Its kinda busticated. Doesn't go up and down w/power, and can only be manually moved carefully and within a narrow range. What to do?
The antenna mast needs to be replaced, no question. Its falling apart and you can even pull the top few sections totally loose. The motor is questionable, I can hear it running when I turn the radio on and off at least.
The most I can get it retracted still leaves about an inch or two sticking up above the trunk lid, which was enough to tear up the cover when I wasn't careful clearing off some snow, it would be nice if there wasn't anything sticking up at all.
A replacement mast is $15 (p/n 65-22-1-466-360-M253) and an entire replacement retractable antenna is ~$240 (p/n 65-22-1-469-334-INT)
The fixed antenna from an E36 can be retrofitted with three parts for ~$230, and screws on and off for car washes/cover/etc.
For total removal, there are many options for an antenna delete plug:
@frijole :: @fe30lix_ :: #fever