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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently purchased a 2016+ Forester shark fin antenna to replace my broken antenna mast on my 2015 Forester 2.5i Premium (non-nav). I read through the discussion thread to see if there were any pictures of how to get to the antenna, but the only helpful post was from someone saying most of the trim in the rear of the car has to come out.

They weren't wrong.

What I ended up doing is removing all of the trim from the passenger side rear seat all the way to the trunk, pulling down there rear and passenger side of the headliner, then shoving my hand into the unknown cavern that is above the headliner to swap the antenna.

Pictures:
1: broken stock antenna mast


2: start by removing the bottom seat cushion in the rear. Do this by pulling the tabs to unclip the front of the seat, then push down and towards the back of the car to unhook the seat cushion.


3: one of the tabs that keeps the seat cushion attached to the car.


4: one of the hooks that holds the seat cushion.


5: remove the passenger side door/floor/threshold trim by first pulling up at the Christmas tree clip towards the rear of the car.


6: open the trunk/hatch and remove every loose trim piece, then pull up on the threshold trim piece in the middle. You can see it with the 4 Christmas tree clips.


7: remove the rest of the trunk trim on the passenger side. I didn't take too many pictures here, but there are 3 big pieces that need to be removed.
The bottom black trim: there are 2 hooks near the bottom of the bottom trim (one near front and one near rear of car) that are screwed in using a 10mm screw, then a single Phillips head screw in one of the grocery bag hangers that you'll need to remove, then the circular hook towards the front of the bottom trim that simply unscrews. After you remove those 4 screws, you should be able to pull that bottom trim piece towards the center of the car.
Upper D pillar trim: Now you can unscrew 2 screws holding the upper trim and pull that trim piece as well.
C pillar trim: You should then see 2 pop clips holding the side/rear window trim. Undo those pop clips then pull that upper window trim down.
Finally, you can undo the 3 Christmas tree clips that are holding the headliner to the roof on the rear edge of the roof to pull the headliner down about 4 inches.


8: peeking through the headliner into the roof cavity, you'll see the nut that holds the antenna base onto the roof as well as the cable and plug(s) for the antenna. You'll need to reach around to the front (of the car) side of the plug and squeeze on the driver side (pull the front towards the rear of the car), then pull the plug towards the passenger side to unplug the antenna cable. This part took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out.
With the cable unplugged, you can undo and remove the nut that holds the antenna base to the roof. I ended up using a 7/8" socket which fit well enough.
Push the antenna base through the roof while squeezing the plastic clip that will invariably get caught in the hole in the roof. You'll see...


9: freaking success!


10: install the new (to me) shark fin antenna. I found that the antenna plug is keyed opposite how my stock antenna was, so I took a razor blade and cut off the key. Make sure you reinsert the plug during installation of the shark fin antenna.


11: reinstall everything.


I've also uploaded the pictures here: https://imgur.com/a/z4cP4iV
 

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Sweet! I am going to be venturing into the same area, and this helps a lot! I am doing the same, but will also be running new feed lines to the dash since mine was not wired for NAV or XM, but the 2016+ shark fin should have both. Thanks for documenting it first @infinite012 !
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah the shark fin came with a brown barrel connector that I didn't have a reciprocating plug on my car. I'd guess that this connector is the GPS connector.
 

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For ****s sake, first step is seeing if your plug is compatible! Just drop the headliner in the rear and take a look and see! I didn't have to do any of that extra ******** when I swapped out my antenna for a fin!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jesus, dude. I didn't mean to offend you.

My thoughts are if you're going through the trouble of dropping the headliner, might as well just send it!

And for the record my radio reception seems better now. So, no harm by shaving off that key from the plug.
 

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For ****s sake, first step is seeing if your plug is compatible! Just drop the headliner in the rear and take a look and see! I didn't have to do any of that extra ******** when I swapped out my antenna for a fin!
Not to jump on you, but for the sake of others reading this post who might be overwhelmed or discouraged...

Ditto - Mine took maybe ten minutes, same plug, no issues, easy peasy.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@aggie113 and @Firetrux do you know what part number antenna you bought? I got mine used off ebay for a hell of a price (cheaper than a replacement antenna mast) so I was prepared to splice wires if need be.

P/N that I purchased: 86321SG320W6

The antenna is for Foresters with navigation and I assume satellite radio as well. My car has neither of those. It makes sense that Subaru would use different plugs to make assembly in the factory more efficient, but it wouldn't make sense for the wiring itself to be so vastly different between models. That would add unneeded complexity.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
86321SG300U9, color code changes the part number slightly.
So you went from a non-nav 2014-2015 antenna to a non-nav 2016+ antenna according to that part number. I went from a non-nav 2014-2015 to with-nav 2016+ antenna.
 

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So you went from a non-nav 2014-2015 antenna to a non-nav 2016+ antenna according to that part number. I went from a non-nav 2014-2015 to with-nav 2016+ antenna.
I have a '15 HK non-nav with Sat radio. I believe the replacement antenna had GPS as well, but wasn't a big deal since the main antenna cable was the same.
 

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@aggie113 and @Firetrux do you know what part number antenna you bought?
Sorry, can’t help ya. I got mine off Craigslist from a guy who bought the wrong one. He allowed me to “test fit” the fin before I paid for it. Luckily it had all the right fittings.

Have you done a search? I was thinking someone had broken down the parts numbers by the headunit/GPS/XM combos that were available 2014 & 2015. Can’t be sure, but the guy I bought it from said there were just two types, so it was a 50/50 shot (as long as the color was correct.)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I had done a search, but didn't care either way since this is mainly an aesthetic mod for me. I really didn't like that my antenna mast was broken, but rarely listen to AM/FM. Also, remember how I said I bought the shark fin antenna for a great price? Look up the cost of a replacement antenna mast. I paid less than that. I was ready to not have radio.
 

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So. We had an ice storm and I got flailing around. My antenna looks exactly like this. It is 20*F, so I put it in the garage with a hair dryer on it after wicking out moisture with a sheet of paper towel. Then I cocooned it with electric tape. As I was winding this on, the mast turned a tiny amount. I didn't turn thinking it was a rubber encased spring type thing and just cocooned it. My question. Looking at the OP's picture, is this where the screw in replacement mast goes? Is it really that simple? Partsgeek had one for $20. Amazon as well.

I would prefer not to remove any interior liner to get at the thing. 2015 Forester 2.5 none of that sat or nav stuff.

Any help appreciated.
 

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So. We had an ice storm and I got flailing around. My antenna looks exactly like this. It is 20*F, so I put it in the garage with a hair dryer on it after wicking out moisture with a sheet of paper towel. Then I cocooned it with electric tape. As I was winding this on, the mast turned a tiny amount. I didn't turn thinking it was a rubber encased spring type thing and just cocooned it. My question. Looking at the OP's picture, is this where the screw in replacement mast goes? Is it really that simple? Partsgeek had one for $20. Amazon as well.

I would prefer not to remove any interior liner to get at the thing. 2015 Forester 2.5 none of that sat or nav stuff.

Any help appreciated.
I had a similar situation. I'll post what I did.
 

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OK I see you replaced with a shark fin. My question is in regards to the op picture on the silver car. Is that mast broken above the threaded part? So if mine looks like that, can I just unscrew the thing and replace? I will wait for warmer weather, but don't want to leave it electric tape wrapped forever.
 

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You can drop the rear portion of the headliner by removing the rubber weather seal and gently popping three plastic snap locks down, one in the center and one on each side, by gently applying a downward pressure on the headliner. Don't push too hard on one spot or the headliner will crease. Two hands gently pushing downward, get your fingers underneath the headliner best you can to apply the force.

If anything you might have to remove the plastic surround of the rear side windows to allow the headliner to drop a few inches. Then you can reach in and remove the antenna by loosening the nut and disconnecting the pigtail.
 
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