What temperature should the glass be, to install a glass-mount antenna?

Posted by on July 26, 2015

Mounting a glass-mount antenna has just become very easy! Our glass-mount antenna bases use 3M Corporation’s Very High Bond (VHB) tape, which creates instant, high-quality adhesion to a clean, flat glass surface. With 3M VHB tape, you can feel comfortable about the antenna staying in place, since the product has been tested and proven to be stronger than regular riveting (joining or fastening materials together with rivets).

Paying attention to the temperature of the glass is important because you need the glass to be at room temperature for the glue in the tape to take effect. When you attach an antenna, the glass should be 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. What this basically means is that you don’t want the glass to be too hot or too cold. If the glass is too hot or too cold, the glue will not seal right and it will come off sooner or later.

To make sure that the glass is at the correct temperature, our expert technicians give the following advice:

  • Move the vehicle into the garage before attaching the antenna. It is important to note that you cannot attach an antenna right away. The vehicle must sit in the garage for about 12 hours for the glass to become warmer. If you do not have a garage, we suggest you borrow someone else’s. Then after it has been sitting for a few hours, touch the glass to test it. If the glass feels cold, then it is not warm enough.
  • Install the glass antenna during a warmer month. The best time to install a glass-mount antenna is during the summer since you don’t have to worry about warming the glass. If the temperatures are in the 60 to 70’s you will have a better chance of adhesive sticking well. If the glass is too hot, then you will want to move it to the garage to cool down.

Upon attachment of antenna, it will stick immediately. However, it will take several hours to harden to the mounting spot. After 6 hours, extreme temperatures will not affect adhesive. However, our technicians suggest 24 hours to be safe (especially if you’re having very hot or cold weather). To be on the safe side, they suggest you keep your vehicle in the garage during this time. Therefore, you may want to choose an installation time that won’t interrupt your day, such as in the evening or at night.

Other Factors to Consider When Installing Your Glass-Mount Antenna

Everything you need to know when installing your glass-mount antenna will be included in your manual, but here are few basics:

Choose a Good Location

You want to attach your antenna in a location that doesn’t interfere with the windshield wipers. Your manual will provide you with mounting suggestions. For example, the image below provides mounting suggestions from the Wilson Multi-Band Glass-Mount Antenna and Dual-Band Mini Glass-Mount Antenna instruction manual.

All possible glass mount antenna installation locations on vehicle

As you can see, the best locations are located out of the way and high to receive the best signal. According to our technicians, you also want to be aware of the dark areas around your window and make sure that antenna is below those areas. It is not good to place it at or above this area, because it is metallic and a signal will not be able to transmit through as well.

Make Sure You Clean the Surface

“Poor surface prep is the #1 reason for bond failure.” Dust, dirt, and other contaminants can “interfere with the adhesive doing its job” (“Surface Prep Guide for Adhesives”). The 3M VHB tape base creates a strong attachment to the glass surface, but to make sure that you have the best bond (attachment to the surface) you need to make sure the glass section you mount your antenna to, is clean. Cleaning is simple. Just use glass cleaner or an alcohol swab (if it is included with your antenna) and you’re ready to apply the base.

Make Sure You Press Firmly

In order to make 3M VHB tape strongly bond to a surface, many people use a roller to flatten the tape against the surface. Since the adhesive is already applied to the bottom of antenna’s base, all you need to do after attaching it is to press it down firmly (just like applying a registration sticker to the back of your car).

There may be a few more instructions to follow (depending on your manual), but the process is fairly easy and quick and will leave you with a permanent and extremely durable antenna.

References

“Overview of Surface Preparation.” Adhesive. SmartAdhesives. n.d. October 25 2015.

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