A4/S4 cabrio that supposed to be hidden in the rear deck lid. That would be a nice piece of info!
I'll probably focus my efforts around the avant community as we don't have a nice rear deck to hide this stuff. :) Good luck!
I actually tried one of the older dual lead antennas, but one of the wires outer jacket was cut. But I tried it anyways and it didn't work. I need to buy one off ebay. I'll let you guys know. But I'll eventually put the submarine style OEM antenna on.
here is a great post regarding the AM/FM diversity antenna system in your Audi. Some really good background to read:
If anyone is planning on installing the oem roof/shark fin and/or running the fakra cables to the roof for GPS, SAT etc, I highly recommend investing $30 in this set of tools from ZDMAK. I find myself using them for lots of interior trim "projects".

I used these when I installed my OEM sub fin in my 2001 A6 Avant....and they were a huge help. Enjoy. :)

See less See more
OK...just a quick update on this topic:

This is specific to the new Sub fins that are found on the new VW's...

1) OEM Subfin vs. OEM Sharkfin:
the new Passat/Jett/GTI etc have the OEM Submarine fin...and not the OEM sharkfin. Just a slight difference. The "sharkfin" style was found on the 2003 C5 RS6 and on most Audi's during model year 2004 and 2005. In 2005.5, Audi switched to the Submarine fin. In both instances, these operate the same. Some like the shark, some like the sub.

2) VW subfin for SAT:
The VW subfins that I've seen, mostly support OEM Sirius or XM. The one that I have is (VW part# 1K6-035-507C; about $200)

3) VW Subfin uses a different outer cap:
The difference between the VW and Audi sub fins has more to do with the outer cap (which can be removed in both cases):

VW version:
Has a visible (secondary) rubber seal at the base of the cap. Personally, I prefer this version because I like the look that this extra seal gives on my avant. If I had a sedan, I'd probably prefer the Audi version. Also, the VW version has a primed color to it (similar to the roof of a C5 allroad); I'm pretty sure it can still be painted to match your exterior paint.

Audi version:
The secondary rubber seal is at the bottom of the fin (where it rests on the roof). The Audi version is much cleaner and you don't have that visible rubber seal.

You can always stop by your local Audi and VW dealer for a closer look.

I'll post more pix later.

4) Modifying the VW sub fin:
I've taken apart the covers of a few Audi and VW shark/sub fins. As far as the Audi/VW sub fins go, the inner parts are identical (not suprised). And, they use the same wiring color scheme for SAT (white and black). It is possible to buy the VW subfin and mount an aftermarket gps "puck" inside of it. However, you will need to cut the coax wiring and recrimp to a new fakra connector.

5) Different shapes to Avant or Sedan subfin caps:
When deciding which "fin" to add, please note that the shape of the outer cap is different between an avant and sedan. This is due to the fact that each antenna needs to follow the contours of the roofline. Keep this in mind when you are talking to your Audi parts department etc.

Also, unfortunately, the outter caps are not a seperate part# and can't be sold individually.

6) Painting the outer caps:
Removing the outer caps for either a subfin or sharkfin is a very simple process. I think there are 8 small torx screws (T9 I think). It is recommended to paint the cap when it is removed from the housing.

7) The C6 A6/S6 and D3 A8/S8 (possibly Q7) Subfin:
Although on the exterior, these look like the same, the bottom mounting plate is completely different. The C6 and D3 have a hexnut mounting point and a rear notch. This means that they have two holes in their roof. I wouldn't recommend anyone with a B5/C5/B6 buying one of these for a retrofit.

I've got to redo some of the wiring in my C5 Avant so that I can regain the usage of AM radio (see beginning of this thread). I had to purchase two new antenna boosters (about $130 in parts) and I need to reroute the AM antenna signal to the rear glass (from the roof wip antenna). Special thanks to Ben Cover (BBC) for figuring this out. More details and pix to follow.

Stay tuned.......
See less See more
Another update here...for those of you with 2007+ model years (this applies mostly to the none-MMI/MOST vehicles; i.e. C6 A6/S6, D3 A8/S8 and the Q7)

- Audi is ending their contract with XM; Sirius will only be offered with new cars

- The new submarine fin design is smaller then the 2005/2006 model years (for those in North America: only SAT radio and GPS)

- For SAT radio (XM/Sirius) Audi is shifting from a dual antenna lead to a single antenna lead

- You can still install a XM or Sirius tuner (w/dual inputs) into an Audi with a single antenna lead. To do this, you'll need a splitter device ($30). These are commonly found on ebay. In some cases, the plastic fakra connectors can be removed/replaced to connect.
a) if using the Sirius splitter, order the neutral green fakra adaptor via (part#: FA1-NZSP-C01-1). You only need one..but I would recommend just ordering two.
b) the terk splitters do not use the same brand of fakra you'll just have to keep those little yellow, green fakra adaptors out of the equation (they are not assebled when ordering the leave them off).

Here's a related post from the B7 forum:

- Using a single input tuner with a dual input splitter: This hasn't been confirmed to work yet ...with a splitter going in the opposite direction. I don't suspect that many people will need to do this. However, more testing is needed.

Stay tuned.....

See less See more
Another quick update.
I was able to connect a single input Sirius tuner (H version) with my OEM subfin (dual output SAT antenna) and it worked with the splitter. The splitter actually worked in reverse and became a "combiner" in this case...and linked the SAT and TERR signals into one.

Parts shown:
- OEM Sirius H tuner (single input)
- Aftermarket splitter (Terk part#: SIR-SP)
- 1x neutral fakra female/femal cables: (part#: 000-098-650)
- 2x neutral fakra male/male cable (part#: 000-098-692)

This type of solution will probably be used if you have an older Audi equipped with the SAT prewiring for a dual antenna input (US-based RS6, B6 A4/S4, some early B7's etc.) and you want/need to install the newest Sirius tuner (i.e. the H tuner in pix).

Other than that, it also proves that the splitter can be used in both directions. Which was always just a theory...but never actually proven, as far as I know.

See less See more
Hi there

First post on here :D

I've got a UK 2004 model A6 Avant with a standard long antenna mounted on the roof. I'm going to be fitting the RNS-E navigation system and OE bluetooth soon, but first I need to sort out what aerial I should buy.

I know the advice is basically wack a GPS unit up behind the dash, but I really want to get rid of my long antenna as at the moment I have to unscrew the wretched thing every time I put the car in the garage, otherwise I break it off when I shut the garage door!

I'm guessing my current antenna does FM and maybe AM and we don't have sat radio here. Do Euro A6 have radio antennas in the glass somewhere as well?

I like the look of the little mini shark fins the new A3 has, but don't know what functionality they have or if they'll fit without modification to the roof?

Any advice on what will fit easily for basically radio and GPS functionality gratefully received. Also where does the wire run from the aerial? Is it down the rear pillar and down the side of the car? Is it easy enough to run another cable for GPS alongside the existing aerial wire or is it a nightmare job?

Thanks in advance, and hopefully over time I can be a useful contributor to the forum as well as a searcher or knowledge :lol:

See less See more
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.