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Shark Fin Antena For Xm

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Dear All,

I had purchased an UL ES 350 earlier this year. I had dealership install the XM antena on the rear brakelight inside the car.

Now, I see the 2010 ES are coming with a factory installed shark fin antena which looks really sharp + I am quite sure that its reception would be much better. So, for all the tech guys here on the forum the question is "Can the factory shark fin be mounted on the 2009?"

The dealer's answer is "no" since they have no conversion kit for it?

I guess that the mount can be done if one (not me) is ready to bear the consequences of taking off the headliner and running the wires to the roof. With the UL it will perhaps be more difficult if not impossible since one has to drill holes in the panoramic glass roof.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

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At least the 2010 ES shark fin antenna is reasonably small -- unlike the dorky big ones on the BMW 3-Series.

I wouldn't be so sure that the shark fin would provide better reception. I've spent plenty of days with XM in rental cars and I've gotten so tired of seeing "Buffering" on the radio display I've pretty much given up on XM. Has it gotten any better?

You might look closely inside a 2010 ES Ultra to see if the antenna lead for the shark fin is imprinted on the inside of the glass. If it is, you are probably SOL for adding one. Are you sure that the shark fin is screwed on to the glass of the panoramic room? Maybe it's just stuck on like an old style cell phone antenna or the emblems on some Lexus models.

Personally I think it is wonderful not to have any external antennas on either of our Toyota made vehicles -- nothing to get knocked off or vandalized or add wind noise on the highway -- and when I think about it, we've gone through quite a few external antennas over the years. It kind of seems like the car industry is taking a step backward with external antennas or maybe Toyota/Lexus is just continuing their pattern of mimicking what European car makers do.

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Thanks for your reply.

I should have mentioned that I live 100 miles away from the closest lexus dealer, otherwise I would just go to the dealership and ask all the right questions that you have mentioned.

As far as having an antena on the roof, I guess that after owning one previous car for 5 years and one current vehicle with the roof top factory XM antena, I can reliably state that getting knocked off or vandalized or wind noise hadn't been and is not an issue. My previous car was an acura tl and current family work horse is a Honda Odyssey Van. Both are honda products with subtle flat roof top antenas at the rear and middle of the roof with an excellent XM reception. I must mention that living in a small city with lots of trees and under bridge roads I never had an issue with the reception of XM on those vehicles. Since I have bought the lexus and despite the XM but with inside antena, I constantly get annoyed with miss signal sign on the XM and have practically stopped listening to all the wonderful NPR, BBC and other interesting talk shows. Yes, I know that someone is thinking "then why don't I get the antena installed outside on the trunk" my one line answer "plain ugly period". I guess some of the roof top antenas like on GM and VW which sticks up 6-8 inches above the roof can be potentially problematic, but in all honesty I can't say that for sure as I have never owned a vehicle with that sort of antena configuration.

Best Regards, a1s1a1

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